Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit/Subtle Vandalism Taskforce
The Subtle Vandalism Taskforce (SVT) is a collaboration of editors attempting to combat the problem of subtle vandalism to the encyclopedia. The task force is focused on identifying the issues and possible solutions.
Vandalism on Wikipedia is a widespread problem. A number of tools have been created to confront these problems, including editors that review recent changes to Wikipedia, automated programs (bots) that undo very obvious vandalism, an edit filter that flags and sometimes prohibits problem edits, a notice board to block vandalizing editors, and a multitude of software programs and scripts that assist editors in these tasks. These responses have been very effective in reducing the amount of blatant vandalism. These methods are so good that most readers never see obvious examples of vandalism when reading the encyclopedia.
What lingers are instances of subtle vandalism. In particular, subtle factual errors represent a pernicious threat to the integrity and credibility of Wikipedia. Errors introduced deliberately contribute to criticism of Wikipedia and undermine the hard work of thousands by undermining its veracity. For more extensive, but potent examples of this, see Wikipedia biography controversy and Henryk Batuta hoax.
This task force is an attempt to understand those threats, and develop new tools, methods, and norms to combat them.
The SVT is focused purely on deliberate factual errors. It is not interested in content disputes, nor is it interested in honest mistakes, common errors, or more general "blatant" vandalism.
Common types of subtle vandalism include:
- Birth/death date change vandalism - Changing birth/death dates, often by small amounts
- Athlete vital statistics - Changing athlete vital statistics (height, handedness, other physical attributes)
- Other date change vandalism, including changing dates of events, TV programs
- Math and science change vandalism - Relatively rare, but especially damaging to the encyclopedia's credibility, and especially hard to recognize
- Geographical coordinate vandalism - Relatively rare, easily identified, but rarely followed up on
The long term goal of the task force is to create tools to deal with subtle factual error vandalism that are as effective as those created to deal with the more obvious forms of vandalism.
There are no criteria for inclusion other than that an editor must be in good standing (no recent blocks for vandalism) and must be generally familiar with Wikipedia policies. Joining is not required to discuss, nor does it give any special privileges. It is merely a show of support for the purposes of the task force.
Add your name to the list if you would like to participate.
- User: Sukhjitsehra 12:21, 20 December 2012 (INDIA)
- Shadowjams (talk) 07:51, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
- Bgpaulus (talk) 16:53, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
- SilverserenC 18:44, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
- SPhilbrickT 21:44, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
- Kmw2700 (talk) 16:15, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
- Mistakes being introduced into articles are definitely a problem, and need to be dealt with. - EdoDodo talk 20:34, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
- JamesBWatson (talk) 13:23, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
- User:Immunize-Even though I often deal more with blatant and obvious vandalism, subtle vandalism or introduction of incorrect information is a major problem, and I will look to revert it. Immunize (talk) 21:58, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
- WackyWace talk 08:40, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
- MrStalker (talk) 13:38, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
- BigK HeX (talk · contribs)
- ⒺⓋⒾⓁⒼⓄⒽⒶⓃ② I indeed support this and will fight it when come across.
- "Kevon100 Talk! If you're ❺❺❺ then I'm ❻❻❻
- WeijiBaikeBianji (talk) 04:32, 22 September 2010 (UTC)
- JohnCD (talk) 12:12, 13 November 2010 (UTC)
- Ng.j (talk) 11:28, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
- ᴳᴿᴲᴳᴼᴿᴵᴷ☺ᶤᶯᵈᶸᶩᶢᵉ 19:31, 27 March 2011 (UTC)
- Mephistophelian (talk) 02:39, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
- Shriram (talk) 10:24, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
- Edison (talk) 19:25, 16 July 2011 (UTC)
- causa sui (talk) 21:44, 21 July 2011 (UTC)
- Codrin.B (talk) 15:09, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
- Geraldshields11 (talk) 14:49, 12 July 2012 (UTC) I am working against vandalism in all of its forms.
- Mojoworker (talk) 23:40, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
- Jim1138 (talk) 17:43, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
- Kudpung (talk). Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:28, 3 November 2012 (UTC)
- §h₳un 9∞76 01:46, 17 November 2012 (UTC) Vandalism in any form is still Vandalism...
- nerdfighter 03:30, 11 January 2013 (UTC)
- OakRunner (talk) 03:52, 21 January 2013 (UTC)
- Jeff G. ツ (talk) 20:19, 7 February 2013 (UTC)
- Way2veers (talk) 02:16, 20 February 2013 (UTC)
- Reify-tech (talk) 01:20, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
- Thєíríshwαrdєn - írísh αnd prσud 18:39, 31 March 2013 (UTC)
- Lee Tru. 19:48, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
- Peter Chastain (talk) 08:08, 18 June 2013 (UTC)
- George8211 (talk) 17:56, 21 June 2013 (UTC)
- gbrading ταlκ 21:34, 28 June 2013 (UTC)
- JustBerry (talk) 00:13, 5 July 2013 (UTC)
- Thomas.W talk to me 11:55, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
- Bob25062001 (talk) 10:18, 17 September 2013 (UTC)
Zad6802:55, 16 October 2013 (UTC)
- Sgr927 21:10, 26 October 2013 (UTC)
- Pakcikfarhantalk 1:42, 26 November 2013 (UTC)
- Miszatomic (talk) 16:29, 27 November 2013
- Trivialist (talk) 00:03, 5 December 2013 (UTC)
- Nick Levine (talk) 11:45, 19 January 2014 (UTC)
- Optakeover(Talk) 15:02, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
- Denisarona (talk) 05:54, 15 February 2014 (UTC)
- ///EuroCarGT 04:21, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
- Cyphoidbomb (talk) 04:59, 21 February 2014 (UTC)
- Rhinestone K (talk) 01:11, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
- AkifumiiTalk 21:50, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
- User:Abhinav090814:04, 20 May 2014 (UTC
- -24Talk 00:04, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
- Fungal vexation (talk) 17:36, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
- Good afternoon (talk) 04:43, 16 July 2014 (UTC)
- SeaphotoTalk 05:05, 23 September 2014 (UTC)
The first step is to gather as much feedback as practical and identify specific classes of problems (the "Scope" above should roughly represent these classes), identify patterns that emerge in each class or as a whole, and to brainstorm possible solutions.
- Subtle vandalism noticeboard - A way to keep track of these edits, and report them. Sometimes these are too long-term or spread out for AIV, but not severe enough for WP:Long term abuse. This could fill the middle ground. It could also filter out the edits that are not vandalism, with an expertise and care that's simply not practical at AIV.
- Edit filter - Suggestions about additions to edit filter. There are some technical limitations to edit filter that make wide-spread rules difficult to implement, but some smaller subsets may be practical. Especially if you are familiar with WP:Edit filter or Regular expressions, your input would be extremely valuable here.
- Project awareness - Help inform projects that are susceptible to this sort of vandalism, or the victim of it, that it is occurring so that members can be aware and report / warn the editors doing it. I've witnessed project specific vandalism where it is undone on a single article, but each person undoing it is unaware that the editor has also done 10 other examples of the same edit.
- New programs - Develop tools to analyze either wikimedia dumps of article changes, or a bot to analyze changes in real time and flag suspect changes for followup by a human editor. This would require programing experience, and probably would require discussion with developers given the API load of such a program. However this approach could be finely tuned, look for patterns, and could have a high degree of accuracy.
- Deltaquad has adopted Botlaf's code and restarted pooppatrol. Results already available at User:DeltaQuadBot/Job requests, and some vandalism picked up that has evaded both the hugglers and the watchlisters. If anyone wants to get involved or add queries then please get in touch. ϢereSpielChequers 18:35, 20 March 2011 (UTC)