Forums: Index > Village Dump > Article rot
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Hopefully this'll be a quick and painless forum after the last few drama-saturated discussions we've had. (deep breath, musters courage)

I've noticed a lot of our featured articles become subject to what I[1] like to call "article rot"; that is, a lot of small, non-vandal edits that slowly take away from the quality of the article. Since our featured articles are (for the most part) what we uphold as our best work, and since some features even are our best work, it seems unconscionable to let said articles rot away. It's unfair that a reader looking at a 2008 featured article in 2011 should see a crappier article than if they'd read it in 2009.

I know we've already got a pretty decent defense force for them: people have them on their watchlists, people watch Recent Changes for things like this. But there are a lot of features, and edits slip through. Like I said, article rot isn't about some massive vandalization of a feature - that much is obvious and easily reverted. It's people slipping in Chuck Norris jokes in an otherwise satirical paragraph.

Most of these edits are done by IPs and new users, which is why I'd like to propose that we semi-protect all featured articles. Doing so doesn't lock people out in the way full protection does - anyone who's been around for more than four days can change it to their heart's content. And I think that new users would understand why they couldn't edit an article that has "featured" in huge letters in the upper-left corner - it's kind of self-explanatory. However, I think semiprotection would go a long way in stopping or lessening article rot.

Since I have Fnoodle on my side, semiprotecting all the features would be trivial. But I want to know what everyone thinks first.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 18:36 May 24, 2011

  1. actually I think I stole this from somebody, sorry

Addendum: For examples of this phenomeon, I submit to you: Ant, an old featured article of mine that, every time I've stepped away from this wiki, I've had to revert a dozen more IP and new user edits that didn't fit with the tone; Thekillerfroggy's Drugs; Bear that has been entirely mutated forever and ever by said edits; Hyperbole's article Katy Perry. There are dozens more, I assure you - looking at any FA's history that isn't a very specific title will yield more IPs and n00bs than you can shake a stick at, and their subsequent reverts.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 19:15 May 24, 2011

Another good example: Africa's author Jordanus has disappeared since his article's featuring, and it's suffered almost complete rewriting (mostly by IPs) since his last edit. It's since been semiprotected, but only in 2009, 3 years after featuring. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 20:27, May 24, 2011 (UTC)

Vote: Semi-protect all featured articles?

Score: +17
  • Symbol for vote For. For all the reasons mentioned above.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 18:49 May 24, 2011
  • This is a wiki after all. If people want to contribute they should do it. If someone cares, they should be vigilant about these articles and revert edits they dont want, especially authors. --ShabiDOO 18:58, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
    Yes, but many of the authors have since disappeared, and those that haven't only stop in erratically, mostly not to pay attention to any quality decease of their own articles. This is a wiki, but keep in mind it's a different sort of wiki. Unlike most wikis, users are more territorial about their articles - 99% of all features are "owned" by someone and written only through their contributions. Similarly, they are more often than not only watched by that someone. It's difficult to be vigilant about over a thousand articles of varying titles - some of them, when they show up in Recent Changes, don't even register for me as a feature because we have so many and no one can memorize the titles to them all.
    Anyway the "wiki" argument is why I'm arguing for semi-protection, not full protection. If the author were around, they wouldn't accept most contributions to their featured articles anyway, especially not from IPs and new users who typically don't have the concept of humor nailed down just yet. This is simply cutting out the middleman, because not all of these thousand plus articles can be vigilantly watched.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 19:02 May 24, 2011
    I should also stress the difficulty of watching over very, very small edits over a large period of time. Simply put, it can't be done. Also, if you don't believe that a feature belongs to an author, look at the Hall of Shame for confirmation. And of course, semi-protection still allows for the author to make whatever changes he or she wants.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 19:07 May 24, 2011
    Well if an article belongs to an author as you claim...that author is quite capable of reverting edits they dont like. A nOOb can just arrive and have a frikin helarious and new and original idea to have and add it. Its possible and this is a wiki afterall. Anyways, your mind seems to be made up and Im afraid to start any new drama and keep this forum from being nice and clean. Lets protect the pages. --ShabiDOO 19:48, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
    I feel like you're outright ignoring what I'm saying.
    You: that author is quite capable of reverting edits they dont like
    Me: many of the authors have since disappeared
    You: this is a wiki afterall
    Me: keep in mind it's a different sort of wiki.
    Anyway, I'm really not against discussion here. If someone can bring up a valid point, I'd be more than happy to address it. But as already established, the generic "this is a wiki" argument does not apply where wiki pages have owners. I do concede that very occasionally someone makes a good edit to a featured article, but most edits ruin the tone or miss the point. And if someone really, really did want to edit an FA, all they'd have to do is get an account and exist on-site for four days and hopefully making constructive edits elsewhere where they are more needed. But for the most part they don't need to be changed - they were already determined to be good enough to go on the front page, long ago - and when they do need changes it's not usually the n00bs that make constructive ones.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 19:56 May 24, 2011
    Okay...well you got me with the "they can just get an account". This is true. And perhaps...perhaps...we may actually agreee one something Skullthumper! Óle!!! --ShabiDOO 23:51, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
    I'd have to go Dr. Skullthumper here. I'd go further and say that "article rot" is effecting almost all articles that have over-all consistency and are notable enough to get ip traffic. --Mn-z 21:54, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
  • There were many times that I'd have to go back into an article's history and find a feature template that was removed accidentally years ago. That isn't even to mention the slip in quality. --Littleboyonly TKFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK Oldmanonly 19:22, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
  • Against MegaPleb Dexter111344 Complain here 20:13, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
  • Symbol for vote For. -- Kip > Talk Works Puzzle Potato Dry Brush CUN Icons-flag-us 20:23, May. 24, 2011
  • Symbol for vote For. for all the good reasons put forward above by thoughtful and kind-hearted users. I've found many a 2005 feature page which was ravaged by IP's and had to have emergency surgery. IP's are helpful sometimes, yet on feature pages they tend to be drawn to the feature distinction and enjoy crinkling the page up and throwing it on the ground, at least in some cases. Aleister 20:31 24-5-'11
  • For. --Black Flamingo 20:40, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
  • Indeed. good solid reasons above. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 21:09, 24 May 2011
  • Symbol for vote For. per reasoning above and stuff. --Mn-z 21:55, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
  • Symbol for vote For.. -- Simsilikesims(♀GUN) Talk here. 22:40, May 24, 2011 (UTC)
  • Symbol for vote For.. I think this is an excellent idea and certainly overdue. Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 2011.05.24.23:28
  • Symbol for vote DURR Comparing the quality of an article featured in 2008 and what it looks like now, are two different things. The quality is replaced with Chuck Norris jokes and Russian Reversal, the humourous satire is lost in pointless random crap. --Snowman111 Butlerstar Frosty dah snowguy contribs KUN PLEB Big GREEN Button Big red button 00:01, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
  • For Just to add my voice to the chorus of similarly-themed explanations, the Chuck Norris article was written in a very specific style of very nearly anti-humor, and almost everyone that hits the page is intent on "fixing" it to be the same bullshit that hasn't been funny for ages. And it's almost entirely IPs' fault.~~ Sir Ljlego, GUN  [talk] 01:38, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
  • Symbol for vote For. I think the rot started when I came (August 30 2010). --Purple mini lolly Lollipop Purple mini lolly - CONTRIBS - WRITINGS - SHOP - Now adopting! - 01:42, 25 May 2011
  • Super-For. —Unführer Guildy Ritter von Guildensternenstein 03:22, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
  • For We already semi-protect them for a week when we feature them, so this isn't a totally unprecedented. I think it would be very helpful to the quality of our articles. -- Brigadier General Sir Zombiebaron 05:03, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
  • Symbol for vote For. Features should be protected from 'drive by anons'. If it needs updating or some work, perhaps a regular user could seek an admin's permission to do this under a limited time license (i.e. 3 days or so). --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ® (Orate) 06:38, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
  • Symbol for vote For. --Hotadmin4u69 [TALK] 12:27 May 25 2011
  • Symbol for vote For. Had to log on for this bit of voting. They could also be fully protected, though. -- Style Oranssiviiva Guide 17:53, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
  • Symbol for vote For. Since we're a humour Wiki and not an information Wiki, articles aren't in a constant state of evolution, therefore, this makes perfect sense. -- Prof. Olipro Icons-flag-gb KUN (W)Anchor Op Bur. (Harass) 07:58, May 28, 2011 (UTC)

Vote: Revoke IPs' editing rights completely.

Score: -1
  • Symbol for vote For - Drop some Burkean conservatism on their asses. -- Kip > Talk Works Puzzle Potato Dry Brush CUN Icons-flag-us 20:29, May. 24, 2011
  • Symbol against vote Against. The majority of IP edits are in good faith, why should a handful of individuals spoil it for the rest. --Snowman111 Butlerstar Frosty dah snowguy contribs KUN PLEB Big GREEN Button Big red button 00:04, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
  • Symbol against vote Against. It's hardly a wiki if IPs can't edit anything. Even Wikipedia allows IP edits. Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 2011.05.25.01:00
  • Symbol against vote Against. Sometimes an IP edit is a good thing but should be barred from a featured article. --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ® (Orate) 06:41, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
  • For They gave great reasons in that first voting section. MegaPleb Dexter111344 Complain here 06:44, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
  • Symbol against vote Against. I'm sure you're joking, but I'll take this as an opportunity to pass my opinion anyway. -- Prof. Olipro Icons-flag-gb KUN (W)Anchor Op Bur. (Harass) 07:58, May 28, 2011 (UTC)

Reassign all IP edits to Kip the Dip's account

Score: +1

Vote: Semi-protect all featured articles except those written by <insert name here>

Score: +1
  • Symbol for vote For - Can't write for shit. Any cruft from IPiots will only be an improvement. -- Kip > Talk Works Puzzle Potato Dry Brush CUN Icons-flag-us 20:41, May. 24, 2011
  • Symbol against vote Against. We should just delete them. 1234 ~ 16px-Pointy 21:10, 24 May 2011
  • Symbol comment vote Comment. having an unpronounceable &/or verbose username means you are never fooled to USERNAME and related templates. --Mn-z 01:57, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

It should also be noted...

... that this alone does not solve the problem. There are literally thousands (I'd estimate at least 2k) of these featured articles (something like 1-in-12 articles or so) that have been featured and may require tedious cleaning much like Old Glory. We probably also need to create an "Uncyclopedia Preservation Society" to take on this herculean task and maintain these articles for perpetuity. Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 2011.05.24.23:40

I'm thinking we should call the preservation society the order of the brass monkey; tirelessly shining up our FA's for posterity. Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 2011.05.25.13:58

Abstain and Comment

Uncyclopedia cd rom

Get the full version of Uncyclopedia by creating an account!

I'm not going far out enough to vote against, but I will add a little counterpoint to consider when doing this. While an I.P. can sign up, if they show up and find that they aren't even allowed to edit a featured article without signing up they will be annoyed and leave. You know how grocery stores or restaurants in the mall will sometimes give out samples of their food as a marketing gimmick? It's kind of like that for I.P.s. Once you taste what it's like to edit uncyclopedia, you're more likely to stay. You can say signing up only deters lazy people, but it also deters fickle people, and fickle people are some of the best comedy writers ever. I suppose it is a minor point, but it is just one more deterrent to new writers. It's Mrthejazz... a case not yet solved. 02:08, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

Give them a 10 day trial version, and if they like it, they can purchase the full version. What I mean is, if an IP has made quite a few edits on many articles and forums, they bshould be offered to create an account. --Purple mini lolly Lollipop Purple mini lolly - CONTRIBS - WRITINGS - SHOP - Now adopting! - 02:11, 25 May 2011
(edit conflict) Perhaps, but what you describe is more about how Uncyclopedia runs limps along: users are territorial about their articles. If all articles' authors were still around and active, or if it was somehow possible for us to vigilantly watch all 1,700+ FAs, they'd more than likely have their edits reverted instead of being unable to edit in the first place, which (to me) seems a bit more deterring than a "view source" tab. "Oh, this article is featured, so I can't edit it" feels a lot less personal than "I edited this article, but somebody reverted what I added!" Of course, not all articles' authors are about anymore - leading to article rot becoming an issue in the first place - but even in the ideal situation where they were, IPs would only have it worse than if they simply weren't allowed to edit those articles.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 02:14 May 25, 2011
My very first edit was reverted. I forget who, might of been Chief. It was on Bill Clinton, and it was September 4th. I'll link to my first edit. I think it was unintentional vanity. --Purple mini lolly Lollipop Purple mini lolly - CONTRIBS - WRITINGS - SHOP - Now adopting! - 02:39, 25 May 2011
I honestly can't argue with Skully's logic here. It's Mrthejazz... a case not yet solved. 02:46, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
@Lollipop: I think you meant "might have been Chief" instead of "might of been Chief". Or "might've been", which is the written equivalent of the spoken contraction. Schamschi, 13:27, May 25, 2011 (UTC)

It's not over yet

Thanks to everyone's overwhelming support, the deed is done. But as Dawg points out, this is only part of the solution. So I suggest everyone check their watchlists for articles that were helpfully kicked up by the mass protection and give them a once-over to make sure they're not a victim of rot. If they are, be italic and revert them to a better revision!  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 07:53 May 25, 2011

How many feaures are there? I know it's in the 1,700 range, but is there an accurate count? Thanks. Aleister 13:35 25-5-'11
Yes there is, if you click the link "What's happening" in the "community" part of the navigation bar on the left, you'll find detailed statistic which include the number of featured articles on Uncyclopedia. Schamschi, 14:13, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
What he said. Also, Category:Featured gives you the count as well.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 15:52 May 25, 2011
Ya know, no one ever edits my featured articles. They're that perfect. -- Kip > Talk Works Puzzle Potato Dry Brush CUN Icons-flag-us 15:59, May. 25, 2011
Hm, that's odd. According to Uncyclopedia:At A Glance, there are 1,760 featured articles. But Category:Featured says that there are only 1,759. Why would that be? Schamschi, 16:11, May 25, 2011 (UTC)
Caching issues. Both of them technically ought to give you the same value - the number on UN:SUMMARY is simply the magic word {{PAGESINCATEGORY}} which ought to return the number you see in said category - but with MediaWiki there's always something that's slow on the update.  Sir Skullthumper, MD (criticize  writings  SU&W) 16:13 May 25, 2011

Perhaps we should consider undoing this ill-advised endeavor?

Most people that add interwiki links do so as IPs. Many of these people can't understand English and probably wouldn't think to add the interwiki link to the talk page of a featured article, not that it matters since talk pages are rarely ever checked. This will inadvertently make ourselves more distant from our sister projects... Is the "article rot" really that big of a problem? It must not be since there hasn't been major reverting of many features since Fnoodle locked every page in Category:Featured (which contains articles that don't have the featured template on them, by the way...). MegaPleb Dexter111344 Complain here 19:23, May 26, 2011 (UTC)

Yes it is that big of a problem. I can add some stuff to the protection notice to direct well intentioned IPs to the right place, but this is not being undone. Furthermore, the vote was cast and a large consensus was made. So if you REALLY think that it's so bad that we might consider undoing it, make another forum about it. And come with more than "interwiki links" because that's a weak reason and you know it.~~ Sir Ljlego, GUN  [talk] 19:48, May 26, 2011 (UTC)
A Counter example to Dex's concerns. The suggested interwiki links were added the next day. --Mn-z 22:33, May 26, 2011 (UTC)
Also, to continue beating a dead horse, if interwiki links are an issue, shouldn't we unprotect everything just-in-case an ip wants to add an interwiki link or fix a typo or whatever? --Mn-z 01:38, May 28, 2011 (UTC)
Yes. Yes, we should. Sir SockySexy girls Mermaid with dolphin Tired Marilyn Monroe (talk) (stalk)Magnemite Icons-flag-be GUN SotM UotM PMotM UotY PotM WotM 02:15, 28 May 2011
For beating the shit out of dead horses. Motherfuckers think they're so great.~~ Sir Ljlego, GUN  [talk] 02:31, May 28, 2011 (UTC)
Your dead horse looks strikingly similar to a dead camel... Dawg.gif » Brig Sir Dawg | t | v | c » 2011.05.28.05:12
Nonsense. There are clouds in that photo. They don't have clouds in camel land. MegaPleb Dexter111344 Complain here 05:13, May 28, 2011 (UTC)
A corpse is a corpse, of course of course. It's Mrthejazz... a case not yet solved. 05:18, May 28, 2011 (UTC)