Stewards' noticeboard

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Welcome to the stewards' noticeboard. This message board is for discussing issues on Wikimedia projects that are related to steward work. Please post your messages at the bottom of the page and do not forget to sign it. Thank you.
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Upcoming changes[edit]

There are a lot of small changes happening in the next couple of weeks, and as the stewards may get questions, I wanted to share my list with you all:

  • There's a change to how columns in reference lists are handled, at the request of the German Wikipedia. This change will improve accessibility by automatically formatting long lists of <ref>s into columns, based on each reader's screen width. This is being deployed "default off", because some (but not all) local templates are incompatible with it.
    • What you need to do: Projects that are ready to use the feature can file a Phabricator task or talk to me, and we'll get their wiki on the list for the next config change.
  • The label on the "Save changes" button will change on most sister projects tomorrow (Wednesday) to say "Publish page". This has been discussed for years, is supported by user research, and is meant to be clearer for new contributors.
    • What you need to know: No matter what the problem is, the solution seems to be "talk to me". That includes everything from bad translations to outdated screenshots to people with new ideas about what the button ought to say (which needs to be cleared with the Legal team in advance).
  • The color and shape of the "Save changes" (or now "Publish page"), "Show preview" and "Show changes" buttons on some desktop wikitext editors will change. (phab:T111088)
    • What you can do about it: Unfortunately, it is not technically possible to completely override this change and restore the appearance of the old buttons for either your account or an entire site. I hope that we will not discover that most Wikimedians continue to dislike big, bright blue buttons even after they've had a couple of weeks to get used to the change. Also, I have some worries about whether this is going to break WikEd, which seems to be suffering from bitrot. This is riding the normal deployment train, so you should be able to see it at in about 24 hours.
  • Do you all remember last April, when nobody could edit for about 30 minutes twice, because of some work that Technical Ops was doing on the servers? The same kind of planned maintenance is happening again. It's currently scheduled for Wednesday, April 19th and Wednesday, May 3rd. The time of day is unknown, but it will probably afternoon in Europe and morning in North America (14:00 UTC is my first guess). This will be announced repeatedly, but please mark your calendars now.
    • We did a lot of outreach and announcements about this last year, including last-second banners. It mostly seemed to work. If you have ideas about how to make that process better, then please let me know.

That's everything on my mind at the moment (except the death of Tidy, but that's a project for another day), but I may have forgotten something. If you have questions (about this or any other WMF work), then please {{ping}} me, and I'll see what I can find out for you. Thanks, Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 19:54, 13 March 2017 (UTC)


  • A handful of communities have already requested the columns-for-references change. Requests are being granted promptly to any community that requests it. I plan to contact small wikis about this sometime in May.
  • "Publish page" has been deployed to nearly all the wikis at this point. There have been very few problems or even questions – less than 1% of affected wikis, I think. I've got a couple of requests for Legal to process.
  • I've asked them to postpone the BIG blue button change until (at least) after the server switch work is completed.
  • Tech/Server switch 2017 is scheduled for 14:00 UTC on 19 April and 3 May 2017. Please see my recent post to enwiki's WP:AN for a reminder about the problem that Special:RecentChanges had during this work last year.

As always, if you have questions, then please ping me. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 17:14, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Addition to abusefilter[edit]

Would SKS please add "" to Special:AbuseFilter/69. New spamming link. Thanks.  — billinghurst sDrewth 23:31, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

Done --Melos (talk) 23:54, 2 April 2017 (UTC)

continue sysop rights (lt:s + lt:q)[edit]



I want to continue maintain these rights. --Redagavimas (talk) 08:15, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

You should post notices to the communities. Ruslik (talk) 13:10, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Content dispute on[edit]

Active edit war occurring here. I made some changes to the page which expanded the table and added colors - those changes were then reverted by LegoFan4000 without good reason. I reverted the revert becasue the revert had been done without reason, and things just escalated from there. 23:57, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

I will stop now, but note that the IP used profane language on my UserPage there. Also note that the IP is banned from the EN Wikipedia. LegoFan4000 (talk) 00:06, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
This was handled by a local sysop. This kind of escalation was entirely unnecessary. I urge you ( not to pursue it any further. -- The Voidwalker Discuss 00:19, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
Though judging by the previous blocks on other wikimedia wikis, I'd suggest a global block on the IP. LegoFan4000 (talk) 00:29, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
For goodness sake, it is a test wiki, you shouldn't need to be editing on user pages, and you shouldn't need to be having edit wars that need reporting to stewards. [Some people need to have a good hard look at themselves!]  — billinghurst sDrewth 06:03, 6 April 2017 (UTC)
Test failed. --Amanojaku (talk) 06:15, 6 April 2017 (UTC)

Special:AbuseFilter/68 making global[edit]

Would a steward please review Special:AbuseFilter/68 and consider it as a global flagging abuse filter. I know that there is some overlap with another filter, and not getting a big enough pool of messages relying on meta message pool. I would like to assess it against other filters to see if we are getting more with the filter than the overlap. If that is occurring then we can make some assessment of its value to stop other spambots. Thanks.  — billinghurst sDrewth 08:22, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Ruslik (talk) 08:52, 9 April 2017 (UTC)

Special:AbuseFilter/69 adding domain[edit]

Status:    Done

To Special:AbuseFilter/69 could we please have added the domain "", which is a free webhost and starting to be abused by spambots. Thanks.

Yes check.svg Done, Linedwell [talk] 12:25, 10 April 2017 (UTC)
Status:    In progress

Can I also ask for "" to be added to the same filter, another free webhost that is being used by spambots. Thanks.  — billinghurst sDrewth 11:17, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

master list of projects with advanced permission holders?[edit]

Hello stewards. I am a member fo the oversight team on en.wp. We have an issue where users fairly regularly contact us about suppressing edits on other Wikipedias. Obviously we can't do anything with these requests except to try and point them to someone who can actually help with it. And that's where we sometimes run into a problem. The only way I am currently aware of to figure out if another project even has oversighters is to go to the page on oversight at en.wp and check the interwiki links in the sidebar to see if they project they need help on has the same page. There's about 25 links there, which is less than 10% of all Wikipedia projects. So we end up telling them we can't tell if that project has oversighters or not, which isn't so helpful, and if they can't figure it out to contact you guys. I feel like there has got to be a better way.

So, I'm hoping there maybe already is some central location that lists which projects have users with which advanced permissions and I'm just not aware of it. Failing that I would propose that such a page should exist. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:30, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

@Beeblebrox: there is Oversight policy/Requests for oversight. Matiia (talk) 23:33, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Awesome, thank you. And it appears it really is as few projects as it appeared. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:40, 11 April 2017 (UTC)


Hello, dear Wikipedia administration. I’m a founder of the Zazaki Wikipedia page and was/am one of the admins. I have been sick for two years now. Thus, I wasn't able to take care of the page. Fortunately, I have recovered and can look after the page again. Therefore, as the founder of this page I would like to get my admin rights back. Meanwhile, the discussion process was too short, there was no policy that made in Zazaki Wikipedia in this way. I’ll be more careful in the future. Best Regards. Xoser (talk) 23:04, 14 April 2017 (UTC)

Important note: This local discussion only has four votes. Three people (Xarpêtıj, Megatronom, Gulenherzan) are sockpuppets of Erdemaslancan. They have been pointed out now and banned. The other (Otrox62) is a new user (for 3 months). Therefore, the voting is not fair. Xoser (talk) 00:04, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

(Non-steward comment) I am not sure this request should have been fulfilled. The accounts listed had very few edits and nearly all of them were to that desysop request. --Rschen7754 00:17, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Did you understand the subject perfectly? I complain about the accounts listed. They are sockpuppets. I would like to get my admin rights back. Xoser (talk) 00:33, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, I am saying that I do not think your rights should have been removed. However, as I am no longer a steward, I unfortunately cannot do anything about it. --Rschen7754 01:28, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Sorry. I got it wrong. Thank you. What else can I do? Xoser (talk) 01:37, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
@Xoser: Sysop flag restored but you have to become active again because you meet the AAR inactivity criteria. --Melos (talk) 08:39, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
@Melos: Thank you very much. I will be more active. Xoser (talk) 10:26, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Older proposal closures[edit]

Some of the closure proposals at "Proposals for closing projects" need conclusion, like the Beta Wikiversity and Japanese Wikiversity. Also, I commented at Talk:Proposals for closing projects one month ago without receiving replies. Thoughts? --George Ho (talk) 01:17, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

@George Ho: Those are community discussions outside of specific steward control (for scope, please see Stewards). If anyone has a role there it would be the Language committee.  — billinghurst sDrewth 02:45, 15 April 2017 (UTC)
Ah, got it. Already pinged a few. Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 04:03, 15 April 2017 (UTC)

Global sysop wikis[edit]

GS says the following:

"By default, global sysops may use this global user group's permissions on wikis that meet one or both of the following criteria: fewer than ten administrators exist; or fewer than three administrators have made a logged action within the past two months. Projects may opt-in or opt-out at their own discretion if they obtain local consensus."

However, there are quite a few wikis that qualify for being GS wikis (since they no longer have enough active admins), but have no known opt-out discussion. I know in the past there has been reluctance to add wikis to the set based on the < 10 total admins criterion, if not both criteria. IMHO the policy should be enforced, or a discussion should be had to change the criteria. Thoughts? --Rschen7754 03:46, 17 April 2017 (UTC)

I remember having talked to MarcoAurelio about setting up some kind of table listing the community opt-outs which are known. This would surely reduce the reluctance to enforce this policy because it would be clearer which communities have already had discussions on this. --Vogone (talk) 13:00, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Like when we developed AAR to manage a fall into the void of missing admins and 'crats, there would seem to be a point in time where a community that has become moribund, for activity or for admin inactivity, should fall back to the default. I feel that an opt-out should only be maintained when the community and its administrators are clearly active.  — billinghurst sDrewth 13:22, 17 April 2017 (UTC)
Yes, it's on my to-do list. No time currently & fetching the logs is a bit of a pain. So far I remember anwiki, anwiktionary, amwiktionary and some requests at Talk:Global_sysops/wiki_set. Starting building a table with such data would be easy and we can complete it as time goes by. —MarcoAurelio 09:58, 20 April 2017 (UTC)

User group expiry coming soon[edit]

In response to one of the top wishes on the 2016 Community Wishlist Survey, the new "user group expiry" feature will be enabled on Monday. This will allow stewards, as well as local admins and bureaucrats, to add users to (local) user groups for a fixed period of time. It is anticipated that this will assist with the SRP process.

Brief documentation is available at mw:Help:User rights and groups#Assigning and revoking user groups, and if you have advanced rights at the Beta Cluster, you can test out this feature there, as it has been enabled there for some time.

One feature that is currently missing is notification to users in advance of the expiry of their rights. Unfortunately the infrastructure is not set up to allow this type of notification to be sent. To make matters more complicated, a closely related task has been earmarked for use in development outreach programs, which has the effect of creating uncertainty in the development process. I hope to be able to get these notifications working before the end of the year, but I can make no promises, because it depends on so many external factors, and I am only a volunteer developer. Perhaps stewards will have to continue to issue notifications manually, according to the current process.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask me (a ping would be appreciated). Thanks, This, that and the other (talk) 11:32, 18 April 2017 (UTC)

Maybe a reasonable temporary workaround for the lack of notification is to build a list of users per expiry period, and use massmessage once a month to notify the person and/or community that an expiry is approaching. @This, that and the other: nice development!  — billinghurst sDrewth 15:09, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Awesome news! Users not getting notification in advance is not a big problem. AFAIK we don't usually warn users before their rights will expire. It should be users' business to keep in mind when their rights will expire, though it's not prohibited to warn them in advance. Stryn (talk) 16:59, 18 April 2017 (UTC)
Just a note, Looks like removal won't be logged as it's already mentioned as temp in the approval log. This might be little confusing when looking at the logs but should be ok IMO.--Shanmugamp7 (talk) 17:20, 19 April 2017 (UTC)
I suggest that, until we've verified that everything works as expected, we keep listing people on SRAT so we can verify if the system is working properly or not. —MarcoAurelio 09:51, 20 April 2017 (UTC)
@Billinghurst, Stryn, MarcoAurelio, and Shanmugamp7: Will any of you be around during the SWAT deployment window from 1300 to 1400 UTC today? It'd be useful to have one of you on board while we deploy user group expiry, to make sure the feature works correctly. I can ask WMF staff to perform tests if need be, but they are likely to be busy with other things during the SWAT window... If around from 1300 today, it'd be great if you could come into #wikimedia-operations on IRC. This, that and the other (talk) 05:05, 24 April 2017 (UTC)
Mostly I will be available on IRC during this time, you can ping me if you want us to test something--Shanmugamp7 (talk) 12:42, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

This has now been Yes check.svg Deployed. Thanks to hashar for deploying and Shanmugamp7 for his testing. There are two caveats in addition to the one I mentioned above:

  • The task phab:T163691 was filed after the deployment. This is a bit annoying, but given that temporary rights are usually assigned for a long period of time (months rather than minutes) it shouldn't cause trouble in the near future. I'll wait for opinions from the WMF Performance Team before taking any action on that task.
  • There is a temporary issue with Echo notifications when the user group expiry date is altered: see my comment at phab:T159416#3206157. This will be resolved by the end of the week.

Other than that, please feel free to assign temporary user groups as you see fit. This, that and the other (talk) 14:41, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

@This, that and the other: Just came in my mind, and wondering what will happen when a user with temporary user rights is renamed? At least the user rights log will link to old user name as before. Is this causing some troubles for user rights, or notifications? Stryn (talk) 16:45, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

The user rights system will behave exactly as before with respect to renamed users. I don't really know what the situation is, but I can tell you that there will be no change. This, that and the other (talk) 02:19, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Another question: I see this only affects local user groups, is it coming to global rights anytime? Stryn (talk) 18:33, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

There is phab:T153815 to track this work. I'm not working on this currently, but with luck I will find time to do this in the next few months (unless someone else does it first). This, that and the other (talk) 02:19, 25 April 2017 (UTC)

Deletion request[edit]

I read a request about deleting pih:MediaWiki:Sitenotice and rn:MediaWiki:Sitenotice and saw the response saying that a steward can delete those. The messages were created for the discussions that occurred in Meta and then were closed as rejected: (1) and (2). --George Ho (talk) 06:45, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done, for future reference global sysops also can edit those sitenotices.--HakanIST (talk) 06:59, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

Exception for all kind of spam in a special designated page at each wiki?[edit]

In pages like "Administrators noticeboard" in local wikis, there sometimes comes complaints that "I cannot add my link bla bla". One difficulty is that beginners and even often experienced users fail to write down the link in a way that it can be discussed in a fair manner. Could a page like sv:Wikipedia:Begäran om åtgärder (and its subpages) be whitelisted for all kind of spam? -- Innocent bystander (talk) 12:29, 26 April 2017 (UTC)

@Innocent bystander: There is no way around local/global blacklists beyond posting a link without the http(s): component. I would have thought that your local version of sv:Mediawiki talk:Spam-blacklist would be the ideal place to get a discussion (and to seek a location to whitelist with it being system and generic), and if you were thinking that the page should be excluded from the blacklist, then it would be a phabricator: request.

Re the user and the link, have you looked at sv:Special:Log/spamblacklist as that will show the hits (both local and global, though not which). Also look at template:LinkSummary if you want to see some of the locally linked tools to check where things are blacklisted and when so.

To note that the blacklist is maintained by meta administrators and stewards, so having the discussion here will only get part of that audience. — billinghurst sDrewth 09:11, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

Addendum. Talk:Spam blacklist is the ideal place to request removal or amendments to global spam blacklist, noting that there is also no global blacklist log, they are all local.  — billinghurst sDrewth 09:13, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
@Billinghurst: This was supposed to be a proposal for a new feature, not mainly a question about how things already works. If we could allow spamlinks on pages like Administrators Noticeboard, the discussions would not be so filled by frustrations from newbies who think they cannot even propose an exception to the local whitelist. Experienced users (hopefully) already know how to handle this, the new do not. The Administrators Noticeboards are often well watched and a misuse of such an exception would quickly be handled. -- Innocent bystander (talk) 15:49, 27 April 2017 (UTC)
@Innocent bystander: Then it probably should either be a phabricator: ticket, or an RFC, it is not particularly in scope for stewards compared to something the broad community needs.

Your community has the ability to whitelist, and has the ability to manage its blacklist hit messages, or assist improve those that currently exist and to educate your community about how to respond to blacklist hits. I would think that all of these steps are among those required, as well as a good process for reporting problematic blacklist hits back to metawiki.  — billinghurst sDrewth 20:59, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

User Xoser@diq.wikipedia[edit]

Hello, we have been waiting for sysop removal of access for Xoser of Zazaki Wikipedia since almost two week. Xoser used three sock puppets for local dicussion (Neribij, Kirmanciye and Azadi) although we stated that Zazaki Wikipedia is so small and a third sysop is needless and so there is a consensus about remove Xoser's sysop access. When will we receive answer? [3]

  1. This user is not continuously active 2017, 2014 and 2010.
  2. This user does nothing about stewardship of Zazaki Wikipedia.
  3. There are three active users on Zazaki Wikipedia. Two of them are already sysops and Zazaki Wikipedia is a small wikipedia, consisted by only three users, it doesn't need another sysop, three sysops are unnecessary.
  4. Asmen and Mirzali are two admins of Zazaki Wikipedia. They also demand removal of Xoser's sysop acces. Zazaki wikipedia is very small, so it doesn't need another admin. It's redundant to have another sysop on this small wiki.
  5. Azadi Kirmanciye, Neribij and Xoser all their contribution pasts are same, 2014 and 2017. Azadi Kirmanciye and Neribij came here to vote for Xoser. They are sock puppets of Xoser.

The problem is that a third sysop is needless for Zazaki Wikipedia. There are only 3 permanent active users on Zazaki Wikipedia. Two of the Mirzali and Asmen are sysops and I'm other third active user. Vuzorg (talk) 16:02, 27 April 2017 (UTC)

I fully agree with Vuzorg. After three years of absence, Xoser arrives with a contradictory objection, and strangely enough, with him, all the Kurds and Kurdists appear again. Their polemic objections make our work in the project unnecessarily difficult. We need no troublemaker and certainly not an idle third admin. -- Mirzali (talk) 20:32, 27 April 2017 (UTC)