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How is the Arabic Wikipedia a Wikipedia?[edit]


The Arabic Wikipedia moderates all contributions by users. If you make an edit in any article, your edit will not appear to unregistered users. It will only appear after some administrator reviews it and approves of it. The review process seems to be complex and multilayered. If your edit is flagged by this icon FlaggedRevs-1.png, this means that it has not been reviewed. If it is flagged by this icon FlaggedRevs-2.png, this means that it has passed only the first layer of scrutiny. It will still not appear for unregistered users. Finally, if your edit is flagged by this lucky icon FlaggedRevs-3.png, this means that it has successfully passed scrutiny and "has been approved by an expert" (they say that literately تم تدقيق ومراجعة الصفحة من قبل خبير).

This approval process is extremely slow and often takes months to complete (if not years in some cases). I am quite unsure that they do really have "experts" qualified for reviewing all the edits.

My question is: how is this whole process consistent with a wiki project? A wiki project means that anybody can contribute. If there will be "experts" reviewing the contributions before they appear on the website, then this cannot be called a wiki project. This is just another encyclopedia of the traditional type. It seems to me quite misleading that the Arabic Wikipedia calls itself a "Wikipedia."

What is most surprising is that they have had this review system since 2009.--HD86 (talk) 20:03, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

@HD86: Has there been discussion at that community about flagged revisions? What has consensus been? —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:25, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

I asked them once but they just tried to justify their review system without being able to answer my question.--HD86 (talk) 20:30, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

They basically said the following: there are cultural differences and their review system is necessary in the Arabic culture, because Arabic-speaking contributors are more likely to vandalize than others and are less likely to contribute positively.

To me, this sounds like some racist prejudice; but in any case this does not answer my question. It rather confirms that the Arabic Wikipedia is not really a Wikipedia. It only uses the name.--HD86 (talk) 20:42, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

Just to make something clear -- I do not say that the system is necessarily unjustified. Perhaps it is true that they get too much vandalism (at least in some sections of the encyclopedia), but regardless of the justification -- if you moderate all the edits before they appear on the website, then you cannot call this a "wiki." If what they say about cultural differences is true, then what should be done is to discontinue the Arabic project altogether rather changing its nature to something that is opposite to the original idea.--HD86 (talk) 21:01, 16 September 2016 (UTC) and they cannot let the public
It's a wiki obviously, since anyone can edit. It's also a wiki, because the community has some element of self-governance in deciding how to patrol the contributions made to the site. Sorry if you don't like it, and yes there are some issues with lack of reviewers. You could always step up and offer to help review revisions I guess. – Ajraddatz (talk) 21:35, 16 September 2016 (UTC)

"because the community has some element of self-governance in deciding how to patrol the contributions made to the site."

This is incorrect and does not apply to the Arabic Wikipedia. The definition of the Wikipedia community says The Wikipedia community is the community of contributors to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. This means that anybody who contributes is part of the community. It is most unlikely that the community of the Arabic Wikipedia have chosen to keep their contributions hidden until they pass the nonsensical review process.

Last month I received the following message via email from an administrator in the Arabic Wiki:

لقد وصلتك هذه الرسالة كونك مسجل على موسوعة ويكيبيديا بالنسخة العربية، وحسب الإحصاءات الأخيرة فإن الموسوعة تعاني من تدني نسبة المستخدمين النشطين مقارنة مع عدد المسجلين وهذا بخلاف الويكيبيديات الأخرى، ولذا نتمنى نحن مجتمع ويكيبيديا العربية أن نراك مساهماً معنا في الموسوعة بما يخدم المعرفة للناطقين بالعربية.

The message asks me to contribute in the Arabic Wiki, because (according to the message) the percentage of active contributors in the Arabic Wiki is low in comparison with the number of registered members, which is unlike the situation in the other Wikipedias. This is what the message literally says.

If most of the registered members are inactive, then nobody can claim that the "community" have decided anything.

I received that message on 8/8/2016. Since that time I have made many contributions to the Arabic Wiki (just because of the message), but guess what? Most of my contributions are still invisible. They are pending review. I do not think that the review process will be finished this year, and frankly I do not accept the principle of that so-called review. Who is going to review my edits? If I want to submit something for review, it will not be on that pity site. I do not believe that the people who are going to "review" my edits are qualified for that.

This is why I am quitting again. I just want to make it clear why I cannot contribute to the Arabic Wiki. I am a native Arabic-speaker but most of my edits have been in the English Wiki, not in the Arabic one. The reason is because contributing to the Arabic Wiki has always been too difficult. It is nothing like the English Wiki. It is not really a "wiki." It is a strictly moderated site that is hardly accessible for the general public.--HD86 (talk) 01:02, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

This is what happened when I tried to rationally discuss the problem with the admins of the Arabic Wiki. One of them got so angry and started calling me names and accusing me with all sorts of unfounded accusations. I will translate what he said. Please note that I am not trying to "report" him or anything like that (so please admins, do not get mad at me because I am doing this).

We do not view the Arabic Wikipedia as bad or as a failure. It is only you who thinks so, and you try to make up unreal problems because you want to make a fuss. The flagged revisions system is implemented in many of the other [Wikipedias] including the English Wikipedia. So why do you insist on portraying it as a bad thing in the Arabic Wikipedia? One of the admins answered you with some facts but you ran away from the discussion and you said "I will not answer you" (sic),¹ and this proves that you are not a positive person looking to solve problems, but you are an argumentative person who wants only to make a fuss and create disorder.² I have dealt with so many people like you and I know how people of your type work, because I am not a fool. I interfered in the discussion initiated by you in order to put an end to that farce which had been wasting people's time, and [in order to put an end to your] creating problems out of nothing. You as a person mean nothing to me and I did not even consider having a direct conversation with you like I did before with other users.³

The message which reached you from [the admin] Badarin⁴ was only meant to encourage old contributors [to come back] in order to increase benefit [to the encyclopedia], but we do not suffer a lack of contributors, because Wikipedia now has much more articles and featured articles than it had years ago, and the number of contributors has multiplied. We do not need your help. Your absence or the absence of any other person will have no effect on the encyclopedia. Wikipedia is not owned by us and we are not employed by it. It is a website open to contributors⁵ for the sake of knowledge, and it is based on volunteering. We welcome contributors, but if they choose to leave, that will make no difference.

To summarize, and in order to settle this issue, I am going to talk to you in the same strict way used by the admins of the English or German Wikipedias,⁶ because it seems that the admins here are too lenient: what you do is trolling. If you continue shouting and creating disorder, you will be banned (and this is 100% legal). If you have a single clear problem you can start a discussion in the appropriate place.⁷ If you want to contribute, the door is open and no one will prevent you. If you view [the Arabic] Wikipedia as a failure, you can leave quietly and you do not even need to read it. Anything else is not allowed. I think that the matter is now clear.

Some people will ask, why do not you talk to him instead of doing this here? The answer is: I did try to talk to him. I posted twice on his personal discussion page, but he basically kept repeating the same things. He says that there is no problem and that I am a troll who is trying to "create disorder," and he keeps threatening to ban me.

1. What really happened was that one admin dismissed my complaint, just like this ones does, and he asked me to "keep following our discussions in order to see how much we care about the encyclopedia," and I responded by saying that I did not want to follow their discussions until they decide to do something about the very serious problem in their revision system which keeps my edits invisible for many months or years.

2. The total number of my posts about this problem in the Arabic Wikipedia is two. Both of them were short posts, but they apparently were sufficient to create commotion and disorder in that very orderly place.

3. It is true that he never wanted to talk to me directly. He interfered in the discussion only to close it, and to call me names, and to ask me to leave the Arabic Wikipedia if I did not like it. Despite his very offensive and arrogant behavior I left a calm and rational message on his personal discussion page, because I was hoping to reach a solution for my specific problem, which is that my edits remain invisible for many months or years because of their nonsensical revision system.

4. It is the message I translated earlier. Note that what he claims about the purpose of that message completely contradicts the actual content of the message.

5. True, it is open to contributors, but the problem is that their contributions will not appear on it.

6. I think he says this because in my original complaint I compared the Arabic Wikipedia to the English one.

7. Which I did, but he closed the discussion, called me names, and asked me to leave Wikipedia if I did not like it. He himself said that in this message.--HD86 (talk) 02:31, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

This is interesting, I didn't know flagged versions. I understand the issue of cultural differences, but this system is foolish, waiting months or years for reviews, without knowing who will reviews the edits, and what are experts, admins avoid discussing... this is foolish!--Luca Polpettini (talk) 23:19, 20 October 2016 (UTC)
Me too, I learn a lot, all thank to you about all of this ! --Evachan39 (talk) 14:00, 5 November 2016 (UTC)
I've now travel a little around this arabic wikipedia and i understand now that it's really different from the english one.

This page [1] (and also this one : [2] ) does not make an exception. --Evachan39 (talk) 14:22, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

Flagged Revisions discusses the matter. w:ar:Special:ValidationStatistics are still quite bad. Nemo 15:37, 5 November 2016 (UTC)

Making the "NOINDEX" tag work on all namespaces on Meta-Wiki[edit]

Hello. I've proposed that __NOINDEX__ works for all namespaces here at Meta-Wiki. Currently, the tag cannot be used on the main namespace as well as on others. Given the nature of this wiki and that we store some pages and archives such as Vandalism reports which get indexed. We've got several requests in the past to hide from search engines some pages and we've found that the only way to do it is by modifying the robots.txt, which requires an admin. Leaving here a note at request of Dereckson. Regards, —MarcoAurelio 23:39, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the note! I commented on the Phabricator task. Given this edit, the current example use-case is somewhat moot now. I imagine there might be other use-cases, though. --MZMcBride (talk) 00:09, 16 November 2016 (UTC)


Where did the discussion to enable Flow here go? And why is it not here? --MF-W 02:18, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

Noooooo... ♪♪♪Let it Go!, Let it Go!, ♪♪♪We don't want Flow here anymore, ♪♪♪Let it Go, Let it Go!♪♪♪,Turn it away and slam the door!♪♪♪Let it Go, Let it Go!♪♪♪ Flow sucks badly anyway!.♪♪♪ ...--Stemoc 02:26, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
You mean this one? The discussion is taking place on Wikimedia Forum for some reason. --MZMcBride (talk) 05:05, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Where is Flow enabled, appart from Talk:Flow/Developer test page? —MarcoAurelio 13:16, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
I'm assuming you're asking about where Flow is enabled on Meta-Wiki specifically. I attempted to answer programmatically: Special:Permalink/16104905. The first query shows pages that are marked as Flow boards. The second query shows all pages that are not marked as CSS, JavaScript, or wikitext.
If you want to know where the Flow extension is deployed to Wikimedia wikis, you will need to consult <>. --MZMcBride (talk) 18:42, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, that was what I was looking for. Maybe we should move it here. --MF-W 20:17, 27 November 2016 (UTC)

New Project? Wikhypothesis[edit]

Wikhypothesis would function as a repository of hypotheses about what is and all relevant evidence for said hypotheses. Thus, it could serve as the backbone for a metaanalysis of any hypothesis humans care to consider by becoming an extremely concise metajournal of all human knowledge acquisition.

Do you think this is a good new project or belongs in Wikiversity or other? Enter the conversation here: Wikhypothesis. Thanks.

[I am following Instruction #4 on Proposals for new projects: "Advertise your project!"] —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jtdjtdjtdjtd (talk)

@Jtdjtdjtdjtd: You are definitely free to advertise and solicit opinion--I hope any feedback is valuable. It looks like you created the proposal three years ago with your alternate account but haven't edited since until now. That is totally your right to do but I marked the proposal as rejected since there was no discussion or a live demo or any community built around the idea in years. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:35, 30 November 2016 (UTC)