Wikipedia:Full-date unlinking bot

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I am sorry that the community is presented with another RfC on date links. This is needed because of disagreement over the implementation of a previous RfC.

  • After a recent RFC, MOSNUM states that years ("1795") and month-day combinations ("February 24") should not be linked unless their target article content is germane and topical to the subject of the article with the link. Such links should share an important connection with that subject other than that the events occurred on the same date.[1]
  • Many such irrelevant links were created for the purpose of autoformatting dates by using links, a practice that is no longer recommended on the English Wikipedia.[2] Removing all the double square brackets manually would be slow and tedious; an automatic process (a bot) should remove them in a carefully controlled way. The arbitration committee has recently determined that any process of mass delinking should first be approved by the community.[3]
  • This proposal does not preclude future autoformatting-system proposals.

The details of the proposal

  1. The bot will unlink only day-month-year (triple) combinations such as:
    • [[January 15]], [[2005]] → January 15, 2005
    • [[27 May]] [[2007]] → 27 May 2007
    • [[1989-11-05]] → 1989-11-05
  2. Links of solitary years ([[1989]]) and solitary month-days ([[November 5]], [[5 November]]), and links such as 1983 in film will not be unlinked by the bot.
  3. Intrinsically chronological articles (such as 1789, January, and 1940s) will not be treated by the bot.
  4. Each article will be edited only once by the bot while performing this task. If an edit is reverted the article will not be retreated by the bot.
  5. The bot will follow normal bot exclusion rules, using the {{bots}} and {{nobots}} templates.
  6. An exclusion list will contain the articles the bot will not edit. This list will contain the few article titles where a link to month-day and/or year within at least one triple date meets the relevance requirement in MOSNUM. (In these cases, it would be easier to edit the page manually in accordance with this at a later time.) Articles will be added to the list after manual review; there should be no indiscriminate mass additions of articles to the exclusion list. The list will be openly editable for one month before the bot starts running.
  7. The bot will also fix uncontroversial errors such as missing commas and spaces.
  8. The bot will unlink month-day items that are clearly adjacent to and in combination with a triple—i.e., in date ranges and slashed dates. Examples are:
    • [[October 17]] – [[November 8]], [[1987]] → October 17 – November 8, 1987
    • [[23 April|23]]/[[24 April]] [[1966]] → 23/24 April 1966
  9. The bot operator will be responsive and polite to anyone who has questions or complaints about the bot. He/she will not be someone who has edit-warred or been uncivil in relation to date links, or has been sanctioned as a result of the arbitration case or has otherwise been heavily involved in the matter.
  10. The bot user page and talk page will describe its task and function in clear, neutral and respectful language.
  11. If a problem is discovered, or the bot operator is unable to keep up with questions, the bot will be paused until the issues are resolved.
  12. The source code of the bot will be available to the community.
  13. The implementation of the bot will be subject to approval by the Bot Approvals Group.


  1. ^ "For example, editors should not link the date (or year) in a sentence such as (from Sydney Opera House): "The Sydney Opera House was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007", because little, if any, of the contents of either June 28 or 2007 are germane to either UNESCO, a World Heritage Site, or the Sydney Opera House." The preceding wording was approved by the community in an RfC conducted in April 2009.
  2. ^ An RfC conducted in December 2008 showed that the community strongly favors deprecating the system of autoformatting that was introduced in 2003.
  3. ^ Per remedy 1.3 of the date delinking case.