Dear Anthony,

I share your concern that "fact checked" is over promising people in a
dangerous and irresponsible way.

"The encyclopaedia anyone can edit" is closer to the truth and the downside
of getting it wrong is much less bad. "My unsourced edit was rejected" or
"my new article on my client was deleted as spam" are easier complaints to
deal with than "your fact checked encyclopaedia that I trusted included
this howler that had sat there for over a year and relying on it has cost
me x". In the last few days I spotted and reverted a blatant vandalism that
had lasted for over two years, and when I'm patrolling for typos I'm not
fact checking plausible but well written content in a subject I know
nothing of. Most of the time I'm checking newish edits for typos I've
patrolled before, so I'm only picking up ancient vandalism when I patrol a
typo, grammatical mistake or risky word I haven't looked at before. Yet it
isn't unusual for me to pick up blatant vandalism that has persisted for

Things are I understand much better on DE where we have flagged revisions,
but on English some edits are not even looked at by a single vandalfighter.
Most of course are looked at and some are looked at by many many eyes. But
the random nature of recent changes patrolling means that some edits are
not patrolled by anyone.

I don't know what proportion of the content is fact checked, but on English
we can't even honestly claim that all newbie and IP edits are currently
checked for vandalism on any meaningful timescale.

At some point I may start an RFC to up our game on EN so that we can at
least promise that "every edit has been screened for blatant vandalism", a
less impressive promise than "the fact-checked encyclopedia" but one that I
think we could and should move to. Draft at


> On Sun, Apr 15, 2018 at 8:53 AM, Anthony Cole <> wrote:
> > > I just googled “wikipedia” and the first result was a Google ad linking
> > to
> > >[1] It calls Wikipedia the fact-checked encyclopedia. We
> > used
> > > to call it the encyclopedia anyone can edit. The latter seems more
> honest
> > > than this new formulation which to me implies a degree of reliability
> and
> > > oversight I'm not sure we can ethically assert. I missed the discussion
> > > about this new self-description. Did it happen on meta? Is anyone else
> > > uncomfortabe with this?
> > > --
> > > Anthony Cole
> > > _______________________________________________
> ********************************************
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