User:AntiVandalBot/FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions
This page attempts to answer common questions about AntiVandalBot, the user who commonly reverts pages for suspected vandalism. This FAQ doesn't include everything. If you have any further questions, please leave a message at AntiVandalBot's talk page.

Note to advanced wiki editors: Please keep this page simple for new users. AntiVandalBot's user page has more information.

What is AntiVandalBot?

AntiVandalBot is an automated computer program, or bot (short for robot), which performs boring but similar tasks. Think of it as a virtual industrial robot. Its purpose is to watch for and revert edits that are suspected of being vandalism.
It is not a human editor and can't reply to messages by itself. In the general vernacular, you may see the bot referred to as "AVB", "AntiVandalBot", "Anti Vandalism Bot" etc.... there's lots of em out there.

What is vandalism?

Vandalism on Wikipedia essentially entails someone making an edit that deliberately makes Wikipedia worse. See Wikipedia:Vandalism for the full rundown. If you were merely trying to experiment, then please use the sandbox or the introduction page instead.

Does AntiVandalBot make mistakes?

AntiVandalBot is not infallible; however, the accuracy rate is estimated to be 98%.

If it makes mistakes, why do you still run it?

Wikipedia is a very popular website that records tens of edits per second and hundreds or thousands of edits per minute. There just aren't enough people to check every one of those edits and still themselves contribute to the encyclopedia. Therefore, AntiVandalBot is a technical aid that allows editors to spend more time improving articles and less time fixing vandalism.

What should I do if I've been warned for a good edit I made?

If you were warned for what you think is a good contribution, you can leave a message on the bot's talk page with the name of the page it reverted and the bot's owner(s) will look into it.

What should I do if I've been warned for an edit I KNOW I didn't make?

If you are warned for doing something you know you didn't do, it likely means that many people share your IP address. Simply registering an account is the easiest way of ensuring that you are only contacted about the edits YOU make.

Can AntiVandalBot block me?

No, the user account "AntiVandalBot" is not an administrator — it CANNOT enact user or IP blocks. However, you might be blocked by Tawker who is an administrator - Tawker is a human, AntiVandalBot is not!
You may also be blocked by an administrator who is watching AntiVandalBot's contributions.

I'm upset about AntiVandalBot's warning, where can I get satisfaction?

If it was a legitimate edit, please leave a civil (and not all caps) message and we'll work to prevent this from happening again. Accept our apologies for the mistakes AntiVandalBot makes, we appreciate your positive contributions. If it really was vandalism, then you aren't going to get much satisfaction here!

Can I remove the incorrect warnings?

If you were warned about an edit you made and you honestly feel it was a legitimate change, feel free to remove the "warning". If the warning concerns an edit you didn't make, leave it. That way the person responsible might see it.

For which edit did I get this warning?

The bot should show the name of the article and the link to the edit you made.

I was reverting someone else's vandalism, and AntiVandalBot reverted me(!)

There are several possible reasons why this could happen. As each revert is unique, you'd have to contact one of the bot's owners for an explanation. If it genuinely was a reversion to a vandalized version, feel free to revert it back. The 3RR explicitly does not apply to reverting vandalism. Note: This may not work, as the bot(s) will now revert more than once (if it is in "angry" mode). If this happens, you may ask an administrator to revert the edit for you, or you may ask the bot owner(s) to whitelist you.

Do I have to report mistakes?

No. Many users are surprised to receive a warning and want to tell us about it, and we use that information to improve AntiVandalBot's performance. However, if this page has answered your questions about the warning you received, please feel free to move forward and do some more editing without contacting us.