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Welcome to Wikidata, Symac!

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If you have any questions, please ask me on my talk page. If you want to try out editing, you can use the sandbox to try. Once again, welcome, and I hope you quickly feel comfortable here, and become an active editor for Wikidata.

Best regards! Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:43, 9 November 2013 (UTC)


Incorrect cast member (P161) additions by your botEdit

It seems that your bot was unable to distinguish the actors from the characters being played, and added characters directly using cast member (P161). See the item Q392490 for an example. Please try to fix these errors. --Yair rand (talk) 00:03, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

@Yair rand: thanks for pointing this and sorry for the delay handling this. I have now removed most of the problematic claims. There might be some I have missed but they should be epsilon. Symac (talk) 13:54, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

There may be another for Romeos (Q480457), see Talk:Q480457. — Finn Årup Nielsen (fnielsen) (talk) 07:04, 21 May 2018 (UTC)

  1. One more? [1]
  2. [2]

Twitter usernameEdit

In Special:Diff/252308594 your bot changed a statement which had a reference. If you're going to change statements which are referenced, please check that the reference supports the change. It would be far better to add a second statement than to change an existing referenced statement. In fact, I wouldn't change statement values at all, unless you're sure the old value is wrong or incomplete. Properties like Twitter username (P2002) even have single value constraints, so adding a second value will automatically include it in the constraint reports for human review.

In this case, the change was wrong, it's the username for one of the members of the group, not the group itself. The English Wikipedia page lists the Twitter accounts for all the members rather than the group itself and it seems your bot simply picked the last link. Things like that are quite common, so I would recommend that if you're going to do something like that in future, skip articles with multiple matches and make a list of the things which were skipped to be done manually.

- Nikki (talk) 23:07, 26 November 2015 (UTC)

@Nikki: thanks for pointing this, your analysis is right, I had not thought about the case of a wiki article with multiple twitter templates but replacing the P2002 when it existed was not expected, I had thought about checking it (not the latest version of the script, I need to check on the PC I used to do it what was wrong), I don't know what happened, should have double checked then... Sorry for that, Symac (talk) 13:33, 27 November 2015 (UTC)


Hi! I was surfing around and found this request. So your bot could mark verified accounts as such? That would be pretty nice, I think. But we most probably would need a new property for that, which would be used as qualifier and be true/false. --Edgars2007 (talk) 17:39, 5 February 2016 (UTC)

Child on Q7383105Edit

Hi Symac,

It might be that the redirect resolution lead to this.
--- Jura 12:02, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Hi Jura, thanks for the information, you are right, at the time I parsed the English wikipedia article, there was a redirect I should not have followed. I will exclude redirect when (if) I run a new script. Symac (talk) 12:37, 11 February 2016 (UTC)

Is Symacbot still running ?Edit

This bot is very useful but unfortunatly, it seems that it has not activies since november :-( ?

Title, original language for filmsEdit

Hi Symac,

Sometime ago you imported lots of useful film data from frwiki. I was wondering if you would want to attempt to import title (P1476) as well (if language its isn't known, you can use "und"). "Titre original" is included in most articles. As frwiki has no explicit category (or infobox field), maybe you known the data sufficiently well to determine implicitly original language of film or TV show (P364) if it is French (see also bot request). For both properties, unique films shows room for improvement for frwiki. Maybe for directors this could work as well.
--- Jura 10:24, 30 November 2016 (UTC)

Wrong father added on Q434358Edit

Please explain why Q4720146 was added as the father to Q434358 2015-10-25T19:04:35‎ - Salgo60 (talk) 10:05, 18 February 2017 (UTC)

@Salgo60: this is an issue with the script I used at this time, which thought the link in the infobox on en:Lady_Augusta_Murray was reflecting this link betweeen the two items. I should have excluded links with a different link name than the article. Thanks for noticing this, I will include a fix if one day I rerun the script. Symac (talk) 16:22, 26 February 2017 (UTC)

Added bad end date on spouseEdit

This marriage apparently ended with death in 1986, not 2086 as claimed. Bovlb (talk) 23:16, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

John Oliver mistake on several levels...Edit

Dear Symac-Operator, as useful as bots can be, this edit seems quite worrying, because if this sort of thing occurs even once every 1000 bot-edits, we can kiss any attempt at accuracy in Wikidata goodbye.

Of course long before your bot there was human error, in several places. In 2016 User:Addshore added this John Oliver to the 1996 thriller »Fear«. Here is the edit that lead to a Canadian politician, who has been dead since 1927, having a small resurrection. Addshore had probably assumed he was adding this John Oliver instead, since that is the John Oliver which is on the French Wikipedia page referenced by him. While slightly more plausible (since he was at least alive at the time) it still seem rather unlikely, that the then 19-year-old British future comedian was acting in an American mainstream movie in 1996.

The second source referenced by Addshore was IMDb, which may or may not have had the wrong John Oliver in there at the time. Since then, though, they name Gerry Bean instead, who seems to played a lot of his roles as John Oliver. His Wikidata-page is here: Q23883371. I've added the »also know as«, and the pseudonym. Oh, and his English Wikipedia-page warns not to confuse him with the comedian.

Which brings me to the bot. Why would it add another John Oliver (the comedian) to the cast, if there is already a John Oliver (the politician) there? And in doing so, referencing the same dodgy French Wikipedia-page, that had been referenced before by Addshore? Why does it fail to notice that it is impossible for the politician to have acted in this movie, instead adding another dodgy implausibility, and ignoring the divergence at IMDb, Allmovie and TCM?

If I look at the Contributions of the Symac bot, he seems to be going at well over 20 edits a minute. Who is ever going to check how many falsehoods are gleefully copied and validated during a days worth of bot-activity, if it can't stumble upon something as obvious as the politician?

Greetings from --Sprachraum (talk) 02:02, 6 April 2019 (UTC)

Tiny note @Sprachraum:. I did not add a statement value (the statement already existed and was already wrong at the time of my edit), I only added the reference, failing to spot that the value of the statement was actually incorrect. ·addshore· talk to me! 20:40, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Yes @Addshore:, that's true, and my criticism was certainly not aimed mainly at you, as you probably realize. Instead, I'm glad that more than a month after I posted this, at least someone (you) seems to have read it! I shudder to think of how many edits the Symac-bot has done since – apparently unsupervised by any humans, as no-one has bothered to answer my post, nor have the mistakes been corrected. I purposefully left the two false John Olivers in place, in order to see if the mistakes are addressed by the bot handler. No such luck...
So this will be our future: If even such a blatant error is not picked up, there is no chance we will be able to avoid more subtle false information being spread and cross-validated by multiple bots across multiple databases. The falsehood will simply become the truth. Sad greetings from --Sprachraum (talk) 21:22, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
I guess if the 2 John Olivers were fixed, then perhaps the bot eco system would slowly reconcile itself and make the fix everywhere? ·addshore· talk to me! 21:26, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
Perhaps, although color me sceptical. I suggest leaving the Olivers for a few more days in order to see if there is finally any action from @Symac: Because us correcting them does nothing to explain why the bot acted as it did (inserting a second false John Oliver on top of the first false one), nor to prevent it in the future. At least the bot hasn't been active since 7 hours after the error occured, so that is something. --Sprachraum (talk) 22:25, 13 May 2019 (UTC)
@Addshore, Sprachraum: sorry for that late reply, I had not replied when I first saw your message and then had forgotten about it. In fact I had extracted results from French wikipedia at the beginning of 2018, and, having dealt with other projects, I had not finished to process all of the data at that time and I have restarted my script one year later to finish them. The mistake had been fixed meanwhile on French wikipedia but my data was outdated. As you noticed my bot has not been running since that batch of April and I don't plan to run it on the remaining data. If I was to restart it I would harvest new data from fr.wp. I will try to check the existing data to see if there are other cases that I can identify. The bot has been adding more than 100 000 actors to movies, maybe I should have added more checks to prevent the error you have identified, I will add more if I was to rerun this type of scripts, ideas about occupation (only add people identified as actors to casts as you suggest). Symac (talk) 04:26, 14 May 2019 (UTC)
@Symac: Thanks for answering, and for your explanation. I understand how these things can go wrong, but I would suggest you carefully re-read my first post and its links, before working out a future strategy for dealing with these potential bot-amplified errors. Your answer shows me that you haven’t seen the whole dimension yet – for instance the French page is not fixed yet, as I will detail below.
Having no bot-running experience myself, I can only hope and assume, that it is possible to program them to alert the bot operator of any irregularities the bot stumbles upon, so that the human can then take a closer look. Maybe it would be asking too much of the bot to realize on its own, that the previously inserted Canadian politician John Oliver couldn’t possibly have acted in this film. But surely it should be able to send a message to its operator, that there is already a different John Oliver in the Wikidata page, instead of just inserting the second one? That way at least you would have probably realized the first, far older error.
This would not have prevented the error with the second John Oliver, since the french film page still contains a false John Oliver, just a different one! All that happened in this change you highlighted, is that instead of the politician, it is now the comedian John Oliver, who is falsely named as an actor in this film. As outlined above, the correct entry would have been: Gerry Bean (using the pseudonym »John Oliver«). As I do not speak any French, perhaps you could change that in the French Wikipedia? And while you are at it, the »acteur« is not an ideal qualifier for the comedian John Oliver. His page should be moved to John Oliver (humoriste), since (although having acted in a few films) he is mainly known for his satirical comedy in »The Daily Show« and »Last Week Tonight with John Oliver«. Those shows, as well as his stand-up comedy are now considered »acting« in the french page; that feels wrong. You may want to look at his english page, as well as the english disambiguation-page for guidance. And I will now throw out both John Olivers from the Wikidata page. --Sprachraum (talk) 10:38, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
P.S.: The original false John Oliver (the politician) seems to have been added by your bot too – back in 2014. Of course all the bot was doing, was transferring false information from another Wikipedia-page, so can you blame the bot? Not really, but it again shows how automation can multiply the impact of initial human error. And checking that the name belongs to an actor (as you suggested), would indeed have prevented the first false John Oliver, but not the second. That is a trickier proposition. --Sprachraum (talk) 14:29, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
you're right, I misread the current wikipedia page, having just hovered the link seeing it was pointing to fr:John Oliver (acteur). I have now fixed the page so at least it is now fixed. I have also suggested on talk page of John Oliver that it is renamed to "John Oliver (homoriste)", I'm waiting for feedback. Regarding improvements to the algorithm I have no plan in the near future to rerun bots on wikidata but if I were to do it, I would at least add a check on the names. Regarding the occupation of the person to be an actor or some related class, I would need to check what is the percentage of persons that enter in that category so that it does not exclude too many. Nothing planned in the near future but I will come back to this discussion if I start again my bot to add casts. Thanks for your valuable feedback. Symac (talk) 20:42, 15 May 2019 (UTC)
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