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Phalanx is an extension created by Wikia in order to help the Volunteer SpamTaskForce and Staff effectively fight spam at Wikia.

What is Phalanx?Edit


The Phalanx special page

Phalanx is an integrated spam defense mechanism, adapted from various features such as Regex Block, Spam Regex, and the spam and title blacklists along with a couple other new options using regular expressions. This tool allows all of these actions to be performed on a single page, allowing for greater flexibility and convenience when combating spam or vandalism.

The Phalanx tool is located at Special:Phalanx on Community Central.



In order to establish a block, you will first need to insert the type of filter you want to block, the filter being a username or IP address, an article title, a phrase used in page content or an edit summary, wiki name, or question title (for answer wikis). Underneath the filter box there are three options: "regex", "case sensitive" and "exact". All of these options allow greater customization of the block.

If checked, this will apply the given filter using regular expressions (or regex). So for example, if you entered "(Hello|Hello there|Hi there)$" it would block anything ending with one of the encapsulated phrases in the block type (eg. title, user, summary). Regex filters are slower to apply, so they should be replaced by exact blocks if possible.
Case sensitive
If checked, only filters matching the given case will be blocked. For example, if you want to block a similar username used for vandalism, except that uses different casing to “impersonate”, this will be helpful in that regard (e.g. Wikiadmin vs. WikiAdmIn). Keep in mind on Wikia, article titles and usernames will never begin with a lowercase character.
If checked, only exact matches will be blocked. This also means the filter will be case sensitive. For example, if "spam" is the filter, only "spam" will be blocked. You must check only this option for a single username being blocked if you are making a case-insensitive block without the use of regular expressions (i.e. in most cases).


After entering the filter, a duration may be chosen. This can range from 1 hour to infinite.

Block optionsEdit

The following options are available using this tool:

Article content
This filter prevents an edit from being saved, if its content matches any of the blacklisted phrases.
Article title
This filter prevents a page from being created, if its title matches any of the blacklisted phrases. It does not prevent a pre-existing page from being edited.
This filter blocks a user (exactly the same as a local MediaWiki block), if the user's name matches one of the blacklisted phrases or IPs.
Question title
This filter blocks a question (page) from being created, if its title matches any of the blacklisted phrases. (Only on Answers-type wikis)
Article summary
This filter prevents an edit from being saved, if the summary given matches any of the blacklisted phrases.

Wiki creation
This filter prevents a wiki from being created, if its name contains any blacklisted phrase.
Recent questions
This filter prevents questions (pages) from being displayed in a number of outputs (widgets, lists, tag-generated listings). It does not prevent those questions from being created. (Only on Answers-type wikis).


The reason field is what will be displayed to a user when they are blocked. If no reason is given, a default generic reason will be displayed instead and will vary between an anonymous user and a logged-in user.


If a certain language is chosen, it will only be blocked on wiki's of that language. So if "Spam" is blocked on German wiki's only, it won't be at English ones.


An example block

Testing your blockEdit

After entering a block, the best thing to do is visit the "Test filter" tab in order to see if the correct options are chosen. If you blocked "Spam", enter "Spam" in the box to see what filters are working on "Spam".

How do I report false positives?Edit

If you have triggered a filter that prevents you from saving or creating something you believe is correct and not spam, you can report it here or contact staff.

See alsoEdit