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Partial blocks on Meta-Wiki[edit]

Hello Meta contributors,

Anti-Harassment Tool team's is doing ongoing work to improve Special:Block. Last month partial block was introduced on Italian Wikipedia and is now being used on on a regular basis to address vandalism and other kinds of abusive edits. During this first month, the majority of partial blocks set on Italian Wikipedia were to ip contributors and newly created named accounts that are doing vandalism and other common types of abuse. There were also a few partial blocks of ip range blocks making similar abusive edits. Partial blocks makes it possible for the block to be targeted to specific pages and prevent collateral damage that can happen with range blocks.

Since Italian Wikipedia found partial blocks useful and there are no serious known issues or bugs, our team is planning to slowly introduce partial blocks into more Foundation wikis. Our team decided to prioritize deploying to Meta before other wikis because there is the added benefit of giving Meta admins the opportunity to familiarize themselves with the best uses for partial blocks before it comes to their local wiki. Of course, the primary reason for deploying on Meta is so that Meta admins can get the full benefit of all Special:Block's features.

It is scheduled to SWAT deploy to Meta on Thursday, February 21 at 00:00–01:00 UTC (Wednesday 16:00–17:00 PST.) The interface will change and the new partial block function will be added. I anticipate that the most common uses will be similar to requests for blocks made on Meta:Requests for help from a sysop or bureaucrat. Since currently Meta does not have a detailed policy about blocks, more documentation and discussion about partial blocks uses is probably not needed before the feature is introduced.

For anyone interested in a more detailed policy or guideline, Italian Wikipedia wrote a page that explains the use of partial blocks. Something similar could be added to Meta.

Let me know if you have any questions or thoughts about introducing partial blocks on Meta. For the Anti-Harassment Tools team. SPoore (WMF) Strategist, Community health initiative (talk) 23:17, 19 February 2019 (UTC)

Just my 2 cents: You can't be a BS in one part of the project and a constructive contributor in another place. This sounds like you can be tolerated in a project as long as you are behaving well on some part of a project while being a BS on some other part of the project. — regards, Revi 00:51, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
@-revi: Yes, though we know that we have certain ranges where the dipsticks hang out who like to vandalise certain pages, and we don't block these ranges due to collateral damage. This could allow better-tuned restrictions on pages like SRP, SRG and some user talk pages.  — billinghurst sDrewth 01:37, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
@-revi: and @Billinghurst:, thank you both for considering the possible new uses for partial block. We are collecting metrics about its use that we will make public. And I'm reviewing the logs every few days to get a sense of how it is being used. It is mostly being used to block ip contributors and newly created named accounts that are vandalizing. Also some range blocks. A few for copyright violations. As billinghurst says, a partial block allows for a more targeted use that can limit collateral damage. Over time we'll see how else the use evolves. SPoore (WMF) Strategist, Community health initiative (talk) 17:16, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
@SPoore (WMF): The one thing that I would love to see is the ready ability to block an IP address/account from a page itself, probably from the page history and diffs (admin gadget possibility?). On a page history/diff, one click "partial" and it prefills the page name, partial block, and removes the other fields. [Some clarity would be helpful around ticking "stop account creation" with a partial block as that seems a little weird, and only relevant to full blocks.]  — billinghurst sDrewth 00:14, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
@Billinghurst:, I'll verify with Trevor and the developers about how the "stop account creation" should be working with partial block added and make sure that it is working as expected and the documentation is accurate. During the next 3 or 4 months, our team plans to finish adding the basic level of functionality for pb and fix the bugs that significantly interfere with its use. Then we can begin prioritizing the addition of more improvements like the one that you're suggesting. In all likelihood, more major work won't happen until after we finish work on a new User reporting system. But we will need to begin collecting and prioritizing ideas about more blocking improvements well in advance so keep on thinking about ways that pb can be better integrated into admin and functionary workflows. SPoore (WMF) Strategist, Community health initiative (talk) 15:30, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
Changes related to the checkbox for "stop account creation" should go out this week. See Phab ticket T208510 for the working we are doing. I think it will address the issue you raise. SPoore (WMF) Strategist, Community health initiative (talk) 16:44, 28 February 2019 (UTC)

Update of Deletion Policy[edit]

Meta:Deletion policy has been updated in accordance with this RfC. StevenJ81 (talk) 18:05, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

@StevenJ81: The different subcategories of types of deletions should still be numbered for ease of reference (preferably they should keep their numbers from before the update for consistency if possible) and MediaWiki:Deletereason-dropdown should be updated to match. Nihlus 11:06, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
I've made a partial update of the MediaWiki message. That's simple than to renumber the whole Deletion Policy IMHO. I'll continue updating the MediaWiki message later unless someone else wants to continue (and I do not object). —MarcoAurelio (talk) 12:32, 22 February 2019 (UTC)
No objections, thanks for closure of RFC and all that contributed, it's long overdue. For the numbering is a little odd but I think we will get used to it. Thanks all for the efforts.--Cohaf (talk) 06:01, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
The issue with a renumber is that it changes all the historical blocks. Maybe just ditch the numbering in the drop down and just have the reasoning.  — billinghurst sDrewth 06:50, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
Which is why the original numbering should be kept and anything additional assigned to higher numbers. Nihlus 06:52, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
yes, that, or the removal of the numbering from the dropdowns.  — billinghurst sDrewth 12:51, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
I don't think that would be beneficial to users, especially if they read the site in a different language. The numbers provide an easy reference to the actual reason listed. Nihlus 15:18, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
I'll be boldy updating these unless someone has a good reason not to. Nihlus 13:45, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
(Outdent) Go ahead, I like Nihlus' idea. — regards, Revi 13:56, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Done. Someone who is more familiar with the translation markup might want to double check to make sure nothing was messed up in my edit. Nihlus 14:24, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the update, seems fine.--Cohaf (talk) 15:44, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
I have updated the delete reason dropdown accordingly. Thanks. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 21:25, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Intercultur 2019[edit]

It has been a month and apparently there is no winner. What happened? I have not heard? --Mr Misterio2 (talk) 19:42, 2 March 2019 (UTC)

You should contact the organizer, which is likely to be the creator of that page. — regards, Revi 13:13, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

How to begin on Wikimedia[edit]

I have always wondered how Wikimedia works. Do I take pictures and upload them here, do I get pictures with copyright permission and upload them here, or how does this work? I hope to make constructive edits to Wikimedia and redeem myself. GermanGamer77 (talk) 17:57, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

@GermanGamer77: Pictures and other media go to c:. That is also a multilingual project and if you are literate in German, there will be tutorials there and a community with whom you can communicate. A nice thing about Commons is that it is also able to accept files from Flickr using their upload system (called the Upload Wizard). Let me know if you have more questions. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:05, 7 March 2019 (UTC)
@Koavf: Okay, I'm gonna go to c:. See you! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by GermanGamer77 (talk)

Inactive local bots[edit]

We currently have 45 flagged bots while only 17 have performed any edit this year: https://tools.wmflabs.org/meta/stewardry/metawiki?bot=1 (I've counted 'fake' bot accounts such as MediaWiki default & friends which are no real accounts but they are flagged). Given that a bot flag is meant not to flood recent changes while editting at high rate and considering that most are not editting, I see no reason for them to still be flagged. As such, I'd like to ask the community to enact an inactivity policy whereas any flagged bot that has not editted for a whole year will have their bot flag removed. Restoration of the flag upon request without the need of a new BRfA or a expedited one could be a posibility to consider as well. I don't think we should be overly bureaucratic here. But IMHO there's no sense to keep most of the bots listed there with a bot flag when they ain't making any use of it. Thanks for your consideration. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 19:00, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

Support that. --Krd 19:03, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes, I'm happy with that. I doubt re-granting will be an issue for most of them, but if operators do return then a new BRFA wouldn't be too onerous. Since many bots are replaced once inactive, I think having a discussion to see where the returning bot would fit makes sense. – Ajraddatz (talk) 19:05, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Maybe a little bit longer than 12 months (18 or 24) - some bots may only do something annually - but yes lets de-flag old inactive bots. The bot request process is fairly easy here, so coming back should be an non-issue. — xaosflux Talk 19:33, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
Good point. I'm open to 14 months, for example; I see Community Tech Bot and Alch Bot as examples of bots that run at specific periods of time a year. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 19:42, 15 March 2019 (UTC)
I fully agree in principle, and would be OK for anything from 14 mos. to about 24. (I now count 18 bots having made edits in '19, plus five more that made an edit between 18 months ago and the beginning of 2019, and three more yet going back to two years before today.) StevenJ81 (talk) 15:22, 18 March 2019 (UTC)
24 months seems fair as per AAR although I hope it'll be lower such as 14 months. No harm removing the flags of inactive bots as they can be regained without much fuss.--Cohaf (talk) 07:10, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

Shall we warn bot operators of inactive bots in advance before removing the flag for inactivity? If yes, how much in advance? —MarcoAurelio (talk) 12:05, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

I definitely think this should be done, especially since there are a few use cases where bot flags can be used without editing (API rights, evading rate limits, ...). Since such removals are not urgent, I think one could wait until a user replies up to one or a few months. --Vogone (talk) 12:46, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Months, really? If the operator is active, they should be able to reply in a week, and if they are inactive there also is no reason to wait a month or longer. --Krd 12:52, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Really. --Vogone (talk) 13:04, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
We do a one week notification on enwiki, I can't see needing more than a 2 week notification here though. — xaosflux Talk 16:52, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I'd go with one week as well. I'd find very concerning that a bot operator isn't able to respond in month(s) to questions regarding their bots... —MarcoAurelio (talk) 21:02, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
I am a bit confused about this assessment, since you yourself pointed out that there are bots which only operate periodically and not in every single week of the year (and so might operators of these bots), but my main point is that a notification should occur. I am not feeling too strongly about the exact duration. --Vogone (talk) 22:19, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps I had to detail my answer a bit, sorry. I was trying to say that I would find concerning that an operator isn't able to reply in one month to any questions regarding to their bot(s) if they're operating. I'd not leave my bots running if I knew that I was going to be away for a long time (emphasys in if I knew, because no one knows if they'll get sick tomorrow, or will have an accident or a piano will fell over them or pass away). If they are not operating, while less concerning, I think the process should be fair but quick. If one week is too short, I'm fine with two weeks. Given that we give administrators one week to sign if they want to keep their permissions on April's and October's inactivity runs, I'd say to use one week here as well to match with other policies. Best regards, —MarcoAurelio (talk) 23:13, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
A week most ideal per above but 2 weeks may also work. Seriously I see no difference if the interval is 1 week or 2 weeks as compared to say a month.--Cohaf (talk) 07:10, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

Proposed partial text from what has been discussed already:

Bot accounts inactive for at least 14 months will have their bot flags removed by a bureaucrat. Bot operators whose bots are inactive for a period equal or superior to said 14 months must be duly warned one week in advance in their Meta-Wiki talk pages before removal can take place. If after a week the operator does not reply to the notice, the bot account will be deflagged. Reactivation of the bot will require a new request for bot status. (edited)

Now, I think that if the operator replies and says that the bot is no longer being used and flags can be removed, then we can go ahead and remove them (common sense). What if the operator replies and states that they wish the bot flags to be kept? Shall that mean automatic keeping? Thanks, —MarcoAurelio (talk) 18:50, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

Hm, I am not sure if this wording works. One only knows whether and account has been inactive for 14 months after 14 months of inactivity, there is no way to place a warning in advance unless one makes some presumption. And if such a presumption is intended, it again makes me wonder why it has to be as little as one week and not something along the lines "warning will be issued after 14 months of inactivity, removal after 15 months if inactivity is unjustified" (or 13/14 or 12/14 or whatever). I would suggest using common sense with regards to the question if a bot flag is to be removed for inactivity or not (keep it on if it appears as if there is still a use for it, take it off if this does not seem to be the case). --Vogone (talk) 19:17, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
One only knows whether and account has been inactive for 14 months after 14 months of inactivity, there is no way to place a warning in advance unless one makes some presumption. I don't think this is an issue. A bot can be made to keep log of activity of all bots and also notify bureaucrats to check and take action after a specified time. –Ammarpad (talk) 20:24, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Vogone is right. What I had in mind was that operators should be warned after the bot reaches or surpasses said 14 months of inactivity. Again, my bad. Amending. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 20:42, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
No issues but "superior" sounds odd, let's use the normal "longer"? Support.--Cohaf (talk) 14:00, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
To deal with the "what if they reply but don't do anything" part and other timing issues - I suggest that once this is closed "round 1" is initiated, but after that this gets processed only on a schedule (perhaps with the admin activity schedule) - there really is no need for a "daily" type rolling feed for this. — xaosflux Talk 19:43, 24 March 2019 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Yes, I agree with doing it once a year or so. What do you think we should do with operators that reply saying that they want to get their bots active again (thus preventing removal) but in the next inactivity check they still did nothing? Can we empower bureaucrats to automatically remove those bots right away? —MarcoAurelio (talk) 09:53, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
Not sure, it shows the operator is still around and able to contribute so I'm not too worried. Perhaps a second threshold for automatic removal after 24 months? It isn't very hard to get a bot flag on meta if you are going to do anything helpful afterall. — xaosflux Talk 12:46, 25 March 2019 (UTC)

Create a template for Machine Translated links of a page?[edit]

Hi I have seen templates like {{langauges}} but seems not very widely used, even at meta. I wonder, have anyone ever attempted to create a template that add links to machine translated version of the same page, like what I do at m::User:Xinbenlv_bot, except for the link should be able to adapt to the page url?

This is what I refer to

For machine translation:

Xinbenlv (talk) 17:16, 18 March 2019 (UTC)

More commonly than the old "languages" template, Meta:Translate extension is used here at meta. I do not believe, however, that providing links to gtranslate automatically is useful, since that would rather discourage proper translation, looking as if a translation "already exists", even though gtranslate often is not (or only with great difficulties) intelligible. FWIW, "Deutsche" (I assume this is gtranslated as well) is not correct either, it should be "Deutsch". --Vogone (talk) 12:39, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

Template:Steward requests/Permissions/CheckUser[edit]

Shouldn't this template (Template:Steward requests/Permissions/CheckUser) be updated? I still saw "An email template is available for requesting new users to identify." Which is obsolete since we already use Phabricator per Confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information/How to sign?--AldNonymousBicara? 13:22, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

I understood that the email template is there so we can request users to identify. Though I never saw anyone using it. Stryn (talk) 13:38, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Well I once used that template, but afaik it's no longer used, can we update it?--AldNonymousBicara? 13:57, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
It is referencing Steward handbook/email templates, which stewards can use to ask people to sign the paperwork. It is not saying to email to identify. The email template may need a few edits to bring it up to date (unsure, haven’t checked), but it’s existence is fine. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:33, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
That's really confusing, really need an update IMO.--AldNonymousBicara? 14:54, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
The English is fairly straightforward, and if you click the wikilink the meaning becomes clear if there was confusion. I suppose Stewards may use this email template to request users sign the agreement could be a way of phrasing it, but I don’t really think it matters since the guidance is aimed at stewards and none of them have complained about it. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:11, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
The issue is with multilang, in case you haven't noticed, that template is translatable (Template:Steward requests/Permissions/CheckUser), rather than directing user towards that template/email (Steward handbook/email templates) that is in full English I would rather directing it directly to another translatable/translated pages such as Confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information/How to sign. Also "The English is fairly straightforward" in case you haven't noticed, not all of local wiki user speak English.--AldNonymousBicara? 15:13, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
It’s not aimed at local users requesting permissions. It’s aimed at stewards to help them get people to sign. I know it’s translatable: my point was that in terms of simple English that is easy to translate or for non-native speakers to understand, the construction is about as good as it gets for those purposes. If someone wants to translate the email template into other languages I think that’d be a great thing, but getting rid of a tool that can be used to help people do things when none of the people who are supposed to use it have complained about being confused seems like a bad idea. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:19, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
Like I said, not all volunteer who want CU access can read English, also, your comment didn't make any sense to me, I kind of getting anglocentrics vibe from you, so, based on your comments, every applicant should understand English? Isn't this wrong? What we do here in meta is to help local user, not the vice versa. In case you haven't notice yet, you are commenting on place called Babel. Sentence like "It’s not aimed at local users requesting permissions" is already unhelpful enough for me.--AldNonymousBicara? 15:26, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
I’m not anglocentric, and accusing me of that won’t help get the resolution to the concern you raised. I responded trying to explain what was being said. The sentence you are discussing is a direction for stewards. It isn’t there for the people requesting CU access. It is there to help stewards in giving them CU access and remind stewards of policy and their own practices and resources.

What your concern seems to be is that there should be a link helping people find the instructions and sign it in their own language. I agree with that, and think it should be added. That doesn’t mean we should get rid of a resource that can help people sign. The solution to these sort of problems is almost always more information, not less. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:36, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

Ey, TonyBallioni, 1st What you've been talking about is not directed toward stewards, it's directed toward WMF trust and safety (in the old time it's directed toward WMF Legal), also its the old email template which haven't been used since ages. 2nd the new email template is for steward to send to applicant, afaik no stewards even used it, hence what Stryn said. 3rd, no stewards have ever used this since they can just bypass it by telling the user directly visit Confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information/How to sign onwiki instead of using Email which is more productive, rather than Stewards sending that email to the user in full English. I know what you mean for ease and something, but it's unhelpful when stewards sending that email in full english toward user that don't speak english. Well in any case I will wait other opinion instead--AldNonymousBicara? 15:45, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

┌─────────────────────────────────┘
Okay. I think you’re misunderstanding both me and what the template is saying. The sentence you are talking about is included in the section that starts Stewards:. That is what I mean when I say it is directed at them. It is letting Stewards know that the template exists and they can send it as an email if they want to. It is not instructions for people requesting access, but for stewards in assigning it. The wikilink to the templates is there for them to use if they need it, and I don’t think it is harmful.

On the other points, sure, I agree with you that on-wiki is better, but there are some users who have disabled cross-wiki notifications and so email may be best. As I said, the solution to this sort of thing is almost always more information, not less. Keeping the email template for stewards to use if needed isn’t harmful. Adding an on-wiki link like you suggest is also likely helpful. The solution here is probably to do both, not one or the other. TonyBallioni (talk) 15:57, 23 March 2019 (UTC)

Ahaa... That's what you mean. Then I agree keeping it (the email template) there, but the addition of Confidentiality agreement for nonpublic information/How to sign directly on Template:Steward requests/Permissions/CheckUser still on the table, I'm waiting for another opinion of adding it directly on that template.--AldNonymousBicara? 16:01, 23 March 2019 (UTC)
  • I changed my mind after rethinking it again, the addition is fine, but usually from the usual action of stewards, they already directed user themselves to said pages, so yes, that email template might be necessary to unresponsive applicants.--AldNonymousBicara? 07:05, 25 March 2019 (UTC)
Checkmark This section is resolved and can be archived. If you disagree, replace this template with your comment. --AldNonymousBicara? 07:05, 25 March 2019 (UTC)