Wikipedia talk:Teahouse

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This page is where experienced editors discuss how to keep the Teahouse running smoothly. If you have a question about how Wikipedia works or need help with editing, please click here to go to the Teahouse Q&A forum.

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Making ORES work better for Wikipedia[edit]

I’m a researcher at the University of Minnesota who is studying how ORES (Wikipedia’s AI system for detecting vandalism and measuring quality) works and how people want ORES to work. I’m doing this work in collaboration with the Wikimedia Scoring Platform team -- the maintainers of ORES because we want to make ORES better. I’m hoping to interview patrollers, newcomers, Teahouse hosts, and WikiProject organizers about how ORES and the quality control tools that use ORES affect you. So, I’m interested in your participation and I’m also interested in suggestions for how I might best reach out to newcomers at the Teahouse to get their perspective -- as they almost certainly are affected by ORES-powered tools. Please respond here with suggestions or concerns. Otherwise, if you’re interested in giving me an interview, you could post on my talk page or send me an email. Thanks! Bobo.03 (talk) 01:38, 7 February 2019 (UTC)

Hi Bobo.03. Welcome to the Teahouse Talk Page. I'll kick off by responding as an averagely competent and averagely experienced editor, who is active both here and at Recent Changes, and who dabbles in NPP from time to time, and who has heard of ORES, who knows simply that it should bring us machine-aided assistance in identifying good and bad edits, but who knows virtually nothing more than that, and who has assumed that it's something very techy that works in the background, but over which I have no impact, input or control.
I do value what I assume to be the ORES-driven colour coding and colour-dotted flagging of edits at Recent Changes, which I find quite helpful in identifying issues with the latest edits filtered and offered there. This is my favoured setting at Recent Changes - I have no idea if I could make it more effective, but am open to suggestions. I just stick with that setting which gives me a fair mix of good and bad edits to check. The one thing I often wish I could do when I find an editor whose recent changes edit has been colour-flagged as probably damaging, but which is actually perfectly OK, is to then be able to flag that edit as quite acceptable. I often wonder if, say, those with a minimum of NPP or rollback permissions were the only ones who could flag edits as 'good' whether this could be used to remove those edits from the Recent Changes feed. That'd stop other change patrollers from seeing approved edits and save them wasting their time repeating their own checks on the same edit, as well as assisting ORES to learn whether its flagged edits are genuinely OK, or simply bad edits that have been totally overlooked in the queue.
I often use Ctrl-F at my Recent Changes feed to search for three keywords that I am always personally suspicious of. 1) Any article with the word "School" in its name; 2) any edit summary that says "fixed it" 3) any edit summary that includes the word "typo". In my filtered feed, all these end up often being very bad edits. The ones that aren't are the ones I'd like to be able to flag as OK to stop them lurking in the RC feed. I would also love to be able to filter out articles by broad topic so that they don't appear in my Recent Changes feed (I am not interested in checking BLPs linked to WikiProject Sports, for example) but I suspect this is well outside your field of work.
I'm not sure how to suggest reaching out to newcomers at the Teahouse, as they're even more unlikely to understand ORES than I am, and I wonder if approaching the good new editors might overwhelm them. Approaching the bad editors would simply be a waste of your time, of course. So I guess you need to find out from new editors ( which might need defining) whether they've ever had their edits reverted, their reaction and feeling about it happening, and whether they received a clear explanation of why they were reverted. Apart from a recent spate of serious automated IP attacks across all the help fora, we don't get many pure vandals asking questions at the Teahouse. We do, however, see quite a high percentage of editors who ask questions and who are subsequently blocked for some other reason.
I do know that one of our long-standing and experienced TH hosts, Cullen328 has in the past done his own analysis of the type of questions and responses we get here, as well as Jtmorgan from WMF who is doing research specifically on the Teahouse. The one thing I would say is that if you're wanting feedback from new editors, a direct approach with a link to an off-wiki survey (like Survey Monkey) would probably be easier for them to respond to, rather than expecting them to edit in wiki-style here. (Whatever you do, don't suggest handing out random barnstars, and do declare if you're receiving Facebook funding!) Sorry I can't offer much further thought on the subject, but hope this response might be of some use. Regards from the UK, Nick Moyes (talk) 00:45, 12 February 2019 (UTC)
Hi Nick Moyes! I am a collaborator with Bobo.03 on this project. Thank you for your post here a couple weeks ago. Are you by any chance interested in providing an interview for this research? I appreciate the ideas you've shared here, and would appreciate getting more insight into your perspective. If so, please get in touch on my talk page. Thanks! FauxNeme (talk) 16:49, 28 February 2019 (UTC)  Done Nick Moyes (talk) 16:44, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

Adding a navigation template (skip to top and bottom) to Teahouse[edit]

I would like to try adding the template {{skip to top and bottom}} to the Teahouse page to facilitate moving from the bottom of the discussion forum back to the top. (I find this very slow when editing on a mobile.) Would other hosts foresee a problem if we deployed it, or could you suggest a better alternative? The template puts a pair of small floating up/down arrows at the bottom right corner of the page. See my own talk page for a demonstration of how it aids navigation on long pages. Regards, Nick Moyes (talk) 15:48, 18 February 2019 (UTC)

Update:  Done I have now 'been bold' and enabled this template today. I have also posted at the Teahouse, asking for feedback. Please remove the template if serious problems with it are reported, though I do think it would be good to leave it in place for enough time to assess whether or not it does actually assist users in navigating from one end of the long Teahouse page to the other. Nick Moyes (talk) 00:31, 26 February 2019 (UTC)  

Talk to us about talking[edit]

"icon depicting two speech Bubbles"

The Wikimedia Foundation is planning a global consultation about communication. The goal is to bring Wikimedians and wiki-minded people together to improve tools for communication.

We want all contributors to be able to talk to each other on the wikis, whatever their experience, their skills or their devices.

We are looking for input from as many different parts of the Wikimedia community as possible. It will come from multiple projects, in multiple languages, and with multiple perspectives.

We are currently planning the consultation. We need your help.

We need volunteers to help talk to their communities or user groups.

You can help by hosting a discussion at your wiki. Here's what to do:

  1. First, sign up your group here.
  2. Next, create a page (or a section on a Village pump, or an e-mail thread – whatever is natural for your group) to collect information from other people in your group. This is not a vote or decision-making discussion: we are just collecting feedback.
  3. Then ask people what they think about communication processes. We want to hear stories and other information about how people communicate with each other on and off wiki. Please consider asking these five questions:
    1. When you want to discuss a topic with your community, what tools work for you, and what problems block you?
    2. What about talk pages works for newcomers, and what blocks them?
    3. What do others struggle with in your community about talk pages?
    4. What do you wish you could do on talk pages, but can't due to the technical limitations?
    5. What are the important aspects of a "wiki discussion"?
  4. Finally, please go to Talk pages consultation 2019 on and report what you learned from your group. Please include links if the discussion is available to the public.

You can also help build the list of the many different ways people talk to each other.

Not all groups active on wikis or around wikis use the same way to discuss things: it can happen on wiki, on social networks, through external tools... Tell us how your group communicates.

You can read more about the overall process on If you have questions or ideas, you can leave feedback about the consultation process in the language you prefer.

Thank you! We're looking forward to talking with you. Trizek (WMF) (talk) 15:01, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

Im down for this Jayscott478 (talk) 21:48, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

Talk pages consultation 2019[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation has invited the various Wikimedia communities, including the English Wikipedia, to participate in a consultation on improving communication methods within the Wikimedia projects. As such, a request for comment has been created at Wikipedia:Talk pages consultation 2019. All users are invited to express their views and to add new topics for discussion. Individual WikiProjects may also consider creating their own requests for comment; instructions are at mw:Talk pages consultation 2019/Participant group sign-up. (To keep discussion in one place, please don't reply to this comment.) Jc86035 (talk) 15:13, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Quick update: I wanted to make sure you knew that the team really needs to hear about what's working or not working for you all. This Teahouse fits two of the "buckets" that they particularly worry about learning enough about: you deal with inexperienced editors (experienced editors will just tell them what they want, but the new folks are less likely to), and you use a different style of talk page (top posting).
You have (at least) three options for providing this information:
You are welcome to participate in any of the options, including all of them. I particularly hope that the Teahouse hosts will share your own experiences as editors, as well as sharing what you've seen from new editors.
The team is especially interested in hearing information that will help them build "user stories". Having a good set of user stories will help them figure out later whether they are succeeding or failing. So, for example, a simple user story might be "A new editor needs to be able to talk to experienced editors. When new editors have questions, they need an easy way to ask for help, and an easy way to figure out when someone has replied" or "Good-faith new editors sometimes get blocked because they don't understand wikitext [and therefore accidentally screw up articles]. They need a simple way to communicate with an experienced editor." If the end result is to build something that makes things easier for Teahouse hosts (auto-delivery of talk-back messages? the possibility of a single discussion happening simultaneously at WP:TEA and on the user's talk page?), then I'll consider this whole exercise a success. Whatamidoing (WMF) (talk) 18:04, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Video tutorial regarding Wikipedia referencing with VisualEditor[edit]

Hi, I have received a grant from WMF to support production of a video tutorial regarding creating references with VisualEditor. I anticipate that the video will be published in March 2019. Depending on funding considerations, this tutorial might be published in both English and Spanish. If this tutorial is well received then I may produce additional tutorials in the future.

I will boldly add this Teahouse talk page to the list of pages that will receive notifications for when drafts and finished products from this projects are ready for public review. I would greatly appreciate receiving feedback from experienced Wikipedia helpers regarding drafts so that I can make the finished products be as useful as possible for your work with helping new contributors. If you would also like to receive notifications on your user talk page then please sign up for the project newsletter.

Regards, --Pine 20:14, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

Users BabyKids2019(2) and BabyKids2019 7[edit]

Hi! I don't know if your greetings are automated, but you must know that these are sockpuppets, they always create hoax edits, articles, drafts, user pages and upload hoax images to Wikipedia. It used to be very active at Wikipedia en Español but now he is starting to abuse even more of this Wikipedia. Please, whenever you see a new user with a "BabyKids"-based name, review the edits, revert them if necessary and report them immediately. Thanks.--MexTDT (talk) 08:08, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

@MexTDT: Yes, a bot called Hostbot delivers Teahouse welcome messages signed, ostensibly, from a list of active Teahouse hosts. I should add that there is currently a trial in progress (see here) on how it delivers these welcomes, so as to target them more towards genuine editors, and less towards vandals. Though I doubt it would have made much difference in these instances. Here are all the accounts I can find with "BabyKids" in the name. All their current edits seem to have been dealt with so far - and I see you have reported the new ones to SPI. (Please don't take this the wrong way, but I was initially sceptical of your post here because you were reporting other problem users without yet having created even a small userpage for yourself after 2 1/2 years here. Maybe you have a reason for this, but your own posts are more likely to be taken seriously sooner if we can see a little about yourself, and not see your own username as a redlink.) Thank you for raising this issue. Nick Moyes (talk) 11:39, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
@Nick Moyes: The OP is primarily editing es-wp, as is reasonable to guess from the post's content, and I see no reason to push them to create an en-wp userpage if they do not intend to commit a lot on it. (To be frank they do not have an es-wp userpage either, but I would not give es-wp advice based on en-wp customs.) TigraanClick here to contact me 18:32, 27 February 2019 (UTC)
@Tigraan:. Fair point, but I saw - and still see - no reason to check Global Contributions to assess where a helpful editor with excellent English, reporting a problem, is most active. I do stand by my advice, which was offered out of the very best of intentions, even if you think it came over as 'pushy' - not my aim. Thank you. Nick Moyes (talk) 22:52, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Thank you very much!![edit]

Thanks Mohammmadahmad649 (talk) 05:26, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

@Mohammmadahmad649 and SkyGazer 512: I believe the above THX belong to Wikipedia:Teahouse#When can I get extended confirmed user degree on Wikipedia? section. Face-smile.svg CiaPan (talk) 10:59, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mohammmadahmad649 (talkcontribs) 16:30, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
No problem, Mohammmadahmad649, I'm glad I could help! For the future, it's generally a good idea, when replying to discussions, to do so in the same place as the initial discusison, just to keep everything in one place. =)--SkyGazer 512 Oh no, what did I do this time? 20:52, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

But when will I get autoconfirmed?? I have done 11 edits and my account is since Jan 2019. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mohammmadahmad649 (talkcontribs) 05:55, 2 March 2019 (UTC)

Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 1[edit]

 Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 1

Good news: the (lengthy!) script draft 1 is complete![edit]

Hello, I am happy to share that script draft 1 is complete and ready for public comment.

The script (link to the Google doc) is much longer than I anticipated, at almost 21 pages!

Although I think that the 21 page script would be a very good introduction to referencing policies and workflows, I am considering dividing it into two or more smaller scripts that would be produced as separate videos. For example, one script could focus on policies and a different script could focus on how to use the citation tool. I am considering this for three reasons:

  • People may be more willing to watch shorter videos that have more specific focus.
  • Shorter videos may be easier to search for an answer for a single specific question.
  • There is a possibility that if I attempt to produce a single video from almost 21 pages of script that I might exceed the budget for this mini-project. I would like for both WMF and the community to be satisfied with the results from this mini-project, and I think that dividing the script into smaller scripts which could be produced separately would be a good way to ensure that the budget for the current grant is not exceeded. While there is a reasonable possibility that I could finish production of the entire 21 pages of script within the current grant, I think that dividing the script would be prudent. After one of the smaller scripts is fully produced within the currently available funding, remaining script could be considered for production within the current grant if there seems to be adequate remaining funds, or could be saved for possible production with a future grant.

Request for constructive criticism and comments[edit]

I would very much appreciate constructive criticism and comments regarding the script, preferably by March 10 at 11:59 PM UTC. This is a shorter time window than I would like to provide, but the planned end date for this project is March 14 and I would like to finish video production by the end of March 13 so that I have 24 hours for communications before the grant period ends. If you would like to review the script or make other comments but the end of March 10 is too soon for you, please let me know that you need more time, and I will take that into consideration as I plan for final production and consider whether to request a date extension from WMF. (Extending the finish date for the project would not involve requesting additional funding for the current grant.) I would prefer that the video be done perfectly a few days late than that the video be done on March 14 but have an important error that was not caught during a rush to the finish.

I have three specific requests for feedback:

1. Please find errors in the script. This is a great time to find problems with my work, before the script goes into production and problems become more expensive to fix. Please go to this link in Google Docs and use the Comment feature in the Google Doc.

2. Do you have comments regarding whether the script should be divided, and if so, how it should be divided? Please let me know on the project talk page.

3. How do you feel about the name for the video? Do you prefer "Referencing with VisualEditor" or "Citing sources with VisualEditor", or a third option? Again, please comment on the project talk page. However, if I divide the script then I will create new names for the smaller videos.

Closing comments[edit]

Thank you for your interest in this mini-project. I am grateful to be working on a project which I hope will help Wikipedia contributors to be more efficient and effective, and indirectly help to improve Wikipedia's quality by teaching contributors how to identify and to cite reliable sources. I believe that the finished video will be good, and I hope that the community and novice contributors will find the video to be very useful.

Yours in service,

--Pine 07:55, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

@Pine: Thanks for this update. I've skimmed through your script, but only have time to make general observations and constructive criticism here, I'm afraid. It would have been easier if I could have judged your approach against a clear and succinct "Aims and Objective" for the video. I looked for one across the two separate pages you linked to, but was unable to quickly find anything which clearly identified primary purpose of video, its target audience, intended duration, topic coverage etc. So my responses here could well be off-beam a bit:

1) I'm unable to offer detailed feedback on the script at this time, except to comment that it sounded like it was being delivered in a classroom to college students - very formal and impersonal. Maybe that was one of your objectives, but I found very little that said "you" can do this, or here's how "you" can do that. So, for me, I think it could perhaps engage more directly and personably with the viewer. I didn't like 'hearing' the narrator repeat the section titles word for word (it's like speakers who read from a PowerPoint bullet point). Far better to say the same thing in a slightly different way for added interest - two bits at the cherry, if you will.

I didn't particularly like the introductory explanation of references, citations and sources. I thought it might be a bit confusing. It could have explained, first, that you should only add new facts to a Wikipedia page if you can prove it comes from a reliable SOURCE such as a book or newspaper. You add these to the article as REFERENCES (which appear at the bottom of the page), and you link them to the right bit of the article by inserting it as a CITATION immediately the relevant fact. And then perhaps go on to say that on Wikipedia most people use References and Citations to mean the same thing, and that's quite OK.

Automatic: One additional step that I find is essential when automatically adding references in WP:VE is the need to check and add in anything that's missing or garbled. So often the automatic process mixes up or misses off the authors, misses off the page number, date etc. I think that optional check step should be mentioned.

2) My feeling was that there is are many learning elements for one video. If split into two shorter parts, all the learning outcomes could be listed in Part one, but only the basics need be given in that element as to why and how a reference is added. It could say that Part Two will expand on quality, reusing references, getting help, etc.

My one strong dislike was to the example of adding "citation needed" to the statement that "the moon is made of cheese". This is such a bad example, and so patently absurd that any editor should swiftly remove it, without tagging it for someone else to deal with. Why not use a related example such as "Water has been discovered on the moon"? This could be right; but could be wrong - so it seems a perfect demonstration case for [citation needed]}

During your end credits, why not also display links to the Help Desk and Teahouse so they're on screen for longer, plus a link to the online VE instructions, if these can be simply done.

3)Titling. Being English, I normally like to use the word 'References' than 'Citations' BUT on this occasion, I have to say that I feel "Citing sources with VisualEditor" is considerably better than the alternative. It does what it says on the tin.

If I do get time, I'll go through the Google docs and leave further detailed suggestions. Hope this helps a bit, at least. Nick Moyes (talk) 10:43, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

Hi Nick Moyes, thanks very much for the feedback. I'm going to copy it to the project talk page so that I can look at it there with the other feedback that I received. --Pine(✉) 23:53, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

User Guangxidiyimeinan[edit]

Can someone please make contact with User:Guangxidiyimeinan. They are getting close to be being blocked. SpinningSpark 08:00, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Talk archiver[edit]

My user page talk archiver doesn't seem to be working (Miszabot III). Am I doing something wrong or is this bot no longer maintained? If so, what do you guys use? Also, is maintaining an archive of your talk page mandatory? I notice some users just blank their talk pages. I enjoy sandwiches (talk) 21:21, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

You probably intended this question to be at WP:TH rather than WT:TH, but you wouldn't expect anything else to be archived yet as you have |minthreadsleft = 5. --David Biddulph (talk) 22:03, 13 March 2019 (UTC)
Ah sorry, was in a rush. Thanks for clarifying about the archiving, I should have checked that. I enjoy sandwiches (talk) 22:38, 13 March 2019 (UTC)

Unclear talk page headers[edit]

Is it time we slightly reworded our Talk page header? It currently says:

'This page is where experienced editors discuss how to keep the Teahouse running smoothly.
If you have a question about how Wikipedia works or need help with editing, please click here to go to the Teahouse Q&A forum.

On clicking 'edit' , we then see:

Greetings: This page is for discussing the Teahouse, please direct questions about Wikipedia to the Teahouse Q&A forum. Thank you.

Could we get them changed so as to read:

This page is only for experienced editors to discuss how we keep the Teahouse running smoothly.
If you have a question about Wikipedia, or need help with editing, please click here to go to the Teahouse Q&A forum.

The edit header could read something akin to:

Greetings: This page is only for discussing how the Teahouse is managed. Please direct all other questions to the Teahouse Q&A forum. Thank you.

Thoughts anyone? Nick Moyes (talk) 00:15, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

I would be fine with such an idea. The suggested wording is clearer, at least in my opinion, so would be an improvement.--SkyGazer 512 My talk page 00:17, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree that the wording seems improved. There will always be people who ignore or don't understand it, but hopefully the new wording will send a few more people in the correct direction. Thanks for the suggestion. 331dot (talk) 00:20, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
The new editnotice sounds fine to me, but the new header sounds too exclusionary. If a newer user has ideas about how to improve the Teahouse, we should welcome those contributions like we welcome any other good-faith contribution. --AntiCompositeNumber (talk) 01:30, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
In general, I think it might be better to change the header for this talk page to make it a bit broader. It's not just for experienced users to discuss how to keep the Teahouse running smoothly; it is used to suggest any type of improvement to the Teahouse and as pointed out by AntiCompositeNumber, new editors are not prohibited from using it. How about something like This page is only for editors to discuss improvements to the Teahouse itself and how to keep it running smoothly? Just brainstorming here.--SkyGazer 512 My talk page 01:39, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes, fair point. Thanks. I wasn't intending to exclude anyone ... except those who, through no fault of their own, don't realise this isn't the place to ask general questions. Nick Moyes (talk) 16:20, 14 March 2019 (UTC)
Good idea. TimTempleton (talk) (cont) 21:01, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Request for testing and feedback: Automated article section recommendations[edit]

The Wikimedia Research team is developing a new method for automatically recommending sections to add to stub articles. This method uses machine learning to suggest sections that could be added to an article, based on the sections that exist in other articles on similar topics.

We think this method could be useful for helping new editors find useful onboarding tasks to do. But before we build anything, we need to test the quality of the recommendations.

We are looking for experienced editors to evaluate these recommendations and provide feedback to help us improve them. We have built a testing tool that makes it easy to provide quick, survey-style feedback on the quality of the recommendations, and we are also interested in more detailed feedback on the project feedback talkpage.

If you are interested in giving us feedback, please get started by reading the instructions here and then start rating articles!

If you have questions about the project or more general feedback, you can reach us here.


Jonathan Morgan & Diego Saez-Trumper, Wikimedia Foundation Research.

Jmorgan (WMF) (talk) 15:03, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 2 short version[edit]

 Video tutorial "Referencing with VisualEditor" – newsletter issue 2

Hi! The full version of this newsletter issue has a lot of information. I am sending a short version to talk pages.

The most important information to know is that draft 2 is finished, that the single long script has been divided into many smaller scripts, and that portions of the script have been prioritized for production.

Due to budget constraints, not all scripts can be produced within the scope of the current pilot grant, but the other scripts will remain available for potential future production. (This project feels somewhat like doing a vehicle repair when the mechanic starts to work on the engine, and once the mechanic gets under the engine and starts to work, they discover that accomplishing their objective requires twice as much time as they first had estimated.) However, nothing is lost, so do not fear. Overall, my assessment (me being User:Pine) is that this project is producing a lot of good output and is generally a valuable pilot project.

For more information, including my requests for your feedback, please see the full version of the newsletter.

Thanks very much. --Pine(✉) 23:08, 22 March 2019 (UTC)