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Research:Portuguese Wikipedia trends and behavior/Overview Reverts and Deletions

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Research Summary[edit]

Research on English Wikipedia has shown that reverts have an impact on new editor retention, and an anecdotal glance at PT:WP Recent Changes to User Talk often shows a lot of Huggle warnings. Reverts have also come up as a source of community discontent in BCP discussions. The goal of this initial look into reverts of edits made to Portuguese Wikipedia (PT-WP) was to verify concerns about increased vandalism and then evaluate the need for certain tools / policies regarding reverts (e.g., CAPTCHA, Huggle templates, etc).

It appears as if the number of reverters and the number of reverts as a % of the total editors and edits is relatively constant over the past few years. This raises some questions regarding the usefulness of tools such as CAPTCHA for filtering out vandals while retaining good-faith editors.

Key Findings[edit]

Key Findings: PT-WP Reverts and Deletions
1.Total number of reverts per month has remained relatively constant since beginning of 2008
  • Note slight fluctuations month to month, which are also fairly constant
  • Average ~155K reverts per year
  • So far, 2011 looks higher than in past years
2.Total number of reverts as a percent of total edits per month has been relatively constant since mid-2006
  • Major growth in 2005 to July 2006
  • Peaks in November 2006, April 2008, and November 2010
  • Average year is about 7% of edits are reverts each month
3. The proportion of total editors who are reverters has increased in recent years.
  • This indicates that more work is being distributed across editors
4. Since its introduction in 2006, the use of CAPTCHA for non-autoconfirmed users has not reduced the number of reverts as a percent of edits.
  • This could mean that CAPTCHA is not a barrier to vandals
5. Moreover, the number of reverts done by reverters has actually increased slightly on an annual level since CAPTCHA’s introduction in 2006
  • Work of reverters peaked in 2008 with ~189.3 reverts per reverter (excluding present day known bots)
  • So far, though, the average for 2011 is the highest yet
6. So far in 2011, Admins and Hugglers make up less than 10% of all reverters, but this 10% has done ~53% of the reverts thus far this year.
7. In an average month in 2011, Hugglers and Admins did 27 more reverts than Bots, and 93 more than unclassified reverters.
  • Note 1: It would be helpful to compare this workload with other language projects.
  • Note 2: It would also be helpful to view this workload over time
8. Thus, a lot of decisions are made by a very small group of individuals. This group of Admin and Hugglers are also responsible for about 20% of all megabytes added to all the namespaces.


Revert: Any edit that returns text back to a prior version

Reverter: An editor who returns text back to a prior version

Huggler: An editor who uses Huggle (a semi-automated tool for fighting vandalism) to revert edits and notify users whose edits are reverted

See also[edit]

‎*Page in Portuguese