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Officers' Privilege to modify Waymark content

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I personally don't like the fact that any officer can edit my waymark for content and lock it.


You asked what others think. I'm giving my opinion.


Is it the locking or editing the content that bothers you? If someone edited just spelling or grammar, is that acceptable?


I don't think anyone wants to be locked out for no reason. I believe it should only be used when someone keeps changing a waymark in a way that is category nonconforming.

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Max and 99' timestamp='1378413111' post='5297293']

I personally don't like the fact that any officer can edit my waymark for content and lock it.

I'm trying to remember when the lock feature was added to the site. I don't think it was there originally. I wonder what the story was that motivated Groundspeak to add it.


The "Lock" option has been there as long as I can remember.

~ Locking is only an advantage when you suspect a Waymark wording was changed not to comply to the original or "Groundspeak" requirements.

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I personally don't like the fact that any officer can edit my waymark for content and lock it.


You asked what others think. I'm giving my opinion.


Personally, I would prefer that an officer edit my waymark, rather than asking me to do it. Sometimes we are not on the same wavelength for formatting and it's easier for them to do it than me.


I can imagine that if my waymark were a subject I was an expert on, and it wasn't just copy/paste or gentle rewording, I might have an issue with someone correcting my words, but I would say less than 1% of all waymarks are made by experts on the particular waymark they are creating.

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Privilege is a interesting word. It seems that editing is possible by all users , if approved.

Since you ask:

I think editing to correct spelling or grammar or other minor problems is a lot to ask of the volunteer approvers. If they want to help it’s great.

Editing to improve content i.e. additions, to Waymark pages should be identified on the page along with the writer & approver.

I don’t think locking should be left to officers I see it related to terms of use kind of issue. Or many something for a peer vote.

Tks for posting such an interesting question.

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Let me preface this by saying that I have used this option as an officer of various groups. Usually to correct obviously incorrect coordinates or correct typos or change the primary photo.


I think it is an option that could definitely be abused. I am also a little troubled by the concept of someone changing one of my waymarks that still has my username associated with it if the change was significant in some way.


I'm not sure if this already happens, but I think it would be nice if the site e-mailed the waymark owner if the waymark were edited.


All of that being said, I think it is a valuable feature that allows us as a community to improve Waymarking.

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Groundspeak has, through the way the website is set up, given Officers the privilege of modifying Waymark content submitted by a hobbyist. Up until know, I did not consider this a controversial subject but it seems that it has become one.


What do others think?

Well, it has NOT been controversial until now!


I have reviewed far more waymarks than anyone in the world so I speak from some degree of experience. Here is my practice:


I NEVER edit actual content of a waymark.


I DO edit for format or minor corrections in spelling, punctuation, etc. but this is almost always confined to the waymark title. If a waymark needs any changes beyond that, I will either decline it with a clear explanation of the problem that needs to be fixed, or accept it with suggestions for improvement or point out an error that needs to be corrected. When I do make a change, I usually, but not always, make a note of this in my comments. Something like, "Thanks for this good waymark. I have just made a change in the format of the waymark title." Or "Just changing the default photo."


To my recollection, in the many thousands of waymarks which I have reviewed over the last five plus years, only ONE person has ever objected to these minor changes. Draw your own conclusions.


I must say that with very few exceptions people are very cooperative when suggestions are made to improve a waymark, or when a request is made to change or add something. Waymarking is designed to be a collaborative effort. That is why officers can edit a waymark and why there is a whole system in place for others to submit changes to a waymark which are then reviewed by an officer. Most of these that I get are for minor things such as spelling, coordinate fixes, or adding a region. Occasionally there is a more substantive change, and that becomes more problematic since it is often difficult to verify the validity of the requested changes. If in doubt, I defer to the original waymark.


An important part of a waymark is the photo gallery. It is part of what we review. If someone visits a waymark and adds a photo to the gallery, as is required by many categories, then the content of the waymark has been changed! Even the log entries themselves could be considered additions to the waymark. Indeed, they may contain more information or suggested changes. This is encouraged and is an integral part of the Waymarking experience.


Is there the potential for abuse with this system? Of course there is. But, that potential exists on many levels. Certainly officers have the ability to make unwarranted changes, but so do individual waymarkers. Once a waymark is accepted, the creator can make ANY changes. Add content, delete content, change formatting -- really anything. This could result in waymarks that no longer comply with a category's requirements -- or even worse. This is one of the reasons for having the lock feature, which I have used only a handful of times. So, this open-ended collaborative approach to Waymarking is built-in by design. With our half-million waymarks, I think we have seen very little, if any, abuse of the system. In my view, objections at this point are misguided and run counter to the spirit of Waymarking that has been at the heart of what we do since the beginning.


I have always tried to be fair and judicious as an officer and reviewer, and have worked hard to resolve disputes when they arise amicably and with civility. I will not comment publicly to the related thread, but will be glad to discuss the issue with anyone in private.


Oh, and thanks to the officers who have caught my mistakes and made the changes for me. It has saved us BOTH a lot of time!

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So I have become somewhat more sensitized to the possibility of abuse with this feature, however, I still believe there are times when making substantial additions to the waymark description is justified.


Here's a recent example -


A non native English speaking hobbyist submitted a waymark to a category I manage. It often happens with the Places of Geologic Interest that hobbyists confuse geology with geography or are tempted to slip in locations of natural beauty or other kind of interest into this category without explaining the geologic relevance. In cases where there is an obvious mismatch I reject the waymark with an explanation. However, in this case, the location did have geologic merit but the hobbyist, despite my prompting, was not able to adapt the waymark according to the need of the category. It's quite possible that the hobbyist did not have a sufficient understanding of geology to know what to write. After multiple declines and resubmissions I decided to accept the waymark and edit the English description to conform to the category requirements.


In doing so, I signaled in the text that an officer had made a change and the extent of the change. In this way, my modification could not be misconstrued as originating with the waymark submitter.


It seems to me that this is a reasonable way to balance the different viewpoints.

Edited by RakeInTheCache
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This sounds reasonable to me.


People sometimes forget that volunteer reviewers often put in many hours reviewing waymarks. This is giving the extra effort that makes our hobby great. I've often worked with waymarkers to help them improve and enhance their waymarks. This is almost invariably received gratefully. I'm not going to let the naysayers discourage me. We can be proud of what Waymarking has become and of what it promises for the future.


This collaborative element was built in from the beginning and is very much apart of the Terms of Service. Yet another example of this is the procedure for submitting and completing the so-called uncategorized waymarks. I think we need to have more ways to encourage collaboration instead of discourage it.


Thanks for your great service!

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As a Leader / Officer in several categories, I have edited Waymark submissions. Usually it is for spelling or grammar. I personally hate (OK, maybe not hate [grin]) to get a Decline, so to avoid going that route with a Waymark submission, I will edit. I will also sometimes edit to show the Waymarker the naming requirement (usually Title - City, State/Province). As an Officer/Leader, we tend to be a bit more concerned about the quality of Waymarks in our categories and may want to correct/add to improve a Waymark - especially if the Waymarker is a chronic, lesser-quality submitter (OK, ugly truth - when you review many Waymarks, you get to know a few names that will usually do an excellent job and a few names that are either barely meet the minimum of just plumb do it their way regardless of the category requirements). So each review is a judgement call as to whether the submission is satisfactory or could be tweaked a little or needs a full rework.


As a Leader / Officer, I have been thanked, asked questions, ranted at and threatened. When threatened, I turn that over to the Leader of the category or Groundspeak. Threats have only happened twice in thousands of Waymark reviews. Compliments and questions total in the hundreds. I would rather focus on the positive than the negative. I feel it is a honor and privilege that I am allowed to review Waymarks in that it expresses trust and respect of the category officers and Groundspeak.


I would suspect that most of the Leader / Officer edits are constructive and since the Leader / Officers are more (usually) experienced in the category, they do have perhaps a broader view and understanding of the category9ies) in which they are involved.


BTW - I am Queen of typos, and I appreciate when anyone fixes my errors so I do not look like a pi**-poor Waymarker!

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