Wikipedia talk:Vandalism

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Vandalism from school class C blocks[edit]

There was repeated vandalism on the afternoon of 1 May 2013 to the featured article, If Day. The vandalism came from IP addresses that belonged to the Volusia County Schools in Florida. Vandalism from schools has happened in the past. Should the policy be clarified to give more instructions on what to do with school vandalism? Here are my suggestions. First, administrators should use soft blocks rather than hard blocks. There is no need to prevent teachers or administrators from doing constructive edits from the IP block. Should something be said here, or should something be said in the {{WP:Block|blocking policy]]?

I would also suggest that any Wikipedian who wants to go an extra mile and knows how to look up IP addresses can report the vandalism, preferably with timestamps, to the contact person for the address block. This should certainly not be required, but I'm an old and hardened spam-fighter and I did just that.

More vandalism types[edit]

can blocking users for no reason, Duplicating Articles, and replacing articles with another one be considered vandalism? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jordan5000000000 (talkcontribs) 11:26, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Blocking users for no reason would be an abuse of administrator privileges, which is not vandalism but a different offense. I don't think that duplicating articles is vandalism. It could be done for either of two reasons, unintentionally, in writing an article with a different title than an existing article, or intentionally. In the former case, the answer would probably be to decide what is the proper title, merge the articles, and make the other title into a redirect. Intentionally creating a duplicate article sounds like something that an inexperienced user could do out of ignorance of how redirection works. Replacing an article with the contents of another article on an unrelated topic would probably be considered vandalism. Replacing an article with a completely rewritten article on the same topic might be a controversial case of being bold. Robert McClenon (talk) 23:24, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
To repeat, blocking users for no reason would be an abuse of administrator privileges, not vandalism. The administrator who did that would probably be desysopped, that is, have their administrator role removed. Robert McClenon (talk) 23:24, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
Is it considered to be vandalism when editors delete reliably sourced, relevant, NPOV material from articles? This doesn't seem to fall under WP:CENSOR because it sounds like that only covers administrative deletions by Wikipedia officials. Some editors seem to spend a lot of time deleting stuff they personally disapprove of from articles, even though it seems to be appropriate for the articles. Ghostofnemo (talk) 02:33, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
I considered this edit to be WP:POINTy rather than vandalism. You really need to consider that edit in the context of the edits which had happened the previous day. --Redrose64 (talk) 17:02, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
WP:POINT mentions deletion of unsourced material, but not reliably sourced, relevant, NPOV material. Here are some examples: Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:26, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
Two more examples of reliably sourced material being deleted from articles. and Is there a policy to prevent this, and what can be done about it? Ghostofnemo (talk) 23:54, 10 December 2013 (UTC)
Ghostofnemo, are you seriously looking for the policies to be changed to give you an edge in your content disputes? "Reliably sourced" is a judgement call subject to consensus. "NPOV" is a judgement call subject to consensus. "Relevant" is a judgement call subject to consensus. "Disagreeing with Ghostofnemo" is not vandalism, nor will it ever be. Someguy1221 (talk) 00:46, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
So you're saying there are no objective criteria on Wikipedia? Or is that just your personal opinion? Ghostofnemo (talk) 05:51, 13 December 2013 (UTC) And as far as "giving me an edge" all of these edits have remained deleted, except I was able to get it in the atomic bombing article, after a contentious dispute and multiple deletions, that Truman was the man who was ultimately responsible for the authorization to drop the bombs (a small detail that some editors felt was not important or factually incorrect)! I get lucky sometimes! Ghostofnemo (talk) 06:04, 13 December 2013 (UTC)
The problem with objective criteria is that even the words used to write such a criterion have their own subjective meaning. If objective criteria were easy to come by, we wouldn't need consensus. Someguy1221 (talk) 07:30, 13 December 2013 (UTC)

I'd suggest that reliably sourced, relevant, NPOV material should GENERALLY not be deleted from articles. Without objective criteria (being mentioned by a reliable source makes something notable, for example), you can have a group of editors without any expertise overrule people who actually have some grasp of the material. Ghostofnemo (talk) 13:52, 14 December 2013 (UTC)

I agree with this 100%. Even a few editors with an agenda can remove reliably sourced material from articles that they don't like, using Wikilawyering tactics and borderline bullying. It is one of Wikipedia's biggest flaws at the moment. Jusdafax 14:21, 14 December 2013 (UTC)
I've also mentioned this here: Ghostofnemo (talk) 18:02, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

"What is not vandalism" section[edit]

What about editing with no reliable sources, can we add whether that is vandalism?-- (talk) 20:46, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

I don't think so via WP:AGF. XFEM Skier (talk) 21:01, 25 January 2014 (UTC)
The times that adding content without sources might be problematic are covered at WP:V. In particular, "All quotations, and any material whose verifiability has been challenged or is likely to be challenged, must include an inline citation that directly supports the material." and "Please remove unsourced contentious material about living people immediately." Note that the word "vandal" and its derivatives are not used; therefore, adding unsourced content, even if a WP:BLP violation, is not necessarily vandalism. --Redrose64 (talk) 21:09, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Talk page vandalism[edit]

Hi, I'd like to propose one clarification to the Talk page vandalism section. Vandalism can occur on talk pages not only from refactoring/deletion of comments, but also from the deliberate introduction of disruptive, off-topic content (not talking about minor instances), or content that cannot be used to improve the article. For example, this character is an IP-hopper who regularly posts rambling gibberish on article talk pages. I'm not quite sure how to phrase this, but I'm thinking something more like:

Talk page vandalism includes the introduction of disruptive content, off-topic ranting, spam, lists and tables that have no context, and illegitimately deleting or editing other users' comments. However, it is acceptable to blank comments constituting vandalism, internal spam, or harassment or a personal attack. It is also acceptable to identify an unsigned comment, and format comments with indentations to improve readability. Users are also permitted to remove comments from their own user talk pages. A policy of prohibiting users from removing warnings from their own talk pages was considered and rejected on the grounds that it would create more issues than it would solve.

(Boldtext represents my additions) Thoughts? Thanks, Cyphoidbomb (talk) 22:38, 13 February 2014 (UTC)

Seems to me that such nonsense is nuke-able with the text that already exists, so why add more?NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 23:40, 13 February 2014 (UTC)
Hi, NewsAndEventsGuy I appreciate your feedback. The existing text for that section only calls the pernicious refactoring of other users' comments vandalism, which makes it unclear if other forms of talk page disruptions are considered vandalism. I have found in my excursions that lack of specificity makes it difficult to dissuade/correct/enforce problematic behavior, so that's my rationale for the addition. WP:DE says "Disruptive editing is not usually considered vandalism, though vandalism is disruptive." I'm suggesting that we make it clear that the community doesn't consider talk pages as playgrounds. If my proposed language is too wordy, how about something like "Talk page vandalism can include any of the other forms of vandalism mentioned, as well as the illegitimate deletion or refactoring of other users' comments," etc. I still think it's worth mentioning that minor formatting for readability is allowed. Thanks! Cyphoidbomb (talk) 04:07, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
The controlling text is in the first few paragraphs. As I read it, the section where specifics are mentioned for different page spaces provides only - or at least should provide only - essential supplementation due to unique nature of the type of space. That isn't really the case with your examples. Indentation is already A.O.K. in explicit text in the talk page guidelines (granted that is a mere "behavioral guideline" instead of policy), and as for adding gibberish.... deleting gibberish from any part of wikipedia is a no-brainer, except if the poster is posting at their own talk page but even then its still a candidate for deletion via MFD. If what you want is to prevent this in the first place, you don't need to define the act as vandalism to seek admin help in correcting the behavior. Just work up the steps of WP:DR saying it is disruptive. Why the desire to use the "vandalism" label instead? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 10:43, 14 February 2014 (UTC)
NewsAndEventsGuy I see your point about the controlling text, however the implication is that the controlling text governs article content and its "integrity"--after all, that's what we're working on. (I will respectfully point out that you are essentially making an other-stuff-exists argument, though.) I suppose what's bumping me about the Talk Page Vandalism section is two-fold: 1) Talk pages are a different environment from an article, and casual users sometimes treat it differently. It would be nice to be able to point to something definitive to help dissuade the practice, and this seems to be the place. 2) The current language can also be interpreted as defining talk page vandalism only as comment deletion/refactoring. I don't currently have difficulties dealing with the users who disrupt via talk pages--I warn warn warn, I report, I see them get blocked, so changing the language doesn't give me any personal advantage. My interest is improving specificity, which I perceive as oft-times lacking at the project. (Ex: my nemesis, the ill-defined TV infobox "Format" parameter!) As for the indentations, I was suggesting that addition because the Talk Page Vandalism section endeavored to describe legitimate refactoring, but not indents. Anyhow, I'm not going to go to the grave over any of this, but I admit I don't quite understand the reluctance towards a few words of specificity. I'm interested in hearing other users' opinions though before I go. Regards, sir! Cyphoidbomb (talk) 17:26, 14 February 2014 (UTC)

Administrator intervention against vandalism Comment[edit]

Added a link to the wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism noticeboard, as it is not otherwise obvious how to report vandalism. --Zfish118 (talk) 00:26, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

While I applaud your WP:BOLD style, the very first line at the top of the page states:
This is not a noticeboard for vandalism. Report vandalism at Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism.
As such, I changed it back. — Kralizec! (talk) 13:51, 19 February 2014 (UTC)
Has anyone considered that the information should have a more obvious and aesthetically pleasant presence on the page the way this talk page has prominent banners, the way the Help Desk has a prominent "Click here to ask a new question" text, and the way the Village Pump has five delightful boxes with images? This article, which means to describe the biggest problem known to Wikipedia, doesn't facilitate the solutions, even if the solutions are listed in the 2nd section. N00bz visit this page to find out what to do and run smack into a text wall, can't we make it easier? And if we can't, then never mind. Cyphoidbomb (talk) 17:13, 19 February 2014 (UTC)

Claims of Vandalism[edit]

Should there be, somewhere in the policy article, a statement about improper claims of vandalism? In particular, should there be a statement that calling another editor's edits vandalism, when there is a content dispute and the edits clearly fall within WP:NOTVANDAL, is a personal attack and may even result in a block? A few editors take content disputes to the noticeboards, calling another edit vandalism (such as the removal of unsourced BLP content). Should this policy be amended to state that such allegations are personal attacks? Robert McClenon (talk) 01:48, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

See WP:CREEP and how do you define the subjective term "clearly"? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 11:31, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Does it help to say "Not all detrimental edits are vandalism." in the nutshell?[edit]

I added the phrase "Not all detrimental edits are vandalism" to the nutshell with the edit summary "I've seen this missed so many times that I think it is worth putting in the nutshell."

This was reverted by NewsAndEventsGuy with the edit summary ""missed" you say? From where? And how is nutshelling this an improvement?"

Perhaps I didn't explain my reasoning very well. I meant that it is missed by users... as in they don't realise that it is the case. One symptom of this is requests at WP:AIV that relate to non-vandalism behaviour. These are a pretty regular occurance. I don't think this will be the only symptom, pehaps its just the easiest to keep track of. Another symptom is users calling other users vandals when they are not. Apart from the obvious issues around civility, I don't think it helps for people to be working with false definitions.

Yaris678 (talk) 11:23, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

It's not helpful. We're here to say "Don't do it", not "You might get away with it". --Redrose64 (talk) 11:35, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Plus, if people aren't following WP:CIVIL (and a host of related guidelines etc), adding still more text for them to ignore is not going to fix anything; rather it just adds to (ignorable) WP:CREEP. The better solution is to make effective use of already-existing WP:DR. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 12:12, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
Firstly, I hope you can see that your arguments contradict each other. The people we want to say "don't do it" to are even less likely to look at this page than the people who might report "vandalism" that is not vandalism. If you want to argue that the existing nutshell should also be removed then I might go along with that.
In terms of creep... well it's not creep in the traditional sense since "Not all detrimental edits are vandalism." is a summary of information already on the page. There is obviously the issue of whether this summary is helpful... or whether it would be better to just wait till people get to the relevant part of the page... but that is what we are trying to discuss here, so I don't think the use of the word creep in this context is helpful.
Yaris678 (talk) 13:24, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
I could get behind adding something to the nutshell along the lines of "Since the 'vandalism' label is frequently misapplied, before calling an edit 'vandalism' please read the section below regarding what is not vandalism". NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 14:00, 28 February 2014 (UTC)
It seems a more long-winded way of saying the same thing as "Not all detrimental edits are vandalism." but if there is consensus around that form of words then that is fine. I wouldn't put it in the nutshell though. It isn't summarising the policy. It is giving instructions. I would put it in box like the one that says "To report persistent vandalism, visit Administrator intervention against vandalism." Yaris678 (talk) 14:28, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

WP:Abuse response[edit]

Wikipedia:Abuse response appears in this page under the Guidelines section, however that page appears to be deprecated. I believe the page (and process) have not used since last year, with a backlog of cases as early as 2012. I think it should be marked as deprecated for the time being on this page. Is this page actually used anymore? - Mtmelendez (Talk) 14:49, 28 February 2014 (UTC)

Abuse reponse is clearly an inactive project, and deprecated, as the page itself directs people to use either WP:AIV or WP:LTA instead. I've been going through the cases that are open, on hold, or waiting for investigation, and closing them as some of them are almost 2 years old. This policy page shouldn't even mention it, since doing so is misleading to readers and of no help to editors. -- Atama 18:01, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
I also noticed that the "How to respond to vandalism" section suggests going to abuse response for long-term abuse from IPs, which is also incorrect. Steps 1 and 2 should be eliminated (since only the information in step 1 is still a valid instruction) and it should just be a simple paragraph explaining how to deal with IPs. -- Atama 18:46, 6 March 2014 (UTC)
Nobody has objected in more than a month and this seems like a common sense move, so I went ahead and removed both references to the inactive Wikiproject. -- Atama 17:24, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Self-reverting vandalism[edit]

Should there be something pertaining to users (usually IPs) who vandalise an article then immediately revert themselves? It's extremely frustrating to come across this kind of vandalism only to find that the vandal reverted themselves immediately and nothing more can now be done. Whoop whoop pull up Bitching Betty | Averted crashes 19:31, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

So they're making the same revert you want to make and denying your fun... gee darn. Other than banning IPs generally, what could be done? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:50, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
The first edit of the pair might still be eligible for WP:REVDEL. --Redrose64 (talk) 15:47, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 April 2014[edit]

Sajikizhisseri (talk) 14:47, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: as you have not requested a change.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please note, this is not the place to report vandalism - try Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism. - Arjayay (talk) 14:59, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

"Unencyclopedic" in the What Vandalism is Not section[edit]

The word was piped here: WP:Unencyclopedic, which is an explanation of arguments not to make in AfD discussions and not related to the material in the subsection of this policy page, so I think it's just better to not pipe it anywhere, or find someplace better to pipe it. The section here explains that it's sometimes OK to remove material for being unencyclopedic, but WP:Unencyclopedic says that it's not a valid reason for deleting articles. These messages aren't exactly on the same plane, and, to the extent that they are, they kind of contradict one another. That's my thinking, anyway.— alf laylah wa laylah (talk) 21:46, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

The Accused[edit]

So long story short you guys. I found this article on the destruction of the library of alexandria where the introductory paragraph was kinda off and i rewrote it. I m on an oldpoor phone so i had to write it in parts and couldnt do anything but submit it that way. A reviewer rolled em back, thankfully because that was the plan, and made some confusing edit suggestions. Also redirected here. So heeeere i am. I cant make an acct and i just wanna help. Also if one attribute defining Wiki Vandalism is malicious intent, i was at best pseudo-vandalising unless i misunderstand malice. If you have the time, make some edits and splice it in so its as accurate as possible. I just rearranged data and tinted it with my core beliefs. Welcome to articles. Yall rock. (talk) 09:43, 18 July 2014 (UTC)

It looks like you were editing Destruction of the Library of Alexandria. Generally, the talk page of the article should be used to discuss proposals for changes, that is Talk:Destruction of the Library of Alexandria. The place to ask for assistance is WP:HELPDESK.
It's understandable that edits this this would be reverted because a lot of stuff was deleted. The simplest might be to wait until you are near a computer rather than trying to use a phone for complex work—many experienced editors would only use a phone for simple stuff like a short comment or adjusting a couple of words. Please at least put a note on the article talk about anything you believe should be done to fix the text. Bear in mind that reliable sources would be wanted. Johnuniq (talk) 10:48, 18 July 2014 (UTC)