Wikipedia:Recent changes patrol

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"WP:RCP" redirects here. You may be looking for Wikipedia:Requesting copyright permission. NP Patrol is now at Wikipedia:New pages patrol.

Recent changes patrol or RC patrol is a Wikipedia communal patrol whereby individual users (also called editors) check the recent changes of various articles for harmful edits.

The patrol is entirely voluntary and carries no obligation. At its heart, it is really just a way to try to ensure that every edited article gets checked in a timely manner and is given a boost on its way to becoming a "featured article", while simultaneously ensuring that the rest of Wikipedia is not harmed.

Recent Changes Patroller badge.
Recent changes Patrol Userbox

Regular RC patrollers may wish to put the RC patrol userbox on their user page by adding {{User wikipedia/RC Patrol}} to their user pages.

Edit-find-replace.svg This user is a recent changes patroller.

What to do[edit]

RC Patrolling primarily consists of a four step process:

Identify "bad" or "needy" edits
RC patrollers efficiently identify problematic edits. A bad edit is an edit that for one reason or another may need to be entirely removed. A needy edit requires maintenance or improvement in some manner.
Remove or improve the edit
Needy edits should be tagged according to their need, or boldly changed immediately. A useful list of tags can be found at WP:TC. Bad edits should likewise be tagged or deleted. Because Wikipedians do not like their edits to be deleted, it is important to leave concise but clear justifications on the talk page or in the edit summary. When adding tags, please consider discussing the issue on the article's talk page before adding them in the article itself.
Warn the editor
In the cases of deliberate vandalism or an evident lack of knowledge on Wikipedia procedure, offending editors should be warned on their talk pages. While this is an optional step, it should be a regular part of a patroller's duties, as it minimizes conflict, educates new editors and alerts administrators of repeat offenders. For efficiency and consistency, standard warning templates can be used. However do feel free to simply write a warning if the available templates are not appropriate.
Check the user's other contributions
You will often find more edits with similar problems. As an RC Patroller, you may want to fix those as well.

Being nice to others[edit]

Throughout the entire process of RC patrol, it is important to remember not to bite the newcomers. Far from being a monolithic horde of vandals, trolls, and spammers, a 2006 essay indicated that newcomers wrote most of Wikipedia's content.[1] If you see a new user or IP address contributing, welcome them if you're so inclined, and include a pointer or two of feedback about how they can make their contributions even better. Most will gladly welcome the support.

It is also important to assume good faith as much as possible, or, minimally to assume incompetence instead of malice. For example, remember not everyone is as computer literate as you; some people will accidentally blank or damage pages when attempting to cut and paste material from Wikipedia. Others may not understand that, yes, their changes really are visible to the entire world immediately.

Patrolling edits to existing pages[edit]

See also: Wikipedia:Template messages/User talk namespace

One thing to keep in mind is to not only focus on patrolling articles in the main namespace but also to check other pages — such as, for example, image pages, which are frequently victims of nonsensical edits and vandalism. Such unchecked edits may be particularly harmful because the result might be removal of copyright tags.

Newcomer tests[edit]

Look for newcomer tests (odd edits which are not vandalism), but do not bite the newcomers. Revert their experiments and leave one of the following messages on their user talk page. Be sure to sign and timestamp (~~~~) the warning.

{{subst:uw-test1}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Welcome and thank you for your contributions. This is a notice that your test has been reverted or removed. If you would like to experiment further, please use the sandbox instead. Please take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you. ~~~~
{{subst:uw-create1}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. A page you recently created may not conform to some of Wikipedia's guidelines for new pages, so it will shortly be removed (if it hasn't been already). Please use the sandbox for any tests, and consider using the Article Wizard. For more information about creating articles, you may want to read Your first article. You may also want to read the introduction page to learn more about contributing. Thank you. ~~~~
{{subst:uw-delete1}} ~~~~ (a variant suitable for blanking) 
Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. It might not have been your intention, but your recent edit removed content from Wikipedia. When removing content, please specify a reason in the edit summary and discuss edits that are likely to be controversial on the article's talk page. If this was a mistake, don't worry; the content has been restored, as you can see from the page history. Take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia, and if you would like to experiment, please use the sandbox. Thank you. ~~~~
{{subst:uw-test2}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Please refrain from making test edits in Wikipedia pages, even if you intend to fix them later. Such edits appear to be vandalism and have been reverted. If you would like to experiment again, please use the sandbox. Thank you. ~~~~
{{subst:uw-delete2}} ~~~~ (a variant suitable for blanking) 
Information.svg Please do not remove content or templates from pages on Wikipedia without giving a valid reason for the removal in the edit summary. Your content removal does not appear constructive, and has been reverted. Please make use of the sandbox if you'd like to experiment with test edits. Thank you. ~~~~

Lack of sources[edit]

Addition of unsourced material without proper citations

{{subst:uw-unsor1}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. We invite everyone to contribute constructively to our encyclopedia. However, adding content without citing a reliable source is not consistent with our policy of verifiability. Take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-unsor2}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Please do not add content without citing reliable sources. Before making potentially controversial edits, it is recommended that you discuss them first on the article's talk page. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-unsor3}} ~~~~ 
Nuvola apps important.svg Please do not add unsourced or original content. Doing so violates Wikipedia's verifiability policy. If you would like to experiment, please use the sandbox. Thank you.


Further non-constructive edits sometimes can be viewed as vandalism, and dealt with as below.

Spam[edit]

  • Look for spam. If it comes in the form of articles, nominate them for deletion with {{db-spam}}, place a Proposed Deletion tag on them with {{subst:prod|Your Reasons Here}}, or nominate them at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion. If a user is posting multiple links to a particular website in several articles, revert the edits. In either case, again notify the user with {{subst:uw-spam1}}.

Copyright violations[edit]

  • Look for copyright violations and revert them. As per the instructions at Wikipedia:Copyright problems, just revert pages to remove copyright violations. However, take care to indicate in the edit summary that this is what you are doing. If an entire article is a copyvio see the section on copyvios in the new pages section below.

Vandalism[edit]

Look out for vandalism, and revert it. It is often worthwhile to check the page history after reverting to make sure you have removed all the vandalism. Also, check the user contributions of the vandal - you will often find more malicious edits.

Additionally, leave warning messages on the vandal's talk pages using the following system.

Also be sure to check discussion pages for possible explanations of edits.

Warning templates[edit]

Note that these templates need not be used sequentially. If the edit is clearly vandalism, use the template {{uw-vandalism1}} instead. For continuing severe vandalism, {{uw-vandalism2}} may be skipped and {{uw-vandalism3}} given straight after the first warning. If, however, you are not sure that the edit is vandalism, always start with {{uw-test1}}. If a user made such an edit and reverted it themselves, use a {{selftest}}. For extreme or extensive cases of vandalism committed by users who have received no prior warnings, {{uw-vandalism4im}} may be used. The ~~~~ in the templates below cause the time and your signature to be added to the warning.

{{subst:selftest}} ~~~~ (use if an edit appears to be a reversion of a newcomer test) 
Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. Thank you for reverting your recent experiment. Please take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to our encyclopedia. If you would like to experiment further, please use the sandbox instead. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-test1}} ~~~~ (use if an edit appears to have possibly not been an intentional act of vandalism) 
Information.svg Welcome and thank you for your contributions. This is a notice that your test has been reverted or removed. If you would like to experiment further, please use the sandbox instead. Please take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-error1}} ~~~~ (use if an edit adds seemingly incorrect information to an article) 
Information.svg Your recent edit appears to have added incorrect information and has been reverted or removed. All information in this encyclopedia must be verifiable in a reliable, published source. If you believe the information that you added was correct, please cite the references or sources or before making the changes, discuss them on the article's talk page. Please use the sandbox for any tests that you wish to make. Do take a look at the welcome page if you would like to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-vandalism1}} ~~~~ (use if an edit is clearly vandalism)
Welcome to Wikipedia. Although everyone is welcome to contribute to Wikipedia, at least one of your recent edits did not appear to be constructive and has been reverted or removed. Please use the sandbox for any test edits you would like to make, and read the welcome page to learn more about contributing constructively to this encyclopedia. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-unsor1}} ~~~~ (use if an edit is unreferenced)
Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. Everyone is welcome to contribute to the encyclopedia, but when you add or change content please cite a reliable source for the content of your edit. This helps maintain our policy of verifiability. Take a look at Wikipedia:Citing sources for information about how to cite sources and the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-test2}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Please refrain from making test edits in Wikipedia pages, even if you intend to fix them later. Such edits appear to be vandalism and have been reverted. If you would like to experiment again, please use the sandbox. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-error2}} ~~~~ (use if an edit adds factually incorrect information to an article) 
Information.svg Please do not introduce incorrect information into articles. Your edits appear to be vandalism and have been reverted. If you believe the information you added was correct, please cite references or sources or discuss the changes on the article's talk page before making them again. If you would like to experiment, use the sandbox. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-delete2}} ~~~~ (a variant suitable for vandalism that consists of blanking text) 
Information.svg Please do not remove content or templates from pages on Wikipedia without giving a valid reason for the removal in the edit summary. Your content removal does not appear constructive, and has been reverted. Please make use of the sandbox if you'd like to experiment with test edits. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-test3}} ~~~~ 
Nuvola apps important.svg Please stop making test edits to Wikipedia. It is considered vandalism, which, under Wikipedia policy, can lead to a loss of editing privileges. If you would like to experiment again, please use the sandbox.
{{subst:uw-error3}} ~~~~ 
Nuvola apps important.svg Please stop. If you continue to vandalize pages by deliberately introducing incorrect information, you may be blocked from editing Wikipedia.
{{subst:uw-vandalism4}} ~~~~ (not suitable as a first warning) 
Stop hand nuvola.svg This is your last warning. The next time you vandalize Wikipedia, you may be blocked from editing without further notice.
{{subst:uw-vandalism4im}} ~~~~ (used as a first warning for extreme cases of vandalism) 
Stop hand nuvola.svg This is your only warning; if you vandalize Wikipedia again, you may be blocked from editing without further notice.

Alternatively, you can use:

{{subst:selftest-n|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-test#|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-error#|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-vandalism#|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-delete#|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-vandalism4im|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-unsor#|PageName}} ~~~~


to explicitly state which articles were vandalized. Where appropriate, replace the "#" with the warning level number (1 to 4). Insert the title of the article being referenced. For example:

{{subst:uw-test1|France}} 
Information.svg Welcome and thank you for experimenting with Wikipedia. Your test on the page France worked, and it has been reverted or removed. Please take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. If you would like to experiment further, please use the sandbox instead. Thank you.

The "subst" causes the template text to be pasted into the talk page as if you had typed it out, instead of leaving {{subst:uw-test1}} visible when editing the page. This makes the messages more personal to the user, and thus, more friendly. Also, if someone vandalizes the template, then the vandalism will not affect every page that uses the text from the template.

If the vandal will not stop, list them at Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism. Ensure that the user has been warned thoroughly before posting a notice on Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism and has had time (three or four minutes) to read the warnings and still ignore them. If a user has not been sufficiently warned, or has only vandalized a couple of times an administrator may simply remove the notice without action.

The blocking administrator will usually leave this or one of the other Block Templates on the vandal's talk page:

{{subst:uw-block1}} ~~~~ 
Stop x nuvola with clock.svg
You have been blocked temporarily from editing for abuse of editing privileges. Once the block has expired, you are welcome to make useful contributions. If you would like to be unblocked, you may appeal this block by adding the text {{unblock|reason=Your reason here ~~~~}} below this notice, but you should read the guide to appealing blocks first.

Remember to sign and timestamp your warnings by leaving four tildes (like this: ~~~~).

Trace IP address[edit]

Also, consider tracing the IP address. Find owners by using:

  • ARIN (North America)
  • RIPE (Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia)
  • APNIC (Asia Pacific)
  • LACNIC (Latin American and Caribbean)
  • AfriNIC (Africa)

If an address is not in one, it will probably be in another. Then add {{vandalip|Name of owner}} to the talk pages of users who vandalise - the realisation that they can be traced is often sufficient to make them stop.

Tools[edit]

The following is a list of tools and resources available for those who want to clean up with a more systematic approach.

Monitoring[edit]

Shortcut:
Screenshot of Wikipedia recent changes IRC feed

The old school way is to load recent changes and check the (diff) links. It can be filtered according to featured articles, good articles, living people, new editors' contribs, IPs' contribs and mobile contribs (as these are more prone to vandalism, see Help:Recent changes). Searching for articles by their namespace and specific tags (e.g. VisualEditor, possible BLP issue or vandalism, etc) can also be done. If they contain harmful edits, you revert to the previous version. However, the high volume of edits that occur each second makes this difficult to accomplish most of the time, and several tools have been created to simplify the process:

  • Vandal Fighter, the original anti-vandalism program, is a Java program that displays the Recent Changes feed from Wikipedia's IRC bots and allows filters to focus on certain types of changes (e.g. unregistered users). It also maintains a personal list of trusted users, watched articles, etc.
  • Lupin's Anti-Vandal Tool monitors the RSS feed and flags edits with common vandalism terms. It also has a live spellcheck feature. This tool works in monobook skin only.
  • WikiMonitor is a Windows program that enables users to monitor recent changes, their watchlist, users' contributions, and other feeds in real time as well as providing multiple tools to aid in semi-automated editing and reversion. It is compatible with all Wikimedia wikis.
  • VandalSniper, a VandalProof-like application, is currently in beta. At the moment it has only been confirmed to run on Linux.
  • WikiGuard is a Mac OS X program that monitors the IRC feed and attempts to approximate each edit's risk.
  • RC birds is a Java program that emits different bird sounds for the RC feed depending on the user.
  • The IRC Bot, pgkbot, by Pgk, runs on the IRC channels below.
  • IRC Bots reporting at the #cvn-wp-en channel on the freenode network list suspected vandalism edits (for example: blankings, edits made by blacklisted users, etc.) (Use this link to open the IRC channel on a web browser.)
  • WikiAlerter, a Windows program for patrolling new pages, and deleting/tagging them. Designed primarily for CSD, but supports AfD and ProD. Currently in beta, but there is a release.
  • Wikipedia Vandalism Watch is a Windows program that monitors specified users' contributions pages for top edits.
  • Huggle is a very fast diff browser which parses edits from users and sort them by predicted level of vandalism. It allows you to revert vandalism and warn users in one click. Given the high performance and potential damage that could be caused by huggle, users on english wikipedia are required to have the rollback rights to login to huggle, however huggle works even without this permission on other wikis.
  • WatchlistBot is an XMPP bot that sends messages in realtime when articles are modified. Users with a Jabber account can subscribe to the bot and watch both articles and users.
  • WikipediaVision is a web-based world map visualization of unregistered edits to the English (and the German, French, Spanish, Swedish) Wikipedia, almost the same time as they happen.
  • STiki is a Java program that consists of (1) a server-side component that listens to the RC feed and scores edits in a machine-learning fashion (using 12+ features, many of which are not language-based) -- and (2) A client-side Java GUI application that presents likely vandalism found on the server-side to human users for inspection/reversion. Using STiki without rollback requires either approval from the developer or 1000 article-space edits. It can revert WP:AGF edits while leaving a friendly message on the talkpage of the editing user.
  • Igloo is an RC patrol tool that is currently in alpha. It works with either Firefox or Google Chrome.
  • RCMap - Geolocates anonymous edits from the IRC live feed and displays them on a world map, with links to diffs. Supports multiple languages in a unified interface.
  • WikiPatroller is an Android app for monitoring the recent changes feed.

Rollback tools[edit]

These tools extend the rollback feature by allowing you to specify a summary when using rollback. They may also offer additional features:

Rollback-like scripts[edit]

These tools can be used to achieve the same effect as rollback if you do not have it.

  • RC patrol script gives non-administrators revert, filter, and popup tools while using the monobook skin.
  • Godmode-light is a JavaScript program to give non-administrators a rollback button.
  • Navigation popups are a set of utilities that appear when hovering over wikilinks. Particularly, hovering over links of old versions provides a "revert" link.
  • Twinkle gives both non-administrators and administrators three types of rollback functions. Other functions include a full library of speedy deletion functions, user warnings, pseudo-automatic reporting of vandals, and more.

Special pages[edit]

Task Force[edit]

IRC channels[edit]

Note that these are not operated by or affiliated with Wikipedia.

A list of bot commands can be found on here. To use these commands, you must be voiced.

Other[edit]

  • Template:Vandalism information, a tool used as an indication of the current overall level of vandalism that is taking place on Wikipedia. On the page, click the edit button below the vandalism meter to change its level from 5 to 1 and/or add a short comment; 5 indicates very low levels of vandalism, and 1 indicates extremely high. You can add the vandalism information template to your userpage to stay up to date. See Template talk:Vandalism information for different styles.
  • Counter-Vandalism Wiki (Operates the #cvn-channels. Not owned by, operated by, or affiliated with Wikimedia.)
  • Wikilink scripts enable you to double click on [[wikilinks]] within IRC clients. Useful if doing patrol on the IRC channels.
  • There are other scripts that may be handy while doing cleanup (not necessarily vandalism cleanup). Check them at WikiProject User scripts/Scripts (WP:JS)
  • Arnon Chaffin has built a wonderful page made just for vandal fighting and warning.
  • Template:Toolbar experiments, a tool to help with finding test edits in articles.
  • Vada, an online cloud based framework.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Aaron Swartz. "Who Writes Wikipedia?".