Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)

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The idea lab section of the village pump is a place where new ideas or suggestions on general Wikipedia issues can be incubated, for later submission for consensus discussion at Village pump (proposals). Try to be creative and positive when commenting on ideas.
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Perhaps we should stop issuing warnings to IP addresses for obvious vandalism

Since the early days of Wikipedia, it has been common practice to post warning templates to users and anonymous editors engaging in problematic activity, and to avoid blocking without proper warning. For many policy issues, like original research and copyright issues, it is important to point out what someone is doing wrong and give them the opportunity to correct their mistakes. However, are we really so naive to think that someone who writes "<3" or "Fuck you!" in the middle of an article is doing so to improve the project? Even if they're just experimenting rather than trying to inflict damage (which is realistically what most of the vandalism is anyway), anyone with the required common sense to be a functional contributor at Wikipedia should know such actions do not contribute to the encyclopedia. However, placing the warning templates on IP talk pages can cause more problems per WP:BEANS if, for example, Malice Boy decides to brag about the size of his penis on the article about quantum physics using a school computer or dynamic IP at home, ignores the "you have new messages" banner when he is warned, and the warning is instead read by Curious Middle School Girl, who would have never even thought to vandalize an article until reading the warning and suddenly wonders what happens if she decorates a bunch of pages with smile emojis and the word "poop."

I would propose that, instead of feeding trolls and potentially giving people new bad ideas, we just put the standard welcome template on IPs' talkpages when they engage in obvious test edits or vandalism, not referencing any particular edit or accusing them of vandalism. Perhaps we should edit {{Welcome}} to include information about the sandbox and the blocking policy, although all of this is already accomplished by {{Shared IP}} and the related templates. Instead of warning them four times before reporting to WP:AIV, I would propose reporting after four reversions.

The problem would be getting everyone on the same page with this when many people are used to the old way. We would definitely need to change the project pages pertaining to vandalism and recent changes patrolling, and update tools like Twinkle to reflect the new way of doing things, but what about people who have been RC patrolling for years and have the current way ingrained in their minds? Perhaps we could have a bot notify all rollbackers, Twinkle users, Huggle users, etc? Perhaps we should go more extreme and full-protect IP talk pages, or set up an edit filter with a friendly reminder?

What is the rest of the community's thoughts on this? PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 22:06, 2 October 2017 (UTC)

I don't like this idea very much. How do you distinguish between someone who is blatantly vandalising and a genuinely misguided editor? Obviously the extreme cases are easy to tell apart, but what about in betweeen? Of course we're not so naive to think that blatant vandals don't know what they are doing, but there's no harm in putting a warning (I remember reading somewhere that friendly warnings may actually discourage warnings, but I don't have a source and may be wrong. From a practicality standpoint, warnings also serve as a tool for vandal fighters to quickly tell how much vandalism a user has done, where it would be much more time consuming to check their contributions (not all contributions that aren't current are reverted, and not all reverted edits are vandalism. Semi-automated tools like Huggle and STiKi and ClueBot NG use warning templates to decide when to report a user, and this would not be possible with your proposal, especially as humans would have a much harder time doing so. It's true that warning templates may cause a WP:BEANS effect, but simply not using them would be unviable. Thanks, Darylgolden(talk) Ping when replying 11:21, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
I agree that after an IP address has been reallocated the warning ceases to be useful and may become counterproductive. The problem is that we don't know which IP addresses have been reallocated. We also have the problem that an IP address may have multiple users, sometimes a whole country, and that the proportion of vandalism edits may reflect that. We also have the issue that admins and vandalfighters need to know a bunch of information about an IP address that we currently make public but would probably do better by restricting to confirmed registered editors. ϢereSpielChequers 11:53, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
From a practicality standpoint, warnings also serve as a tool for vandal fighters to quickly tell how much vandalism a user has done That's another issue in itself. Even static IP addresses get reassigned when big institutions change internet providers, go out of business, etc., and as WereSpielChquers points out, a lot of warnings on an IP representing an entire country, fortune 500 corporation, university campus, school district, etc. can make several instances of people just messing around one time look like one person who needs a listing at the long-term abuse page. I agree that people who do things like add original research need to be warned, but telling people that writing "poop" or "this movie sucks" on articles is unacceptable and that they need to stop their malicious activities at once is kind of silly. If it's a registered user, it may be possible to convince him or her to be more constructive, but if an IP represents 100,000 people and someone else just reading Wikipedia sees the orange banner before the vandal, what is the point? Surely the bots could be reprogrammed to analyze how many of an IP's edits have been reverted in the last hour rather than how many vandal warnings have been placed. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 16:34, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
To be clear, I'm not saying we should just block people for one instance of "poop" or "hi!!!," but if a little girl or old lady just messing around doesn't get the message after the first two instances of her edits being reverted within seconds, she's not very useful to us as a contributor even if she tried to be constructive. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 16:50, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
We normally go through four levels of warnings before we block vandals. Though particularly blatant and egregious stuff can earn you an instant block. That system works pretty well, yes you get the occasional false positive at least on the warning messages, but it is pretty much unheard of for a non vandal to get a block for vandalism. More importantly, when a newbie warns someone for vandalism when they are just in an editing dispute there is a good chance that they will use the fairly anodyne level 1 warning. We could go through a scientific review of the existing system and see if it is still the most effective way to deal with vandals, but the potential gain of moving to three or five warnings is probably minimal. Remember when a vandal is on a spree we need to stop them, and we need to do it in a way that doesn't piss them off so much that they become one of those perennial problem users. I see bigger potential gains in moving to some sort of selective block where blocking an IP address only blocks people using the same sort of device as was used for a particular vandalism edit. That could dramatically reduce our false positive blocks. ϢereSpielChequers 13:14, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
As stated above, the warnings, even if ignored by IP vandals, serve a valuable purpose in fighting vandalism because they're a record of the number of times the IP has been warned. It would be too much work to go through each IP vandal's contribution history to decide whether the IP should be reported at WP:AIV. In the scenario of one student at a school getting a warning which inspires other students at the school to commit additional acts of vandalism, eventually there will be a school block and the students will have to create individual accounts if they want to edit on Wikipedia. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 20:59, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
...or there will be a "schoolblock" placed on the entire nation of Qatar because an admin based his block off of the number of warnings on Qatar's IP address. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 16:03, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
The more infamous Qatar IP address. No "schoolblocks," but occasionally people would try a long term "anonblock." Warning that IP address for "poop" vandalism must have been very productive when it was active. Speaking of static IPs getting reassigned and administrators basing their actions off of the number of warnings an IP has, what is our plan of action when a former school IP that has been blocked for six years gets reassigned by Verizon Business to the White House, Donald Trump makes improper but good-faith edits that half way resemble his Tweets, an admin doesn't bother to check the current WHOIS information, and schoolblocks the White House for exactly eight years? A lot of Wikipedians would probably think that was hilarious, but I doubt WP:COMCOM and the WP:RC Patrol would enjoy dealing with the wrath of President Trump, his supporters, and endless alt-right media outlets declaring war on Wikipedia over it, especially if ARIN clearly says it belongs to the White House rather than the middle school it's tagged as belonging to. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 16:10, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
I don't think we should base Wikipedia policy on these extreme examples. It's ridiculous for the entire nation of Qatar to have a single IP address. If vandalism from Qatar gets too bad then in my opinion the IP address should be blocked, but that's something for the admins to worry about. As for the problem of Donald Trump not being able to edit from an IP which has been blocked, I'm sure a call from the White House to the Wikipedia Foundation would lead to a quick solution. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 17:05, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
(EC) If an admin does a block that is out of policy then we can deal with that as and when it happens. Unless we think policy is not being followed I suggest we focus on ideas that would work within or change policy such as Wikipedia:Blocking_IP_addresses#Block_lengths ϢereSpielChequers 17:15, 4 October 2017 (UTC)
Those are valid problems, but how exactly does not warning IPs do anything to solve that? Darylgolden(talk) Ping when replying 09:51, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  • NO, GOD, PLEASE NO
    ppose
    . The existing system works fine as it is. KMF (talk) 14:05, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
I think there is merit in discussing this further. Now first, I'll note we are in the idea lab not proposals. If this was formulated as a formal proposal, there would be nothing wrong with simply saying no, but the point of the idea lab is to brainstorm how to address an issue not simply dismiss it.
I start by challenging the notion that the "existing system works fine as it is". I'm saying this from the point of view of an OTRS agent; we are struggling to keep up with the flood of questions sent to this venue, and there is one class of queries that seems to be growing. Someone writes in to complain that they have never done anything wrong, yet they received a message on a talk page that they have been vandalizing. While we know that this is because they have a dynamic IP and happen to be logged in that time with the same IP as someone else who has vandalized Wikipedia, they don't know that. Some of the people are merely questioning, while others are a bit more irate. We do explain to them the situation, but given the prevalence of dynamic IP's, I don't think it's acceptable that we are issuing messages that are troubling to some of our readers. I think our canned message mentioned something about dynamic IP's but I can tell you from experience, we still get a lot of emails on this issue.--S Philbrick(Talk) 14:35, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
That may be a problem, but the proposed cure is worse than the disease, in my opinion. Better is to encourage editors to include {{subst:sharedIPAdvice}} when posting warnings on IP talk pages. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 14:56, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
Another solution would be to disallow IP edits and make everyone create an account if they want to edit on Wikipedia. However, that would be a major change in philosophy and I don't expect it to happen. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 15:03, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
That's a perennial proposal that would come with its own bag of problems. IP vandalism would come to an immediate end, but vandalism (and editing in general) would spike because the massive amount of {{Schoolblock}}s, {{Anonblock}}s, and {{Rangeblock}}s would begin to expire, and those IPs would stay unblocked short of checkuser intervention. In my opinion, that would be a good thing because it is said that most edits by anons and newbies are in good faith, and now people who used to have to jump through hoops if they wanted to edit can simply make an account and edit, while the truly repetitive producers of filth would be identified and appropriate IP blocks could be placed by checkusers (although the change would be a real pain in the ass for the checkusers). The down side is that I believe autoblock is, or at least was, a hard block, and I know that because there have been times I have tried to edit from shared IPs caught up in an autoblock and wasn't able to edit even with an account. However, that is a problem that can easily be solved by programming autoblock to only block anonymous users and disable account creation. I kind of think disabling anonymous editing is a good idea, but I doubt the community will go for it now anymore than they have in the past. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 18:45, 7 October 2017 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Just add to the point I made above (and I apologize these links are ones you cannot read unless you are an agent), the following are three OTRS tickets I've handled in the last hour, all complaining that they been accused of vandalism and they have not vandalized anything. I don't think it's a good situation that we are leaving messages that are misinterpreted. Perhaps the message needs to be rewritten to make it clearer but it almost certainly doesn't apply to the person reading it.

  • ticket:2017100710049082
  • ticket:2017100710196164
  • ticket:2017100810054985--S Philbrick(Talk) 15:32, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Did the warnings on the talk pages include {{subst:sharedIPAdvice}}? Strawberry4Ever (talk) 16:47, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I didn't check, the complaints rarely identify the IP address. I usually offer to help them create an account, and that occasionally happens, but I typically don't look at the warning.--S Philbrick(Talk) 18:02, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Another one today. Someone writing in, spitting nails, because they've been falsely accused of vandalism. I'm calming them down, but it's not a great way to start. And I'm mentioning it here because most editors will be unaware of this problem.--S Philbrick(Talk) 20:28, 11 October 2017 (UTC)
Yet another one a few minutes ago. An editor, quite incensed about a message placed in 2009. We need to rethink our policy.--S Philbrick(Talk) 01:59, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
  • Ban IP editing - Said it before and I'll say it again - It's about time we done away with IP editing - If you wanna be a valued contributor then create an account, Sure not all IPs are vandals however most are so IMHO it's about time we done away with this whole "Anyone can edit" crap, Sign up or go elsewhere. –Davey2010Talk 21:12, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Do you have any statistics to show that most IP editors are vandals? (I'm not necessarily disputing it, but claims like that need evidence.) Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 21:20, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm afraid not - I'm only going by my years of editing here but as I can't physically prove it I've struck that part, Thanks, –Davey2010Talk 21:25, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Ah, OK - it would be nice if we did have some stats on the proportion of IP edits that are vandalism, though. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 21:34, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
Even if it were 50% vandalism we shouldn't ban IPs, and with the edit filters preventing most vandalism the proportion of IP vandalism is likely to have fallen a lot since 2009. More to the point; If the theory is true that vandals do the minimum necessary to do their vandalism while goodfaith editors are lured in by making things easy and inviting for them, then banning IP editing would lose us some good edits and make some vandalism less easy to find. I suspect that's an over simplification, and banning IPs would lose us some vandalism, as well as making some vandalism harder to find. but it would lose us a proportion of our goodfaith newbies and that is a price we should be loathe to pay. ϢereSpielChequers 08:16, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
The makes vandalism harder to find argument also means makes biting newbies more likely. For example, the IP address I am editing from right now is a corporate proxy that seems to have produced more vandalism than good faith edits. If I didn't have an account and made a simple edit from this IP, an RC patrol may look at the edits from this IP and assume bad faith because other people from this corporate proxy have vandalized. Disabling IP editing would ensure that editors are evaluated by their own edits, not edits from other people using the same IP address. I can't tell you how many times I've seen someone leave a nastygram for a school or corporate editor who made a good-faith edit because the RC patrol shot first and thought later didn't think about it. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 11:51, 12 October 2017 (UTC)
Can I just remind folks that this discussion is not about banning IP editing, but about whether "we should stop issuing warnings to IP addresses for obvious vandalism" (to quote the heading)? Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 12:04, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

I've seen more IP edits that are good faith recently; I can't easily prove that, but it's more a gut feeling, and I did bring it up at a recent meetup. IP editing in mainspace is important because it keeps a low barrier to simple fixes such as typos, that we'd lose if people had to go through the rigmarole of registering; conversely vandals would have no issue in registering for a throwaway account. I'm not sure of the value of editing other namespaces, except in limited circumstances such as edit requests; I think if you want to discuss things, you should have an account. (The clue's in the name - you should make yourself accountable for what you say). Going back to the original point, I assume good faith wherever possible, even if an edit is disruptive and a block may still be deserved. If that's the case, often I'll give them the boilerplate block template that tells them how to appeal, plus some hand-written advice. Usually, I'll be late on the scene and the user will have had warnings from other editors anyway. If I am absolutely certain that I am dealing with an obvious vandal, they get an instant block with "vandalism" as the reason, and nothing else. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 21:35, 8 October 2017 (UTC)

I've been arguing that blocking shared IPs (or blocking entire /16 and /24 ranges) over petty nonsense hinders the mainspace for a long time now, and while proposing any restrictions on admins blocking these IPs or ranges would be WP:HORSEMEAT, the response I have received is that people using the said IPs and ranges can just register an account, people say minor fixes in articles aren't worth allowing an occasional instance of vandalism, whenever I've questioned a specific block on an admin's talk page I've been ignored or given some excuse (or, in one case, a rather heated and borderline WP:UNCIVIL reply), and any time I've questioned a specific block somewhere like WP:AN/I (including one rather ridiculous /16 range block labeled several companies and the Federal Aviation Administration as a "school"), I generally get scolded for daring to question it. Bear in mind, I'm not talking about IPs used by people like Willy on Wheels or Grawp, I'm talking about IPs that may have made silly edits weeks, months, or years ago, makes one dumb edit that involves emojis or random characters, and gets blocked for a period in excess of one year with {{schoolblock}} or {{anonblock}}-Likely a school based on behavioral evidence (I've seen major banks, insurance companies, and the U.S. military blocked with the latter). I agree with you that minor IP edits are beneficial to the project and that vandals are more likely to go to the hassle of creating an account than someone who sees a spelling mistake and wants to do the right thing, and since the softblocks prevent account creation, it's even less likely that such people are going to create an account since they'd have to do so elsewhere or request one via email, but considering the mentality of this community, I don't see anything changing in this regard anytime soon. On the other hand, reducing the chances of a WP:BEANS instance of a dumb emoji addition to an article about square roots causing to get General Electric or Harvard University blocked by addressing the way we warn IP editors MIGHT be plausible. Actually, what made me think of this is wondering if removing a false-flag ClueBot warning from an IP talk page could end up being a bad idea since it would generate the "new messages" banner. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 01:55, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

Another idea to Address my WP:BEANS theory would be to update Media Wiki so that the "new messages" banner goes away for IPs after one hour, if it isn't clicked before then. This would probably actually be a more practical solution, because it wouldn't require any major changes to the way we do things but would address the issue of a cellular-based editor seeing the banner because someone else in the same dynamic IP range engaged in vandalism four hours prior and never read the warning left for him/her. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 02:00, 9 October 2017 (UTC)

  • The issue of IP editors being warned for things that were done by other people on the same IP address seems legit to me, especially if they complain to OTRS about it. One solution would be to delete IP talk pages after a while. The other might be to hide the notification banners after a set time. The former might create issues with long term disruptive editors on stable IPs and the latter with IPs that are used for more than that set time. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 14:57, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Some of the ideas raised in the above discussion are already tackled at Wikipedia: Perennial proposals. There is the classic claim that we should ban edits from IPs, but as noted at Wikipedia: Perennial proposals, a good many edits by IPs are good faith edits which go to improve the encyclopedia. Vorbee (talk) 19:35, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

Is there any way to distinguish static IPs from dynamic ones? It would be nice if Wikipedia could treat them differently. Strawberry4Ever (talk) 20:37, 12 October 2017 (UTC)

How this would help us to distinguish between IPs who have made useful contributions to the encyclopeadia versus IPs who have committed acts of vandalism? An act of vandalism would make one an active IP, but so too would a sensible, informative edit. Vorbee (talk) 10:56, 13 October 2017 (UTC)

I think the point is to distinguish between a Static IP (whose address remains constant over potentially long periods and is therefore more likely to be used by only one person) and a Dynamic IP (same link) (where the address potentially changes every time you restart your router and is more likely to be used by unrelated editors) and thus perhaps soften the approach to dynamic IP users to reduce the possibility of appearing to accuse the wrong person. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 11:13, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
It gets a bit more complex than that though. Due to NATting the IP recorded here is the IP of the router (whether static or dynamic), not even the machine on which the edit was done. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 11:32, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
That's true, so a single static IP (as we see it) can still be used by multiple editors at the same time - like school IP's, which can be big sources of vandalism. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 13:23, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
...big sources of the same people who go home and vandalize or use their cell phones to vandalize. There are no truly static IPs; even "static" school IPs and corporate IPs get reassigned when institutions go out of business or switch internet providers. I distinctly recall a particular hospital's guest wi-fi network getting an IP address that clearly used to belong to a small school when the hospital switched from Comcast to Level 3 Communications (the edits, which predated the hospital's change in IP address, were to a school article and were rather immature).
One the other hand, while this thread was not started as a proposal to disable IP editing, and I was the one who first said that disabling IP editing is a perennial proposal, it may be worth revisiting because the mindset of administrators today is not the mindset of administrators ten years ago. Ten years ago, a non-university /16 range would have to be spewing out serious vandalism like an erupting volcano spewing lava for administrators to block it for a short period of time, and only seven years ago there was nothing that could be done to stop a particular person from vandalizing from Cricket Communications' range due to collateral damage, and the mere suggestion that we block AOL dial-up's IPv4 range due to IP-hopping vandalism was controversial, but now we /16 ranges that aren't even specific to a particular ISP and America's fourth largest wireless carrier's IPv6 range is softblocked due to a "dog and rapper vandal." Schools and enterprise networks used to never be blocked for more than one year, and now I have seen ten year blocks on them. The excuse is that people can create accounts if they want to edit, well, vandals may indeed do that, but the person fixing a spelling error or updating an institution's top administrator's name probably won't. Then there's the issue of IPs that are NOT blocked but have had vandals use them; when an RC patrol sees nothing but vandalism, he or she may bite a newbie thinking it's the same person that vandalized. Disabling IP editing will ensure that vandals are warned and blocked based on their behavior, not good-faith newbies using the same IP as vandals. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 16:51, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes, and a dynamic IP can be unchanging over the long term, like mine is - Virgin Media in the UK always re-assigns the same dynamic IP to the same router. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 17:05, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
No Part of issuing the warnings to the IP Address talk page is to allow others who share the IP address to exert some peer pressure to encourage the vandal to behave. Also per the above, it shows a quickly visible history to decide if you need to issue a warning, go to AIV/AN/etc, or if you just need to silently revert and pretend like the vandalism never happened. Hasteur (talk) 19:24, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
And we know that these benefits outweigh the problem discussed herebecause ...? These benefits sound somewhat marginal and time dependent, respectively, to me. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 19:42, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
You want me to prove Peer-Pressure? You want an editor or administrator to always have to spend extra time to see the previous history of an IP address over time? Do you like being a detached piece of wood placed within a body of semi saturated dirt? Hasteur (talk) 19:59, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
Redacted my post as it was way more tetchy than I like. I find it unlikely that this specific scenario of peer pressure happens frequently. I don't know how useful a non deleted list of previous warnings is, especially when they are fairly old. JoJo Eumerus mobile (talk) 20:30, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
{{Shared IP}} is good at helping organizations self police themselves. Warnings for things that are 4+ years old could (IMO) be deleted safely for IP editors, but I seem to recall a recent discussion establishing consensus to leave stale warnings in place. More recent ones I'm less wild about. Hasteur (talk) 00:39, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
Peer pressure? Sure, I'm going to peer pressure people working for the same company as I do in other states to stop vandalizing Wikipedia, sure I am. Even in an elementary school with only 500 students, what are the chances of someone other than the IT department or possibly a school administrator even knowing who is responsible for writing "poop" on the article about Sony Playstation? This problem is compounded when that elementary school isn't the only facility using the same IP; the 17 year old cheerleader who reads the warning might have some clout if it was someone at her school responsible for it, but she has no influence over the eight year old doing it in another town within the same county. Don't take the school house logo on {{Shared IP edu}} literally. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 01:15, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps you could stow your humor for a moment and read Network administrators or other parties wishing to monitor this IP address for vandalism can subscribe to a web feed of this page in either RSS or Atom format. on the the template. I know there's been cases where based on what I saw warnings for IP content from my company, I could make an educated guess as to who did the editing and have a private word with them to see if there might be a way for them to edit productively. I know crazy thought, registered users trying to impart the Wiki ethos in users who aren't yet registered. Hasteur (talk) 02:02, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
Hmm, I always thought off-wiki harassment was something we frowned on, but maybe that's just me. I'm not going to lie, I've talked to people off-wiki about things happening on-wiki, and it's not always easy to narrow down who it is unless you're an IT person with access to network logs; in the case of User:LBHS Cheerleader, she found me to tell me she was sorry. Sometimes they'll write a name, but often it's one of their friends' names (it could be a boyfriend, a boy a girl thinks is annoying, a team mate... most of the vandals seem to be cheerleader-type girls or former cheerleaders; I know based off of the names there was a cheerleader who very likely knew me who was vandalizing from my school in 2006, but I have no idea which of the about twenty suspects was responsible for it, and the girls I asked about it claimed to know nothing about it). If this is the direction we want to go, we should talk about reviving WP:ABUSE, because that's going to be more effective at getting something done off-wiki than just hoping some other person sees our warnings. I've had thoughts about starting a new WikiProject to support and encourage abuse reporting, but operating a little differently than WP:ABUSE. My idea is to create a project that creates templates and phone scripts to send to/call ISPs, schools, employers, etc., creates lists of verified contact information for ISPs, schools, employers, etc, and creates tools to make it easier for Wikipedians to contact them, rather than having a project with investigators and contactors like before. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 12:54, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
Regarding those edits from my school, before you say "see, I told you," finding those edits had nothing to do with warnings and everything to do with me becoming a Wikipedian and finding them through curiously looking through the edits from Charlotte County Public Schools, a year after those edits were made. The softblocks that are kind of common place now kind of reduce the chances of people becoming Wikipedians. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 13:05, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
  • {{HughesNet}} is worth looking at; it's a template dedicated to a particular satellite internet provider where there is a very low likelihood of vandals or other problem users seeing the warning templates left for them, though as one can see on just about any IP that the template is posted on, people leave warnings for the IPs anyway. There were similar problems with {{AOL}} when dial-up internet access was still popular. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 18:25, 23 October 2017 (UTC)

For those talking about how wonderfully these warnings help vandal fighters

Out of six edits, three were good faith. @Widr: (why wasn't I around to oppose his RfA) decides to put a six year block on it. For the next six years, anyone wanting to make minor edits like this one will have to go out of their way to make an account. Lets examine this more closely: the IP represents more than 16,000 people, some of whom are mature adults at Charlotte Technical College, some of whom are staff, and some of whom are mature K-12 students who may not even have internet access at home, or have oppressive parents at home. There are incorporated cities with less than 16,000 people! Not to mention, imagine the person who made the minor test edit that resulted in this six year block is a fifth grade girl, and by the time she is a more mature sophomore in high school, she is smart enough to realize the entire district is still blocked because of her. Do you think that person will ever be comfortable being a Wikipedian? Do you think there's a chance this person may be turned off to even reading Wikipedia after that? Now imagine some of these school IPs represent over 40,000 users. There are entire counties areas with less people than that! Corporate IPs can represent even more people; some of them could easily have over 100,000 users. There are plenty of cases of IP addresses representing more people than the population of American Samoa that are blocked from editing Wikipedia because of how important these warnings are to vandal fighters. And as for reaching the actual vandals (or people who will peer pressure them) with these warnings, imagine throwing a note saying "hey, stop doing stupid stuff on the internet" out of an airplane over American Somoa or the U.S. Virgin Islands and hoping the right person picks it up... PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 01:49, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

While it is sometimes possible for many people to be behind an IPv4 address, this is usually an exageration: areas are usually served with ranges, meaning that the person who caused an address to be blocked may later use an unblocked address, someone not responsible for the block may sometimes fall on a blocked address, etc... And of course most IP blocks are "spoon fed", very short (maybe too short, in the case of schools, especially that they're usually soft, allowing account creation). —PaleoNeonate – 01:58, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Six years (which is not uncommon, in my observations) is a short block? By the way, speaking of ranges, the IPv6 rangeblock on T-Mobile US affects more people than the population of California and Texas combined. Last time I forgot to log in from T-Mobile, it was still rangeblocked. I think the people suggesting a revisit of disabling IP editing are onto the right idea; disable IP editing, change the autoblock feature so that it is "anonymous users only, account creation disabled," and then the places that need to be blocked will be blocked for an appropriate period of time, and checkuser can assist with long-term IP blocks on obviously recurring vandals. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 02:21, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
By the way, I rarely see schoolblocks or anonblocks that allow account creation. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 02:22, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes range blocks are indeed more serious than single address blocks of course. I commonly see individual school IP addresses get a 1 year soft block (with a "please create an account" template added on their talk page), I'm not sure for school ranges. —PaleoNeonate – 16:27, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
The schoolblock template says please create an account at home and log in with it here. The reason it is worded that way is because the blocks generally prevent account creation. How many actually do that? A checkuser could theoretically answer that question with a check of a random sample of 10 shared IPs blocked with schoolblock or anonblock, and I'll bet we would find that these blocks indeed stop good faith editing. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 18:19, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
There is a problem here, but it isn't the warnings - that process still works fine. The problem is with an IP block length policy of "Most IP addresses should not be blocked more than a few hours, since the malicious user will probably move on by the time the block expires." being interpreted as a few years. Unless Widr had a reason to block that IP for such a long period? I haven't checked for sourced info on the those six edits, but I'd describe three as vandalism and three as unsourced. Only if you try and source those edits yourself can you know if they were actually goodfaith or badfaith. Perhaps we need an RFC to review our policy in this area, it may be that quality requirements have now risen to the point where school blocks of years make sense. Or perhaps PCHS-NJROTC and Widr can tell us if they checked the unsourced edits that PCHS-NJROTC describes as goodfaith. I would feel more comfortable with such a long block if those unsourced edits were actually known to be sneaky vandalism. Conversely if they were checked out as legit I'd be inclined to support an unblock. ϢereSpielChequers 12:04, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
I checked the three good faith edits, and sources show that the edits were proper. The change to Lemon Bay High School was correct according to the school's website (I probably should add a citation to that). I also checked the edit to cannabis cultivation and the sources I found in a search engine supports the new version (I probably should have added a citation to that as well). We need to remember that the three unsourced edits could very well be three new editors who probably don't know how to properly source an edit. You are absolutely correct about the block policy not being followed (for that matter, the shared IP templates are supposed to remind people "hey, this IP represents thousands of people, don't assume what happened yesterday has anything to do with what happened today," but that goes over so many people's head these days. The problem is convincing other's that there's anything wrong with these blocks. "Oh, these IPs do nothing but vandalize" is their argument. Well? 50% vandalism is not nothing but vandalism. Actually, most of it's more like test edits, which are different from vandalism according to WP:VANDAL, unless we're saying that these twelve year old girls are actively conspiring to harm the project, rather than just curiously editing to see what happens (which, if that's the case, why do so many revert their own nonsense?). Considering test edits, shared IPs produce a LOT less vandalism than people think. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 12:21, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
I have now lifted the block because of this discussion. However, I will note that typically blocks for schools and institutions are made with cascading lengths. This one has gone from one block to another since 2012, making this their eighth block. When there's an obvious history of abuse, the usual cycle of warnings and reports to AIV tends to be a waste of time and resources. Anyone who frequently patrols recent changes knows this. And, to the original complainer: next time you can come to my talk page to express your concerns. That always works better than a snarky ping. Widr (talk) 13:09, 22 October 2017 (UTC)
@Widr: as a recent changes patrol and a member of the WP:Counter Vandalism Unit, I am very familiar with how blocks are escalated. I am saying that in most cases it is silly and is an issue beyond school IPs or even shared IPs; what are the chances that the same person editing from an IP today is the same person that was editing four or five years ago, especially in a school where students are prone to graduating? Where is the pattern of abuse warranting such a long block? Is Willy On Wheels using it? Grawp? Mmbabies? The previous block expired in September, and there have only been six edits since then. Six edits spread out over the period of about one month, half of which are good faith, does not warrant even a short block on more than 16,000 users, much less a six year block, in my opinion. That would be like blocking cities from editing because three people acted stupidly, because any given /24 range representing any random city's DSL or cable modem customers probably generates the same amount of vandalism. If we, as a community, can't handle a few instances of stupidity, then the concept of an open, user generated encyclopedia is a failure. By the way, the reason I didn't go to your talk page is because I didn't expect anything to be done about the individual block; I wanted to use it as an example of a broader problem (but I do thank you for acting in the situation). PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 18:19, 22 October 2017 (UTC)

Alt suggestion - smart blocking

There is a problem with collateral damage when blocking IPs, but equally there are problems with not blocking IP vandals. One possible solution that I've been considering for a while is to move to smart blocking - User:WereSpielChequers/IP_and_OS_blocks. Use the IP info to block anyone at the same IP address with the same hardware and software as the vandalism edit. There would still be some collateral damage, especially at any schools where all students get issued the same tablet, and a risk that people would be freer with IP range blocking if they knew there would be less collateral damage. But I think it would be a big step in the right direction, and unlike a few years ago there is now budget to do some IT investments like this. ϢereSpielChequers 16:32, 25 October 2017 (UTC)

This reminds me that I have notes somewhere about a similar system suggestion that'd be like implicit live checkuser, possibly filling a log (restricted to checkusers and admins perhaps), about block-evading suspects matching data hashed/stored in the last 30 days or such (which would include information like IP address, username if any, permanent blocked cookie if any, user-agent and other HTTP query fields, and maybe some page-interaction/coincidence score info; each match could increase a score count, with a certain score considered plausible evasion). It'd make sense for any such experimental system to first fill a log for patrollers instead of automatically blocking, though... Another challenge, if eventually completely automatic, would be to properly configure aspects like the LRU-like database backlog, report log FIFO size, autoblock length, for the best possible performance while still generally allowing legitimate IP editing... —PaleoNeonate – 20:19, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
Good god, no—this (the auto-created deathlist proposal, not WSC's initial suggestion) would at the very best be grossly unethical, and at worst outright illegal. Contrary to what the conspiracy theorists would have you believe, CU data is some of the most closely guarded data to which any functionary has access, and with good reason, since IP data quite often reveals a user's workplace, place of education, etc; a semi-public log cross-correlating editors who have the same employer or who live in the same house would be a disaster waiting to happen. If anything remotely resembling this were ever to go live (a moot point, since Legal would immediately veto it) it would probably be enough to trigger a WikiTravel-style full-scale schism and mass exodus. ‑ Iridescent 22:35, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
If you carefully read my post, I'm also talking about a limited-time cache (no trace need to persist after 30 days for instance) and restricting log report access to those with existing checkuser rights... —PaleoNeonate – 22:38, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
And more details: the servers already have the necessary information, I can also assure you that many corporations have more sophisticated IDS software. Entries would also only need to contain information related to editing (not read page access) and the only relevant information is for users blocked in the last x days, etc. And of course, nothing of that is in the works that I know, I'm merely participating to the discussion and brainstorming possibilities. —PaleoNeonate – 23:01, 25 October 2017 (UTC)
I'm sure many organisations collect the necessary information and have such tools. But my proposal is based around our unusual commitment to privacy. Hence admins would not learn IP information, other that if there were two currently active editors at one IP address, if you blocked the vandal and the goodfaith editor continued you could assume the two editors at that IP address had different hardware or browsers. ϢereSpielChequers 11:14, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
I am a CheckUser on Conservapedia and I never understood the power and sensitivity of CheckUser data (and the hazard of heavy handed admins having access to it) until I had access to it myself. That said, since I've personally been able to identify patterns of trolling with it, I might support this automated flagging system... if the sysops here weren't so heavy handed. We have admins who seriously think activity from a four-year high school that was blocked five years ago is relevant to the actions of students today, some of these admins are CheckUsers, and especially since a good faith editor from an institution with hundreds of the same model of Compaq Evo running Windows 7 and the same version of Mozilla Firefox would be technically indistinguishable from a vandal at the same institution in absence of XFF headers showing the local IP, I don't trust them to make sound choices. In fact, using CheckUser for fishing can open the door to innocent people having their geographic location outed if they are accused of being a sockpuppet because they used an IP publicly known to be involved in sockpuppetry. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 18:02, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
Another part solution to the problem of out of date IP blocks and messages would be to unblock and blank messages when the whois information changes. That would require an adminbot with access to whois info. but should be fairly simple to harvest who is info on all IP addresses that currently have more than a month of block to come, then every month harvest the whois for the IP blocks that have over a month to run, add new blocks to the database and unblock those where the whois has changed. You'd probably need an small exceptions list for IP vandals who learn to change their Whois info. ϢereSpielChequers 11:14, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
I think device-based blocking is a step in the right direction, but I think this version of it would be of questionable usefulness. This would be useful to stop someone from repeatedly using a particular model of Samsung tablet to vandalize from a wi-fi hotspot in Times Square without affecting users of countless alternative devices, but certain devices, like iPhones, are so popular that blocking them would still cause collateral damage, and this would do nothing to solve the problem, as described above, of collateral damage in a company or institution that uses hundreds or thousands of PCs running the same version of Mozilla Firefox on Windows 10. What would be cool would be to be able to block a specific device, perhaps using cookies, without blocking the whole NAT. This wouldn't be effective at stopping the determined teenager on her period from hopping from PC to PC in the school library (although that might attract adult attention, which would alternatively solve the problem), but it would probably stop the bored call center agent for United Healthcare or CenturyLink from engaging in vandalism without affecting his or her colleagues. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 18:02, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
Re: WHOIS change, the problem here is that sometimes the WHOIS doesn't change. An IP can safely transfer from a school to a hospital or a prison to a clothing manufacturer while maintaining "Level 3 Communications" (as was the case I described of a hospital getting a former school IP) or "Embarq Corporation" as the responsible organization. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 18:17, 26 October 2017 (UTC)
Yes, sometimes WHOIS doesn't change when it should, that's why I described it as a partial solution. But that isn't an extra problem - such IP addresses would be unaffected by this. ϢereSpielChequers 11:46, 9 November 2017 (UTC)

Troll lives matter!

Seriously, not all vandals will be so for life. Some get over it when they see we revert them in seconds. Some take a but more time. Fighting trolls doesn't mean we can be aggressive. As the Spanish saying, "being polite does not prevent being bold".

Contribution workflow suggestion

After making a contribution and getting to the "confirmation/here's what else you can do" page, it would be nice if there was an obvious option to return to the previous WIki page. OR the whole payment process should have opened up a new tab so when it's closed I still have my previous page available. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Misscking (talkcontribs) 16:52, 7 November 2017 (UTC)

Wikinews: revival and on the main page

Okay, I know what you're thinking. Hear me out.

This RfC proposes to reduce the enforcement of WP:NOTNEWS to increase news coverage on Wikipedia.

The rationale is "Wikinews is dead". You know, sure. It's not the most popular WMF project - not by a long shot. However, the problem is mainly that:

  1. No one seems to know it exists (except the more active Wikipedians)
  2. Not many non-editors go there
  3. No one seems to know it exists (again, I know, but no one does)

Whether or not it's a good or bad idea to put news in Wikipedia is not a discussion for here. However, why does wikipedia not try to increase awareness of sister WMF projects? enwiki is in a good place to do this, it's one of the most popular websites in the world, and is renowned for its impartiality and stunning dedication to consensus. WN is much the same, but without participation. If we could increase participation and awareness (the two go hand in hand, just look at the growth of the number of editors on enwiki), then it could be a quality news source that people rely on.

Isn't it already on the front page? Yes, technically. By the links for Wikibooks and the other pet projects of the WMF. However, if we could link to it more prominently (eventually link to WN articles in the In the News section, perhaps), it would grow a lot more.

Haven't we given it up for dead? They're still publishing articles over there, although admittedly few. We could do a lot better!

I'd just like thoughts at this point. Thanks. ProgrammingGeek talktome 15:56, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

This does not address the fundamental problem of; consumer demand of recentism and Wikipedia quality vs. Wikipedia's rigid stylistic form and immediate publishing vs. copy cat news website that usually publishes after people stopped showing interest in the topic, if at all. We have created this situation to reflect our reality, but we need to recognize that it is not a situation that a consumer will ever consider logical. As such we cannot fix the problem unless we start bending either Wikinews or Wikipedia to closer match the desire of real consumers of the information. —TheDJ (talkcontribs) 16:20, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
There's several concurrent discussions related to NOT#NEWS in general, but one of the issues that comes up is the "consumer" aspect - that we do know people are coming to Wikipedia for current news articles. The problem is that an encyclopedia should be the last place you come to breaking news, as we're supposed to be summarizing news with a long-term view. There are stories that we can write on en.wiki with that perspective, but it is a very careful approach, but vastly different from how one would write a standard newspaper article (eg what would be more appropriate at Wikinews). Unfortunately, there's a fair number of editors that like to write recent news, and no end of consumers for that. That said, we have in the past taken steps to cut off content that may have been consumer-driven: for example, early on was the removal of endless lists of fiction-related elements that were only sourced to primary works (eg Pokemon lists). They may have been popular pages, but as they were written then, not encyclopedic content. We have to have a consensus decision to cut off current event articles and move them elsewhere, and these concurrent discussions suggest that's not going to happen easily. --MASEM (t) 19:02, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
Masem, exactly. We have a ready-made location for this sort of content. I don't want it to seem like we're outsourcing the problem, but if people know about Wikinews, we won't be inundated with these articles. ProgrammingGeek talktome 19:11, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

To raise awareness of other Wikimedia foundation projects, could we not put information about them on Wikipedia: Main Page? The main page is one of the most viewed articles on Wikipedia, if not the most viewed, and putting information about Wikipedia's sister projects on the main page would seem a good way to raise awareness of them. Vorbee (talk) 18:23, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

The Main Page of Wikipedia has a section in its top right-hand corner called "In the news..." ... it should not prove too difficult to put in a note that there is such a website as Wikinews there.Vorbee (talk) 20:14, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

  • I support linking to Wikinews articles in the "In the news" section of the main page because Wikipedia is not for news, but Wikinews is, and if we're going to mention news on our main page, we should link to our sister project, not just Wikipedia articles. Conservapedia has a similar section on its main page, commonly known as "mainpageright," it has included links to external sites for a long time, and it is one of the most popular features of the wiki. PCHS-NJROTC (Messages)Have a blessed day. 22:10, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
  • This does seem like a useful idea, regardless of other developments (unless there is a vested interest in actually having WikiNews wither on the vine). --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 09:25, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Perhaps we could have a note at the bottom of the Main Page's "In the news" box saying "For more information on news stories, see Wikinews". Vorbee (talk) 16:31, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Abandoned pages and articles

Is there already a list of pretty much abandoned and isolated articles in Wikipedia? If not, I highly recommend it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by OfficialNeon (talkcontribs) 20:41, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

Possibly useful may be Wikipedia:Dusty articles (not always up to date, not automatically updated), User:MusikBot/StaleDrafts/Report (for Draft space), Category:Stale userspace drafts (these may be blanked with {{Userpage blanked}} if WP:FAKEARTICLE, may be nominated at WP:MfD if inappropriate or used as the basis for a new article if the notability is good enough). Category:All orphaned articles can point to articles that were never completed or linked anywhere. Also useful to find articles which need work may be Category:All stub articles, Category:All articles to be expanded, Category:Pages missing lead section, Category:Wikipedia articles needing copy edit, Category:All pages needing cleanup, Category:All articles needing cleanup, Category:All articles needing rewrite, Category:All articles needing additional references, Category:All articles with unsourced statements. Others may also have further suggestions, —PaleoNeonate – 23:18, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

Christmas Theme?

Hello, would it be possible to have a festive thing on the Main Page for December 25th? I'm not proposing it to say 'Merry Christmas' (as it may be fine for Christians, but not in other religions), but what about like a snow effect on top of the page? A simple snow layer that covers the top of pages is what I mean. Example (rather crude and basic, but understandable): ---Snow---

                                                                  ('Read, edit source, history, section)

Thoughts on this? AllyGebies (talk) 04:05, 13 November 2017 (UTC)

Please not snowmen and reindeers etc! It's mid-summer in the southern hemisphere. The systemic bias is already bad enough, let's not pile on even more. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 07:46, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
What the man said.--Elmidae (talk · contribs) 08:17, 13 November 2017 (UTC)
Please not anything; why should one day be singled out for festive treatment? This is a global project not NorthAmericaPedia, and in most of the world Christmas is just another working day; there will likely be something related to the date in DYK and/or OTD and that's enough. Do you want us to deck the Main Page out in Eid Mubarak bunting, Diwali fireworks and Chinese New Year lanterns at the appropriate times of year as well, or give it a red-and-white colour scheme on St George's Day? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Iridescent (talkcontribs)
Actually this is an English speaking project, not global at all! The vast majority of English speakers are in the northern hemisphere, only alienating those in Australia and New Zealand. There are even Wikipedia pages at Christmas and holiday seasonand War on Christmas, doing special things is a great way to resist the same old same old, I like the Diwali fireworks and Chinese New Year lantern ideas. Happy Holidays! Dougmcdonell (talk) 03:35, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
I think it should also be remembered that English is spoken in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya as well, so its not "only alienating those in Australia and New Zealand" to include winter thematic decorations. Besides, Christmas traditions (and other winter holidays) vary all over the world. This proposal would also involve technical changes and I don't know how difficult those would be to implement. I think Iridescent is right that "there will likely be something related to the date in DYK and/or OTD and that's enough". Heck, even the occasional FA of the day has relevance. Perhaps instead you could devote your time to filling those up with bits of information that can be shown on the main page on the relevant holiday. Maybe even create a small task force devoted to organizing such things. I'm not sure of the whereabouts of the old WikiProjects devoted to ensuring everyone on the Wiki was happy and cheerful, but I'd go there to look for a team. -Indy beetle (talk) 15:13, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

During Christmas, I would support adding notable articles, did you know, photos, etc related to Christmas in the main page. Same for other notable dates. --NaBUru38 (talk) 22:10, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

Line numbers

I have done a diff on a talk page- there was a change at line 273- I clicked on the link and just like the autolinks for reference- was taken to that pont in the text, but double-clicking by mistake, the text editor opened and the cursor was on line 272. I don't know how I ever managed without it! Dreaming again- but what a pleasant dream.--ClemRutter (talk) 19:38, 15 November 2017 (UTC)

Wait, how do you turn this on? Line numbers in the editor are my #1 most wanted improvement, next to WMF taking harassment and coordinated paid promotional editing at all seriously. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 20:21, 15 November 2017 (UTC)
Line numbers are already displayed by default, but only when editing in the Module namespace (though of course this is still far from the situation in ClemRutter's dream). – Uanfala 12:03, 18 November 2017 (UTC)

Notification system for files on Commons nominated for deletion

A typical concern with uploading files to Commons for use on enwp is that the files may be deleted without the uploader's and/or enwp community's knowledge. So, I'm thinking about building a service that aggregates Commons deletion nominations for files used on enwp. I'm currently considering two formats:

  1. A bot can post to a local noticeboard and ping interested parties (e.g. the original uploaders or editors who have elected to watch a certain file)
  2. A bot can leave talk page notifications on the uploader's talk page and/or affected articles (unsure of how to do this without being spammy for files with many uses)
  3. Other Suggestions?

Is this something that you would find useful? Any thoughts/suggestions are appreciated. Thanks, FASTILY 23:41, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

Ping for @Jo-Jo Eumerus -FASTILY 23:41, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Er...notifications have been global since the echo system was overhauled in July 2016. If someone posts on your talk page at Commons, which they should do whenever they tag an image for deletion or start a DR, then you should get a notification here . No bot required. Check your preferences if this isn't happening. Preferences -> Notifications -> Cross-wiki notifications. --Majora (talk) 00:45, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Sure, but how about the cases where: a) files have been transferred to Commons? b) the uploader is inactive but the file is used in an article? These are some of the specific cases that I'm interested in fixing. -FASTILY 06:38, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Besides, I am not certain that cross-wiki notifications are by default on. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 16:19, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
Those two cases are quite different from each other, but (b) and some of the common cases of (a) would be solveable by a bot that monitored commons and posted to en.wp. A heuristic could be monitoring "page creations of [[Commons:Deletion requests/*]]" in realtime or scanning "pages transcluded on [[Commons:Deletion requests/yyyy/mm/dd]]" at the end of each day. And (b) is easy after that: look for what en.wp pages use the image and post a note to its article-talk page. For (a), if the image description is well-formatted, can look for an en.wp user in the |source= or |author= field. And for files transwikied by certain bots or tools, there is an standard format of upload history that could be checked for an en.wp uploader. DMacks (talk) 21:16, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
...like User:CommonsNotificationBot. @ErrantX: any prognosis on your bot? DMacks (talk) 21:51, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Newsletter: What's up with ArbCom

With the upcoming ArbCom election, my proposal is a newsletter delivered to talk pages of subscribers every week or month. This will help people interested in the cases of the ArbCom. The newsletter will describe cases currently at ArbCom, and other happenings. A sample is included below:

What's up with ArbCom? (This line will be titled)
Symbol support vote.svg New Requests: Example 1 (Link), Example 2 (Link)
Symbol redirect vote2.svg Opened Cases: Example 3 (Link), Example 4 (Link)
Symbol declined.svgClosed Cases: Example 5 (Link), Example 6 (Link)

If you are interested in helping with this, the WP:Signpost, though not recently, includes this. Maybe you should go help. --Izno (talk) 13:58, 17 November 2017 (UTC)
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