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RfC: use of edit filter against unreliable sources[edit]

This RfC essentially asks if Wikipedia should double-down on its just-enacted ban on the Daily Mail by introducing a technical impediment that would prevent - or warn or blacklist or electro-shock - Wikipedians trying to link to it (and similar sites). While there's not a consensus as to the form such a filter should take (A number of editors seems to support creating surveillance logs of people who try to link to the Daily Mail "so that we can monitor the use of the Mail as a source"), there is a consensus to introduce a filter. And that consensus is supported by a 2-1 margin. Further, as Guy Macon notes, there has already been a decision (which this couldn't overturn) that an edit filter should be introduced for the DM on top of its notional ban. BlueSalix (talk) 03:29, 18 March 2017 (UTC)
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.

Should edit filters be used to prevent citing sources deemed unreliable, or warn editors trying to do so, or log such actions? TigraanClick here to contact me 13:45, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Statement amended, seeing the discussion below. The spirit of the amendment was already in the extended content, in particular the second paragraph. TigraanClick here to contact me 19:13, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
See important note below: Wikipedia_talk:Edit_filter#Proposer.27s_remorse_suddenly_strikes TigraanClick here to contact me 19:30, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Extended content[edit]

The question is whether when a source is deemed unreliable by community consensus, an edit filter can be set to ward off attempts to cite it. The intended use is mostly against online sources because URL regular expression matching is easy, but it could be used to other sources as well if technically feasible.

By default, a "support" vote means that any filter setting can be used (subject to Wikipedia:Edit_filter#Recommended_uses); consensus for the use of a filter could decide to set a "log", "tag", "warn" or "disallow" level. If you think only specific filtering levels should be allowed or encouraged, please specify it.

A few clarifications:

  • This proposal does not precisely define sources deemed unreliable on purpose. The default I envision would be that community consensus can establish an edit filter on a case-by-case basis, but sources previously deemed unreliable would not be eligible; consensus would have to be established specifically for the use of an edit filter. Another RfC could establish criteria to consider for an edit filter to be set (e.g., widespread use by new editors, extra-unreliability threshold, etc.).
  • Community consensus can already impose pretty much anything, including edit filters. The question is whether it should be done, on a somewhat regular basis. In particular, the objective is to address potential technical limitations, or policy objections to the use of edit filters for that purpose. Edit filters are currently used for vandalism or close-to-vandalism disruptive editing from IP hoppers; the proposed use is a change of philosophy.
  • This proposal does not establish the organization of such filters. I would personally support the creation of an "unreliable sources list" (1) for easier audit of what sources were banned, when and for which reason, (2) to point out to users unfamiliar with it, (3) to allow an easier justication of a bypass of the ban (e.g. citing source Foo on the article about Foo would have legitimate uses); but such a proposal should be discussed separately.
  • Should this proposal pass, it should not be construed as an encouragement to filter as many unreliable sources as possible; neither should the absence of an edit filter against a source constitute an indication that the source is deemed reliable.


This RfC on RS/N was closed recently, establishing the use of an edit filter set on "warn" against citing the Daily Mail. I commented here. Much of the discussion focussed on whether the DM is a reliable source and whether a blanket ban on an unreliable source is acceptable or needed; however, the technical implementation was almost not discussed, even though it was an important part of the proposal in my view.

Since that RfC may constitute a de facto precedent for a blanket ban on multiple other "mainpress" but unreliable sources, concerns about the technical implementation should be addressed separately. Ideally, this would have been done beforehand, but better late than never.


  • Support as proposer. Unless technical issues arise, there is already a de facto ban on some sources (e.g. the DM) on Wikipedia: inclusion of such sources would be reverted on sight by most editors (or at least they would demand a better source for the supported material). It makes sense to use edit filters as a technical solution to at least warn against inclusion. TigraanClick here to contact me 13:45, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment- I question whether this would work. Reliability often depends on context. A given source may be completely unreliable for a statement of fact (X is Y), but perfectly reliable for a statement of opinion (Z believes that X is Y). An automated system will not be able to determine how the source is being used... whether the source is supporting a statement of fact or a statement of opinion. Blueboar (talk) 14:06, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
    • Sorry for the badgering, but well, you were the first. See "context": there is already a case of consensus for such an edit filter, so it's not a solution in search of a problem. Whether such a ban is appropriate/efficient or not is a matter for another discussion (see "clarification #1") - the question here is, if it is deemed appropriate to forbid a source (by other ways not discussed here), is an edit filter an appropriate technical implementation? TigraanClick here to contact me 14:13, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Weak support at least enough to support a trial run of such a filter, as long as it is an alert and not a blacklisting. I think it should only be used for sources that we have frequently encountered and generally put into that unreliable category but know they have other legitimate uses that come up frequently in source discussions. --MASEM (t) 15:04, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose as draconian, non-specific, CENSORSHIP, and subject to widespread abuse. Softlavender (talk) 15:06, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
    • The RfC has closed. This is not the place to challenge that result. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:19, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
      • I'm not challenging that result. I am !voting on the proposal outlined in this RfC. Softlavender (talk) 16:32, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
        • You most certainly are. The closing statement is crystal clear: "An edit filter should be put in place going forward to warn editors attempting to use the Daily Mail as a reference" You are opposing the edit filter described. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:08, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
          • To repeat: I'm not challenging that result. I am !voting on the proposal outlined in this RfC. Softlavender (talk) 18:22, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
          • Please do not challenge other users for opposing this without at least being civil about it. This is an RfC to add further restrictions to The Daily Mail, not something to reverse any restrictions made recently. --Super Goku V (talk) 06:51, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, It will immediately cue editors into the fact that the Daily Mail is unreliable, something which is not generally obvious to editors who don't live in the UK. Most editors attempting to add a Daily Mail citation that are warned in this way would simply go get a different more reliable source to replace it (this is good for the wiki). If no such source exists, then the material likely shouldn't be included anyway (also good for the wiki). As for claims of this being censorious, a recent RfC concluded with a consensus that the DM does not meet wikipedia's requirements for a reliable source, as such, why should we not stop people adding links to it as sources? Note that I oppose 'prevention', or a 'disallow' setting (even The Onion will need to be sourced from time to time when used as a primary source). I also think that a comment about "source X may be useful in Y or Z circumstances" (as outlined in the relevant RfC ruling for that source). InsertCleverPhraseHere 15:18, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Tend to oppose for three reasons. First, I don't believe the original RFC had sufficient attention and I suspect it may well be overturned or regretted before too long. Secondly, I would be reluctant to make the philosophical step that you identify in making source management a technological task rather than a human one, for all kinds of reasons (but mainly because of unanticipated effects on e.g. new users). Third, if we are using technology to police sources, we ought to start with sources that have close to 100% rejection not somewhat debatable ones like the Mail. The Land (talk) 15:20, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
    • More thoughts: Actually I am coming round to the idea of something like this in principle. I can't see any unanticipated downsides in using "log" or "tag", and either would facilitate speedy review of potentially poor sources being added. Equally, I hope we can all agree that "disallow" would be considerable overkill (as there's certainly no consensus that any of these sites should be absolutely banned from mention on Wikipedia). I still have some concerns over "warn" because generally automated messages don't work very well for new/infrequent editors (a point usually neglected in on-wiki discussion of what to say to new/infrequent editors who aren't getting things right). Still have concerns about points 1 and 3. The Land (talk) 22:03, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose We are supposed to be editors. If editing is so easy that it can be done by scripts instead, we would not be needed. Andy Dingley (talk) 15:24, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
    • That argument could be used against any of the edit filters, vandalism-reverting bots, etc. TigraanClick here to contact me 16:04, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
      • Only if you equate editors with deliberate vandals and spammers. Andy Dingley (talk) 18:56, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
        • So it is your considered opinion that most editors who attempt to use a source that results in an edit filter warning are deliberate vandals or spammers? I myself have on occasion triggered such a filter -- fooled by a source that appeared to be legit -- so am I a deliberate vandals or a spammer? --Guy Macon (talk) 16:33, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Ignorable Oppose (because I guess the ship has sailed). A trial run of an edit filter of the Daily Mail was discussed in 2011. Elsewhere on the same page Jimbo Wales says he likes use of Pending Changes. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 15:26, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support what I understand Tigraan to be actually asking: that if a community discussion results in a consensus that a particular source should not be used, then an edit filter can be employed to enforce that consensus (to log, tag, warn or disallow, as decided). In other words, an extension in the use of the edit filter system from mainly stopping vandalism to helping enforce community consensus about sources is OK. (IIRC the problem of only being able to have a very limited number of active filters has been solved.)  —SMALLJIM  16:05, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
    • Rereading the question, he said "prevent", which means disallow. The RfC already decided "yes" to warn, and the documentation for edit filters recommends first setting up a filter to log before allowing it to tag, warn, or disallow. --Guy Macon (talk) 18:41, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support warning, oppose "preventing", with detailed proposal. Detailed proposal: create an edit filter for *, *, and any other Daily Mail domains that are discovered during this RfC. Set the filter to log until the end of February, tag until the end of March, and warn starting April 1st. --Guy Macon (talk) 16:14, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose until such time as it is shown that an edit filter can be sufficiently nuanced as to handle cases covered by the RfC's closing statement in "The Daily Mail may have been more reliable historically, and it could make sense to cite it as a primary source if it is the subject of discussion.". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:50, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose WP:RS states that "Proper sourcing always depends on context; common sense and editorial judgment are an indispensable part of the process." A crude mechanical filter is therefore not appropriate. Andrew D. (talk) 17:40, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
    • Thank you for noting this. I agree 100%. Softlavender (talk) 17:43, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose for most bad sources there is still significant proper use. There are some really bad cases which can be handled by XLinkBot or even a spam-blacklist for extreme cases. --Dirk Beetstra T C 18:40, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
    • @Dirk Beetstra So, like me, you oppose a 'disallow' setting. What is your opinion on the 'warn' and other lighter settings? InsertCleverPhraseHere 00:11, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • support a filter to provide a warning along the lines that "The source X has been generally found to be unreliable by the community. Please find a better source" or the like. The devil-detail is whether it should refuse to save or allow the edit to be saved after the warning is given. Jytdog (talk) 22:16, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
    • Note that in the close of the Daily Mail RFC, we intended the edit filter to warn editors, but not disallow edits. This was a very intentional decision, and I hope the wording reflects that clearly. Tazerdadog (talk) 01:36, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support It is not a suitable source. We have lots of non suitable sources that are of no encyclopedic value. For us to become a good reference we need to use higher quality references ourselves. This is one of the success of WPMED, we require high quality sourcing for medical content. The bar needs to be raised in many other areas and this is an excellent move in that direction. It will also have deal with undisclosed paid editing. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 01:46, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support, although I would recommend two different ones, one for warning if a source is unreliable, and one for disallowing if the source is entirely unusable. -- Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 04:09, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - There is no complete ban on The Daily Mail and this should not be used to make one without consensus. To quote, "The Daily Mail is actually reliable for some subjects." These subjects might be few, but they would be suitable to use as a citation. Additionally, the amended text is not needed as the RfC also contained the following quote, "An edit filter should be put in place going forward to warn editors attempting to use the Daily Mail as a reference." --Super Goku V (talk) 06:48, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
    • Amended - The basis for why I oppose this is in bold. "Should edit filters be used to prevent citing sources deemed unreliable..." If this RfC is about adding a filter that only warning about a specific reference, then it is misleading to me to see the word prevent used. --Super Goku V (talk) 10:11, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support friendly note Seems like some of the "Oppose" votes are confused. Nobody is proposing a "ban." Just a friendly note encouraging better sourcing. I wouldn't even call it a "warning." Certainly not a "ban." Similarly, I'm waiting to hear confused shouting of WP:WPNOTCENSORED. First Light (talk) 07:34, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
    • I suggest you read the question that is asked; which is not what you assert it to be. Nonetheless, were you correct, my oppose would stand. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:38, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support friendly warning. We should absolutely have an edit filter to nicely warn editors that a certain source is not considered reliable, and should not be cited except under unusually compelling circumstances. But I think it is essential that sources can only be added if there has actually been a consensus the source is unreliable, such as with the Daily Mail. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:06, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support 'warn', not ban. As there is some wiggle room in the closing statement that the Mail can be used in some circumstances, a warning would be more appropriate than a complete ban. - The Bounder (talk) 05:45, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support warning, there is no absolute ban, but there is reason to warn or inform. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:59, 12 February 2017 (UTC) Also, support log. Alanscottwalker (talk) 12:07, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support warn, absolutely oppose ban. Our existing edit filters that rule against various URLs are already a problem too often (working around them, legitimately per WP:IAR when they're blocking something they should not, can be difficult and time-consuming). It cannot work here because something nutty, like a white-supremacist or alien-abductions newsletter, is not reliable about external facts, but remains a valid source (per WP:ABOUTSELF and WP:PRIMARY) for quoting the exact wording of statements made by their writers, interviewees, etc. I do support a warning popping up, and the edit filter creating a log, so that less fake news and WP:FRINGE gets cited and so that when the filter's warning is ignored, other editors can review the material programmatically.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  11:43, 12 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support warn and tag, but not disallow. By tagging, we will allow fast review of potentially poor sources, but even traditionally unreliable sources may need to be used occasionally, as I believe several editors mention above, so some level of editor discretion on this is appropriate. Gluons12 | 15:40, 18 February 2017 (UTC).
  • Support warn, oppose disallow because there are legitimate uses of the DM (e.g. on the article about the DM and as a source for statements it makes). Thryduulf (talk) 09:49, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Strong support for logging and maybe tagging so that we can monitor the use of the Mail as a source. The RfC is hardly an epiphany; we've known for a long time that the Mail is generally not a good source and it makes sense to examine where it is used (especially on BLPs) because it's a red flag that there could be problems with that article. I might mildly support warning, as long as the "warning" was friendly and informational rather than accusatory. I absolutely oppose disallowing, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has ever done nay serious article work: bashing the Mail is fun, but there are circumstances (albeit limited circumstances) where its use is appropriate. I would add that this should be expanded to cover other sources, particularly tabloid newspapers; I'm not sure why we're singling out the Mail over any other publication. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 14:47, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support warning for any source we generally regard as a non-RS. There's no good reason to single out the DM. SarahSV (talk) 15:24, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Maybe A few things... Edit filters cannot go off of an external list of URLs or what you. Any addition will require the assistance of an edit filter manager. If we want to just warn or log the use of the Daily Mail as a source, that we can do, but adding more and more sources, indefinitely, will be become a problem. For instance, you'll probably want to say something like "the (insert name of source) is not reliable, please find a better source". A shared filter will not be able to fill in the "insert name of source", instead it will have to say "one of the sources you added", which is not acceptable in my opinion as it would be up to the editor to figure out which source the filter is talking about. Creating a dedicated filter for each source just isn't feasible. Our modern machinery means edits usually go through pretty fast, but you have to think ahead. The filters add up, especially when targeted against a wider audience. For this filter we'd likely want to target all users, which means the filter will meet at least 1 condition for every single mainspace edit. Multiply that times however many filters we create... I don't think this RfC is a bad idea, but I'm not sure a filter is the right solution. The biggest question with filters is "does the benefit outweigh the expense", here I don't think it would, unless we target only a few sources. Instead consider the versatile User:XLinkBot, or the spam blacklist if you intend on disallowing the addition of certain sources altogether MusikAnimal talk 16:19, 19 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Support "tagging" and (polite) "warning" , strongly oppose "disallowing". It's absolutely not necessary to disallow this and also very impractical as their maybe valid exceptions under rare circumstances to cite DM. This has been properly established in discussions elsewhere. We don't need dictatorial measures but useful mechanisms that remind people of the guidelines which we trust they will implement in good faith. Mootros (talk) 11:03, 6 March 2017 (UTC)
  • Support (conditional) Log, tag and warn. No disallow. If EF throws too many hits and DM is used as a primary source often (you know, in sections like Conspiracy theories and Speculation), I suppose we can do away with the warn. I do not see any need for people adding unreliable sources in <ref> to articles, do you? --QEDK () 04:21, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Point of order[edit]

The decision at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Daily Mail RfC, ratified by five uninvolved administrators, clearly states "An edit filter should be put in place going forward to warn editors attempting to use the Daily Mail as a reference." This RfC cannot be used as a backdoor method of overturning that RfC by not having any edit filter. Tigraan made that clear when he posted this RfC, but some editors here are ignoring him --Guy Macon (talk) 18:08, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

@Guy Macon: While I can't argue that the closing statement does indeed say that, from what I can tell 2 (and a half) users fully supported an edit filter, and a further two supported it on the condition that a separate RfC was run first. This guideline states that "If a filter is designed to catch good faith edits it should not be placed in disallow mode without an appropriate consensus." I don't believe two editors to be sufficient consensus. Sam Walton (talk) 18:58, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
There were 6 editors in the RfC who supported the use of a filter, either implicitly or explicitly, and no opposition. Sunrise (talk) 19:48, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
We have a standard procedure that anyone can follow if they believe that the five closing administrators got it wrong. Posting on talk:Edit filter is not on the list and will not change the result. The standard procedure is:
  1. Post a polite query on one or more of the closing admin's talk pages, making your case and asking them to reconsider. Wait until they reply or several days have gone by. This may result in them changing the closing summary.
  2. Post a polite query on WP:AN (Not WP:ANI) making your case and asking for more uninvolved administrators to review the close. A general consensus among the administrators that the closers got it wrong will result in either the closing admins changing the result or (rarely) the closing being stricken and new uninvolved administrators being chosen to re-close the RfC with a new closing summary.
  3. Wait at least six months for the consensus to change and post another RfC.
It is a standard feature of RfCs that, barring a successful challenge as described above, everyone is required to abide by the language in the closing summary. The goal is to end the dispute. A limited amount of re-evaluating the !votes and complaining about the closing admin(s) getting it wrong is expected, as long as the result as it is written is obeyed. Extensive or prolonged complaints are generally treated with a warning then a block. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:03, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
Well, the RfC throws up a whole bunch of issues, which aren't limited to "was the RfC closed correctly", and many of which were scarcely touched on in the RfC discussion. Probably more helpful for people to keep talking about them, than to insist the subject is closed? The Land (talk) 21:34, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
I have the same feeling that the current participation seems to re-argue the previous RfC - note however that some support !voters are equally guilty of it too.
However... there has been complaints about WP:LOCALCONSENSUS before I opened this. I realize that some !voters here might have understood the logic of the premise (if banning a source is appropriate then would an EF be appropriate to do so) but decided to !vote against the premise because otherwise their !vote could have been construed as an acceptance of the previous RfC result. TigraanClick here to contact me 19:24, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Point of order 2[edit]

The proposal has been modified after several people !voted. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:41, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

Proposer's remorse suddenly strikes[edit]

Suddenly, I am having doubts about this RfC. The correct order to handle the whole thing would have been (1) establish policy for the "list of bad sources", (2) establish policy for edit-filtering those sources, (3) establish the Daily Mail fail under this, and to stop at any point were consensus fails.

The previous RfC mixed up all three, and was debated about half on point (3), half on point (1) and epsilon-esquely on point (2). In opening this RfC, I hoped to clarify point (2); but I missed in doing so that point (1) was not settled by the previous RfC, in view of WP:LOCALCONSENSUS complaints.

Should the present RfC be put on hold, conditional on a first RfC on point (1) (which may or may not overturn the previous one)? I would boldly do so, but it would look like a textbook example of unilateral action when things are not going "your" way. TigraanClick here to contact me 19:29, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

I don't see why we must proceed in that order. As long as you can get the participants to understand what this RfC is actually about, I don't see any reason why its validity should be dependent on your step 1. I don't think the Daily Mail case – although it precipitated the whole thing – is central here. The principle is whether edit filters should be used to help enforce future community decisions on sources that should not be used – or, in most cases, that should not be used without a clear understanding of why they are being used, which can be achieved with a customised "warn" edit filter message. (Per Wikipedia:Edit filter#Basics of usage: "warn ... the user will see a customisable message that the edit may be problematic. The user then has the option to either proceed with the save or abandon the edit.")  —SMALLJIM  20:45, 9 February 2017 (UTC)
The RFC should have been smaller in scope. You could have asked for a tool just to warn people about making citations to DM. Someguy1221 (talk) 01:58, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
@Someguy1221: I disagree. It is entirely appropriate for an editor to request broader consensus for the reasoning behind a specific community decision. As I understand it, the local consensus you discuss already exists. Tamwin (talk) 06:12, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
I would have agreed with you, but the RFC seems to have immediately turned into a second RFC on the Daily Mail issue anyway. Someguy1221 (talk) 07:48, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

I advise withdrawing this RfC and posting a new one with a question such as "How should we implement the decision at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Daily Mail RfC?", asking the readers to make specific proposals, and seeing if any get significant support. --Guy Macon (talk) 12:54, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

I disagree on that point. I believe that the closing statement should be followed and that we only add an edit filter to note a citation from The Daily Mail. It does not make sense to me to continue to attempt to ask for more penalities on sources like The Daily Mail without even enforcing the current set. --Super Goku V (talk) 19:20, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Did you mean warn when you wrote "note"?
  • The strongest setting is disallow. In this case, the edit is rejected, and the user will see this. (A link is provided for reporting false positives.) It is also possible to have a user's autoconfirmed status revoked if a user trips the filter.
  • The next lowest setting is to warn. In this case, the user will see a customisable message that the edit may be problematic. The user then has the option to either proceed with the save or abandon the edit.
  • The next lowest setting is to add a tag. In this case, the edit is tagged for review by patrollers.
  • The lowest setting is to log the edit. In this case, the edit is merely added to the AbuseLog.[1]
The RfC specifies warn. "note" sounds like you meant add a tag or log the edit. --Guy Macon (talk) 21:38, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
If the setting is formally called warn, then that was my intention. Either way, I do believe that we should make and enforce the already closed RfC before holding more on the subject. --Super Goku V (talk) 02:48, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Any filter editor can be bold and make the filter just for DM, regardless of the local consensus here. I would recommend warn and tag, with an informative warning, and make sure to grab any versions of the DM domain if there is more than one. Someguy1221 (talk) 03:19, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
Note The warn action will usually break bot (writeapi) edits as well (why most warn rules exclude bots). — xaosflux Talk 16:03, 19 February 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.

Confusing edit filter result[edit]

Hey guys, I'm trying to figure out why Special:AbuseFilter/examine/log/17828520 is not a positive match to Special:AbuseFilter/839. This edit was hit by 839 earlier today, but now when I run the examine utility, or the batch test, it doesn't generate a hit. I can't seem to make it hit no matter how I edit the filter in the examine function. Someguy1221 (talk) 23:09, 17 February 2017 (UTC)

@Someguy1221: Strange that loading the filter to test doesn't work, but loading up the batch testing tool and running it against user does flag the edit correctly. Sam Walton (talk) 23:13, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
I gave up on the 'examine' tool some time ago. I figured it was broken as it didn't contain all the fields being tested, as it did before I gave up on it. I've no problem with batch testing, where I also see a hit. -- zzuuzz (talk) 23:31, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
I think the examine tool also updates after the edit has been made, which isn't very useful... Sam Walton (talk) 23:35, 17 February 2017 (UTC)
Some variables are lost after the filter hits. E.g. here when examining the edit you'll notice "edit_delta" is not listed as a "variable generated for this change", so any code that uses "edit_delta" won't work when examining this particular change. I'm not sure why the software was set up like this, perhaps at run-time any unused variables are not stored for performance reasons. There's a phab at phab:T143353 MusikAnimal talk 16:27, 19 February 2017 (UTC)

Problem with abuse filter[edit]

I don't know whether this is the right place to complain about this, but I have a problem with your edit filter thing: I'm German so I usually start on the german wikipedia. I often click on the "english" version on the left and then, probably 8 out of 10 times, I don't land on the english article but on It's pretty annoying, as I always have to go back and try again, sometimes I have to try several times before I can actually see the article. Can anyone tell me why this happens? Thanks :-) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:20, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

That's an interesting issue, and I don't appear to be able to reproduce it. Could you provide some examples of pages on which this happens? Sam Walton (talk) 18:10, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
I just tried again and it seems that it only happens when I'm logged in with my german wikiaccount. Also, when I finally get past this filter, I'm never logged in on the english wikipedia. This doesn't happen in other language versions. It really happens on all pages, even the main page... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:38, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Can you confirm your username? There's some recent hits on filter 102 which look suspicious, which would prevent your English account being created. The userpage is also title-blacklisted. If that's the one, I'd like some second opinions about why it's blacklisted, but we could probably just temporarily disable the filter. -- zzuuzz (talk) 18:56, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Exploring how the Edit filter can be used to combat harassment[edit]

Reposting from WP:AN ​—DoRD (talk)​ 01:54, 22 June 2017 (UTC)


I’d like to invite you to participate in a discussion about how the Edit filter (also known as AbuseFilter) can potentially be used to combat harassment. The Anti-Harassment Tools team is looking into improving performance and adding functionality and we need your input to make our work successful.

Join the conversation at Wikipedia talk:Community health initiative on English Wikipedia#Exploring how the Edit filter can be used to combat harassment. I hope to see y’all there!

TBolliger (WMF) (talk) 23:18, 21 June 2017 (UTC) on behalf of the Anti-Harassment Tools team

ANI reform RfC[edit]

Hello. You are invited to comment on this ANI reform RfC. This invitation has been posted here because one of the RfC proposals relates to edit filters. Please do not comment in this thread; post all comments on the RfC pages. Thanks, Biblio (talk) 19:32, 5 August 2017 (UTC)

an invitation to Edit filter managers[edit]


This is an invitation to Edit filter managers and patrollers who refer to edit filters from your wiki project to share and know about effective public filters from various wikimedia wiki projects.

It is almost eight years since March 2009, that Edit filters are in use on various Wikimedia wiki projects. At meta we have started a platform page m:Edit filters benefiting to various local Wikiprojects to know good and effective (public) edit filters by sharing of relevant information with rest of wikimedia community. This will help editfilter managers, and there by concerned projects, to benefit from maximising potential of best possible (public) edit filters.

We are keen to have your participation in this collaborative and constructive endeavour and the discussions.

Mahitgar (talk) 11:29, 30 September 2017 (UTC)