Community Wishlist Survey 2021/Anti-harassment/Global semiprotection of user talk pages

Global semiprotection of user talk pages

  • Problem: There are certain crosswiki vandals who will go to a user's talk page and leave harassing comments. When they get blocked from that wiki, they will just go onto another wiki where an account exists for that user and leave more harassing comments. And on and on until a steward intervenes. Since these are done with throwaway accounts and proxies in many cases, this just repeats itself over and over.
  • Who would benefit: Those being harassed crosswiki
  • Proposed solution: Allow for a user's talk pages on every wiki to require autoconfirmed permission to be created/edited, using some sort of list hosted on Meta that only stewards can edit (similar to what we have for spam and titles).
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Rschen7754 01:47, 17 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]


  • Can't this just be done using a bot? (& if so, that'd be easier to do, too). It'd have to run under the account of someone authorised to semi-protect pages globally (a steward, I guess?). It'd be a diversion from the global bot policy and the steward policy, I guess, so maybe it needs an RfC to be permissible or whatever, dunno. But I think technically this may be more feasible than a software edit. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 02:43, 17 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Even better, a user should be able to activate semi protection on their own pages themselves, and do it globally as well. No need to bother stewards or others with this - if I want to enable semi for my user talk pages on one or more wikis, I should be able to do it, easily. Just like we now have some enhanced options for who can send email to you. --Piotrus (talk) 04:12, 17 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I'm quite new on Wikipedia, I'm not sure whether crosswiki bots are common. I tend to agree with Piotrus' suggestion. --Himbeerbläuling (talk) 06:40, 17 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    • They are not, afaik there is no steward crosswiki bot that performs actions on local wikis (the proxy one takes actions on meta I think), but community consensus can probably change that for this limited usecase. I disagree with the suggestion that users can protect their own pages. Different wikis have different protection policies on this, so users shouldn't be able to protect their talk pages without having valid reason, and some wikis may only allow it for limited times. With a protected talk page, it's harder to get in touch with someone (give or take Echo notifications). ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 15:58, 19 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Can't you also have individual users block certain comments? I mean, I don't see a problem in making that happen.
    • Hi. User:Bédévore/Harassment I'm a target of LTA, made by vandalism-only accounts who leave me their insults and threats cross-wiki, including on wikis where I have never written a single word. I don't really see why an IP user or single-purpose account would contact me on hu. or ko. or az.: I never write there--I don't know the language. If I don't edit at all these wikis, why on earth would an IP choose to leave me a relevant message in russian or persian? Especially when my meta page is clear about the stuff. - Bédévore (talk) 23:03, 8 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • By the proposed solution, will a new user still be able to edit their user page (since they won't be autoconfirmed)? Adding basic info on their user page by the new user is a common task in Wikipedia training events. RXerself (talk) 00:24, 9 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I suggest renaming this from "Global semiprotection of user talk pages" to "Global semiprotection of specific user talk pages" to avoid the implication that this would be applied to all user pages. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 20:56, 9 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    Does "Allow for a user's talk pages on every wiki" not imply that this is for all user talk pages? —Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 21:56, 9 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    @Atcovi: Why would you semi-protect my userpage on all wikis for no reason? Mike Peel (talk) 22:33, 9 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    Fair point - I believe Rschen7754 has made it clear. —Atcovi (Talk - Contribs) 19:52, 10 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • This could be done by a global abuse filter. Updating a user list inside an abuse filter is not a great experience; I wonder if some generic mechanism for having abuse filters which are restricted to some list of pages (with a mechanism for storing that list outside the filter logic) could fulfill this use case while being useful for other issues as well. --Tgr (talk) 04:08, 13 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]