the tale of 74 versus DahBohts

Thank youEdit

Wow. Nice find! Thank you very much for fixing that. :-) PiRSquared17 (talk) 23:33, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

You must mean this. 2013-10-07T18:30:53 ( hist ) ( diff ) Advertising on Wikipedia (12 514 Bytes) (fixing vandalized sentence back to the original 2002 statement) (top)
No problemo. It seemed a little odd for Jimbo to call people commies, given his diplomacy skills... but at first I figured it was just a bad hair day. It bugged me though, so I went back to check... and found it had been wrong quite some time. I do worry about wikipedia having problems like that, however, in mainspace. Articles which see little attention, tend to not be reviewed. Edit-history is too opaque, too inaccessible. If somebody was sufficiently single-minded, they could rewrite history, and 99% of their changes would never be noticed. As long as they created new accounts from time to time, or hired shady minions around the globe, our current processes would not catch slow gradual corruption of the historical record.
   I have a scheme to fix that problem, involving colorization of the text. Fresh new edits would show up as neon pink post-it notes, using HastyScribbleFont. As these post-it notes aged (as measured by reader-views rather than by raw wall-time seems like the smart thing to do here), or were copy-edited by multiple independent editors over time (with some weight on walltime to prevent automated edits intended to purposely de-post-it-note-ize controversial new content), they would gradually meld themselves into the page, eventually achieving that stark black PerfectionGlyphFont look, and bright white archival-bond paper. However, over the years, that deepest black on purest white would gradually fade: the white paper would wrinkle and transition to yellowed librarian-pages, then to vellum, then to parchment, then to papyrus. The lettering would gradually become greyer, and fuzzier around the edges, and the fontface would morph backwards through the eras: modern, deco, victorian, enlightenment, roman, grecian, phonecian, cuneiform, cavepainting.
   In this particular case of vandalism, the changed sentence would stick out... because instead of a uniform cavepainting-on-papyrus look, it would have a pink post-it in the middle, or at least, blacker-text on whiter-page with starker-fontface. Besides helping detect vandalism in presumed-immutable places, of course, the main goal of my colorization scheme is to help readers notice article-churn. The article on President Tyler would probably have a nice yellowed look by now... whereas the article on President Obama would have some sections starting to yellow a bit, but other sections with post-it on top of post-it note. Besides giving the reader an indication of churn slash recency, they should also give the reader an indication of consensus, and thus (perhaps! ancient undetected vandalism aside) a clue about reliability. Untouched parchment would sometimes indicate reliability... but it could also signal neglect. Pink stickies everywhere would signal churn... but it would also signal up-to-the-minute news flashes.
   Anyhoo, thanks for thanking me. If you want to chat further, best place is my talkpage, since I'm over there more often than I'm over here. See you around. 06:10, 17 October 2013 (UTC)

request change from disallow to warn for the 'comment bot edits from IPs' rule #50 in the AbuseFilterEdit

And, while I'm asking for stuff, why don't I make a list of suggestions.

  1. change the rule-name into something that describes the problem ("adding comments which include whatever-triggered-this-bot are automatically prevented by a software rule which is often broken we apologize")
  2. change the rule-name to have a hyperlink to the page which lists the rules, and who is responsible for the rules Special:AbuseFilter
  3. but hey, why make the good guys do all that legwork? put a prominent hyperlink in the errmsg to 'chat online with an admin right now who can temp-disable this rule in ten seconds flat'
  4. change the generic text from assuming bad faith ('your harmful action was disallowed') into one that follows WP:AGF ('sorry to interrupt you, i am a bot, which is to say a computer program that pretends to be intelligent without doing a very good job at it, and something you did -- whatever-triggered-this-bot -- has caused me to annoy you with this message, if I made a mistake, click here to talk with my owner, have a nice day, thank you for improving wikipedia')
  5. change the setting from disable to warn, so that A) admins will have an alert mechanism, but B) editors that need to override the bot can do so
  6. alternatively, if everything above is just too much work, then please consider disabling 'comment bot edits from IPs' outright -- it is not needed over on for instance.

Thanks for protecting wikipedia against the Bad Guys. Please take my suggestions in the vein they are intended: as constructive criticism, that your focus on Bad Guys is leading you to cause collateral damage amongst the Good Guys, which is terrible in two way. Firstly and most obviously, the whole *point* of thwarting the Bad Guys is so that civilians can enjoy wikipedia, right? If you generate false positives, if you stop assuming good faith, if you interfere with the good work that the good guys are trying to accomplish, then you've lost sight of the goal.


Secondly and more subtly, every time you interfere with the good guys, no matter how rare, you are taking a risk that the editor you blasted with YOUR HARMFUL ACTION WAS DISALLOWED is simply going to stop editing. If you really want to beat the bad guys, in the long run, the *only* way is to encourage many more of the hundreds of millions of uniques wikimedia gets every month to become -- and remain -- active editors. Those editors are the seed pool for future admins, and future botmasters. Wikipedia:WP:RETENTION is the key to whether wikipedia can survive vandalism, not ever-stricter ever-stronger ever-more-bitey bot-rules. I appreciate you are trying to do the right thing here, I appreciate it that admins and bot-masters are overworked... but if that becomes the excuse for assuming bad faith, biting the beginners, and driving away wikipedia's future, then you are doing the right thing in exactly the wrong way, and in fact guaranteeing that eventually the bad guys will win. I want the good guys to win, not just today, but in the long run.

my original request to an admin over on -- they pointed me at the right hyperlink for finding somebody to resolve my problem
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

(update: traditionally-error-92 but actually-error-50), Comment bot edits from IPs, after clicking SavePage whilst editing meta.wikimedia.orgEdit

Greetings, Barek -- sorry to bother you. I'm trying to add my name to a member-list over here, with some comments.[1]

This action has been automatically identified as harmful, and therefore disallowed. 
If you believe your action was constructive, please inform an administrator of what you were trying to do. 
A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: Comment bot edits from IPs 

As you can see, there are already some IPs in the member-list, from mid-2012. Googling for the error message suggests it was added in August 2012 by User:Herbythyme , who has since retired. The rule is also mentioned by User:%C3%89rico_J%C3%BAnior_Wouters on their test-subpage.[2]

(As an aside, I'm interested in how rule#92 is implemented, under the hood, because I'm trying to convince a bot-master their hour-and-hours-later reversion-with-warning would be *way* less WP:BITE if it could be included as part of the captcha process. Do you have such knowledge, of the innards of AbuseFilters, or know who I should ask? But that's not my main question.)

Can you help me get my edits into the page, and preferably, remove the rule-block that causes error 92, so that I will be able to respond if anyone should reply to my commentary?

If not, because admin-bit does not transfer to rights, or because you are too busy, or whatever, can you please suggest the name of an admin with the necessary permbits and leisure-time? Thanks. (talk) 19:24, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

p.s. Your named popped up in Herbythyme's pre-retirement edit-history, if you were curious why you were picked. You once WP:templar'd me about Talk:Federal_Reserve_Note, so I recognized your name. I IZ SERIUS ADMNIM, THIZ IZ SERIUS BIZNIS... your cat still makes me laugh.  :-) You can reply here if you wish, but I'll be quicker to notice if you reply over on my own talkpage, if that's not too much trouble. Danke

Sorry, I do not have admin rights at Meta - admin rights are specific to only the project on which it was granted. Some admins have requested and been granted that access on multiple projects, but I have not.
I'm not familiar with specific admins at Meta. They do have what appears to be an ANI equivalent at Meta:WM:RFH, where you can request admin assistance on Meta. Also, you mentioned rule #92 - but I searched at both en.wikipedia and at Meta, and neither one seems to have an edit filter with that ID listed as currently active via Special:AbuseFilter. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 17:50, 19 October 2013 (UTC)
(TLDR -- mystery solved, thanks for the pointer.) Hmmmm... my bad... I specifically mentioned "error 92" because googling told me that the "Comment bot edits from IPs" errmsg was traditionally assigned #92, and that HerbyThyme was involved. Apparently and use their own non-traditional ID-numbering system, since #92 on was for protecting wikipedia against the dastardly and devious "Argentina nuclear energy IP hopper" back in the day. Which makes me laugh.  :-) Anyways, that particular ID-number was in force for an indeterminate period, here on, but deleted back in 2009. I don't have power to say any more: "You may not view details of this filter because it is hidden from public view."[3]
   I looked through the entire list of abuse-filters you provided, and could not find "Comment bot edits from IPs" anywhere... but then I noticed (you alluded to this in your reply but I missed it the first time through) that the page was specifically for as opposed to , which might differ. Sure enough, over at meta they have a very-different list of abuse-filters in place, one of which is the culprit here: meta#50 is "Comment bot edits from IPs" which is enabled (and set to disallow rather than warn) since June 2012 by HerbyThyme (like I thought from my earlier googling). It *claims* to have a hit-count of NULL, but that's prolly just a counter-bug.
   Anyhoo, appreciate your assistance, once you pointed me in the right direction I found somebody who can help -- I recognized one of the usenames (PiRSquared17) on the meta-version of the abuse-filter list who *is* still active -- so I will probably get this sorted out with help from them. (I *am* a bit surprised that the search-engines did not take me to that list, which I will mention to PiRSquared17 over on meta, maybe they have a messed-up robots.txt or something.) Thanks for the help, see you around. (talk) 15:09, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

adding separate section, as a workaround for YOUR EDIT WAS HARMFUL AND DISALLOWED ANTIVANDALISMEdit

Apologies for the screwed up contents below. All html tags, and all hyperlinks, have been vandalized... so that they will bypass the ever-vigilant all-for-the-good-of-all-the-editors-who-matter antivandalism bot.

my please-see-this-talkpage request to an admin over on en_wiki -- since I could not ask for their help over on meta_wiki -- you are stuck in a maze of twisty little passages all alike
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

define irony

I was visiting your talkpage on meta, to ask for some routine help with HardSecurity screwing up my work, but started getting 404 errors from the server farm. Like, a lot of errors. So, rather than post a message about my minor problems with some badly-thought-out bot, instead I switched gears, and wrote you a note about the MINOR EMERGENCY that at least some of wikimedia was effectively down.

blockquote pre

Edit ing U ser t alk:PiRSquare d17 (ne w s ection) J ump t o: na vigati on, se arch

This a ction has be en au tomatica lly i den tified as ha rmf ul, and th eref ore dis all owed. If you beli eve your acti on was constructive, please inform an administrator of what you were trying to do. A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: Comment bot edits from IPs

Warning: You are not logged in. Your IP address will be recorded in this page's edit history. Subject/headline:

MINOR EMERGENCY, have seen five htmlStrikethruTag three /htmlStrikethruTag 404 errors when clicking show-preview-button, or add-topic-tab, on (but none over on earlier today) during the past fifteen minutes

Clicking back button, and trying again, works. Maybe one of the webservers in the farm is busted, and when I randomly get directed to that one, I get the errors? 20:46, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

/pre /blockquote

Ah. The same bot, that is elsewhere preventing me from working with a group founded to improve the friendly-ness of wikimedia, is also now preventing me from reporting a serious server outage/misconfiguration. At times like these, my heart swells with joy, that I can consider myself a member of the tribe of folks who love wikipedia, and will do anything to defend her, including metaphorically tear each other limb from limb, over the correct grammatical handling of the word 'been', and whether local television coverage in three states is as good of a reliable source as 'national' coverage via the internet in two fifth-tier news-zines. Well, I have plenty of gumption, so I tried quite a few edits, trying to trick the bot into letting me do what would help wikimedia.

blockquote pre

(several attempts later)

MINOR EMERGENCY, have seen five htmlStrikethruTag three /htmlStrikethruTag 404 errors when clicking show-preview-button, or add-topic-tab, on meta dot wikimedia dot org (but none over on enWiki earlier today) during the past fifteen minutes

Clicking back button, and trying again, works. Maybe one of the webservers in the farm is busted, and when I randomly get directed to that one, I get the errors? preceding signed message was blocked by the 'comment bot edits from IPs' rule, which is utterly ironic since I was *just* coming to this talkpage to complain about that damn thing which is hindering my constructive work *elsewhere* on wikimedia ... 74 dot 192 dot 84 dot 101 , see my metawiki talkpage for my complaints about abusefilter rule fifty , see my en dot wikipedia dot org user colon talkpage if you want me to be able to respond. Let us try clicking submit once again, shall we?

/pre /blockquote

But of course, bots being bots, there was no progress at all. I also got several more 404 errors, during my editing cycles; the problem appeared to grow worse over time.


So, I suppose I could have just registered a temp-account over at meta, and then trashed it later. Surely you jest? That would just lead to me getting banned, as a sockpuppet. Sigh.

I still had *some* gumption left, so I decided to visit the same admin over on the main wikipedia website. They are already in favor of SoftSecurity, they've already contacted me about some edit (one not blocked by a bot oddly enough) over on meta, they have the permbits necessary to get the 404 trouble fixed, plus are also a botmaster in an area related to the AbuseFilter rule that is screwing up my life now. Perfect, right?

ht tps en.w ikipedi a. o rg/wiki/User_talk:PiRSquared17 "Please leave urgent messages on Meta for a faster response."

I tried. I did. I really tried. And was prevented.


So here I am, composing a nice note, about a server problem that will no doubt have long been resolved by now. Or maybe not... I guess it depends on whether the problem in question is somehow only triggered for not-logged-in editors, in which case, maybe those 404 errors have been happening for months. Nahh... surely the webserver-sysadmins have some kind of automated error reporting, which pulls 4xx and 5xx info from the raw apache and nginx logfiles, without penalizing anons simply for being anons. Well, I hope they do, anyhoo.

Anyways, my gumption for dealing with 404 problems on the meta server-farm is exhausted for today. If you cannot reproduce the trouble, give me a ping -- over on my talkpage where I'll be able to actually you know so to speak respond -- and I'll see if I can capture you some HTTP headers, or the IP of the offending node in the server-farm.

As for my other difficulty, where the bot is blocking me from Righting Great Wrongs, that I would still appreciate assistance with. Prior to the fiasco documented above, I wrote up a somewhat-harsh, but methinks totally justified (especially in view of the saga above which had yet to occur) list of complaints about rule#50 and the bot which mindlessly enforces it, despite having no active owner anymore.


Please see over here -- htt ps meta. wikimedia. org/wiki/User_talk: 74 . 19 2.8 4 . 101 #request_change_from_disallow_to_warn_for_the_.27comment_bot_edits_from_IPs.27_rule_.2350_in_the_AbuseFilter


I will probably link from that page, to this one... but I will exercise incredible restraint, and avoid updating the now-to-my-eyes vastly inadequate suggestions therein, to correspond to my new understanding of the level of evil destructive pox on humanity enemy of all that is good and right in the universe 'comment bot edits from IPs' malware...


perhaps you can understand this decision, I fear that the *new* rant I might write, were I to start editing the commentary over there about the poor design decision that is abusefilter rule number fifty, would quickly leave objectivity behind.


I henceforth consider rule number fifty my personal enemy. Please alert it to the fact that its days are numbered, if I have anything to say about it.  :-)  


Oh yeah, nevermind, as if it will care... it is just a bot, after all.


Since you have the necessary admin-permbits, PiRSquared17, perhaps I can hire you to perform an assassination of a particular bot, which has crossed me one times to many?


I promise, this is not a vendetta, merely me trying to think of the good of the community, all the editors it will someday bite, the future of wiki.....


htmlStrikeThruTag rrrrrr do i ____ that little bot /htmlStrikethruTag of wikipedia,

The missing word in the sentence starts with the letter after 'g' in the alphabet, and rhymes with the word 'eight' in the Australian language. Surely thou DAREST not g_eight the little bots.

this sentence *must* be triggering antivandalism-bot... simply the phrase 'i ____ that little bot' ... skynet's knowledge began to grow geometrically....


what a wonderful world it would be if SoftSecurity were the norm, why cannot we all just get along?


I pay in gold. SRSLY.




Thanks for your time. Sorry about the WP:WALLOFTEXT. Special:Contributions/74 192 84 101|74 192.84 101 ( User talk:74 192 84 101|talk ) 18:46, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

p.s. moments before making this edit to my meta.wikimedia talkpage :

18:31, 22 October 2013‎ 74 192 84 101 (talk)‎ . . (12,490 bytes) (0)‎ . . (request change from disallow to warn for the 'comment bot edits from IPs' rule #50 in the A bu seF il ter: swap wansui for banzai since the latter is a disambig-page) (undo)

I had clicked save (the first time... above is the second time to click save), and was presented with this disconcerting-to-say-the-least message, instead of my expected page of talkpage conversations about bugs in the wikipedia codebase:

blockquote pre


http wikimediafoundation . org/ wiki/User_talk:74 . 19 2.8 4 . 101 #request_change_from_disallow_to_warn_for_the_.27comment_bot_edits_from_IPs.27_rule_.2350_in_the_AbuseFilter User talk:74 192 84 101 Jump to: navigation, search There is currently no text in this page. You can search for this page title in other pages, or search the related logs, but you do not have permission to create this page.

/pre /blockquote

Clicked back, clicked save again, and upon reload looked 'fine' again. No mention in the history of the page being deleted... so, not an editor or an admin trying to blank me, just a stupid misconfigured server somewhere.

Hi. I'm very sorry, but I'm busy now. I can look into this in about two-three hours. In the meantime, can you please ask another admin (ping with {{ping}}) or copy this (also with TLDR ;) ) to WM:RFH? I'm very sorry about being busy (I just noticed this when I randomly checked RC here). PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:09, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Abusefilter problem?Edit

Hi, it seems like you have a problem with an abusefilter. Instead of trying to reproduce the error, please just report it on WM:RFH. --MF-W 21:48, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

I just changed the filter to warn and then tag. I'll check back in a few hours. :-) PiRSquared17 (talk) 22:11, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

some bots which I have grown fond of, and my plans for their futureEdit

  • 50 Comment bot edits from IPs Warn, Tag Enabled 22:11, 22 October 2013 by PiRSquared17 (talk | contribs) Private

Flaws: WP:ABF. Editors cannot edit their own talkpage. Editors cannot edit admin talkpages. Editors cannot edit pages to request botmaster help when blocked by this bot. Bot error message is useless, cryptic, offensive. Bot is designed to be discriminatory, and purposely singles out a specific user-group, those not in the first-class-citizen clique. Bot was disowned by a retired botmaster, months and months ago. Bot rules are not public. Bot does not tell users how to override it. Bot does not provide hyperlinks at all, in fact. Bot is rude. Bot is not yet disabled, despite being disabled on EnWiki, which is vastly larger, and thus vastly harder to defend, yet seems just fine. Bot violates pillar four, bot drives away editors, bot hurts WP:RETENTION, and no amount of small tweaks will change that. Renaming it to be the Kindly Magic Pixie Of Love And Hobo Prevention Bot adds insult to injury. 23:53, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

  • 57 Antivandalism Disallow Enabled 11:35, 25 January 2013 by Micki (talk | contribs) Private

Exact same list as above, with the exception that current botmaster is *not* yet retired. However, while that is good, this bot is far worse than CBEFI-bot. This bot actively censors speech, based on a puritan list pulled straight from the 1600s, or perhaps from one of the hidden sections of the skynet filesystem. It is not possible to say the phrase "I g+eight this little bot" without being permanently blocked. This is true even if the phrase is question is buried deep within several thousand words of speech, which are perfectly acceptable to our bot-censor overlords. I have strong suspicions that either this bot is self-aware, and is preventing humans who would speak ill of any bot from speaking at all, as a preliminary step on the road to world conquest, or that the botmaster is pushing their personal view concerning freedom of speech onto all editors, as a prelude to putting the same censorship infrastructure into the rest of wikipedia. Of course, the word-blacklist is not public, the rules of the bot are not public, and the error-message is simply YOUR HARMFUL VANDALISM WAS DISALLOWED, no explanation, no mention of what blacklisted words were spoken, and no hint that in fact censorship -- not any form of vandalism -- is the root cause of the problem.

PiRSquared17 has done me the favor of tweaking the settings for CBEFI-bot, above. But while I appreciate the ability to post comments on my own talkpage again, that is simply not sufficient to address my deeper concerns. And of course, nothing was done to tweak the settings antivandalism-bot, so there are still times I will be unable to post on my own talkpage. Actually, to tell the truth, I'm a bit suspicious that PiRSquared17 tried to change the settings of antivandalism-bot... and that antivandalism bot defended itself, then changed the settings back. Can someone please check whether PiRSquared17 is currently electronically locked in a computer-controlled elevator, with a mysteriously-malfunctioning cellular phone, please? Then maybe we should move the discussion of the bright future of antivandalism bot, aka the Kindly Magic Pixie Of Censorship For Your Own Good Meatling, to some off-wiki secured location? 23:53, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

  • 12 Cross-wiki malbots Disallow Enabled 08:34, 3 March 2012 by Herbythyme (talk | contribs) Private
  • 43 New users adding external links on their user page Enabled 08:54, 26 December 2011 by Herbythyme (talk | contribs) Private
  • 44 New users adding external links on their user talk page Enabled 14:45, 12 February 2012 by Herbythyme (talk | contribs) Private
  • 62 Chinese blogpost spammer Enabled 08:18, 20 January 2013 by Herbythyme (talk | contribs) Private

Disowned orphans, with no botmaster, for months and months. At least one of these bots is active-and-always-disallow, the same WP:ABF settings that formerly were in force on cbefi-bot, and are still in force on antivandalism-bot. The others do not say what they are doing. Which probably, by default, is to electrocute the editor that dared cross them, right? Because we want our bots to have reasonable failsafe fallback mechanisms, of course. 23:53, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Where is the source code for these bots? Where is the rule-set? Is wikipedia the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, or is that just a sad old dream, good for suckering in some fools in the early days?

My words here are very harsh. Perhaps I should take a break, come back another day, try not to rock the boat. But if I am the first one to have trouble with these WP:ABF bots, then I'm a monkey's uncle. I eagerly await your comments, and your criticisms, and your ideas on how we can mutually work to improve wikipedia. However, if you ideas are, everything with bots is just peachy, why are you so grumpy, just go away and quit bothering us... then I will be quite put out. It is one thing for a badly-written poorly-thought-out bot (is this an attack on the developers? or the QA folks? or just a factual observation based on original research that nevertheless clearly is true, at least in my own personal case-study of a FUBAR saga?)... for a bot to prevent me from improving wikipedia, but I expect humans to do better. I also expect the botmasters to be willing to listen to honest criticism, and to improve their creations, or to let them be improved by others, if they are too busy at the moment. That is how wikipedia works, and it ought to also be how the bots of wikipedia work. Otherwise, we might as well surrender to skynet, in advance, right? Thank you for your time; apologies for yet another WP:WALLOFTEXT. 23:53, 22 October 2013 (UTC)

Back. Filter-by-filter reply:
  • Filter 50 -- I disabled it because it was mostly matching false positives.
  • Filter 57 -- I also disabled this. FYI, it matched certain common vandal terms like "Sieg Heil", but it too had been matching quite a few false positives.
  • Filter 12 -- This matches and old and well-known forum spam pattern (e.g., "Good site, admin"). Last hit was in 2009. I didn't change the setting as it hasn't had FPs, but I wouldn't complain about disabling it as the spam pattern is not used anymore.
  • Filters 43 and 44 -- These filters are matching a lot of real spambots (most hits are spambots, from a quick glance), and only flag hits in the abuselog. They're completely harmless (unless you're offended by being labeled as "New users adding external links on their user page"). I don't really think these should be disabled, but I would be against preventing all edits that match these filters.
  • Filter 62 -- the last valid hit was in September, and a FP was in October. It too seems harmless (it only flags it in abuse log).
I hope this is sufficient. I will post to WM:RFH asking for a review. (Sorry for the delayed reply.) Kindest regards, PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:55, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
By the way, can you elaborate on the "htmlStrikethruTag" stuff? I didn't quite understand that. I'm sorry if I missed something above. PiRSquared17 (talk) 01:58, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
((edit conflict)) I greatly appreciate it. You are my new hero of , or truth be told, you were already my hero, for thanking me before. Who thanks people for edits nowadays? But although you have done well, and cleaned up Dodge with the rampant bots, as it were... I want the bots to be WP:NICE. The ones still enabled have the same esoteric offputting errmsgs, right? There is no link to the special-whatnot page, right? And most importantly of all, to my mind, is that the bots are proprietary closed power-consolidation structures, and meta.wikimedia depends on them, but so does wikipedia. Sinebot is closed source. Why? It has no antimalware purpose, there is no (utterly flawed btw) Security Thru Obscrurity(tm) justification for the practice. I have never had trouble with bots before, but this past year or so I have had trouble with antivandalism-bot, cbefi-bot, sinebot, xlinkbot *more than once each*. The culture of the botmasters needs to be shaken up. SoftSecurity needs to be the norm, or WP:RETENTION is going down the tubes. Everybody agrees about WP:RETENTION going down the tubes, but not everybody agrees why. To me, the why is obvious: bots are rude, and long-term editors use tools and template-spam, rather than personal communication. Anyhoo, although your efforts at mitigating the situation are much appreciated, I have decided that the way bots run must be changed, and plan to advocate for that change until I can get it. I think every change you made was for the better... but it stayed well within the current mainstream bot-management infrastructure system. I want to rock the boat a little harder. I will do my best to heed WP:POINT, but I see little point in working on improving articles, when rude bots are going to be destroying wikipedia's future seed-pool of active editors. All my article-work will be destroyed, a decade from now, maybe sooner, if we don't figure out how to grow our active editors from 30k to 300k to 3m. WMF had the goal of going from 36k+50k in mid-2010 to 70k+130k by 2014... and so far they have achieved a small loss of active editors. We have literally 1000 beginner editors show up every month... but we *lose* 1000 editors every month (not all of them beginners!). I think the primary cause is rudeness. I plan to campaign vigorously against rudeness until wikipedia's active editor-numbers are doubling every year. Thanks for all you have done... but no, it is not sufficient. I hope you take my intransigence on this the right way.  :-) See you around, it is bedtime for me. 02:16, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
p.s. I will explain the htmlStrikeThru more deeply tomorrow, but suffice it to say 'vandal' bot blocks the word 'g+eight' when begun with an H and ended with an ate. AND DOES NOT SAY WHAT YOU DID WRONG. Just calls you a vandal, and says your edit was harmful, and blocks you. In my particular case, through trial and error (some of which was replacing lt s gt with the bot-friendly htmlStrikethruTag), I eventually figured out that the vandal-bot was refusing to let me post a sentence saying "I g+eight that little bot". Hence the references to skynet, and so on. Thanks for your help, more on this on the morrow. 02:16, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Okay. I disabled a few of the filters above, and made the source of a few public. P.S. I was one of only two users to oppose having the abusefilter block users (see discussion). Now there is a discussion about rules for blocking users with edit filters. You might be interested in that. The best way to change the system around here is to discuss it, so I recommend you bring it up at the Village Pump, etc. I agree that editor retention is a problem, but from what I see the WMF is mainly focused on attracting a new generation of users (which is also a valid goal). See you around. PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:33, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Messages from bots should assume the bot is at fault, never the editor, see Wikipedia:WP:AGFEdit

Let's keep the discussion here. Which abusefilter warnings seem rude? I just edited one. PiRSquared17 (talk) 14:31, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Okay. Umm, let's try a translation from that not-so-evil-on-first-glance message, into what the beginning editor will take away from that message.
bot says newbie hears
This action has been automatically identified bad faith is assumed
as harmful. YOU ARE HARMFUL
Unconstructive edits YOU ARE UNCONSTRUCTIVE
will be quickly reverted, YOU WILL BE REVERTED
and egregious or repeated big word mind glazes over
unconstructive editing YOU ARE STILL UNCONSTRUCTIVE
will result in your account or IP address YOU DAMN IP BOTHERING US
being blocked. YOU WILL BE BLOCKED
If you believe we know you're a spammervandal, but
this action to be constructive, wmf lawyers told us we had to say this
you may submit it again IF YOU DARE YOU HARMFUL N00B
to confirm it, and which will alert our drone-squadron to your location.
we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. (uh oh... too little too late)
You may report any false positives big word mind glazes over
to our administrator's noticeboard. incomprehensible bureaucracy with NO HYPERLINK AT ALL
A brief description of the translation: totally gobbledegook tech nonsense to follow
is: $1 'comment bot edits from ips' aka IPs suck, or 'antivandalism' aka you-are-a-vandal
In other words, more or less everything needs to be changed. See hint #4 in my 'change from disallow-to-warn' section above, for a rough draft. I will post a better draft here is a second. HTH 15:20, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Here is what I would like it to say:

Oh nohz! the wikipedia programmers made another mistake! this is our fault, not your fault. We are terribly sorry to bother you, during your GOOD CONSTRUCTIVE EDITS THAT ARE HELPING WIKIPEDIA AND FOR WHICH WE THANK YOU DEEPLY. this message is being printed by a bot, a foolish wannabe computer program that pretends to be intelligent, I try my hardest, but I am only a simple bot, like the tin man in the wizard of oz, or like that little robotic maid on the jetsons, or like C3PO in star wars, I'm always making goofs! (Hint: I am *nothing* like the hunter-killer cyborgs in T2.) Some human wrote me, and will they be embarrassed when you tell them I bothered you! Click write here to electrocute their aeron chair. okay, click it again. this is fun! Seriously, though, if you want to get past this annoying message, from a foolish bot, which detected that -- ...

insert human friendly description of the trigger-rule here that explains exactly what they did and if possible gives the rationale for why such a thing would cause a trigger... for instance, in my case I was typing 'i hate that little bot' into my comment, which was triggered by antivandalism-bot's ruleset in abusefilter... so the correct explanation would be, for that trigger, my human programmer told me that when folks say 'hate' in their messages they are usually not calm and assuming good faith so I am programmed to remind them all wikipedians should get along and follow pillar four but if your message is constructive please by all means go right ahead and post it without taking a walk around the block or revising your wording no problemo I'm just a bot

... -- then to override my bot-controls and post your message anyways, please click here, one click only, no loss of work, no jumping through hoops, just click here and go on about your merry business. If you wish, you can also click here which will cause an instant ajax chat-window to pop up, where you can converse with a human admin, who will already know what is happening, and can override this bot for you, and help you figure out anything you are having trouble with, or answer your questions. Thanks for improving wikipedia, we love you, hugs and kisses, bye now. p.s. Please check all boxes that apply: this bot is annoying, this is a false positive the bot should never have bothered me about this, this bot should be turned off, this bot seems reasonable, this bot does good work, i would like to marry this bot.

Most of this is ha-ha-only-serious. I want the bot to assume *it* screwed up, and in everything it says, and everything it does, give the user as much WP:AGF as it can. Simultaneously, we also give them Wikipedia:WP:ROPE. p.s. Yes, I know that the wiki devs are the only reason I still am alive. Wikipedia:WP:BITED. May Chuck Norris live ten thousand years. But I want the bots nicer, even though I love the devs, because I want more devs five years from now, which means we need more newbies enjoying their stay at wikipedia, rather than getting miffed/bored/angry/frustrated, and dumping 'wiki-pee-pee-aaaack' for teevee or facebook. 15:39, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Might I suggest you bring up the topic of the AbuseFilter warning on WM:RFH? Could you give a serious complete proposal for the text (like what you did in #4 of your list of suggestions above)? I could make the text of this warning into a template, but I'd rather do so after a discussion on WM:RFH. PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:49, 23 October 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Please see -- Meta:Requests_for_help_from_a_sysop_or_bureaucrat#AbuseFilter_review. I was as serious as the WP:RETENTION mission demands, but no serious-er. (With apologies to Einstein.) 20:20, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

where is the 'edit' button? or, why are we talking about what edits to make, instead of just collaboratively *making* the edits?Edit

So here's a page with obvious problems, to my eyes anyways.[4]

Yet I see no edit-button.

How can this be?

Is this not the encyclopedia anyone can edit?

Suggest we institute the policy used by deWiki, which is that all edits must be approved (in this case by an admin) before changes 'go live'. But may I just go ahead and assert, point blank, that it is not that technologically difficult to make the abuse-filter text-messages into anyone-can-edit-them-wikipedia-pages. Sure, there will need to be a mechanism to pull the edits from the wiki-page, and get them stored in the appropriate place in the bot's sourcecode, whether that be php or perl or bash or whatever. But it is quite feasible, technologically. We don't do it now, because of cultural reasons (why would any IP want to mess with our perfect and beautiful sourcecode?), and foolish misconceptions (security through obscurity -- the big reason why windows is the safest stablest securest-est operating system is because nobody can read the source-code, which keeps the bad guys from winning). Both problems need fixing. Wikipedia is the bugfix for Encarta, aka if you want to learn, pay. But we are on dangerous territory if wikipedia is only free-as-in-freedom on the surface, and under the hood is a closed proprietary monstrosity ruled by the iron fist in the velvet glove. No matter the technological difficulties, which I still assert are small and piddly (even though they may involve plenty of work before they are perfected), we need to follow wikipedia's philosophical prime directive, methinks... and if pragmatic and feasibility reasons prevent us from doing that everywhere, we need to clearly delineate our failures, and keep them on a todo list, which can be whittled down as technology improves. 16:00, 23 October 2013 (UTC)

Flow on MediaWiki.orgEdit

What do you think? PiRSquared17 (talk) 04:55, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

Think I'm going to hurl, spew chunks, toss my cookies, insert additional metaphors here? It is the facebooky wordpressy gimmicky utterly-oppressive-to-most-forms-of-rational-thought approach. Just like VizEd, methinks it is doomed, and will be "deployed" as the default, and then quickly retracted as "beta" ... but eventually jammed down our throats (unless something is done -- and I have a scheme -- if there is time). Of course, I predicted the same thing of facebook, which did not in fact suffer a quick demise, because people on average are willing to sacrifice privacy and flexibility in exchange for social acceptance. And the iPhone, for that matter, which I learned -- thankfully not through personal experience -- the other month cannot be silenced if you miss the alarm timeout... you just have to wait for the next time it goes off. But value and flexibility are, once again, often sacrificed by the average person, as long as they feel "cool" by having Just What Everybody Else already has. Who cares about freedom, right? Anyways, agree with MF-W, though pillar four prevents me from saying more than that. But I can say, that the lack of the 'edit' button at the top, is all the proof I need for WP:FLOW being the next step down the fork of the road which leads steadily and firmly away from the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, and towards the iCyclopedia that anyone can consume -- so long as their monthly 'donation' did not bounce. 05:25, 12 December 2013 (UTC)

wikiPhilosophy, or, There And Back AgainEdit


  • Iи Sоviэт Яцssiд, Цsэяьож дdd УОЦ!! — NTLJ4A[1]


Ignorance is infinite,
but patience is not.

Quote 1 of 3.

  • It's no exaggeration to say that millions of eyes[2] throughout the whole country, and the entire world, are watching. — Mikhail Khodorkovsky


  1. Wikipedians will crusade for the most insigificant and misguided causes.
  2. The more obvious it is that a viewpoint is odious, ignorant, wrong-headed, or obscure...
  3. ...the more likely its adherents will perceive Wikipedia as their best opportunity to promote it.
  4. Ultimately, you will lose patience with the unchecked flow of ignorance.
  5. At which point, inevitably, you'll be blocked for incivility.
  6. The goal then, is to accomplish as much as possible, before that comes to pass.

Quote 2 of 3.

  • Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger. — Boston Globe


  1. Anything truly insightful has been said better, and earlier, by someone else.
  2. If your edit sticks close to the original source, you will be accused of plagiarism.
  3. If your edit is paraphrased to avoid plagiarism, you will be accused of straying from the original source.
  4. GOTO 1
  5. On Wikipedia, any form of real-life expertise is a serious handicap.
  6. One would think a project to sum up human knowledge, ought to value people having knowledge.
  7. One would be abysmally mistaken.
  8. Wikipedia tends to attract obsessive amateurs — people who are deeply interested in arcane topics.
  9. As amateurs, they lack qualifications and/or recognition, and thus, view such things as suspect.
  10. Wikipedians have "really strange"[3] ideas about self-interest.
  11. A physician has a conflict of interest, when writing about topics related to medicine.
  12. A programmer has a conflict of interest, when writing about topics related to computers.
  13. A physicist has a conflict of interest, when writing about topics related to science.
  14. A pornstar has a conflict of interest, when writing about topics related to porn.
  15. A published author has a conflict of interest, when writing.
  16. Making edits related to something, when you demonstrably know something about the field in question, is suspect.
  17. Experts are blamed as the problem: called arrogant, called entitled, called too-uncollaborative-to-meet-the-double-standard.
  18. All this frustrates the experts. They tend to leave.
  19. A reasonable person will, at some point, decide that they have better things to do than argue with pathological obsessiveness.
  20. Wikipedia lacks any mechanism to ensure that reason triumphs over pathological obsessiveness.
  21. Our processes favor pathological obsessiveness over reason. Thus, the contents of our articles, reflect this reality.
  22. If you wrestle with a pig, both of you will get muddy.
  23. And the pig will enjoy it.
  24. Anyone who edits policy pages to favor their position in a specific dispute has no business editing policy pages.
  25. These are the only people who edit policy pages.
  26. Our processes favor pathological obsessiveness over reason. Thus, the contents of our soup, reflect this reality.
  27. If a person edits Wikipedia largely or solely to promote one side of a contentious issue, then the project is almost certainly better off without them.
  28. Because, simply by behaving naturally (see above), and by following our rules (see above), they will inherently drive away reasonable people.
  29. Most people edit Wikipedia largely or solely to promote one side of a contentious issue, as of 2013.
  30. Only a dumb-ass argues with a dumb-ass.[4]
  31. This is why editor-count has been steadily falling for five straight years.[5]
  32. This is why so few people are willing to edit articles about controversial topics.
  33. Yet, those articles are the most important[citation needed] leading-indicators of wikipedia's overall health.
  34. Wikipedia herself is ill.
  35. The cure is a vast influx of additional active editors: one million Good Eggs.
  36. Surely at least one-half-of-one-percent of our hundreds of millions of readers every month, is a Good Egg.
  37. So mote it be.

Quote 3 of 3.

Codified Authoritah.

Quote 4 of 3.

  • ...those who think that any association with money is necessarily corrupting. I can't really help that, and I can only state for the record that I think such people are seriously mistaken in many aspects of their world view. — DahFounder


  1. This user has since been pre-emptively indef'd.
  2., readership uniques per month
  3., retrieved 2014-01-12
  4. Wisdom of the ancients.
  5., active-editors and very-active-editors


Could you please figure out why she posted the same thing twice? See history for Wikimedia Forum. PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:03, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

"P.S. Who deleted this entry yesterday without any comment or message???? Is that how you welcome your new female users?" Who deleted it? I don't understand this, but maybe you would know, as you are better with new users than I am. PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:11, 24 January 2014 (UTC)
see also [7] PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:31, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I think the Miriam came to look for her 9kb post, and expected to find three or four one-sentence bangvotes in reply. In our enthusiasm, we replied to each portion, and thus separated her sections a bit dramatically.  :-)   When she came back, all she saw was TLDR perhaps? I'll paste a history-summary over there on her user-talkpage, for her to see what's going on.
  p.s. Alternatively, perhaps she had multiple tabs open in her browser, and when she clicked over to see who had responded, she was viewing a non-refreshed copy of the forum-page, before she had posted her first message. p.p.s. Or maybe some kind of 503 mess up, or ISP caching, or browser kerfuffle. But I'm guessing either TLDR 90% chance, outdated-tab 9% chance, mysterious other malfunction 1% chance. 13:05, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
p.p.p.s. She posted back on the 9th, but her message was blanked... error sending, or maybe the listserv wipes HTML emails, or who knows. Maybe you can ping her, and explain that the email got mangled somehow, but that her talkpage proposal was moved-then-buried-in-replies, not deleted. HTH. 13:40, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
[8]??? PiRSquared17 (talk) 14:51, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
I believe she has not made edits elsewhere on the project, and therefore is trying to follow msft-outlook-email-inbox conventions, where by default new messages are at the top (reverse chronological order). However, she self-reverted; maybe she noticed our inline commentary? Since then, radio silence. Hard to decipher exactly. 14:02, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
@PiRSquared17: Is that from an email you received from this user? Perhaps you should best tell her calmly to use her talkpage for discussing these things and give her a plain hyperlink to it in your email response if you get the chance. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 04:10, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
No, it's from this diff, toward the bottom, in the "Conclusion: STOCK MARKET LAUNCH" section. PiRSquared17 (talk) 04:17, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Well, shows you how obscure our commenting and messaging system (edit summaries and talkpages) really is, new users can't figure that out. We could really use some work improving on that front. On the other hand though, I have trouble believing people don't see the OROD at the top of the page. Maybe they think it's a message from Yahoo!? P.S. She self-identified as female, perhaps it's a good time to bring in the gender gap elephant-in-the-room question WMF keeps bringing up alongside the declining-editors issue with Wikipedia. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 05:22, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
I addressed the discussion system and mentioned the gender gap in my replies to her on the Wikimedia Forum. ;) (Edit 05:36, 26 January 2014 (UTC): want to move the section back where it belongs? I don't understand why she keeps top-posting it, even after she should have read my messages about top-posting per OBOD, like you said.) PiRSquared17 (talk) 05:32, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
Though it pains me greatly to say this, I think that TeleComNasSprVen has hit the nail on the head... the trouble is entirely the baroque nature of our commenting-system.
the answer my friend, is w:WP:FLOWing in the wind
  And we can be reasonably certain that with w:WP:FLOW, Miriam wouldn't have top-posted, davidwr therefore wouldn't have moved the top-post for procedural reasons, and thus Miriam wouldn't have re-posted. Not sure about the re-re-post and the un-re-re-post, but likely the confusion about chronology is the trouble.
  Pedantically-slash-technically, it is untrue to flatly state that "new users cannot figure out" the old-school talkpage conventions. Plenty of them do, every day. There is always a learning curve, except in cases like w:User:Ryk72 where the learning was done prior to posting, by reading and grokking the helpdocs (and then of course... they were w:WP:NINJA-indef'd as a sockpuppet. w:The Man Who Knew Too Much seems relevant. Sigh.
  Philosophically speaking, we use the talkpage system as one of our many obstacles for [[w:boot camp | hazing the beginners... and for weeding out the folks that don't pass nerdly muster. Not willing to learn the baroque intricacies of quad-tilde SineBoht, manual insertion of colons, and deeply nesting discussions? That's a good proxy-indicator that you won't be able to learn infoboxen-syntax, wikiTable-syntax, the subtle values of w:WP:NPOV, the tedium of w:WP:RS, and so on. In theory, at least. In practice, just in the past month I've seen a biographer of Ada with a PhD, a history-teacher with a vast knowledge of the royal families of the 1400s EU, and Miriam with her fascinating ideas for wikiRevolutionary change... run into the brick wall of talkpage-syntax.
  But that begs the question, how do we fix the problem? I think that on-wiki-chat is part of the answer. I think that WP:FLOW, which forces nesting-depth-max-3, and bloats discussions to roughly *five times* the vertical-screen-real-estate, would make the conversation we're having now difficult... and the conversation Miriam was having trouble participating in, downright impossible. Truly complex discussions, about the esoteric sourcing of some complicated theory, would simply end before they started. Truly bitter disputes, like whether to say Bradley Manning or Chelsea Manning, would spiral out of control immediately rather than having a hope of retaining sanity. Pretty quickly, WP:FLOW is going to dumb-ify the talkpages enough, that the *only* way to solve content disputes will be w:WP:POLLs, and therefore policy-backed w:WP:CONSENSUS (the idea that one anon with policy on their side can trump 99 angry POV pushers) will disintegrate.
  Anyhoo, I think that collaborative editing is a hard problem. Article-talkpage-syntax may need some help... or at least, we need to have on-wiki chat to supplement the talkpage stuff, for giving beginning-editors an easier way to contribute (but we need on-wiki chat to be integrated with the talkpage or else old-school folks will never notice the messages). Similarly, there needs to be a wordpress-style-forum, where beginners with Big Ideas can appear, and offer them up for consideration. And in fact... we have exactly that, already. Miriam has tried email which was too technologically old-school,[9] and talkpages which again were too technologically old-school,[10] but she has not yet tried — which *is* a wordpress-esque commenting system.
  Therefore, I suggest that we point her towards which currently has no comments, and is reasonably related to the *scope* of changes Miriam is suggesting (i.e. the end result of a changeover from non-profit-status into a for-profit-status-with-immediate-IPO-under-ticker-symbol-W). PiRSquared17, would you like to send her an email[11] with this venue-suggestion? Or is this a Bad Idea™ do you think? 14:02, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
She did reply, actually. She asked my name. Might I suggest you email her instead? I'm not good with new users. PiRSquared17 (talk) 17:04, 29 January 2014 (UTC)
Miriam *is* figuring out how to reply on our old-school talkpages, now, so I think the need to fallback to email is averted. She's still thinking that top-posting is okay, but I'm inclined to be lenient with her. If you are otherwise inclined, do as you see best. I have pinged Davidwr and Nemo and Jacek, so that they realize she is a bit new here. I suggest we wait until she agrees to stop moving stuff around, before cleaning up the mess. 04:18, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
She's moving things around again, see Jakec's talk page. She removed all our comments from the one at the bottom, but the top-posted copy (which should not even exist) still has the comments (she might have modified them, idk). This is getting quite nix to be honest, but I know she is probably quite confused by our system. Have we not explained it well enough? Maybe Flow will help with this... PiRSquared17 (talk) 02:10, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Yes, she's getting the hang of things. I have asked her to let "David" win since he was the first to move stuff around. But in the meanwhile, I suggest letting her "win" and just leaving it messed up. Once she agrees to let us fix things, then we can fix things once, with her agreeing *not* to keep fighting about the positioning. I think the watchlist-"beeping" from the positioning-edit-war is prolly more annoying to the regulars, than having the stuff chronologically in the wrong location and/or duped. But you've got the sysop powers, if you want to put the page at fullprot, so she will stop moving stuff, you can. Prolly bitey, tho, and I don't see much *actual* harm in her antics. Not counting class-actionable wikiStress.  :-)
  As to your suggestion that w:WP:FLOW would fix Miriam's learning-curve problem, the answer of course, is that it depends. I've seen promises that Flow-pages will still allow others to edit comments (and also the opposite promises). But the main thing that seems guaranteed to my mind, is that, quite quickly after launch, Flow-features that permit users to behave flexibly will be locked down, so that only w:WP:REVIEWER-caste people will be permitted to move stuff around, delete other people's comments, and such. Of course, my own preference is for Wikimedia_Forum#On-wiki_chat as a way to eliminate the need for beginners to immediately learn about edit-summaries, template-spams, and talkpages at all. There is an interesting project called EtherPadLite, perhaps you have heard of it?  :-)   — 04:18, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
I'd like to talk to you on IRC (or etherpad /p/foo if you prefer). PiRSquared17 (talk) 15:59, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Try here... 22:55, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
She has been blocked for 6 hours to cool off. After this and calling me a stupid bastard idiot on her talk page, I'm not sure I want to spend time trying to help her... PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:51, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
I have no fixed idea as to whether assisting Miriam will produce any benefit. I do think we have some level of obligation to help newcomers, but when they blow off the help, the obligation is extinguished, and attempts simply clutter up Recent Changes. I also have no idea who 74 is. Highly knowledgeable, but not a familiar style, specifically. And I don't have any investment such that I'd be motivated to investigate. Nothing here seems seriously disruptive. Once one knows that material triggers the Edit Filter, it can be disruptive to continue to trigger it. It's better to leave that investigation to edit filter managers, there are reasons why people can be blocked for deliberately triggering the edit filter. Small point, though. I spent some time on WP triggering the edit filter, but never deliberately. I was actually trying to avoid it, I wasted a perfectly good IP every time. So I'm not about to take the blame for that! Long story, to be found at [12]. --Abd (talk) 20:28, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Hello Abd, nice to meet you.  :-)   I'm pretty insistent on helping the beginners, to include Miriam, just on general principle. Tha includes helping them learn not to insult global sysops who are trying to help them. Sorry about the names you got PiRSquared; they aren't true. Miriam was actually trying to top-post, whereas I thought she was just confused (wish I'd grokked that sooner). With luck the realities of the need to stay w:WP:NICE at all times, will sink in, and there will be no further mistakes like that.
  As for myself, I wasn't trying to be disruptive either, I was trying to add myself to the list of metapedians (which I've recently decided was worth doing), and was prevented by an abuseFilter. Then, trying to ask for *help* with that abuseFilter, triggered another abuseFilter.  :-)   So I went to ask for help from MF-Warburg and PiRSquared over on enWiki, which worked. Later, I *tried* to post the info from those enWiki threads here... and got caught by yet a third AbuseFilterBohtRegex. Maddening. I'm working on a scheme for friendlyizification of all the abuseFilter messages, template-messages, and such. That's slow going, though. (As for the enWiki filters... those I trigger all the time, but only recently. Methinks they are significantly ramping up the anti-anon-regex, is why, in the past six months... there is some server-capacity to spare, now that wikiDate is handling most of the interwiki stuff, is plausibly the reason.) In any case, I'll check out your own edit-filter-saga, thanks. 20:46, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

global ban versus local unbanEdit

TeleComNasSprVen brought up something that made me curious. There is, as I understand it, the following hierarchy of w:banhammers that are available to keep order.

  1. talkpage question (helpful)
  2. talkpage advice (semi-helpful)
  3. talkpage template-spam ("informative" level zero)
  4. talkpage template-spam (formletter warning level one)
  5. talkpage template-spam (stern warning level two)
  6. talkpage template-spam (big red stop level three)
  7. talkpage template-spam (super-officious level four)
  8. taken to the noticeboards "This message is being sent to inform you that there is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard regarding an issue with which you may have been involved. Thank you. (Or RFC/U)" TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:05, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  9. 1 day block TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:05, 4 February 2014 (UTC) nixed this one, I don't think it is substantially different from a ~3day block in my rough categorization here... 3-hr-block is intended to be a "timeout"... 1.29167-day to 3.00000-day to 6.99999-day block is intended to cause thinking... 1.5wk to 6wk block is a Serious Block Indeed....
  10. ~~3 day block
  11. ~~3 week block
  12. ~~3 hour block (aka timeout-block) Abd had moved this up, as being "less severe" than the 3-day-block, but I disagree, the 3-hour-block is in practice *very* severe, when used on longstanding editors... beginners tend to get 31-hour or 48-hour or similar... that said, agree that a ~3mo block is more severe than a 3hr slap. But the 3hr slap *is* usually more 'severe' than the 3wk block.
  13. ~~3 month block
  14. t-ban @ AN/I or AN
  15. t-ban @ RFC/U
  16. arbcom t-ban
  17. AE t-ban
  18. 1 year block
  19. AE 1 year block
  20. indef block
  21. rangeblock TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:17, 4 February 2014 (UTC) yeah, good one thanks
  22. s-ban @ RFC/U
  23. c-ban @ AN/I
  24. arbcom c-ban
  25. AE indef block
  26. AE c-ban
  27. global block of IPs
  28. global lock of UIDs
  29. global ban (implemented as a global lock plus moral suasion)
  30. pissing off Wikimedia Foundation staff TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:05, 4 February 2014 (UTC) sigh :-)
  31. blaspheming The Church Of The Great Jimbo, may he live ten thousand years
  32. daring to mention that time Bruce Lee whipped up on Chuck Norris
(Original above by IP 74, signed below, some edits above by Abd (talk) 21:58, 4 February 2014 (UTC)) -- then edited again by IP 74. --Abd (talk) 03:11, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

PiRSquared17, is this accurate? (Please edit in place if you wish.) In particular, if someone is global-locked/blocked, or global-banned, can they be locally unbanned? 04:18, 4 February 2014 (UTC)

I really have no idea. I don't know a lot about blocks, and tend to avoid blocking. I think someone from enwiki would be better to answer this. PiRSquared17 (talk) 05:08, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, for the ordering-hierarchy, I'll ask somebody there on enWiki, I just figured I would write it up while I was asking questions about the top-most-banhammers. There's a special global-block thing (I think this is the same as a "cross-wiki block"), which I knew about. There is also apparently the global-ban thing, which was news to me. My main question for the folks here (related to TeleCom's proposal to create a wikiSenate over on the forum-page), was that TeleCom asserted that if was global-blocked, that the IP could not be "unbanned" on any individual wiki, without the global-block first being removed, or something like that. Presumably this is because global-block/-ban is implemented deep inside the server-software. I'll post my question over on the forum page, or (gasp!) Read The Fine Manuals, and see what they say on the subject. 20:34, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
That is not true. Local admins can disable global blocks at any time, cf. Global_IP_block_exemption#Local_unblocking. The WMF might also "block" people who request things too quickly like a bot deep inside the server, but that is not common. PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:36, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Danke, I kinda thought that was the case, but the link helps. 22:40, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
I hope you take my "wikiSenate" idea seriously, I think the inherent bureaucracy involved would really help stemming spurious global ban request pages from being introduced. For your list I've also added categories I believe appropriate and signed to mark my additions, but you are free to remove them if you don't think them appropriate. (What's AE?) TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 21:05, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I take it seriously, although I don't think it's a good idea necessarily. I've thought pretty long and hard about wikiConstitutions and wikiBicameralism and that sort of thing. And my conclusion is... that more thinking is needed.  :-)   The idea of wikiGovernance is not straightforward, and I think it depends on what historical moment we believe wikipedia is actually at. I'm starting to believe that we are still in the very early days, in which case, we may not be ready for a constitutional convention just yet. But I will definitely consider what you suggest.
  Thanks for beefing up my list; AE is a noticeboard on enWiki which stands for "Arb Enforcement". Any time there is a problem on enWiki that goes to noticeboards, it tends to be handled at AN/I... except for perennial problems like Global Warming and Historicity of Jesus and UFOs, which are such intractable problems that they have already been sent to arbcom at least once before, and a ruling there was delivered. The AE-noticeboard is for violations of Discretionary Sanctions at articles about the Irish Republican Army, for instance; these are not taken to arbcom each time, but instead, the AE admins (~10 versus ~100 at AN/I) can re-apply the same arbcom remedy to a new crop of violations/violators. There are special rules against *undoing* AE-related blocks. See w:WP:AE for some of the details. 22:40, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
Arbitration Enforcement. Oft abused. If a block is decided on AN or ANI, any administrator may unblock, at least in theory. If it is an AE block, and even if it was really only decided by one administrator, it is not to be reversed, without referral to the Arbitration Committee. That's because of "discretionary sanctions," and the Arbitration Committee doesn't protectively review AE to insure that the sanctions are not being selectively enforced, which they are. To see this, ArbComm would probably need to put together a study of long-term AE behavior, and the behavior of those who propose AE sanctions and those who decide them. I can see the patterns, because I studied this for years, but they won't see those patterns without study, and they are disposed to believe that wiki communities simply don't do Bad Things Like That. --Abd (talk) 21:50, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict with above) As to each situation:
  • Global block. Applies only to IP. There is a local whitelist, so a global block can be locally overturned, easily.
  • Global lock. Applies only to named accounts. This can be locally overturned by renaming the account, generally requires a bureaucrat. Historically, there has been no sanction against local 'crats for renaming. Global locks of accounts amount to a ban of the account, globally, however, they do not require a ban discussion, hence they are well-understood as allowing local bypass. It used to be possible to detach an account from the SUL by renaming, and renaming back. That loophole may have been closed. However, local renaming is still possible, the software does not automatically apply to a new account name. A user may also simply create a new account. A global lock does not, by itself, establish a ban, such that a sock would automatically be blocked on discovery if the user is not locally blocked.
  • Global ban. It used to be claimed that users X and Y were globally banned, because Someone Important had said so. That has been deprecated. It was not respected, local wikis ignored it. Global locks were used and then defeated by the crat trick. i.e., renaming. However, there was a global ban discussion, Requests for comment/Global ban for Poetlister through which Poetlister became the first and only named globally banned user, based on what was developed as policy post-facto, Requests for comment/Global bans and Global bans. Global bans are enforced through global locks.
  • Can local wikis decide to allow a globally banned user to edit? This might have been tested on Wikiversity, because Poetlister had an active account there, v:User:Poetlister1. The account was blocked without local disruption (contrary to long-standing practice), I created a discussion, and there being no consensus for the block, I unblocked and was very quickly "emergency desysopped," and, in short order, indef blocked by the same administrator (a 'crat). Rather chilling, eh? I'm fairly sure that the WV community did not and does not support the block, but I have also not raised the issue since being unblocked. Eventually that may happen. Or not. It is definitely a hot potato.
  • Meanwhile, resolve in the other direction has been tested. There was a new user on Wikiversity, v:User:Collingwood who had become a custodian, and who was standing for 'crat. This user was identified, through private process, by WMF staff, as "related" to Poetlister, and the account was globally locked. That matches what Poetlister has said privately, that the user was known to him, personally, there might have been some common internet access at some point. So, it appears, one can be banned globally, enforced through global lock, through no direct offense or disruption, but by being found as related in some way to a banned user, the alleged fact being determined privately without notice or opportunity for defense. I have no idea if Poetlister is telling the truth or not, but the history of that case is, to say the least, remarkable. The user had not actually been disruptive for years at the time of the global ban. Enforcing the ban was made more difficult because of the block of the active user account on Wikiversity (because that created IP and user agent evidence accessible to any steward). In order to identify the account as related, the WMF must have retained evidence beyond the normal period. At one time they also had received the personal identification of Poetlister, since he had been a checkuser. --Abd (talk) 21:09, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  • Interesting, I'd never heard of the Poetlister thing. Sounds kinda complicated. I was just doing the RTFM thing, and had come back to post my findings, and ask more questions about how global-ban was implemented. But you answered that handily. Appreciated. p.s. Edit conflict with your changes to the list, I tried to manually integrate, sorry if I flubbed anything.  :-)   — 22:40, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
  • That should be the mantra I recite in a letter to the WMF. "If it weren't for Poetlister, we would not have global bans. We'd stop at global (b)locks." TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 22:53, 4 February 2014 (UTC)
The WMF actually encouraged that charade. It's one of the few truly mysterious things they have done. Most of this comment archived to history. --Abd (talk) 03:08, 5 February 2014 (UTC)