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Latest comment: 15 years ago by Erwin in topic Merge

Random (junk?) thought[edit]

Not really collected my thoughts so this is in the nature of a brain dump. It would be good to get some people from the main wikis involved in this cross wiki aspect in some way. I have been told my en is poor (it is at times!) & maybe I know a little more in the way of languages than my babel indicates BUT I am conscious that my views on link placement on non en wikis may at odds with the local community & that their policies may well differ from "ours".

I've met some great & helpful people when I've asked for help but it seems a little unfair to pester them if we could get some people from the main language wikis here to ask? Others are welcome to fill in the gaps that this posting has missed but is it a thought & how would we go about it? Cheers --Herby talk thyme 15:20, 4 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

I am all in for getting more people involved in the cross-wiki aspect. The bot is capable to detect quite some, but there is way more (avoiding en:WP:BEANS .. there are ways around the detection ..). For certain sites we do detect international help is certianly welcome, I can read some languages, but when the character set becomes Greek, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, &c. I am lost as well (if that gets added to pages outside the area that actually speaks that language it is probably spam, and images tell a lot as well), help there would be very welcome.
The bot on IRC also detects when users have a large focus for one domain. That does catch more good stuff, but could be useful for catching local cases of users pushing links. Some eyes on IRC would there be useful as well (for the specific languages).
How is the manual? That should help new users who want to help as well. --Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 17:37, 4 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
Manual? For COIBot? Where?  – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 21:26, 4 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
Spam blacklist/help. Are there any specific projects/languages from whom we'd like some help? How would we go about getting help? --Erwin(85) 21:32, 4 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, but that's not for COIBot - I mean a manual on the commands for IRC cough cough.  – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 21:50, 4 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
SWMT/IRC. --Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 10:33, 5 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
To Erwin - over the past couple of months (thanks to the fact that we do have a decent number of quality people working this page) I've been looking at COI reports and wandering wikis clearing up what I deem as spam (I've even found the warning templates in some languages!). However - as Dirk says - when the character set is one I don't recognise it gets harder.
Equally it seems that few other wikis actually have any kind of COI policy as such so it is quite hard to get over that hurdle in terms of communication. Working Commons & here I do know some patient folk who have assisted me when I've been stuck but it would be great to get some folk on other wikis watching the COI reps for link placement for the benefit of their own wikis as much as anything else. I am not at all sure how to achieve this but I think it would be desirable? --Herby talk thyme 10:42, 5 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
Regarding COI and external links, it mainly translates into 'you have an interest into adding your link to wikipedia, which is not to improve the wikipedia page'. Many languages don't have a en:WP:COI/en:WP:SPAM guideline as en wikipedia, but they may have the policies that govern that guideline (on en: en:WP:NOT#REPOSITORY, en:WP:NOT#DIRECTORY, en:WP:NOT#SOAPBOX .. or just 'NOT en:WP:ENC'). --Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 10:48, 5 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
Sure but when they don't have such policies explaining to an admin that en wp has doesn't help! You know what they are & I know what they are but the policy simply does not exist on many wikis & they can be far more tolerant even of spam never mind COI (I removed around 20/30 links on a wiki a couple of days ago - the page was maybe 4/5 lines long) --Herby talk thyme 11:08, 5 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
I've removed many links in many Wikipedias, and it is seldom that I have gotten any reaction from the community, or that the removal has been reverted by the community (most of the time the links has already been blacklisted when I removed them, so they might have been hard to reinsert, admitedly).
In many ways I have been doing the same thing as the cross wiki spammers, I've gone from wiki to wiki editing articles without being able to read the content of the article or even make an edit summary in the language of the wiki. I have no special status on these wikis, I do not have a fancy user page or a reputation as an established user there, and everywhere, even on fr.wikipedia, I only write bad English in the edit summary. Still they seems to let me remove links, much like they let the person who inserted the links do his thing, without any reaction.
It is as if they just aren't very interested. Or maybe they are overwhelmed?
Maybe some sort of local reporting of the links that are being inserted on the wiki would be helpful in making the amounts of links, and what links, that are being added more visible, and so make the local awareness of the external links situation rise? Such reports could also be a valuable tool for the local communities which already are working to control the external links on their wikis.
I'd love not having to force my view on what is spam and bad links on wikis where I am not a part of the community, but I'd sure like for them to see the whole picture too, and not to keep every link that gets added. --Jorunn 00:46, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
Rather than using English in my edit summaries, I just use a link back to the discussion on this page. For example: [[:meta:Talk:Spam blacklist#example.com]]
I've removed several thousand meta-blacklisted links on other wikis besides my own. I remove links as a courtesy, not because I am trying to impose my view of things. I have only received complaints on he.wikipedia 1 (unexpectedly threatened with a block) and on fy.wikipedia.2 I've got better uses of my time, so I just avoid those two projects and let them figure it out for themselves. On other projects I even get thanked every one in a blue moon.
It may also have helped that I took a minute or two to set up a brief user page on each project just linking back to my meta and en.wikipedia accounts. For example: nn:Brukar:A. B.
--A. B. (talk) 04:26, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
I have a user page linking to my meta user page on the wikis where I edit (except maybe one or two out of over 700), and I have used a link to this page most of the time, but the link is in English, and the content here is in English. To lots of users, for instance on large wikis like ru.wikipedia and ja.wikipedia, it is probably not very useful, but it is after all a lot better than nothing or just "rv. spam". I've gotten blocked (and unblocked) on et.wikipedia, and told that if I remove another good link I would get blocked on scn.wikipedia (obviously their and my opinion on what is good links are not the same so I have tried to not remove any more links there). I've been thanked a few places, and gotten some questions other places. On nl.wikipedia and fi.wikipedia I've been told to add some template on the spammers user page, that I have not been able to follow up, sorry. When you are following a spammer around the wikis it can be hard to keep track of which wiki you are at the time, there might be a list of hundreds of links to remove on 50+ wikis. At least it was so before the bot spam reports.
It is obvious to me that I remove the links because they have been spammed cross-wiki and blacklisted. I don't do it because I don't want to let the local communities decide what to keep in their articles. Still it seems easy to see that to others it might seem like that is what I do.
After the bug fix that made the spam filter not block old links it might not be needed to remove so many old links anymore, but the bot reports have given us more new links to evaluate and maybe remove. --Jorunn 10:21, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
Ok - I guess what I would love to see would be some more people involved in this from local projects really & was wondering if anyone had any bright ideas - maybe not.
On a day to day basis - yes I always place links to me here & Commons when I start editing on a wiki. My narrative is generally "rm cross wiki link placement" which I hope is fairly understandable to a few at least. When I open a bunch of windows on other projects it is good to see that some have maybe cleared the link already in that it confirms my feeling that it is "unwanted". Like Jorunn I'm not that bothered about being able to read everything either. I guess we are a rare breed in being interested in link placement maybe but trying to find some others, even if they only operate locally would be good.
With thanks to A. B. for the links however the presence of links does not mean an understanding/polocy for something. Korg has been amazingly patient with me on fr wp but he agrees there is no real COI policy there & things are judged on a case by case basis (& fr wp is hardly one of the backwater wikis).
Reading Jorunn's follow up I guess even knowing (listing?) the spam warning templates for other wikis might be useful & indicate to the community that we know what we are doing?
{{subst:aviso promocional}}--~~~~ on es, {{subst:Bienvenue spammeur}}--~~~~ on fr & {{subst:Spam}}--~~~~ on it for example. Worth trying to list/store them somewhere? --Herby talk thyme 10:37, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
Mostly I did the list below for my own obsessive compulsive benefit (see en:Adrian Monk). It probably wouldn't hurt to move it to some sort of subpage.
Herby, I forgot to mention that I had a run-in on the Estonian project, too, but since the complaining IP never responded to my response and had no history on et.wikipedia, I eventually blew it off. I also had a very polite exchange on ro.wikipedia. Both complaints led me to start using links to meta in my edit summary after that. I learned later by e-mail that the he.wikipedia admin that I mentioned above was later removed for "BITEyness" as a result of my incident and many others but I still steer clear of that project (it's an excuse to avoid mixed left-to-right, right-to-left editing which always flummoxes me).
Of more value would be the list of spam warnings Herby mentions. Ultimately, we might end up with a grid here vaguely similar to en:Wikipedia:Template messages/User talk namespace#Warnings and notices and showing the warnings for all the projects we know of. It might also be possible to develop on each of those projects a template redirect so that meta volunteers would only need to know one set of warnings. Local templates ({{X-WikiSpam1}}, {{X-WikiSpam2}}, etc) on each project would redirect to the appropriate local warning template; for example {{X-WikiSpam1}} on bg.wikipedia would redirect to bg:Шаблон:П-спам1, on en.wikipedia to en:Template:Uw-spam1 , etc. All we'd ever need to remember is X-WikiSpam1, X-WikiSpam2, etc.
Finally, it might be good to several other things:
  1. A multi-lingual invitation to place on the MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklist pages inviting local editors to participate here. Formatted similar to meta's Template:Welcomeip, it would be written in whatever languages we could muster among meta admins: es, en, nl, ru, etc. It wouldn't be an actual template stored on the target project; we'd just paste the code in. Hopefully an Estonian or a Thai would know at least one of the languages we were using.
  2. A rudimentary spam-fighting FAQ on meta showing some best practices used on other projects (warnings, meta and local blacklists, templates such as {{LinkSummary}}, bots, etc.)
  3. A separate subpage (Talk:Talk:Spam blacklist??) for broader spam discussions such as this one ("mind spam" as one of you put it recently)
--A. B. (talk) 14:15, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

There is the defunct Spam blacklist policy discussion we may wish to use.  – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 22:10, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

Per Mike - should we shift this whole discussion there? --Herby talk thyme 07:56, 7 June 2008 (UTC)Reply


Well, we are here, on meta, and we are discussing spamming here. Editors who edit on many wikis, are not likely to see the spam warnings. What we could do (since we don't have global messaging):

  • Create a page here, explaining concerns of X-wiki spamming in some major languages.
  • Create on all wikis our own warning templates ('{{xwiki-spam-warn|link}} --~~~~'), pointing to the mentioned page with our concerns in different languages.

Comments? --Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 14:39, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

Throw this in with A. B.'s points above & I certainly think we could achieve something really worthwhile. Communication would improve as would the soundness of our platform here. GREAT & thanks both --Herby talk thyme 14:54, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

Something like:

Welcome to Wikipedia. Although everyone is welcome to contribute constructively to the encyclopedia, it has been noted that you are adding one or more of the external links to several wikipedia. Wikipedia should not be used for advertising or promotion, and the edits have therefor been reverted. Since Wikipedia uses nofollow tags, external links do not alter search engine rankings. Further information can be found here. Your link additions may be under discussion on the meta Spam blacklist or here, and you are invited to discuss the edits there before continuing. Thank you. --Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 15:03, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

At least they can't say that we did not try to warn them, and other editors on the local wiki may see our work/concerns as well. --Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 15:03, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

I agree with Herby. Both ideas would be very useful. Beetstra, good start. I'd make all links point to enwiki though, for instance I don't expect a lot of articles about nofollow tags, and could we please get rid of the "click here" links? They are evil. There should be quite a few different languages we and other meta users can translate it to. --Erwin(85) 16:54, 6 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
I've set up {{Xwiki-spam-warn}} as a start. We could translate it to subpages like {{Xwiki-spam-warn/nl}} and copy those to local projects. We'd also have to set up a page (Spam?) with information. I guess it can be based on enwiki's spam guidelines and our own experience. What information should be available there? In any case, where to request removal from the blacklist, the most common reasons for blacklisting, an explanation that the link is globally blocked etc. --Erwin(85) 18:58, 7 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
It just came to mind that the English version should also be copied and/or linked to from local projects. I guess most spammers don't speak the language of each project they spam. --Erwin(85) 19:05, 7 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
That is indeed the problem, it may very well be an English spammer adding links to the Spanish wiki. Making it multilingual would be an option .. I've seen some neat tricks (like here , but that would also make it HUGE .. --Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 19:20, 7 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
I also started Spam. Please help improving it. I don't know about the name, so perhaps renaming it is better. --Erwin(85) 13:28, 8 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
Personally I'd prefer External link placement or similar. We know what we mean but it does cause confusion/offence etc? Thanks anyway & I'll take a look soon. Are we going to shift this section elsewhere - I know if was suggested above? Cheers --Herby talk thyme 13:31, 8 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

Projects with similar policies and guidelines[edit]

A. B. - do you want to find a section/subpage for this material - it is very useful but should be elsewhere? (maybe I shouldn't have moved it?) --Herby talk thyme 09:38, 9 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

Moved to a subpage. Useful, but clogs up this page.  – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 22:36, 9 June 2008 (UTC)Reply
OK, now we have Talk:External links policy/Cross-wiki policies and guidelines and External links policy/Local policies and pages, which are mostly duplicate info. Would someone have a go at merging them?  – Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 22:38, 9 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

I deleted the copy of the A. B. discussion, External links policy/Local policies and pages has been updated with the information, but may need some more formatting etc. --Dirk Beetstra T C (en: U, T) 09:29, 10 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

Sign up list[edit]

I actually dislike then quite a bit - however did there ought to be a pointer to "If you want to help please contact one of the following" with a list of active users? --Herby talk thyme 09:37, 9 June 2008 (UTC)Reply

Yeah, always good to have a way for people considering helping out to find a wing to get under. I'll start one now.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 02:50, 27 June 2008 (UTC)Reply


This could probably be merged into Spam blacklist/About. Thoughts on doing so?  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 18:30, 6 January 2009 (UTC)Reply

I didn't even know about that page. It looks pretty useful. How about combining the first part of that one with this one and explain about requests on Talk:Spam blacklist? --Erwin(85) 20:52, 6 January 2009 (UTC)Reply