Community Wishlist Survey 2022/Notifications/Article-specific notifications based on watchlist

Article-specific notifications based on watchlist

  • Problem: Notifications are currently driven by user-based actions: reverts of the notified user's edits, thanks, mentions and replytos or pings. If an editor wants/needs to work on one thing yet keep an eye on a particular article or set of articles (or pages), this has to be done by regularly checking a watchlist or the history pages in question.
  • Proposed solution: Notifications could be triggered by edits to pages on the user's watchlist, perhaps even keyed to edits that resemble apparent vandalism situations, or edit wars, where the user being notified might want to be able to respond more swiftly.
  • Who would benefit: Admins and vandal fighters, but I think everybody.
  • More comments: Yes, this could make some user disputes a little hotter. But I think it would be a net benefit to the community and the project.
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Daniel Case (talk) 04:59, 14 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This can be useful when I want to watch som page on smome wiki where I am not regularry active if I can add this page between notificatinn. JAn Dudík (talk) 20:56, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Could you elaborate on the specific pain points that justify this wish? We would like to understand it better, thanks! KSiebert (WMF) (talk) 13:16, 21 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Daniel Case: Just pinging you to find out more! KSiebert (WMF) (talk) 11:46, 26 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@DMaza (WMF): I thought it was the other user from whom clarification was requested as to his "pain points", not me. Daniel Case (talk) 20:23, 27 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Daniel Case It's not too late! Sorry for the confusion. I think your problem statement is fine, but perhaps even keyed to edits by certain editors, apparent vandalism situations, or edit wars might be asking too much. Getting pinged when certain users edit an article would be a huge vector for harassment and is unlikely to be implemented by the WMF, per our prior research at Community Tech/Add a user watchlist. "Apparent vandalism" is too vague and hard to quantify (maybe the ORES score would be okay), and similar for edit wars. All of those would also very much complicate the UI and watchlist system. But, if you just want an Echo notification when edits are made to specific pages, I think we can make that happen. Would you mind removing the quoted bit from your proposed solution? Then we can move this out the archives. Thank you!
See also the Favorite an article with a gold star proposal. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 22:34, 27 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@MusikAnimal (WMF): Actually, I was thinking of IP users, or accounts with a certain degree of newness ... i.e., it could alert you if a particular sockpuppeteer might be showing up again. Perhaps it could even be indexed to a particular diff or set of diffs, like some sort of personal edit filter. Daniel Case (talk) 00:21, 28 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Daniel Case Eek, the scope is increasing with each suggestion, hehe! The hardest part is the UI challenges, I think… "Watchlist" by itself is already a confusing subject for new users, then we added the expiry feature. I can't imagine adding more fields to that tiny little pop-up form that is shown. Now that I understand your use-case, I envision a Special:PageNotifications where you could add which pages you want to get notified about – completely separate from the normal watchlist. This by itself I think is a solid idea that would be of use to many editors. For instance, there's the "article creator" notifications wish. That wish would be satisfied if our new Special:PageNotifications offered an option to get pinged about page links.
Adding on the complexity of making it a counter-vandalism tool is something we could iterate on. I would say the "personal edit filter" aspect is a no-go and much too out of scope, but we could offer simple criteria for the pings such as "only edits by IPs / new accounts". I am realizing now ORES scores likely won't work because those are stored post-save, so there could be race conditions. So anyways, I suggest we keep things simple and open-ended both so that we (Community Tech) do not over promise, but also to attract voters to this general-purpose tool.
All of that said, how do you feel about leaving your proposal as-is, but just removing mentions of "watchlist", since that system wouldn't be used here? Or really, I'd just prefer to place this in the "Notifications" category. I'm guessing most voters won't care if the system is separate from the watchlist they now use. MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 01:17, 28 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll await your reply before moving this back into the survey. To summarize: My suggestions are to remove mention of the watchlist (we'll remove it from the proposal title when we move this page), and also remove the bit about triggering notifications about specific editors, because that is a hard "no" from Trust & Safety, I suspect. For the "Proposed solution", I suggest something like Introduce a new system to get notified about edits to pages that you selectively subscribe to, apart from the normal watchlist. There could be options to aid counter-vandalism, such as only notifying for edits by new users or reverted edits. You could also get notified about other events such as page links. Let me know how you'd like to proceed! We have until 18:00 UTC to decide. Best, MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 01:51, 28 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I would want would be an option to get notified when someone makes a new edit to an article on my watchlist, at minimum. But your suggestion is fine with me, so I'll use it. Daniel Case (talk) 04:36, 28 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All items on your watchlist? For some users, that could possibly overload the system. Anyway, I admit I'm breaking our own rules and focusing too much on the solution… The problem statement is what matters, and that's crystal clear. Let's just leave your wording as-is :) I'll only remove the bit about getting notified for specific editors, because of our prior experience involving this. Thanks and I look forward to seeing how this proposal performs during voting! MusikAnimal (WMF) (talk) 05:12, 28 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I wrote some code to add echo watchlist notifications for a GCI task back in 2019. (phab:T203941) It still hasn't been enabled on WMF projects. * Pppery * it has begun 18:53, 28 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]