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Changes to CentralNotice Access[edit]

A source of concern for some time has been that there are more people with access to CentralNotice than know how to or want to use the system. This is mainly been maintained because of CentralNotice's reliance on the MediaWiki namespace rather than a specific policy. Following the separation of interface-admin rights from general admins rights along with activity requirements for Meta Admin it has been decided to apply both of these policies to CentralNotice Administrators effective immediately as we look to proactively improve our security posture and promote a culture of security.

From today, only individuals with the “centralnotice-admin” user group will be able to modify campaigns and banners. Meta administrators will no longer be able access CentralNotice or make changes to centralnotice banners through the MediaWiki namespace.

CentralNotice-admins who have not made actions related to CN in the last 12 months as of November 16th 2018 will have the CentralNotice right removed but without prejudice. They will eligible to re-request the rights should the need arise or that they intend to work with CentralNotice on a longer term basis.

Meta-admins who have been active in the last 12 months in CentralNotice and will be added to the CentralNotice admin group by the Meta Bureaucrats shortly. Similarly Meta admins who have previously worked with CentralNotice but who have not done so in the last 12 months are eligible to re-request the rights should the need arise or that they intend to work with CentralNotice on a longer term basis without prejudice.

CentralNotice admins will also be required to undertake additional measures to secure their accounts.

It's understood this may cause some temporary disruption but I will be providing additional supports to communities in their access and use of CentralNotice through this period. Thank you all for your support and patience through this. Seddon (WMF) (talk) 05:25, 17 November 2018 (UTC)

@Seddon (WMF): and to where has this conversation been taking place? I haven't seen any invitation to participate. I was understanding that we operated with consensus, rather than by decree.  — billinghurst sDrewth 10:34, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
@Seddon (WMF): Thanks for separate follow-up email.

If you reread your post above, it is the generic big brother words that are troublesome. When a matter is undertaken, the powers that made the decision can be named. Not the amorphous nature used here which simply lacks accountability. I don't think if there are specific security concerns that you will get argument that changes should be made, and that may outweigh community consensus, however, that can be done courteously in a means sympathetic with our community approach. That said, you have now also set and direct a community policy again without identification of who has made that policy, and that is not the role of WMF staff here at meta, unless one is implementing something on the direction of the Board or the ED. If you are doing it on that, or similar authority, then say it. This is meta and staff should be cognisant of that; and you have been round long enough to know the culture of your fellow dinosaurs. You are also implementing an authority that changes the natures of the wikis, and where the Foundation may be seen as being put in greater control of day to day events. If you had applied a similar approach at enWP you would have faced a riot! So please look to update your communications around this process and identify what is staff-imposed and on whose authority, and what belongs to the community.  — billinghurst sDrewth 11:01, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

Seddon asked us Meta bureaucrats to implement the described changes. I have done so now. --MF-W 10:44, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
@MF-Warburg: I've touched CN's in the l2 months and are an admin and int-admin with 2FA, but don't see this access added - does a request need to be filed? — xaosflux Talk 12:34, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
I acted based on a list Seddon gave me. Looks like it may have been incomplete. I would wait for a correction to be made, if none happens, then please file a request. --MF-W 12:55, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
@Seddon (WMF): for comment. — xaosflux Talk 13:11, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
I used to make an edit to banners translation (even earlier this month) and still excluded? Can I edit translations without being barked by system? — regards, Revi 04:01, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
Some admins were indeed left out. It is fixed now. --MF-W 01:17, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
"It has been decided" <-- Who decided, exactly? This whole post is written in some weird passive language (another example: "it's understood") where nobody is taking responsibility for or ownership of this decision. Who is responsible? --MZMcBride (talk) 23:47, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
@Seddon (WMF): It is not your job to go quiet on us, in fact it would seem that it is your job to be the bridge. Please engage in conversation.  — billinghurst sDrewth 09:12, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
@Billinghurst and MZMcBride: Apologies, it was not intentional, last week was just a long long week and I was pretty burnt out. The decision to bring changes was collectively made by the Security, Legal and Trust & Safety teams last week in consultation with both the Wikimedia Foundation Board and the executives. It emerged from an issue I am in no position to discuss but I was responsible for coming up with and implementing the plan that would strengthen the security of CentralNotice in the least disruptive way possible without resorting to more extreme measures such as removing CN from meta or strictly limiting access to it. Given my ongoing role in supporting volunteers and staff who use or utilise CentralNotice in their work, I felt it appropriate for me to own announcing the changes that were implemented. The tone was not a deliberate choice in its passiveness, just an unfortunate nuance in my style of writing. Seddon (WMF) (talk) 19:22, 20 November 2018 (UTC)


This is de facto policy according to the description, but what do we need to do to make it de jure policy? Unless there is any stuff that raises a big red siren, I think we can do formal stuff and make it de jure. — regards, Revi 15:04, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

Do you want some specific change? Unless that is the case, I do not see any reason to deviate from common practice. Not everything has to be written in stone, unless it is controversial. --Vogone (talk) 15:17, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
Mostly agree with Vogone. I don't think the issue is with the policy, it is possibly the lack of clarity that we will utilise non-compliance to block. We do not heavily link to it; it is not mentioned in our welcome message; and we do not have a block policy. With each of those it could be said that there is not sufficient emphasis on this from the community.  — billinghurst sDrewth 20:53, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
Meta-Wiki intentionally avoids having very detailed behavioural policies, because if we summed up all the different expectations and habits of people from hundreds of projects we would end up having dozens of megabytes of text for every user to read. Meta also happens to be the place where many of the "universal" or ancient wiki or Wikimedia principles are discussed and summarised, which often provide useful guidance.
So I see it fitting that Meta:Urbanity was created as a mere explanation of how to read and use previously expressed policies and principles, and I'm not aware of any case where explicitly making it policy would have helped. I don't rule out that there may be, though. Nemo 22:14, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
"Urbanity" is a weird word choice, for what it's worth. --MZMcBride (talk) 23:49, 19 November 2018 (UTC)

Proposal: Updating requirements for autoconfirmed accounts[edit]

At the moment, autoconfirmed accounts at Meta are set after 4 days and zero edits. This is being problematic for some spam accounts, and at least one LTA who is creating accounts, and then waiting out the autoconfirmed period, then vandalising semi-protected pages. I propose that we have our configuration amended to be

  • autoconfirmage 4 days; and
  • autoconfirmedits 5 edits

In a conversation with user:Ajraddatz I suggested 10 as used at other wikis, however, they counter-proposed to 5.  — billinghurst sDrewth 05:47, 19 November 2018 (UTC)


  • The intention proposal is to strengthen auto-confirmed status, and the indicative proposal is to do this by adding a minimum number of edits (wgAutoConfirmCount). If we are to do this at a minimal level, the new minimum proposed is 5 edits, though the community may wish to express an alternate number of edits, or, for that fact, to increase the number of days (wgAutoConfirmAge). Whomever closes may wish to emend the proposal, if successful, to the consensus of edits and age. configuration  — billinghurst sDrewth 22:43, 20 November 2018 (UTC)


The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Result: Even discounting my own vote, there's consensus to increment the threshold to grant autoconfirmed status on Meta-Wiki. New settings will be 4 days and 5 edits (while some comments suggested a higher editcount, the majority did simply support the original proposal by Billinghurst). —MarcoAurelio (talk) 09:51, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

Tracked in Phabricator
Task T211188 Resolved

Propose discussion for 14 days, so closing 3 December 2018 if no disagreement.

  • support as proposer.  — billinghurst sDrewth 05:47, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - would provide a bit of a buffer to keep autoconfirmed protection useful, while not preventing experienced users from across Wikimedia from participating here. I would be OK with either 5 or 10, but would lean towards 5 for now. We can always raise to 10 if this continues to be an issue. – Ajraddatz (talk) 05:53, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
    Note that if 4/10 is the preferred option, I support that as well. If consensus is leaning that way I don't think we need another discussion to confirm that. – Ajraddatz (talk) 20:39, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support --Rschen7754 06:07, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Supportmake sense to do this. I will prefer 7/50 as per my homewiki but this is better than nothing.--Cohaf (talk) 06:22, 19 November 2018 (UTC) add:1st choice will be 10, alternative 5.--Cohaf (talk) 06:02, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support and agree with Cohaf as well. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 10:30, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I think 4/10 is better, but am also fine with 5/104/5, accounts are often getting autocreated here via other projects so the 'days' alone isn't enough. — xaosflux Talk 13:54, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
  • We should definitely do something. I'd rather 4/10, but I can live with 4/5 for now. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:52, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support --Alaa :)..! 19:55, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support --Tiven2240 (talk) 09:18, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support --Achim (talk) 07:42, 24 November 2018 (UTC)
  •  Oppose, such restrictions have been tried on numerous wikis and they only make life harder for good faith users, no measurable improvement in the wiki life was ever detected. The reason is simple: bad faith users can easily pile up 5 edits in few seconds in a user page or anywhere, while good faith users only notice a mysterious disappearance or non-appearance of certain functions (such as being able to move a page to correct a typo) and they're not necessarily able to meet the threshold. For instance a page created under the wrong title can be deleted, or the user can give up because they don't understand from the documentation (if even they find it) why a certain button is not where it should be. I've assisted in person to countless workshops and other occasions where people are terribly confused and it's depressing. Nemo 08:47, 24 November 2018 (UTC)
    Comment while that scenario can be the case for minimal number of vandals, it is not the case for the spambots and the those who just come to spam. What we achieve by the proposed change is that with those problematic vandals is gain the ability to quickly see them editing in the general space prior to them moving to semi-protected pages, such as templates, user talk pages and active promoted pages. Noting we also utilise the autoconfirmed flag in some filters. Re your conversation about impacts upon good faith editors, that may the case in the wikipedias, your applying their issues here is less likely as editing here is significantly different, have a look at the semi-protected pages and see the difference to which we refer that are predominantly stable, static pages.  — billinghurst sDrewth 10:46, 24 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Pro Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 11:51, 24 November 2018 (UTC) Ich würde zwar 10 besser finden, aber kann zunächst mit 5 gut leben. Das hier ist Meta, die BenutzerInnen sollten sich also mit MediaWiki generell schon gut auskennen, anders als auf den direkten Öffentlichkeitsprojekten.
  • Support, although this would only require that LTA's wait 4 days as they had been, then make 5 vandalism (or any) edits in short succession to immediately be granted autoconfirmed. Vermont (talk) 12:09, 24 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support seems reasonable and needed. Quiddity (talk) 21:27, 24 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, althought considering the nature of Meta-Wiki, it could be more strict. Esteban16 (talk) 15:59, 2 December 2018 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


Autoconfirmed status is now gained after 4 days and 5 edits since a minute ago or so. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 12:24, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

Proposal meta 2FA[edit]

Hi all, I've opened an RfC Meta:Requests for comment/Enable 2FA on meta for all users - please stop by and review when you have the chance. I know there have been similar RfC's with wider scopes that we have declined lately. — xaosflux Talk 18:46, 29 November 2018 (UTC)

Abuse Filter Request[edit]

This I think is a very common issue, the {{delete}} tags are regularly removed by the page creator or being altered in some manner. We had to watch list every page we slap a tag on. Is there anyway to create a AF to abuse-filter disallow the page author to remove {{delete}} tags? My homewiki has one and it eases the load of patrollers considerably with the peace of mind that the tag is sticky. Any ideas? --Cohaf (talk) 15:20, 14 December 2018 (UTC)

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