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On Wikipedia, is it possible to watch a specific section of an article (instead of watching the entire article)? I have contributed to some specific sections of articles, and I want to be notified whenever these sections are modified, deleted, or vandalized by other editors.

For example, it would be useful to watch for changes to a specific part of an article (since I've noticed that thoroughly referenced sections are often removed by editors for no apparent reason, and vandalism to well-referenced sections often goes unnoticed).

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1 Answer 1

No, MediaWiki (the software Wikipedia runs on) doesn't support that.

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There must be more to that, then just no. Why don't they support that? Are other web apps capable of doing so? –  Jacob Jan Tuinstra Apr 7 '13 at 20:32
    
Wouldn't it be possible to accomplish this using some kind of script (or perhaps a Wikipedia bot)? –  Anderson Green Apr 7 '13 at 20:42
    
@JacobJanTuinstra Watching a page is relatively simple, since a change to a page can be easily identified in the database. If you want to watch a section, you need to parse the text of both versions of the page, find the section in both of them and diff it. And you also need some way to identify a section. It's well defined what creating, moving and deleting a page is, but it's not so clear when it comes to sections. –  svick Apr 7 '13 at 21:51
    
@AndersonGreen Sure it would, but I don't know about any such script and I don't think it exists (but it's certainly possible I'm wrong about that). –  svick Apr 7 '13 at 21:52
    
@svick I suppose it would be possible. I could write a shell script for this purpose, if only I knew of some way to obtain the wikitext from an article programmatically. –  Anderson Green Apr 8 '13 at 2:58

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