Submissions:2023/Let's forbid single-maintainer bots and tools

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WikiConference North America 2023 unfortunately could not accommodate this submission in its program this year.


Let's forbid single-maintainer bots and tools


Technology, Wild Ideas

Type of session:



It would be ludicrous if we said articles could only be updated by a single person, and if that person ever disappears, the article would need to be restarted from scratch.

Except we allow that for bots and tools. If there's a single maintainer that doesn't share their source code, when they disappear and it breaks, it often has to be recreated from scratch. Given that some of these are effectively mandatory for the health and success of Wikipedia, it's ludicrous too! So here's a wild idea - let's forbid any bot from being approved if it doesn't have at least 2 maintainers. And we'll apply the same to web tools hosted on Toolforge.

An introduction will briefly discuss the advantages in adopting such a policy and how it might work practically. Ideally the roundtable would discuss whether this is a good idea, what potential rebuttals would be, and how to actually implement such a radical shift in wiki policy. I would also be fine giving this as a straight lecture presentation.

Author name:

Kunal Mehta

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

Wikimedia New York City

Estimated time:

30-60 minutes

Special requests:

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:


Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)