If the data on the specific edit is not public, it may nonetheless be able to be guessed.
According to the public log, my last (genuine) thanks (User:Kerry Raymond) was to
User:Ozesoldier on 11 June. Since we know the date of the thanks, what edits did
Ozesoldier do prior to that?
Well, that one is easy. That user did 4 edits to the same article Anton Hettrich, having
edited nothing else for two years. So yes I thanked in relation to Anton Hettrich. Which
of the 4 edits? I have no way of knowing (nothing shows in the history, which is
interesting as it does show when it is recent history) and to test if I could find out
which of the 4 edits I thanked, I just thanked the user for all 4 of edits to see if any
of them said “already thanked”, and it didn’t, but only 3 new thanks appear in the public
log, so under the hood, the thanks system knew one of the thanks was a repeat and ignored
Having said that, I encountered these edits on Anton Hettrich via my watch list and saw
the diff of 4 edits rather than diffs of 4 separate edits. Now the thanks system doesn’t
allow you to thank a diff of multiple edits (even if made by the same user), so to thank,
you have to the extra step of doing to the history and thanking a specific edit, which I
do somewhat randomly as I am really thanking for the group of edits. I typically pick the
edit of the group that added the most bytes, but it can just be the first one my mouse
So it’s important to understand that a thanks is probably not 100% linked to a specific
edit when it occurs as part of a sequence of edits done around the same time. It may mean
“I like what you are doing to this article” rather than “I like the way you removed that
comma”. So I would argue that you don’t need to do about the specific edit, but that
knowing the specific article probably suffices. So can we work that out.
Well, if we assume thanks are a response to a watchlist notification (mine almost
certainly are of that type but maybe others have different behavioural patterns), then the
article in question would be in the intersection of “recently” edited by the receiver of
the thanks (which is public information) and on the watchlist of the giver of thanks (not
public Information). However, why do you watchlist something? Again, for me, it’s pretty
simple. I watch articles I have made a contribution to, by default, and later remove those
that generate a lot of watchlist activities but are topics about which I do not deeply
care or to which my own contribution was housekeeping rather than intellectual). But I
think everything in my watchlist is going to be something I contributed to. And, yes, I
had previously edited Anton Hettrich (I started it) and this is public knowledge.
So, based on my own user behaviour (which may or may not be typical) I would be tempted to
suggest that the article Z that is the cause of the thanks from X to Y must be a recent
edit by Y (that occurred before the timestamp of the thank) to an article previously
edited by X. And that article (or set of articles) is computable with public knowledge.
What do we mean by “recent”? I am honestly not sure, but if it is very recent, it’s faster
to compute, so practical computation limitations may determine how recent you are prepared
to consider. Maybe you just work backwards through the Y’s contributions until you find an
article that the X previously edited as an approximation. Clearly the further you work
back the larger the set of candidate articles becomes. If thanks are watchlist triggered,
I would think that “recent” would be a one month or less.
So while the data is not public, maybe you can make a fair guess at least about the
article that is involved and from that the single edit or group of edits that likely to
have attracted the thanks. But whether these approximations are adequate for your task
depends a lot on your research question.
Sent from my iPad
On 13 Jun 2018, at 8:15 pm, Leila Zia
* Please review
if you want to talk so we make sure there is no duplication of
efforts. :) Do you have a page somewhere that you've described more
* The data that you request is not public as far as I know.
On Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 11:12 AM, Maximilian
Klein <isalix(a)gmail.com> wrote:
I've been performing some analysis on the "thank a user for an edit"
feature which was introduced in 2013, but have run into a data availability
hurdle. I'm able to easily retrieve all the "thanks" that happened using
the database replicas by searching the logging table with "log_type =
'thanks'" criteria. However these entries only shows who thanked who, and
when. I don't see recorded which *revision* was being thanked. Does anyone
know where I might find this data?
Make a great day,
Max Klein ‽ http://notconfusing.com/
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