Research:Ideas/The effect of abuse filter

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki


This page documents a proposed research project.
Information may be incomplete and may change before the project starts.

Abuse filter is an extension (mw:Extension:AbuseFilter) for MediaWiki that allows users to admins and other privileged users to design rules based on regular expressions that will tag edits, warn editors or even prevent revisions from being saved. This system was enabled in order to help minimize and call attention to vandalism in popular wikis like the English Wikipedia.

My idea is to gather a historical dataset of abuse filter actions for the English Wikipedia and answer a set of questions:

  • How many revisions are filtered/tagged/warned and how has that been changing over time?
  • What affect did abuse filter have on the work load of admins and counter-vandalism editors?
  • How often did the abuse filter tag/warn/prevent edits by good-faith editors?

This work is closely related to Research:Blocks on the English-language Wikipedia.


  1. By preventing the thrill of having successfully vandalized Wikipedia, abuse filter scares off would-be vandals more effectively than fast-acting counter-vandal bots like ClueBot NG.

Support needed[edit]

  • Someone who is familiar with the usage and history of AbuseFilter on enwiki to consult about data.
  • Someone to help with modeling work
  • An army of hand-coders to categorize block reasons

Ready to create a project page?