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: PT-WP Reverts and Deletions|
| 1.Total number of reverts per month has remained relatively constant since beginning of 2008
| 2.Total number of reverts as a percent of total edits per month has been relatively constant since mid-2006
|3. The proportion of total editors who are reverters has increased in recent years.
|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.
|5. Moreover, the number of reverts done by reverters has actually increased slightly on an annual level since CAPTCHA’s introduction in 2006
|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.
|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