Research:Account creation campaigns/Anonymous editors

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This page documents preliminary results from two account creation campaigns:

  1. anoneditwarning — placed on MediaWiki:Anoneditwarning on English Wikipedia
  2. semiprotectednotice — placed on MediaWiki:Protectedpagetext on English Wikipedia

We launched and analyzed these two campaigns together because they target a very similar population of users. MediaWiki:Anoneditwarning is presented to all users editing while logged out, and invites them to either create an account or log in. MediaWiki:Protectedpagetext is presented to all users who click "View source" on a semi-protected page.

Preliminary data from first ~2 days[edit]

These campaigns were launched on 2013-06-19. We observed the following number of account creation events in the server side account creation log, from the earliest event at 2013-06-19 13:10:08 through 2013-06-21 19:14:25:

  • anoneditwarning — 992 accounts registered (not counting one test account)
  • semiprotectednotice — 5 accounts registered
  • 9310 total registrations (including 543 via mobile)

As you can see, users who sign up via the semi-protected notice comprise a tiny proportion of all registrations. Users who register via the anonymous editor notice comprise 10% of all signups during the same period – 11% if you do not include mobile users, who aren't presented with the option to edit – making them a not insignificant source of new Wikipedians. The very small number of registrations via the "View source" message can be accounted for by one of several potential explanations. First, the number of protected pages in the encyclopedia is relatively small. Second, of the users who might click "View source", they are confronted with a very verbose message with many links, unlike the anonymous editor message, which provides only three links in a one paragraph message.

Looking at the editing activity for these users, we see the following results for their edit counts across all namespaces in this time period:

  • anoneditwarning — 636 with 1+ edits (65%), 79 with 5+ (7%)
  • semiprotectednotice — 5 accounts registered, two of which edited

Full month of data[edit]

This following is anoneditwarning campaign data from August 2013. (One wiki with fewer than 10 signups removed.)

Wiki Anoneditwarning signups Total signups % of total
enwiki 14538 123156 12%
eswiki 5052 27199 19%
frwiki 1524 10582 14%
dewiki 1375 7786 18%
zhwiki 1284 14955 9%
jawiki 983 4654 21%
ruwiki 599 9298 6%
itwiki 280 4261 7%
plwiki 220 1888 12%
ptwiki 211 8681 2%

The following is a full month of anoneditwarning data from September 2013 (one wiki with fewer than 10 signups removed).

Wiki Anoneditwarning signups Total signups % of total
enwiki 12466 125063 10%
eswiki 4929 27566 18%
frwiki 1596 12512 13%
dewiki 1245 7549 16%
zhwiki 999 12751 8%
jawiki 880 4370 20%
ruwiki 542 10587 5%
itwiki 335 4553 7%
plwiki 237 2344 10%
ptwiki 191 8166 2%

See also[edit]