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Disallow pinging notification with a link inside a signature
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Description

If you put a link to another user in your signature and then sign, it will ping them. I can't think of a reason why this would be desirable, unless of course you're trying to annoy and harass someone.

From some limited testing it seems that it needs a link to the actual user's page in addition to the other user in order to notify that the other user.

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a project: Growth-Team. · View Herald TranscriptMar 29 2019, 3:45 PM
Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald Transcript

@Amorymeltzer In what proper circumstance can I add [[User:Amorymeltzer| Amorymeltzer]] ([[User talk: Amorymeltzer|talk]]) in my custom signature and then sign discussions with it? I think this is crystal-clear disruption or NOTHERE as they say it and would result in immediate blocking.

I did some additional testing and I could not find a case when links to user pages in a user signature will trigger trigger mention notification, the signature in a form below will be displayed as a link to Another user page, but a mention notification will not be sent:

[[User:Another user| Another user]] ([[User talk: Another user|talk]])

@Etonkovidova Did you see this from my original post?

From some limited testing it seems that it needs a link to the actual user's page in addition to the other user in order to notify that the other user.

If the account's actual username is in there as well, I presume it treats the whole thing like typical wikitext. That is, the requirement for a mention ping (link to user name + ~~~~) doesn't distinguish between text added outside the signature and text added as a result of ~~~~.

@Etonkovidova Did you see this from my original post?

From some limited testing it seems that it needs a link to the actual user's page in addition to the other user in order to notify that the other user.

If the account's actual username is in there as well, I presume it treats the whole thing like typical wikitext. That is, the requirement for a mention ping (link to user name + ~~~~) doesn't distinguish between text added outside the signature and text added as a result of ~~~~.

Can you provide the actual wikitext that you used for the signature that triggered a mention notification?

Amorymeltzer added a comment.EditedApr 9 2019, 8:42 PM

Sure thing!

[[User:Amorymeltzer]] [[User:Amory]] is in the signature box for User:Amory, and "treat as wikitext" is checked. Then, simply signing pings User:Amorymeltzer: https://test.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Amory&diff=386849&oldid=386705

It also does so even if there is no other wikitext added (both edits in this diff pinged User:Amorymeltzer): https://test.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Talk:Page4242&diff=386851&oldid=386850

Thank you, @Amorymeltzer - with the signature format that you provided the issue has been confirmed; moved the task to Incoming tasks on our team workboard.

JTannerWMF moved this task from Inbox to Q1 2019-20 on the Growth-Team board.
JTannerWMF added a subscriber: JTannerWMF.

Since this is not urgent we will consider working on this another time.

Retro added a subscriber: Retro.Jun 19 2019, 9:44 PM

@Amorymeltzer Using signatures in this way isn't necessarily abusive or harassment.

I have my AWB-approved alternative account sign a modified version of my own signature so that there's a link directly to my talk page.

Ideally, there'd be some kind of interface warning and a public edit-filter type log (though I'm not sure if edit filters have the capability to process signature changes; perhaps it would be possible if changing one's signature generated some sort of log entry), but I don't think this should be entirely disallowed.

@Retro I'm not suggesting using such a signature be disallowed, I'm suggesting pinging via signature alone be disallowed

Retro added a comment.Jun 21 2019, 9:00 PM

@Amorymeltzer Hmm, I see.

I disagree; I think there's an even greater potential for abuse if one can link to someone else's username and that other user isn't pinged, because it would make it easier to commit signature forgery without anyone noticing (obviously the edit history is a dead giveaway, but it's easy for such things to be missed for a little while).

And I will note while the spamming of my notifications log is annoying, I find it useful to be aware when my alt account modifies pages. But on the other hand, I don't usually give such a log a thorough look, but I only look at the notifications at the top and the bottom of my notifications log.

In most cases, one shouldn't be including a link to someone else's user page in their signature anyway, so I think this needs a bit more nuanced handling. I'd even (grudgingly) be in favor of an outright software restriction from linking to others user pages, though I'd prefer a more logging and warning-based approach.

But if there are others in favor of suppressing notifications from user page links in signatures, then it would be nice to still retain an opt-in.