Thursday, September 18, 2008

Zero Revert Rule (0RR)

Surely the title must be a typo, isn't it the 3 Revert Rule (3RR)? Maybe it is on Wikipedia where you can revert another person twice without running afowl of the authorities, but not so on Wikibooks.

And I know I'm not the only person on in the world who finds it obnoxious, annoying, and down right rude. It's one thing with vandals and spammers (I'm sure that's what the revert and undo tools were originally intended for), but it's another thing to simply remove an edit made in good faith by another editor.

I saw an old post today from 2005 on an under-used talk page from an admin who was warning an IP that 6 reverts was uncalled for, and that the IP in question almost got blocked for it. That's 6 reverts by an IP, and nobody got blocked. Talk about patience! But, that misses the point: Reverts against good faith edits are never really acceptable, and that people should think twice before reverting even once. Edits are the most precious things that a wiki has. Edits make the wiki world go round. And if we're just wiping those edits off the slate without so much as a "hey, I don't understand your edit, can you explain it to me?" is terrible.

Here are two things you can do instead of revert:
  1. Talk about it. It's not so bad, I swear. People won't bite you if you don't chase them around with torches and pitchforks.
  2. Improve it. Edits are valuable, so don't ever just kill one. Make it better. Improve it. On wikis, books are never compete, articles are never perfect, everything needs to be improved. So why is it that some people choose to just delete edits instead of improving them?
0RR isn't a "rule" at Wikibooks (we have very few rules, and like it that way), but it doesn't need to be. We all just know the truth: that reverts are rude and bad, and that we shouldn't use them against good users.

1 comment:

  1. My personal version is: never revert a good faith edit unless it's completely off track, and not without a good edit summary. I have trouble thinking of times when I've done it, but I have done when someone has insisted on adding something inappropriate, trying more than once, in different ways. Weapon of last resort.