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Proposal:Common watchlists

From Strategic Planning
Status (see valid statuses)

The status of this proposal is:
' Done'

This proposal is associated with the bolded strategic priorities below.

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation.
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation

This is a featured proposal.
This template automatically categorizes into Category:Featured proposals. All proposals marked by this template should be on this list too.


Allow communities to develop and maintain common watchlists, that can be individually accessed by users and added to their personal watchlists.

Description of a possible implementation

There's a special page Special:CommonWatchlists, by default unrestricted, it needs two usergroups: common watchlists editor and common watchlists administrator. Special:CommonWatchlists lists all the common watchlists with their description and a link to their respective subpage, changes and history (those not marked as deleted, but there's also a button to show deleted ones).

For logged-in users, there's a way to subscribe/unsubscribe to a particular list. Subscribing to a list allow you to see the changes to articles in the list directly in your watchlist, it will indicate this when it's not already on your watchlist (e.g. (common list 1), with a link to Special:CommonWatchlists/1).

There's a link to the list subpage Special:CommonWatchlists/{listnumber}, changes to pages on the list Special:CommonWatchlists/{listnumber}/changes and history of the list, Special:CommonWatchlists/{listnumber}/history, which records additions and removals of pages, marking as deleted, as well as name and description changes (similarly to the abuse filter interface).

For common watchlists administrators, there's also a create a new common watchlist link.

At Special:CommonWatchlists/{listnumber}, there's the list of all pages in the list, and interface to edit the list for CW editors, also to mark a page as deleted for CW admins. For logged-in users, there's also a way to subscribe/unsubscribe from here. There's a link for Special:CommonWatchlists/{listnumber}/changes and Special:CommonWatchlists/{listnumber}/history too. CW admins can specify there the name and description of the list, and see how many users subscribed to the list.

It should be possible to mass-add or mass-remove pages in a single operation, and allow editing by bots (with the CW editor right).

A CW marked as deleted will no longer appear at Special:CommonWatchlists, no longer show changes to pages on the list at the /changes subpage or in watchlists of subscribing users. If it's no longer marked as deleted, it will resume as usual (similarly to abuse filters).


On the English Wikipedia, certain types of articles need particular attention at a given time, but we have no efficient way to attract this attention; common watchlists, updated by bots or users, would be an efficient way to achieve this.

Examples of such watchlists could include pages with recently lots of traffic (popular pages), articles linked on the main page, articles with potential edit-wars, sensitive BLPs, articles linked from google news (see here), etc

Key Questions

Potential Costs

  • costs for technical development and hosting


A feature request or bug related to this proposal has been submitted to Bugzilla under ID 21223.

See Category:Proposals with Bugzilla submissions for all submitted bugs.

Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:Common watchlists.

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