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Disable watchlist notifications for bot edits made on Commons structured data
Open, Needs TriagePublic


User story: As a prolific Commons uploader, I want fewer/no notifications from SDC bots making edits across hundreds/thousands of my files, so that I can monitor other changes that are more relevant to me.

We have this:
Currently, users who have watchlists on many Commons files get a ton of notifications when an SDC bot rolls through.

We want this:
Silence notifications from bot edits.

Acceptance Criteria:

  • Bot edits making structured data (MediaInfo) changes no longer send notices to users who have the files on their watchlists.

Event Timeline

Ramsey-WMF added a subscriber: MarkTraceur.

Assigning to Cormac for now, and he can delegate as necessary. @MarkTraceur may be a useful resource for ideas on how to do this most easily 🍰

Are we sure we want this? Aren't there zillions of active bots? What's special about SDC ones?

Cparle added a subscriber: Cparle.

For now, yes. SDC bots in particular are editing very frequently across millions of files right now (as opposed to the many bots that just upload files instead of altering metadata for existing ones), and a decent number of community members still do not yet have interest in monitoring SD information.

Are we sure we want this? Aren't there zillions of active bots? What's special about SDC ones?

And we don't have any pre-existing mechanism of dealing with this kind of thing? @MarkTraceur

There's already an option in preferences to hide bot edits from the watchlist

Since there is an existing mechanism to block bot updates, and there aren't many (if any) Structured Data bots running at the moment, we'll put this on the back burner for now and see if it becomes an issue.

This is probably a duplicate of T246746. This ticket is likely about edits by my bot, which I fired off about the same time and I got a lot of unpleasant feedback about. As I understand it, not all edits by bot accounts are marked as "bot edits", but only edits with a "bot=1" flag set somewhere for each edit. For my edits, I am using QuickStatements, an excellent tool by @Magnus. QuickStatements is able to operate on SDC only in batch mode (aka asynchronous mode) and in that mode it either does not set that flag properly or that flag does not work properly in that mode. The issue was reported also at

There are so many mass edit tools, maintained by many people. Perhaps a better way would be to mark all the edits by bot accounts as "bot edits"

More generally, I think the issue is that people should be able to determine what slots to watch (do I want to get notifications about mediainfo slot changes or just main slot changes?). This will increasingly get more important as there will be more slots, some of them conceptually part of the main content (e.g. what is now the template documentation subpage should eventually become the documentation slot, and there is no reason one wouldn't want to watch that), some of them background mechanisms not very relevant to the user.

I made a tiny tentative patch (linked to T262750) which simply adds a "Email me also for bot edits of pages and files" option similar to the one which exists for minor edits. Is it exactly what we need, no, but it would be a decent stopgap until proper slot filtering is available.