Opt out of Thanks feature
Open, Needs TriagePublic


Some people (for example me) would like to opt out of the Thanks feature. Disabling and enabling this feature should be logged in the Thanks log.

The Quixotic Potato (talk) 14:06, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

This card tracks a proposal from the 2015 Community Wishlist Survey: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2015_Community_Wishlist_Survey

This proposal received 4 support votes, and was ranked #90 out of 107 proposals. https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/2015_Community_Wishlist_Survey/Notifications#Opt_out_of_Thanks_feature

DannyH created this task.Dec 7 2015, 11:17 PM
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DannyH raised the priority of this task from to Needs Triage.
DannyH moved this task to Wishlist 51-on on the Community-Wishlist-Survey-2015 board.
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What does "opt-out" mean? You can turn off receiving thanks notifications in your preferences...

There's extensive (collapsed) discussion in the linked topic. Essentially, IIUC, the user(s) endorsing the proposal, want 1 of these 3 things to happen.

  1. stronger and publicly-visible per-user opt-out
    • If a user disables both the existing opt-out checkboxes,
    • then, remove the "thank" links from their edits in history/etc
    • so that other editors must manually leave a talkpage comment (or send an email, or click the wikilove icon) if they wish to thank that user for their edit.
  2. stronger and announced-on-click per-user opt-out
    • If a user disables both the existing opt-out checkboxes, and
    • when another editor clicks "thank" for that first user's edit
    • then open a popup notification saying "This user has disabled the Thanks notifications feature. Please leave them a user talk page message, instead." (or similar).
  3. replace the Thank extension's existing code entirely, but leave the "thank" links as a trigger to send Wikilove. I.e. Globally:
    • If a user clicks "thank",
    • Then that user is taken to the usertalkpage of the target editor,
    • and the wikilove interface is automatically opened.

Personally, I think option #2 is somewhat reasonable at a logical level, but I'm unsure A) how feasible it is technically, and I'm unsure B) whether or not there are social/privacy issues with exposing this userpreference in this way.

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Needs product input from Collaboration team.

Thanks for bringing this idea into discussion. That Thanks discourages more meaningful communication is an interesting hypothesis, and one we'll keep our eyes on. @Ryan Kaldari provides information in the discussion on wishlist survey that it may not be so, insofar as the introduction of Thanks did not reduce instances of Wikilove, at least (though that is an imperfect indicator, as @The Quixotic Potato points out).

Re. the popularity of Thanks, I'll note a statistic that stood out for me when I saw it. Thanks is the #4 most clicked on notification type, which means that people frequently follow up on these notifications even though, logically, doing so isn't really necessary. My inference there is that they are curious about why, precisely, others are thanking them, but whether that's the case or not, it's not a behavior people would engage in if they found these a bother. Of course, potato is not suggesting we eliminate Thanks altogether....

On the wishlist survey, the proposal received three votes, which puts it well behind many others. As I say, I think this is something we'll keep an eye on -- I may, as a start, be able to investigate what proportion of people disable Thanks in Preferences -- but I don't see Collab team moving on it in the near term.

DannyH updated the task description. (Show Details)Feb 6 2016, 12:30 AM

What does "opt-out" mean? You can turn off receiving thanks notifications in your preferences...

@The_Quixotic_Potato: Could you answer that question please? Is the available setting sufficient to fulfill your request?

Also, currently this 2015 community wishlist item (task) does not explain well why this was requested. It describes a high-level problem or proposes a potential solution to an underlying "root problem" that still needs to get defined.
Knowing the background of the request in this task might provide better insight and lead to better solutions. (For example, do you simply receive too many notifications and want to disable those not relevant to you? Or ware there different reasons?)
Please see https://secure.phabricator.com/book/phabcontrib/article/describing_problems/ for more information (which is not a Wikimedia site but explains the problem in detail.)
Thanks a lot helping us understand better what exactly is requested and especially why!

What does "opt-out" mean? You can turn off receiving thanks notifications in your preferences...

@The_Quixotic_Potato: Could you answer that question please? Is the available setting sufficient to fulfill your request?

Well, I think Quiddity summed it up in T120753#1863894 what the specific request is.

happy5214 moved this task from Backlog to Thanks on the Pywikibot-Thanks board.

Change 372493 had a related patch set uploaded (by Happy5214; owner: Happy5214):
[mediawiki/extensions/Thanks@master] [WIP] Proof-of-concept of logging on Thanks setting changes


Part of this idea seems very odd to me. Preferences are (with some very rare exceptions) exclusively private, such that not even sysops can see them (only those with database access). Why would this preference be different and be publicly logged when it changes? How would you explain to users in the preferences form such that they had consented knowingly to such publication? Would this also adjust the workflow of reseting preferences?

And I'm pretty sure we don't put changes to any other public preferences (e.g. gender or signature) in Special:Log either.

We already have Schema:PrefUpdate (fully private log only available to developers) if we need to look into bugs related to this.