Wiki Loves Africa 2020/Mass messages

See also Wiki Loves Africa 2019/documentation

Summary: For 2020, a full study was run with CAT Lab (previously CivilServant). It tested whether posting a message on the talk page of a former participant made a difference. Study found out it did...

Mass messaging is a way to inform people of Wiki Loves Africa updates. Previous participants can be informed of the start of a new competition, and current participants can receive updates during and after the competition.

How t send a mass message

  1. Acquire an audience. If you want a list of previous or current participants, you can get a list of uploaders within a category with the 'Uploaders in cat' tool.
  2. Create a list of talk pages you want to send messages to. Each link should be formatted like # {{#target:User talk:USERNAME}}
  3. Draft the message you want to send on a new page. Do not include a header, as the MassMessage tool has a separate field for that.
  4. If you are an admin, you can use Special:MassMessage yourself. Otherwise, ask an admin on the Commons to send the message out (you may use the Administrators' noticeboard). To make the process quick and easy, you will want to provide clear links to the list of recipients, the subject of the message, and the message body.
  5. Check of delivery :
  6. Log of media wiki mass message :

People who can help


Helpful figures and stats


38588 total images needs update

  • 18199 in 2017
  • 7457 in 2016
  • 6959 in 2015
  • 5973 in 2014

Participants - 4659 unique needs update

  • 2624 in 2017
  • 852 in 2016
  • 730 in 2015
  • 880 in 2014


39085 Wiki Loves Africa submissions from 4 658 contributors had 7 457 article appearances as of Jan 2019 and received 278.859.973 views between 2015 through the end of 2018.

Research study


Impact testing research : CivilServant's Wikimedia studies/Wiki Loves Africa Recruitment 2020

This year, we worked on testing impacts of mass messages on former participants. This was actually planned for 2019, with the testing of impact of several different messages. After much thought, we have decided it would make more sense to test the impact of message versus no message for a start.

In this research project, students work with CivilServant and Florence Devouard to test ideas for increasing the participation rate of previous contributors.

An experiment will be conducted in February (at launch) and will test the impact of message for increasing the participant rates of previous contributors to WLA. The study has two conditions: a control with no message and a treatment with the basic message.

Recipients will be former participants of WLA 2014-2015-2016-2017-2019. Initially c:Commons:Wiki Loves Africa/Recipients 2020
Mis-attribution issue, explanation here :

Message 1
Boilertext planned : Wiki Loves Africa/mass message 1 in 2020.
Final message sent [1] - Feb 16th

Recipients will be former participants of WLA 2014-2015-2016-2017-2019. Initially c:Commons:Wiki Loves Africa/Recipients 2020
Mis-attribution issue, explanation here :

Message 2
Boilertext planned : Wiki Loves Africa/mass message 2 in 2020.
Final message sent [2] - Aug 6th

To be detailed.. See

Process : What was done in 2020


First attempt to send mass message on 15th of Feb. Failed due to Mass Message tool issues (too many recipients).

Second attempts on Feb 16th (successful)

Message sent

Recipients pages

Report of the mass message bug

Notes following the first message:

  • 53 people were wrongly attributed an upload and received a message inviting them to contribute. The reason is the sql query collected last authors of an image, instead of initial author of an image. Only one person reported that he got an invitation message even though he did not upload an image as part of WLA (he actually reuploaded an improved image given as part of WLA). This report allowed us to identify the mistake in the query. Further exploration showed up 53 were in this case. Those people will be excluded from the impact study
  • 80 people were not attributed an upload, even though they were the original author (due to the above issue). We checked who amongst those authors already uploaded a 2020 WLA image, and removed them from the list for the study. Then out of this new list, half of them will get a message.

Message sent on Aug 6th

Recipients pages

Previous years


What was done in 2019

  • Fev 22nd one message
  • message sent in French and English
  • recipients were the former participants of WLA 2014-2015-2016-2017.

What was done in 2017


In 2017, two mass messages have been sent.