This is an essay.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
|This page in a nutshell: How does Wikipedia verify that editing Wikipedia is a positive experience? How does Wikipedia verify that users are respectful?|
Wikipedia has a society of editors who collaborate to create content. These editors constitute a society of some kind, and Wikipedians should be able to be proud of the society of which they are a part. We don't all have to like each other or agree, but we should be able to tell noneditors that we enjoy editing Wikipedia and are proud to be a Wikipedian.
As such, Wikipedia should aim to have a pleasant editing environment where editors collaborate respectfully. We should attempt to verify whether this goal is more or less successful. This is a subjective topic, but potentially verifiable and definitely quantifiable such as how workplace environments can be measured by things such as turnover versus retention. Are we the type of place that volunteers work at for decades (because they enjoy it) or are we the type of place that hires new volunteers everyday (because they hate it)?
Presumably we could do random surveys and ask editors if, in the last week, they have had a negative experience, if they had been treated with disrespect, and if they had witnessed someone being disrespectful. This would allow us to quantify the percentage of negative experiences and disrespect based on subjective experience. This would allow us to begin to determine a baseline and measure whether we are closer or farther from our goal of being a fun collaboration and not a den of "sin and inequity".
Other options would include a negative experience button or notification. Much like saying "thanks" through automation (Help:Notifications/Thanks), one could send a message to a tracker every time one has had a negative experience. This again would allow measurement based on subjective experience. Presumably we could create options like "unpressing" the button (if you changed your mind or had a dispute resolved you may wish to retroactively unpress the button), limits to how often a user can press the button, and we could calculate two sets of statistics, one which includes users who have pressed the button over and over and over again to the point of incredulity and one which excludes those from the results. Presumably unregistered users would be unable to press the button (the simplest option) or there could be a separate count.
Wikipedia has policies and guidelines against disrespect and may have p&g promoting respect, but that does not mean that Wikipedia editors act respectfully. However, this is not a witch hunt. It should be verifiable and verified whether editing Wikipedia is a pleasant experience or if it's a 'Lord of the Flies type society.
We could do much the same for positive experiences, such as a "positive experience" button one can press when things went better than expected compared to Wikipedia itself or compared to similar situations outside of Wikipedia: a "better than average" button and a "better than real life" button.
Presumably an attempt could be made at present to count the percentage of a sample of Facebook posts regarding Wikipedia that are positive and the percentage that are negative. A sample of published interviews where people mention Wikipedia could also be looked at but it is likely a biased sample.