Wikivoyage:Recent changes patrol
Recent Changes Patrol is a utility that displays recent changes that require a review by another user.
If your account has patroller rights, a red exclamation mark ("!") appears next to the line for any edit that hasn't been reviewed by another editor. If you see this mark, you will see a [Mark as patrolled] link when you view the diff for that edit. If you find that edit in order, you may click on the link to mark it as patrolled. That makes the exclamation mark go away for all users, and the edit is now treated as reviewed.
Note that you will need to do this for each edit individually. If you have turned on "Enhanced recent changes" in your preferences, you will be able to review a group of edits made to a page. Unfortunately you cannot mark as patrolled all the edits made to the article on that day at one go (but stay tuned, this should change in the near future). A good alternative, however, is to install the Real Time Recent Changes gadget in your preferences. This will result in a much better interface and patrolling will be much easier.
There is an option to "Hide patrolled edits" in both versions of the Recent Changes utility, which you can use to narrow it down to recent changes that still need attention.
Autopatrolled and patroller users
An admin can give or revoke autopatroller status to any registered user. This status allows their edits to be patrolled automatically.
Administrator accounts automatically have patroller rights. Bureaucrats can also provide patroller rights to other trusted users who have demonstrated a good understanding of Wikivoyage policies.
These are two separate permissions which differ in scope:
- An autopatrolled user has a basic understanding of how Wikivoyage works and has made enough constructive contributions for the community to be reasonably confident their efforts serve the voyager and are not vandalism. Most regular editors fall into this category; there's no need for the system to display bold red exclamation marks ! in Special:Recentchanges to indicate to patrollers that their edits haven't been checked yet by any administrator or patroller.
- A patroller, on the other hand, is an experienced volunteer who visits Special:Recentchanges often and checks edits from new or unregistered users to verify that they are reasonable – no obvious issues such as broken formatting, self-promotion or vandalism which would require the changes be undone ("reverted"). If the edit appears valid, the patroller then clicks [mark as patrolled] and the ! flag disappears from that edit in the recent changes list so that other patrollers or administrators know that the edit has been checked and need not be verified again.
What to mark as patrolled
If the edit is constructive and substantially complies with Wikivoyage policies, mark it as patrolled. Patrolling an edit does not mean that you have verified all the content of the edit as correct. Others familiar with the destination will check this using their watchlist and during subsequent edits.
However, when patrolling, in addition to blatant vandalism, you should also check for edits which
- Breach Wikivoyage policies, particularly policies on external links, tours and touting
- Change existing accommodation listings' URL or phone numbers to those of a consolidator or agent or a competing business (such as a different hotel).
- Delete information, with no explanation in either the comment or the talk page.
- Reorder listings in a non-obvious way, without explanation.
If you are in doubt, don't mark the change patrolled. Someone else can double check it later.
Tools and techniques to help with patrolling
- Start from the Special:Recentchanges, and hide bot edits and patrolled edits. When you have the page looking how you like it, consider bookmarking it for easy access.
- Open each of the diffs in a new tab (hold down the Control key in both Firefox and Internet Explorer when clicking on the diff). and then use Control-TAB to review each edit in turn. Click to either undo, or mark it as patrolled, and cycle to next tab. When complete use Control-W repeatedly to quickly close all the tabs, or use the close other tabs menu item on the tab dropdown menu for a keyboard shortcut).
- If you have decided to revert a change, first mark it as patrolled, and then click the back button on your browser to go back and undo the change. This is much simpler than undoing the change first, and then marking the change as patrolled. Reverting a change does not automatically mark it as patrolled.
- If you are using Firefox, consider a extension that supports canned text, for easy revert explanations (such as Paste Email Plus).