Grants:IdeaLab/WMF support in administrative efforts of prevention of trolling and disruptive editing

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WMF support in administrative efforts of prevention of trolling and disruptive editing
The reducing of gender gap is directly conditioned by improving of the community civility. WMF and meta community should take measures in support of administrators' efforts in preventing trolling and disruptive behavior, which in turn should contribute to reducing the gender gap.
contact emailAbiyoyo
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created on18:14, Sunday, March 8, 2015 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

As an administrator of Russian Wikipedia with a long experience in dispute resolution, I have observed, that female editors tend to be much more constructive and civil than male editors. They are more ready to search for consensus and resolve disputes peacefully and less inclined to take steadfast and stubborn stances, conduct wiki-crusades, wiki-wars, take part in useless flames, trolling and baiting other editors.

Almost all of trolls, wiki-warriors and flamers are males. Not 80% (as proportional to gender distribution), but much greater per cent[1]. Almost all of them. I can hardly remember any female indefinitely blocked for consistent trolling and disruptive behaviour in Russian Wikipedia with an exception of a couple of old cases. I assume, that this can be explained by differences in traditional gender roles, gender habitus and specific gender socialization. I do not state, that such differences good or bad in real world, but as for Wikipedia, female social behavior pattern is clearly positive, constructive and more in line with Wikipedia principles of social behavior and should be welcomed.

On the other hand, the male-dominated community tend to impose specific masculine behaviour patterns, which result in making the community less attractive to females. That patterns show themselves in trolling, bating, disruptive editing, stubbornness, flaming, harassment, etc. Such community can be uncomfortable for a lot of potential and actual female editors and avert them from Wikipedia.

The problem is that WMF and meta community do not have much instruments to influence the situation directly as Wikipedia communities are autonomous and self-governed. The only working institution that can directly influence the atmosphere in community is the administrative corpus. The majority of administrators are committed to the idea of improvement of civility but their powers are also limited to their numerical support in community and reputation resources.

Some users (with a great number of trolls, disruptive editors and trolls among them, almost all of them are males) tend to limit the powers of administrators in firm moderation of the disputes and enact block and ban policy. The disruptive users tend to appeal to misinterpreted notions of freedom, democracy and equality, understood by them as 'freedom' to harass, troll, bait users, conduct wiki-wars and substitute reasonable searching for consensus by numerical superiority of uncivil pressure. In such circumstances administrators have little real power to enforce moderation policy.

The administrative corpus is The Thin Red Line, which is trying to prevent the submersion of Wikipedia to imageboard-like (and implicitly or even explicitly sexist) behavior. Unfortunately, this line is somewhat ruined in Russian Wikipedia by the hordes of trolls and disruptive and uncivil editors, absolute majority of whom are males.

The meta community and WMF can express clear support for more firm measures in dispute resolution and preventing uncivil behavior, which in turn will make the community more attractive to female editors. Moreover, for good faith males too. --Abiyoyo (talk) 18:14, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

What is your solution?[edit]

I propose the meta community and WMF to take measures according to their competence and resources to express firm support to administrative policy of consistent dispute moderation and enacting more firm block and ban policy.

The WMF can adopt a resolution with a firm support in:

  • The administrative efforts of enforcing the measures of strict moderation of disputes;
  • The administrative rights to enforce the block and ban policy;
  • Enforcing the sock puppetry policy, welcome more broad use of WP:DUCK by administrators, as sock puppets is one of the main instruments of trolls and disruptive editors;
  • Recommend the Wikipedia communities to reduce voting in favor of reasonable discussion, including the process of electing of administrators, bureaucrats and ArbCom members, as numerical voting is limiting the administrators in enforcing strict measures to trolls and harassers.
  • Institution of means of administrators' immunity to baiting and trolling.
  • The necessity of more efficient administrators' coordination (including off-wiki) in preventing violations of civil rules.
  • Recommendation to follow general principles of WP:HARASS and adopt local policies in line with it;
  • Open a broad discussion on meta for interproject administrative coordination in preventing uncivil behavior.

The meta community may give the space for a broad project of administrative coordination in preventing the uncivil behavior.

The proposed measures may be perceived by some as not linked directly to gender-related problems. But me experience tells me, that superficial means are ineffective unless the main institution, which is responsible for maintaining peace and order is limited in enforcing it.--Abiyoyo (talk) 18:14, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Get involved[edit]



  • I support your analysis of the problem but I can't say I completely understand your solution. I have a related idea Beauxlieux (talk) 17:15, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
  • "The meta community and WMF can express clear support for more firm measures in dispute resolution and preventing uncivil behavior, which in turn will make the community more attractive to female editors. Moreover, for good faith males too." Ocaasi (talk) 00:21, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Support analysis. Enforcement has to be carefully done because most administrators are guys who will enforce these unevenly, punishing women far more severely for far lesser crimes. This has to be put together with something like having quotas of at least 1/3 of admins being verified as women and an easier way of getting rid of truly biased and/or cronyistic male (and female) admins. Carolmooredc (talk) 18:37, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

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  1. E.g. roughly 5% (9 of 198) of users, who have personal sanctions by Russian ArbCom are females.