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CategorizationBot is a bot to find uncategorized files and to try to get these files categorized.


Find uncategorized files[edit]

  • Once a day the bot goes over all the files uploaded the day before and tags uncategorized files with {{subst:Unc}} (job:imageuncat-yesterday)
  • The bot monitors recent changes for uncategorized files and tags these files with {{subst:Unc}} (job:imageuncat-recentchanges)

Try to get files categorized[edit]

  1. Work on all categories with {{Populate category}} (job:populate_category)
  2. Try to categorize images based on usage in galleries (job:loose_category_from_gallery)
  3. Try to categorize images based on usage in other Wikimedia projects (disabled at the moment)

Notify users[edit]

If files are still uncategorized, notify the uploader. (disabled at the moment)

Create categories[edit]

The bot creates maintenance categories:

  1. Create "media needing categories as of .." categories (job:media_needing_categories)
  2. Create "media needing category review as of .." categories (job:media_needing_category_review)


Logs for the different jobs can be viewed at and the server admin log is also available.

Frequently asked questions[edit]

Why isn't the bot running?[edit]

With the move from Toolserver to Toollabs all categorization logic was gone. The only thing the bot was doing is tagging uncategorized files. End June 2015 ([1]) the MediaWiki API was changed and the operator of this bot didn't feel like investing time in porting the bot code from pywikibot compat to core and instead chose to shut it down.

How do I categorize images?[edit]

You add a category by adding the text [[Category:Something]] at the file page where "Something" is the relevant category. The process of adding categories at a wiki is described more detailed at en:Help:Category. The Commons category system is described at Commons:Categories. If you still need help after reading these pages, ask at Commons:Help desk.

Why did CategorizationBot notify me of already categorized images?[edit]

It didn't. At the time you got the message the image was tagged with {{Uncategorized}}. In the meantime someone added a category. Check the timestamps in the file history if you don't believe me!

How do I stop CategorizationBot from leaving me notes about uncategorized files?[edit]

The best way is to categorize all your uploads before CategorizationBot notices them or use you can add {{subst:Unc}} if you do not know a category. You may also add {{bots|deny=CategorizationBot}} to your talk page, which will prevent the bot from leaving you messages there. And of course, you are always free to remove any message from your talk page.

Why is CategorizationBot complaining about categories? The image is in a gallery![edit]

Galleries don't replace categories. Also see Commons:Categories vs Galleries.

Ok now I categorized the image, do I need to do anything more?[edit]

That is great! If you like you can remove the message on your talk page.

I'm totally lost - what will happen if I cant find a category?[edit]

Hopefully someone will help you find a category. If you add a good description that is easier for other users.

Does CategorizationBot find all uncategorized images?[edit]

No, the daily bot doesn't. It uses a conservative approach. If categories were added directly (not via a template), the bot will skip the image. If there are no directly added categories the bot will loop over all templates. If all templates are on the ignore list, the bot marks the image as uncategorized. If one of the templates is not on the ignore list the bot assumes that the template adds a category and skips the image. Every once in a while a query is run on the database to find images without categories or with only hidden categories.

How does the automatic categorization work?[edit]

  1. If the image is in use in a gallery: Copy the categories the gallery is in.
  2. If the image is in use in some Wikipedia: Use CommonSense to find categories.

Do you add all categories suggested by CommonSense?[edit]

No, some filtering is applied to remove not so useful categories and to find better categories.

Why did the bot flood a category with not relevant images?[edit]

The bot relies on links from the different Wikipedia's for its categorization. If these links are incorrect, the bot mis-categorizes images. For example this link cause Category:Maintenance to be flooded with seemingly random images.

How to fix the flooding of a category?[edit]

The fixing consists of two steps: Finding the source of the problem and cleaning up the category.

  1. Find the source: As pointed out in the previous question, one incorrect link can cause quite a mess. Pick one of the random images and see where it's used. Go to the article and see if one of the Wikipedia categories on the article points to the flooded Commons category. If so, remove the incorrect link. If you can't find it, leave a note at the talk page so someone else can have a shot at it
  2. Fix the mis-categorized images: Doing this by hand can be quite a lot of work. Fortunately the images are tagged with {{Check categories}} so it's possible for a bot to do that. If you have a (pywikipedia) bot: -lang:commons -family:commons -regex -dotall "(\{\{Check categories\|.+)\[\[Category:Maintenance\]\]" "\1" -cat:Maintenance -summary:"Removing category maintenance" (replace Maintenance with the name of the flooded category). If you don't have a bot, ask someone at Commons:Bots/Work requests to run it for you (point them here).

Where can I post questions?[edit]

For general questions you should go to the help desk. You can post questions about this bot at User talk:CategorizationBot.

Who operates this bot?[edit]

This bot is operated by Multichill. You can post questions about this bot at User talk:CategorizationBot.