Research:Anonymous mobile editing in Italian Wikipedia

Duration:  2014-11 – ??

This page documents a research project in progress.
Information may be incomplete and change as the project progresses.
Please contact the project lead before formally citing or reusing results from this page.

Since the release of mw:Extension:MobileFrontend, unregistered users have not been allowed to edit via this mobile interface on Wikipedia projects.[1] This restriction is somewhat controversial.

In October 2014, a configuration change has been decided by the Italian Wikipedia[2] and applied to the wiki[3] which let unregistered users edit between 2014-11-01 00:01 (UTC) and 2014-12-31 23:59 (UTC). The change is now permanent after T85317 (following a further discussion).

  • The first edit was made shortly after the midnight to w:it:Daddy's Gone from an Italian dynamic IP.[1]
  • bugzilla:72855: the cache prevented from editing pages, until Brandon Black purged them all on 2014-11-03 20 UTC.
    • Between 2015-01-07 and 2015-01-24, unregistered editing was disabled for a configuration error. [2] See phabricator:T91372#1139994.
    • Before 2015-04-01, another bug sometimes prevented the unregistered user from clicking the "Continue" or "Next" button to do/save the edit: phabricator:T94419.
    • Both bugs seem to have caused a spike in new active editors, probably because the edit buttons were in effect a huge registration CTA. [3] shows the rolling new active editors jumped from 450 to 650 in January 2015 and dropped in April when all bugs were fixed. Similar curves are seen on other wikis: [4].
  • phab:T74852 required 3 clicks to reach the editor. The fix reached Wikipedias on 2014-12-17.
  • gerrit:186591 made the "2 clicks" process more intuitive and was deployed on 2015-02-11.