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  • Bluesonic1
    Bluesonic1 closed this thread because:
    Consensus reached & inactive thread.
    15:33, September 1, 2016

    It was brought to my attention a week and a half ago via the DC Wiki thread on the forums that anon editing had been disabled by Wikia due to Wikia believing our wiki was targeted to an audience younger than 13 years of age. Since then, I contacted Wikia with evidence of DC's ToS that demonstrated users of 13 years and younger weren't allowed to join the site, and the restriction was lifted.

    Anons have now been able to edit for the past 5 days and in that time, we have received 9 different anon editors on the wiki; 8 of their edits were undone with 6 of them being vandalism. With 6 accounts of vandalism in 5 days, I'd like to bring a discussion on this feature, and whether or not anon editing is an appropriate feature to have on our wiki.

    Edit:
    Final Stats for 1 Week:

    • Total Anons: 16 (this doesn't count anons who may have edited more than once)
    • Total Edits Reverted: 11 (duplicates for anons not included)
      • Of Which Were Vandalism: 8

    69% of edits this week done by anon users had to be reverted, with 73% of these edits being vandalism. Overall, 50% of anon contribution this week was vandalism. (Again, all of these counts unique editors, and doesn't count any additional edits made by the same editor.)

    Edit:
    Additional Stats: 13 Dec - 10 Jan (following the initial week above)

    • Total Anons: 21 (this doesn't count anons who may have edited more than once)
    • Total Edits Reverted: 9 (duplicates for anons not included)
      • Of Which Were Vandalism: 4

    43% of edits in this time period done by anon users had to be reverted, with 44% of these reverted edits being vandalism. Overall, 19% of anon contribution during this time period was vandalism. (Again, all of these counts unique editors, and doesn't count any additional edits made by the same editor.)

      Loading editor
    • In summary:

      Option 1. we allow anon editing. Pros: encourages users with no accounts to quickly correct grammar or other bits. Cons: makes it significantly easier for trolls/vandals/spam, higher risk of false information being edited in or correct information being altered/removed.

      Option 2. we disallow anon editing. Pros: less instances of vandalism or false information. Cons: may put off users from making occasional changes, as they might not want to sign up for an account and/or don't have time to do so.

      Anything I missed? For the overall benefit of the wiki, it may be best to disallow anon editing. We may get some useful corrections/grammar if we do allow anons, but it's not like a grammar problem is going to sit around for 5 years.

        Loading editor
    • I don't think it's as simple as that. We're a small wiki, and much of the DC userbase has no idea how to edit or work on a wiki. Forcing them to have an account puts a lot of people off in this sense (this coming from conversations I've had with other members and even spriters). Because of this, anon editing actually makes up a decent bulk of our activity, almost half of it in fact. Keeping it open will also encourage people to take little steps towards getting their own account and becoming a regular editor, which is something to consider as well.

      And actually, grammar issues have been sitting around on articles for years now- finding this out now as I clean up the dragon articles :P The only reason I brought this up as an issue is because this week, the number of vandalism edits was higher than the number of constructive edits on part of anon editors, as opposed to being the other way around which is what you would normally expect. I don't know if it will continue like that (it's calmed down now these past several days), but I didn't not want to say anything in case it does get worse down the track.

        Loading editor
    • The thing with anonymous editing is that it's more likely that vandals will edit maliciously because, think about it, if you were intending to just blanking pages as fast as you could, would you really make an account just to do that? Go through the process of selecting a username, putting an email, decoding the captcha, and then verifying your email? It's just not convenient when you're vandalizing wikis. However, it is convenient for users who want to add content to a wiki but don't actually want to make an account because it's just a passing thing. Like, it's the same thing as with vandals. If you're just going to do a few edits it's far more convenient not to go through the whole process of signing up. On both sides it's a matter of convenience, just both sides have different intent.

      I think we should keep it so that anon users can continue to edit, because it will bring more people from the forums to the wiki when they want to make a few minor edits. Does it mean we have to look into every anon edit, yes, which isn't a lot of fun. But for the sake of the wiki and bringing editors I think we should keep it on. We just have to check anonymous edits, but I personally believe people should check all edits that are made.

        Loading editor
    • It is true that people are put off by making accounts.

      I think the main question is do you think the time it takes you to revert changes from vandals and also block them is worth the benefit of having ability for users to edit without accounts? Do the benefits outweigh the cost of the extra time you lose as a result of more vandalism?

        Loading editor
    • Waxify wrote:

      The thing with anonymous editing is that it's more likely that vandals will edit maliciously because, think about it, if you were intending to just blanking pages as fast as you could, would you really make an account just to do that? Go through the process of selecting a username, putting an email, decoding the captcha, and then verifying your email? It's just not convenient when you're vandalizing wikis. However, it is convenient for users who want to add content to a wiki but don't actually want to make an account because it's just a passing thing. Like, it's the same thing as with vandals. If you're just going to do a few edits it's far more convenient not to go through the whole process of signing up. On both sides it's a matter of convenience, just both sides have different intent.

      Just to clarify- I'm not asking for advice based on a lack of knowledge on the process on my half. This thread is to gather community opinions and work towards a consensus with how we should handle this situation ^__^ (p.s. You don't need to be email verified to start editing)

      Today is officially a week since anon editing was opened up, so I've added the final stats on all anon edits we have. In my personal opinion, I'd like to wait another week and see how things go- looking at just this week, vandal edits have slowed down near the end, and it's possible they're occurring because of the novelty of returned anon editing. I highly value the small helpful edits anon editors make- to be fair, it doesn't take that much time to revert vandalism thanks to the rollback tool and just block them. My concern isn't the effort on my part, but that I don't want it to be a constant issue that this feature is bringing in more poor edits than good, as it brings down people's opinion of the wiki as a trustworthy source of information. Just my thoughts though.

        Loading editor
    • I can understand why users wouldn't want to make an account, esp. if its just for grammar/spelling correction and is a one time thing. I only have this account litterally so I have the option to edit pages. Its easier to have the ability to edit pages without having to login, so it may be best ot wait a bit longer before banning anons. In the mean time, I believe it is possible to lock pages of frequent vandalism and also possibly ban anons by their IP address (Its displayed if you select them, I believe). If it becomes a problem you can remove anon access for a while and then give it back. I believe people can be mature about this.

        Loading editor
    • Miscat wrote:

      In the mean time, I believe it is possible to lock pages of frequent vandalism and also possibly ban anons by their IP address (Its displayed if you select them, I believe). If it becomes a problem you can remove anon access for a while and then give it back. I believe people can be mature about this.

      Few comments on why those suggestions won't work or are currently being used and aren't that effective: the pages being targeted at the moment are random. It's not even high traffic pages or the same ones being repeatedly targeted, at one point even a category page got vandalised. Of course every anon that vandalises I issue an IP block for, but many that vandalise utilise proxies or VPNs to change their IP and therefore get around the block. On top of this, many people have dynamic IP addresses which can allow for further circumventing of IP blocks depending on how frequently they change.

      As for removing access temporarily, I know that won't work as that's currently what got us into this situation. Anon editing was disabled on our wiki for a long time (over a year I think), yet in the first week that it got restored, we see this. It demonstrates that a period of blocking does nothing to deter them, and it additionally blocks any helpful edits we could have gotten during that time too. I also refer back to my previous comment about the novelty of the situation- if this is actually what's happening, your proposed solution may make things worse.

        Loading editor
    • Following up on this, which was longer overdue due to the Christmas event- only 19% of anon contributions in this new time period have been vandalism, and in the same time period we've received a lot of useful edits from anon users (more so than edits from registered users even).

      In light of the new statistics, I feel it would be good to leave anon editing open, and we can revisit this any time in the future should things take a turn for the worst for whatever reason. What are your opinions this? Any feedback is appreciated :)

        Loading editor
    • I have no problems with keeping anon editing for the time being.

      Luckily this wiki receives little traffic compared to some large wikis, so vandalism is less of a problem here. If that number starts rising to 80 or 90%, may be worth opening discussion again.

        Loading editor
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