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Abuse Filter (Special:AbuseFilter) is a powerful anti-vandalism extension that can be used to trigger certain actions when a user attempts to make an edit or an action that meets certain criteria. To prevent abuse of the system, only administrators and other highly trusted users are given the ability to edit these filters, however the "Abuse Filter editor" right may be granted by any administrator. This page outlines how users may request access to modify filters and under what circumstances that right may be removed.

Purpose of Abuse Filter[edit]

Abuse Filter is designed to combat site-wide vandalism that matches a very specific overall pattern or matches a particular modus operandi of a chronic vandal. Filters must be very carefully worded to prevent innocent editors from getting caught in false positives, especially since the filter does have the ability to remove the "autoconfirmed" user group and may in the future have the ability to block users or IP addresses.

Who can have Abuse Filter editing rights[edit]

  • Administrators may grant themselves the right or have another administrator give it to them.
  • Former administrators in good standing and other users with access to the administrator tools (e.g., stewards) may also request the tool from an administrator
  • Other editors may also request the tool, and be granted the right, if:
  • They have demonstrated a high understanding of anti-vandalism methods on Wikipedia (Intentionally subjective)
  • They have the rollback flag and have used it without incident for a minimum of threesix months (Objective criteria based on the above)
  • They have a clear understanding of how the extension works (Usage should be better documented soon)
  • They understand the degree of damage that can be caused by the filter and promise to carefully review and test filters before activating any automated actions (Similar to the condition for IPBE - you said you know what you're doing, so if it turns out you don't we can revoke it)

Editors with this flag should note that they will be held fully responsible for any actions they take within Abuse Filter. Unlike rollback, this tool is a "big deal", as it has the potential to cause widespread damage. A poorly worded filter has the potential to knock out editing across the Wiki. Misuse will be taken seriously and may impact the granting of future special rights including adminship. Administrators should take this into consideration when deciding whether to grant someone the flag.

How the flag can be removed[edit]

If a user is found to be misusing the filter editing right, it may be removed by any administrator at their discretion. Misuse of the right can include, but is not necessarily limited to, repeatedly after warnings:

  • Writing/Enabling filters that search for actions outside the intended scope of the extension (course, we need to figure out what that is...)
  • Writing/Enabling filters that present severe performance issues
  • Enabling actions (warning, disallowing, etc.) on filters that have not been sufficiently tested for false positives
  • Introducing apparently deliberate logical errors into live filters (ones with active consequences)

If the flag is removed, the user should be notified on their talk page with an explanation as to why. A discussion at the administrator's noticeboard may also be in order depending on the circumstances.

Requesting the right[edit]

Requests for this permission can be made at WP:RFPERM in the appropriate section. Requesters should explain why they feel they meet the criteria outlined above in their request. If an administrator feels as though the user meets the criteria, they will grant the flag.