Wikipedia talk:Bot Approvals Group

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Requests for BAG membership[edit]

Requests to join the Bot Approvals Group are currently made here, although other methods have been proposed. Users wishing to join BAG, or to nominate another user to become a member, should start a new nomination page via the form below (replacing "UserName" with the nominee's) and transclude the discussion in a section below. Please note that notification to WP:AN, WP:VPM, WT:BOT, and WP:BON is required. After a suitable length of time (usually one week unless the nomination has not received a reasonable level of support), the discussion will be closed by a bureaucrat.

Other discussion[edit]

Is this the right forum to bot operators unpermissioned?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Resolved: This is not the right forum, and the OP is aware of this. Primefac (talk) 23:13, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

Is this the right forum to bot operators unpermissioned? If not, could you redirect me? Thanks. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 20:59, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

@Hobbes Goodyear: I'm not exactly what you are asking, this is about the Bot Approvals Group - for more general bot/operator discussions please see Wikipedia:Bots/Noticeboard. — xaosflux Talk 21:26, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Hobbes is concerned about the edit summary used by Magic links bot, claiming it isn't clear what it's doing. Everyone else (see here) seems to think the edit summary is fine. Hobbes is looking for someone to remove the permission granted by BAG to operate the bot because he doesn't like the edit summary. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 21:32, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Nihonjoe, I was thinking that might be the case, but xoasflux is right that BOTN is the proper location for that request. Primefac (talk) 21:36, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 21:45, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Nihonjoe: thanks for the note, BON is the place to ask for bot authorization reviews if needed - pretty drastic for an edit summary - but that is the venue if really warranted and at an impasse with the operator. — xaosflux Talk 21:38, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: In this case, it seems to be more of an impasse with the concerned person as everyone else in the discussion (including me, so perhaps I'm biased) seems to think the edit summary is acceptable. Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 21:45, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
JYI, There was one more person who complained(?) about the task in different place. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:12, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Moved to Wikipedia:Bots/Noticeboard#Concern about Magic links bot as a courtesy. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 03:37, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should admins also be able to close BRFAs under certain circumstances?[edit]

I wonder if admins should also be able to close BRFAs under certain circumstances. Anu thoughts? -- Magioladitis (talk) 11:26, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Why and under what circumstances? –xenotalk 11:45, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
@Xeno: I'd guess this is related to WP:ANI#User:Magioladitis high speed editing and Yobot 54's BRFA that has not yet been approved for trialing (nor has it been denied). I don't think that the entire pool of BAG members has been exhausted - but it has been stagnant. — xaosflux Talk 12:52, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
As a general note (and I'm genuinely indifferent to whether 54 gets approved) Category:Pages using ISBN magic links only has 24k pages left. If it takes more than a couple of days to approve, MLB and PrimeBot will probably finish the "bulk" aspect of this task over the weekend (leaving maybe a few hundred to fix manually/semi auto). Primefac (talk) 13:06, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Primefac editors may revintroduce more. The need for the bot won't leave. Of course, I am still of the opinion that you should consider slow down yourr bot till we decide on the additional fixes. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:59, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
As a thought towards the original question - if a BRFA is simple/straightforward/easy/etc, BAG would have no problems approving it. If it requires thought, discussion, back-and-forth, etc, BAG probably does need to close it, but if we hit something like 54 where there isn't any consensus, I think it would have to go to AN in order to get a consensus. Of course, this also means wikilawyering and unnecessary back-and-forth between admins who have opinions but maybe not the technical or policy knowledge required have an informed opinion. While I can appreciate the original question, I have a funny feeling it would just lead to more drama than it's worth. Primefac (talk) 13:11, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
54 does have consensus. There is some hubbub over whether it should run with genfixes, but there's no policy-based reason to prevent that, so I don't see any BAG member denying it. The problem here is rather unique. A large number of BAG members are involved due to behavioral issues that have required our attention. Many remaining BAG members don't want to be drawn into the drama and issues circling around all this lately. I don't agree with random admins being recruited to handle the process because they haven't been vetted by the community as technically competent and likely don't know the bot policy as well as BAG members. Perhaps we could recruit a new editor or two to BAG? I had hoped my nomination (and call to action within the nomination) would encourage some more people to apply, but that hasn't happened yet. Cyberpower678 is uninvolved, obviously competent, and knows the bot policy. I wonder if he would be interested. Would anyone object to him handling Magioladitis' BRFAs? He closed a topic ban discussion on Magio recently but that was a purely administrative action after a clear consensus emerged. ~ Rob13Talk 13:44, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Wouldn't I need to be a BAG member first. I would run, but I'm not sure if I would pass.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 14:02, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Ditto that. Primefac (talk) 14:36, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'll be the first to give a straight up no on this. This is strictly within the realm of the BAG, and not within the mandate of admins. In exceptional circumstances I'd accept closure from a bureaucrat, but certainly not admins. The problems of Yobot 54 are rather unique, and intimately tied to operator behavior, and topic bans that have passed, and topic bans that may or may not come to pass. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:13, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

To be clear, I was recommending Cyberpower678 run for BAG (if I can pass, you sure as hell can), not just willy-nilly handle the BRFA. Primefac You should run for BAG too, but I'd rather you not handle the BRFA in question because you run another magic links bot. No need to invite drama where none should be. ~ Rob13Talk 17:46, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
I'll run, but I'm not sure if I'll pass. I certainly feel I could do the job though.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:47, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
@Cyberpower678: It's up to you; I don't want you to feel pressured. But I'm fairly sure you would pass. You've taken on some of the most ambitious bot tasks I've seen and had some complaints (as is normal), but you've been successful. You know the bot policy. I can't see current BAG members opposing your nomination, especially given the unique issues of a lack of technically inclined non-involved/non-dramaphobic editors who could handle the Yobot BRFAs. ~ Rob13Talk 17:50, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Feel free to nominate me. ;-) It would be "Cyberpower678 3". I guess it couldn't hurt considering my last run was 3.5 years ago. :p—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:59, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
The newest BAG member probably shouldn't nominate; I'll leave it to someone more experienced who's willing to do it (or a self-nom is always fine for BAG). ~ Rob13Talk 18:11, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

@Xeno: Headbomb as a BAG member stalls the procedure of approving a proper BRFA due to "behavioural problems". This is an example of how BAG members may interpret consensus about a given task. The same problem was spotted when policy discussion downgrded to discussion about behaviour of the person who initiated a discussion. I think since BRFAs reflect consesus, at least for alreadt approved bots, any admin can jump in and save the day. -- Magioladitis (talk) 19:58, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Approving bots is in the mandate of WP:BAG, flagging them is in the mandate of WP:CRATS. WP:ADMINS has only one mention of bots, and it's "Only one account of a given person may have administrative tools. The only exceptions are bots with administrative access. See WP:ADMINSOCK." WP:BOTAPPROVAL makes no mentions of admins, but rather, and I quote [emphasis mine],
"Once the request has demonstrated its conformance with the community standards and correct technical implementation, the BAG may approve the task. The BAG may also decline a request which fails to demonstrate community consensus to perform the task. Occasionally, the operator may wish to withdraw the task or the BAG may mark a stale request as expired. Closed requests are archived and preserved for future reference. Should the task be approved, the "bot" user group flag will be assigned by any bureaucrat and the operator may run the bot as intended."
Again, this is BAG stuff, not admin stuff. One may certainly suggest/create an RFC on the topic to give admins the authority to approve bots, but until that is done, bot approval rights are exclusive to BAG. And before your create such an RFC, I'll tell you straight up there is zero desire in the community to grant admins bot approvals rights, and that such an RFC would WP:SNOWCLOSE as a waste of time, and that many would interpret this as a backdoor attempt to regain bot approvals rights. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:39, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Headbomb I am planning an RrC for wider issues to he honest based on the various opinions expressed. I think the ideal is that we create procedures that will reduce any editors conflicts. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:43, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
While it is your right to do so, I would very strongly advise against doing that. You and the bot policy have not meshed well recently, and unless you can gather some amount of private support for your ideas before going to the larger community as I have previously outlined, I would not be surprised if you ended up being topic banned from everything BOTPOL-related, and possible bots in general. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:51, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict × 2) I want to be very clear. The bot policy requires BAG members to approve bots, and BAG members alone (see WP:BOTAPPROVAL). Any bot not approved by the BAG through the normal BRFA process is an unauthorized bot and subject to blocking. In the absence of a very clear consensus to change WP:BOTPOL (which is policy, so would require overwhelming consensus to change), non-BAG administrators may not close a BRFA. I hope to have a solution to this very soon (new BAG members). We should recognize that an operator pushing away every BAG member who tries to help them is ultimately the fault of the operator, though, and it's possible the BAG may not always be able to accommodate operators who create an environment in which no BAG member remains uninvolved or wishes to process their BRFA. ~ Rob13Talk 20:43, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Making the prodecures crystal clear, will prevent any bad intepretations especially if we, at some hypothetical point, have BAG members who are in fact against bot editing. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:51, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Procedures are crystal clear, and are both outlined in WP:BOTAPPROVAL and WP:BAGG. The only one who seems to have an issue understand them is you. Also, in what world would someone get appointed to (or remain in) BAG if they were, as you say, against bots editing? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:55, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Headbomb I don't know. I hope everything keeps rolling fine on the bot editing side. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:57, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Adding more BAG members is a good start but in cases such I describe above the qustions is whether we need a formal procedure in cases everything fails. For example BAG members have no formal deadline to reply to a BRFA while they have the right to declare a request as expired i.e. there is in inbalanced in the time frame between the perso who requests a to perform a task and the person who approves it. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:05, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

This comes with being an unpaid volunteer position, I'm afraid. Look at some of the backlog at CAT:RFU, and there's a lot more people that can resolve those. SQLQuery me! 07:06, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I created a BAG nomination page, but have yet to transclude it. I'm still thinking it over.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 13:11, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Bot stop needed[edit]

Several bots are changing categories from "X architecture in New York" to "X architecture in New York (state)", but they are ignoring the fact that a number of the places are located in New York City and need to be placed in "X architecture in New York City". I've oplaced stop requests on the talk page of several of these bots, but no stop has happened. These bots should be stopped until this issue can be discussed. Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:46, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

@Beyond My Ken: Which bots? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 06:51, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Cydebot appears to be one. What are the others, BMK? Black Kite (talk) 06:53, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Fluxbot is another Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:54, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
OK. I think I get the problem - New York was moved to a dab page rather than being about the state, so the category has changed from "X in New York" to "X in New York (state)" but some of the "X in New York" articles are actually in New York City and therefore should be in "X in New York City"? Black Kite (talk) 06:58, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Exactly. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:07, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Cydebot is still running and I'm having to change cats manually, but, of course, I'm only seeing the changes in articles on my talk page. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:09, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
I;ll have to deal with the other changes already made tomorrow, but it would be great if this was straightened out so that all the "New York" entries could, in the future, be properly assigned to either "New York City" or "New York (state)", as appropriate. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:23, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
OK, Cydebot appears to have stopped for the time being (it appears to have got to the end of the alphabet) and Fluxbot stopped 3 hours ago. I'll drop a note pointing to this conversation on the talkpages of the bots. Black Kite (talk) 07:32, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Looks like Cydebot's stopped because the run is complete - it's done all the categories currently listed at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Working#Speedy_moves. Black Kite (talk) 07:37, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Well, either I'll have to move all the NYC entries manually, or I'll have to use AWB or another porgram, even though I've avoide using semi-automated programs for 12 years. Beyond My Ken (talk) 10:53, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Let's see if I understand this right. There were existing "X in New York" categories, corresponding to New York being about the state rather than the city. There may or may not have been "X in New York City" categories too, this was not specified. After a CFD (not linked), bots began to move the "X in New York" categories to "X in New York (state)". Then Beyond My Ken decides that the bots should somehow be sorting the entries that happen to be within the city into city-specific categories that may or may not actually exist, even though any X that's in the city is also in the state by definition. Is that right?
If so, trying to stop the bots from performing the move here seems like the perfect solution fallacy. If Beyond My Ken wishes to diffuse city-located entries in any "X in New York" category into "X in New York City", that project is not harmed in the slightest by those entries now being in "X in New York (state)" instead. Nor is the categorization even incorrect. Anomie 12:03, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

I ran the follow 3:

Based on inclusion at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Working and a call for help at Wikipedia:Bots/Noticeboard#Cydebot_appears_to_be_down. If these are not speedy-worthy, feel free to revert - I won't be able to run any other jobs for at least 10 hours. — xaosflux Talk 12:24, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
As long as these pages were in "X architecture in New York" the ambiguity about what "New York" meant made the category acceptable, but once the category was changed to the specific "X in New York (state)", the specificity of the category was not appropriate for those pages for subjects located in New York City -- they should have instead been moved into "X architecture in New York City". I don't think that the bot operators are at fault here, the fault lies in those who ordered the change without understanding that the relationship between New York City and New York state in not the same as that between Oklahoma City and Oklahoma. New York City has more than half the population of the state, and more historical sites than the rest of the state combined. To lump NYC's sites in with the rest of the state does a distinct disservice to our readers. Beyond My Ken (talk) 13:37, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Even those articles which belong in the NYC category, to place them in a New York (state) category is both correct (since New York City is in the state of New York) and maintaining the status quo (since the old category was about the state). This doesn't prevent a user from creating a category for the city, and moving articles from the state category (either before or after the renaming). עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 17:38, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
And some of these NYC categories look to me like WP:SMALLCATs. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 17:44, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, this makes little sense. The category change is both correct and maintains status quo. If they're in the city, move them to the more specific category, but we've generated no more work than already existed to do that. ~ Rob13Talk 18:15, 24 July 2017 (UTC)