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Wikipedia:Edit filter helper

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Edit filter helper is a user group that allows non-administrators to view the details, code, and logs of private edit filters, but not to edit them. The right may be granted and revoked by administrators. This page details the right, the requirements for it, and the processes involved in granting and removing it. There are currently 24 filter helpers on English Wikipedia.

Common use cases

There are three groups of editors for whom this is useful:

  • Those interested in helping with edit filters but who do not meet the requirements for the edit filter manager right.
  • Those working with edit filters on another WMF wiki who want to learn from the English Wikipedia's experience and approach (anyone wanting to learn from another wiki will need permissions on that wiki and so are out of scope for this right).
  • Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations (WP:SPI) clerks.

Groups that don't need edit filter helper

The following groups do not need edit filter helper because they can already view private edit filters:

The right

Edit filter helpers have the following right enabled on their accounts:

  • abusefilter-view-private which allows viewing of edit filters marked as private, as well as the ability to search and view the edit filter hit logs from those filters.

Granting the right

The edit filter helper right may be granted in the following circumstances:

  1. A checkuser may, at their discretion, grant this right to an SPI clerk or trainee clerk who:
    • Meets the criteria in the "Requirements for granting" section
    • Has not had an edit filter-related right removed previously for any reason other than inactivity.
  2. By any administrator when there is consensus to promote at the edit filter noticeboard.
  3. By any administrator following a self-request from an editor in good standing to reduce the editor's access from edit-filter manager.

Process for requesting

Non-administrators that wish to request the edit filter helper right should create a new section at the edit filter noticeboard. The nominee must provide clear and compelling reasoning for their request. Self-nominations are a requirement.[2] The discussion will be open for at least 7 days.[2] The discussion will be closed by an uninvolved administrator, who will grant the right if the request was successful.

Requirements for granting

  • The candidate must meet all of the following criteria:
    1. Demonstrated need for access (e.g. SPI clerk, involvement with edit filters)
    2. No recent blocks or relevant sanctions
    3. At least a basic understanding of account security[note 1]
    4. At least a basic understanding of regular expressions if the intent is to assist with authoring filters[note 1]
    5. Sufficient ability with the English language to understand notes and explanations for edit filters
  • In addition to the above requirements, the candidate must also meet at least one of the following criteria:
    1. Currently-active extended confirmed editor on the English Wikipedia (i.e. has made edits or logged actions within the last 12 months)
    2. Current administrator on another WMF project
    3. Current edit filter manager on another WMF project
    4. Current WMF developer or staff member who needs access for WMF-related purposes

This is a highly specialized right that is routinely denied even to experienced editors. There are currently 24 edit filter helpers, compared with 6,838 rollbackers. Meeting all the above criteria does not guarantee a request will obtain consensus support to pass. Above all, noticeboard regulars look for indicators that an editor can be trusted. Trust is important because private edit filters reveal the detection strategies for tracking long-term abusers, and also private edit filter logs often contain revision deletable or oversightable information. This is a subjective measurement and the editors participating in a given request will have their own criteria to judge whether an editor is sufficiently trustworthy for this user right.

Criteria for revocation

The user right can be revoked for violating any of the above conduct standards and for other misconduct. Additionally, it can be revoked at any time by an administrator without any process or prior notice in any of the following circumstances:

  1. The editor has shared details of private filters with unauthorised parties.
  2. The editor has blatantly misused the tool.
  3. The editor has been sanctioned by Arbcom or the community for actions which make the user no longer suitable for the role.
  4. The editor has failed to report to an administrator after noticing unauthorized use of their account or otherwise neglected account security practices.
  5. The editor has been inactive on the English Wikipedia for 12 months.

If your edit filter helper right was revoked and you would like to appeal the decision, first discuss with the revoking administrator. If after such an exchange you still feel the matter is unresolved and requires outside input, you may post at WP:AN to appeal the decision. A request for the right after a revocation for inactivity or self-requested removal may be made at WP:PERM.

Any user may request the revocation of edit filter helper by posting at the edit filter noticeboard. Such discussions customarily remain open for 7 days, and are then closed by an administrator.


  1. ^ a b There is no formal definition of what constitutes a "basic understanding", but by requesting this right you are asserting that you meet these criteria. Those commenting on the request should assume good faith regarding this assertion unless they have a reason to do otherwise.


See also