Constructive Reverting on Wikipedia

In the paper “Don’t bite newbies: how reverts affect the quantity and quality of Wikipedia Work” authors have put forth a discussion in which how reverts can reduce the negative impact on the new contributors instead make them more confident and encourage them to write more quality content on Wikipedia.

The richness of any online community lies in its quality and quantity of its content. More the contributors more are the growth of the community. For the growth of online communities like Wikipedia, there is a demand for new contributors. Publishing content on Wikipedia requires a sense of confidence in its author. Effective communication of the content is one of the major barriers posed in front of new contributors. It takes a lot of effort and patience for first-time contributors to write or edit any article for Wikipedia in comparison to other crowdsourcing communities. The effort lessens as the author gets more experienced in publishing articles on Wikipedia. As the author passes this learning curve, the quality of content also gets more enhanced.

It is highly possible that an article edited by a first-timer gets reverted. Reverting an article has a very discouraging effect on the author. The datasets provided in the paper prove how the reinforcement of reverts affects the number of newcomers in the community. To achieve a perfect balance between “generating quality data” and “improving participation”, I can imagine a constructive reverting system. In which the reverted edits can be on “hold” mode and this should be notified to the editors that their edits need reconsideration. If further changes on the edits help it to qualify, it will certainly help to boost the editor’s confidence and they will contribute more.

This system can help weak first-time contributors to improve in a more supportive way. They will feel that their work even if not implemented is valued by Wikipedia. If given an extra chance by reconsidering would drive them to get better. Knowing that their edits would get qualified with extra effort, these contributors will try their best to make their effort worthy.


Product design leader who advocates for the end-users and designs products optimized for growth.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Rohan Gaikwad

Product design leader who advocates for the end-users and designs products optimized for growth.