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Wikipedia Adds "WikiLove" For Newbie Editors 225

mikejuk writes "Wikipedia has a cunning plan to make wikipedians nicer to each other — its all about WikiLove. They can click on the Love button to make each other feel good about contributing anything from an article to an edit. The idea is that this will encourage newbie editors to stay and contribute rather than slink away into the rest of the web because their contributions get deleted and derided. Perhaps all we need for world peace is a big enough love button."
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Wikipedia Adds "WikiLove" For Newbie Editors

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  • Is this backed by the Ministry of Love?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    *open hood of car*
    >because their contributions get deleted and derided
    Well, now, there's ya problem.

  • I tell you what (Score:5, Insightful)

    by trifish ( 826353 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:01AM (#36582542)

    I stopped editing Wikipedia a couple of years ago and haven't gone back. Why? Because the members of the established mafia occupying the articles appeared to have much much more time than me to keep reverting or discussing (i.e. repeating the arguments over and over ad nauseam) than me.

    Any change I made was immediately (usually within 1-10 minutes) reverted. I have been living my life and working, while they have apparently been just squatting "their" articles. I don't feel sorry for them, however.

    • Re:I tell you what (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Twinbee ( 767046 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:09AM (#36582634) Homepage

      What was the topic in question? And a link to the "Discuss" arguments? I ask because it's always possible to advertise to get other people involved, perhaps people more knowledgeable than either of you. With more people (and more expert people), a middle-ground consensus is more likely to established.

      • Re:I tell you what (Score:5, Insightful)

        by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:19AM (#36582734)

        With more people (and more expert people)

        Those two are NOT the same thing. Having a bunch of people editing doesn't help if the few experts get drowned out by the multitude of ignorant assholes who just sit around all day reverting articles.

        • by Twinbee ( 767046 )

          There are many people, myself included, who would step down given someone with better credentials (especially phd level). Meritocracy and all that. Maybe the situation is worse than I think, and a Pagerank system for people would need to be used. It could be abused, but I think it could work well. People could be marked down as well as up, and the strength of that marking would depend on the 'rank' of the person doing the marking.

          I'm not sure if the "wisdom of the crowds" theory applies to knowledge, as wel

          • I realize you're referring to deferring to those with genuine expertise, and I respect that and agree, but as an aside, anyone who thinks that a PhD holder necessarily has more merit has never worked for a university. Talk about a sausage factory!

        • Re:I tell you what (Score:4, Insightful)

          by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Monday June 27, 2011 @10:01AM (#36583088) Homepage Journal

          This is very common on Wikipedia. A good example would be articles on anime that have been released in the west, such as Detective Conan and Card Captor Sakura. In academic works, e.g. a printed encyclopaedia, the original names would be used for the articles. Instead the names of the bastardised versions that the western distributors did are used (Case Closed and Cardcaptors respectively).

          Someone figured out a way to troll Wikipedia. Piss off all the fans who are adding useful contributions to the articles. The other common tactic is to delete all the detailed info under the pretence of merging articles together and then claiming that the article is now too long and needs to be cut back drastically. All the effort people put in to documenting characters and events, even the minor ones, is destroyed.

          This is one reason why alternative single-subject wikis like Wookiepedia (Star Wars) are gaining popularity. Lengthy and in-depth articles on the most obscure topics, and so far no organised deletion trolls.

          • by Rhaban ( 987410 )

            Reducing the number of articles on obscure topics as welle as their length is useful.
            I print myself a paper version of wikipedia once a month, and it would really save trees if there weren't so many useless articles.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          My kingdom for mod points.

      • > I ask because it's always possible to advertise to get other people involved, perhaps people more knowledgeable than either of you.

        Oh no, that gets you punished for canvassing. If you're not someone high up, that is. Then your private mutual assistance mailing lists can be published, and nothing will come off it.

        What wikipedia needs is a hate button. And liberal application of said button to any and all aspiring wikilawyers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Bieeanda ( 961632 )
      Wanna know what's worse? The guy probably just had a reversion script running.
    • Three years ago or so I decided to try to upload clips to classic rock songs that I had on CD that had their own pages on Wikipedia. They were constantly deleted. If a song had a page, I figured it'd be notable enough to have a fair use clip of it and so for about twenty songs I carefully selected the best 10% of the song (or 30 seconds, whichever is shorter) and turned it into the lowest quality ogg in Audacity. Two bots were particularly brutal (DASHBot [] and FileBot []). Months later someone would seemingly voluntarily orphan the fair use examples I had uploaded and one by one they disappeared. Well screw that, I'm done investing my time into something that just gets deleted by a bot whose owner does not respond when I comment on their talk page asking for help and justification. It'd be one thing if someone would explain to me what I'm doing wrong but it appears what I'm doing wrong is volunteering my time to Wikipedia in the first place. It's not like my examples are being improved or adjusted -- just deleted. So forget it, I have better projects to invest my time in.
      • The Wikipedia article about a subject should be a summary of how reliable sources (which Wikipedia defines as roughly the scholarly and mainstream media) view the subject. This means the Wikipedia article about a non-free work of authorship should be first and foremost about the reception of the work among reliable reviewers. When you added your excerpts of a non-free work to Wikipedia, did you make sure that the excerpt specifically illustrated something that one of these reviewers mentioned?
    • Re:I tell you what (Score:4, Interesting)

      by twocows ( 1216842 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:51AM (#36582998)
      I had a similar experience adding some minor details to a page. I wasn't particularly busy that day, so I quoted enough Wikipedia bureaucracy at them to fill a book and they finally left the details in.

      The problem with Wikipedia is just as you say; too many people have their little pet pages and to get anything done you need to throw the book at them. Nobody's going to bother doing that.
      • by siglercm ( 6059 )

        The only power those particular editors may have in their lives is their wiki pages. (And, mind you, as with so much in life this phenomenon is all about power. Basically no money is involved, only power.) Upon reflection, I think an appropriate reaction is sorrow.

    • I tell you what I tell everyone with this kind of argument: Please be more specific. Tell us your username, your edits (diffs!), then we can evaluate and judge for ourselves. Otherwise, it's just FUD you're spreading.

      Incidentally, I know a number of ex-users who saw Wikipedia as a platform for their own personal opinion / view of the world, a means for self-expression and so forth. They were frustrated as they did not succeed (obviously) and now they complain about Wikipedia just the way you do and use the

      • by kyrio ( 1091003 )
        Yeah, how about you just go look at the history of the circumcision [] page.
      • by ifrag ( 984323 )

        I tell you what I tell everyone with this kind of argument: Please be more specific. Tell us your username, your edits (diffs!), then we can evaluate and judge for ourselves. Otherwise, it's just FUD you're spreading.

        Really? You are calling him on that? It's pretty much common knowledge that's what wikipedia is like. I mean, look at this article, what is it they are trying to prevent here? Oh right, the exact thing the GP mentioned. Even if you pay attention to every minor wikipedia detail that can still happen.

    • Re:I tell you what (Score:4, Informative)

      by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:59AM (#36583074) Journal
      These years, when I look up wikipedia for an article, I often go to the 2007 version (or 2009 if it is too small). It is usually longer, the "removal wars" began around 2008-2009 . Only on recent events do I use the current version.
    • Re:I tell you what (Score:5, Informative)

      by devphaeton ( 695736 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @10:00AM (#36583084)

      Same here. I was correcting the BitchX article (it pointed to as the IRC Client's website, which is a domain squatter. is the real site). Within minutes, it was reverted. I corrected it again with a better description (assuming I wasn't clear enough the first time), same thing. Finally, someone else corrected it, and all history of the battle disappeared.

      However, I did look at the history and saw that this has been done several times by several other people, only to get reverted back to the wrong website each time.

      The only thing this really does is make me sad though. Wikipedia could be (and sometimes still is) a great resource, but bullshit like this is what ruins it for everyone.

    • Re:I tell you what (Score:4, Informative)

      by gravis777 ( 123605 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @10:26AM (#36583420)

      Same issue here. I would try to make simple changes, like change a birthdate on a page. Some obviously had issues, I cannot remember the celebrity off the top of my head, but in the article, her birthdate was stated 10 years later than what was stated in the summery in the side column. A simple visit to numerous fan sites showed that the date in the article was wrong, so I would change it, and provide links to support the change. It would be reverted back usually within a few minutes.

      I had a similar issue with our city page. I love in a very small town, and the page on Wikipedia was pretty much full of racial slurs and misinformation, not a single piece of which was linked to. Made several complaints and tried to change the page, but it kept getting reverted, and the responses I got were that the information on the page was accurate.

    • I often put a comment in the "Comments" section, but don't actually do the edit myself. That gives them the opportunity to discuss about it and make a final decision. And sometimes they've actually taken my comment into account!!

    • by Ihmhi ( 1206036 )

      Same here, except I'm very against them being so deletion happy. Disk space and bandwidth are cheap. Unless it's a clear violation of the law, there's no reason to delete anything. Instead, stuff gets tagged as "not notable" and is disappeared forever.

      I understand wanting to have standards (i.e. the need to cite sources and whatnot), but a simple "This article currently has no sources or citations - find some!" and a hell of a lot more leniency will make Wikipedia suck a lot less.

      Some kinda magic karmic met

  • Perhaps all we need for world peace is a big enough love button.

    That's what SHE said!

  • Too much happiness (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Much like the "like" button on Facebook, "love" will feel very awkward for things that are correct and worthwhile, but depressing. Say, amended figures for genocides.

    • by surgen ( 1145449 )

      It does capture the most important aspect of the Facebook like button, its a lightweight operation for the person doing the liking. As a facebook "advertiser", I got the email about the change from "become a fan" to "like", their entire justification to do so was that it would be easier for the user to commit to doing. Yes, love will feel awkward, but it will get significantly more use than actually going onto someones userpage to write some sort of thank-you.

  • by rbrausse ( 1319883 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:10AM (#36582638)

    I don't get the idea behind such features - where are dislike, -1, WikiHate?

    Those one-click-feelgood buttons are not even a valid substitute for real feedback...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:12AM (#36582664)

    I discovered recently just how petty and arrogant some Wikipedia contributors are. I attempted to clean up an article, nothing major, just fixing some awkward sentences that were poorly worded, confusing, or grammatically incorrect. Less than half an hour later it was changed back and I received a message from the author of the parts I corrected telling me that it was "his" article and that the sections I fixed were already perfect and needed no changes. I made my case for keeping my edits, explained that I made the article read better without changing any facts, and then changed them back. The next message I got was an angry post insulting me personally, and telling me that there was no way I was more of an expert on the subject ("or the English language" he actually said that) than he was. This is probably one of the worst examples but it can't be the only one.

    You can't make people like that "love" each other. They are protective, bitter, autists who spend all day refreshing "their" articles and reverting the edits of anyone who attempts to change them.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I had a similar experience. I added important new information to an article about the subject I am an expert on (15+ years professional experience) which took me a couple of hours to write and cite. All additions were deleted, reverted and gutted within 24 hours, with no sane explanation. I did not bother to contest or debate this - my time is better spent where it's appreciated.

      • I did not bother to contest or debate this

        That's where you made a mistake. If you get reverted, you're supposed to discuss the revert on the article's talk page [].

        • Perhaps there should be more onus on the person deleting work than on the person creating it?

          Wikipedia editors have created culture of deletion unless you go through obscure, undocumented rituals and procedures that match the whimsical desires of particular editors. That is not a way to induce new people to contribute with new information. That is exclusionary, cliquish and complete antithetical to Wikipedia's stated goals.

        • by jo_ham ( 604554 )

          It makes no difference. If you fight it, you just get declared a sockpuppet account and deleted.

          • by tepples ( 727027 )

            It makes no difference. If you fight it, you just get declared a sockpuppet account and deleted.

            Would you please link to an edit where this has happened?

    • That pretty much mirrors my experience. I honestly think what Wikipedia needs most is a method to stop that kind of behavior. Maybe only allow people to make up to 10 revisions on an article per year (including reverts). That would prevent people from "camping", allow others to contribute, and encourage people to make small contributions to numerous articles instead of major contributions to a select few articles. It would also encourage people to really think about the changes they're making before pushing
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo&world3,net> on Monday June 27, 2011 @10:09AM (#36583178) Homepage Journal

      Sometimes you can get your edits to stick by asking a neutral moderator to check them and make a decision. Then it is 50/50 if the moderator is an asshat or not but it is worth a try just to see the steam shooting from the ears of the articles rightful "owner". If you are really lucky the original author might give up on Wikipedia entirely and you can feel like you achieved something worthwhile.

      Oh yes, and don't forget that you can't remove stuff on your personal page permanently. Even if you delete it, it remains in the history. Make sure you put copious links to the original authors asshattery on his page (or permanent record as I like to call it). Encourages them to stop editing Wikipedia.

      Harsh but this is the only way we have any hope of reclaiming it.

    • Less than half an hour later it was changed back and I received a message from the author of the parts I corrected telling me that it was "his" article

      Could you offer us a link to this revert and the message that you received? From only your description, it sounds like a violation of the policy against ownership-like behavior [].

    • Citation needed

  • How soon (Score:4, Insightful)

    by realinvalidname ( 529939 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:16AM (#36582704) Homepage
    until someone marks the "Love button" for speedy deletion?
  • by citking ( 551907 ) <> on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:27AM (#36582804) Homepage

    With the problems I've had in the past I don't know if this is going to be nearly enough. Wikipedia's problems lies in the fact that many, if not most, of their long-time editors consider themselves the end-all be-all of Wikipedia. I've contributed to several pages, cited properly, and still get reverted because someone disagrees with the page for reasons other than factual accuracy. For example, when editing an article about Vince Lombardi and citing sources the changes were reverted for no given reason. When I asked why I was reverted I was not given a reasonable answer (and was trolled in the process). So I stopped contributing. I'm now content to let the self-appointed elites run the site.

    That's the other reason I will never give a red cent to Wikipedia. So long as the Wikipedia mafia of editors continue to run things the way that they do I think the site will suffer and eventually wither out as it's last gasp of neutrality and openness disappear behind the power-hungry editors who run the site the way that they want to run it. If Jimmy wants Wikipedia to succeed he'll start with the cadre of idiots who currently run the place.

    • No one by the name of "citking" has ever edited the Vince Lombardi article. Care to link to your edits?

    • When I asked why I was reverted, I was not given a reasonable answer (and was trolled in the process).

      If another Wikipedia editor behaved in a blatantly uncivil manner after your attempt to apply BRD [], why didn't you take the issue to one of Wikipedia's numerous options for dispute resolution []?

      • by citking ( 551907 )

        If another Wikipedia editor behaved in a blatantly uncivil manner after your attempt to apply BRD [], why didn't you take the issue to one of Wikipedia's numerous options for dispute resolution []?

        Probably because I was 1) unaware of that process and 2) thinking that a simple edit shouldn't necessarily require an appeals process. Even now that I am aware of it the time commitment behind adding any sort of information to an article (add & cite, have it reverted, appeal, talk, discuss more, re-edit, reverted again, repeat ad nauseum) is just too great now. I don't need Wikipedia that much and if that community is going to be resistant to change then so be it.

      • Because people don't feel like wasting days and weeks of times going through a complicated bureaucracy just to make simple edits to wikipedia? Not all of us are so devoid of lives that we can waste on that time arguing with people.

  • by 1u3hr ( 530656 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:29AM (#36582830)
    I personally would use a "FUCK YOU, YOU MORON" button a lot more often in Wikipedia than a "Have a kitten" button. Maybe it's the articles I edit attract more assholes (yes, I'm aware of the implication of that).
  • by Amorymeltzer ( 1213818 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:42AM (#36582920)

    The WikiLove campaign [] has been around for ages, with the goal being simply to encourage friendliness and a positive learning/working environment. Various user scripts have been around for a while, this is just an implicit acceptance of that concept, as the feature will now be built-in instead of an option feature you have to search for.

    • It is pointless as the problem with Wikipedia is no life social retards that camp articles or topics and only allow real contributions from those in their cabal. Adding a campaign to increase friendly human interaction is pointless as the mafias and cabals don't understand normal human interaction.

  • Er, Love?...I'm not trying to be negative here, but couldn't we simply leave the childish antics of Facebook within the confines of that pseudo-internet realm, or should we all simply give up and accept the fact that Facebook will ultimately become the internet?

    What's next, a .groovy TLD? Give me a break.

    IMHO, society has also cheapened the word "love" with stuff like this as well. No wonder marriage has become an exercise in futility with the current divorce rates when the word love has been reduced to f

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The problem with Wikipedia is the deletionists: those who destroy content rather than creating it. There should be a karma system where you have to add a certain amount of content before you can use the karma points to destroy content.

    It's gotten to the point where specialized wikis are getting all the love -- I know people who stopped contributing 5 years ago and would never even consider going back.

    • There should be a karma system where you have to add a certain amount of content

      Wikipedia already has something like that: highly visible articles are often semi-protected, and editors need 96 hours and 10 edits on their account before editing a semi-protected article.

  • by Hotawa Hawk-eye ( 976755 ) on Monday June 27, 2011 @09:48AM (#36582978)

    when I read the title. I pictured the Wikimedia Foundation getting into the dating site market with some sort of Wiki-dating site ( where people could edit the profiles of those with whom they had dates to offer commentary/feedback/pictures/etc. Or maybe something a bit more NSFW.

    I can picture so many ways this could be (and will be) abused; as a (perhaps mild but still cruel) example picture getting a group together to send Beer "love" to a recovering alcoholic.

  • Kick out the deletionists. Seriously, Wikipedia had such promise before they took over.

  • I am really getting tired of this shit. So, for your education, you fucking moron submitter and fucking useless moron editor: Bob's quick guide to the apostrophe. []

  • to keep new editors away.
  • Ban all deletionists. And don't be so insanely strict on fair use picture size. I swear, I've seen pics being resized to be smaller than their thumbnails!

  • Wikipedia has a page which tracks what n00bs are doing. [] Here are the last five edits by new editors in article space:

    • GameBot78 [] - ad for someone's YouTube video.
    • The Mist [] - added uncited plot details to a Steven King novel article.
    • SnowSports Industries America [] - cut and paste from LinkedIn page of a lobbying group.
    • Reddit [] - added quotes around a reference to 4Chan. Unclear why.
    • Baba Ramdev [] - edit warring over profitability of business interests of some guru.

    None of those added any value to Wikiped

  • What's the point - tricking new editors into thinking that their contributions are welcome and accepted? That's cruel. It's like offering an ice cream cone to a little kid and yanking it away at the last moment. It'd be a lot kinder to write a bot to revert a new editor's first 10 contributions with messages like "you are wrong and your grammer sucsk lol". At least that way they know what they're getting themselves into.

  • Merit badges weren't enough incentive?

  • I'm a grumpy old man with 26,000+ edits and something like 5,000 to 7,000 new articles.

    I'll remain grumpy and old after the button is implemented.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham