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Meta:Requests for help from a sysop or bureaucrat/Archives/2013-10

Warning! Please do not post any new comments on this page. This is a discussion archive first created in October 2013, although the comments contained were likely posted before and after this date. See current discussion or the archives index.

Centralnotice request: Wikipedia contest from WMSK

Can please someone implement Talk:CentralNotice/Calendar#Banner_about_financial_contest_on_slovak_Wikipedia? Thanks! --KuboF (talk) 10:27, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Do you still want this? PiRSquared17 (talk) 21:29, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Yes, please. Thanks. --KuboF (talk) 18:50, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

Please make sure I didn't mess this one up. :/ PiRSquared17 (talk) 15:39, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

Please someone, check it out, no banner is on Slovak Wikipedia (and we are in half of the contest!). --KuboF (talk) 15:41, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

I have already asked for temporal local banner on skwiki, but global banner would be good too. Thanks! --KuboF (talk) 15:50, 4 October 2013 (UTC)
 Thanks! Now it is working! --KuboF (talk) 13:25, 6 October 2013 (UTC)

High risk pages: Gathering information about alleged irregularities on Croatian Wikipedia

Hello all!

FYI, I and a few more users have started these pages to gather facts & opinions about specific alleged irregularities on Croatian Wikipedia. We expect these pages will be at high risk of both silly vandalism, and not-so-silly attempts to subvert the process by e.g. erasing people's comments, tweaking existing text to change its meaning, etc.

I and one or two other users will be checking the page histories, and there's anything in general we need to know, please let us know either on this talk page or on the user talk pages. In any case, we may be visiting here repeatedly with particular incidents.

Many thanks. Miranche (talk) 23:02, 29 September 2013 (UTC)

Speaking as a Meta admin, I am a bit uncomfortable with the way this RFC is going. It seems that you've created a highly regimented process without any indication that stewards are willing to do anything about the matter, are telling stewards that they should CU all local admins despite what the applicable policies say, and now you're telling Meta admins to patrol the heated process as well (which has already required several OS actions). The process that you've created is likely to generate a few megabytes of text, and nobody has agreed to digest it into a recommended course of action, likely because they do not have the authority to take those courses of action. --Rschen7754 23:09, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
Rschen7754, thanks for the feedback. We've started the process per WP:BOLD, and how we went about it is documented in detail on the talk page. In particular, it's largely independent of what's been happening in the RfC, which has disintegrated into a complete flame fest.
I can't speak for the users who are participating in the RfC, but I can speak for the other user & myself who have contributed the most to starting this initiative that our only interest is to cut through the mutual mudslinging and concentrate on gathering specific facts, and survey opinions directly concerning these facts. If you think we should hold off until there is a larger consensus about what to do, please let us know.
As far as the CU initiative goes, I qualified my vote after reading your comment about it. In fact I'm largely agnostic about the CU push and have not participated in it after I qualified my vote -- there certainly are indications of abuse, but I'm neither familiar with policy details nor with what useful info CU can give.
What the pages we've started can do is contribute to gathering facts that may lead to informed decisions. Any suggestion or assistance in this regard would be very much appreciated. Miranche (talk) 23:52, 29 September 2013 (UTC)
Rschen7754, your concerns are quite valid. In particular: it is unclear if this evidence gathering will result in any steward actions. The situation with the Croatian Wikipedia is somewhat unprecedented, and the proper course of action is unclear. Except for this, we could either: 1) continue the existing completely aimless RfC discussion ad nauseam, and 2) do nothing. Neither is acceptable. We're definitely open to suggestions as to what is the best way to continue. GregorB (talk) 00:35, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

I was always puzzled by those kind of pages. Given that the enormous size of the discussion and difficulty of understanding the situation for people who do not speak Croatian and lack context of what is going on, one could think that those pages exist more for the sake of providing neutral grounds for Croatian Wikipedia editors for discussion than for asking stewards/Foundation for intervention. This is not necessarily wrong (Meta is, indeed, a neutral ground for all Wikimedia projects), but the obvious failure mode here is that there are hardly any people who are able to moderate such discussion. vvvt 08:35, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

Just a quick note: Jimbo has been notified and he apparently finds it useful. Again, the above stated reservations are not unwarranted, but the process has progressed smoothly thus far, so it may well turn out that no particular attention to these pages will be necessary. GregorB (talk) 22:12, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

Don't hex it, GregorB :) Miranche (talk) 02:48, 4 October 2013 (UTC)

Central Notice problem - redirects to special pages do not work

The central notice that appears here on meta and on en.wp (other projects not checked) needs fixing. Currently it links to FDC portal/Proposals/Community/Review/CN/1. That is a redirect to the special page Special:MyLanguage/FDC portal/Proposals/Community/Review but redirects to special pages do not work and appear very similarly to how double redirects do. The central notice should link to the special page directly. Thryduulf (en.wikt,en.wp,commons) 19:53, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

Tbayer has fixed this. PiRSquared17 (talk) 23:53, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

AbuseFilter nice-i-fication proposal (was: AbuseFilter review)

Hi. Could someone please review User_talk: Thanks, PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:57, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Also note w:en:User talk:MF-Warburg. --Rschen7754 01:57, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
TLDR -- PiRSquared17 has helped greatly, by tweaking the settings of various regex-rulesets that were preventing me from working, and getting owners for some orphaned bots (former botmaster wiki-retired).
My current Wikipedia:WP:RGW goal is to go beyond tweaking, and try and get the culture of closed-to-outsiders, assume-bad-faith bots a bit of a shake-up. I want bots to have uber-friendly error messages. I want bots to stay out of the way by default. I want bots to have *easy* ways to immediately contact an admin, with the power to zap them into line, should they misbehave. I realize this is not a ten-minute hack that can be implemented today. But I think it is crucial for Wikipedia:WP:RETENTION that we stop losing 101% of the thousand new editors that show up every month. I want to make bots Wikipedia:WP:NICE. 04:40, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Can you please give a complete proposal for the warning message? PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:51, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Here is the current message, as recently revised (for the better -- thanks!) by PiRsquared:

Warning: This action has been automatically identified as harmful. Unconstructive edits will be quickly reverted, and egregious or repeated unconstructive editing will result in your account or IP address being blocked. If you believe this action to be constructive, you may submit it again to confirm it, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. You may report any false positives to our administrator's noticeboard. A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: $1==anti vandalism

Emphasis added. For my harsh take on what a beginner will interpret from that, see my talkpage.[1] Here is a proposed rewrite that I think improves things:

Hello, welcome to wikipedia, I speak over 6 million languages! Just kidding, I'm not a movie-robot, I'm a wikipedia bot. I do not even speak English, I just print the letters they tell me to! I do my best to keep wikipedia clean, but I make mistakes all the time, so don't worry. My owner is a programmer, who tries to make me do the right thing, but I don't always succeed.

Here is exactly what happened: I looked over all the words in the message you were posting, and noticed that you used the word "$1==hate" which is in my list of words my programmer told me to watch. They said, whenever I see that word, to remind you that "$2== wikipedians always ought to show each other civility and respect". I'm just a bot, and cannot detect civility, constructiveness, intelligence, kindness -- I only read letters, not words, sorry about that!

TLDR, if you want to revise your message, you can do so below. If you want to submit your message, because you know it is a constructive edit, then please click here, and my apologies for bothering you. Wikipedia has five simple guidelines that you may be interested in. Thanks!

Click here if this bot has gone wild, and must be stopped!
If this bot is totally broken, report the problem here.
If this bot needs an upgrade, leave your comments on my talkpage.
Click here to thank the bot for being amusing
Click here to thank the bot's owner for their hard work
Say whaaaaaat? If you do not understand this message, no problem, contact a human, or of course you can always read the helpfiles.(better source needed)
...anyhoo, sorry to have interrupted your good work. Have a nice day, and thank you for improving wikipedia.
If you have questions, or need assistance, a friendly wikipedian can help you over here. (Just click the 'add topic' button at the top when you get there.)

This is the kind of drastic difference I'm talking about. This is only a rough draft. The prose can be tightened. The icons can be more densely arranged, or more well-chosen. The redlinks can be resolved. But the key here is that we must assume the bot screwed up, and thus, painfully, that the programmer behind the bot made a mistake. That is not fair. But that is the only way we can WP:AGF on the part of the hapless beginner editor, who just got bitten by this bot, simply because they have yet to read all five bazillion wikipedia policies and guidelines and essays and unwritten rules and cultural quirks and so on. I want to make false positives so painless, and so amusing, people will chuckle rather than become frustrated, people will auto-award a barnstar rather than dumping a rant, people will appreciate all the hard work that devs are doing, rather than get slapped with template-spam and hold a grudge. This sort of change will improve WP:RETENTION, is my fervent belief, and a few years from now, there will be twice as many botmasters as we have now, and five times as many active editors. Criticism welcome, constructive rewrites even more welcome. Thanks — 19:59, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Haven't had time to read this thorougly yet, but you do know that the abusefilter is not a bot? --MF-W 20:01, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Did you know C3P0 is really just a human in a suit? And, more interestingly, that R2D2 was a midget in a suit? They are bots. This message is for humans, not programmers. I care that abusefilter is a mediawiki extension, and that antivandalism is just ruleset#57 which is a regex collection. The people reading this error message just want to submit content to wikipedia. Bot is the correct word here. Technically correct? No. Friendly? Yup. Friendly is the trump card of pillar four. I'm playing it to the hilt, as you can probably see. :-)   — 20:06, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
  Or to put it more bluntly... do you know, that when I submitted the sentence "I hate that little bot" when referring to ruleset#50, that the wikipedia bots told me flat out I was a vandal, and that I was abusive, and that my harmful action was disallowed? I have a thick skin. Give me the statistics on how many people have false-positives, yet continue to edit wikipedia indefinitely, and if they are better than 90% then I'll apologize for wasting your time, and clean out your toilets for a year, and if they are better than 50% then I'll be shocked but less alarmed. But we both know they're not. People show up at wikipedia, full of wikithusiasm, and are template-spammed by bots and rush-rush-busy-busy admins, and leave, because who needs that noise? I intend to solve this cultural problem. Wanna help me? 20:12, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
I definitely agree with the goal, but some users might find this patronizing. BTW, if you want to set this for all wikis, it should be less Wikipedia-specific. (Of course, that can easily be fixed.) PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:29, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
There is a fine line between my goal of chuckle-cute-n-amusing (with the intent of avoiding any hint of threatening-n- officiousness), and crossing the line to ick-cutesy-and-patronizing ("Wikipedia:Clippy: You Look Like You Are Trying To Compose A Document! Great! How Much Annoying Interference Will You Need Today?"), so this is a criticism with which I wholeheartedly agree.
   Actually, originally I was just planning on one friendly-yet-slightly-goofy image, of Wikipedia:C-3PO (avoiding less friendly-looking bots), but WP:COPYVIO prevents that from being available on as an imagefile. :-/   Maybe we can get George Lucas or Paramount or whoever to license one pic to WMF, for free product-placement in our error-messages? Naah... if my idea of using friendly images gets traction, prolly a contest for producing some more appropriate images would be in order. The ones used now are from a brief search of meta's multimedia collection for "bot". See also, I IZ SERIUS BOHT, used by several admins on their enWiki talkpages. That's the spirit I'm after here, I just lack the graphics-art skills. Imagine my hand-waving the images into better shape, and copyediting the text, rather than seeing my proposed rewrite as concrete and literal. (I realize that it is not possible to wave your hands at speeds exceeding that of light, but I think I'm within striking distance of something useable, above, so not too much hand-waving is required. If anyone disagrees, please say so, and I'll rework the rewrite to make it a plausible candidate for improvement.) If you don't like the SERIUS BOHT spirit, maybe we can go with the classic beauty spirit? Is the imagery-copyright expired on the bot movies of the 1910s and 1920s?
   My short-term goal is to make it the case on metaWiki, and then on enWiki, but the order of adoption does not matter to me, and if there is a less-prominent project useful as a live testbed then that's no problem. Other projects, as User:Rschen7754 was kind enough to help me grok more fully, are very much against taking commands from meta, and especially from enWiki, so I'd rather they decide on their own whether or not to adopt the whimsical humor-slash-humour error-message approach that I believe will appeal to enWiki beginners. Once in use, I think the statistics will speak for themselves, either changing to the friendly messages will cause a spike in auto-awarded-barnstars to botmasters, or a spike in this-bot-is-outta-control trouts. Either would be beneficial feedback, of course, but having both gives us a performance-metric that remains useful over time, as a way to measure whether bot-codebase-upgrades make the bot more-friendly, or less-friendly, quantitatively on a per-thousand-false-positives basis. 02:56, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
   p.s. Actually, looking at the table again, I went ahead and tightened up the image-count, combining the click-heres that were similar together. (Also cut this optional slash RFH-promotional-material sentence: Some true Wikipedians love Wikipedia:soft_security!) 03:04, 24 October 2013 (UTC)
Could someone else please comment on this? PiRSquared17 (talk) 17:43, 25 October 2013 (UTC)

PiRSquared17: You'll need to be a bit more specific about what you mean by "this." I'm having difficulty figuring out what help is being requested from an admin or bureaucrat here. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:26, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Well, a contributor has asked the admins to change the message which appears after being hit by an abuse filter. Vogone talk 20:28, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
MZMcBride, could you suggest somewhere else to discuss the AbuseFilter warning? I doubt many people would notice it on MediaWiki talk:Abusefilter-warning. Perhaps Meta:Babel? @Vogone: look at this: [2]. That is really discouraging users from editing Meta. (You might also be amazed by the length of that IP's talk page.) PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:31, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
How. Dare. You. Suggest. I. Verbosify. Way. Too. Overly. Much.    :-)     Watch your step, bub, or you will be challenged to a wikiJoust. — 21:30, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
So this is a request to make MediaWiki:Abusefilter-warning nicer? If so, we can address this locally (here on Meta-Wiki) or in the software (changing the default text). Which would prefer?
It seems both Special:AbuseFilter/50 and Special:AbuseFilter/57 also need to be investigated. --MZMcBride (talk) 20:43, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
See this part of the wall of text above: "My short-term goal is to make it the case on metaWiki, and then on enWiki, but the order of adoption does not matter to me, and if there is a less-prominent project useful as a live testbed then that's no problem." PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:57, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes, this is a request to make the filters Assume Good Faith, to have nicer names for the regex sets (telling a newbie their 'harmful action was disallowed by ABUSEfilter antiVANDALISM' aka regex#57 is Not Good), and to rewrite all the error-messages with the assumption that the bot is *always* going to be false-positive triggering, and in fact *never* actually stopping real vandals or real spammers.
   The statistical truth does not really help us here. Truthfully speaking, it is a mediawiki extension, with various numbered rulesets of regex. But that matters not, we call it a bot, because when some newbie is bitten by a false-poz, we want them to leave happy, not frustrated, so we call it a bot, and give it a whimsical picture. Similarly, everybody here is fully aware that 99% of the bot-triggers are vandals and spammers, but again, that matters not. We write the errmsg for the 1% that we *care* about, for purposes of Wikipedia:WP:RETENTION, and if the vandals-n-spammers also see the whimsical icon, and the goofy errmsg, who cares? This is about Wikipedia:truthiness in the service of pillar four. I am perfectly happy to have a techono-gobbledy-babble section added to the table, which says the filter_id and the user-agent-string and whatever else will help debug problems, but I want the primary beginner-perceived message to be "Oh Nohz Serius Boht Iz Baaaack!!11!!!" instead of Wikipedia:FUD. 21:30, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

((edit conflict)) As for this, "better to change locally, or in the default upstream AbuseFilter codebase?" Well, my preference is flexible, and I don't know enough to answer wisely. What do *you* prefer? If we implement a goofy-looking bot to enWiki eyeballs, is it going to look patronizing-like-Clippy-the-hated-moron, when translated into deWiki or the other 900 wikis? I have a hunch at least some of the Bulgarian botmasters are into whimsical.[3] Check out the top-of-page pic, as well as the animated disappointed-bot GIF for the palz9000 bot. Also, note that palz9000 is *way way way* better as a name for a bot, than "Comment bot edits from IPs" which is vaguely insulting, and of course "Antivandalism" which is outright enraging. I don't care which particular wiki gets the whimsical errmsgs first, basically, as long as both enWiki and metaWiki get to have them available eventually (ASAP in my book but it isn't my call alone), and bgWiki and deWiki and other large ones get to make the decision between keeping the current VerySeriousAdministrativeMessage as diametrically opposed to VehrySeruizAdmninzWihthVerrySeriuzBoht and an amusing-but-not-patronizing icon. Hope this helps clarify, I've also revised the title of this section. Thanks for improving wikipedia. 21:30, 26 October 2013 (UTC)

Per the third-in-a-row-suggestion from Billinhurst in my basically-identical proposal below (which is about rewording the template-message used on meta ... but metaphorically identical to this section which proposes rewording the abusefilter-message used on meta), I will concede defeat. Go ahead and close this request as WONTFIX. Appreciate the folks who spent time reviewing this matter; it is greatly appreciated, even if the message-texts remain rude, and even if the culture has not yet shifted by much. Thanks for your time, and thanks for continuing to improve wikipedia. See you around. If any further response is required from me, please ping my enWiki talkpage; no watchlists for IP anons, sorry about that. 16:17, 27 October 2013 (UTC)