Article feedback/Version 5/Help/Oversighters

Watch this quick video tour of Article feedback for readers

This is a help page for the Article Feedback Tool, aimed at Oversighters, a small group of experienced users that have the right to remove highly inappropriate edits or feedback posts from public view. If you are seeing this and are not an oversighter, please check the help page for editors or monitors.

Article Feedback formEdit

What is this feedback tool?Edit

The feedback form is shown at the bottom of some article pages

The Article Feedback Tool (AFT) offers a new way to contribute productively on Wikipedia. This tool invites our readers to leave feedback about articles to help editors improve them. AFT is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation‘s Editor Engagement team.

The Article Feedback Tool includes a feedback form shown at the bottom of each article, as well as a feedback page listing all comments for an article, as shown in this diagram. Read more about these features below.

Where can I find this tool?Edit

The feedback form starts with a simple question, then offers a comment box.

The feedback form is a blue box at the bottom of Wikipedia articles, with a simple question: "Did you find what you were looking for?” and a comments box (see example above). For now, it is only available on a small test sample on the English Wikipedia. Would you like to try out this tool? Here are some sample articles where you can post feedback during this testing phase.

How do you leave feedback?Edit

To leave feedback, use the feedback form at the bottom of Wikipedia articles in our test sample. This “feedback form” asks if you found what you were looking for. Click on ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ to let the editors if you found the article useful or not. Then add a comment about the article. For example, you can include suggestions for improvement, ask a question, give praise to the authors or report a problem. Just type your comment in the text box, then click “Post your feedback” to share it with the editors on the feedback page.

What kind of feedback is encouraged?Edit

Contributors are invited to post helpful feedback: suggestions that can help editors improve the page. We encourage people to be civil, focus on facts and keep it short -- and avoid comments that are irrelevant, opinionated, offensive, defamatory or promotional. Community editors or automated software may flag or remove feedback that they find inappropriate. For more do’s and don’ts of posting feedback on Wikipedia, check these feedback guidelines.

Who can use this feedback tool?Edit

Anyone can post feedback on articles with the new AFT5 tool (except for blocked users), and anyone can view the feedback page. Readers can also mark posts as helpful/unhelpful or flag them as abuse.

How can I tell if there is feedback for an article?Edit

To check if there is feedback for an article, click on 'Talk', then on the 'reader feedback' link at the top of the article talk page. This will take you to the feedback page (described below), where you can read comments from readers. If any of that feedback has been marked as helpful, editors will also see a small “View reader feedback” link below the article page title, pointing to the featured posts on that feedback page. This feature aims to surface the best comments for editors, so they can use them to improve articles.

How can I add this tool on articles I watch?Edit

To enable the Article Feedback Tool on articles you watch, simply add this special category ('Category:Article_Feedback_5') on your articles -- and the feedback form will automatically appear at the bottom of these pages. Editors who add this tool are encouraged to moderate feedback periodically for those articles (using the 'reader feedback' link at the top of their article talk pages). We encourage you to try this tool and let us know what you think on this talk page.

Is this tool useful?Edit

Readers are encouraged to leave helpful suggestions for improvement, and about forty percent of that feedback appears useful to Wikipedians who tested the tool. Posting feedback also leads more people to create new accounts and become editors, based on the Wikimedia Foundation's research. This makes it a promising on-ramp for reader engagement, as well as a useful tool for helping editors improve Wikipedia.

Why was I not consulted about this tool?Edit

The Wikimedia Foundation has made a particular effort to reach out to editors about this project. The new Article Feedback tool has been discussed extensively on the English Wikipedia in many public forums, through dozens of m:IRC office hours sessions, as well as in this dedicated discussion venue. Editors who had previously been supportive or critical of the old versions were directly contacted and asked to take part in development. Many features of the new tool were proposed by editors, not developers.

Feedback pageEdit

What is the feedback page?Edit

Mockup of new moderation tools and filters.

The feedback page is where reader feedback for a particular article is listed, as shown in the screenshot above. Its purpose is to help editors improve the article based on reader feedback. To see the feedback page for this test sample, click on “Talk” at the top of the article page; then click on “View reader feedback” at the top of the talk page. For example, take a look at the feedback page for the Golden-crowned Sparrow. (Tech note: feedback pages in our test sample can be accessed by typing 'Special:ArticleFeedbackv5/articletitle' into the search bar).

What can I do on the feedback page?Edit

The feedback page lets editors see what readers think about a given Wikipedia article. Special tools in the right sidebar enable editors to moderate feedback posts in a variety of ways: for example, you can mark unreviewed posts as useful, resolved, non-actionable or inappropriate (as shown in the thumbnail to the right); alternatively, you can discuss reviewed posts on the article talk page, or contact the author of a comment. You can use these tools to surface constructive feedback to the top of the list, which helps editors find good suggestions for improvement. As a monitor (someone with the reviewer, rollback or admin user rights) you can also triage unconstructive feedback, as explained below.

How can I filter the feedback?Edit

You can pick which posts to view on the feedback page through different filters or queues (e.g.: “Featured” or “Unreviewed”). Simply select the filter of your choice in the top tool bar above the feedback list. The “Featured” filter is shown by default and lists posts marked as 'helpful' or 'useful' by moderators. The “Unreviewed” filter lists all posts that have not yet been moderated. A special drop-down menu called “More filters” provides even more ways to filter the list by type: selecting a filter will refresh the list, showing only posts matching that filter (e.g.: helpful, flagged or resolved). For any of these filters, you can also sort the list by relevance, date or helpfulness.

Editor moderation tools

How can I feature useful feedback?Edit

If you find a particularly useful feedback post, you can feature it with a special editor tool: "Mark as useful." This tool is located in the grey toolbar on the right, which is only available to autoconfirmed editors. This will promote that comment to other editors on the 'Featured' filter, which all users see by default when they first visit the feedback page. If you change your mind, click 'Undo' and the comment will be moved back to the 'Unreviewed' filter.

How can I resolve feedback?Edit

If you have some expertise on this topic, go ahead and incorporate the feedback by editing the article yourself! :) Once you have made your edit, please come back and click on "Resolved", in the moderation panel to the right of the comment. This tells other editors that the comment has been addressed, and removes it from the 'featured' or 'unreviewed' queues. If you change your mind, click 'Undo' and the comment will be moved back to the 'Useful' or 'Unreviewed' filter where it was originally.

What can I do with feedback that requires no action?Edit

If you see a feedback post that you don't think requires an action from editors, please mark it as "No action required" in the moderation panel to the right of the comment. This could include comments that are unclear, irrelevant, praise, or duplicates, for example. This tells other editors that the comment has been addressed, and removes it from the 'featured' or 'unreviewed' queues. If you change your mind, click 'Undo' and the comment will be moved back to the 'Unreviewed' queue.

What can I do with inappropriate feedback?Edit

If you see a feedback post that you think is inappropriate, please mark it as "No action required" in the moderation panel to the right of the comment. This could include comments that are nonsense, offensive, spam, or that include private data like phone numbers or email addresses, for example. This tells other editors that the comment is not suitable for Wikipedia, and removes it from the 'featured' or 'unreviewed' queues. Monitors can then review it in the 'inappropriate' queue and decide if it should be hidden or not. If you change your mind, click 'Undo' and the comment will be moved back to the 'Unreviewed' queue.

How can I hide feedback?Edit

If you find a particularly inappropriate feedback post, you can permanently remove it from public view with a special monitoring tool: “Hide this post.” This tool is located in the grey editor toolbar on the right and is only available for posts that have been marked as inappropriate. Hiding a post makes it invisible to anyone except monitors or oversighters: they will see a grey mask over hidden posts, but clicking on them will reveal the contents of these posts for these authorized users. Note that this tool works in the same way as revision deletion, and should be used with care. If you hide a post, you are encouraged to add a note explaining why you are hiding it. If you wish to hide a post that has not yet been marked as inappropriate, first click on 'Inappropriate', then on 'Hide this post'.

How can I restore hidden feedback?Edit

If you find a feedback post that you believe was hidden in error, you can restore it with the “undo” link, in the grey toolbar on the right. Click this link to unhide the post and restore it to public view. To see who hid the post initially, you can use the “view activity” button in the "details" page, as outlined below; this will let you discuss hiding criteria with them.

How can monitors request oversight?Edit

Monitors are rollbackers, reviewers or administrators who have the right to hide inappropriate feedback -- or request oversight for particularly inappropriate or potentially illegal posts such as private phone numbers, email addresses, pornographic links or other criteria for oversight. If they think a post meets these criteria, they can click on the “request oversight” button below the text box to send an email to the oversighter group and alert them of this issue. This feature will automatically hide the post at the same time as the request is sent.

How can I oversight a post?Edit

If you find feedback that appears to meet the oversight criteria, you can permanently remove it, using “oversight this post.” This tool is located in the grey editor toolbar on the right. It is only available to oversighters (and a few WMF staffers). To use it, simply click on “oversight this post”, fill in a rationale and hit the “oversight this post” button below the text box. Note that this is procedurally the same as the normal oversight tool; misuse can lead to a referral to the Audit Subcommittee.

How can I decline oversight?Edit

If you receive an oversight request, either by finding it using the filters or through the OTRS queue, and it is not something that should be oversighted, you can click on the “decline oversight” button. This is in the toolbar to the right, and invites you to leave a comment as to why it does not require oversighting. Once you’ve done this, hit the “decline oversight” button below the comments box, and you’re done. You may want to drop a talkpage message or email to the user who requested oversight (who can be identified through the initial email, or “view activity”) and explain to them why oversight is not required.

How can I un-oversight feedback?Edit

If you believe that a feedback post was oversighted in error, or if the problem has been solved, you may click the ‘Un-oversight’ link in the toolbar on the right. Note that this will make the post visible to monitors (rollbackers, reviewers, administrators), but not to the public. To make it public again, you also have to ‘unhide this post’, as described above. Incorrect oversights should be discussed on the oversighter mailing list.

How can I protect articles from inappropriate feedback?Edit

If an article is getting particularly serious abuse, with a high volume of inappropriate feedback, an administrator can turn off Article Feedback for different classes of users (e.g. anonymous readers) through the "protect" function. If you're not an administrator, you can request that they do so at Requests for Page Protection.

How is feedback archived?Edit

The "auto-archive" feature aims to reduce the moderation workload by automatically archiving comments that have not been reviewed after a period of time. By removing old comments from the 'Unreviewed' list, it gives editors fewer comments to moderate at any given time. But it still offers a special 'Archived' filter for editors who want to check auto-archived comments to see if any of them could be useful. The period of time before a post is archived varies with the page's overall volume of unreviewed comments: on high-volume pages, feedback is archived after only a few days; but for a new page with just a few comments, unreviewed posts are only archived once a year.

How can I discuss feedback posts on talk pages?Edit

To promote good feedback on the article talk page, click on 'Discuss on talk page' for comments that have been marked as useful. This will let you quickly add a new section on the talk page, including the comment and its links, so so that editors can discuss it in the same place where they already talk about article improvements. To follow up with registered users who post feedback, click on 'Contact post author', to leave a message citing their comment on their talk page. Constructive interactions like these can help new users contribute more productively to the encyclopedia.

How can I get more information about a post?Edit

To find out more about a feedback post, click on ‘Details’ next to that post’s time stamp. This lets you see a "permalink" page for that post, with some useful information about its author, its creation date and relevance score. You can also click on ‘View activity’ in the grey toolbar to see past actions taken by other reviewers and read their notes about this post. Most of these details are only visible to editors, not to readers.

How can I see feedback from across Wikipedia?Edit

Besides feedback pages for each individual article, there is also a central feedback page that displays all of the feedback for all of the articles in our test sample. This central page can be used for general-purpose patrolling, to deal with both inappropriate posts that need hiding, and useful ones that should be brought to the attention of article writers. And to see feedback for pages you're interested in, be sure to click on 'Feedback from my watched pages' to only show comments from pages you watch.

Who can moderate feedback pages?Edit

All confirmed editors have access to these moderation tools: mark as 'useful', 'resolved', 'no action needed' or 'inappropriate'. A smaller group of "monitors" (admins, rollbackers and reviewers) can also hide inappropriate posts, and an even smaller group of oversighters can permanently remove feedback from public view.

Are there guidelines for moderating feedback?Edit

For helpful tips on how to respond to different types of feedback, check out these editor guidelines (note that these guidelines need to be updated for the new moderation tools described in this page).


The tool isn’t working properlyEdit

This is a fairly new version of the tool, and some bugs are to be expected. If you find a bug, please file a report on Bugzilla, with details of the error and what browser and operating system you are using, and a link to the page where you experienced this problem.

What do I do if I have other questions about this tool?Edit

To learn more about Article Feedback, watch this video tour or visit our project hub. If you have any questions about this tool, we invite you to post them on the Article feedback talkpage.