Last modified: 2011-03-13 18:04:33 UTC

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Bug 8537 - Special:Import may mis-attribute contributions
Special:Import may mis-attribute contributions
Product: MediaWiki
Classification: Unclassified
Special pages (Other open bugs)
All All
: Lowest major with 2 votes (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
Depends on:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2007-01-08 14:10 UTC by Daniel Kinzler
Modified: 2011-03-13 18:04 UTC (History)
0 users

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description Daniel Kinzler 2007-01-08 14:10:51 UTC
There's a conceptual problem with the way imports are handled by Special:Import:
Users are solely identified by their name, which may lead to mis-attributing
edits. Consider user Foo contributes to page Quux on wiki A. The page is then
moved to wiki B. Now, three cases are possible:

1) If user Foo exist on wiki B, and is the same person, all is fine.
2) If user Foo exist on wiki B, and is a DIFFERENT person, the edits are
mis-attributed, both in the page history and in Special:Contributions. 
3) If user Foo does not exist on wiki B, edits are still attributed to that
username, both in the page history and in Special:Contributions. Anyone who
comes along can claim those edits for him/herself by creating an account called
Foo - which again would mis-represent authorship. This may happen intentionally
or not, it's bad in both cases.

I noticed this problem when seeing pages that I contributed to on being moved to; I did not have an account there
- I created one, claiming the contributions for myself. But a lot of people are
bound not to know about this. Also, if pages from meta or commons, where I
(Duesentrieb) have an account, where to be imported into the english wikipedia,
this would cause them to be attributed to [[en:User:Duesentrieb]], who is NOT me.

I expect this problem to go away for Wikimedia projects once we get single
sign-on. But perhaps we should wait with large-scale interwiki moves until that
time. Also, other users thould be advised of this problem, and perhaps
Special:Import and the command line import scripts should show a warning about
this too. Ideally, there should be a way to supply a fixed mapping of user
names, or a prefixing/suffixing pattern.
Comment 1 Connel MacKenzie 2007-01-15 23:40:11 UTC
Putting the warning on Special:Import won't help anything.  That wouldn't slow
en.wiktionary's transwiki (from Wikipedia) bot down at all.  Amusingly,
en.wiktionary now has edits from /before/ it was created.

It would be really nice if non-existant accounts on the import target project
(i.e. en.wiktionary) had SUL-ish accounts auto-stubbed whenever an import
succeded for a new user (one that exists on Wikipedia, but not on Wiktionary.)

This might even provide a nice small sample of users to test out SUL before
becoming a mandatory thing for everyone.  This would also have the benefit of
addressing the long-term rock solid contributors on the first pass.
Comment 2 Brion Vibber 2007-01-17 21:07:10 UTC
Pretty much a non-issue, and will go away entirely shortly.

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