Forum:Limiting page creation to logged-in users

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Forums: Redwood Grove > Limiting page creation to logged-in users
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This thread was archived on 19 December 2020 by Legaia2Pla.

I propose that page creations in the mainspace (not including talk pages) be restricted to users who are logged in. As someone who frequently looks at the #recent-changes-osrs channel on Discord, I've come to notice that most mainspace pages created by anonymous users are either nonsensical ([1], [2]), offensive in nature or targeted at another person ([3], [4]), or frankly unhelpful e.g. no or very little information besides stating the obvious or it's in another language ([5]). These then get redirected to an existing article or deleted. Outside of bad faith edits and those in another language, it seems many are an attempt to clear a red link or that a misspelled variant of an existing page was not already redirected (e.g. Kalpite queen).

I took the liberty of looking at the page creations by anons, including attempts that didn't make it past the abuse filter, in the past 30 days. Of these, 29 were "bad" and fell into the aforementioned criteria. The remaining 15 were "good", of which 12 were redirects (most of which were by the same person,, one was a stub to start a page (Decorative boots (gold)), one was readded to the slang dictionary (Slang dictionary#P for "poacher"), and one was a relatively fleshed out page (Utility spells).

As creating an account is quite easy and merely a hurdle that most vandals don't bother with, I don't believe it's worth the hassle to continue this trend. It is more difficult for non-admin users to counteract it compared to edits on an existing page, and there is not often a reason to create a new article these days barring redirects (which we have Search Digest for), as it typically only happens on new content releases in which case it is covered by regular editors. --laagone talk 13:51, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Discussion[edit source]

Support - Even good faith page creation requires finesse and effort so expecting an account is not unreasonable. If there was a way to allow anons to only make redirects I'd support that too. MxFox (talk) 14:24, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Support - I would like to see more >DATA< from Cook, however I do support this at the moment. I understand how it looks from the outside, but I'd argue with how IP page creation goes, it is generally not worth it, or minimially so. All of the good faith edits can be resolved by making an account and while I realize some people choose not to do that, unless there is a way to allow creation for IPs using the #REDIRECT tags, I don't actually have a problem with it. Redirects are relative unimportant and not that impactful, so losing out on some of them is a relative non-issue to if the user does not want to create an account. I support this even more when considering new content, the amount of times a user creates a page with something to the affect of "this item is in the game" is unhelpful especially on that day (usually launch day for that content) because the hover-over popup for that page will then display that text for a quite some time and not be helpful until it is purged, like Reinforced goggles, Sourhog (kinda), and Supply crate (Mahogany Homes) where the edit has to be hidden. IP edits just aren't up to standards for page creation when they are valid content pages.Choppe|T 16:58, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Oppose - As it is not technically viable to just do this on mainspace per cook/cqm, changedChoppe|T 21:39, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Support + Question - Strong Support depending on how we implement it. Assuming we implement this via the $wgGroupPermissions array in LocalSettings.php, can IP addresses be told right away that they can't create a Page? Or does it block the user when trying to submit a new page. It definitely should tell the user to create an account before somebody might have spent some time on a new (maybe quality?) page, just so the wiki blocks you when trying to submit. ─ Reanimate Aviansie icon (mobile).png BrokTalk 18:22, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Strong oppose - See User:Cook_Me_Plox/unregistered_creations for a list of edits this would have disallowed. There's about 400 total in the last year. About 30-40 of these were genuinely useful non-redirect page creations that took significant effort, including money making guides, transcripts, new update item pages, fully fleshed out calculators, etc. Another 100 or so were at-worst-neutral redirects.

It is true that about 200 of these were garbage page creations that got immediately deleted. But the amount of time it takes to delete a page is so dramatically lower than the time it takes to make a useful page, and the long-term harm is so low that I can't possibly justify the tradeoff here. ʞooɔ 20:52, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Comment - Please address a process akin to Wikipedia:Edit requests. 20:58, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

This doesn't seem broadly applicable, especially for day-of-release activities where speed is important. ʞooɔ 20:59, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Neutral - As Cook stated, 400 total creations with a total of 140ish pages being at least decent enough to stay is good enough to be allowed. However, the opposing side comes up when I think of the idea of either the Wiki getting a better editing suite for mobile or OSRS getting more mobile support. It's something to keep in the wings rather than dismiss outright at this moment. Twig Talk 772kZGs.png 21:17, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Oppose - In technical terms with what we have now, this doesn't appear to be possible outside of abuse filter. Page protection warns users they cannot perform an action before submitting an edit. Often the edit button is simply removed. However, I don't see a way to protect an entire namespace that isn't MediaWiki, not even with ProtectSite. The user rights simply aren't that granular. Abuse filters would work, but inform the user after the edit is submitted which is a terrible experience for new editors.

Technical issues aside, it is not a new idea to make editing a bit harder just to stop vandalism. It has never been successful because it goes against the foundation of wikis: anyone can edit. It's why wikis have been so successful compared to other fansite formats. It takes seconds to delete a bad faith page creation. If any admin thinks the burden is too high, there are scripts to do it in one click. It is harder to create than to delete, and harder still to create the polished page that is apparently expected here. New editors will learn eventually, but it is important to minimise the obstacles for that first edit so they gain confidence and carry on editing. cqm talk 21:19, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Oppose per cook & cqm - It'd be nice if we had more than a handful of people capable of purging page previews though. -Towelcat (talk) 21:30, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Oppose + Comment - My main reason for opposing is just a philosophical/moral opposition to taking away rights from IP editors. Particularly, let's say this succeeds and the right to create pages was taken away from IP editors, what are the chances (realistically) of those rights ever being given back, especially when there's absolutely zero data in the future about what kinds of pages IP editors would even be creating? This seems like a one-way street to me. Though, on the other hand, I don't really disagree that people who are serious about editing a wiki in all cases generally create an account (especially since it's actually more anonymous to have an account than to not have one if you're concerned about e.g. privacy). On the more practical side of these vandal edits though, it seems to me that a lot of times vandalism happens when a random site visitor searches for something in the search box, is given a red link page after having no direct results, and then writes some nonsense and saves the page. Counter-intuitively this is actually beneficial to the wiki a lot of the time as I see these intially vandalized pages get turned into useful redirects for future site visitors. So, I don't really know how destructive these edits actually are in terms of overall health of the wiki.

In any case, I think it's very serious to this issue to make sure that if this passes, IP editors cannot write an entire page just to have the edit eaten by the wiki when they try to save (c.f. User:Brok Enwings' comment). That would be a complete disaster. - Xerxespersrex (talk) 21:32, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

especially since it's actually more anonymous to have an account than to not have one if you're concerned about e.g. privacy I personally feel like this to be the untrue and opposite with Weird Gloop, but not with Wikimedia Foundation. I don't feel like to be in control of my personal data if I would register, but there is no personal data associated with my contributions while I make unregistered contributions. I am well aware of licensing attribution and the permanence of that license, however. 21:47, 6 December 2020 (UTC)
I don't actually know the inner workings of Weird Gloop's (or Wikimedia's) privacy policy or management of your data as I've never experimented with it. My point was solely based around the core idea of your IP address being publicly visible to anyone with IP edits, versus just being internally visible to the wiki's server administration when using an account. There seems to me to be a smaller attack surface when using an account. - Xerxespersrex (talk) 22:07, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Support except - Should be "all spaces except talk spaces" rather than "just mainspace except talk space", this is apparently technically feasible right now as opposed to mainspace only (which I think is just a worse option personally). zTUG5mD.png Crow 653  22:48, 6 December 2020 (UTC)

Oppose - Wikis are supposed to have a low barrier to entry, it's part of what makes them tick. And while this obviously comes with vandalism too, it's hard to have one without the other. I've seen on one of the big wikis variants of this topic come up again and again, where an editor calls out for basically some kind of stronger editorial control, and while I can userstand the desire for it, it doesn't fit the crowdsourcing model that wikis are built on.

For every 99 vandals such a hurdle would prevent it will also drive away one person who would eventually have contributed a lot. In the long run this is more likely to hurt the wiki. If a wiki can't attract new editors it will eventually wither away. So be nice to the "eeps". --The scribe (T | C) 06:07, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

Oppose - this just seems like a narrower version of "we should prevent unregistered users from editing", a previously rejected proposal, and I don't think this thread brings up anything that hasn't already been argued in the previous five threads. (I know that links to the other wiki, but this isn't a game-dependent topic.) --Iiii I I I 07:39, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

Oppose per The scribe - Heritability (talk) 22:15, 7 December 2020 (UTC)

Closed - There has not been discussion for 12 days. There is not consensus to restrict page creations to logged-in users only. --Legaia2Pla · ʟ · 02:36, 19 December 2020 (UTC)