A Wikipedia log is an automatically generated list of actions of a certain type, showing when they were performed, by what user, and with respect to what page or other user. Logged actions include page deletions and restorations, page moves (renames), user blocks and unblocks, page protections and unprotections, user account creations, abuse filter reports, and others.
Logs can list actions done by a user (or IP editor), actions done to a user (or IP editor), and actions done to a wiki page.
To view Wikipedia's logs, go to Special:Log. From there you can decide which actions you wish to see logged, and filter by certain other parameters, such as date and time, user and affected page. You can also provide a parameter straight away, as in Special:Log/block, which displays the block log. Other parameters that can be used in a similar way include "delete", "rights", "protect", "upload" and "patrol".
A link to the log of actions relating to a particular page can be found on the "View logs for this page" link on the "history" tab immediately under the title. A link to the log of actions by a particular user can be found on the left-hand side when the user's talk page or user page is opened. Remember, however, that these are actions performed by that user; for actions affecting a given user (such as blocks), the username (preceded by "User:") must be entered in the "Title" field of the log page, not the "User" field. (This configuration can be accessed directly from the "history" tab of the user's userpage.)
Using a log
- The type of log to display. By default, all public logs will be shown. In this case, it is set to only show the deletion log, which lists page deletions and undeletions.
- The Performer field lets you search the logs for entries that were performed by a specified user. Type the username of the user you want to look up the logs for.
- The Target field lets you search the logs for entries that were performed on a page or user. Type the name of the page you want to look up the logs for. If you want to look up the logs performed on a user, add User: (note the colon) to the start of your search query, then type in the username.
- The From date field can be used to show only the logs created on or before a specified date.
- The Tag filter allows you to show only logs that have been tagged with the specified name of the tag.
- Some logs will have additional filtering options to show only specific kinds of actions. In this case, the deletion log can be further filtered to show only page deletions, page undeletions, revision deletions, and the overwriting of redirects.
- The newest / oldest links let you quickly jump to the newest log entries or to the oldest log entries. The newer n / older n links take you to the next or previous page of entries. The blue numbers list the number of entries displayed on the page. You can choose to display 20, 50, 100, 250 or 500 entries at once.
- The date and time of the logged action. The time is UTC by default on Wikipedia; registered users can change this in their preferences.
- The username or IP address of the user who performed the action. The talk link points to their user talk page, while the contribs link points to their user contributions page.
- The type of action performed.
- The name of the page or user that the action was performed on.
- When performing most actions, the user will be prompted to provide an optional summary or explanation of their actions, which will be shown here.
- The tags attached to the action, if applicable. Tags are usually automatically added to actions and are used for maintenance or tracking purposes.
Other sources of logged information
Log files which are not automatically generated can be found in Category:Wikipedia logs. Old log files of actions which have now switched to automatic logging can be found in Category:Wikipedia obsolete log pages. Some of these old files are listed by type at WP:Block log, WP:Bureaucrat log, WP:Deletion log, WP:Protection log and WP:Upload log. (These actions moved to automatic logging in December 2004.)
- Help:Log on MediaWiki.org