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MediaWiki extensions manual
Release status: stable
ImplementationUser activity, Special page, API
DescriptionAllows specific behavior-based restrictions to be placed on wiki activity
Compatibility policySnapshots releases along with MediaWiki. Master is not backward compatible.
MediaWiki>= 1.37.0
Database changesYes
LicenseGNU General Public License 2.0 or later
DownloadDownload extension
Git [?]:
  • $wgAbuseFilterConditionLimit
  • $wgAbuseFilterRangeBlockSize
  • $wgAbuseFilterAnonBlockDuration
  • $wgAbuseFilterLogIPMaxAge
  • $wgAbuseFilterCentralDB
  • $wgAbuseFilterDefaultWarningMessage
  • $wgAbuseFilterEmergencyDisableAge
  • $wgAbuseFilterProfileActionsCap
  • $wgAbuseFilterActionRestrictions
  • $wgAbuseFilterActions
  • $wgAbuseFilterLogIP
  • $wgAbuseFilterPrivateDetailsForceReason
  • $wgAbuseFilterEmergencyDisableCount
  • $wgAbuseFilterLogPrivateDetailsAccess
  • $wgAbuseFilterSlowFilterRuntimeLimit
  • $wgAbuseFilterEmergencyDisableThreshold
  • $wgAbuseFilterLocallyDisabledGlobalActions
  • $wgAbuseFilterBlockDuration
  • $wgAbuseFilterDefaultDisallowMessage
  • $wgAbuseFilterValidGroups
  • $wgAbuseFilterNotificationsPrivate
  • $wgAbuseFilterBlockAutopromoteDuration
  • $wgAbuseFilterIsCentral
  • $wgAbuseFilterNotifications
Added rights
  • abusefilter-modify
  • abusefilter-log-detail
  • abusefilter-view
  • abusefilter-log
  • abusefilter-privatedetails
  • abusefilter-privatedetails-log
  • abusefilter-modify-restricted
  • abusefilter-revert
  • abusefilter-view-private
  • abusefilter-log-private
  • abusefilter-hidden-log
  • abusefilter-hide-log
  • abusefilter-modify-global
Hooks used
Hooks provided
Translate the AbuseFilter extension if it is available at translatewiki.net
Check usage and version matrix.
IssuesOpen tasks · Report a bug
in the category

The AbuseFilter extension allows privileged users to set specific actions to be taken when actions by users, such as edits, match certain criteria.
For example, a filter could be created to prevent anonymous users from adding external links, or to block a user who removes more than 2000 characters.

To users running MediaWiki 1.26 or earlier:
The instructions above describe the new way of installing this extension using wfLoadExtension(). If you need to install this extension on these earlier versions (MediaWiki 1.26 and earlier), instead of
wfLoadExtension( 'AbuseFilter' );
, you need to use:
require_once "​$IP​/extensions/AbuseFilter/AbuseFilter.php"​;

When installing from Git, please note that this extension requires Composer.
So, after installation from Git change to the directory containing the extension e.g. "../extensions/AbuseFilter/" and run composer install --no-dev, or when updating: composer update --no-dev.
Alternatively as well as preferably add the line "extensions/AbuseFilter/composer.json" to the "composer.local.json" file in the root directory of your wiki like e.g.
{ "extra": { "merge-plugin": { "include": [ "extensions/AbuseFilter/composer.json" ] } }}
User rights
Once you installed the extension, you'll have to set up the user rights in "LocalSettings.php".
abusefilter-modifyCreate or modify abuse filters
abusefilter-viewView abuse filters
abusefilter-logView the abuse log
abusefilter-log-detailView detailed abuse log entries
abusefilter-privatedetailsView private data in the abuse log
abusefilter-modify-restrictedModify abuse filters with restricted actions
abusefilter-modify-globalCreate or modify global abuse filters
abusefilter-revertRevert all changes by a given abuse filter
abusefilter-view-privateView abuse filters marked as private
abusefilter-log-privateView log entries of abuse filters marked as private
abusefilter-hide-logHide entries in the abuse log
abusefilter-hidden-logView hidden abuse log entries
abusefilter-privatedetails-logView the AbuseFilter private details access log
For example, the following sample configuration would allow sysops to do everything they want with AbuseFilter, and everyone to view the log and see public filter settings:
$wgGroupPermissions​[​'sysop'​][​'abusefilter-modify'​] = true​;​$wgGroupPermissions​[​'*'​][​'abusefilter-log-detail'​] = true​;​$wgGroupPermissions​[​'*'​][​'abusefilter-view'​] = true​;​$wgGroupPermissions​[​'*'​][​'abusefilter-log'​] = true​;​$wgGroupPermissions​[​'sysop'​][​'abusefilter-privatedetails'​] = true​;​$wgGroupPermissions​[​'sysop'​][​'abusefilter-modify-restricted'​] = true​;​$wgGroupPermissions​[​'sysop'​][​'abusefilter-revert'​] = true;
Filters marked as private can only be viewed by users with either the abusefilter-modify or abusefilter-view-private permission.
Variable nameDefault valueDescription
[ 'throttle' => true, 'warn' => true, 'disallow' => true, 'blockautopromote' => true, 'block' => true, 'rangeblock' => false, 'degroup' => false, 'tag' => true]
The possible actions that can be taken by abuse filters. When adding a new action, check if it is restricted in $wgAbuseFilterActionRestrictions and, if it is, don't forget to add the abusefilter-modify-restricted right to the appropriate user groups.
The maximum number of 'conditions' that can be used each time the filters are run against a change. (More complex filters require more 'conditions').
[ 'default']
The list of "groups" filters can be divided into. By default there is only one group. Other extensions may add other groups.
[ 'default' => 0.05]
Disable a filter if it matched more than 2 edits, constituting more than 5 % of the actions which were checked against the filter's group in the "observed" period (at most one day), unless the filter has been changed in the last 86400 seconds (one day). See emergency throttling.
[ 'default' => 2]
[ 'default' => 86400]
Name of AbuseFilter's parser class.
[ "throttle" => false, "warn" => false, "disallow" => false, "blockautopromote" => true, "block" => true, "rangeblock" => true, "degroup" => true, "tag" => false]
Users must have the "abusefilter-modify-restricted" user right as well as "abusefilter-modify" in order to create or modify filters which carry out these actions.
Allows to configure the extension to send hit notifications to Special:RecentChanges or UDP. Available options: rc, udp, rcandudp
Enable notifications for private filters.
Name of a database where global abuse filters will be stored in (only supported in the latest, development version). Requires CentralAuth installed otherwise global filters will break on a wikifarm.
Set this variable to true for the wiki where global AbuseFilters are stored in (only supported in the latest, development version). Requires CentralAuth installed otherwise global filters will break on a wikifarm.
[ "throttle" => false, "warn" => false, "disallow" => false, "blockautopromote" => false, "block" => false, "rangeblock" => false, "degroup" => false, "tag" => false]
Disallow Centralised filters from taking actions set as true in this variable.
Duration of blocks made by AbuseFilter.

as of 1.31.0-wmf.25 block durations may be specified for every single filter and will override this variable. This variable is only used when enabling the block in order to preselect a default duration.
Duration of blocks made by AbuseFilter on users who are not logged in. The value of $wgAbuseFilterBlockDuration will be used if this is not set.

as of 1.31.0-wmf.25 block durations may be specified for every single filter and will override this variable. This variable is only used when enabling the block in order to preselect a default duration.
Duration, in days, for which users' autopromotion is blocked by filters.
Callback functions for custom actions. (deprecated in 1.36) Use the AbuseFilterCustomActions hook instead.
[ 'default' => 'abusefilter-warning']
Default warning messages, per filter group
[ 'default' => 'abusefilter-disallowed'​]
Default disallow messages, per filter group
3 * 30 * 24 * 3600
Age used as cutoff when purging old IP log data. Defaults to 3 months. Used by maintenance script purgeOldLogIPData.php.
Number of action that determines when to reset profiling stats.
Whether accessing private information from a filter log entry is logged.
Whether users are forced to provide a reason for accessing private information from a filter log entry.
Runtime in milliseconds before a filter is considered slow.
[ 'IPv4' => '16', 'IPv6' => '19',]
Size of the range blocked by 'rangeblock' action.
Whether to include IP in the abuse_filter_log
Emergency throttling
AbuseFilter comes with a feature that automatically throttles (disable) filters that have been edited recently and match a certain threshold of the latest actions.
This is done to prevent harmful edits on the filters to block every user that performs an action on the wiki or similar.
The condition to disable the filter depend on those variables:
Throttled filters can be identified in the list of filters (Special:AbuseFilter) with the state Enabled, throttled. Throttling happens silently, and there's no way to see when a filter got throttled.
When a filter gets throttled, it doesn't perform any dangerous action (actions usually restricted to special rights like blocking the user, or removing it from groups, controlled by $wgAbuseFilterActionRestrictions), and only "safe" actions are allowed (the ones that can warn or prevent the ongoing action). Throttled filters don't get enabled automatically. To disable the throttling, you need to edit the filter. Note that you need to actually change something from the filter: changing something from the filter's notes is sufficient.
Note that editing the filter updates its age, and can cause it to be disabled if it reaches again the conditions to be throttled in a short period since the last edit, leading to a unusable filter if your wiki has more abuse edits than legitimate ones. Filters can also get randomly throttled if the action count reaches $wgAbuseFilterProfileActionsCap​, causing all filter matches count to reset to 0, and then someone repeatedly makes a filter to hit.
Creating and managing filters
Once the extension has been installed, filters can be created/tested/changed/deleted and the logs can be accessed from the Abuse filter management page Special:AbuseFilter.
AbuseFilter adds two API list modules, one for details of abuse filters ("abusefilters") and one for the abuse log, since it is separate from other MediaWiki logs ("abuselog"). It is not possible to create or modify abuse filters using the API.
list = abusefilters
List information about filters
When filters are private, some of the properties specified with abfprop will be missing unless you have the appropriate user rights.
List non-private abuse filters
api.php​?​action=query​&​list=abusefilters​&​abfshow=!private​&​abfprop=id|hits [try in ApiSandbox]
<api> <query> <abusefilters> <filter id="1" hits="867" /> <filter id="3" hits="66110" /> <filter id="5" hits="464" /> <filter id="6" hits="19" /> <filter id="8" hits="7" /> <filter id="9" hits="24869" /> <filter id="11" hits="10033" /> <filter id="14" hits="63" /> <filter id="15" hits="15" /> <filter id="16" hits="44" /> </abusefilters> </query> <query-continue> <abusefilters abfstartid="18" /> </query-continue>​</api>
list = abuselog
List instances where actions triggered an abuse filter.
List instances where the abuse filter was triggered in response to actions from the user "SineBot"
api.php​?​action=query​&​list=abuselog​&​afluser=SineBot​&​aflprop=ids [try in ApiSandbox]
<api> <query> <abuselog> <item id="900937" filter_id="211" user="SineBot" result="" /> <item id="888404" filter_id="211" user="SineBot" result="" /> <item id="862751" filter_id="211" user="SineBot" result="" /> <item id="855649" filter_id="211" user="SineBot" result="" /> <item id="842429" filter_id="211" user="SineBot" result="" /> <item id="840958" filter_id="1" user="SineBot" result="" /> <item id="824151" filter_id="211" user="SineBot" result="" /> <item id="804892" filter_id="211" user="SineBot" result="" /> <item id="205254" filter_id="58" user="SineBot" result="disallow" /> <item id="205252" filter_id="58" user="SineBot" result="disallow" /> </abuselog> </query> <query-continue> <abuselog aflstart=​"2009-04-19T02:07:55Z" /> </query-continue>​</api>
Possible errors
Some users might experience that creating new filters or modifying old filters fail and the user just gets redirected to the original page. If the Wiki is using SSL certificates, this error could possibly be because of the $wgServer value, which might be using "http://" instead of "https://". An indication of this error will be, the browser giving https warning for Special:AbuseFilter pages. (​Topic:T23dyyih0ofjada5​)
Integration with other extensions
You can integrate AbuseFilter with other extension in various ways.
Adding variables for filtering
It is possible to add new variables, to be used in abuse filters. A list of examples is available. To do that, you should:
  • Add a handler for the AbuseFilter-builder hook. To add a variable, you should use $builder['vars']['variable_name'] = 'i18n-key';, where variable_name is the name of the variable, and i18n-key is the fragment of an i18n key. The full key will be abusefilter-edit-builder-vars-{$your_key}​.
  • Add the i18n messages you chose at the previous point.
  • Choose a hook handler where the variable will be computed. Depending on your use case, you could:
    • Implement the AbuseFilter-generateTitleVars hook; this is specifically thought for page-related variables;
    • Implement the AbuseFilter-generateUserVars hook; this is specifically thought for user-related variables;
    • Implement the AbuseFilter-generateGenericVars hook; this is for variables not bound to a specific page or user;
    • Implement the AbuseFilterAlterVariables hook; this is a bit more flexible than the other hooks, but it has a downside: your variable will not be available when examining past RecentChanges entries. If you want to implement that feature (and it's recommended to do so), you should use one of the hooks listed above, and use its third parameter ($RCRow).
  • Inside the hook handler, there are two ways to add a variable:
    • The "direct" way is calling
      $vars->setVar( 'var_name', var_value );
      . This is ideal only when the value is easy and quick to compute: the value is computed even if no active filter will use it.
    • The "lazy" way is calling
      $vars​->​setLazyLoadVar​( 'var_name', 'method_name', $params );
      . Here, 'method_name' is a (unique) identifier that will be used to compute the variable (it's recommended to prefix it with the name of your extension). To register the method, you should add a handler for the AbuseFilter-computeVariable hook; therein, you should check if the $method passed matches your 'method_name', and if so, compute the variable. Lastly, $params is an array of parameters that you'll need to compute the variable; these are passed to the computeVariable hook handler. For an example of this, you can check out CentralAuth's global_user_groups.
Adding custom actions
You can add custom action handlers, so that each filter may perform further actions. To do that, you choose a name for the action ('my-action' from now on), and then:
  • Create a class named e.g. MyAction, that should extend \MediaWiki\Extension\AbuseFilter\Consequence, which can also implement HookAborterConsequence or ConsequencesDisablerConsequence
  • Add a subscriber to the AbuseFilterCustomActions hook; the subscriber should provide a callback as documented in the hook documentation, that returns an instance of the class created above, for instance:
class MyAction extends \MediaWiki\Extension\AbuseFilter\Consequence { public function run() { throw new \Exception( 'Write me' ); }}
public function onAbuseFilterCustomActions​( &$actions ) { $actions[] = function ( \MediaWiki\Extension\AbuseFilter\Consequence\Parameters $params, array $rawParams ) : MyConsequence { return new MyAction( $params, $rawParams ); };}
Then you should add the following i18n messages; you can replace 'my_action' with e.g. 'block' to see what the messages are for:
  • 'abusefilter-edit-action-${my_action}'
  • 'abusefilter-action-${my_action}'
Adding rule groups
You can also add extra rule groups, which can be used to group existing abuse filters. Note that, at the moment, each filter can only be in a single group (T116642). Currently, the only known consumer of this feature is Extension:StructuredDiscussions​. To do that, you should:
  • Append the name of the group to $wgAbuseFilterValidGroups
  • Add some code to run the filters with your group. Note that AbuseFilter won't do that on its own. To do that, you should construct an AbuseFilterRunner object, passing in the name of your group.
See also
Several WMF wikis where it's enabled (and with which configuration)
This extension is being used on one or more Wikimedia projects. This probably means that the extension is stable and works well enough to be used by such high-traffic websites. Look for this extension's name in Wikimedia's CommonSettings.php and InitialiseSettings.php configuration files to see where it's installed. A full list of the extensions installed on a particular wiki can be seen on the wiki's Special:Version page.
Last edited on 18 January 2022, at 10:06
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