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Stop welcoming LTAs
Open, Needs TriagePublicBUG REPORT

Description

On ukwiki, we have a couple of long term abusers (LTAs) that among other things create a lot of accounts with abusive usernames or usernames that contain PII that under oversight policy should be suppressed.

The problem is that those accounts already have their talk page created by Extension:NewUserMessage's bot, and in order to completely suppress the abusive username one needs to delete the talk page as well as revdel the page creation and deletion log records an example: https://uk.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Спеціальна:Вилучити_редагування&target=Спеціальна%3AЖурнали&type=logging&ids=18763279%2C18763260

This is at the very least annoying at worst a potential security issue (though I do not feel like this warrant a restricted ticket for this particular thing).

One way I propose to mitigate this is by creating a configuration parameter (to follow the extension's approach I guess it would be a ns8 page that any admin can tweak as necessary) to delay the welcome message by a specified amount of time (strtotime? time in seconds?) as well as make the extension ensure that neither a local block nor a global lock exists at the time of the welcome (potentially the latter can also be made a configurable thing, but I cannot think of a valid usecase where one would want to welcome banned users).

I guess there is a question of what to do if the block expires or is removed and/or if the lock is removed, but I my personal take is that in those situations it is not a problem if the user ends up not being welcomed.

Event Timeline

Tgr closed this task as Declined.EditedAug 11 2022, 4:27 AM
Tgr moved this task from Inbox to Triaged on the Growth-Team board.
Tgr added a subscriber: Tgr.

MediaWiki doesn't really have a mechanism for delaying stuff, and we are not doing any new feature work on NewUserMessage (IMO it never made sense to put that functionality in a MediaWiki extension in the first place). You might be better served by a welcome bot (e.g. Pywikibot has this functionality).

If a certain WMF team does not wish to work on the task that is not a reason to deny a valid task.

Removing growth as per them denying to maintain the project they are the maintainers of.

MediaWiki doesn't really have a mechanism for delaying stuff

This is wrong, for example autoconfirmed and some custom flags are assigned with a delay.

Removing growth as per them denying to maintain the project they are the maintainers of.

"Denying" is the wrong word and not very friendly. A team itself will never implement anything and everything that's being proposed.

See also "Non Maintained Projects" on https://phabricator.wikimedia.org/project/profile/1114/

@Aklapper,

"Denying" is the wrong word and not very friendly.

Yes, not very friendly is exactly how I feel about the task being closed, so it is a good fit :)

Rejecting feature requests that don't fit into a product's vision or offer a poor benefit/maintenance tradeoff is part of maintaining the code. That said, NewUserMessage is not actively maintained so I suppose if someone wanted to take over maintenance of the extension for the long-term, it would be their call. In my opinion it would not make sense to add complex new features to the extension, it already creates more problems than it solves (due to some very atypical hook usage), it doesn't do anything that couldn't be done by external code via the API, and it doesn't need high reliability; we should probably undeploy it some day. Bots are easier to customize, easier for volunteer technical contributors to make changes to, and can more easily handle things that do not fit into a single request.