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Talk:Main Page

Main Page error reports

To report an error on today's or tomorrow's Main Page, please add it to the appropriate section below.

  • Where is the error? An exact quote of all or part of the text in question will help.
  • Offer a correction if possible.
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Errors in the summary of the featured article

Today's TFA

Tomorrow's TFA

Errors with In the news

Errors in On this day

Today's OTD

Tomorrow's OTD

Errors in Did you know...

Current DYK

Next DYK

Next-but-one DYK

Errors in the featured picture

Today's POTD

Tomorrow's POTD

Errors in the summary of the featured list

Friday's FL

Monday's FL

General discussion

International Workers' Day

I am rather surprised that this day is not mentioned among the celebrations on May 1, while a Gaelic celebration in the Isles and one in India both are. Is there any particular reason for that?--R8R (talk) 13:44, 1 May 2019 (UTC)

The standard rationale for these is that the relevant article is not up to scratch. A cursory scan of the article shows quite a few citation needed tags. — RAVENPVFF · talk · 13:53, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
I see. Thank you very muchÄâ for your response.--R8R (talk) 14:02, 1 May 2019 (UTC)
Couldn't the increased traffic spur improvements? Wikipedia:Wikipedia is a work in progress. —  AjaxSmack  02:12, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
There is no evidence that readers of the main page click through and significantly improve articles. Stephen 03:11, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
Although it's easy to use grok.se to prove that articles get more edits (and presumably more improvements) while on the Main Page, that doesn't make much of a dent in 5,860,483 articles. We choose to give prominence to relatively good articles. Art LaPella (talk) 06:26, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
The motive behind "giv[ing] prominence to relatively good articles" is sound, but what we've ended up with is a daily list of minor or fancruft "holidays" from Ronald Reagan Day to Star Wars Day while major world holidays like Chinese/Lunar New Year and May Day are shunted aside. This hardly inspires an attitude of seriousness by readers toward the project, and could be more counterproductive than linking readers to articles in need of improvement.  AjaxSmack  21:55, 5 May 2019 (UTC)
Yep, I agree, but good luck getting it changed as long as Wikipedia operates on "consensus", which means any handful of people can join up to veto any change, making the project hyper-conservative. (This excludes things the community doesn't have control over like the MediaWiki software.) For consolation, the Main Page isn't very important anyway, as little of the general public ever sees it. Most Wikipedia traffic comes from Wikipedia articles showing up in Google search results. The Main Page in practice serves as a trophy case for project insiders. --47.146.63.87 (talk) 00:03, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
The main page gets between 15 to 20 million hits per day. Stephen 00:10, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
That's just hits, correct? Do we have any idea of unique visitors, or how much of that is automated (search engine scrapers, etc.)? And how much is people clicking on the logo link while trying to figure out how to search or get around the site? Are there figures on how long people spend viewing the main page? Honest questions. The articles that get the most daily hits are almost never things on the Main Page, which leads me to believe relatively few people do more than glance at it even if they arrive there for whatever reason. For example, right now the only article in the traffic top 20 according to Wikitrends that's on the Main Page is Ramadan, and I'm pretty sure most traffic for holiday articles is from Google. What's the Main Page traffic as a percentage of total English Wikipedia traffic? I searched around a bit for total en page views, but Google just gives me articles saying "about 18 billion views per month" for all Wikipedias combined. --47.146.63.87 (talk) 01:21, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
AFAIK, the increase in traffic for a FA when it's TFA is generally quite substantial, and this includes when the TFA has no real connection to the date. It's still possible these are coming from other sources e.g. someone reads it and then shares it and it's read by 20 other people or something, but it still reflects that the Main Page can have an effect. Note the fact that the most visited articles tend not to be on the Main Page suggests there are many people coming here via other means. This may mean that many or even most visitors to highly topical especially holiday related pages come from somewhere other than the main page so the exclusion of holidays or events doesn't matter that much. But it doesn't necessarily mean that the main page isn't highly viewed, since we're talking all relative here. I mean if we assume the page view stats means at least 3 million unique visitors, even if only 1% of them actually look at the Main Page a bit rather than just glance or even simply enter something into the search bar and ignore it, that's still 30k viewing it. For many articles, getting 30k people would be a substantial achievement. As I said before, many may not click through from the main page to any article, but the point is it's different from them not actually looking at the main page. (I think the stats on how non topical article views changes also suggests 30k is a little low although as before, it's hard to prove this is directly from people seeing it on the main page given the possibility of sharing etc.) Nil Einne (talk) 13:32, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
While researching the below, I came across [1] which is interesting because it suggests quite a lot of WMF traffic (all major projects not just en.wikipedia) is coming from internal links. Obviously many of these would be internal article links etc, the Main Page would be extremely tiny by way of comparison, still it suggests while external search engines are important, they aren't the end all. One thing I'm confused about is none/direct, does this mean our internal search engine or what? In particular, AFAIK there is no way to know if I type in en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meow into my address bar or use a bookmark that I did this as opposed to coming from a website that tells the browser not to include any referer info or using a browser that doesn't which I assume is what is classified as unknown. (No referer info so source of traffic is unknown.) If traffic with no referer is classified as none/direct, the name seems misleading and I'm also unsure what unknown means. I'm also assuming that files etc on commons won't count as visits and so internal links unless the person actually clicks on them. Or maybe even goes past the Media Viewer. But I'm not certain. Nil Einne (talk) 14:57, 21 May 2019 (UTC)
Or maybe if the people who believe that these major world holidays deserve to be on the Main Page would simply look over them and fix the issues instead of assuming that these days will get a pass then they would be in good enough shape to qualify. It's not our fault that people care enough to make sure that Star Wars Day is up to snuff, but just ignore May Day. --Khajidha (talk) 03:39, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Exactly. If you see a problem, fix it. howcheng {chat} 07:47, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I don't see much of a problem with e.g. May Day. It is lightly sourced but certainly far from an embarrassment. Ditto with International Workers' Day. Neither seem particularly different from Ramadan.  AjaxSmack  17:02, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Did you check what the pages looked like on 30 April? --Khajidha (talk) 17:29, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Even now, the "By country" section of the IWD article is woefully referenced. Fully deserving of a tag really. The Rambling Man (talk) 18:32, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Would every country in the 'by country' section need a source that the IWD is indeed celebrated or just sources for the other random cultural tidbits surrounding the occasion in the different countries? 91.97.253.196 (talk) 19:08, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
A source is needed, yep, for each one. Could be "one source fits all", but unverifiable claims have no place in an encyclopedia, let alone bold linked from the main page. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:16, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
Yeah of course, not complaining. Just thinking of how much work that would be. Not sure how one would source IWD in Somalia, for example, unless there is something reliable that actually does list all countries that celebrate IWD. And then there is probably lots of content that would be somewhat easy to source, if one spoke the different languages... 91.97.253.196 (talk) 19:27, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
For sure, it's difficult to source some of these things, but it really doesn't mean we should even really allow such unverifiable claims to be within the articles, let alone linked from OTD. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:30, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
I did not mean to say it should be linked, i was more thinking about how to fix it. And that the task at hand is quite daunting. Anyway, cheers for making clear what is needed to get the article up to scratch for next year (not that i actually believe it will be fixed lol)91.97.253.196 (talk) 19:40, 6 May 2019 (UTC)
No worries. Cheers for now. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:52, 6 May 2019 (UTC)

WP:ERRORS and Commons

Finding nothing comparable to WP:ERRORS over at Commons, I've proposed that one be created. If you're familiar with the workings of ERRORS (in particular, anything technical that's not immediately obvious), please visit C:Talk:Main Page#COM:ERRORS. Thank you. Nyttend (talk) 04:47, 8 May 2019 (UTC)

You'd have better luck trying to bite an air biscuit than getting anything worthwhile proposed and established at Commons. WaltCip (talk) 21:42, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Commons is known for its resistance to changes in its policy's in fact you likely have a better chance at becoming a admin there then changing its policies Cvxs (talk) 15:51, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
Cvxs, I've been an admin at Commons for four years now. Nyttend (talk) 02:09, 20 May 2019 (UTC)
What WaltCip said. Commons makes en-wiki look a model of efficiency, and their institutional culture is so obsessively "not invented here" they'll reject any proposal on principle. (Also, errors on their main page are less of an issue; errors on the main pages of the large Wikipedias are a problem because they're de facto portals to the internet for the general public, but nobody except insiders ever looks at Commons.) ‑ Iridescent 02:46, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

No comment on Commons culture problems. But the last sentence seems questionable. According to these stats, Commons:Main Page receives about 98k page views a day [2]. How many unique visitors this means I don't know, but I find it extremely hard to believe even 10% of these page views represents Commons "insiders". If it is, the commons community is a heck of a lot larger than I realised or are doing something weird to trigger so many page views, or a definition of "insiders" is being used that I find weird.

Interesting these page views puts Commons just above the Portuguese 93k [3] Wikipedia and just below the Polish 106k [4] and well below the Chinese 192k [5]. In order, next are Japanese 408k [6], Spanish 438k [7], Russian 478k [8] French 526k [9] and Italian 544k [10]. And topping out the list, German over an order of magnitude more than Commons at 1213k [11] and of course our own English with well over 2 orders of magnitude more than Commons at 15493k [12].

I didn't filter this data or analyse for any weirdness and of course the page view stats aren't perfect, still I didn't see anything untoward. If anything some of the wikipedias have some weird peaks e.g. the Polish which may be affecting results. I can't of course rule out some supporter of Commons automating page views because they predicted this question would happen a year ago (or something) but still, I'm not convinced of the last sentence.

And for clarity, I took this list of wikipedias from www.wikipedia.org since I assume they're still using page views for the wikipedia to determine what the top ten are Meta:Top Ten Wikipedias although I didn't check the Phabricator or gerrit. (Page views for the wikipedia may not be entirely reflective on their Main Page, still it seems unlikely it's that extremely different so at most maybe some other wikipedias belong somewhere at the low end.)

Nil Einne (talk) 13:21, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

I think you are misinterpreting what was said. The comment didn't specify "Commons insiders". I took it to mean that Commons is only accessed by dedicated wiki-editors, while the English Main Page is accessed by many people who will never edit, only read. Given that files from Commons are used on basically all Wikipedias, I can believe the page view numbers. --Khajidha (talk) 13:38, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

The specific comment was "errors on the main pages of the large Wikipedias are a problem because they're de facto portals to the internet for the general public, but nobody except insiders ever looks at Commons". But I see no real evidence this is the case. Nor for that matter what you said "Commons is only accessed by dedicated wiki-editors, while the English Main Page is accessed by many people who will never edit, only read" (well with the reasonable replacement of read with view considering the focus of commons). I should have avoided the word Commons when I said insiders but the fact remains there is zero evidence even 10% of these views is coming from insiders whether or not you want to call people from other WMF wikis (really only the English wikipedia matters, we can see from these stats the other wikipedias probably don't even double the community size, and the other projects are even less used).

Remember these are only main page views nothing else. By comparison Commons:Special:Upload Wizard gets about 12k views [13] and Commons:Upload gets about and Commons 580 (no k) [14]. How many of these need to come from the main page? (Remembering links from other wikipedias, bookmarks, multiple uploads without revisiting the Main Page etc.) I tried to find uploads per day stats, the closest I found was WLM stats [15] and these seem to be nearly 10k even before the peak and are I think only WLM stats. But in any case, there's the obvious question of how likely it is that uploads coming via other means will need to visit the main page to get there. We can see from the early stats that the WLM peak doesn't seem to have affected the Main Page view count.

Insiders may also come to do other stuff like discuss deletions, look for other contributors, try to find files for their articles etc, but how many of these are going to be coming to the main page to do so as opposed to e.g. following links to files pages and from file pages? Probably the main one that I can think of would be finding images, does anyone know if there are any stats of how many files are added to English wikipedia articles per day? (Including "changes" of existing files.) Per my earlier reasoning, I don't think what's going on outside en matters that much if it's claimed that most of these views are from "insiders" only we're getting to the border line.

Even if we give that maybe it's above 10% page views from "insiders" how high do we go? I mean maybe we push it below Portuguese but even if we drop the number by 50% this still suggests quite a substantial number of people coming for some reason other than being an "insider", about half of our 10th largest wikipedia.

P.S. Just confirmed [16] the above stats exclude redirect views. So if there's some page that gets a lot of redirected views for some reason it will be skewed. You can see the redirects for the upload wizard [17] and [18] and the Portuguese Main Page [19]. It pushes Commons:Upload up to 644 but otherwise not much.

Nil Einne (talk) 14:35, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

P.S. A few probably final additional points. I screwed up and missed Special:Upload earlier [20], this adds about 3k page views.

Also I'm not saying many of those page views are actually viewing the Commons Main Page. This gets into the complexity of the above discussion namely how many are there to do something else. But the point remains, if these people are visiting to find stuff for their non WMF project I find it questionable if they can be called insiders. Or at least if they really are all "insiders", at least they aren't really visiting for "insider" reasons. Note also the en.wikipedia itself only gets under 160k edits a day if I understand these stats correctly [21].

I admit, the number of edits for all projects was way higher than I expected compared to en [22], although page views does tally with my expectation (a bit over double en). There are a lot of wikidata edits [23] as you may expect, and I presume many of these don't end up at commons (the reason I excluded it before), still this doesn't doesn't completely explain the number of edits, you still have way more than double en. I presume this is in part because some others are perhaps developing more rapidly, maybe some other wikis are also conducive for more edits. I wonder if bots also play a part, since we know from our decision to use depth and then whoops that didn't work so well, that some smaller wikipedias seem to be playing with edit counts or at least were.

The Commons unique devices stats are interesting, I'm assuming but I'm not certain, these require a click through at least to the Media Viewer to register and don't just common from images on articles [24].

The number of views for Special:CreateAccount is very high [25] both compared to the Main Page and compared to wikipedias or at least English, Portuguese, Chinese and German. This is the first data I've seen suggesting that it could be true such a substantial proportion of the traffic to the Main Page is from insiders that non insiders are basically irrelevant although I'm not completely convinced. While looking into that data, it occurred to me that login was missing. Outside en, login seems to show up Especial:Entrar, Special:用户登录, Spezial:Anmelden and is is higher than create account Especial:Criar_conta, Special:创建账户, Spezial:Benutzerkonto_anlegen which I would sort of expect although not sure if the difference is what I would expect. Looking here at page views [26] [27] and RedirectViews [28] [29] seems to confirm it's not being recorded barring some weirdness with en. It is with the others for RedirectViews [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37]. I did wonder but neglected to mention before whether these special pages were having their page views properly recorded. It still looks like it might be for the others but not UserLogin. Not sure why but wonder if it's purposely excluded for privacy reasons or something to do with the way it's processed but mistakes or differences means this doesn't happen with the others.

Anyway although these show far lower CreateAccount compared to their Main Page, I'm still surprised by the number of views, I mean as said, we only get 160k edits a day yet nearly that many hits to the create account page and we get a similar number of new registered editors a month. Are people clicking on CreateAccount by accident or considering it, seeing it and then abandoning it? Is there some problem with the data? Or there a massive amplification of page hits by people creating accounts e.g. invalid password, invalid username? Incidentally, how does unified login affect the stats?

When it comes to commons, seems to me the questions are even stronger. In particular, if people are already insiders, why are they visiting the create account page and making so many hits? Even if every new unified account that hasn't been created results in 3 page hits, I'm not sure if the new user numbers add up noting that it's only about 370k a month for all wikis per earlier stats. Is it because a whole lot of people are visiting Commons without being logged in elsewhere and are trying to either login in and getting confused or probably more likely are unaware of unified login so trying to create an account perhaps with the same user name and having errors and trying multiple times? (If they are logged in at their home or some other wiki, they should be automatically be logged in so the link won't be visible on the Commons UI so it seems less likely to come from those.) Are people aware of unified login but not wishing to use the same account for whatever reason creating new accounts and hitting the same problems on other wikipedias which result in the massive hit rate?

Remembering back to my earlier point, even if these people have decided to contribute to commons, if they aren't already contributors elsewhere it's questionable if they are insiders at the time of the account creation. After they've created them sure. So we then get to the question of how many of these are there and did they visit the Main Page before account creation? Some many disagree on the insider point, but I consider it at a minimum imprecise language which I'm never a fan of. And we also have no way of knowing if they visited Commons Main Page with the intention of signing up and contributing, or for some other reason if they weren't already "insiders" which gets to the heart of the suggestion the Main Page doesn't matter. (Although as mentioned earlier in this PS, even insiders may also visit for reasons other than contributing so for me may still matter in terms of considering whether the Main Page matters.)

If someone could convince the WMF to release data on the source of page views for the Commons Main Page, this would probably be a key data point. Barring that, info on visits to pages on the Commons Main Page would also be of interest. I had a quick look, and these didn't look very high, and also seems to affirm that images coming from the page won't count as page views without at least some click. But I've also read stats that outside certain articles like the TFA, a lot of view counts aren't very high even on our main page. I.E. We have no way to know for sure how much people get out of these, is the stuff they see interesting but enough, or just something they don't care about or do they not see it at all (which again relates to the above thread)? Also I wonder if there is data on non unified account creations in commons or that originate in commons these may help analysis of the other data. And I'm sure a whole lot of other things I can't think of either at the moment or without more research or at all. I really need to sleep and have spend way too much time on this already so will end with this data.

But IMO while I think it's easy to accept the Commons Main Page gets a lot less people viewing it than at least ~7 wikipedias and maybe even the top 10 or more, whether it's true no reasonable number of people in the general public rely on it as a portal to see content is far less clear especially if we aren't also going to say the Main Pages of the those wikipedias outside the top 10-15 are pointless except to insiders. This doesn't mean anyone here has to care about it, I mean I myself have basically no real involvement in commons and rarely see their main page. But we shouldn't denigrate it as only of interest to insiders without IMO far harder data than I've seen presented thus far. As with IMO a lot of things, like our main page, we actually have only limited data on why people visit, what if anything they get out of it, etc. (Incidentally, I also still haven't found file creation stats for commons.)

BTW the search numbers may seem high but they don't look that different from the main page for some of the other wikipedias even if not so much en, and as I pointed out, we don't know from this whether these are insiders looking for something for WMF projects or to contribute to commons, or people looking for stuff for other reasons. (Note Especial:Pesquisar, Special:搜索 and Spezial:Suche are the equivalent of search although interesting the German wikipedia also has a fair few from Special:Search. Portuguese and Chinese has that too, but to a lesser extent.)

Nil Einne (talk) 17:23, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Recent Deaths Error

Why isn't Tim Conway on the Recent Death List??--XTMontana (talk) 17:10, 21 May 2019 (UTC)

Two reasons.
  1. It's been seven days since he died, and recent deaths are usually only up for 1 week after the person dies.
  2. Per [38], it never gained a consensus that the article was in good enough shape to show up on the main page.
--Floquenbeam (talk) 17:18, 21 May 2019 (UTC)