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Allow to exclude bots from watchlist notifications
Open, Needs TriagePublicFeature

Description

Even if one clicks

Hide bot edits from the watchlist

on https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-watchlist

That does not affect

Email me when a page or a file on my watchlist is changed

on https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-personal

Yes, maybe it is intended that way. Well all the user can do to stop email barrages is to clear the entire watchlist then.

Event Timeline

Jidanni created this task.Sep 13 2020, 2:52 AM
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Jidanni updated the task description. (Show Details)Sep 13 2020, 2:55 AM
Aklapper updated the task description. (Show Details)

Hi @Jidanni, for future reference please read and follow https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/How_to_report_a_bug and structure your tasks.

Also, why should changing what is displayed in a browser page also influence email notifications? These sound like two unrelated things?

Ah, I found the problem: On Special:Preferences#mw-prefsection-personal

[ ] Email me when a page or a file on my watchlist is changed
[ ] Email me also for minor edits of pages and files

it is simply missing a third:

[ ] Email me also for bot edits of pages and files

Note when adding this, it should be checked by default, in order to not change current default behavior.

Jidanni renamed this task from No way to stop watchlist bot notification barrage to Add new "Email me also for bot edits of pages and files" preference.Sep 13 2020, 12:11 PM
Aklapper changed the subtype of this task from "Task" to "Feature Request".Sep 13 2020, 10:32 PM
Jidanni triaged this task as High priority.EditedSep 14 2020, 12:37 PM

Let's have a look at the highlights of one of these emails.

Dear Jidanni,

The Wikimedia Commons page File:Tractus intestinalis duodenum.svg has
been changed on 14 September 2020 by BotMultichillT, see

Editor's summary: /* wbeditentity-update:0| */ Adding structured data:
source & copyright 

Contact the editor:
mail:
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Special:EmailUser/BotMultichillT
wiki: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:BotMultichillT

There will be no other notifications in case of further activity unless
you visit this page while logged in. You could also reset the
notification flags for all your watched pages on your watchlist.

Sure, we can make a rough SpamAssassin rule to catch

/been changed on .* by .*bot.*/i

However that will not change the fact that the bot is racing through one's watchlist etc. causing

There will be no other notifications in case of further activity unless...

thus pretty much laying waste to the watchlist!
I better up this Feature Request's priority!

https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:Notifications#Muting_users notes

Watchlist behavior and emails are not affected by the mute list.

So that won't help. The only solution to avoid the bot wrecking the
state of

There will be no other notifications in case of further activity unless...

is to uncheck

Email me when a page or a file on my watchlist is changed

Throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Aklapper raised the priority of this task from High to Needs Triage.Sep 14 2020, 1:08 PM
Jidanni added a comment.EditedSep 14 2020, 1:34 PM

All I know is for the first time ever, a bot is munching through all of Commons,
causing the state of

There will be no other notifications in case of further activity unless...

to be set to "needs visit to revive" for all pages on all watchlists for all users.

Every hour that this continues more and more damage is done.

So in fact adding a simple

[ ] Email me also for bot edits of pages and files

that I recommended earlier is actually not enough to stop the damage... too little, too late.

All I know is I have now set

Email me when a page or a file on my watchlist is changed

to unchecked, not only to avoid the email barrage, but more importantly to
preserve the

There will be no other notifications in case of further activity unless...

on/off state of each page in my watchlist... until maybe a week from now
when others realize the damage that is going on as we speak.

Jidanni renamed this task from Add new "Email me also for bot edits of pages and files" preference to No way to distinguish bots from flipping watchlist notification statuses en mass.Sep 14 2020, 1:39 PM
Jidanni renamed this task from No way to distinguish bots from flipping watchlist notification statuses en mass to No way to distinguish bots from wrecking watchlist notification statuses en masse.
Jidanni renamed this task from No way to distinguish bots from wrecking watchlist notification statuses en masse to No way to keep bots from wrecking watchlist notification statuses en masse.
Aklapper renamed this task from No way to keep bots from wrecking watchlist notification statuses en masse to Allow to exclude bots from watchlist notifications.Sep 14 2020, 2:45 PM
Ahmad252 added a subscriber: Ahmad252.EditedSep 24 2020, 1:12 PM

This problem has also been mentioned here.

Change 649743 had a related patch set uploaded (by Lokal Profil; owner: Lokal Profil):
[mediawiki/core@master] [WIP] Add setting to disable e-mail notification on bot edit

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/649743

Change 649821 had a related patch set uploaded (by Lokal Profil; owner: Lokal Profil):
[operations/mediawiki-config@master] [WIP] Support setting to disable e-mail notification on bot edit

https://gerrit.wikimedia.org/r/649821

bjh21 added a subscriber: bjh21.Jan 3 2021, 1:53 PM

All I know is I am still getting notifications caused by https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Jimmy-bot .

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