Moderator Tools/Content moderation on mobile web


The Content Moderation in Medium-Sized Wikimedia Projects research report recommended improving the ability of editors to engage with content moderation processes via the mobile web interface. The Moderator Tools team at the Wikimedia Foundation is now exploring and working on desired improvements to these experiences.

Let us know your thoughts on the talk page - do you use mobile web to edit and do content moderation work? Which 'Advanced' mode features should all users be able to see? What are your thoughts on the potential priorities below?

Read on to learn more about why we're working on this project and further information on the priorities we're identifying.

Finished projects

Current work

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This project aims to bring the experience of working on content moderation tasks via mobile devices, through the Minerva Neue skin, up to parity with the desktop experience. We identified that editors rarely use mobile web for these tasks due to a combination of lacking features, unoptimised interfaces, and functionality being hidden behind an 'advanced' setting. The Android and iOS app experiences are not in scope for this project as they are maintained by other WMF teams.

Half of Wikimedia's page views occur from mobile devices, and a number of Wikimedia projects have as many as 40-60% of their active editors primarily contributing from a mobile device. Despite this, there are relatively few active editors on mobile compared to desktop overall, and mobile-first editors are much less likely to contribute to Wikimedia projects in deeper ways beyond making basic edits. They are less likely to post on talk pages, participate in project namespace discussions, and less than 1% of administrators primarily edit from a mobile device. Our communities are missing a potentially large number of active mobile editors who can't meaningfully participate in their communities on-wiki.

When we refer to 'content moderation', we mean the processes by which editors review and adjust edits and content, but aren't direct additions of new content. These might include patrolling new edits, undoing edits, using administrator tools (though we're not focusing on tools which take actions on users, like blocking or CheckUser), and maintenance tagging.

In 2018/19 the Reading Web team worked on Advanced mobile contributions, which improved many of these interfaces from what were, in many cases, completely broken experiences. We would like to build on that work to improve the user interface of these features and explore making them available to editors without turning on an advanced editing mode.

Identified priorities[edit]

The following is a list of in-scope content moderation features which we have identified as either not currently working optimally on mobile, requiring the Advanced Mobile Contributions (AMC) setting to be turned on, or not functioning at all.

Advanced Mobile Contributions overflow menu
  • Undo - Currently requires AMC to be turned on. Only displays on the page history, and not in diffs. When undoing, the desktop undo interface is opened, which is very unoptimized for mobile. (see T191706)
  • Watchlist - There are two different watchlist styles, which vary based on AMC being on or off. With AMC turned off, the watchlist is very simple, with little-to-no filtering options and with reduced metadata displayed. With AMC turned on, a styling for the desktop watchlist is applied, which is difficult to use on small screen sizes. (see T237204)
  • Preferences - Users are not currently presented with any links to Special:Preferences from the mobile skin, except if they navigate directly to it via the search bar. The UI for this page is unoptimized, and many settings are shown which have no effect for a mobile user. (see T229818)
  • Page history - As with the watchlist, there are two different page history styles depending on the user's AMC status. Similarly, the AMC-off version is very basic, and the AMC-on version is difficult to interact with on a mobile device.
  • Categories - Categories are not displayed to users with AMC turned off (see T152199)
  • Delete - The page delete button is not shown to users with AMC turned off. [Resolved]
  • Protect - The page protection button is not shown to users with AMC turned off. [Resolved]
  • Rollback - The rollback button is not shown to users with AMC turned off.
  • Editnotices - Editnotices are currently not displayed to mobile web editors. These are often important to ensuring that new editors follow relevant policies or guidelines applicable to a particular page. Editors not seeing them leads to additional work for content moderators. (see T201595 and w:WP:THEYCANTHEARYOU)
  • Block - Administrators do not get a link to block other users even with Advanced Mobile Contributions turned on. [Resolved]

Open questions[edit]

We are still exploring and defining the priorities for this work, so your input is very valuable! Please feel free to share your thoughts and requests on the mobile web interface, and we have some specific questions we'd like to hear about:

  • Do you use mobile web for content moderation tasks? (e.g. patrolling new edits, tagging articles, using administrator tools)
    • If so, what do you find frustrating or lacking in the current mobile web interface? Do you have Advanced Mobile Contributions (AMC) turned on or off?
    • If not, why not?
  • Which AMC-only features do you think all users should be able to see and use?
  • What are your thoughts on the potential priorities we outlined above? Is anything missing?


Last updated: July 2022

We decided to start working first on the Overflow menu to make administrator tools available to non-Advanced Mobile Contributions users. We made this decision primarily because our team is relatively new to the MediaWiki codebase and this project was a smaller one to get us started.

We have then decided to work on Preferences because we identified that accessing features such as password changing and anti-harassment features were critical for all mobile users. This work is underway.

We expect our next priority will be the Diff page, and ensuring mobile editors can see an Undo button there. We have heard from content moderators that not being able to undo an edit on mobile web is a big frustration for them, and we see it as core MediaWiki functionality.

Please share your thoughts on what aspects of the mobile web interface we should work on next on the talk page.