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RC patrol on nl.wikipedia

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The dutch wikipedia (nl.wikipedia.org) is one the wikipedias which still uses the mark as patrolled system for dealing with anonymous vandalism. Apart from the Dutch (all logged in users) wikipedia, afaik this feature is currently used on the Italian (non-newbies only) wikipedia and the Norwegian (admin-only) wikipedia.

The dutch wikipedia has been using this system since at least february 2005, and has been reasonably succesfull in ensuring that all anonymous edits get checked for +- obvious vandalism within a months time. In the course of its use on the dutch wikipedia we've found several things that help getting edits patrolled and several things that obstruct it.

Things that help

  • Keeping a list on which people can claim they have checked a certain timeperiod nl:WP:CV
  • Keeping the periods on this list small when there's lot's of anonymous edits, keeping them bigger when there's not a lot
  • Enable the mark-as-patrolled link from as many entrance points to an edit as possible
    • Currently available from:
      • Recent changes
      • Watchlist
      • IRC
      • Vandalfighter (external software which uses the IRC feed)
    • Missing:
      • User's contributions
      • Related changes
      • history of a page
  • automatically marking edits which are reverted by admins using the rollback button

Things that don't help

  • missing the links from certain entrance points :)
  • the mark-as-patrolled link doesn't go anywhere
  • when checking several revisions at the same time, all revisions should be able to be checked off with the link
  • unclear policy what the mark as patrolled links are for
  • only RC&watchlist are able to tell wich edits have been patrolled

Real problems

  • Newbie editors are a risk that the current system doesn't really deal with. Special:Contributions/newbies does not give rcid's in it's links, so patrolling of these links is impossible. There is currently no way to get an overview of newbie edits and patroll those with the mark-as-patrolled system.
    • A solution would be to be able to select them in the recent changes, similar to bot/anonymous/logged in selection happens now, as this fits in nicely with anonomous edits patrol.
  • checking each anonymous/newbie edit takes a lot of work, it's easiest if about everybody is allowed to participate in this process. There is currently no way to see who has patrolled an edit however, so now way to know who is able to do it and who screws up. Edit: since then a log has been created: w:nl:Special:Log/patrol
    • Solutions to this would have to include a log of who patrolled an edit as well as a way to keep the group of patrollers to good patrollers only. There are 2 options
      • users of a certain userclass are patrollers, unless specifically excluded. This leaves the least amount of bureacracy for the community. Only troublemakers have to be dealt with
      • Only approved people can patroll, this creates an extra layer of bureaucracy as patrollers have to be approved by the community.

Nice to have


Would be nice if the "mark user's changes as checked" in the preferences could be moved to another place, meaning that it shouldn't be the user itself to decide that he is "good" but it should be somebody else. Like the admins or the patrolling group.

Personal observations


One of the most timeconsuming (and draining) part of doing cleanup is opening the edit, clicking the link and closing the window/tab again.

In a customized javascript, "Zeusmodus" the mark as patrolled link has been customized so this is not necessary anymore. It should be possible to feature this in a sitewide or skinwide javascript.