Wikivoyage talk:Protected page policy

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Revisiting the issue of temporary semi-protection for Main Page features[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Between LibMod, the Fuerdai vandal, and BTCentralPlus, we've been seeing a huge uptick in vandalism lately. The last time we broached the subject of instituting temporary semi-protection for DotMs, OtBPs, and FTTs during the time they spend on the Main Page, as Wikipedia does with its featured articles, the consensus was that vandalism wasn't enough of a problem to warrant it. But that was five years ago, and since then traffic has grown by orders of magnitude yet our community of active admins has grown only slightly, if at all. I think it's now a very realistic possibility that we might see vandalism on a Main Page feature that's left unreverted for long periods of time due to the lack of any admins online at any given time. What does everyone think? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:35, 9 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(It also perhaps bears mentioning that none of the editors who were so vehemently opposed to this idea in 2013 are more than marginally active on Wikivoyage as of 2018.) -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:41, 9 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(edit conflict) I think it depends on the page a little, but overall I think you're right. This is a page we could lock, since it gets a lot of "I take over the pub" vandalism, but for genuinely new users that would be problematic (unless we directed them to the Arrivals lounge instead). I'm not sure how much Featured article-type vandalism we've been getting lately, but I think those should be locked too, since they shouldn't need to be edited during their month's feature anyway. So I would support, especially considering how few edits there have been lately at times (like 3 on some hours). While our Alexa rank continues to rise, Alexa ranks don't tell us everything. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 22:45, 9 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Instituting any kind of protection on the Pub would be very problematic because, as "the place to ask questions when you're confused, lost, afraid, tired, annoyed, thoughtful, or helpful", it's specifically intended as a resource for new users. As for featured articles, we haven't seen much actual vandalism on those as yet, but I can only imagine what happens when, let's say, Fuerdai realizes we have some Chinese city on the Main Page as DotM or OtBP. I say let's stop the problem before it starts. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:51, 9 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see. I think I'd still support the page protect measure, although there may be some other pages that could be protected as well. Definitely pages like China should be protected, since the vandal seems to be obsessed with editing those pages (or North Korea). --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 22:55, 9 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I've been dealing with a particularly bad flareup of Fuerdai vandalism over the past few hours, with multiple sockpuppets tag-teaming China and Great Wall of China one after the other. I restricted both of those to autoconfirmed only, but because China in particular is a very high-profile article that attracts a lot of good-faith edits from bona fide newbies, I was uncomfortable protecting it for longer than 2 weeks. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:58, 9 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When I looked at the Recent Changes log, all of those vandals reverting each other was quite confusing. China is, yes, a high-profile page that gets a lot of vandalism. It's the highest-population country in the world, with plenty of vandals along with plenty of helpful users. My guess is that Fuerdai is one or multiple editors who are pro-North Korea and see America and anything connected to it (like Wikimedia) as the enemy. It's unfortunate that these pages have to be protected, but I fear it is the only answer: even if we get a lot more contributors, we will probably get a lot more vandals too. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 23:45, 9 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd support semi-protection for the Big 3. Probably not for the articles posted in Discover nor the current featured event (the current event needs to be updated frequently which outweighs the potential vandalism that could be inflicted on it). Gizza (roam) 23:50, 9 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Agreed. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 00:07, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm a new user, so I'm not sure what my vote is worth, but I'd Support this, and I'm kind of surprised this isn't the case already. It was my understanding that the articles featured are more or less "complete." ARR8 (talk) 00:10, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It would be useful to have some idea of what the tradeoff is here. How many useful IP edits do featured articles typically get while they're on the main page? —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:11, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(edit conflict) @ARR8: I think you're right, and thanks for your input! However, one of the problems with featuring articles and then protecting them is this: let's say we feature city X as the DOTM and a restaurant is listed in city X article. But then the restaurant closes, and a non-admin or even an IP knows tries to remove the listing for the restaurant, but they can't because it is locked. Then a traveler, who has never edited WV, reads the article on city X and sees the restaurant listing. They think, "I'd like to go visit that restaurant!" but they find it's closed and they've wasted their journey because the article told them something inaccurate. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 00:16, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
A non-admin might be able to edit a semi-protected article; it's just new or anon-IP users who would be unable to do so. I recall editing (and {{warningbox}}ing) Oregon Trail during its time as featured travel topic to indicate wildfires had closed a road which follows the Oregon side of the Columbia River; I presume I would still have been able to make that edit despite this proposal? K7L (talk) 01:39, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:07, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It depends whether it is locked for administrators only or auto confirmed users only. Probably you'd lock it for auto confirmed users only. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 02:37, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's implicit in the mention of semi protection. By definition, in MediaWiki a "semi-protected" article is accessible to autoconfirmed users; a "fully protected" article is read-only to everyone except admins. K7L (talk) 02:42, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see, thanks for the information. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 02:44, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with protecting articles like China that are being vandalized, but I think that protecting featured articles just because they are featured is a bad idea. A new visitor who sees their home town featured, checks out the article, and finds errors they can't fix won't stay around Wikivoyage too long. If a featured article has been vandalized in the recent past, it makes sense to protect it when it is featured. Ground Zero (talk) 06:12, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've gathered some data to help us make the decision. I looked through the histories of this year's dotm, otbp, and ftt for May, June, and July (9 articles in total) and counted the number of harmful and helpful edits from IPs and new editors during the time the article was being featured. (If the same user/IP made several edits around the same time, such as repeated vandalism on the same day or several edits to add a new listing, I counted it as one edit.) I found 7 harmful edits, 2 helpful edits ([1] [2]), and one that seemed neutral.
So the proposal would stop more harmful edits than helpful edits. But harmful edits are easy to revert, whereas if we miss out on a helpful edit there's no way to get it back or even find out that we missed out on it. Keeping the articles unprotected is also possibly helpful for recruiting new editors ("Oh look! I really can add something to this travel guide myself!"). So I think I agree with Ground Zero, but I don't feel strongly about it. Either way, it looks like a fairly small number of edits that we're talking about—on average, about one edit per featured article based on the numbers I gave above. —Granger (talk · contribs) 06:27, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
GZ made a good point there, but there’s a counter-argument. Let’s create a scenario where we have Person X, a new user (just was auto comfirmed, but no edits yet) who wants to improve the website, and person Y, an IP address vandal who is targeting main page features. Person Y vandalizes the DOTM article, but before WV users can revert, person X visits the page to make a positive contribution. They go to the page only to find text like “This has been vandalized” written over and over again. Person x thinks “this wiki is a waste of time” and leaves. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 13:33, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There will of course be much more readers than new editors, so it is not only the prospective editor that sees the vandalism. Still, I think, vandalism is usually reverted reasonably quickly, so not that many see it, and if there comes a wave of massive vandalism, it is not too difficult to either watch the pages more intensely or protect them at that point. Even if the vandalism is coming we might earn a year of free editing for visitors, to the cost of having the features in bad shape for an hour or so. We could ask active editors to put the features on their watchlists, to get more eyes, although I suppose many have them already, for different reasons. --LPfi (talk) 16:37, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think featured articles have been targeted by vandalism considerably much more than articles in general (so I'm not sure if featured articles need to be protected); the pub and the talk page of different users seem to be the favorite targets among vandals as of now.
Nevertheless, I think everyone has noticed that the number of incidents of different kinds of vandalism and vandalism-only-accounts has for some reason exploded as of the last few months. I'm also afraid one of the vandals is "good old" pcv who has been dormant for a couple of years, although their grammar have become better. ϒpsilon (talk) 18:25, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This Fuerdai guy has been doing it for many months now. I wonder if an IP block is warranted for him/her. And given what he has targeted, the Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan articles may need to be protected too. The dog2 (talk) 20:14, 12 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

LM vandalism: could it be?[edit]

One other thing: is it possible that some of the vandals we've been having lately were actually LM pretending to be BTCentralPlus or whatever? For example, check out the contributions of User:Vandelsarebothersodontbotherwiththem, particularly the comment to Libmod and the statements "you never know where vandels will come from". LM pretended to be Telstra before (remember SmokinTourist909), so it is possible, although not too likely. There are no giveaways, the comment signatures look like those of the typical "Pub takeover" vandal, but I just have a suspicion. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 01:30, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, this is classic BTCentralPlus, and the behavior pattern pre-dates LibMod's userban. Despite the puerile nature of the actual vandalism, his tactics are actually a good deal more sophisticated than LibMod's: he targets specific admins, usually the most recent one to have banned one of his doppelgangers, and from his behavior patterns it can be deduced that he pays attention to Special:RecentChanges and focuses his attacks on articles that are currently being, or have recently been, edited by the targeted admin. This often does include other users' talk pages. Also, the dialect used by the vandal in edit summaries and other brief snippets of text does suggest that he speaks UK English, which would be consistent with BTCentralPlus' location in Lancashire. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:04, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also: although I was mistaken in attributing the SmokinTourist909 account to BTCentralPlus, I think that was a coincidence rather than anything that was intentional on LibMod's part. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:11, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yep, I think you're right. Just checking. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 02:36, 10 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Should continent articles be semi-protected?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

This has been discussed at User talk:Ibaman#Europe semi-protection but I think it's appropriate to give the discussion a broader audience here: should the semi-protection of continent articles be allowed for a period of a week or so due to edits that could be considered disruptive, such as the semi-protection that has been added on the page Europe? I don't have an opinion one way or the other, but I think this merits a discussion beyond the original semi-protection that caused the debate. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:01, 22 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • As the instigator, let me talk about this rationale. I'm active in Wikipedia too, not as admin, just as plunger-forward and revisor. I've been familiarizing me with WP policies, and edit wars, and its blocks and suspensions, and think we should definitely improve our spam-prevention game. Thousands of WP articles are protected from unregistered users as of this moment. We're talking about less than a hundred here, not all, just the more visited and graffitied. That's my point. Ibaman (talk) 16:08, 22 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(edit conflict) I think temporary semi-protection should be allowed in case of real disruption that can't be managed in another way, but there were only two IP edits to the Europe article, and they weren't really disruptive. Personally, I would have left in (or maybe modified) the sentence about boutiques. I don't think semi-protection was justified in this particular case (or in the case of Africa, which has been semi-protected today too). —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:09, 22 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ibaman: This isn't Wikipedia. Vandalism and disruptive edits aren't anywhere near as severe here as they are there, and our need for updates from new users is much greater (because travel advice goes out of date faster than encyclopedic information on average). And anyway, a Wikipedia article would be very unlikely to get semi-protected on the basis of just one or two edits. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:12, 22 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
...expanding my point, we don't need to explain again the "Transnistrian issue", next time this edit is made again. I wish there were smarter ways to deal with it. I'm trying to get creative and preventive. I won't fight for this change, I'd rather invite us all to get creative on this. Ibaman (talk) 16:16, 22 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with not rehashing old ground with conversations we've had before with (fake) new editors. The next time someone makes a fuss about Transnistria, just revert and point them to the previous discussion. Ditto with anything else like that. But we need to carry on encouraging new Wikivoyagers to join us, otherwise this project will die. Preventing people from editing articles they're most likely to want to edit doesn't encourage anyone.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:29, 22 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Semi-protection is something to do when an article receives persistent unwanted edits (vandalism, touting, offensive content etc.) and edit warring where such edits are made from new accounts and IPs when the first ones are blocked.
I don't think articles should be permanently protected "just in case", though, the protection should just last long enough that the person adding bad content will give up and go away. Because even among anonymous editors there are more good than bad editors and the good ones are also affected by a protection and as TT pointed out, we should encourage new editors to contribute to Wikivoyage. And semi-protections can always be reinstated later if necessary. --Ypsilon (talk) 16:41, 22 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks as ever, sir.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 17:40, 22 May 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Semi-protecting templates[edit]

Swept in from the pub

With few exceptions, our templates do not need to be edited by new users. Since many of the templates affect a large number of pages, should we semi-protect them? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:24, 21 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What templates do you have in mind? I checked several of our most widely used templates, and they're already permanently semi-protected. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:52, 21 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Article status templates would be a good start. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:00, 21 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Have you seen any actual problems recently? I wouldn't support a proposal to do extra work to keep people out of a page they're normally not touching anyway. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:53, 21 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Template:Usabletopic, Template:Maplink. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:06, 21 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, we've seen actual problems. You would, too, if you patrolled recent changes. If you'd like to do so, we could certainly use your help. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:38, 21 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We should semi-protect templates, and I just protected one. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:40, 21 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hmm. It appears that there was a spate of bad edits yesterday, but overall there are very few edits by logged-out editors and newcomers. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:12, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support, though I do not think we need to go all the way to an admins-only restriction. Only autopatrollers or perhaps even only logged in users should be enough.
Should we also protect policy pages since new users probably should not be changing those either? Pashley (talk) 03:29, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, we should. I don't think any of these pages have admin-only protection, and I wouldn't support that, either. Autoconfirmed users should usually be good enough. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:42, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, I think autoconfirmed users should be fine too. Admins-only is a little overkill, but I'd be fine with autoconfirmed users or autopatrollers, depending on what the community decides. The dog2 (talk) 15:10, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would definitely support limiting template editing to autopatrollers, but I'm not sure that's possible with the software. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:16, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No. Admins only. While patrolling Recent Changes during the big vandalism spate of the past few days, I saw an entry indicating that the abuse filter "postponed for five days" the promotion of one of the sockpuppets to autoconfirmed, due to the vandalism (presumably this was because that particular sockpuppet had been able to make enough edits to clear the threshold before being caught and blocked). Given how unreliable these filters have proven to be, you have to wonder how many of those socks actually did end up reaching autoconfirmed status. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:32, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
True. Probably best to protect most templates completely, though a few are edited by non-admins; perhaps the template editor user group could prevent that from being an issue? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:37, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Good idea. On a wiki this size, any non-admin editor who has a legitimate interest in editing templates is probably an editor we're already familiar with and know we can trust, so granting them template editor status should be uncontroversial. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:40, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wauteurz has edited Template:Rail-interchange recently. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:42, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Special:Contributions/ made several edits in the template space. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:14, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Which is why I think granting template editing privileges to autopatrollers should work. After all, those who have been promoted to autopatroller have already been vetted by an admin, so we have some confidence that they are trustworthy. In fact, I made some changes to the phrasebook template before becoming an admin because I found that some phrases useful for travellers asking for directions were missing. I know there was the issue with ArticCynda, but I think such instances are very rare, and we could probably rectify them quickly. The dog2 (talk) 15:52, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I can confirm SelfieCity's statement above. {{Rail-interchange}} is more or less my project at this point. I feel like it'd become way less regularly updated if I were unable to edit it myself, which I think is a logical conclusion to draw looking at its history. I'm all for semi-protecting templates and this move has my support, granted it doesn't limit users like me that regularly edit site-wide templates (if RINT can be classed as such) with no ambition to run for Admin from doing what we do.
-- Wauteurz (talk) 16:04, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So Wauteurz, here's the problem: If I want to protect a page, there is no option between "Allow only autoconfirmed users" and "Allow only template editors and administrators". Since I'm not sure any of us would have any idea how to customize things to enable us to add an "Allow only autopatrollers" choice, I would suggest you be nominated as a template editor. Or is a nomination needed? Is it OK if any admin just clicks that permission for you? Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:42, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No nomination required. If user:Wauteurz would like to confirm his interest in becoming a template editor, anyone with Sysop rights can immediately make it happen.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:50, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ikan Kekek, ThunderingTyphoons!: No opposition from me, go ahead. There's no reason to make autopatrollers be able to edit templates if I pretty much am the sole benefactor of that measure. Since "template editor" seems to be exactly for the purpose of allowing people to edit templates, then I see no reason to have anything against getting said permissions :)
-- Wauteurz (talk) 16:56, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes Done --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:58, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If this problem is so severe, we can try semi-protection for a few months. If semi-protection isn't enough to bring the vandalism down to a somewhat manageable level, we can discuss the possibility of full protection for high-risk templates. I think protection, and especially full protection, should be used sparingly, as they stifle improvements to Wikivoyage. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:08, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agreed in the case of mainspace articles, but why would a new user need to edit a template? If necessary the new user could ask for a template to be edited or be given template editing rights. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:30, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nobody "needs" to edit anything, so that's the wrong question to ask.
The downside to protecting pages (e.g., individual templates, or all of them) is that people who are capable of helping won't be able to, or will need to request special permission to do so. This includes even admins from the Wikipedias or other Wikivoyages who know how to fix templates. The user rights that we're talking about are exclusively about your activity here. A sizeable proportion of global sysops and Stewards aren't autoconfirmed here, even though we trust them all. The question is whether creating barriers for these trustworthy editors is worth preventing a repeat of this (one-time?) vandalism spree. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:21, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And as I mentioned, autopatrollers are already deemed trustworthy, so I don't see why we need to prevent them from editing templates. Sometimes, a non-admin may just randomly come across something wrong in a template and want to fix it (for instance, before I became an admin, I made changes to Template:LunarNewYeardates and, and the currency conversion templates also need regular updating, and we should, as much as possible, allow the trustworthy editors to plunge forward on things like that. As for the global sysops and stewards, perhaps we should get a list of them from the WMF so we can upgrade all of them to autopatroller status here. The dog2 (talk) 19:48, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WhatamIdoing: this vandalism has been repeated, very aggressive, and has been going on for a long time. It sucks up a lot of an admin's time energy to combat when it's going on. Ground Zero (talk) 20:30, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(edit conflict) WhatamIdoing: It really isn't a one time instance of vandalism (I wish that it was), and the administrators at WV are taking it seriously. I think many, though perhaps not all, of the administrators see this as a significant moment in the history of WV that needs to be resolved with some more drastic measures. Unfortunately, the discussion in the pub does not make clear the point to which many of us are tired of the vandalism, as there are only a few of us to deal with the important task of preventing and reverting it, when we would much prefer writing and improving content. While there's a limited amount of changes that can be made with current software (something that has been mentioned in discussions elsewhere), protecting/semi-protecting templates would at least be a first step to what we see as a more practical path to take for a smaller wiki such as Wikivoyage. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:33, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't like the philosophy behind protecting templates. At all. But maybe our size and activity level just isn't enough for soft security to work. Powers (talk) 21:04, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think any of us likes having to semi-protect these pages, and that's why they haven't previously been protected. It's not a positive good to semi-protect them, but a tolerable necessary evil. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:26, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WhatamIdoing, I would strongly suggest you try patrolling recent edits here for a couple of weeks, because that experience would show you what we've been dealing with. We would not be having an extended discussion or taking serious steps about a minor annoyance, let alone a one-time one. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:28, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This link lists every edit made in the Template: namespace by a logged-out editor or a new (non-autoconfirmed) editor during the last 30 days. Please take a look at it. I see a really bad 24-hour period (from 02:14 to 02:13 UTC). The rest of the month, when the logged-out editors made more potentially helpful edits than otherwise, does not seem like it would be a big deal to keep up with.
If the problems that you're concerned about aren't shown in that list, then semi-protection isn't going to solve the problem. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:08, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm seeing a lot more harmful edits than good ones on that list. I'm not seeing any truly beneficial/helpful ones. Perhaps a longer time frame? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:13, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support semi-protection at this stage but not full protection. Full protection will prevent many potentially good edits. If a vandal somehow becomes autoconfirmed once in a blue moon, it will be relatively easy to manage. We can review whether semi-protection is necessary 3 or 6 months later. Gizza (roam) 23:17, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Temporary semi-protection sounds okay to me, though I wonder whether even that is necessary. Was template vandalism a severe issue before yesterday? I have to admit I haven't seen much of it when patrolling recent changes in the past. I've mostly seen vandalism of articles and sometimes userpages. —Granger (talk · contribs) 23:53, 22 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
By the way, as discussed in one of the abuse filter discussions, I'll ask for help from the Wikipedia community to see if they have any advice for how to deal with this vandal. Hopefully someone there will have useful suggestions. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:00, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WhatamIdoing, the link you gave shows a bunch of edits by long-time autopatrollers and admins. The other edits are overwhelmingly harmful, except for some inessential redirects created by an IP user on June 13 which wouldn't be affected by semi-protecting any existing template. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:08, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The link I gave shows 38 (thirty-eight) edits, none of which were made by long-time editors, because it was filtered for "Newcomers" and "Unregistered" editors. (Maybe you aren't running the default version of RecentChanges?) Of those, all the edits in a single 24-hour period were terrible. However, on the other 29 days of the month (97% of the month), the edits were either good-faith and potentially helpful (nearly all of them) or unimportant vandalism (unwanted, of course, but so few that nobody would complain about it). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:47, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Here's a suggestion. How about we mark all active autopatrollers as template editors? In that way, we can cause as little disruption with the ban as possible. The dog2 (talk) 03:31, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems inessential, but I could be wrong. I also think template editor implies a higher level of trust than autopatroller, but maybe not so much in practice. What do other folks think? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:44, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In theory yes, I suppose. But as the only added right (except allowing two-factor authentication) seems to be "edit protected templates", and this is to allow protecting templates in the first place, I don't see that as a problem. Adding them all to the group does not make that a shortcut for future users (which could be exploited by a vandal). If we have a vandal or a few among the autopatrollers, that can be dealt with as it would have to be dealt with anyway. --LPfi (talk) 10:22, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Right. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:56, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I’d also like to point out that comments in a thread should be in order when possible. There’s no need to add comments in the middle of an existing discussion, because that often introduces ideas not considered in a portion of discussion. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:09, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, if there's no objection, I'll go ahead and grant template editor rights to the autopatrollers who are currently active. If any of them become vandals (which I presume would be very rare), we can deal with them as appropriate, just like how we deal with the exceedingly rare instances of admins becoming vandals (I'm not sure if it has happened here before though). Unfortunately, the software currently doesn't allow us to grant editing rights to autopatrollers only, but the way we can circumvent this technical limitation is to grant template editing rights with autopatroller status, since there is an option for protected pages to allow editing by template editors and admnistrators only. For those who are inactive but become active again, or if I miss anyone, that person could probably just contact an admin, and I don't think there will be an issue granting those rights. If people are fine with it, perhaps we could add something to the page about autopatrollers saying: "Template editor rights are also granted to autopatrollers, allowing them to edit some articles that have been semi-protected. If you are an autopatroller who has not been granted the right, please contact an administrator and it will be granted to you." The dog2 (talk) 16:31, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think I missed something. Why is this necessary? Autopatrollers can already edit semi-protected templates. —Granger (talk · contribs) 16:38, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Mx. Granger. At the moment, we're only semi-protecting templates, so there's no need to add template editor rights yet. Let's wait until we form a consensus on whether or not to fully protect templates. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:40, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, I guess I used the wrong terminology, but yeah, if we decide to implement a higher level of protection for templates, then it makes sense to grant template editing rights to autopatrollers since they are people we sort of know we can trust to edit in good faith and not be vandals. If you ask me, that is a sensible solution to the vandalism problem. The dog2 (talk) 16:49, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. I thought you were saying that you were going to it right now, which is a bit early IMO. But yes, I agree that autopatrollers should have template editor rights — if they want those rights. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 16:53, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you ask me, I think we can just automatically give someone template editor rights when they get upgraded to autopatroller. Unlike becoming an admin or patroller, it does not really come with any additional responsibilities, so I don't see a problem with that. And besides, I think it's in general a good idea to have rewards for good editors who have been trustworthy and productive, just like we have punishments for bad editors. The dog2 (talk) 17:01, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think we should have "punishments for bad editors". I don't see a block as a punishment, but rather as an intervention to prevent disruption to the project. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:24, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Awards and recognition for good work can be nice, though—we have barncompasses, star status, and dotm. We could consider other ways to recognize editors for their good work. I don't think it necessarily makes sense to use technical abilities like template editor to do that, though. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:34, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────OK, I guess maybe my language was wrong, but my main point is that if we had to protect templates, since autopatrollers are people we have already determined to be trustworthy, giving them template editor rights makes sense. You never know who might come across a mistake in a template or a template that needs updating, and we should facilitate the ability of trustworthy editors to make those edits when necessary without putting in any unnecessary barriers. We have a limited number of admins after all, and there's only so many templates and articles we can watch, so getting as many trustworthy editors as possible to help with things like this certainly helps the project too. The dog2 (talk) 18:51, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@WhatamIdoing: Please try to post at the end of this thread, as everyone else does and as I requested in an earlier comment in this thread. Thank you. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:03, 23 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@The dog2: I think we mostly agree with each other. I definitely agree with minimizing barriers to helpful contributions. If we ever get to a point where we need to fully protect a large number of templates, I think this is worth considering. —Granger (talk · contribs) 00:26, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WhatamIdoing, the link you posted above is showing 4 groups of edits on 22 June, one by LPfi, a group by Wauterz, another group by Wauterz, and then vandalism reverted by me. Are you seeing something different? Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:12, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your odd figure of 97% of these edits being constructive aside (I sure don't see that), my general sense is that you minimize our problems here. Sure, there could have been even more vandalism, but that's because some of us admins were spending time nipping it in the bud from each new sockpuppet instead of doing something else with our lives. Manually dealing with spates of vandalism in real time is not a good use of volunteer time and effort, and if you chose to patrol and deal with this in real time, you'd have a better feel for what the experience is like and might not pooh-pooh it as unimportant or only slightly inconvenient. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:19, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed with the above. Forgive me for sounding snippy, but if you're one of those who were nowhere to be found while Ikan, SelfieCity, myself and a few others were in the trenches against the vandal, then I'm really not interested in hearing your Monday morning quarterbacking about how writing to the WMF or preemptively protecting templates is an overreaction. If you choose not to help solve problems, that's your right, but stay out of the way of those who do. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:29, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we should welcome participation from all community members in this discussion, regardless of whether or not they happened to be online at the time of this vandalism spree. —Granger (talk · contribs) 11:41, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with AndreCarrotflower. I would say that it's not just about expressing one's opinion, but also about making somewhat irrelevant comments throughout the discussion, without following standard discussion etiquette of posting comments in chronological order, while under-representing damage to our community in the name of open source.
I'm of course not opposed to an open-source wiki, or else I wouldn't edit here, but we have to recognize that there are times when the open-source point of view must be partially sacrificed for the sake of the website's dignity. There must, during that 24-hour period, have been hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists trying to use this website, who instead of finding travel information, found travel articles and templates hijacked with irrelevant content. And how is this vandalism prevented? Oh, it isn't. From June 20th to June 21st, our supposedly "up-to-the-minute" coverage of travel destinations became more like "up-to-the-minute" coverage of some misguided individual's hatred of Wuhan's postmodern architecture, if I were to try my best to interpret the facts from the unsuspecting tourist's perspective. (Pardon my slight deviation from WV:Deny recognition, but it ought to be said.)
There have been suggestions for solving the problem, a temporary semi-protection of the website being one of the less drastic options. I expect that some of the idealists who edit here would vehemently oppose such measures, but why? If I were to go to the CNN website and find "CNN on wheeIs" covering the homepage or any other webpage on their website, along with similar vandalism, I would be shocked, and probably would not use CNN's website again. Perhaps we could try a little harder to achieve the same level of professionalism. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 12:55, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree with Mx. Granger. I understand the frustration of the users who had to carry the load, but any of us should be allowed to express their opinion. I would also note that a wiki that more or less anyone can edit, can never prevent vandalism, just revert and block after the fact. That "level of professionalism" cannot be achieved without whitelists and background checks. --LPfi (talk) 13:18, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But you can't block an account anymore, and then be done with the vandal. Vandals have figured out they can create a new account and continue vandalism. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 13:26, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, provided their IP addresses cannot be blocked. I totally agree that tools less labour intensive than those that now had to be used should be developed. But you cannot hinder a new unknown user from vandalising a number of highly visible pages, as we want new users to be able to edit those pages and there is no AI that could recognise all vandalism. The tools can just make it easier for us to revert and block and harder for the vandal to continue using new accounts. (I was going to continue on those measures and tools, but I suppose details are better left to other venues.) --LPfi (talk) 13:56, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When blocking a user, there is an option to automatically block their IP address (which I recommend using). This is effective for most vandals, but the more serious abusers know how to change their IP addresses. With respect to the vandal under discussion here, have we tried checking the IP addresses they've used to see if a rangeblock is feasible? I believe the English Wikivoyage doesn't have any Checkusers, so we would need a steward to help with this.
Speaking of which, with respect to the "wheels" vandal, all of this user's sockpuppets should be reported to stewards here. This is the advice I got when asking for help on Wikipedia. Reporting the sockpuppets to the stewards should facilitate coordination to block the socks more rapidly and possibly implement rangeblocks or other measures. —Granger (talk · contribs) 14:07, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── One thing I suggested in the abuse filter discussion that I will put up now is to ask the Wikimedia foundation to make software tweaks so we can have a review system in place. Baidu baike, the Chinese competitor to Wikipedia, already has such as system in place, where edits made by users are sent to a team to experts for review before they get published (and of course, it gets reviewed by the censors too). Naturally, we don't want to use it for censorship here, but if we require edits by IP editors and new users to be reviewed by a patroller before they get published, that could certainly help to limit damage to the site. The dog2 (talk) 15:06, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That's used at WikiBooks as well, I believe. I think that's going too far, as it prevents new editors from seeing their contributions when they post/request them. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:08, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, nothing to do lighthearted. On sv-wp it has been suggested a few times, but the discussions have been very critical to experiences from wikipedias that use the system. --LPfi (talk) 16:21, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(1) Can the advice to report all sockpuppets to stewards at that link be added to Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits or some other place where it's highly visible? Though it's difficult to take the time to do this while playing whack-a-mole with one sockpuppet after another. (2) I think some of the participants in this thread are oddly misunderstanding and mischaracterizing what I touched on and Andrecarrotflower stated more bluntly: Of course, everyone is encouraged to participate in this thread! The issue is that if you choose not to patrol recent changes but consistently minimize problems with vandalism or other abuses that admins, with some help from stewards, have to deal with - in this case, over a period of 2 days - you are not being part of the solution, and your remarks are not helpful. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:25, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Anyone can participate. What I mean by open source is in reference to vandalism, not participation. I’m not opposed to comments by non admins if they are respectful and follow the chronological order of comments being made. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:34, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Admins and non-admins all have a responsibility to be respectful, and their comments should be equally welcome. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:49, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ikan Kekek: Added. Feel free to adjust. —Granger (talk · contribs) 17:55, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All opinions have an equal right to be heard, but not all opinions have inherently equal merit or inherently deserve equal consideration. In the latter two regards, better informed opinions win out over less well informed ones, and in this case, informedness of opinion comes from having directly participated in the vandalism abatement of last weekend and having firsthand understanding of how unsustainable (regardless of some people's naïvely idealistic dedication to "the open-source point of view" above all else) the status quo is. If you weren't online during that time or participating in the effort, that doesn't mean you have anything to be ashamed of or are less worthy of being treated with respect, but it does mean you don't have as good an understanding of this issue, and good form is to not contradict those who do. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:53, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you, Granger. Looks good to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:10, 25 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So has anyone managed to compile a list of the Fuerdai vandal's sockpuppets to send to the stewards. It looks like there's probably too many to count. The dog2 (talk) 04:32, 25 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The RecentChanges interface since 2017

This link only works if you have the "new" form of RecentChanges enabled. If you have the old version, then you will see admins and experienced editors in this list. If you want the "new" version, so that you can see the list filtered for people whose edits would be excluded by semi-protecting all templates, then go to Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-rc and turn off the "non-Javascript" item, save your changes to your prefs, and come back here to click this link again. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:30, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I just went in and deleted the templates created by the IP user. Redirects make sense for articles, but I can't see how having a redirect for templates will be useful. These don't show up in the recent changes long once deleted, so maybe that's why you don't see that many instances of vandalism. The dog2 (talk) 17:49, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 18:22, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Redirects can be very useful for templates. Template:Coordinates, Template:Cotw, and Template:District are all redirects. However, I would not have recommended some of these (especially Template:Info). WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:30, 24 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Template showing a page is semi-protected?[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Maybe we should have a template noting that a page is semi-protected, which we add to articles and talk pages we semi-protect due to spamming or vandalism. This way, new editors would not be discouraged by finding an edit did not save for reason that might not be understood by them. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 15:26, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

To be seen by new editors the notice would need to be very prominent, which is distracting for readers. I think it is enough to warn a reader in a sensible manner when they hit "edit". Also the listing editor should handle the situation sensibly (warning as first thing). –LPfi (talk) 16:32, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I believe Leaderboard brought this up some time earlier. But if we were to, can we use Wikibooks style templates and not Wikipedia style? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 21:57, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why do this at all? There are only 22 semi-protected articles at the moment (plus one that's protected at a higher level). MediaWiki software automatically indicates the status ("Edit" turns into "View source"), and if you do click the button, it gives a brief explanatory message (including, but not limited to, MediaWiki:Protectedpagetext. I think this is sufficient. I also think it is more more intelligible than sticking an unfamiliar icon somewhere on the page, and better than sticking a text explanation on the page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:17, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, you are correct. For some reason I didn’t realize it showed this message when clicking “edit.” --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:37, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Need to go to incognito to see it. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 23:41, 1 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What about the listing editor? Does the edit link show on protected pages? What happens when you click it? –LPfi (talk) 04:27, 2 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The edit link doesn't show. I have just looked at Liverpool in another browser where I haven't logged in, and there are no edit links for any of the "see" listings. AlasdairW (talk) 09:21, 2 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This may of course be confusing. I don't know what to do about it. –LPfi (talk) 09:28, 2 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll try experimenting with one. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:38, 2 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think it is confusing - the reader is not presented with any tools to edit the article. Would a talk page message be useful to explain this to potential editors? The usable status message at the bottom of the article does still say "but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.", but I don't thimk we have enough protected pages to worry about this detail. AlasdairW (talk) 09:45, 2 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have tested this out of Sydney/Upper North Shore which is currently protected from Brendan. Looks half good, except the link needs to be fixed. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:10, 2 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I feel like it's not worth protecting any article from that guy because it's so easy to just roll back his edits. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:29, 2 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
SHB, would you please stop importing templates from other wikis? Our goal is the fewest number of templates possible. Also, by using that template, you've inadvertently created categories (the actual categories, not the visible page – MediaWiki's weird about the structure of cats) that we don't need and didn't want.
As an exercise, if it's safe in your area, I suggest that you show a handful of non-editors that page and ask them what they think those blobs up in the corner mean. I bet that none of them will guess correctly. The page is locked for everyone who sees it? (No, most active editors can still edit it.) The page is finalized? (No, it's just as much "in progress" as every other page.) This template basically decorates articles with a icon that is only meaningful to the one-in-a-quarter-million people worldwide who have spent significant time editing the English Wikipedia. This is not helpful. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:19, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Unfortunately, I'm under harsh lockdown, so I can't do that yet, but I'll share my personal experience from a few years back when I hadn't edited Wikipedia. It was in 2015, so I can't remember to which page though. Anyway, I saw a typo, but there was only the "View source" button for me. I wasn't sure why, so I searched around the page if there's anything explaining why, and I found that icon at the top right. It explained why I couldn't edit it, and solved my curiosity on why I couldn't edit it.
I'm not sure if I'm a one off, but it surely helps. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 02:37, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Ikan Kekek: When DaGizza protected that page, I believe he was a lot more active then, but it seems he's slowed down a bit. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 02:29, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, I don't like the icon, either, and I really don't think that we should be semi-protecting anything because of this one guy. The worst edits he makes are copyvio, but they always get rolled back quickly. Basically, I think this is an example of hitting a fly with a sledgehammer. If anyone is feeling burnt out in reverting that guy's edits, I'd recommend they let others do it, or more of it, for a while. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:13, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, we don't only protect pages because of Brendan. I believe there was a page about Yoga which tt! protected due to excessive touting, and then there's userpages, templates, files as well. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 04:17, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Probably we could (including myself) semi-protect for shorter periods. If we semi protect for a day I doubt most of them will return to that page in 24 hours. They are more likely to go somewhere else. In many cases we might get around the problem with shorter semi-protections. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 04:25, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree. Only as long as truly necessary. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:27, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This guy does teach me new things though. Particularly places close to home and where I didn't even know it existed. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 04:31, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The English Wikipedia, which has different pressures, has semi-standardized on 31 hours. Why? Because it's 24 hours plus the typical length of a school day. If a kid vandalized the article at school one morning, then 31 hours carries us safely through until the kid has gone home from school the next day. Admins seem satisfied with this approach. My point isn't to tell you that 31 hours is the magic number, but instead to say that sometimes it's worth thinking about what the vandal's situation might be. Maybe it's Friday night, and the edit makes you think the vandal's on holiday for the weekend? Then protect the page until Tuesday. It's Monday and someone's running down the competition? Maybe protect the page until their weekend starts. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:22, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, true, works for most vandals, but Brendan seems to be editing at random times. I was once up at around 00:20 when he edited Tibooburra that late up (For the matter, his IPs geo locate to Maroochydore). I believe that day he was doing a lot more edits to other articles too that day, including to random places. Predicting his situation is quite difficult, but I believe he's one of the harder vandals copyright violators to predict. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 23:07, 3 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I keep saying, Brendan is not a very harmful vandal. The worst thing he does is post some copyvio. He doesn't do anything really antagonistic or destructive. I really think you are way too preoccupied with him and that it's probably never worth semi-protecting any page for any length of time because of anything he does. Just rollback his edits and be done with it; don't even waste time posting to any user talk pages if you are 100% sure it's him. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:05, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
OK, I just ended the semi-protection I had overzealously made indefinite on two pages. I would like it if we could stop semi-protecting a greater number of pages. It makes sense to permanently limit who can edit the Main Page, Previous Featured travel topics‎ and articles like Cultural attractions that are repositories of links to existing articles, but I think it makes sense to permanently protect destination articles only when that's really essential. I feel like most of the rest of the articles that are currently semi-protected, including several that are semi-protected indefinitely, could be unprotected, but I wouldn't want to act unilaterally on articles others semi-protected. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:40, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would leave that Yoga page that tt! protected due to the persistent touting which makes it disruptive. I'm lifting that protection which DaGizza protected because Brendan would've forgot by now, and I'd be learning something new. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 09:45, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I went through the list, and I've removed some that I feel were from incidents from at least 6 months ago, that the reason why would've been forgotten now. I did however, leave the North Korea one that Ibaman protected since that is often a controversial subject. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 10:06, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think both the yoga page and North Korea should be protected for a limited time only. That way the protection isn't forgotten, and things may change. It is easy to revert and protect again if needed, but at the same time one could reflect on what else should be done for the article. There is no reason to believe it was in an optimal state at the time it was protected (or that updates aren't needed), and we might not have any experts on the area among regulars. –LPfi (talk) 10:41, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm OK with both those articles being indefinitely semi-protected, but certainly Yoga in Rishikesh, which is a huge spam target. We could try unprotecting the other at some point, though it has a pretty bad history. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:53, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suppose they need protection, but they might get forgotten; as protected they will not pop up at recent changes and watchlists. The yoga page is in bad shape and North Korea probably needs updates, and as protected nothing will happen but by regulars doing something (few passers-by will suggest improvements on talk pages). Them popping up on RC is one major way to get regulars do something about them. Having the protection expire every now and then, they'll get at least some attention. –LPfi (talk) 11:09, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Very true. One thing this community is particularly good at is seeing a contribution in Special:RecentChanges and then building on that. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:14, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────One of the LTAs switches IP addresses frequently and targets certain articles, so in that case the only effective method to block is semi-protection, which makes him quit for a while. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:02, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ljupco does not stay quiet if you page protect an article. Instead, he'll go and target you on another wiki (which I did, and he went and edit warred with me on w:Kosciuszko National Park). He doesn't quit for a while, but ends up harassing whoever did (and claiming whoever protected the page is a sockpuppet of me). SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:11, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(edit conflict) So is semiprotecting the right thing to do? We have limited vandal fighting resources on Wikivoyage. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 11:35, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems as though, it benefits us, but doesn't benefit other wikis. I am thinking of creating a bot that automatically reverts this guy's edits, but I'm not so great in Javascript. (only good at html/css). SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:42, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'd say semi-protection should be used sparingly, and should very rarely be indefinite. I see that Concerns has just been indefinitely semi-protected, even though it hasn't had any recent vandalism or disruptive edits. I think it should be unprotected. —Granger (talk · contribs) 19:05, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not sure there's a special reason for non-auto-confirmed users to edit that page, but you're right: no vandalism since 2017. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:08, 4 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In my opinion, a page shouldn't be protected just because we don't see a special reason for non-autoconfirmed users to edit it. The default should be unprotected, and pages should only be protected if they have to be. As it happens, an IP user helpfully copyedited the Concerns article last year and would not have been able to do so if the article had been semi-protected at the time. —Granger (talk · contribs) 15:57, 5 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No disagreement, and thanks for pointing that out. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:06, 5 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Protection of Modules[edit]

Swept in from the pub

Yesterday a vandal edited several modules - look at the contributions of a user blocked at 23:24 for details. This resulted in text appearing when other editors changed destination articles.

Whilst I am not generally keen on page protection, I really don't see the need for a new user to edit modules, and all widely used modules should have some protection. All the useful edits to these modules have been by experienced editors, and anybody else can request an edit by posting here. AlasdairW (talk) 22:22, 18 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Some revisions on what happens if left unprotected. [3] and [4]. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 12:00, 19 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What modules are there on this site and what do they do? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:45, 19 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There appear to be around 50-100 of them, and some of these are widely used. The one that the vandal edited which led to my investigation was Module:FastWikidata. It appears to be used on most (or all) destination articles. The vandal's edits resulted in an error message appearing after another user edited any page. I first noticed some red text at the top of an article on my watchlist, but all the edits to that article were done by a trusted editor. AlasdairW (talk) 22:54, 19 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They all seem to be Fuerdai. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 23:03, 19 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I see that most of the modules have some documentation in plain text, though that one doesn't. It does make sense to semi-protect them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:13, 19 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Introduce PCP?[edit]

Swept in from the pub


PCP = Pending changes protection for those unaware, similar to how it works on the English Wikipedia.

I'm proposing to introduce PCP to Wikivoyage for a couple of reasons, and here they are:

  1. We are, after all, the travel guide that anyone can edit. Often if there is disruption, we'd just semi protect the page and do nothing about it.
  2. Currently, when a page is protected, there's often no mentoring on how to improve the page. PCP would allow them to improve the page. Good enough, accept it, if not, then leave it.
  3. For such talk pages affected (a good recent example is Talk:Go, where it seems Ljupco seems to randomly blabber on about Backgammon), newbies can still post messages. They'll just need to be reviewed. If it's vandalism or spam, rollback it with a single click.
  4. For indef protected mainspace pages (like North Korea or the Yoga article), this will not prevent the article from ever growing from IPs.

On who can review these changes, I'd not say a new group should be created, but should rather be integrated into the user rights of patrollers and sysops. Just because that's what patrollers and sysops would be doing with rollback anyway.

Just to wrap it up, this is just a new protection level to loosen up our already loosened up restrictions on the travel guide anyone can edit (except for spambots, vandals and LTAs).

--SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 11:07, 21 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

PCP discussion[edit]

I am for it, as per the “Welcome feedback” comments I had posted on my Talk when joining WV. However, the regular editors would need to review the pending changes: e.g. in plwiki they are sometimes left hanging for months on end. Zezen (talk) 14:58, 21 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think this is unnecessary. Mentoring can (and does) happen now, so this isn't necessary for mentoring. Also, the scale of the problem is small. There are only 17 pages under semi-protection right now. (Several of those will expire during the next week.) Most of those are protected because of one person/situation. We don't have articles that draw negative attention from many people over extended time periods.
Also, it creates some extra work and extra complexity for editors. Instead of just checking Special:RecentChanges, you will have to learn the new system (a fixed cost for each patroller, even if only one article is ever placed under this protection), and then you have to actively click the button to accept the edit each time someone edits that page.
Assuming we're just as human as all the other communities, adding a "lesser" protection option is likely to slowly lead to more pages being protected. If we want to be "the travel guide anyone can edit", we might be best off staying away from any potentially slippery slopes.
Finally, the changes that you want require config changes on the server side, and I don't know whether the WMF would agree to that. That software is getting pretty old and creaky, and expanding the use of potentially unstable software usually produces some hesitation from the devs. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:28, 21 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Can you please explain what "Pending changes protection" is and how it works? Don't assume we all know how something that's used on Wikipedia and not here works. Ikan Kekek (talk) 17:36, 21 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here's what I could find: mw:Help:Pending_changes, w:Wikipedia:Pending changes, w:Wikipedia:Flagged revisions, w:Wikipedia:Reviewing pending changes Nelson Ricardo 2500 (talk) 19:58, 21 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks. Key point: "On a pending changes protected page, edits by unregistered (or new) users are not shown to readers until reviewed by a pending changes reviewer." I don't favor this currently. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:49, 22 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't really see the need for this. —Granger (talk · contribs) 07:59, 22 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I also don't think we're at the point where we need to implement pending changes. Those editors who have their edits queued will wonder why their edits didn't go through to the live version. They will also wonder how long it'll take to go live. You also need a pool of reviewers to go through these pending changes. If the incoming pending changes outpace the reviewers, you will start to have a backlog. Plus I don't think it's the best use of the editors' limited time on the site. Overall, I oppose this proposal. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:41, 22 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This may also be of interest: in 2020-10 the Portuguese Wiki blocked the IP edits (the unregistered users) after a vote. Discussion (partly in English), the vote (ptwiki, so Portuguese only), Results, the key graphs only.
Ptwiki admin’s summary:
We also wanted to improve communication with newbies and newbie retention, which was next to impossible with IPs. So far, it has been a success, and the vast majority of editors is quite happy with that decision. New users have increased as well, since the IPs are gone, and the project is seen from outside as more reliable (it was a problem before)...
Zezen (talk) 06:54, 23 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am very interested in seeing how this plays out over time. Having fewer inexperienced editors always makes editors happy ...for a little while. But eventually, we realize that none of us are immortal, and losing the next generation of editors could doom the whole project. It seems likely to me that the correct answer will be that the largest Wikipedias can withstand the loss, at least in the near-term, and that the smaller wikis would not. We need more research to find out. (The WMF is planning to run this as an experiment with two other Wikipedias. It might be necessary to try it at more than just two more.)
Also, there is that awkward contrast between the anti-IP-masking folks, who insist that they must know the full IP address for thousands of editors to protect the wikis, and the IP-banners, who insist that nobody (except the overloaded CheckUsers) must be allowed to see any part of anyone's IP address, because everyone must be registered to protect the wikis. It is not possible for both of these views to be correct. Either we actually need to see IP addresses for new and occasional editors, or we don't. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:50, 23 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks Nelson Ricardo 2500, the first link explained it well. I’m opposed to this as I’m sure it would discourage new users, particularly if pending changes aren’t reviewed quickly. Recent changes patrol is an effective mechanism for this wiki. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 02:32, 23 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe a Wikipedia could afford to turn away IP users. I don't think we can or should. Many of us started as IP users. I was an IP user for years before I registered. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:26, 23 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@SelfieCity: I thought the subheading discussion was at Wikivoyage talk:Travellers' pub? Were you going to put it there and ended up accidentally adding it here? SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta.wikimedia) 13:11, 23 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment: I'd support having pending changes protection here, but only as something that is applied to a limited number of articles, like semi-protection and full-protection. This is used on, for example, the English Wikipedia. The English Wikibooks makes pending changes the default for edits from any users with less than 100 edits; I would be completely opposed to a universal pending changes approach like that here, as it would likely result in a backlog. It can take years for edits to be reviewed on enwikibooks. I see no harm in having pending changes protection on a handful of articles, though. Rubbish computer (Talk: Contribs) 18:09, 25 August 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Policy pages & templates[edit]

Swept in from the pub

User:SHB2000 just restricted editing on one page with the summary:

Excessive vandalism: no reason for anons to edit this policy page

That's fine, but I wonder if we should go further. Tag all policy pages so you need to be an autoconfirmed user to edit & an admin to move them?

Perhaps tag templates as well since a vandal, or just a clumsy user, messing with them could cause a large mess? Pashley (talk) 23:26, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Pashley: If I remember correctly, The dog2 already protected most pages and if I remember correctly, there was a discussion about this (I can't seem to find it, though). I think the one I protected might have been some of the few policy pages that The dog2 missed. SHB2000 (talk | contribs | meta) 23:30, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure, I think it makes sense to protect approved templates too. I probably missed a few but yes, I don't think there should be any reason for new users or anonymous IPs to edit policy pages, so please protect them whenever you come across any that I missed. The dog2 (talk) 23:34, 26 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For templates, there is the problem of seasoned Wikimedians coming here to help with some template oddness. They may not have an old account and previous edits over here, and will thus be affected by the protection. Some of them might notice the problem (perhaps pinged in the Pub) without our remembering to unprotect or whatever that is needed – and the problem may be in a template we don't realise is related. Therefore, I recommend being very restrictive in protecting templates, especially complicated templates. We might have to protect templates that are used in many articles, but it is a trade-off. I don't see related problems with policy pages, though. –LPfi (talk) 17:54, 28 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If memory serves, autoconfirmed here requires an account that is four days old, with zero edits.
I generally favor protecting templates when there is a genuine, non-hypothetical benefit to it. I don't think we need to wait for a malicious actor (protection can protect a good-faith newbie from making a mistake that could be very distressing to them, even if it's two seconds work for us to fix it), but I do think we shouldn't preëmptively protect pages that don't get edited.
During the last month, here are all (five) of the edits made in the Template: namespace by people who aren't admins or don't have the template editor user right:
That's it. I don't know about you, but this doesn't feel like a level of activity that would justify protecting the templates. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:45, 29 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi WhatamI, I've only got 1500 or so edits on Wikivoyage, almost all of them minor. It honestly wouldn't bother me if occasionally I had to make a suggestion on a talkpage rather than edit the page, and the threshold that Pashley is suggesting wouldn't exclude me. I've encountered template vandalism on other wikis, and while I'm not sure if I'm considered enough of a WikiVoyager to pontificate here, I'm a believer in closing barn doors when we know that other barn doors have needed to be closed. WereSpielChequers (talk) 21:01, 1 January 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]