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Yobot

Xaosflux, I've been half watching the Yobot situation for the last couple of years, but I became aware of the extent of it only in the last few days. There are dozens of threads going back to 2009 about violations of the bot policy, 22 blocks of Yobot and Magioladitis, and hundreds of hours of volunteer time spent trying to resolve it. I would like to know what BAG can do to help sort this out. What are the responsibilites of BAG in this situation, and (in case it's the only way to resolve it) what is the procedure for removing bot approval and AWB? SarahSV (talk) 20:02, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

SlimVirgin Ultimately the bot's operator is responsible for all edits they make under the bot account. This is a bit complicated, I can think of a few scenarios:
  1. Are edits being made that claim to be under an approved BRFA task - that are not following that task? In that case AN/I should be able to deal with it via blocks. It appears there currently is a block in place for this reason. As it is contentious, an WP:AN discussion may be in order for next steps with a wider audience.
  2. Has 'community support' for a task that had prior approval changed? Please specify the task and where the change in community support has been documented. This is something BAG can review and revoke prior task approval if there is no longer support for it.
What would you like us to do? — xaosflux Talk 21:17, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
Xaosflux, I can't answer your second question yet, because I'm unsure of the relationship between BAG and the AWB operators. There are several things that AWB does that have no consensus. Are you able to stop a bot from doing those things?
More broadly, the issue is that the bot has edited in violation of the bot policy consistently throughout its existence, routinely violating COSMETICBOT and CONTEXTBOT. What is the procedure for removing bot approval and AWB? During several of the threads about this, people have said they can't remove AWB from Magioladitis because he is an admin. What, then, is the procedure for removing it? SarahSV (talk) 21:56, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
BAG has nothing to do with editors using AWB in any way. As far as bots powered by AWB, it goes back to question #2 above. Broadly speaking, my impression is that the community has general support for bots that perform cosmetic fixes, if they are also performing otherwise approved tasks. If this is not true, an RfC may be needed to clarify. — xaosflux Talk 23:30, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
Xaosflux, Yobot regularly violates COSMETICBOT. That is, he makes cosmetic fixes in the absence of any other change. It is a long-term problem, going back to 2010. What can BAG do to help with this? SarahSV (talk) 23:41, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
@SlimVirgin: You don't really need BAG to block a bot for violating the bot policy - just block it and your problem goes away...— xaosflux Talk 23:44, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
I'd add that I've some similar concerns about Dexbot as well - please see above. Hchc2009 (talk) 22:01, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
You don't really need to worry much about if an old task has approval or AWB access is enabled if an account is blocked. If someone is actually being disruptive and won't stop being disruptive there are processes to deal with that. — xaosflux Talk 23:30, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
As far as removing tool access from an editor, BAG has nothing to do with that - anymore than we would remove Twinkle or Huggle. — xaosflux Talk 23:30, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
By large, BAG has no authority over bots or operators after the initial BRFA. It's up to AN/I or such. BAG is pretty much for approvals only per BOTPOL and we've had at least a few editors express disapproval when BAG went further than that. BAG can revoke approval if the task no longer has consensus, but that line isn't very clear. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 23:14, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
The bot policy says that bots can be removed from the bot user group. It quotes Headbomb (comparing a BFRA to a driving licence: "If they are abused, they can be (and are) revoked, and bots are blocked accordingly." I think BAG really needs to step up here and help; otherwise it's inevitably going to end up at ArbCom. There has to be an easier way to fix this, including a way that allows Magioladitis to enjoy his editing, but without the problems. SarahSV (talk) 23:26, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
That's not what BAG does though, that's what administrators do as part of policy enforcing and incident resolution. Besides revoking approvals, the policy does not provide BAG themselves any such authority (not in any unambiguous way). —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 23:50, 18 December 2016 (UTC)

Given the long term problems we have had with this bot going back through the years, I would like to propose that BAG revoke approval for all Yobot's jobs. Let Magioladitis reapply for approval and we can give each request the scrutiny it needs.

Furthermore I note that Magioladitis seems to be doing with his main account the edits that the bot was doing before it was blocked. This includes the problematic cosmetic-only edits like this one. What should we do? — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:41, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

That's just out and out block evasion, so I've blocked him also. Just appalling behaviour for an admin, especially as he has been blocked for the exact same thing in the past. I can see this is going to end up at ANI. SpinningSpark 10:15, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
MSGJ, From the bot policy: Requests for reexamination should be discussed at Wikipedia talk:Bots/Requests for approval. This may include either appeal of denied bot requests, or reexamination of approved bots. In some cases, Wikipedia:Requests for comment may be warranted. Open a thread there and advertise as appropriate. — xaosflux Talk 13:26, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@MSGJ, Spinningspark, and Xaosflux: revoking approval and asking Magioladitis to reapply is a good idea. It means that each request can be scrutinized, and once it's approved he can proceed without fear of trouble. Is BAG or AN the best place to ask for this? If AN, should it be accompanied by proposals related to Magioladitis's account, or should that be handled separately? SarahSV (talk) 14:48, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@SlimVirgin: Open a discussion thread at Wikipedia talk:Bots/Requests for approval. Be specific as the the scope of what you want the discussion to cover (e.g. all ongoing/uncompleted tasks that were previously approved, the use of genfixes in combination with existing tasks, a specific task, etc). — xaosflux Talk 15:24, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
I don't think the basic problem is with any approvals Magioladitis has been given, but I have not looked through them all thoroughly so I might be wrong. It is more to do with his method of work. He uses genfixes (the content of which is poorly controlled) as a blunt tool, and cannot be made to understand why bots are sometimes unsuitable for tasks that human operators also do. He continues to plough on when challenged on particular edits, without regard to whether those edits actually had consensus. He has shown that he cannot distinguish between consensus and someone requesting something, or his own view that something should be done. I am more concerned that he has authority to approve the bots of others than any of the specific approvals he has been given (with the possible exception of the approval to do genfixes at the same time, but that is a wider issue being discussed above). SpinningSpark 15:10, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
With Magioladitis currently being blocked, he won't be approving anything. I've asked if he will volunteer for a new membership confirmation. — xaosflux Talk 15:31, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Xaosflux, thank you for doing that.
Spinningspark, If we were to open an AN, what would you suggest as a proposal?
I've been collecting diffs of threads about this for the last couple of days. My intention was to post them on a user subpage to use during an AN. So far I've found 126 threads going back to 2010, and I've stopped looking because it's too time-consuming. They are so many, I'm actually reluctant to post them because I don't want to create a badge of shame for M, but it's clear that we need to sort it out. What puzzles me is why the community hasn't been more decisive. Discussions have just petered out—even the last, long AN/I ended with no resolution. This time, we should propose something that has a strong chance of gaining consensus. Better still would be if M would agree to abide by certain restrictions. SarahSV (talk) 15:37, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Frankly, I really have no idea. Magioladitis seems to be one of those people who just refuse to get it no matter how many times they are told. Certainly, removal of BAG membership privileges, or more diplomatically, request that BAG do it. An undertaking that cosmetic-only edits and genfixes that have no consensus will no longer be made might be something to ask for, although such an undertaking is probably wothless because I don't believe M has the ability to distinguish these most of the time. Probably the most effective thing would be to forbid M from running AWB with genfixes turned on. Other bot operaters here have said they never do that, only ever executing specific approved tasks. The trouble is I think M would argue that his scripts rely on that way of working so such a restriction would effectively hamstring him. But it is for him to say that, not for me to put words in his mouth. SpinningSpark 16:30, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Oh, and perhaps an undertaking to immediately stop if challenged might work. Make him come back here to discuss before continuing with the task. SpinningSpark 16:40, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

I'm going to be honest, I simply don't have any trust in the editor concerned either to run bots or approve their use by others. I think we'd see large scale changes being made, followed by prevarication and evasion when challenged. I don't think we'd see any effort made by them to revert their mass changes. And then a repeat of the same activity all over again. As you've said above, Spinningspark, there has been some "appalling behaviour for an admin, especially as he has been blocked for the exact same thing in the past". Hchc2009 (talk) 16:47, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

I lack the knowledge of bots to know how to phrase any proposal. Magioladitis needs to stop making edits like this and this, whether with the Magioladitis or Yobot account. We are into the 7th year of him blaming a bug, so asking him to stop will not work. What is the best way to express that?
I'm thinking that we should, via AN (a) ask BAG to revoke approval for all Yobot's jobs and ask him to reapply for approval; and (b) ask that Magioladitis not make any automated or semi-automated edits with his account, or alternatively that he be allowed to use AWB but only without genfixes. Does that sound reasonable? SarahSV (talk) 17:35, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@SlimVirgin: BAG has absolutely no purview over editors using or mis-using AWB, only bots. Please use WP:AN/I for editor related incidents. — xaosflux Talk 17:49, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@SlimVirgin: Please post your request information here: Wikipedia_talk:Bots/Requests_for_approval#Request_to_revoke_User:Yobot.7C.27s_authorization for requesting a de-authorization for Yobot. — xaosflux Talk 17:51, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@Xaosflux:, thanks for setting that up, but I wouldn't want to start a discussion before I know how to proceed for the best. The issue of Yobot and Magioladitis should probably be sorted out together, and it might be best to do it on AN. I'm still unclear about the relationship of BAG to AWB. You say there isn't one, but Yobot has been causing disruption for years with AWB. So I'm confused. SarahSV (talk) 20:17, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
AWB is a tool rather than a bot. The relationship is that BAG has given approval for this bot (amongst others) to carry out the general fixes part of AWB (which includes all the cosmetic edits) at the same time as they make some other edit they are approved for. However, BAG does not approve the individual items in general fixes and there is no formal control over them of any kind. So basically BAG is approving stuff completely blind when it does this so this mess is not entirely the fault of M. SpinningSpark 20:28, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict)@SlimVirgin: OK deleting it for now. For the most part, BAG approves specific tasks to be done - ideally after ensuring the task is technically sound, does not cause harm, and has community support. To a much lesser degree BAG reviews software code. As far as AWB goes, it is just a framework for getting the task done - the same task could be done with any software package (e.g. C++, .NET, RubyOnRails, most anything). Where we would be involved is if a task was approved to say "Do X and also any AWB genfixes". That would be a blanket that any "genfixes" enjoy community support (including future genfixes). We certainly can re-review any bot task that you think should not inlude the "and also AWB genfixes" component. If you think that NO bot should ever do the "and AWB genfixes" - a larger RFC should be opened on that topic. Please also keep in mind: editors that are using AWB (these ~2300 people: Wikipedia:AutoWikiBrowser/CheckPage and the ~1200 administrators) could be using genfixes for their one-off, low speed AWB use. BAG has no oversight to that type of editing, however those editors are expected to follow all applicable policies. — xaosflux Talk 20:32, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@Spinningspark and Xaosflux: thanks for explaining. The general fixes are a mess. Things are done that have no consensus—several are either pointless or harmful—and when people complain they're told they must gain consensus to have them stopped.
But no other bot causes as much trouble with genfixes as Yobot. Since 2009 (example) it has regularly made trivial edits in the absence of other changes. Can BAG remove all "and also any AWB genfixes" from Yobot's approved tasks? SarahSV (talk) 23:39, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@SlimVirgin: following a discussion period that shows a general consensus for this we can, please write down your concerns here: Wikipedia_talk:Bots/Requests_for_approval#Request_to_modify_Yobot_authorization and we will open it for discussion. — xaosflux Talk 02:52, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Arbitration notice

In the interest of due notice, I would like to inform everyone of an arbitration request at Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case#Magioladitis that concerns a number of users that have posted on this page. Ramaksoud2000 (Talk to me) 06:15, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Closure needed

BAG should close the discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Bots/Requests_for_approval#Request_to_modify_Yobot_authorization, which has been sitting for over a week. Perhaps a group of two or three BAG members could close it as a group, if it is more than any one wants to take on. — Carl (CBM · talk) 13:18, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

I second that. In fact, no one has commented for two weeks, and it has now been open for nearly a month. It is not fair to Magioladitis to hold it open indefinitely. SpinningSpark 15:13, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Exclusion compliant

Wikipedia:Exclusion compliant, currently a redirect to Template:Bots, has been nominated for deletion at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2017 February 5#Wikipedia:Exclusion compliant. You are invited to comment at the linked discussion. Thryduulf (talk) 00:37, 6 February 2017 (UTC)

Bot unblocking policy

  Duplicate: Discussion already happening at Wikipedia_talk:Bot_policy#Changes_to_.27dealing_with_issues.27_section --slakrtalk / 07:09, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

I initially made this suggestions at a ARB case, but was advised to bring it here. Basically: If a non-critical bot is blocked for technical malfunction, the bot operator must request its unblock here, and the BAG must have consensus that the issue has been fixed. A critical bot would be defined as one that impacts the English Wikipedia's running as a whole, examples would be Cluebot NG, but not any of the other Cluebots. Thoughts? Iazyges Consermonor Opus meum 16:02, 7 February 2017 (UTC)

Some questions/issues: What is a (non-)critical bot, who decides this (bots are almost all external, so none are truly critical to Wikipedia's running; Wikipedia ran fine before Cluebot NG, if less efficiently)? Where is "here" for unblock requests (this being BAG page), would it be WP:BON or some new page? What constitutes BAG consensus (since approvals need only 1 BAG member), does BAG need to sign-off or actively verify it? How does this affect existing WP:BOTISSUE practice? Who unblocks the bot -- a closing admin, BAG member, whoever? What is "technical malfunction" and who decides this -- ranging from an obvious bug in code to simply a task not done to human standards? If it's really just a technical issue (i.e. bug), why do we need consensus -- surely bugs happen all the time? What if it's a one-time issue due to its nature? How would BAG determine the bot is fixed if it's blocked -- do we unblock for a trail, do we ask for code? How often do you expect these requests, as there are probably at least several bot issues daily (BAG is swamped at WP:BRFA, not sure how long these will take)? I think this idea needs a lot of details ironed out before bringing it to a proposal. Personally, I'm not sure BAG has the manpower to do this effectively (depending on how many blocks need this unblocking). —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 17:40, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't understand why the unblock procedure should be different for bots. Neither I understand the definition of non-critical. I would like also to underline the fact that many bots allow themselves to be stopped without a block. -- Magioladitis (talk) 17:51, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't agree with this proposal as-is. WP:BON would be the place to discuss if needed - however I think that should only be if there is disagreement with the blocking admin. In any case, I think the blocking admin should be able to unblock if they are satisfied. — xaosflux Talk 17:55, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
@Iazyges: That's never been the policy, and personally I believe this is overly bureaucratic. Unblocks for technical malfunctions are routine, and having BAG review every instance would add a huge burden to its mandate. That's why we have BRFA that evaluates among other things not only the technical merits of the bot, but also the compliance of bot operators with WP:BOTCOMM and other aspects of the policies so that once bots are unleashed, they are trusted to fix technical issues as they arise and maintain the bot's code to be technically sound, and in line with changes in consensus.
However, you can take a look at this discussion, which in part aims to clarify guidance on how do deal with malfunctioning bots, and when malfunctioning bots may be unblocked. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 19:21, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
I don't know why someone told you to come here when WT:BOTPOL would have been a better place. Especially since there's already discussion on this topic started at WT:BOTPOL#Changes to 'dealing with issues' section. Anomie 00:47, 8 February 2017 (UTC)
The policy to discuss with the blocking admin or post an unblock request works fine as-is. No need to reinvent the wheel here. ~ Rob13Talk 03:12, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

Ramp up and BAG Trial & Closure Guide

Two things.

The first is I took a look at Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/JJMC89 bot 7 and I think xaosflux (talk · contribs) did something quite interesting with the closure, as approving a bot with a ramp up deployment. I think this is something BAG ought to do more often, especially in the case of bots that will make several edits, in potential tricky areas (technically tricky, or in areas where historically there's been issues with similar bots).

The second is I think we should probably write a BAG Guide detailing best practices and guidelines for bot trials and the closing of BRFA. I'll take a stab at a draft over the weekend if no one else does it, but I encourage other to give their ideas in the meantime (or even start the guide).

Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 11:55, 10 February 2017 (UTC)

I am very much a favor of ramp up schedules, and have used them on runs with very large initial edit expectations - some problems only present over larger scales and getting complaints from other editors is a final safety valve. — xaosflux Talk 12:16, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Personally, I would have done the ramp-up as part of the trial (requesting flag, if needed) and approve it after its done. I don't think I like trial-like ramp-ups after the bot is approved (since BRFA page is the logical place to discuss any issues, but approval closes it). But then again I am not really against them, if they make sense and the time period is lengthy. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 13:52, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Hellknowz on this one, if the point is to get feedback then it should be part of the trial rather than a post-trial thing. Anomie 14:31, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Agree, on the largest ones I've done (say an job for 100,000 pages+) I usually give them a short demonstration trial (25-50 edits), then extended trials (100-1000 edits depending on the type of job and if there have been any issues) - extended trials are repeated if errors came up that needed to be retested. I only occasionally use the ramp up go-live - I've never had an operator complain about. — xaosflux Talk 18:47, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
What we really need is a safety valve of some sort which provides oversight past an approval. Sometimes, complaints won't be registered until the bot edits are in operation, even with large trials. This could be done a few ways:
  1. Allow BAG members to unilaterally rescind their own approvals or require alterations of the task/additional trials/additional consensus-seeking in the event of a complaint filed at WP:BON.
  2. Allow any uninvolved administrator to require a bot operator to cease operating a task until a BAG member reviews a particular complaint or issue if, in the opinion of the admin, that complaint or issue was not brought up and addressed during the BRFA.
  3. Require bot operators to cease operating a task until a BAG member reviews a particular complaint or issue if any three extendedconfirmed editors complain about a given task.
I'm sure there's more options as well, but basically, our current system of no oversight after approval isn't working. We need something more. ~ Rob13Talk 19:08, 10 February 2017 (UTC)
Option #1 isn't too bad. Option #2 would probably lead to lots of arguments about whether a particular admin is actually uninvolved. #3 doesn't seem that good to me either, it seems to be going beyond what extendedconfirmed is supposed to be. Anomie 21:34, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
@Anomie: I do agree. I was just trying to weed out sockpuppetry or totally uninformed users as a concern when throwing out ideas. I really don't care how we get this done as long as we're working toward some accountability for all bot operators (including me!) after a BRFA is approved. I think we can all agree that there have been some cases (and not just the most recent high-profile one) where editors disagreed with a bot's current function and had no recourse. Hopefully, serious issues can be side-stepped entirely if we can come up with some method for a BAG member or other party to come in, hit the pause button, and force some discussion. That would be better than the current system, which requires a full discussion rescinding an approval before we really have any way to get a botop "to the table" to discuss their bot's behavior. ~ Rob13Talk 21:42, 11 February 2017 (UTC)
#1 sounds good, though so far BOTPOL has omitted any BAG authority to do anything about approved bots unless the issue is already brought back to re-approval. #2 is same as #1 in that BOTPOL doesn't give BAG this authority, though having an admin request this would be an extension to #1. It sounds a little bureaucratic, but I guess it's a logical step. #3, however, does sound bureaucratic. I think (from reply above) new editors and socks and such can just be listened to or ignored by common sense. I think that consensus is key rather than any specific editor counts or their "ranks". If there is an obvious issue, then there is an obvious issue, regardless how many editors notice it. Anyone could just ask BAG to review something, given #1 is ever a thing. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 22:07, 11 February 2017 (UTC)

Focusing the discussion back on the topic of the guide, I've started Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/Guide, please comment on the talk page. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 02:30, 12 February 2017 (UTC)

Trials and subtasks

Looking at past BRFAs, I realized we often approve bots (e.g. Wikipedia:Bots/Requests_for_approval/MenoBot_4) with multiple subtasks for "50 edits", without really making sure that each subtask has properly been tested. I've added this to the WP:BAGG guide. Feel free to tweak the wording on it. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 20:45, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

I'm going to ping all active members so everyone is on board.

Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 20:47, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Hehe, I literally just replied to similar concern in a BRFA. Personally, I treat each subtask in a BRFA as a separate task and make sure that a trial has examples of all or as many as possible, or at least sufficient details are specified. After all, you could file 20 BRFAs or just 1 with the same scope. So this addition is pretty much the practice, or should be. I would go as far as to explicitly add to WP:BOTREQUIRE that each subtask has the conditions mentioned and that WP:BOTAPPROVAL can request each one to be tested, regardless of overall scope. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 21:10, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

I'd support making it part of WP:BOTREQUIRE personally. We can wait on upcoming WP:BOTPOL RFC to make the change. I mean I doubt it's contentious, but it would be a change in policy. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 21:26, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

In general, sure. But I recently looked back at AnomieBOT 54, where one of the subtasks wasn't tested during the trial because it would have required a four-month wait to test the yearly "add a new archive link to WP:BRFAAA" bit. Anomie 01:28, 28 February 2017 (UTC)
Pretty sure BAG wouldn't have killed one of its own for doing BAG-related business on a low-traffic BAG-related page. Common sense still applies :p. If policy is updated, I'm sure we'll have some adequate wiggle room in whatever wording we settle on. The concept of testing archival however is valid. If it's critical/core to the task, and the potential for disruption is high, then a sandbox page with mock entry can be set up, or a spoofed entry made to trigger archiving conditions. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 01:54, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Concerns about syntax fixing bots

Collapse off-topic discussion. Take it elsewhere, please. Anomie 01:33, 28 February 2017 (UTC)

Exactly. As I thought. Now there is going o be witch hunt against more bot. Not only Yobot. Let's see where this ends. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:50, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Headbomb Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/BG19bot 7 take this too. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:52, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Headbomb This is because you use the false assertion that some tasks "should be done in addition to others". Where is this written anyway? -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:55, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

I'm not quite sure what you're referring to here with "false assertion that some tasks "should be done in addition to others"". If you mean WP:COSMETICBOT, then yes I stand by the idea of "cosmetic changes should be applied only when there is a substantive change to make at the same time." Even in the draft for a revision User:Anomie/Sandbox2 that remains a core idea. But the above isn't about cosmetic fixes, it's to fix a flaw in our reviewing process. In some cases, it might require re-doing some BRFAs, but in most cases the bots have run for long enough that they effectively had trial by fire, and bot ops have adjusted to the feedback accordingly. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 21:13, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Headbomb So you are in favour of approving AWB bots with general fixes activated. That's good. I support this. -- Magioladitis (talk) 21:14, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

The only thing left is to define "cosmetic changes" with a wiki definition. -- Magioladitis (talk) 21:16, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Yes, but I'm also not giving a blank cheque for unleashing cosmetic genfixes or trivial checkwiki fixes. I have AWB genfixes enabled for my own User:CitationCleanerBot, but that never got me in trouble because the logic is such that cosmetic genfixes will rarely be done on their own even if they are miscategorized as "major" genfixes. Other bots may have a higher likelihood of doing such edits, and might not get approved because of that. But this is a discussion that should be held in some other place than WT:BAG, so if you want to discuss that, I suggest you take it to WT:AWB, WT:CHECKWIKI, WP:VPT, or possible WP:BOTN. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 21:23, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Headbomb What looks trivial to you it took more than 6 years to establish tools to fix it. It helped improving AWB/WPCleaner logic, etc. -- Magioladitis (talk) 21:31, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Again, stop putting words in my mouth. It's the third time I have to ask you to stop doing that in the last hour. As for how long "it" took to develop, whatever that may be, that is completely inconsequential on whether or not "it", whatever it is, should be done. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 21:35, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Unapproved bot?

Some expert opinion would be useful at WP:ANI#The Wiki Ed welcome mat. Thanks, Cabayi (talk) 15:57, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Looks like it has been taken care of. Anomie 17:34, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Puzzled

I am a bit puzzled that the task to perform this edit was approved. It is completely pointless, as far as I can see, removing an explicit "redirect" class in favour of an auto-generated redirect class. It even leaves a comment to muddy the source.

All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:27, 11 March 2017 (UTC).

Nothing in User:EnterpriseyBot. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:04, 11 March 2017 (UTC)

For reference, that's Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/EnterpriseyBot 10 based on Wikipedia:Bot requests/Archive 73#Autoassess redirects. —  HELLKNOWZ  ▎TALK 00:24, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Enterprisey Is this a bug? I was under the impression this task was intended to remove Stub, Start, C, B, A, GA, FA, FL, List, Category, etc. sorts of classes, not Redirect itself. ~ Rob13Talk 03:45, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
My impression is that this is sort of an edge case where the behavior wasn't well specified. In the BOTREQ discussion, I did specifically ask about how the bot should react when the talk page has banners with class set to redirect and importance set to some value; I got one response from Czar saying that both should be wiped. In the BRFA, it was noted that only the class param needed to be touched.
I can easily add a test in saying that no edit should be made if the class was "Redirect" in the first place. However, I believe that the point of removing the parameter in the first place is that doing so allows the banner template to autoassess the article and automatically update its state when the article is no longer a redirect. Enterprisey&nb+sp;(talk!) 06:51, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

... removing the parameter ... allows the banner template to autoassess the article and automatically update its state when the article is no longer a redirect

This. When the template is manually instead of autoassessed, it leads to all sorts of human errors, mainly in not manually re-setting the class when the article changes from Redirect to Stub or vice versa. If you think the comment muddies the source, that's a different discussion than whether reverting the template to autoassess is useful. czar 07:51, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
That's a good point, but in that case the banner, realising that it is marked "redirect" but the subject page is not a redirect, should mark the article unassessed class. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 22:35, 12 March 2017 (UTC).
Personally, I don't think this was fully considered at the BRFA, and I probably wouldn't have supported those cosmetic-only edits that may have vague future usefulness. Instead, Enterprisey, why not tackle the incorrect redirect classification after it becomes incorrect? You could pull a list of all Redirect-Class pages, check if they're still redirects, and remove the class if not. That seems more useful with less edits. Thoughts? (The existing task could continue running as-is, but with a check to skip if class = Redirect). ~ Rob13Talk 22:48, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
Sounds like a good idea to me. Enterprisey (talk!) 23:20, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
@Enterprisey: Thanks for your willingness to consider alternative implementations.   Let's wait for more comments on that alternative, especially from Czar. I do not think your task needs to stop in the meantime, since we're actively working on a solution to prevent the edits that some didn't expect. They're not really harmful, just kinda spammy in the revision history, so a few more unexpected edits in the short-term aren't a huge deal while we discuss. ~ Rob13Talk 23:28, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

It's a good point. If the edits are not harmful the bot should not stop. Minor issues and bugs can be fixed while it keeps working. This stands for all bots. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:45, 12 March 2017 (UTC)

It stands for all bots where the operator is actively working toward solutions, which factors in history. This is not a new approach for me. I believe I've approached four total bot operators about cosmetic issues over the couple years I've been on the project, and I've never approached with demands to shut down a task that is mostly non-cosmetic due to a one-time bug they're actively discussing a fix for. I would never do that; it's unproductive and just builds bad will for no reason. ~ Rob13Talk 23:47, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
As long as the bot is doing regular rounds, I think we're in consensus. The diff under discussion is effectively a cosmetic edit, though I'd argue that so is a human adding |class=redirect when the banner does automatic assessment. I don't think it's an issue if the bot is left as is, but if others are adamant, it's fine to only run the bot when the page is a redirect but not tagged as one. czar 23:57, 12 March 2017 (UTC)
@Czar: Personally, the difference for me is scale. I'd rather not get into why this matters here – been arguing that a lot lately, somewhat tired of it – but it has to do with revision histories getting cluttered, database dumps growing rapidly, server costs, and general QA on bots. More-or-less, I'm not a fan of a giant pile of non-important edits that have to be waded through all over the site to get to the ones that make a substantial difference. Happy to discuss further. I do agree regular rounds would be essential to catch errors fairly rapidly. ~ Rob13Talk 00:49, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
Sure, but on the other hand, the bot also helps to educate users about auto-assessment. In any event, the proposed fix is reasonable and the real solution is to move WikiProject classifications to Wikidata and save all of this manual trouble. Haste the day czar 01:09, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, I definitely could see assessment moving to Wikidata so long as a gadget was added allowing easy assessment from enwiki. That's a long-term solution. We still do need some manual assessment, obviously, since the difference between B-Class, C-Class, and Start-Class requires human discernment. ~ Rob13Talk 23:38, 13 March 2017 (UTC)
  • I agree, I'm not overly exercised by this, if the bot is doing something useful most of the time.
  • Server costs... who are you kidding? WMF has untold millions, and almost every server hit is current version, so the increase in demand is negligible and the ability to cope with it is ample.
  • Revision histories getting cluttered - this is why we try to fix as much as possible in each edit. However the anti-bot environment makes it much safer, these days, to fix one thing at a time and let the rest wait for a separate run, or different bot.
  • If you want to avoid bad will, you have to engage with people in a more positive manner.
  • "Educating users about auto-assessment" - not convinced it does, really. Either it could remove the previous class, or replace it with "redirect". Users would understand the latter without any explanation. But they probably aren't watching the talk page that they forgot to move when they moved an article.
All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 23:10, 14 March 2017 (UTC).

Non-editing bot

I'm writing a script that uses the pywikibot framework to search for specific revisions. It doesn't perform any edits, just searches revision contents, but pywikibot requires a bot password no matter what actions are to be performed. Can someone please confirm my understanding that this type of bot doesn't require approval? GoldenRing (talk) 08:42, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

You can use BotPasswords with normal accounts (if you have 2FA enabled you basically have to use it for some things like AWB) - unless the account is making high speed queries that require a bot flag you don't need any approval from BAG for that type of work. — xaosflux Talk 11:09, 11 April 2017 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. Yes, I have 2FA enabled. It's be nice if pywikibot had a "not logged in at all mode" for cases where you just want to use the API for more complicated queries. I'll add looking into that to my list... GoldenRing (talk) 14:44, 11 April 2017 (UTC)

BAG member list casing

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Hi all, we are in a very silly edit war about the capitalization on this header. I REALLY DONT CARE what it is, so long as it does not break User:AnomieBOT's task; thus the prior revert done by Primefac. Anomie, can you verify that your bot will be happy with a change in case? — xaosflux Talk 15:54, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

I fixed it this morning when I saw the bot's complaint on its talk page before your revert, it now accepts both upper and lower case 'L' for that header. I'd have fixed it last time if it hadn't already been reverted by the time I saw it. Anomie 16:47, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
This definitely belongs on WP:LAME. Edit-warring to enforce the MOS in project space? That's a doozy. ~ Rob13Talk 16:54, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Thank you, now that it is happy I've changed it back to the baby L. — xaosflux Talk 16:59, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Wrong advice given by BAG member

Just FYIRecently BU Rob13 adivced me to use {{bots}} in page that a bot clogs. {{nobots}} should be used temporarily till the issue is fixed and the bot in question had no aapproval to run oustide mainspace. Template documentation reads:

  • avoid using the template as a blunt instrument
  • Address the root problem with the bot owner or bot community

Please be careful next time. See User_talk:Primefac#Bot_should_not_remove_from_these_lists (Also note thatit turns PrimBOT has no talk page). -- Magioladitis (talk) 07:38, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

What is your reason in posting this here? I can only think of one, and it's not a good one, so I'm hoping I'm wrong. Anomie 12:15, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Likewise, I share Anomie's concerns here. Also, we need diffs if you want us to give an opinion here. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:02, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
I have looked at all of Rob's recent contributions (last 2 days), and cannot find any mention of {{nobots}}. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:13, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
If it is about User talk:Primefac#Bot should not remove from these lists, I can't say I see any issue with Rob's comments and I dispute your summary of "in a page that a bot clogs". It was a suggestion to stop the bot from editing a page it shouldn't have, based on the available evidence at the time. When it became clear the issue was more widespread, Rob wrote "Restricting to article space is probably a good idea, Primefac. The initial BRFA linked to a search restricted to mainspace when estimating number of pages affected. Easy change in AWB." What exactly is it you hope to accomplish here Magioladitis? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:10, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Headbomb, Anomie is the diff. It's not a big problem since it was settle. -- Magioladitis (talk) 14:34, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

So why bring it here? Stop wasting our time. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:35, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
You did not have to reply. It's a heads up in order to avoid biting newcomers. Recall that mistakes led people to leave Wikipedia and stop contributing to world knowledge. -- Magioladitis (talk) 14:40, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
It was not a mistake. You identified a single page in which the bot should not edit. You did not, at the time, provide any information leading me (or the bot operator) to believe the issue was affecting more than one page. As soon as you did, I encouraged the bot operator to fix the issue. This is part of an ongoing campaign of harassment, full stop. ~ Rob13Talk 15:18, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. -- Magioladitis (talk) 16:27, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Is this the right forum to bot operators unpermissioned?

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

  Resolved: This is not the right forum, and the OP is aware of this. Primefac (talk) 23:13, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

Is this the right forum to bot operators unpermissioned? If not, could you redirect me? Thanks. --Hobbes Goodyear (talk) 20:59, 2 July 2017 (UTC)

@Hobbes Goodyear: I'm not exactly what you are asking, this is about the Bot Approvals Group - for more general bot/operator discussions please see Wikipedia:Bots/Noticeboard. — xaosflux Talk 21:26, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: Hobbes is concerned about the edit summary used by Magic links bot, claiming it isn't clear what it's doing. Everyone else (see here) seems to think the edit summary is fine. Hobbes is looking for someone to remove the permission granted by BAG to operate the bot because he doesn't like the edit summary. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 21:32, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Nihonjoe, I was thinking that might be the case, but xoasflux is right that BOTN is the proper location for that request. Primefac (talk) 21:36, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 21:45, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict) @Nihonjoe: thanks for the note, BON is the place to ask for bot authorization reviews if needed - pretty drastic for an edit summary - but that is the venue if really warranted and at an impasse with the operator. — xaosflux Talk 21:38, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
@Xaosflux: In this case, it seems to be more of an impasse with the concerned person as everyone else in the discussion (including me, so perhaps I'm biased) seems to think the edit summary is acceptable. Thanks! ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 21:45, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
JYI, There was one more person who complained(?) about the task in different place. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:12, 2 July 2017 (UTC)
Moved to Wikipedia:Bots/Noticeboard#Concern about Magic links bot as a courtesy. ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 03:37, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should admins also be able to close BRFAs under certain circumstances?

I wonder if admins should also be able to close BRFAs under certain circumstances. Anu thoughts? -- Magioladitis (talk) 11:26, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Why and under what circumstances? –xenotalk 11:45, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
@Xeno: I'd guess this is related to WP:ANI#User:Magioladitis high speed editing and Yobot 54's BRFA that has not yet been approved for trialing (nor has it been denied). I don't think that the entire pool of BAG members has been exhausted - but it has been stagnant. — xaosflux Talk 12:52, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
As a general note (and I'm genuinely indifferent to whether 54 gets approved) Category:Pages using ISBN magic links only has 24k pages left. If it takes more than a couple of days to approve, MLB and PrimeBot will probably finish the "bulk" aspect of this task over the weekend (leaving maybe a few hundred to fix manually/semi auto). Primefac (talk) 13:06, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Primefac editors may revintroduce more. The need for the bot won't leave. Of course, I am still of the opinion that you should consider slow down yourr bot till we decide on the additional fixes. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:59, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
As a thought towards the original question - if a BRFA is simple/straightforward/easy/etc, BAG would have no problems approving it. If it requires thought, discussion, back-and-forth, etc, BAG probably does need to close it, but if we hit something like 54 where there isn't any consensus, I think it would have to go to AN in order to get a consensus. Of course, this also means wikilawyering and unnecessary back-and-forth between admins who have opinions but maybe not the technical or policy knowledge required have an informed opinion. While I can appreciate the original question, I have a funny feeling it would just lead to more drama than it's worth. Primefac (talk) 13:11, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
54 does have consensus. There is some hubbub over whether it should run with genfixes, but there's no policy-based reason to prevent that, so I don't see any BAG member denying it. The problem here is rather unique. A large number of BAG members are involved due to behavioral issues that have required our attention. Many remaining BAG members don't want to be drawn into the drama and issues circling around all this lately. I don't agree with random admins being recruited to handle the process because they haven't been vetted by the community as technically competent and likely don't know the bot policy as well as BAG members. Perhaps we could recruit a new editor or two to BAG? I had hoped my nomination (and call to action within the nomination) would encourage some more people to apply, but that hasn't happened yet. Cyberpower678 is uninvolved, obviously competent, and knows the bot policy. I wonder if he would be interested. Would anyone object to him handling Magioladitis' BRFAs? He closed a topic ban discussion on Magio recently but that was a purely administrative action after a clear consensus emerged. ~ Rob13Talk 13:44, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Wouldn't I need to be a BAG member first. I would run, but I'm not sure if I would pass.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 14:02, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Ditto that. Primefac (talk) 14:36, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── I'll be the first to give a straight up no on this. This is strictly within the realm of the BAG, and not within the mandate of admins. In exceptional circumstances I'd accept closure from a bureaucrat, but certainly not admins. The problems of Yobot 54 are rather unique, and intimately tied to operator behavior, and topic bans that have passed, and topic bans that may or may not come to pass. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:13, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

To be clear, I was recommending Cyberpower678 run for BAG (if I can pass, you sure as hell can), not just willy-nilly handle the BRFA. Primefac You should run for BAG too, but I'd rather you not handle the BRFA in question because you run another magic links bot. No need to invite drama where none should be. ~ Rob13Talk 17:46, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
I'll run, but I'm not sure if I'll pass. I certainly feel I could do the job though.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:47, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
@Cyberpower678: It's up to you; I don't want you to feel pressured. But I'm fairly sure you would pass. You've taken on some of the most ambitious bot tasks I've seen and had some complaints (as is normal), but you've been successful. You know the bot policy. I can't see current BAG members opposing your nomination, especially given the unique issues of a lack of technically inclined non-involved/non-dramaphobic editors who could handle the Yobot BRFAs. ~ Rob13Talk 17:50, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Feel free to nominate me. ;-) It would be "Cyberpower678 3". I guess it couldn't hurt considering my last run was 3.5 years ago. :p—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 17:59, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
The newest BAG member probably shouldn't nominate; I'll leave it to someone more experienced who's willing to do it (or a self-nom is always fine for BAG). ~ Rob13Talk 18:11, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

@Xeno: Headbomb as a BAG member stalls the procedure of approving a proper BRFA due to "behavioural problems". This is an example of how BAG members may interpret consensus about a given task. The same problem was spotted when policy discussion downgrded to discussion about behaviour of the person who initiated a discussion. I think since BRFAs reflect consesus, at least for alreadt approved bots, any admin can jump in and save the day. -- Magioladitis (talk) 19:58, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Approving bots is in the mandate of WP:BAG, flagging them is in the mandate of WP:CRATS. WP:ADMINS has only one mention of bots, and it's "Only one account of a given person may have administrative tools. The only exceptions are bots with administrative access. See WP:ADMINSOCK." WP:BOTAPPROVAL makes no mentions of admins, but rather, and I quote [emphasis mine],
"Once the request has demonstrated its conformance with the community standards and correct technical implementation, the BAG may approve the task. The BAG may also decline a request which fails to demonstrate community consensus to perform the task. Occasionally, the operator may wish to withdraw the task or the BAG may mark a stale request as expired. Closed requests are archived and preserved for future reference. Should the task be approved, the "bot" user group flag will be assigned by any bureaucrat and the operator may run the bot as intended."
Again, this is BAG stuff, not admin stuff. One may certainly suggest/create an RFC on the topic to give admins the authority to approve bots, but until that is done, bot approval rights are exclusive to BAG. And before your create such an RFC, I'll tell you straight up there is zero desire in the community to grant admins bot approvals rights, and that such an RFC would WP:SNOWCLOSE as a waste of time, and that many would interpret this as a backdoor attempt to regain bot approvals rights. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:39, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Headbomb I am planning an RrC for wider issues to he honest based on the various opinions expressed. I think the ideal is that we create procedures that will reduce any editors conflicts. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:43, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
While it is your right to do so, I would very strongly advise against doing that. You and the bot policy have not meshed well recently, and unless you can gather some amount of private support for your ideas before going to the larger community as I have previously outlined, I would not be surprised if you ended up being topic banned from everything BOTPOL-related, and possible bots in general. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:51, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
(edit conflict × 2) I want to be very clear. The bot policy requires BAG members to approve bots, and BAG members alone (see WP:BOTAPPROVAL). Any bot not approved by the BAG through the normal BRFA process is an unauthorized bot and subject to blocking. In the absence of a very clear consensus to change WP:BOTPOL (which is policy, so would require overwhelming consensus to change), non-BAG administrators may not close a BRFA. I hope to have a solution to this very soon (new BAG members). We should recognize that an operator pushing away every BAG member who tries to help them is ultimately the fault of the operator, though, and it's possible the BAG may not always be able to accommodate operators who create an environment in which no BAG member remains uninvolved or wishes to process their BRFA. ~ Rob13Talk 20:43, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Making the prodecures crystal clear, will prevent any bad intepretations especially if we, at some hypothetical point, have BAG members who are in fact against bot editing. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:51, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Procedures are crystal clear, and are both outlined in WP:BOTAPPROVAL and WP:BAGG. The only one who seems to have an issue understand them is you. Also, in what world would someone get appointed to (or remain in) BAG if they were, as you say, against bots editing? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 20:55, 7 July 2017 (UTC)
Headbomb I don't know. I hope everything keeps rolling fine on the bot editing side. -- Magioladitis (talk) 20:57, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

Adding more BAG members is a good start but in cases such I describe above the qustions is whether we need a formal procedure in cases everything fails. For example BAG members have no formal deadline to reply to a BRFA while they have the right to declare a request as expired i.e. there is in inbalanced in the time frame between the perso who requests a to perform a task and the person who approves it. -- Magioladitis (talk) 23:05, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

This comes with being an unpaid volunteer position, I'm afraid. Look at some of the backlog at CAT:RFU, and there's a lot more people that can resolve those. SQLQuery me! 07:06, 9 July 2017 (UTC)
I created a BAG nomination page, but have yet to transclude it. I'm still thinking it over.—CYBERPOWER (Chat) 13:11, 9 July 2017 (UTC)

Bot stop needed

Several bots are changing categories from "X architecture in New York" to "X architecture in New York (state)", but they are ignoring the fact that a number of the places are located in New York City and need to be placed in "X architecture in New York City". I've oplaced stop requests on the talk page of several of these bots, but no stop has happened. These bots should be stopped until this issue can be discussed. Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:46, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

@Beyond My Ken: Which bots? ···日本穣 · 投稿 · Talk to Nihonjoe · Join WP Japan! 06:51, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Cydebot appears to be one. What are the others, BMK? Black Kite (talk) 06:53, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Fluxbot is another Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:54, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
OK. I think I get the problem - New York was moved to a dab page rather than being about the state, so the category has changed from "X in New York" to "X in New York (state)" but some of the "X in New York" articles are actually in New York City and therefore should be in "X in New York City"? Black Kite (talk) 06:58, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Exactly. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:07, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Cydebot is still running and I'm having to change cats manually, but, of course, I'm only seeing the changes in articles on my talk page. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:09, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
I;ll have to deal with the other changes already made tomorrow, but it would be great if this was straightened out so that all the "New York" entries could, in the future, be properly assigned to either "New York City" or "New York (state)", as appropriate. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:23, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
OK, Cydebot appears to have stopped for the time being (it appears to have got to the end of the alphabet) and Fluxbot stopped 3 hours ago. I'll drop a note pointing to this conversation on the talkpages of the bots. Black Kite (talk) 07:32, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Looks like Cydebot's stopped because the run is complete - it's done all the categories currently listed at Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Working#Speedy_moves. Black Kite (talk) 07:37, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Well, either I'll have to move all the NYC entries manually, or I'll have to use AWB or another porgram, even though I've avoide using semi-automated programs for 12 years. Beyond My Ken (talk) 10:53, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Let's see if I understand this right. There were existing "X in New York" categories, corresponding to New York being about the state rather than the city. There may or may not have been "X in New York City" categories too, this was not specified. After a CFD (not linked), bots began to move the "X in New York" categories to "X in New York (state)". Then Beyond My Ken decides that the bots should somehow be sorting the entries that happen to be within the city into city-specific categories that may or may not actually exist, even though any X that's in the city is also in the state by definition. Is that right?
If so, trying to stop the bots from performing the move here seems like the perfect solution fallacy. If Beyond My Ken wishes to diffuse city-located entries in any "X in New York" category into "X in New York City", that project is not harmed in the slightest by those entries now being in "X in New York (state)" instead. Nor is the categorization even incorrect. Anomie 12:03, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

I ran the follow 3:

Based on inclusion at Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Working and a call for help at Wikipedia:Bots/Noticeboard#Cydebot_appears_to_be_down. If these are not speedy-worthy, feel free to revert - I won't be able to run any other jobs for at least 10 hours. — xaosflux Talk 12:24, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
As long as these pages were in "X architecture in New York" the ambiguity about what "New York" meant made the category acceptable, but once the category was changed to the specific "X in New York (state)", the specificity of the category was not appropriate for those pages for subjects located in New York City -- they should have instead been moved into "X architecture in New York City". I don't think that the bot operators are at fault here, the fault lies in those who ordered the change without understanding that the relationship between New York City and New York state in not the same as that between Oklahoma City and Oklahoma. New York City has more than half the population of the state, and more historical sites than the rest of the state combined. To lump NYC's sites in with the rest of the state does a distinct disservice to our readers. Beyond My Ken (talk) 13:37, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Even those articles which belong in the NYC category, to place them in a New York (state) category is both correct (since New York City is in the state of New York) and maintaining the status quo (since the old category was about the state). This doesn't prevent a user from creating a category for the city, and moving articles from the state category (either before or after the renaming). עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 17:38, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
And some of these NYC categories look to me like WP:SMALLCATs. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 17:44, 24 July 2017 (UTC)
Yeah, this makes little sense. The category change is both correct and maintains status quo. If they're in the city, move them to the more specific category, but we've generated no more work than already existed to do that. ~ Rob13Talk 18:15, 24 July 2017 (UTC)

Pings for help

Hi BAGgers, Headbomb and I have been keeping up with most of the requests, but we are getting a bit of a backlog. If you have a little time assistance with processing would be appreciated! Speaking for myself, unless I specifically noted something on a request, I don't "claim" requests and have no issue at all with anyone else jumping in on them. Especially if the only thing I did was approve a trial to get going. If you won't have time to work on these matters for a while, please adjust your status on the Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group#Member list. Thank you in advance!

Pings: @BU Rob13:, @Cyberpower678:, @HighInBC:, @MBisanz:, @MusikAnimal:, @Slakr:, @SQL:, @The Earwig:xaosflux Talk 14:29, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
Likewise, if you see 'open', and my name is there, the task is still open and up for grabs. For instance, I posted in TokenZeroBot to recuse myself from approval. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:52, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
Huh. I had been checking the list semi-frequently but doing a U-turn when I saw that "Last edited by BAG member" was filled for all of them. I'll try to look more thoroughly going forward. ~ Rob13Talk 23:41, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
@BU Rob13: thank you! If I see requests coming in that look like the trial would be safe I will normally quickly approve for trial so that the operators can get to work, but I don't always have time to chase up on the requests. — xaosflux Talk 00:12, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Bots that haven't edited in a very long time

Moved to WP:BOTN#Bots that haven't edited in a very long time. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:36, 15 November 2018 (UTC)

Alpha Tool: Botwatch

Been playing with something: https://tools.wmflabs.org/botwatch/. It's still really really really rough (source updater source). The gist is, it watches for editors sustaining ~2 non-bot-flagged edits per min over 15 mins. It records how many of these "streaks" it sees, and what the longest "streak" is. This can be helpful in identifying potential unauthorized bots - but is in no way intended to be used as sole evidence of one, especially in such early alpha.

If anyone's interested in tinkering with it - everything should work on tool labs - or I'd be happy to add people to the toollabs project. SQLQuery me! 00:12, 20 March 2018 (UTC)

I've made some changes to botwatch today. I've upped the sustained over 15 mins EPM count to 4, and deleted ~8000 rows from it's database that were below 3. I also changed the display query to
SELECT * 
FROM   botwatch 
WHERE  epm > 4 
       AND user NOT LIKE '%bot%' 
ORDER  BY timestamp DESC 
LIMIT  50;
, meaning that it now ignores editors with "bot" in the name, and sorts by timestamp instead of EPM. I've limited the display data to 50 as well. Additionally, I've fixed the "blank edit summary" issue by joining the comment table on rc_comment_id instead of trying to pull rc_comment. SQLQuery me! 01:27, 28 November 2018 (UTC)
@SQL: Just seen this - very interesting. I'd be happy to help with maintenance and development if you ever need it. ƒirefly ( t · c · who? ) 21:47, 14 June 2018 (UTC)
I wish you were still active. I would welcome help working on it! SQLQuery me! 01:27, 28 November 2018 (UTC)

BAG recalls

We've never codified a way to remove BAG members (exclusive of the inactivity discussion) and fortunately it is a very rate situation where involuntary removal of an active member is even considered. That being said, I think we should require BAG members to be subject to recall, using the same rough process as the joining process. To prevent time wastes from frivolous requests perhaps requiring that such a discussion is initiated by any administrator or other BAG member? Anyone have thoughts on this? (Will hold from wide advertisement on this pending some initial responses). Thank you, — xaosflux Talk 03:13, 5 December 2018 (UTC)

Not firm on where my opinion stand on things, at the moment but I'd say BAG or CRAT initiates recall. Too many admins are clueless about bot matters IMO. I'd thought of making a proposal for Admin recalls via CRATS before, so I think that would work here too. Could be CRAT only too. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:16, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
May be OK, I can't see why they would refuse to gatekeep - asking 'crats to do something needs to be clear though (we're a stubborn bunch sometimes!) - I would expect that in this situation someone would "petition" the 'crats to start the recall process - with a fairly low bar for acceptance being needed (requester is in good standing, requester has a bonafide concern about bag/bot related activity). BAG members should always be able to volunteer for a recall/no-confidence discussion if they don't object as well. — xaosflux Talk 14:12, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
I find it rather fundamentally silly to have to be "open to recall" for any positions. We serve at the behest of the community. We shouldn't be able to say 'If we have consensus to appoint me, great, but if we have consensus to remove me, I don't have to accept it because it's not in the policy.' Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:33, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Me to, but its pretty much ingrained in the 'lifetime' appointment assumptions. — xaosflux Talk 16:36, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
And in this case we have no official process to remove someone (they could be generically blocked for disruption, effectively removing them during the block). — xaosflux Talk 16:37, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Does it really need to be codified? I would think a discussion here (or AN) saying "this BAG member has done a terrible job (see <evidence>) and I don't think they should be a BAG member any more" would be sufficient to allow removal of the "right" should that ever be necessary. Primefac (talk) 21:57, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Right, who are we trying to turf? –xenotalk 22:15, 5 December 2018 (UTC)
Agreed. If some community-based discussion comes to a consensus as judged by some reliable person who is good at judging consensus then...remove them. Less bureaucracy please, a standard RfC should be fine. Legoktm (talk) 01:26, 6 December 2018 (UTC)
@Xeno and Legoktm: I'm not targeting anyone right now - last time this came up I asked the member to stand for reconfirmation and they did, but had they declined we lacked a process. I'm fine with something simple like BAG members may be removed by the community through the RfC process.xaosflux Talk 02:17, 6 December 2018 (UTC)

Inactive --> Retired BAG

A new 2-year activity policy was introduced in Special:PermaLink/874067212#Should_BAG_members_have_an_activity_requirement?. Feel free to initiate a retirement discussion below (which triggers a 7-day hold to reactivate) for any members that have become inactive. — xaosflux Talk 00:10, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

On semi-related note, what should be do, if anything, with the large list of 'inactive' members? For example, [1] who retired? Keep as inactive, or remove from the BAG? Admins that want to keep the bit have to edit after all. I'd argue that anyone that hasn't (substantially) edited in the last two years would have missed out on a lot of policy developments. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:45, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

@Headbomb: I split this out to a new section. While Active/semi/Inactive is mostly self-managed, Inactive-->Retired (and need a new RFBAG) is a good question, we don't really have a guideline for it, and sometimes people come and go. I think a broad guidline should be: if you are completly inactive (no edits on enwiki) for 2 years, you get retired. Thoughts? — xaosflux Talk 14:55, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
It'd be inline with admin membership requirements, but I also wouldn't count Tim's retirement notice as 'activity' for purpose of BAG retirement. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 15:00, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
I would agree that two years of no edits is a very lenient activity requirement that we could impose with little controversy. ~ Rob13Talk 23:40, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Tentative wording. How about something like this?

BAG members are expected to be active on Wikipedia to have their finger on the pulse of the community. After two years without any activity on the English Wikipedia, BAG members will be retired from BAG following a one-week notice. Additionally, members who formally retire from Wikipedia (e.g. via {{Retired}}) will also be retired from BAG. After an editor retires from BAG, a request for BAG membership is required to become a BAG member again, unless the user unretires before 2 years of inactivity go by.

The idea being you can retire whenever you want, or by becoming inactive for two years. And after two years of inactivity (including when retirement due to inactivity kicks in), it's permanent retirement from BAG, unless you re-apply. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 00:23, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Seems reasonable. Primefac (talk) 00:46, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
I'd rather we not touch people who have {{retired}} banners so we know that everyone marked "retired" on BAG needs a new RfBAG. This would also be a better parallel with our activity standards for adminship. ~ Rob13Talk 01:06, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Just looking, but we don't really have 'retired' as a class, just a reason. We have Former - and I'd rather that people coming back from Former just re RfBAG - it's not that hard if you just left and are now back. — xaosflux Talk 01:13, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
Well, we'd have two reasons "Inactivity" and "Retired". If they're retired, check for inactivity. Pretty easy. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:52, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Pinging other active/semi-active members @Addshore, Anomie, Cyberpower678, Hellknowz, HighInBC, Jarry1250, Kingpin13, MBisanz, MaxSem, Maxim, MusikAnimal, SQL, Slakr, and TheEarwig: to have pre-RFC feedback. (Or you can wait during the RFC.) Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 04:48, 26 August 2018 (UTC)

I just see absolutely no benefit to throwing people with retired banners as former members. I'd much rather we do it only based on activity. ~ Rob13Talk 16:24, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
Well, what's the benefit of keeping Tim1357 on the inactive list if he's retired? He would be have been eligible for inactivity removal on September 26, had he not officially retired on January 2. But by retiring, he made edits, postponing the inactivity removal until January 2, 2020. I don't see that making a whole lot of sense to wait until then to retire him from the BAG. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:32, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
The prospect of someone coming back from a year plus of inactivity to post just a retirement banner is infrequent enough that we shouldn't base our activity guidelines around it. Usually, the placement of a retired banner would not seriously delay the activity timer. ~ Rob13Talk 16:55, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
Despite one complaint I've run in to recently, placing a "retired" or any other sort of GoodBye notice has never been "official" for anything. For example we won't desysop someone for invoking that banner. — xaosflux Talk 17:23, 26 August 2018 (UTC)
RFC created. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 17:46, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

Activity Stats

  • We have some members that haven't edited a bot-related topic in 10 years. I have a quarry here that can be forked/played with in case I didn't get the majority of bot-related pages.
Results SQLQuery me! 23:42, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
user_name last edit status
SQL 20181016043134 active
Xaosflux 20181015205340 active
MusikAnimal 20181015165817 active
Anomie 20181015121234 active
The Earwig 20181015032256 active
Headbomb 20181009133741 active
Cyberpower678 20180902170300 active
BU Rob13 20180817113527 active
Reedy 20180816222937 inactive
Hellknowz 20180813003138 semi-active
MaxSem 20180627210801 semi-active
Kingpin13 20180417002421 semi-active
JamesR 20180325225155 inactive
Slakr 20180226183526 active
Cobi 20171113183314 inactive
MBisanz 20170125145722 active
Jarry1250 20161203185948 semi-active
HighInBC 20161126210628 active
Tim1357 20160923024542 inactive
Madman 20160614030824 inactive
Addshore 20160408065850 semi-active
Maxim 20160224111240 semi-active
Josh Parris 20150324223645 inactive
Mr.Z-man 20150201011307 inactive
Snowolf 20141008191817 inactive
Chris G 20140610032252 inactive
Carnildo 20140515233210 inactive
Tawker 20140406071458 inactive
Quadell 20131115153952 inactive
OverlordQ 20101102173001 inactive
Coren 20100903231932 inactive
ST47 20100513055007 inactive
Jake Wartenberg 20100208223918 inactive
Tinucherian 20091023055721 inactive
Brandon 20090930034544 inactive
Gimmetrow 20090612121743 inactive
Daniel 20090130060148 inactive
Werdna 20080822061237 inactive
Aaron Schulz 20080714031342 inactive
Mets501 20080428011307 inactive

Maybe it's time we looked at removal based on inactivity at bot-related pages. SQLQuery me! 23:42, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

  • Putting on my security hat, people who are never use the system are less likely to notice if their accounts have been compromised. Leaving such accounts with advanced permissions is a security concern (of course, this is also true for admins and other groups). It seems like it would be straight-forward for users to ask for their rights back if they become active again. -- RoySmith (talk) 18:03, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
Well there's no system rights that goes with being a BAG member, so the security concerns there are no different than from any other editor. Unless you're concerned about a rogue bot approval/denial spree.. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:10, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
Headbomb, I don't think security is really a huge issue either - but, is someone who hasn't edited a bot-related topic in a decade likely going to be well versed on current policy and best practices? SQLQuery me! 04:53, 16 November 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Inactive BAG retirement (Mr.Z-man)

Closed (procedural) with thanks to Mr.Z-man for prior service. — xaosflux Talk 14:25, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Mr.Z-man (t · c · del · cross-wiki · SUL · edit counter · pages created (xtools • sigma· non-automated edits · BLP edits · logs (block • rights • moves) · rfar · spi) (assign permissions)(acc · ap · fm · mms · npr · pm · pcr · rb · te)

The recent 2018 RfC calls for moving to "retired" status BAG members that have been inactive in the bot process in excess of two years. As @Mr.Z-man: has been globally inactive since 2016-08-21 and locally inactive regarding bots since at least 2015-11-01. Additionally their own bot has been inactive since 2016-08-30. They will be retired in 7 days unless they become reactive in the bots process. Thank you for all of your past service Mr.Z-man. — xaosflux Talk 00:07, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

Xaosflux, I've been manually working on a table in my userspace, which should work for the most recent RFC: User:SQL/BAGSandbox. SQLQuery me! 00:22, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
@SQL: thank you, feel free to start a new section for anyone (or a batch) below that is inactive to start the 7-day process. — xaosflux Talk 00:34, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Bulk inactivity removals

Removed members in the "Removed" section below due to inactivity. Thank you for all of your past service, should you ever return you are welcome to reapply for BAG on this page. — xaosflux Talk 17:11, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

As above, the following BAG members have not met the activity requirements laid out in the 2018 RFC as of today:

Removed
Kept
Removed on request

This will start the 7 day waiting period for these editors. SQLQuery me! 00:45, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

Maxim had actually flagged a bot in 2017, striking. [3] SQLQuery me! 00:53, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
He also participated in the RFC on BAG activity requirements last month, I'm not really sure how he ended up on that list. SQL (talk · contribs) did you also check for talk page activity? Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 04:44, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
Headbomb, No, unfortunately, I can't predict everywhere that could possibly be bot-related. The query used for that portion can be found at [4]. SQLQuery me! 04:46, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
@SQL: Well Category:Wikipedia bots + associated talk pages (including pages in a select few subcategories like Category:Wikipedia_bot_requests_for_approval, although those could be also found via a search for 'Wikipedia:Bots/Requests for approval/...' in the page title), and bot user pages/bot user talk pages. I get that something WP:VPT related likely wouldn't be picked up, but the talk pages of the bot policy is one I'd have expected the script thing to pick up. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 04:51, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
@Headbomb: - Looks like an underscore issue. DB saves "Bot policy" as "Bot_policy". Which is why I sent notifications and posted here so there'd be more eyes. SQLQuery me! 04:57, 20 December 2018 (UTC)
Please note, merely mostly that you wish to stay active here is sufficient, though if you would like to stay active we really could use some help keeping down the backlog at WP:RFBA! If you don't want to stay listed, you don't have to do anything (and should either ignore this or reply that you wish to be marked retired) - you can always request to rejoin through the standard process here (we promise it's not like RfA :D ) — xaosflux Talk 01:06, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
So noted - no backlog that I can see at the moment. I will pop in when time permits :) -- Tawker (talk) 01:17, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
I'm fine with being removed! The next year will not be one of my most active. ·addshore· talk to me! 10:47, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
Probably a good idea to send message on their talk page too, if only to catch those that are inactive and get email notifications if someone writes them a talk page message. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:12, 17 December 2018 (UTC)
Which is indeed what SQL did. ~ Amory (utc) 16:20, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

For the sake of being unambiguous, I do wish to remain active on BAG. Maxim(talk) 23:38, 17 December 2018 (UTC)

OverlordQ (talk · contribs) [5]. It's not much, but by the letter it's enough. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 05:05, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

I'm still interested. Gimmetrow 05:17, 24 December 2018 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Bulk removal, Part 2

I believe Chris G (talk · contribs) also qualifies for removal due to inactivity. I'm looking for that fancy table of activity that as posted a while ago, but either I'm blind, or I can't find it. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:56, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Nevermind, I found it. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:58, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Numbering question (crosspost)

Just to hit more spaces, there's a discussion here that could use some eyes regarding numbering conventions. Primefac (talk) 20:25, 23 May 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Bot Approvals Group/nominations/Clement Elliot

This nomination by Clement Elliot has apparently not gotten any input nor has it been transcluded. Given the edit count it doesn't seem like it would pass anyway; anyone? Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:23, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

Without looking at the specifics, BAG nominations aren't in effect until they get transcluded and advertised. If someone wants to prepare something and work on it over a few weeks/months, I don't really see the issue. Could be moved to userspace if it really bothers people. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 09:31, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
Looking at the specifics, this would be a WP:SNOW fail, so I would advise Clement Elliot to see WP:BNN (and if that applies to Bot Operators, it applies even more to those who approve bots). Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 09:34, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
To echo Headbomb, just like RFA subpages one can create a BAG nomination and then sit on it for a while; there's no harm, especially if it's motivation to become more active in the areas related to the nomination. Primefac (talk) 15:38, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
On the other hand, their user page implies that they're likely to be transcluding it sooner rather than later. They've been pinged, so it's worth waiting on their reply. Primefac (talk) 15:38, 5 August 2019 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Bot Approvals Group/Archive 9".