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Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/lustiger seth/addendum IEdit

I have changed the page so that the supports seem to flow more naturally in English. I kept a link at the top to your version, which is more of a literal translation of what they are saying, but some of them are slightly difficult to decipher. :) neuro(talk) 12:56, 20 December 2008 (UTC)

Thx a lot! For there were some new translation mistakes after your corrections, I tried to correct that in turn. ;-) -- seth (talk) 21:39, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Could you translate the opposes as well please? NuclearWarfare contact meMy work 03:14, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

That was done on 18 Dez. already. See Wikipedia:Requests_for_adminship/lustiger_seth#Discussion (saerch for "Dank55"). -- seth (talk) 03:18, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, and I didn't do a very good job of it, but that's okay, we have many Germans around who are happy to tell me what I get wrong :) Update: you're at 75% now Seth, so it looks like this is going to be up to the bureaucrats .... which is all I wanted, really. They will make a good decision. Whether you pass or not, ask me any time for help; I will be happy to upload your contributions to the spamlist if you don't make it, and I will be happy to help you in any way you like as a fellow admin if you do make it. Frohe Weihnachten ... or whichever holidays you celebrate! - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 15:03, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Thx a lot for offering help!
Even in case my RfA will fail, I hope it helped at least to focus on the problem the SBL has (i.e. not enough admins). So perhaps now there are some more admins who have the SBL on their watchlist. So if my RfA will fail, I hope the requests get a bit faster answers there. But that's just what I hope and not what I believe or expect. For example this edit was not good, because it still allows spamming. Despite I explained that several times since more than two days ago, there still is no administrative action, see MediaWiki_talk:Spam-blacklist#Fake_News_Sites. Probably the admins don't have enough time or are too less experienced in regexp. So if you want to help, you can replace both "\." at the line-beginnings by "\b". -- seth (talk) 16:49, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
PS: Well, I don't care much about all this X-mas thing. But I'm not against it either. Everyday is birthday, christmas, easter and all this. So, I just wish you a pleasant day, whether it is christmas or not. ;-) -- seth (talk) 16:57, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Hey, SethEdit

I've supported your RfA. Now, I have a question; are you willing to block spammer accounts? --Dylan620 Contribs Sign! 01:31, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, at the beginning of my RfA I thought, that it would be OK, if I did that in clear cases. But since there are many opposing votes and even supporting votes that say, I'd have to less experience here to do the normal admin stuff like blocking users, I guess I'll better leave this be. Blocking spamming accounts is on the edge between the usual admin tasks and SBL-related stuff. For I don't want to cause another big time-stealing discussion about this edge, I better waive that task of blocking spammers. So my answer to your question is "no".
Actually there's no strong need for that anyway. If some spammer creates an account for spamming some links only, this account would be of no use to him, after the link is blocked. ;-) -- seth (talk) 11:25, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Either way, good luck, Seth. Your current tally of 114 supporters is the highest we've had since Addshore's RfA back in early November. And do you know what's funny? If your RfA is successful, you'll be getting adminship for Christmas! --Dylan620 Contribs Sign! 12:59, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Your RFA is successfulEdit

Congratulations, I have closed your Request for Adminship as successful and you are now a sysop! If you have any questions about adminship, feel free to ask me. Please consider messaging me on IRC for access to the #wikipedia-en-admins channel. Good luck! Merry Christmas, too. :-) --Deskana (talk) 22:39, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Gratuliere, und willkommen! - Dan Dank55 (send/receive) 22:45, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
Hey there, congratulations. I forsee spamming going way down now :)
Can you please make a null edit on your user page (add a blank space) indicated this this edit was all right? NuclearWarfare contact meMy work 22:52, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
I modified the text, because user:XLinkBot has some more sub pages that could be useful to edit in future. So "SBL-related" will fit in a better way. -- seth (talk) 10:29, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Haha, I do like the modifications you made. :-) ~ mazca t|c 10:31, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Congratulations on your promotion; I hope you can aid the project's SBL to the best of your ability. :D Garden. 23:07, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Congrats. Dlohcierekim 23:15, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

Congratulations, and happy holidays. :-) RyanCross @ 00:35, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Herzlichen Glückwunsch! Frohe Weihnachten as well :)   jj137 (talk) 03:24, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Congratulations; I hope that you are able to optimize the SBL. Lazulilasher (talk) 03:56, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks a lot, and merry christmas as well. :-) -- seth (talk) 10:00, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Yet another congratulations on your RFA, and Merry  mas. A lot of those opposition !votes suprised me, but it's a relief to know that you're now going to be nuking spam here, as well. Cheers. – Alex43223 T | C | E 10:32, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Congratulations as well. I think your appointment is a major bonus for the project. Agathoclea (talk) 10:33, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Herzlichen Glückwunsch! ;) —DerHexer (Talk) 11:19, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Congrats, Seth. And happy black listing for the New Year.    SIS  11:27, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

 :-) -- seth (talk) 11:39, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Glad to have you on board on this side of the pond. Let me know if I can help! JodyB talk 13:58, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
thanks! :-) -- seth (talk) 11:02, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Sehr Gut! Viele Glück! ++Lar: t/c 16:41, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

danke! -- seth (talk) 16:47, 27 December 2008 (UTC)
Glückwunsch. Hatte gar nicht gemerkt, dass Du jetzt auch hier drüben aktiv bist. Cheers und guten Rutsch. Jayen466 15:37, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
  • As an FYI, I've mentioned your RFA/your work here. –xenotalk 18:49, 29 June 2010 (UTC)

Merry Christmas, Seth!Edit

Congratulations on becoming an administrator, BTW. With 151 people supporting, your RfA amassed the most supporters since the RfA of my mentor, back in late September of this year. Merry Christmas, Seth, and enjoy using the tools to defeat spam! --Dylan620 Contribs Sign! 01:15, 25 December 2008 (UTC)--Dylan620 Contribs Sign! 01:15, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

:) Daniel (talk) 09:28, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
 :-) -- seth (talk) 10:03, 25 December 2008 (UTC)


I'm glad the community trusted your intentions enough to give you +sysop :). Everyone assumed your good faith, and all is well. Have fun saving us from spam, and thank you much for it. Merry Christmas! 2DC 14:11, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

thx, and merry christmas to you, too! -- seth (talk) 11:03, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Though I opposed your RFA, I wish you the best of luck at SBL, and best wishes. SpencerT♦C 17:40, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
Thank you! -- seth (talk) 16:47, 27 December 2008 (UTC)


You archived a thread where I answered just a few days ago. Did you do that by accident? -- seth (talk) 11:48, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes. I've moved it back to active. Good catch. Stifle (talk) 11:53, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Your input is requestedEdit

A conversation has been started about the use of http links on the WT:WPSPAM page. Your input at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spam#http use on this page would be appreciated. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 16:13, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Thx for that hint! I answered there. -- seth (talk) 21:28, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Seth, I for one like using links in some cases, so I ask that you not edit posts in which I include them. While tracking links through Template:LinkSummary is a great step forward, and your contributions on en.wikipedia is welcomed and certainly appreciated, it is not a pass to delete or remove all alternate tracking methods on WT:WPSPAM. Cheers. --Hu12 (talk) 21:58, 24 January 2009 (UTC)
I remind you of this thread where I explained the disadvantages of http://. The conclusion was: not to use that string anymore, because it is of no use.
If we missed some point, please enlighten us. :-) -- seth (talk) 12:34, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
While the result of that discussion has improved Template:LinkSummary, it does nothing to address the millions of Wikipedians who track abuse using Special:LinkSearch. The "point missed" is... do not edit posts in which I include URL's. Fairly simple, one would think just asking you to stop would be enough?. --Hu12 (talk) 22:04, 25 January 2009 (UTC)
Because you seem to unlink your urls, as soon as they get blacklisted, I don't see a big problem any longer, for archiving bots will not get into trouble. So I won't modify your posts in future (unless there is a blacklisted url inside). Maybe at some time archiving bots will use nowiki-tags for blacklisted urls automatically. -- seth (talk) 11:59, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. I Wonder if there is anything that could be written into the mediawiki software to tweak Special:LinkSearch? just a thought. cheers--Hu12 (talk) 20:03, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
To tweak it in which way? -- seth (talk) 21:31, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
To include a Namespace style dropdowns, such as Special:Contributions or adding the same tracking feature as LinkSummary? Just a thought..--Hu12 (talk) 19:13, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Ok, ic. Maybe you should start a request at bugzilla (if that was not done by anybody else already). -- seth (talk)


Hi Seth. I'm here regarding your message on my talk page. I'm wondering if you've looked at this. Second I'm wondering if the issues were discussed at the German whitelist? You gave me a link, but my German isn't so good, but I could read some of it. Thanks, --Kanonkas :  Talk  17:41, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

I was one of those who commented at ;-) -- seth (talk) 11:41, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
Some reputable de-wiki-users requested whitelisting at de:MediaWiki_Diskussion:Spam-blacklist/Archiv/ (it's a long discussion, so maybe a google-translation is an option for you). -- seth (talk) 11:41, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
I already tried that, and yes I saw your comment. I'm wondering if the copyright issue was solved in the discussion? --Kanonkas :  Talk  15:52, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

FYI, I've requested delisting of at meta. It was just denied, promptly, with a simply repetitive argument that didn't address the issues raised by me. There were three issues raised in the original blacklist discussion, repeated in later discussions, and a very important issue wasn't considered at all.

  1. Linkspamming. A single user added many links, cross-wiki, the bulk being, possibly, in and, and this is considered proof of linkspam. The user was User:Lyriker here and Lyrik on de, or IP known to be the same user (apparently). However, for a single user to add legitimate links isn't linkspam, it's helpful editing! As you know, the de links, except for some that I've noticed that were removed by antispammers when the original blacklisting took place and haven't been replaced, remain on de, user Lyrik, there, who added them either logged in or as easily identified IP, wasn't ever blocked, yet the existence of links on de is one of the major pieces of evidence used to assert linkspamming. The same kinds of links, i.e., adding a link to an article on a poet who has text and/or audio at, are what were added elsewhere. The only observed objection to these links has come from anti-linkspam warriors. Not one clear example of abuse has even been alleged, much less massive abuse as claimed.
  2. Copyright. No evidence has been advanced of actual copyright violation, and many, many links exist on Wikipedia where copyright permission is assumed in the absence of evidence of violation. Some seem to be assuming that copies aren't permitted, based on not observing some specific notice or other, when there is no legal requirement to assume such, no risk to Wikipedia, unless it were known that a site was violating copyright. The audios on were contributed by the poets, generally. Given the visibility of in its field, it is quite unlikely that there is any massive copyvio there, they are not some transient, invisible in the real-world, organization. Because material on is attributed, copyright by original authors may be assumed, and likewise permission, but I'd defer to copyright experts.
  3. Conflict of interest for the editor adding the links to en or de. This was apparently based on an assumption, perhaps by those who don't know German and who were disposed to jump to conclusions, that a user name of "lyriker" would show a specific involvement with; User:Lyriker was, in fact, blocked here because the user allegedly had a domain name in the user name. I doubt you need an explanation of why this was preposterous on the face. That user should be unblocked; as to the alleged linkspam, the user stopped immediately when warned, and was blocked solely on the alleged username violation. (I will ask the blocking admin to unblock; if interested, you could join in that.)
  4. The missing issue: service to the readers. Whether or not the links were legitimate doesn't seem to have been even considered. The blacklist, both here on and at meta, is being used to control content, to make editorial decisions about what is appropriate and what is not. That is an unintended extension of the blacklist usage, which was intended only for massive linkspam where lesser measures didn't control it. Further, whitelisting was supposed to be easy; the intention of the blacklist wasn't to stop legitimate, established users from using links, but only to stop linkspammers. Yet when whitelisting is requested, objections are made based on the original report, plus content arguments, and there seems to be great reluctance on the part of the admins who whitelist, who are generally the same admins who blacklist, to whitelist, as we can see in the denial of whitelisting as linked above.

Since I noticed you were aware of the situation on de, through your recent restoration of links there from massive removals by an antispam warrior, and since I noticed that you were doing some blacklist maintenance, I came to your Talk page and saw this discussion. I'd appreciate your comments. --Abd (talk) 23:34, 7 February 2009 (UTC)

Sorry for my late answer. I read most of the recent discussions on en and meta conserning this topic. It's not easy to decide/recontruct, whether the link was spammed. I guess those users who placed the link did not want to spam. It is easy for Germans to see that the website is great and goes with de:WP:EL. The only reason for hesitating to whitelist the link on de-wiki was that some people were unsure, whether there would be more undiscussed adding of that link. Non-discussed mass link additions may almost always be considered as spam.
However, after whitelisting in 2008-05[1] there were no furthur spamming problems in de-wiki. We monitor that.
I guess, it would be the same in other wikipedias. Afaics Beetstra's plan is ok: If there are reputable users, who want to place a links to that website somewhere at en-wiki, whitelisting and even a blacklist-removal may be considered. I don't know, whether he is going to ask at en-wiki by himself. Otherwise you could ask at en:Portal:Literature. -- seth (talk) 20:46, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. I've been saying pretty much what you just said, glad to see you confirm it. I came across this situation from a completely different blacklisting, where there was an involved administrator, active with a controversial article, who repeatedly, over quite some time, removed references to a web site but apparently didn't have consensus for that, then he sealed it by removing and blacklisting, went to meta, got it blacklisted there .... and I found that the blacklist was being used to control content, even if there was no linkspamming involved at all. So I started looking around and noticed There have been many requests to delist this site, all denied. There was a whitelist request on en, denied. Reputable user, apparently.
Near as I can tell, this is the situation: yes, mass additions of links will tend to result in removal. The blacklist guidelines, however, describe blacklisting as not being done until lesser measures fail. For a long time, this hasn't been the practice. In the case of, you can see the history at User:Abd/Blacklist/ The user started adding links in 2006. At some point, apparently, he decided that it would be really helpful, given that is a multilingual site, to add many links to it. The guidelines don't say not to do it, they merely say that if you add a lot of links, they might be reverted. Presumably, then, there would be discussion and a decision made on whether or not they were appropriate. He was totally unprepared for what happened to him.
The blacklisting process is utterly unconcerned with whether or not the links are appropriate. It's designed not for fairness or balance, but for efficiency in detecting and blocking linkspam. Addition of many links without discussion can, indeed, properly result in a request to stop and possibly removal, but doing this at the same time as the user is accused of spamming, and of conflict of interest (the templates more or less assume that an editor adding a lot of links is affiliated with the website), is just plain uncivil. However, this user, when warned, immediately stopped. Blacklist guidelines would imply that there would be no blacklisting at this point, since lesser measures would suffice. An experience editor on de.wikipedia started advising the editor as to how to add links, but it was too late. By the next day, was meta blacklisted. The user, now apologizing, and trying to explain what he'd done and begging for to not be blacklisted, removed many of the links he'd added, many or most of those not already removed by MER-C, the original linkspam patroller who discovered the links. User:Lyriker was indef blocked under the claim that his user name was improper, containing a website name, which is, of course, preposterous. The article created here by Lyriker was speedy deleted by the same admin who blocked Lyriker. With the permission of the deleting admin, however, I have now cleaned up the article and restored it,
This is my conclusion: the blacklist process has been designed and optimized by linkspam patrollers, for their purposes. It is possible that it need not change, or need not change much, except that there shouldn't be such a tearing hurry to blacklist if there isn't ongoing linkspam. The case of shows that even if the user stops immediately, it isn't even considered. The whole process seems to assume guilt, and even strong evidence of innocence is ignored. Once was blacklisted, attempts to delist were met with evidence of linkspam: but that evidence simply consisted of a pile of edits, each one of which was legitimate, or at least arguably so. As an example, many links were added by Lyrik on de.wikipedia. None of these links had been removed until the blacklist volunteers went to work, typically coming in as IP to delete them, whatever Lyrik hadn't yet gotten to.
Note that when whitelist requests or delist requests come up, links on de.wikipedia continue to be used as evidence of linkspamming. The very fact that there are links to the web site is considered sufficient evidence to blacklist it. I went, as IP, to de.wikipedia and restored three links. These links are now shown in the reports, along with links created by some other editor previously.
I'll follow your suggestions. But, to me, the question is much bigger than an individual web site, even though is actually extraordinarily useful, we should have given a barnstar to Lyrik/Lyriker, not blocked him. (He wasn't blocked on de.wikipedia, but he clearly became highly discouraged and stopped editing. He's come in as IP twice over the last year.) As you can see from the history I compiled, he was treated very badly. And I suspect that many newbies are similarly being abused, if they happen to get the idea that adding links to a resource like, i.e., a web site that contains many pages, with each page being relevant to a different article, and they start to add them.
Sorry for my parenthesis, but upto here, I have to fully agree with you. -- seth (talk) 23:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
What would be most important is that the police action of the antispammers and blacklisters be separated from the process whereby delisting and whitelisting is considered. The same handful of admins run both; thus they confirm (or reverse) their own actions, or the actions of those with whom they work closely. The blacklist is a powerful tool, and for the same reason it is dangerous. I've seen only one case here of clear and serious admin violation of administrative policy, but there are many examples of failure to investigate adequately; that's understandable, except when an action is challenged by a reputable user. Whitelisting, for example, should be easy. It is not. It is cumbersome, and tends to be rejected without understanding the specific issues involved in specific articles; there is an attitude that external links aren't "necessary," or that they are even a bad idea, we should bring all the content here. Instead of a discussion among the editors of articles, where the individual needs of the articles would be considered, the presumption of the blacklisters is that links are unusable unless proven absolutely necessary. That's backwards. As an example, one of the original blacklistings I saw was of This is an on-line magazine in the field of new and alternative energy sources, most notably Cold fusion, which is an ongoing field of research, even though some (or even most scientists outside the specialized fields) consider it "fringe." The claim is made that NET is a "fringe publication," which is debatable, but even fringe publications can be used for some sourcing purposes with attribution and if notable. So, sure, whitelisting could cover the exceptions. Except that there never was a reason for blacklisting NET except that an admin didn't like it and thought it an unreliable source. He removed stable references, in an article constantly being reviewed by many editors.
Again, my point isn't a specific blacklisting, it's the process. The paradox is that if the blacklisters would abstract themselves from the delisting process, if it were easy to recover from a mistaken identification of linkspam (i.e., from identifying substantial addition of links as spam when all or most of the links are perfectly appropriate, the linkspam warriors would not have to spend time defending their decisions. The fact is that they don't have the time, so when someone requests delisting, they are highly motivated to just deny it; there also seems to be an attitude of punishment involved. But, in the end, it is the readers who are being punished, denied better articles. Wikipedia is, indeed, not a repository of links, but encyclopedia articles, in print encyclopedia, always suggest further reading sources. If those are links, so much the better, provided that there is a consensus that they are useful and not contrary to guidelines. actually meets the criteria for proper external links, quite clearly, and the only arguments against that, that I've seen, were spurious rationalizations, after the fact, for the blacklisting. (I.e., alleged copyright violation.)
sorry for the length. I've been spending days just on and I tend to get a bit excited.... --Abd (talk) 21:29, 10 February 2009 (UTC)
Because I don't have much time atm (and the next ~5 days I'll be absent), I'll just give a short answer and won't go into all details. Sorry for that.
There are problems in coping with the spam blacklists and whitelists. Those guys (including me) who take care of the lists very often have to be police and judge in one. So, of course this leads to problems in some cases. There are not enough administrators or other wikipedians who take care of the list. At enwiki and metawiki there's so much spam, that the admins have to take decisions in a very short time. And they are still not fast enough. See e.g. the increasing number of COIBot reports at meta.
I agree, that unblacklisting is to difficult. But I don't know how we shall cope with that. What I sometimes do at de-wiki is to ask at a portal or somewhere else, because then I don't need to decide by myself only. This should be done at en-wiki and meta-wiki too in some doubtful cases. This distributes some work to others. At en-wiki I guess, this is possible. At meta it is more difficult, because one would have to ask at several wikis. One recent example for that is It is considered as spam in de-wiki and probably in en-wiki, too. But as you can see at no:talk:Lofoten, it is not treated as spam in this unique no-wiki article.
Well, as I said I did not touch all of what you've said. Anyway, I hope that it give at least a hint of what I think about the whole blacklist thing. -- seth (talk) 23:38, 12 February 2009 (UTC)
If it's important, it will come back by. Systemically, the problem is exactly that the same people are "police and judge in one." Democracies learned, quite a while back, that it's a bad idea. The police have discretion, but they have no power to convict. They can arrest a subject based on what they see as probable cause, but they don't ultimately determine if a crime was committed or not, that is up to a completely different system. The police are part of the executive function, and they are connected with prosecutors. Police file reports regarding what they have found, prosecutors decide whether or not to pursue anything beyond the immediate interruption of an activity that the police handle. It's possible to combine the police and prosecutorial function; however, there is also room for distribution of labor there. What we have on the projects, for the detection of spam, is a fairly sophisticated investigatorial process. I'd argue that there isn't quite enough restraint in it, in doubtful cases, where links aren't blatant spam. That is, that volume of links alone is considered, and not at all the quality of the links, is a problem. There ought to be at least a few bad links!
The fact is that masses of bad links are being added all the time, but the linkspam function can't detect it, because they come in from thousands of editors, anonymous and otherwise. Recent changes patrollers catch some, but probably only a tiny fraction.
From the lyrikline case, several observations. Lryik was adding too many links, too quickly, but when he was warned about this, he stopped. The blacklist guidelines suggest that other efforts to prevent linkspam should be pursued before resorting to blacklisting; this is particularly important when a website has potential use. The blacklisters didn't consider this at all; they simply looked at links added over a long time (they went back to 2006), decided that the *number* of edits and the *number* of links was too much, without any regard for content, and blacklisted with no discussion, as if it were an open and shut case. And, since then, when whitelisting or delisting has been raised, blacklist admins have responded by pointing to those old link edits, as if they justified continued blacklisting. Then accessory arguments were added: copyright violation (patently ridiculous, actually, for anyone who actually investigates), conflict of interest (based on the similarity of names, when this simply indicated that the editor was interested in poetry, though, of course, I can't rule out that he was connected with, but there simply wasn't any evidence of that in the record.), "Wikipedia is not a collection of links," which is true and misleading; external links are part of Wikipedia and lyrikline meets the description of what is considered appropriate by the guideline, etc.
All these arguments can be clearly seen as justifications for the blacklisting, they indicates to me that the blacklisters are trying to defend the process, when the process is actually not under attack. How many blacklistings are "abusive," as the blacklisting of might possibly be? As long as the *bulk* of them are appropriate, the existence of errors doesn't mean that blacklisting should stop. But it does mean that we should have a better way of identifying and fixing the errors! A short blacklisting is relatively harmless, if it is done carefully. As Beetstra pointed out, calling link-adders "spammers" is inflammatory, worse than useless. Real spammers don't care, so all the term does is to polarize, to outrage users accused of spamming, and, on the other side, to encourage the concept of preventing linkspam as a "battle" against this dangerous and evil group, the "spammers." Hence the battle images used for Wikipedia:WikiProject Spam and by some antispam editors such as User:MER-C.
The problem is that the arguments given aren't arguments, legitimately, against whitelisting. If the blacklisting stands, there is no harm in whitelisting individual pages. If a bad page is whitelisted, it's just one link, among thousands being added every day.
It's possible that any autoconfirmed editor could submit a whitelist request on a page, and unopposed requests there would be routinely transferred to the whitelist after a short lapse of time. IP editors could also make the request, on a different page, but it would be required that an autoconfirmed editor take responsibility for transferring it to the whitelist queue.
Now, there will be, I predict, objections to this. They would come from those who have come to like the idea that the blacklist can be used to control content, to exclude fringe web sites, to discourage external links (which, after all, direct traffic away from Wikipedia and thus, the thinking would go, reduce mass participation here), to prevent fans from linking to fancruft, etc. But this is exactly the kind of abuse of the blacklist that the blacklist guidelines were clearly designed to prevent. And they are being ignored, because nobody has been watching the police, so to speak, who, quite naturally and understandably, use the tools they have to make Wikipedia a better place. As *they* see it.
As an adminstrator who is involved with blacklist administration and process, but who also sees the problems; and, in addition, with your experience on de.wikipedia, you are well-placed to help find and negotiate a solution to the problem.
Properly done, abstracting the delisting and whitelisting process from the blacklisters would make blacklisting *simpler,* not more difficult and cumbersome. I'd still like to see some kind of minimal checking to see if links are legitimate, and possibly legitimate links, and especially long-standing links, would be treated differently than emerging massive linkspam. Lyrikline spam reports looked impressive, the long lists of an IP who had edits on so many language projects looked like blatant linkspam. Until one actually looked at the edits. Those accounts often had only one or two links each, on a wiki. All the edits on the various wikis, excepting de and en, were links to poets, I believe, who have pages on lyrikline. So there was a simple class of edits to consider. And there was no emergency; had blacklist guidelines been followed, there would have been far less disruption, and, in fact, less work for the blacklisters. Sitting there reverting edits all over the world strikes me as boring unless one spices it up with images of nuclear weapons detonating! And if it's all a mistake....!
Hey, there's an idea for a browser extension! It's a spam removal tool that presents an animation of a nuclear explosion with each edit removed.... There is just one problem with "nuking" spam. Nukes are blunt weapons and cause a lot of collateral damage.
Blacklisters should, as at present, directly blacklist clear linkspam, but "clear" should include at least minimal examination of appropriateness. Blatantly inappropriate links, such as porn sites (with few exceptions), would go on the blacklist immediately if the addition is not isolated. Where some editors would argue for usage (clearly the case with, a blacklist entry would be proposed for review and wouldn't be blacklisted until certain prerequisites were met, including notice to affected parties. Editors allegedly linkspamming would be warned and, if they didn't desist from controversial linking, would be temporarily blocked. If the rate of addition of links is low, and a few a day is low, there is little harm in waiting; rapid blacklisting should only be used where the links are *harmful.* A few extra links aren't sufficiently harmful to use the blunt instrument of the blacklist. The process would be less adversarial and more cooperative. Editors adding links would be *helped,* as the experienced de editor attempted to help Lyrik.
It need not be complicated. But a little more attention to structure is needed. I'll be looking at this, I expect, at User:Abd/Blacklist and associated pages, to come up with a report on the topic. My goal is to find some kind of consensus among blacklisters and others who have been critical of the blacklist, or, failing that, at least a clear delineation of the issues as input to further process, such as a Request for Comment. The guidelines don't reflect existing practice. Either existing practice should come into conformance with the guidelines, or the guidelines should be changed, or both. I hope and pretty much expect that we can do this without ArbComm action. And thanks for your attention and support. --Abd (talk) 01:05, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

I mentioned you on AN/IEdit

Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard#Request_administrative_assistance_with_whitelist_request_for_Lyrikline.org_page_for_Chirikure_Chirikure. Hope you don't mind! If not for WP:DGAF, I'd find it quite frustrating.... "Easy to whitelist a link if you need it." Hah! --Abd (talk) 04:21, 25 February 2009 (UTC)

Removed {{editsemiprotected}}Edit

I removed the {{editprotected}} tag from User talk:Cacycle/wikEdDiff [2]. It didn't seem to apply to that page.—C45207 | Talk 03:57, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

I did not place that template. (However, I guess it was done, because the maintainer of the script seems to have not enough time to update his js-file.) -- seth (talk) 21:34, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Orphaned referencesEdit

When you're removing references to a newly-blacklisted link, please be careful not to leave any orphaned references, as you did in Apega of Nabis, Gaius Stertinius Xenophon, and Norddeutscher Lloyd. Thanks! Anomie 00:21, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Yes, sorry for that. I got some of those named refs, but not all. I was in a hurry and thought that broken refs would be less harmfull than wrong refs. And I thought, that somebody else would easily fix the left refs. So thanks! :-) -- seth (talk) 18:36, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

MediaWiki talk:Spam-whitelist and MediaWiki talk:Spam-blacklistEdit

I am proposing to merge these talk pages to Wikipedia:Blocked external links and subpages. The main reason is to remove the implication of "spam" and provide a somewhat more visible and centralized location, and a slightly more sane process. I am contacting you because you are or have been involved with spam blacklisting in the past. Please post any comments you may have at Wikipedia talk:Blocked external links. Stifle (talk) 11:44, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

MSU InterviewEdit

Dear Lustiger seth,

My name is Jonathan Obar user:Jaobar, I'm a professor in the College of Communication Arts and Sciences at Michigan State University and a Teaching Fellow with the Wikimedia Foundation's Education Program. This semester I've been running a little experiment at MSU, a class where we teach students about becoming Wikipedia administrators. Not a lot is known about your community, and our students (who are fascinated by wiki-culture by the way!) want to learn how you do what you do, and why you do it. A while back I proposed this idea (the class) to the communityHERE, where it was met mainly with positive feedback. Anyhow, I'd like my students to speak with a few administrators to get a sense of admin experiences, training, motivations, likes, dislikes, etc. We were wondering if you'd be interested in speaking with one of our students.

So a few things about the interviews:

  • Interviews will last between 15 and 30 minutes.
  • Interviews can be conducted over skype (preferred), IRC or email. (You choose the form of communication based upon your comfort level, time, etc.)
  • All interviews will be completely anonymous, meaning that you (real name and/or pseudonym) will never be identified in any of our materials, unless you give the interviewer permission to do so.
  • All interviews will be completely voluntary. You are under no obligation to say yes to an interview, and can say no and stop or leave the interview at any time.
  • The entire interview process is being overseen by MSU's institutional review board (ethics review). This means that all questions have been approved by the university and all students have been trained how to conduct interviews ethically and properly.

Bottom line is that we really need your help, and would really appreciate the opportunity to speak with you. If interested, please send me an email at (to maintain anonymity) and I will add your name to my offline contact list. If you feel comfortable doing so, you can post your nameHERE instead.

If you have questions or concerns at any time, feel free to email me at I will be more than happy to speak with you.

Thanks in advance for your help. We have a lot to learn from you.


Jonathan Obar --Jaobar (talk) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Chlopeck (talkcontribs) 03:59, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Abuse Filter on the Article Feedback ToolEdit

Hey there :). You're being contacted because you're an edit filter manager, At the moment, we're developing Version 5 of the Article Feedback Tool, which you may or may not have heard about. If you haven't; for the first time, this will involve a free-text box where readers can submit comments :). Obviously, there's going to be junk, and we want to minimise that junk. To do so, we're working the Abuse Filter into the tool.

For this to work, we need people to write and maintain filters. I'd be very grateful if you could take a look at the discussion here and the attached docs, and comment and contribute! Thanks :). Okeyes (WMF) (talk) 18:22, 17 April 2012 (UTC)

Invitation to subscribe to the edit filter mailing listEdit

Hi, as a user in the edit filter manager user group we wanted to let you know about the new wikipedia-en-editfilters mailing list. As part of our recent efforts to improve the use of edit filters on the English Wikipedia it has been established as a venue for internal discussion by edit filter managers regarding private filters (those only viewable by administrators and edit filter managers) and also as a means by which non-admins can ask questions about hidden filters that wouldn't be appropriate to discuss on-wiki. As an edit filter manager we encourage you to subscribe; the more users we have in the mailing list the more useful it will be to the community. If you subscribe we will send a short email to you through Wikipedia to confirm your subscription, but let us know if you'd prefer another method of verification. I'd also like to take the opportunity to invite you to contribute to the proposed guideline for edit filter use at WP:Edit filter/Draft and the associated talk page. Thank you! Sam Walton (talk) and MusikAnimal talk 18:22, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

Extended confirmed protectionEdit

 Hello, Lustiger seth. This message is intended to notify administrators of important changes to the protection policy.

Extended confirmed protection (also known as "30/500 protection") is a new level of page protection that only allows edits from accounts at least 30 days old and with 500 edits. The automatically assigned "extended confirmed" user right was created for this purpose. The protection level was created following this community discussion with the primary intention of enforcing various arbitration remedies that prohibited editors under the "30 days/500 edits" threshold to edit certain topic areas.

In July and August 2016, a request for comment established consensus for community use of the new protection level. Administrators are authorized to apply extended confirmed protection to combat any form of disruption (e.g. vandalism, sock puppetry, edit warring, etc.) on any topic, subject to the following conditions:

  • Extended confirmed protection may only be used in cases where semi-protection has proven ineffective. It should not be used as a first resort.
  • A bot will post a notification at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard of each use. MusikBot currently does this by updating a report, which is transcluded onto the noticeboard.
Please review the protection policy carefully before using this new level of protection on pages. Thank you.
This message was sent to the administrators' mass message list. To opt-out of future messages, please remove yourself from the list. 17:47, 23 September 2016 (UTC)

Two-Factor Authentication now available for adminsEdit


Please note that TOTP based two-factor authentication is now available for all administrators. In light of the recent compromised accounts, you are encouraged to add this additional layer of security to your account. It may be enabled on your preferences page in the "User profile" tab under the "Basic information" section. For basic instructions on how to enable two-factor authentication, please see the developing help page for additional information. Important: Be sure to record the two-factor authentication key and the single use keys. If you lose your two factor authentication and do not have the keys, it's possible that your account will not be recoverable. Furthermore, you are encouraged to utilize a unique password and two-factor authentication for the email account associated with your Wikimedia account. This measure will assist in safeguarding your account from malicious password resets. Comments, questions, and concerns may be directed to the thread on the administrators' noticeboard. MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 20:33, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

A new user right for New Page PatrollersEdit

Hi Lustiger seth.

A new user group, New Page Reviewer, has been created in a move to greatly improve the standard of new page patrolling. The user right can be granted by any admin at PERM. It is highly recommended that admins look beyond the simple numerical threshold and satisfy themselves that the candidates have the required skills of communication and an advanced knowledge of notability and deletion. Admins are automatically included in this user right.

It is anticipated that this user right will significantly reduce the work load of admins who patrol the performance of the patrollers. However,due to the complexity of the rollout, some rights may have been accorded that may later need to be withdrawn, so some help will still be needed to some extent when discovering wrongly applied deletion tags or inappropriate pages that escape the attention of less experienced reviewers, and above all, hasty and bitey tagging for maintenance. User warnings are available here but very often a friendly custom message works best.

If you have any questions about this user right, don't hesitate to join us at WT:NPR. (Sent to all admins).MediaWiki message delivery (talk) 13:47, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Administrators' newsletter - February 2017Edit

News and updates for administrators from the past month (January 2017). This first issue is being sent out to all administrators, if you wish to keep receiving it please subscribe. Your feedback is welcomed.

  Administrator changes

  BriangottsJeremyABU Rob13

  Guideline and policy news

  Technical news

  • When performing some administrative actions the reason field briefly gave suggestions as text was typed. This change has since been reverted so that issues with the implementation can be addressed. (T34950)
  • Following the latest RfC concluding that Pending Changes 2 should not be used on the English Wikipedia, an RfC closed with consensus to remove the options for using it from the page protection interface, a change which has now been made. (T156448)
  • The Foundation has announced a new community health initiative to combat harassment. This should bring numerous improvements to tools for admins and CheckUsers in 2017.



  • JohnCD (John Cameron Deas) passed away on 30 December 2016. John began editing Wikipedia seriously during 2007 and became an administrator in November 2009.

13:36, 1 February 2017 (UTC)

Dead linksEdit

Hi: I noticed your last group of edits, in September, were all removing links to because it no longer exists. However, I was easily able to find the one I checked at the Wayback Machine; per WP:PRESERVE it is better to look for and add an archived link than to remove a URL if the only problem is that it is now a broken link. Yngvadottir (talk) 21:05, 8 November 2017 (UTC)

This is only correct, if those links satisfy the requirements (such as WP:EL). For example at [3] the link was not good. So the restoring of the link was not appropriate. I deleted it again (sorry, I was not logged in). -- seth (talk) 21:44, 8 November 2017 (UTC)
True; since your edit summary mentioned no other reason, and after looking briefly at what came up in the archived link, I assumed it was a good external link. In my experience, there's a lot of variation in what people accept as reasonable external links, and German articles I've translated often have a lot of them. That's trained me to err on the side of including. So I guess I'll ask you: was it actually not just that the domain no longer exists, but also that they were in your judgement not good external links to have? If so, then I won't look at the rest. If not, can I ask you to check them yourself and restore with archived versions where you judge them to be good? Yngvadottir (talk) 17:54, 9 November 2017 (UTC)
Hi Yngvadottir!
Yes, it was not sufficient (= my fault) to mention only one reason for the deletion. Apart from being non-existant any longer, the links seemed a bit strange to me. Although the website contains much information on many topics, the content did not seem reliable enough to me. Maybe it is even older than the Wikipedia, but the quality of the content seems to be not as good as Wikipedias content. Actually the website wants to inform about the railway topic "Epoche 3". In this sense it might be a good external website. But I guess in other contexts it might not be.
So I guess it is better to let the main authors of the Wikipedia articles decide whether to keep the links or not. My solution (deletion of the links) was easy but probably too general, s.t. some useful links were removed. In one case I restored the link by myself now.[4]
Thanks for your message! :-) -- seth (talk) 09:59, 12 November 2017 (UTC)

Administrator account security (Correction to Arbcom 2019 special circular)Edit

ArbCom would like to apologise and correct our previous mass message in light of the response from the community.

Since November 2018, six administrator accounts have been compromised and temporarily desysopped. In an effort to help improve account security, our intention was to remind administrators of existing policies on account security — that they are required to "have strong passwords and follow appropriate personal security practices." We have updated our procedures to ensure that we enforce these policies more strictly in the future. The policies themselves have not changed. In particular, two-factor authentication remains an optional means of adding extra security to your account. The choice not to enable 2FA will not be considered when deciding to restore sysop privileges to administrator accounts that were compromised.

We are sorry for the wording of our previous message, which did not accurately convey this, and deeply regret the tone in which it was delivered.

For the Arbitration Committee, -Cameron11598 21:03, 4 May 2019 (UTC)

No problem. I think I understood it the way it was meant. And I didn't find the tone too bad either. :-) -- seth (talk) 21:30, 4 May 2019 (UTC)
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