Wikiversity:Request custodian action

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Wikiversity Custodians are users who have access to technical features that help with maintenance of Wikiversity. Those features include protecting and deleting pages, blocking other editors, and undoing these actions as well. Custodians are both trusted members of the community and generally well known.

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Reviews for Inactivity[edit]

Hi everyone,

an option for dealing with inactivity apart from the way your currently doing it is to have a set policy on inactivity. With a local policy sysops can be assessed for inactivity, given an appropriate warning of potential desysop, and then if not responded to you can then go to the stewards for the removal of rights. I developed this policy on Wikispecies here which permits a simple and easy way to do this. After voting on the one today I thought you may be interested in this option. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 02:19, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

To see it in action this was my most recent case now archived at Meta it includes all the diffs and links appropriate so you can see all of it from here. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 16:48, 22 November 2019 (UTC)

Note: the current policy states that "The maximum time period of inactivity without community review for holders of advanced administrative rights is two years per the MediaWiki Global policy described at Admin activity review. After that time a Steward will remove the rights." --mikeu talk 17:58, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

  • Symbol support vote.svg Support 5 edits and 5 actions within 12 months makes sense to me. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 02:23, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support -yes, the above sounds reasonable to me. --mikeu talk 03:05, 22 November 2019 (UTC)
I have written up a policy that can do this and put it in draft form here, please note the bottom part will be a separate template and is de-wikified for draft purposes. Let me know what you think, Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 03:23, 26 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support 5 edits and 5 actions within 12 months makes also sense to me. I am not a custodian in the german Wikiversity but I contribute to that language due to my work at a german university. Is this decision making about inactive curators performed simultaneously in other languages? Differences in decision making between language could cause problems for multiple languages editing. In my authoring activities I used icons in Sustainable Developement Goals in the english Wikiversity. In translation efforts into the german language I caused additional Wiki Commons administrator activities due to fact that german administration decisions had different licencing constraints for images. So it was to make icons visible in German wikiversity. Inconsistency in curator decision making, might have an impact on multilanguage authoring. Activities spending efforts in use-cases and applications of Wikiversity learning resources like Wiki2Reveal might also be regarded as a relevant curator activities for the community even if it is not an measuable as countable administrative action or activity. --Bert Niehaus (discusscontribs) 21:19, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
I recently in my role at Wikispecies performed our inactivity assessments of admins, one eventually lost his rights over this. However an important point. I felt that our particular local policy on this was too harsh on translation admins. Hence I made a request via RfC to exempt translation admins from normal admin inactivity review. Reasons were several fold but included the reality that many of those translating pages, a valuable service, who have admin privelages for this function are only on any given wiki for short periods of time, then they move on to another wiki. Hence there are often, understandable, reasons for significant periods of apparent inactivity on one wiki. Hence my own view is in the end to deal with our own site based sysops in regards to inactivity and leave the translation admins to a more case by case assessment as needed. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 23:33, 27 November 2019 (UTC)
So let me summarize a few things:
  • (Vulnerability) Inactive admin accounts might create a security risk and highjacking those account (as Dave Braunschweig already mentioned) could create a hugh workload on admins to fix that especially when these accounts are used in conjunction with bots. That abuse will increase the workload for the active admins even more. That risk should be mitigated/reduced.
  • (Undesired Side Effects of Counts) If we assess the 5 activity policy for admins that want to keep their administration rights, it could lead to undesired admin activities that are performed just for the sake of getting the 5 admin activities performed. Especially deleting pages, blocking users, ... do require careful and sound handling of cases and should not be driven by admin activity counts - feels a bit strange to argue against "counts" as a mathematician and computer scientist ;-) .
  • (Admin Activity Counts) We all might appreciate the value of Wikiversity admins that support the community in educational settings at university and schools and use their admin rights with care and responsibility even if they do not reach the 5 admin action threshold. I think these counts are helpful to identify cause of inactivity and it might be the case that they were not needed anymore as Mikael mentioned for WikiJournal. I think we all would grant Mikael Häggström again the rights if constraints come up that he requires those rights for maintaining WikiJournal pages.
  • (Rights and Responsibility) Nevertheless this discussion here triggered awareness about the fact, that additional rights are provided with a responsibility to support the Wikiversity community with those access to the additional adminitrative tools.
  • (Inactive and no Response) As you see below there are some Curators and Custodians that responded to the inactive account discussion some did not. For those who did not respond to this or did not take part in a discussion they might be no longer interested in the admin rights. Of course it is better to state that additional rights are no longer required. Anyway this discussion created awareness of the fact that priviliges should be granted if needed and disabled if possible. That should not have an impact on the possibility to join the team of curator and custodians later on the we should be open them. If curators want to disable their additional rights, then I guess we all would appreciate their security and vulnerability awareness.
  • (IT perspective) From an IT perspective I would suggest to allow people to disable some or all their own rights as curators/custodians for a period of time for private reasons and during that defined time span they cannot enable the custodian/curator rights anymore themselves. If the need to they must contact the admins again and ask for it. This approach has many advantages. Admins that are aware of the security risks and they know that they will not require the custodian rights for specific time (e.g. for 9 month due to a medical treatment) they can disable that for that time span and they will not be able to restore the admin rights before the end of the time span. This decreases the vulnerability for those accounts and does not force the admin to publicly discuss e.g. the medical treatment in a discussion about inactivity. Furthermore other admins can see that this curator/custodian is currently not available for admin activities and is aware about the vulnerability of admin accounts. By this mean we all can distinguish "lost interest" from "other reasons of inactivity" of security aware admins and custodians. This suggestion is not applicable to Wikiversity admins only. If we all think that makes sense then it could be shared to the admins of other Wikis (Wikipedia, Wikispecies, WikiBooks, ...) as well.
Personal Conclusion: This discussion here was valuable for community health and community vulnerability. I personally would like to keep my additional rights, if possible. --Bert Niehaus (discusscontribs) 08:31, 2 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Symbol support vote.svg Support 5 edits and 5 actions within 12 months but equally I would support a higher requirement of 10 edits and 10 actions over 12 months. Re-applying for lost permissions should not be an onerous task. --Green Giant (discusscontribs) 01:39, 29 December 2019 (UTC)

Inactive Administrators[edit]

Making note of curators and custodians who have fewer than five edits and/or fewer than five administrative actions in the last 12 months, giving them an opportunity to comment.

  • Bert Niehaus (Talk) – Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs I personally came into the curator role due to access to import features that are not publicly available for all Wikiversity authors. This step to see the administrative perspective allowed me insights in custodian actions. For me personally it was very helpful. Created test cases for import mechanism like from Wikipedia to Wikiversity (see Wikipedia2Wikiversity) to convert wikipedia article into learning resources or to convert wikiversity articles into slides for lecture to allow individual annotation to Wikiversity contents on slides e.g. in lectures without modification of the sources in Wikiversity (see Wiki2Reveal. In general the workflow from testing use cases, analysis of custodian actions, inter wiki operation, vulnerability assessment of custodian and curator features and its requirements and constraints cannot be performed with a quick shot, because tools must have a good usablility and must be of benefit for authors in wikiversity and on the other hand it is relevant that these tools do not create a vulnerability of the core principles of openess, higher maintenance efforts for custodians and administrators or other technically facilitated options that could violate the neutral point of view of a huge amount of articles and learning resources in Wikiversity and could endanger a community driven, participatory approaches of development of learning resources and have them available as a common good. Furthermore I try to derive mechanisms at the interface to international agencies that have on the one hand a respect for regulations and the mandate of these organisation and on the other hand allow also to have participatory elements of capacity building and user-driven innovation outside the organisations that require the openness and NPOV in the Wiki to evolve in a community based way. As an example I worked on Sustainable Development Goals and on Capacity Building within Wikiversity. I understand that inactivity of Curators and Custodians require a kind of measurement to trigger actions so I supported the approach above. The consideration from a different angle might also lead to the conclusion, that custodian actions and activities do not lead to a measurable digital footprint of these activity. Anyway if we decide to remove my curator status due to the missing activity, then it is ok for me. You can be sure that I support the way forward independent of my curator status. To create a test environment like Wikipedia2Wikiversity create measurable import actions for me as a curator does not make sense to me. I appreciate the decision making process you all perform here and the option to explain activities. Thank you all for supporting the Wikiversity concept as Open Educational Resources. --Bert Niehaus (discusscontribs) 09:04, 28 November 2019 (UTC)
  • CQ (Talk) – Blocks • Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs
Hi folks. UPDATE 02:04, 26 February 2020 (UTC) - I'm still alive and breathing in the human sense, but I'm very precariously perched on a tiny twig in Internet terms. I enthusiastically support the Wikiverse and grass-roots digital democracy but realize that our ideals and values matter less each passing year. Love is still the answer, though. Feel free to edit, delete, revert any of my stuff. I'll be watching from afar and may emerge again when conditions favor my online presence. CQ (discusscontribs)
  • HappyCamper (Talk) – Blocks • Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs Hi, I am checking in to say hello. This risk of inactive custodians suddenly being hacked and doing damage to Wikiversity is not zero unfortunately, but it is minimal. --HappyCamper (discusscontribs) 11:11, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
  • Juandev (Talk) – Blocks • Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs
  • Lbeaumont (Talk) – Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs What problem is being solved here? I continue to do my best to make constructive contributions to Wikiversity, including creating these learning resources. Cardiac surgery slowed me down earlier this year, yet I persist! I appreciate having curator privileges and they can be useful. What would be gained by taking action to remove privileges that I have never abused?
    • the major issue in regards to inactivity is a safety issue. The tools are capable of doing things that would be undesirable in hacked account, and inactive accounts are an easier target for this. Hence determining if accounts are at risk of this is important. Also Global Sysops have rules/ policies on their interventions and the number of local sysops available is a part of this. It is therefore important to know how many sysops are actually active. It is a part of receiving these rights that they will be monitored. I am just responding to your what is being solved here question. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 18:18, 28 November 2019 (UTC)
      • If the goal is to identify inactive accounts then the suggested filter has poor specificity, as evidenced by the number of contributions I have made over the past weeks, months, and years. If the goal is account security, then I suggest adopting security procedures, such as multi-factor authentication.
        • Just answering your questions here, I am not making a call on this, part of it is admin actions, ie does a user need the tools. This is determined by the logs of admin actions, such as blocks, merges, deletions, patrolling etc. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 21:53, 1 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Leighblackall (Talk) – Blocks • Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs - I'm still here, about to work more in submitting articles in WikiJournalHumanities, as well as in Wikidata. I mainly ever used the Move feature anyway, or deleting pages of my own once moved. I would appreciate retaining the privileges also. Leighblackall (discusscontribs) 00:58, 3 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Mikael Häggström (Talk) – Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs - Although I occasionally use the move or delete page feature for maintenance of WikiJournal, the structure of its pages are now relatively established, so I don't think curatorship is essential for me, since I think I will only use those features perhaps 2 to 5 times per year. Mikael Häggström (discusscontribs) 19:17, 28 November 2019 (UTC)
  • SB Johnny (Talk) – Blocks • Deletes • Imports • Moves • Protects • Contribs - Hi All. I've mostly been spending my online time involved in US politics the last couple years. Hoping to play around a bit with the bloom clock this year and it's nice to be able to see deleted pages (someone nuked a bunch of the worksheet type pages a while back). --SB_Johnny talk 10:36, 4 March 2020 (UTC)

Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:22, 27 November 2019 (UTC)

"New User Blocked Edit" Error on page[edit]

Hey all, I'm trying to edit my own user page, but I'm getting the New User Blocked Edit error again. I had this happen to me yesterday, so my prof imported my work for me. Can I please get this unblocked so I can make some edits (fix citations, add Wiki links, etc.)? Many thanks in advance. --Kupur (discusscontribs) 05:06, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

A bureaucrat can grant you confirmed rights, which will bypass the filter. --DannyS712 (discusscontribs) 05:23, 19 April 2020 (UTC)
Thanks Danny. Is there a specific bureaucrat I need to contact -- or are you suggesting that my professor can grant me this? Thanks. --Kupur (discusscontribs) 08:03, 19 April 2020 (UTC)
Enwikiversity has 4 bureaucrats, and one should see this discussion soon (side note: if custodians can grant curator, why not allow them to grant confirmed?) --DannyS712 (discusscontribs) 08:55, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

YesY Done -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:28, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

I would like to also be able to modify my page but it constantly states "New User Blocked". Is there a way around this? (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Francisyoshimoto (talkcontribs) )

@Francisyoshimoto: You can't edit your user page? —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:16, 9 May 2020 (UTC)

I am trying to edit my preprint that I am trying to post on the Wikijournal website. Whenever there are large changes, it has the "New User Blocked" issue. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Francisyoshimoto (talkcontribs) )

@Francisyoshimoto: Please try again, and please sign your posts. Thanks! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:13, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

I tried to create a new page but it was blocked. Help? --Biologymatt (discusscontribs) 20:27, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

@Biologymatt: Welcome. Please start slow (perhaps adding a paragraph at a time, and don't include links until you build up your edit count a bit. Thanks! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 20:37, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

Hello, I have tried to reformat my references on the page Mazama Newt Conservation, but the page responds with New User Blocked Edit. Is there a way to fix this? Thank you.--Books&LeftHooks (discusscontribs) 21:48, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

@Books&LeftHooks: This is usually due to being a new user and trying to do things like add links. I'd recommend making a few more edits so that the filters know that you are not a spammer or vandal. —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:08, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
@Koavf I'm not adding any other pertinent information for the page, besides the references. Is there any other way to bypass this filter?--Books&LeftHooks (discusscontribs) 22:25, 12 June 2020 (UTC)
@Books&LeftHooks: Yes, you can have the rights just granted to you but I don't have an ability to do that personally. Every edit you make helps get you closer to being over the hump, including the posts you make here. I know that's frustrating: we need to have a better system. By the way, I'll only see your attempts to comment directly if you use {{ping|koavf}}. Does that make sense? Is there anything that's confusing about the process still? —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:34, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

New User Blocked Edit[edit]


I am trying to publish my work on Sharon Cousins, and the website will not allow me to publish. What can I do to resolve this? Thanks! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Mbgillespie (talkcontribs) 17:19, 19 April 2020 (UTC)

@Mbgillespie: Please try again, and encourage your classmates to start small. Adding just a paragraph at a time is a good starting point until you build up a few good edits. Thanks! -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 19:27, 19 April 2020 (UTC)


I have, too, encountered this problem/error after editing some small information in Cell Biology > Basic Cell Structure; and the error box prompted me to visit this site. How can I contribute without facing this problem? I hope I'm not doing something wrong mentioning my problem here. Sincere regards and many thanks in advance, William Savalto (discusscontribs) 20:14, 11 June 2020 (UTC)

@William Savalto: Try again, but don't include any external links in your new content until you build up a small edit history. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 00:05, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

Some suggestions[edit]

Hello. I'am sysop at italian Wikipedia and Wikiversity. You might want to consider…importing w:MediaWiki:Usercssjsyoucanpreview, w:MediaWiki:Userjsdangerous, w:MediaWiki:Usercsspreview. They are relevant warnings. You can find some uncategorized category too so you may also think about linking this wiki to Hotcat. It has no maintenance needs since you can directly use the Commons version. Instructions are in c:Help:Gadget-HotCat#Installing_HotCat_on_another_wiki. Regards--Pierpao (discusscontribs) 16:55, 2 May 2020 (UTC)

The New Mythology Suite[edit]

redirect to correct title -- (discuss) 08:54, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

? —Justin (koavf)TCM 10:12, 11 May 2020 (UTC)
Content is appropriately blocked based on filters for external links. Please see What is Wikiversity? and What Wikiversity is not. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 16:16, 11 May 2020 (UTC)

Incorrect New User Created Page with External Link error, please assist[edit]

Hello there, I am getting this error when creating a new page:

Error: This action has been automatically identified as harmful, and therefore disallowed. If you believe your action was constructive, please inform an administrator of what you were trying to do. A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: New User Created Page with External Link

The external link I had in the article was to a Wikipedia page. I have removed it but am still getting the error message. Can you please assist? The page I was trying to create is called robots.txt. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Dannanelli (talkcontribs) )

@Dannanelli: Please make a link here to the page you are trying to create. E.g. User:Dannanelli/robots.text. —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:48, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
@Koavf: Ok, here's the link: User:Dannanelli/Robots.txt. But it does not show the content I added when I view that link. Does it do that for you? Thank you! 2:56pm, 14 May 2020 (ET)
@Dannanelli: Now corrected. Note that new users aren't able to create pages with any links. The most recent statistic was that 3% of Wikiversity edits are spam or vandalism. We just don't have the capacity to clean all of that up, so we have to use filters to do it for us. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 19:04, 14 May 2020 (UTC)
@Dave Braunschweig: Oh, ok. That makes sense but I did not know that. Thank you guys for your assistance here! 3:05pm, 14 May 2020 (ET)

Error for using external links[edit]

I want to publish parts of my research work based on the use of ICT in Foundation Level English Language Courses in the Private Universities in Bangladesh. All the information provided are my own and I have even cited others' works using proper references. I have to publish it as the final assignment for one of my postgraduate classes. But Wikipedia has automatically identified it as harmful. Can someone please help me? (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Imran Jahan Digonto (talkcontribs) )

@Imran Jahan Digonto: Are you blocked on Wikipedia, which is our sister site or Wikiversity, which is this site? —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:52, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
@Koavf and Justin: I tried publishing in Wikiversity. I can log in to both Wikipedia and Wikiversity. I can't even find my work anymore. Is there any way you can help me? (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Imran Jahan Digonto (talkcontribs) )
@Imran Jahan Digonto: Yes, I can. The problem is that you are a new user adding a link. The assumption is that new users adding links is dangerous and oftentimes spam. I'm sure that's not true here but it's an automated feature of the site intended to curb spam that sometimes has false positives. The solution is just to make a few more edits that do not include links and after that, you will be given the permissions to include them automatically--no one will need to intervene. Additionally, please sign your posts with four tildes (~~~~). Let me know how else I can help. If you post {{ping|koavf}} I'll see it no matter where your write it. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:33, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
@Koavf: Does that mean I have to type my whole work again? Or do I get a chance to edit my old work? I am asking this because I am not being able to access or even find what I have written so far. By the way, thank you very much for your help. I really appreciate it. Imran Jahan Digonto (discusscontribs) 22:03, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
@Imran Jahan Digonto: I have no clue which page you were editing, etc. My assumption is that you have to start over but you may have the page open in your browser now. I really don't know. If you still have the work open in your browser, maybe save it offline to be safe and try publishing it here on Wikiversity without links in it. Then, add the links later once you have the ability to do so. —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:07, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
@Koavf: Alright. Thank you very much for your kind help. Imran Jahan Digonto (discusscontribs) 22:12, 15 May 2020 (UTC)
@Imran Jahan Digonto: Welcome! See Use of ICT in Foundation Level English Language Courses in the Private Universities in Bangladesh. Please work in much smaller chunks (a paragraph at a time or so) until you build up an edit history. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 23:18, 15 May 2020 (UTC)

"Method of Loci"[edit]

I'm trying to add a link that shows where information was copied from in the Wikiversity article "Method of Loci". I was blocked when trying to add it. Datariumrex (discusscontribs) 07:50, 18 May 2020 (UTC)

@Datariumrex: Unfortunately, the format of that link is identical to the long-term abuse we've been receiving lately. We have to block first and approve later. Please try again now, or build up your edit history a bit before adding links. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 21:15, 18 May 2020 (UTC)


An edit caused the random functions in Portal:Mathematics to cease to work. -- (discuss) 16:51, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

How did it not work? Can you be more descriptive here? Also, how on Earth is Portal:Mathematics/Featured Resource displaying differently once it's included in Portal:Mathematics? If you go directly to the subpage, it reads "Introduction to differentiation" as the only item in an unordered list. If you go to the portal, it reads "REDIRECT Introduction to Calculus/Differentiation" as the only item in an ordered list... —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:39, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
USER imported breaking revision, OP undone the revision. (discuss) 18:53, 5 June 2020 (UTC)

Regarding the abuse rule[edit]

Hello, I am using Wikiversity for my biology classes' term project. My section within the project will not submit because the website states that my conservation strategy is against the website abuse rules. I was wondering if I could get approved as my information is constructive to the survival of the rare Mazama Newt. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) )

Hi there. Are you editing with an account or logged out as an IP? Can you show me which page you tried to edit? We have filters in place to keep out spam and vandalism but they aren't always perfect. —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:21, 12 June 2020 (UTC)

I also got hit with an abuse rule as a new editor, I was trying to edit the digital literacy page. It has malformed wiki markup and no organization. Not sure why my history in WikiPedia and WikiData isn't used as a trust signal.Jgmac1106 (discusscontribs) 11:47, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

@Jgmac1106: Welcome! Please try again, but note that you will need to build up your edit count before adding external links. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 13:29, 13 June 2020 (UTC)

My own wikiversity page[edit]

Goodnight board members ,I am just here ask for help to create my page.Thank you. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Sashannaforbes7 (talkcontribs) )

@Sashannaforbes7: I think you many mean three things by this: 1.) your user page which is located at User:Sashannaforbes7, 2.) a biography about yourself as a person, and 3.) some kind of course or research project that you want to lead. Can you explain which of those you have in mind (or something else if I'm just off base)? —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:24, 22 June 2020 (UTC)