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Task force/Recommendations/Wikipedia Quality 3

From Strategic Planning

Re-emphasize core values

Aim: To help the users focus (or stay focused) on what the objective is.

How to prevent drift from the objectives of the project.

Much of the content of the projects does not noticeably conform to what the project is supposed to be aiming to achieve. On Wikipedia there are very many articles that do not conform to the NPoV and V-policies, etc. Also there are many users who are acting on their own objectives, without regard for the greater objective.

Strategy 1

Adopt a "Brand" statement per project ("This is what we do"): for example this draft for a Brand statement for Wikipedia.

Adopting a Brand statement will cost next to nothing. Nevertheless, if it can be accessed in a central location this could make quite a difference. Users could point to it and say: "That is what we are trying to achieve, and this particular action of yours is not helping towards that purpose".

Strategy 2

Require all Wikipedia projects to have a page that clearly spells out each core policy on quality (NOR, NPOV, V, etc). Have Wikimedia check that these are actually there.


It is ludricous that lots of projects can use the label Wikipedia and call themselves Wikipedia, with the local owners (local community) having the freedom to decide for themselves what "Wikipedia" means and what it aims for. There should be a minimum of shared mission, and the WMF should make sure that each Wikipedia project has at least a set of pages that spell out the core policies. In itself this will not guarantee anything, but it should help.


The Dutch Wikipedia does not have an accepted page for NOR nor for BLP. Unless there is a requirement from WMF, it is unlikely to ever have an accepted page for NOR, and the draft page oscillates (This is not to say that NOR-violations happen often: they are rare, as opposed to the English Wikipedia where violations are commonplace). There is not an accepted page for BLP, and the draft page is often disregarded.

Strategy 3

Put more effort in educating communities about these guidelines. Interactive tutorials sound like a good idea.

Strategy 4

Further options for Wikipedia: Introduce a baseline quality standard, articles that comply with NOR, NPoV and V-policies, at a minimum. Introduction of this quality standard may contribute to making all articles useful and in compliance with basic policies (including the Five pillars).


It is desirable that all articles satisfy certain minimum quality requirements. Many articles at Wikipedia do not comply with NOR, NPoV and V-policies.

However, those same forces that prevent an article from complying are likely to fight anything that will point out that an article does not meet minimum quality. This likely will just open up a new battlefront, waging the same battle over once again. Any implementation with a chance to be effective is likely to be costly.


Some articles have such a high quality that accidental editing even by a good-faith user can degrade the quality of an article.

Many high-quality articles are the result of careful planning (and/or long discussions in order to find consensus). Newcomers may be unaware of this.


Most users do not read even the discussion page and almost never read archives before actual editing. (Probably, it would be more accurate to say that most users have not read the page they are editing).