Global AbuseFilter

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After an RFC the Global AbuseFilter expansion of AbuseFilter extension was enabled on small and medium Wikimedia wikis in 2014. It will greatly improve the response to cross-wiki vandalism and spam, while also increasing community control over these global actions.

Technical details[edit]

The global AbuseFilter allows privileged users (probably stewards, and another user group) to create, modify and delete filters which act on most Wikimedia projects. Individual filters could be designed to affect certain wikis, either inclusive or exclusive to a list. The range of projects affected by each filter would be determined by what the filter would be targeting, and would ensure that the filters are not active on projects that they shouldn't be. The global AbuseFilter will be hosted at Meta, and modified by users with the abusefilter-modify-global right. Global filters can be disabled and marked as private, like local filters.

Detailed logs are available for local and global filters with separate rights, meaning that local communities can keep their preferred settings on the local AbuseFilter log while a global standard can be set for the global filters.

The global AbuseFilter will have the following options:

  • The ability to log all actions which trigger a global filter.
  • The ability to tag edits on local wikis for further review.
  • The ability to provide a warning to users who trigger a filter.
    • It is not yet know how this feature would work.
    • Also needs to take into account localization/translation. Right now warnings refer to messages in the MediaWiki-namespace. We would have to display those somehow, rendered and localized, on another wiki.
  • The ability to prevent an action on a local wiki if it triggers a global filter.
  • A variable which identifies the project that the filter is about to act on; project_title would most likely be used.

The exact changes to implement the filter can be seen in this code entry and this gerrit change.

Policy details[edit]

Global AbuseFilters will be used to prevent spam and vandalism across many Wikimedia wikis. As such, they should only be made to stop patterns that affect many wikis. Global filters must be as specific as possible, and should be enabled for the shortest possible time. After no more than a week without any successful actions, filters should be disabled to prevent false positives. An exception to this policy are filters designed to just tag edits and not take further action. These filters can be left up indefinitely, since their purpose is to filter edits for further review and they do not take any automatic actions.

Implementation timeline[edit]

Global abuse filters were first enabled on metawiki, mediawikiwiki, and the testwikis on February 2013.[1] On September 2013, it was enabled on three additional wikis: incubatorwiki, specieswiki and outreachwiki.[2] On January 25, 2014, global abuse filters were enabled on all small wikis.[3] Global abuse filters were enabled on all medium-sized wikis on November 2014.[4] The private and fishbowl wikis are excluded.

Active filters[edit]

Note: This list may not be up-to-date. For an up-to-date list see Special:AbuseFilter
Last updated on November 26, 2014 by Glaisher.
Filter ID Public description Consequences Status Created by Last modified by Visibility Abuse log
46 Specific spamming Tag Enabled, Global Herbythyme[5] Billinghurst Private log
69 new user youtube, &c. Warn, Disallow, Tag Enabled, Global Billinghurst Billinghurst Private log
72 Global test filter against Ntsamr Warn, Tag Enabled, Global MF-Warburg[6] Billinghurst Private log
76 general new user spam in several ns Warn, Disallow, Tag Enabled, Global Billinghurst Billinghurst Private log
78 FPV (?) Enabled, Global Billinghurst Billinghurst Private log
80 Test to alternative of abusefilter/72 Disallow Enabled, Global Billinghurst Billinghurst Private log
82 Global spam edit summaries Enabled, Global Ajraddatz Ajraddatz Public log
84 K4 books Disallow Enabled, Global Vituzzu Vituzzu Private log
88 company spam Tag Enabled, Global Ajraddatz Billinghurst Public log
90 cdfacbbecdddfcab spam Disallow Enabled, Global Hoo man Hoo man Public log
91 "Very nice site!" spam Disallow Enabled, Global SPQRobin Trijnstel Public log
94 "just a test" vandalism Warn, Tag Enabled, Global Billinghurst Billinghurst Private log
95 Goji/Gochi Tag Enabled, Global Stemoc Billinghurst Public log
96 online shopping spam Warn, Tag Enabled, Global Billinghurst Billinghurst Public log
100 shopping spam Warn, Tag Enabled, Global Billinghurst Billinghurst Private log


  1. Gerrit change #48070: Deploy Global AbuseFilters to Meta-Wiki, MediaWiki and test.wikipedia
  2. Gerrit change #82649: Enable Global AbuseFilter for more wikis
  3. Gerrit change #109435: Enable global AbuseFiters for all small wikis
  4. Gerrit change #170311: Enable global AbuseFilter on medium sized Wikis
  5. Although Billinghurst made it global.
  6. MF-W did not create it with "block" enabled. That was enabled by Billinghurst. Now removed.