Forums > Administrators' noticeboard archive > NB:error message of abuse filter

Hello, admins!

Past threads (e.g., Forum:SH:Problem with editing a page and Forum:NB:VisualEditor derpage) have reported that some conditions cause the abuse filter to emit the error message "VisualEditor derpage," which tells the user nothing about what is wrong or how to fix it. Those threads have been bot-archived with no resolution reported, so I'm opening this thread to make sure the issue doesn't get forgotten.

The Senate Hall thread linked above has some suggested alternate wording from Toprawa and Ralltiir: "Visual Editor creates certain formatting and logistical issues, so a filter prevents certain edits from going through. We strongly recommend using regular source mode to make your edits," along with a suggestion from Brandon Rhea that instructions for changing editors would also be useful.

I'm certain the code for this filter cannot be modified by ordinary users, but if someone points me to a place I can view the code, I'm confident I can suggest a patch to solve this issue, which someone with proper credentials can then apply. (Xd1358 said in the SH thread that MediaWiki:Custom-visualeditor-infobox-warning is the source of the problematic warning, but that page does not contain, and its history shows it has never contained, the phrase "VisualEditor derpage.")

Thanks for helping to resolve this! Asithol (talk) 04:54, November 10, 2017 (UTC)

  • The real problem here is that for whatever reason, the AbuseFilter warnings apparently do not show up in the default skin; instead something about extension hooks and the AbuseFilter name (which in this case is aptly named "VisualEditor derpage". I've filed at least two tickets about this with Wikia, but unsurprisingly, there's been no change whatsoever. As seen in this gallery, the error message differs in editors and skins. From top:
    Monobook / source editor — works as intended
    Oasis / visual editor — extension hook; absolutely nothing we can change here
    Oasis / source editor — the filter name is shown here, and technically we could modify the filter name to be slightly more helpful, but I'd rather see Wikia fix this.
    I've filed yet another support ticket in the hopes of getting this fixed. 1358 (Talk) 10:39, November 10, 2017 (UTC)
  • Update: I've received a reply from community support. 1358 (Talk) 12:24, November 11, 2017 (UTC)
Source:  Request #351708 — Kirkburn

Thanks for getting in touch, and apologies for this issue. Unfortunately, since AbuseFilter is relatively uncommon across the site, we haven't been able to prioritize work on this so far - but it's definitely not good behaviour.

I will make sure we have open tickets to improve both the classic editor and VisualEditor behaviours - they should both display the content of the Monobook version, as you mention.

In particular, thank you for the screenshots showing each situation - those are quite helpful for showing the issue to the technical team.

If you spot more issues like this, please do let us know!

  • Thank you for staying on top of this, 1358. I wonder if the problem could be ameliorated by altering the filter to not kick out code written in suboptimal form when that form renders identically to the preferred form (e.g., the exact two instances cited in MediaWiki:Custom-visualeditor-infobox-warning: the viewer sees identical results whether the source code says ''[[Title]]'' or [[Title|''Title'']], or whether any spaces appear between the =s and the header text). These seem like poor grounds to reject edits from novice users—especially since these rules aren't codified in the MOS. It seems to me that it ought to be more important to let novices contribute than to reject edits based on lack of compliance with undocumented source-code standards that have zero effect on the rendered output. Asithol (talk) 22:14, November 27, 2017 (UTC)
    • I actually agree on that one and I've removed [[Title|''Title'']] from the filter. I'll try to evaluate if there are other rules that are being tripped frequently and could be removed. 1358 (Talk) 00:01, December 11, 2017 (UTC)
      • Thank you for your help in this. Since the "start new topic" links (at the top of talk pages, etc.) autogenerate headers with spaces between the equal signs and the text, that seems like a particularly poor thing for an abuse filter to trip (unless the format of those headers is under Wookieepedia control rather than Wikia control). Asithol (talk) 22:09, December 28, 2017 (UTC)
        • The filter is only active in namespace 0, aka articles, where the new section buttons that add wonky headers shouldn't be present. 1358 (Talk) 21:55, January 1, 2018 (UTC)
          • In monobook at least, every edit page, regardless of namespace, has a button (labeled "A") above the editing box that inserts the string "== Headline text ==", including those spaces. Asithol (talk) 19:20, January 15, 2018 (UTC)
          • Further, in the default skin, this filter gets triggered even for changes that the editor did not make. Thus if any headers are formetted "== like this ==" anywhere in the article, even if the edit was nowhere near such a header, the edit is rejected. It's unreasonable to require an editor making a single legitimate edit to also find and change someone else's formatting when that formatting doesn't affect the rendered page at all. Asithol (talk) 20:29, June 4, 2018 (UTC)
            • This is incorrect because the filter in question has been disabled for a quite while already, so it is not possible to trigger it in the first place. You were triggering the infobox formatting filter. [1] 1358 (Talk) 20:58, June 4, 2018 (UTC)
              • Aha. Thanks for clearing that up. In that case, the problem is twofold: (1) the error message says nothing about infobox formatting; it cites only the formatting of pipelinks and headers, despite both these checks (according to the above thread) being disabled; (2) since I did not alter the infobox formatting at all, the filter is still complaining about text that already existed, not the edit I was making. Asithol (talk) 15:59, June 8, 2018 (UTC)
                • I've amended the error message appropriately. 1358 (Talk) 12:37, June 27, 2018 (UTC)