User:Bmusician/Adoption/Thine Antique Pen

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== Thine Antique Pen (talk · contribs) ==

Hello Thine Antique Pen, and welcome to my adoption school. Your first assignment is below, and I thought you'd like to know that you do now have your own official page. As you can see from User:Bmusician/Adoption, I've created an adoption HQ, where you can read ahead in the lessons. The tests in the assignments might include a couple of extra unique questions if I see an area that you might need a little extra development - don't take it as a negative, it should help. Let me know if there's anything else you'd like to see! →Bmusician 04:54, 26 May 2012 (UTC)

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First Assignment: The Five Pillars - Completed

What are the five pillars?[edit]

The "five pillars" are the fundamental principles by which Wikipedia operates.

The Core Content Policies[edit]

The core content policies on Wikipedia are neutral point of view, no original research, and verifiablity.

Editing from a neutral point of view (often abbreviated as "NPOV") is required on Wikipedia. Editing from a neutral point of view means representing unbiased and significant views that have been published by reliable sources, and giving due weight to all points of view. All information on Wikipedia must be verifiable - so any information unsupported by a reliable source does not belong here. The personal experience or opinion of an editor also does not belong to Wikipedia.

Reliable sources[edit]

Wikipedia uses the word "source" for three interchangeable ideas – a piece of work, the work's creator or the work's publisher. In general, you would expect a reliable source to be published materials with a reliable publication process, authors who are regarded as authoritative in relation to the subject, or both. This doesn't mean that a source that is reliable on one topic is reliable on every topic, it must be regarded as authoritative in that topic – so whilst "Airfix monthly" may be a good source on the first model aeroplane, I would not expect it to be authoritative on their full size equivalent.

A source that is self-published is in general not considered reliable, unless it is published by a recognized expert in the field. This means that anything in a forum or a blog and even most websites are considered unreliable. One interesting sidepoint is on self-published sources talking about themselves. Obviously, a source talking about itself is going to be authoritative, but be careful that the source is not too self-serving – the article really should not be totally based on a direct source like that.

Mainstream news sources are generally considered reliable, but any single article should be assessed on a case by case basis. Some news organizations have been known to check their information on Wikipedia – so be careful not to get into a cyclic sourcing issue!

There's a lot more about what makes a source reliable here.


If there are any questions you have about this lesson, ask them! My job, as your adopter, is to help you with any problem you may have. If you don't have any questions that you need to ask, your next step is to take a short test regarding this lesson. If you are ready to take the test, simply tell me (either on this page or on my talk page) and I will hand it out to you.

Test please! --Thine Antique Pen (talkcontributions) 15:57, 26 May 2012 (UTC)
Then let's go.


Here's your first test! This test is going to be based on questions. Some questions will have right or wrong answers, whereas others are just designed to see if you are thinking in the right way. There is no time limit - answer in your own words, and we'll talk about your answers. Please note that simple and short yes/no answers are not acceptable in this test, nor in any future tests.

  1. Your best friend says that the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film "is the stupidest and most boring movie ever". Can you add this to the article? Why or why not?
    Answer: Of course not! The friend isn't a reliable source, and it's just a massive POV.
  2. A blog titled "John Doe Fan Blog", that has no affiliation with the subject, states that John Doe will be going to Hong Kong on 7 July. No other source confirms this fact, so can you add this to Wikipedia? Why or why not?
    Answer: Myself, I would not. First, it's a blog, second, it's a fan-blog. I'd need another source.
  3. Is the official Facebook page of KFC a reliable source?
    Answer: I'd need a third-party source. It still is reliable, as they are saying it about themselves, but that's independent.
  4. Imagine that you come across a new article created by a new editor. You decide to do a minor copyedit and fix some spelling and grammar errors. 10 minutes later, you get a message from the editor who created the article, saying: "STOP CHANGING MY ARTICLE! I made it and you have no right to edit it without my permission. It's my intellectual property and therefore I own the copyright." How do you respond?
    Answer: Damn, tough question. I'd first go by quoting this.
  1. You have just discovered from a friend that the new Chevrolet Malibu is only going to be available in red. Can you add this to the Chevy Malibu article? Why or why not?
    Answer: No, a friend is the least reliable source ever.
  2. Would you consider BBC News a reliable source on The Troubles? What about on ITV?
    Answer: BBC is quite reliable.
  3. Everybody knows that the sky is blue, right? An editor doesn't agree - he says it is bronze. Does he need a source?
    Answer: Overall, no. It would just be blatant idiot(icy).

Second Assignment: Wikiquette - Completed

What is wikiquette?[edit]

Wikiquette basically means "wiki ettiquette", and is the etiquette of Wikipedia.

I'm just going to highlight some of the important Wikiquette items that you should try and remember. It may help you out.

  • Assume good faith - This is fundamental. Editors here are trying to improve the encyclopedia. Every single member of the community. Every one. If you read a comment or look at an edit and it seems wrong in some way, don't just jump straight in. Try and see it from the other editors point of view, remembering that they are trying to improve the encyclopedia.
  • Sign your talk posts with four tildes (~~~~). The MediaWiki software will substitute the four tlides with your signature and timestamp, allowing the correct attribution to your comment.
  • Remember to reply to comments by adding an additional indentation, represented by a colon, :. Talk pages should something like this. Have a read of WP:THREAD to see how this works.
How's the pizza? --[[User:John]]
:It's great!! --[[User:Jane]]
::I made it myself! --[[User:John]]
Let's move the discussion to [[Talk:Pizza]]. --[[User:Jane]]
:I tend to disagree. --[[User:George]]
  • Don't forget to assume good faith.
  • There are a lot of policies and guidelines, which Wikipedians helpfully point you to with wikilinks. Their comments may seem brusque at first, but the linked document will explain their point much better than they may be able to.
  • Be polite, and treat others as you would want to be treated. For example, if someone nominated one of the articles you created for deletion, I'm sure you'd want to know about it, so if you are doing the nominating make sure you leave the article creator a notification.
  • Comment on the edits. NEVER COMMENT ON AN EDITOR. EVER.


Any questions or would you like to take the test? The test is pretty brief...consisting of only three questions!

Test please! --Thine Antique Pen (talkcontributions) 15:07, 27 May 2012 (UTC)


Have a look at the following conversation:

What's the best car in the world? -- Rod
Probably something German or Japanese. -- Freddie
Like what -- Rod's Mate
I dunno, something like Volkswagon? -- Freddie
Volkswagon Passat --Passat Lover <-Postion:A
What do you want it for? -- Jane
Volkswagon Passat --Passat Lover <-Position:B

Well, the Passat lover clearly loves his Passat, but who is he replying to? In

  1. Position A?
    Answer: Rod's Mate.
  2. Position B?
    Answer: Rod.
  3. An editor who has a low edit count seems awfully competent with templates. Should he be reported as a possible sockpuppet?
    Answer: Hell no. It's just a good understanding of something.

Third Assignment: Copyright - Completed

This is probably the most important assignment I'll give, because this is the only one where failure to adhere exactly according to policy will result in an indefinite block from editing the encyclopedia – pay attention.


There are a lot of terms associated with copyright. Here is a glossary of the terms.

Term Explanation
Attribution The identification of work by an author
Copyright symbol © - used to show work is under copyright
Creative Commons Creative Commons is an organisation that provides licensing information aimed at achieving a mutual sharing and flexible approach to copyright.
Compilation A new work created as a combination of other works, which may be derivative works.
Derivative work A work which is derived from another work, e.g. a photograph of a painting
Disclaimer A statement which limits rights or obligations
FACT Federation Against Copyright Theft
Fair use Circumstances where copyright can be waived. These are strict and specific to the country.
Copyright infringement Use of work under copyright without permission
Intellectual property Creations of the mind, under which you do have rights.
License The terms under which the copyright owner allows his/her work to be used.
Non-commercial Copying for personal use - not for the purpose of buying or selling.
Public domain Works that either cannot be copyrighted or the copyright has expired

CC-BY-SA and GFDL[edit]

On Wikipedia, you can only include text which has been released under CC-BY-SA and the GFDL. In fact, if you notice, every time when you edit, the following text is underneath the editing window:

Content that violates any copyrights will be deleted. Encyclopedic content must be verifiable.

By clicking the "Save Page" button, you agree to the Terms of Use, and you irrevocably agree to release your contribution under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License (CC-BY-SA) and the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license.

So you are in effect contributing every time you edit. Now, let's think about that non-free content criteria - "No free equivalent" means that you will never be able to license text under it (except for quoting) - as you can re-write it in your own words to create an equivalent. You always, always, always have to write things in your own words or make it VERY clear that you are not.

Image Copyright on Wikipedia[edit]

Copyright is a serious problem on a free encyclopedia. As I said before, any work that is submitted must be released under the CC-BY-SA License and the GFDL.

There are two types of images on Wikipedia, free images and non-free images.

Free images are those which can be freely used anywhere on Wikipedia. A free image may be either public domain, or released under a free license, such as CC-BY-SA. Free images can be used in any article where their presence would add value. As long as there is a consensus among the editors working on an article that the image is appropriate for the article, it's safe to say that it can remain in an article. Free images can even be modified and used elsewhere.

Non-free images, however, are subject to restrictions. Album covers and TV screenshots are two types of images that are typically non-free. They may belong to a person or organization who has not agreed to release them freely to the public, and there may be restrictions on how they are used. You have to meet ALL of the non free content criteria in order to use them.

What is fair use?[edit]

Copyright symbol
Problems arise when people upload images that are not their own. Most images are under some form of copyright, even if it's not explicitly stated anywhere. This is usually the case with anything found on the internet. When these images are uploaded, Wikipedia must adhere to a very strict policy known as "fair use". What this basically is doing is giving us a reason to use an otherwise non-free image, on the basis that it is for educational purposes, using it has no measurable effect on the copyright holder's rights, and that we have no other alternative. The establishment of this reason is called the fair use rationale, part of a set of criteria that MUST accompany any fair use/copyright tag on Wikipedia. These criteria are:
  • A specific fair use tag (see link above) that describes what the image is.
  • The source of the image (this is usually a website, but could also be a book or magazine that you scanned the picture out of)
  • The image itself must be of low resolution. If it is high resolution, that version must be deleted and replaced with another (essentially, worse) version.
  • A fair use rationale explaining:
  • Where the image is to be used (This page MUST be in the main (article) namespace. Fair use images MUST NOT be used anywhere else)
  • That the image cannot be used to replace any marketing role or otherwise infringe upon the owner's commercial rights to the image
  • How the image is being used, in a way that fits within the fair use policy (i.e., identification purposes, etc.)
  • That there is no way the image can possibly be replaced with a free version
  • The image must have been previously published elsewhere

Only when an image meets all of these criteria may it be used. Fair use images must be used in at least one article (not "orphaned"), and articles using fair use images must use as few of them as possible. Any image that does not meet these criteria to the letter will be deleted. Any user that repeatedly uploads images not meeting these criteria to the letter will be blocked.

As a further note, I mentioned that fair use images must not be able to be replaced by a free alternative. What this basically means is, there is no way you, me, or anyone else could go out and take a picture of this same thing and release it under a free license. For example:

  • I could upload a picture of George W. Bush from the White House. Normally government works are automatically public domain, but let's say for the purpose of this discussion that the White House holds the copyright to that particular picture of the President. I can claim fair use, but the claim would be invalid because you could just as easily go to a speech Bush is giving and take a picture of him yourself. (That's what happened here) This is considered replaceable fair use and so would be deleted.
  • Person X could upload a picture of the Empire State Building from a marketing kit they distributed. This image would likely be copyrighted, and so they claim fair use. But I happen to have been to New York and have a picture of the ESB. I upload that instead and release it into the public domain. The first, copyrighted picture, is also replaceable.
  • For the article on the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I want to upload an image of their logo (visible in no great detail here). I go to their website and upload their version. This fair use is allowable, because no matter where or how they display their logo, it'll be under the same copyright. Since the simple art of scanning or taking a picture of a piece of work is not enough to justify my ownership of the rights to the image, there is no way to obtain a free version of the logo.

When people refer to Commons on Wikipedia, they're generally referring to Wikimedia Commons, a repository of free material. Images on Commons can be linked directly to Wikipedia, like that picture just to the right and above. Now, since Commons is a free repository, fair use is not permitted. It makes sense to upload free images to Commons, so that they can be used by all language encyclopedias.

For a full description of the policies and guidelines concerning fair use, read WP:FU.


This is a pretty complex topic; is there anything you don't understand? Or are you ready for the test?

I understand. Test please! --Thine Antique Pen (talkcontributions) 06:52, 29 May 2012 (UTC)


Although copyright on Wikipedia may be a complex topic, please keep in mind that simple yes/no answers are not acceptable.

  1. Name at least two situations in which it is appropriate to upload an image to Commons.
    Answer: The images are free, or owned by US gov, Flickr (CC-BY-SA-2.0, CC-BY-SA-2.5), etc.
  2. Is Wikipedia really free? Why?
    Answer: No, although it's called 'The Freen Encyclopedia'. The content is free to read, adapt and more, but some of the images are under copyright, meaning that everything is not free.
  3. Can you upload a press photo of the pianist Lang Lang under a claim of fair use?
    Answer: No, not needed. Easy to get a free one.
  4. Can you upload the cover art of an album under a claim of fair use?
    Answer: Yes, rationale would be needed. It should only be used in album article.
  5. Can you upload a press photo of a prisoner on death row under a claim of fair use?
    Answer: No, there's going to be a free one somewhere.
  6. You find an article about a company that is a direct copy of the About Us page on their website. What would you do?
    Answer: CSD it under G12
  7. Go to any Wikipedia article and find an image that is used under "fair use". Link to the image in your answer.
    Answer: File:17th Lancers Badge.jpg
Fourth Assignment: Deletion Policies and Process - Completed

Deletion of an article and basically any page occurs when the page would take a fundamental re-write to conform with Wikipedia's accepted criteria for content of the encyclopedia. There are many reasons why a page would be deleted.

Criteria for Speedy Deletion (CSD)[edit]

The fastest way a page can be deleted is through speedy deletion. If a page meets at least one or more of the criteria for speedy deletion, it must be tagged for speedy deletion, the creator of the page should be notified, and the page be deleted immediately.

Here is a list of all general criteria and important article criteria. For a complete list please view WP:CSD.

General criteria[edit]

Here is a list of general criteria. The criteria apply to all pages (meaning articles, talk pages, user pages, and even Wikipedia namespace pages.)

  • General criterion 1 (G1) – Patent Nonsense. Pages that meet this criterion consist entirely of incoherent text or gibberish and lack any meaningful content or history. This criterion does not apply to pages that are not in English, vandalism/hoaxes, poor writing, poorly translated, or basically anything that is coherent. It also doesn't apply to pages in the sandbox or in the user namespace. Tag these with {{db-nonsense}}
  • G2 – Test Pages. Pages meant entirely to test Wikipedia editing. Like G1, this criterion does not apply to pages in the sandbox or in the user namespace. Tag these with {{db-test}}
  • G3 – Vandalism and Hoaxes. Pages that are pure vandalism, such as blatant and obvious misinformation (hoaxes) and redirects created from page-move vandalism cleanup. Tag these with either {{db-vandalism}} or {{db-hoax}}
  • G4 – Recreation of Pages Deleted via a XfD. Pages that are sufficiently identical to another that was deleted as a result of a deletion discussion. This criterion does not apply to pages that are not identical at all to the deleted page, pages in which the deletion was overturned as a result of a deletion review, or if the page was deleted through proposed deletion (PROD) or CSD. Tag these with {{db-repost}}
  • G5 – Banned Users. A page created by a block- or ban- evading sockpuppet in violation of the master's block or ban with no substantial edits by others. This criterion does not apply to pages that have substantial edits by others. This criterion should also not be applied to transcluded templates. Tag these with {{db-banned|banned user name}}
  • G6 – Housekeeping. A page that needs to be deleted to perform non-controversial housekeeping tasks. Tag these with one of these templates: {{db-g6|rationale=reason}}, {{db-move|page to be moved|reason}}, {{db-copypaste|page to be moved}}, {{db-xfd|votepage=link to closed deletion discussion}}, {{db-maintenance}}, {{db-house}}, {{db-disambig}}
  • G7 – Author Request. The author of the only substantial content has requested deletion in good faith by either tagging the page or completely blanking it. Tag with {{db-author}}
  • G8 – Dependent on Non-Existent Page. A page that is dependent on a non-existent or deleted page, such as a talk page with no corresponding subject page, subpages with no parent page, an image page with no image, or a redirect to a bad target, such as nonexistent targets, redirect loops, and bad titles. Tag with one of these: {{db-g8}}, {{db-talk}}, {{db-subpage}}, {{db-imagepage}}, {{db-redirnone}}, {{db-templatecat}}
  • G10 – Attack Pages. A page that threatens or disparages its subject or some other entity, and serves no other valid purpose. Attack pages include libel, legal threats, and a biography of a living person that is completely negative in tone and unsourced. Attack pages should be deleted when there's no neutral version in the history to revert to. Tag attack pages with {{db-attack}} and tag negative unsourced BLP's with {{db-negublp}}
  • G11 – Spam/advertising-only pages. A page that serves no other purpose but to promote its subject or some other entity. Spam pages should be deleted if it would take a fundamental re-write in order to be encyclopedic. This criterion does not apply if the page describes its subject from a neutral point of view. Tag these with {{db-spam}}
  • G12 – Copyright Violations. Pages that are a direct copy of copyrighted material with no assertion of the content being in the public domain or used under a claim of fair us. This criterion does not apply to pages that have non-infringing content in the history; consider posting to WP:CP if that is the case. Tag these with {{db-copyvio|url=source URL}}

I only have listed the most important article criteria here. These criteria apply only to articles. This means Articles for Creation submissions do not count.

  • Article Criterion 1 (A1) – No Context. A very short article that does not feature enough context to identify the subject of the article. It is advised that new page patrollers wait at least ten minutes before tagging this criterion. Although its purpose is to avoid WP:BITE, the page creator may not have finished working on the article in the first revision. Tag these with {{db-nocontext}}
  • A3 – No Content. Any article other than a disambiguation page or redirect that features only external links, category tags or "see also" sections, a rephrasing of the title, an attempt to correspond with the person or group named by its title, a question that should have been asked at the help desk, chat-like comments, or a gallery of images. An article that has context but is very short does not apply under this criterion. Be very careful when tagging this criterion on newly created articles. Tag these with {{db-nocontent}}
  • A7 – No Indication of Importance. A page about an individual, organization (excluding educational institutions), musician or band, club, or web content that does not state why it is significant. The criterion does not apply to albums (A9), books, or software. Do not confuse this criterion with "not notable". The criterion does not apply if the article makes a credible assertion of notability, even if the assertion is not supported by a reliable source. If the notability is unclear, you can either propose the article for deletion or list it at articles for deletion. Tag with either {{db-person}}, {{db-band}}, {{db-club}}, {{db-inc}}, {{db-web}}, or {{db-animal}}
  • A9 – No Indication of Importance (Albums). An article about a musical recording or album that does not indicate why it is significant, and where the artist's article does not exist or has been deleted. Both conditions must be true to tag under this criterion, so if the artist's article exists, this criterion does not apply. Likewise, if the artist's article does not exist (or has been deleted) but the article makes a credible claim of its significance, the criterion does not apply either. Tag with {{db-album}}
  • A10 – Duplicate of Existing Topic. A recently created article with no page history that duplicates an existing topic, and that does not improve information within any existing articles on the subject, and when the page title is not a plausible redirect to another page. Tag with {{db-same|other page title}}

Proposed deletion (PROD)[edit]

If a page does not meet the criteria for speedy deletion but you feel that it can be deleted without any controversy, you can propose it for deletion via WP:PROD. To propose an article for deletion, tag the article with {{subst:prod|reason}} and then notify the page creator.

There is only one disadvantage to proposed deletion. Anyone, even the page creator, can prevent the proposed deletion by removing the template. If you still believe the article should be deleted if that happens, open an Articles for Deletion debate, which I'll explain about below.

If the tag is not removed after seven days, the proposed deletion will expire and so the page will be deleted by an administrator.

PROD of unsourced BLP's[edit]

A biography of a living person that does not feature any references needs to be proposed for deletion. Do this by tagging the article with {{subst:blpprod}}. Unlike regular PROD the tag can only be removed after there is at least one reference to a reliable source.

The page is deleted if the tag is not removed after ten days, or if there are still no references.

Deletion discussions (XfD)[edit]

Deletion discussions (XfD, stands for Anything for Deletion) allows Wikipedians to discuss whether an article should be deleted or not. The result of the discussion depends on consensus. Only policy based arguments are considered while the discussion is closed. Deletion discussions are not a vote. Deletion discussions last for seven days, although the duration can be extended if the consensus is not clear after a week; likewise, they can be closed early if a consensus would be clear.

The template on the right shows all types of XfD's; the most common is AfD.


Any questions or would you like to take the test?

I'm quite good with deletions (see my CSD log), so test please! --Thine Antique Pen (talkcontributions) 06:29, 30 May 2012 (UTC)


  1. A newly created article is about a living person. The person's notability is established but the article has no references. What should you do?
    Answer: First, I'd look for a reference, if there is one — add it, if not, PROD.
  2. A user tags an article for speedy deletion under A1 nearly ten seconds after the page was created. Was their action right, and why?
    Answer: No, it was not. The article should be left for around 5-10mins for the author to expand/finish.
  3. You propose an article for deletion. The minute after you place the PROD tag on the article, the tag was removed by the page creator. You still believe the article should be deleted; what should you do now?
    Answer: I would use WP:AFD.
  4. What does CSD A7 mean to you?
    Answer: An article which states no notability about a specific person/band/musician/company/corp. etc.
    A7 is about importance and significance; a lower standard than notability
    Argh, okay!
  5. I've created eight pages that could be applicable for speedy deletion. Please explain if these pages are applicable for speedy deletion, and under which criteria. If the page is not applicable for speedy deletion, explain why. Let's start with the first page.
    Answer: WP:A7 and WP:A1. Possibly WP:A3.
  6. Second
    Answer: WP:G1.
  7. Third
    Answer: WP:A10 - blatant attack-ish thing.
    Did you mean G10 - ;) →Bmusician 23:04, 30 May 2012 (UTC)
    Yep. --Thine Antique Pen (talkcontributions) 17:09, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
  8. Fourth
    Answer: Find more sources if possible. If not, WP:PROD.
  9. Fifth
    Answer: WP:A3.
  10. Sixth
    Answer: WP:A3 or WP:G1.
  11. Seventh
    Answer: WP:A3 and WP:A1.
  12. Eighth
    Answer: WP:G11.
Fifth Assignment: Dispute resolution - Completed

No matter how well you edit Wikipedia, and no matter how simple and obvious your changes may seem, you are very likely to end up in a dispute. This becomes more and more likely as you get into more contentious areas of Wikipedia. The higher the number of page views and the more evocative the subject - the more likely the area is going to be considered contentious.

Stay in the top three sections of this pyramid.

I'm going to go through the different methods of dispute resolution there are on Wikipedia. They are all covered at the dispute resolution page and the tips there are really worth taking.

Simple Resolution[edit]

No. I'm not expecting you to back down. You obviously believe what you are saying, and there is nothing wrong with that. What you can do though is attempt to resolve the dispute. How??? I hear you ask.

Firstly assume good faith, remember the person you are in a dispute with is also trying to improve the encyclopedia. They are not trying to deliberately damage the encyclopedia. Try to see things from their point of view and see if you can both come to a compromise.

Keep calm. There's no urgency to the change you are trying to put in or take out, it will wait until the discussion is complete. If you try to fight by edit-warring to keep your preferred version there is a large chance that you will get nowhere and face a block. So, instead follow Bold, Revert, Discuss - one editor makes a Bold edit, which they feel improves the encyclopedia. A second editor reverts the edit as they disagree. The two (or more) editors discuss the matter on the talk page until they come to an agreement or proceed along Wikipedia's dispute resolution process.

When it comes to the discussion, I want you to try and stay in the top 3 sections of the pyramid to the right. You've heard the phrase "Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit" right? Well, this pyramid explains the different forms of disagreement. Attacks on the character of an editor is never going to help anything. If an editor is "attacking" you, don't respond in kind - stay focused on the editor's argument and respond to that.

If you think about what you are saying and how the editor is likely to respond you realize that you have a choice. Your comment will generally go one of two ways, 1): it will address the editors argument and put forward a counterargument which the opposing editor will be able to understand, and 2): It will not address the situation, thereby infuriating the other editor and escalating the drama.

Accusations of attacks, bad faith, ownership, vandalism or any number of negative suggestions are going to fall into (2). If there are issues with one of these problems, follow Wikipedia's dispute resolution process and try to keep a cool head. If needs be, walk away and have a cup of tea. Play a game of "racketball". Whatever you do to calm down and just not be on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia dispute resolution process[edit]

If the simple techniques don't work (and you'd be amazed how often they do, if you try them), Wikipedia does have some methods of dispute resolution


If you want someone to talk to but not necessarily step in, there is an WP:Editor Assistance notice board. The editors there are experienced and can offer suggestions about how to resolve the situation.

Third opinion[edit]

You can get someone uninvolved to step in and give an opinion on a content dispute. WP:3O has instructions on how to request a third editor to come in and discuss the situation. Another option to get a third opinion is to go to the project noticeboard associated with the article to ask for an opinion (the talk page lists which projects are associated with the article). Finally, you could leave a message at a relevant noticeboard - WP:SEEKHELP


If the issue won't go away, even after a couple of people have weighed in, you can try Mediation. There are two processes here. Informal (WP:MEDCAB) and formal (WP:RfM). There's also WP:DRN which is fairly informal but focuses more on content disputes. The editors involved with all of these processes specialize in resolving disputes.

Request for Comment[edit]

You can use WP:RfC to draw community discussion to the page. You are likely to get a larger section of the community here than a 3O request. There is also an option to Request comment on a user. This is rarely necessary and should not be taken lightly. Only after almost every other route of dispute resolution has been taken should this happen - and it requires at least two editors having the same problem with one editor to be certified.


I really hope you'll never see this place in a case. It's the last resort, the community has elected its most trusted willing volunteers to preside over the most complicated cases. Have a read of WP:ARBCOM if you like, but try not to end up there.


If an editor is acting badly, there are a few boards where you can get some help.

Remember: you could be wrong![edit]

You could be acting against consensus! But as long as you are open to the possibility and have been sticking the top 3 sections of the pyramid, there's nothing wrong with disagreeing. Just make sure you are aware that at some point you might have to realize you are flogging a dead horse.


If you have any questions, ask them now! Or would you like to take the test?

Test please! --Thine Antique Pen (talkcontributions) 08:42, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
Sorry for the delay.


  1. What does bold, revert, discuss mean to you?
    A: BOLD - Make the edit. REVERT - Someone reverts it. DISCUSS - discuss it on the talk page. (no edit wars)
  2. Assuming that person A puts in an edit, person B reverts, person A reverts... and so on, but both stop short of WP:3RR (the bright line)... who wins the edit war? Trick question alert!
    A: None of them, they shouldn't have been edit warring in the first place.
  3. What is vandalism?
    A: The addition of content in bad faith or removal of content in bad-faith.
  4. What is the difference between editor assistance, third opinion and request for comment?
    A: EAR is quite basic, just for help. 3O is a bit more severe, a third opinion on a dispute. And RFC is almost the final thing, for the big things. (ArbCom is highest).
Sixth Assignment: Policies and Consensus - Completed

What is consensus?[edit]

Consensus is the way that decisions are made in Wikipedia. You may see the odd !vote (a coding joke, ! means not - confirming that this is WP:NOTAVOTE and then promptly voting), but these decisions are not made based upon weight of numbers, but rather through the weight of the arguments. Consensus should be created through discussion and any member of the community is welcome to enter in discussions. Yes, that means you. You have every right to put forward an opinion, but if your opinion can be based in policy it will hold a lot more weight.

Consensus applies to everything on Wikipedia, from simple article edits (see WP:BRD and the dispute resolution lesson) to large policy decisions. Consensus can also change, it does not necessarily remain the same so if you see something wrong, don't be afraid to raise it. When involved in a consensus discussion, be careful not to fall foul of canvassing, something that is frowned upon. In other words, don't bring in more people to back you up.

There are a couple of exceptions to consensus. Anything decreed from the Wikimedia foundation or through WP:Office actions must be adhered too. Although these are rare, it's worth keeping in mind. Some of the things passed down in the past is that care must be taken over biographies of living people and copyright violations.


The community is anyone who writes and edits Wikipedia. This includes you, me and any user who clicks that little edit button. They need not be registered, which is why you see IP editors. Although some registered editors treat IPs like second-class citizens, there is no reason they should be. I've seen a few reports that show that the vast majority of Wikipedia was written by IP editors. It does mean that the vast majority of vandalism is also caused by IP editors, hence the disillusionment. I'll get onto vandalism in a separate lesson, so don't worry too much about that now.

Policy and guidelines[edit]

Everything we do in wikipedia is governed by policy and guidelines, but policies and guidelines were written down once and discussed at length. Oh yes, almost every policy and guideline is based on consensus, leading us right back to the start of this lesson. Policies don't change much; they describe how the community works, and in general that remains fairly constant at the policy level.

Ignore all rules[edit]

What? Is this really right? Well, what the ignore all rules policy says is "If a rule prevents you from improving the encyclopedia, ignore it." My personal interpretation is that this a catchall to remind us that we're not in a bureaucracy, that the important thing is the encyclopedia. I've never had to implement it personally, but I do keep it in mind.


Well, that's that. Do you have any questions on consensus or policy, or would you like to take the test? Test please! --Thine Antique Pen (talkcontributions) 13:38, 7 June 2012 (UTC)


  1. What is the difference between a policy, a guideline and an essay?
    A: A policy is something which needs to be done. A guideline should be done. An essay is a personal view of what should be done.
    Policies describe standards which should normally be followed by all users, but not all of the time.
    Aye, okay.
  2. Can Policy change?
    A: Yes, it can per community consensus.
  3. In your opinion, is Wikipedia a bureaucracy?
    A: No, it is not.
Seventh Assignment: Templates - Completed

Templates allow you to post large sections of text or complicated sections of code while only typing a few characters. Templates work similar to regular links, but instead of [[double square brackets]], you use {{curly braces}}. To call a template, just type the title of the template between the double braces. You don't need to include the "Template:" prefix; the MediaWiki software automatically searches within the Template namespace for what you're looking for. Only if the page you're looking for is in a different namespace do you need to specify it. See below:

What I type What appears Comments
{{user en}}
en This user is a native speaker of English.
This calls Template:User en. All content there (that is marked to be included, see below) appears where I type the template code.
{{Bmusician}} Template:Bmusician I get a red link because no page exists at Template:Bmusician.
{{User:Saoshyant/Userboxes/User oops}}
Face-angel.svg This user tries to do the right thing. If they make a mistake, please let them know.
When I specify the User: namespace, the userbox I have at that location appears. Thus, a template does not have to be in the Template: namespace to work.
{{User DYK}}
Symbol question.svg This user has written or expanded articles featured in the Did You Know section on the Main Page.
I get a {{{1}}} where a number should appear. This is due to the fact that I did not specify a parameter in that template.

One template you can use to welcome new users, Template:W-basic, has several parameters which can customize its appearance. Most of those parameters are named, in that you have to specify to the template what the name of the parameter is when you use it. {{w-basic|anon=true}} sets the parameter "anon" to "true", which generates a message directed towards anonymous users. The advantage to named parameters is that they can be placed in any order, but they must be spelled exactly right or they will not work. The template also uses an unnamed parameter, one which does not have to be specified when it is put into use. Templates automatically assign a numerical name to unnamed parameters when they are used, starting with "1". {{w-basic|message}} sets the unnamed parameter "1" to "message", which is what that parameter is used for in that template. The userbox above can specify the number of states visited with that same unnamed parameter. Unnamed parameters must be in sequential order to work properly, unless you force them to be out of order by using syntax such as {{template|2=foo|1=bar}}. Using "1=, 2=" is also required if the parameter has a = anywhere within (occasionally the case with some external links).

When writing templates, there are some extra tags and codes that have special effects when a template is called.

Code What it does
{{{1}}} Causes a parameter "1" to display at that location.
{{{name}}} Causes a parameter "name" to display at that location. (Calling the template {{Template|name=Worm}} will cause "Worm" to display at that location)
{{{1|foo}}} Sets a default value "foo" for parameter "1", which prevents the parameter from displaying as it does in the userbox above. This can be blank: {{{1|}}}
<includeonly>foo</includeonly> Causes the text "foo" to only appear when the template is called. It will not appear on the template page, or in previews when editing the template. As a result, any code included in these tags will not be executed until the template is called.
<noinclude>foo</noinclude> Removes the text "foo" from the template. Documentation (notes on how to use a template) is always included with these tags so that it is not called along with the template.
{{{1|lorem ipsum}}} <noinclude>dolor sit amet</noinclude> <includeonly>etc...</includeonly> When this template is called, it will display parameter 1 first, followed by "etc...". If parameter 1 is not defined, the template will display "lorem ipsum etc..."

Conditional templates allow for use of more intricate templates, with optional parameters or different effects depending on what a certain parameter is set to. They use parser functions such as #if: to apply certain conditions to the code. Use of these functions can allow you to create some rather advanced templates, but often get exceedingly complicated and should only be edited by those users who fully understand how they work. Since these are rather complex, they will not be covered in your exam, but if you'd like we can cover them after we've completed the other topics.

I forgot to mention - there are two ways to call a template. Transclusion is simply calling the template as I showed you above: {{template}}. This displays the template where you put the call for it, but leaves the curly braced call in place so that it's easy to remove. This also causes the template to update every time the page is loaded, if it has been edited or has a time-sensitive variable. Substitution, or "subst'ing" a template, causes the opposite effect. To substitute a template, add the code "subst:" at the beginning of the call: {{subst:template}}. When this is done, you are seeing the curly-braced call for the last time, because when you save the page, the MediaWiki software will replace that call with the template's code. This causes the template to lock in place - however it was when you called it, is how it's going to be from then on. This makes things a little difficult to remove, though, as instead of the simple template call, you've probably got lines of code that are now clogging up your article. Depending on how the template it written, it may require subst'ing to work properly, or it may require that it is not subst'ed. The page at WP:SUBST gives details on what templates should, must, or must not be substituted. When writing templates, it can also be useful to enclose the subst: code within <includeonly> tags. See below.

Code Displays Comments
{{CURRENTTIME}} 07:28 Template is transcluded, so updates every time you load the page.
{{subst:CURRENTTIME}} 22:56 Template is substituted, so is stuck on the time I saved this page.
{{<includeonly>subst:</includeonly>CURRENTTIME}} 08:22 Here, the template acts as though it were transcluded on the source page of this lesson, User:Bmusician/Adoption/Assignments/Templates. However, it was substituted when I placed this lesson on the main adoption page, and so is stuck at the time shown.

This lesson should show you how templates can be really useful for a lot of things. However, we can make templates even more functional and more powerful by having them do different things depending on what the parameters we set are. For more information on that, see the optional lesson on advanced templates.


Any questions or would you like to take the test?

  • I'll take the test, I've done this assignment before with another mentor. :) TAP 08:24, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
You've done it with Demiurge huh ;) →Bmusician 08:28, 17 June 2012 (UTC)


Well, this is a bit of fun, isn't it? One of the more difficult things to test.

Well, for this test, I've created you a nice new page at User:Bmusician/Adoption/Thine Antique Pen/Template. It's a template! Have a look at it now. Depending on how you call it, different things will happen. So I'd like you to call the template so that you get the correct result. No using subst, just use the parameters of your nice new template.

1) I intend to pass this module! (Template module)

A: I intend to pass this module! (Template module)

2) My name is Thine Antique Pen and I intend to pass this module! (Template module)

A: My name is Thine Antique Pen and I intend to pass this module! (Template module)

3) My name is Thine Antique Pen and I intend to eat a butterfly. (Template module)

A: My name is Thine Antique Pen and I intend to eat a butterfly. (Template module)

4) My name is Thine Antique Pen and I intend to pass this module! I am really good with templates. (Template module)

A: My name is Thine Antique Pen and I intend to pass this module! I am really good with templates. (Template module)

NB, to get (4) to work properly... you will have to edit the template. Bwhahahah :D

Eighth Assignment: Vandalism - Completed

What we're going to do now is get you started with some basic vandalism patrols. This is by no means something you will be obligated to do as an editor, however it is something you should know how to do due to the high risk of vandalism on Wikipedia. Should you ever become an administrator, you will likely be expected to deal with vandalism in some respect.

To start off, let's get some background. Wikipedia is, as you know, a wiki, meaning anyone can edit virtually any page. This is both a blessing and a curse, however, as while it does allow a wide range of information to be added and shared, it also allows people with less than benevolent intentions to come in and mess around with stuff. It requires a fair amount of work during every hour of every day to ensure that this vandalism does not run rampant and destroy the project. Fortunately, with a near-endless supply of volunteers across the world, this doesn't really cause a problem. The addition of various tools help aid our cause and make the "reversion", or removal, of vandalism happen within minutes (sometimes seconds).

What is vandalism?[edit]

What we define vandalism as is "an edit which is delibrately attempting to harm the encyclopedia" to an article or other page. Most commonly, these are pretty blatant - replacing a whole page or section with curse words, simply removing entire sections, and so forth. Occasionally, it's less obvious, like changing key words in a section to completely alter the meaning. Basically, anything that can't be helpful at all to the article should be considered vandalism, however you should always remember to assume good faith for questionable cases.

The most commonly used, and arguably the most critical tool in this respect, is Special:RecentChanges. Recent Changes is a special page that lists every edit made across the project within the last few minutes. You can find a link to it in the toolbar to the left. The page is formatted similarly to a page's history, with a few differences. Here's how a standard entry generally looks:

So that you can know all the terminology (which in some cases will be used across the site), I'm going to explain what all of this means. Feel free to skip this if you've already clicked the links.

  1. A "diff" is the difference between two revisions. Wikipedia has a special feature that allows you to compare revisions to see exactly what was changed. This is particularly useful when on vandal patrol, as this is the best thing available to tell you if the edit was or was not vandalism. Clicking on the link above will only take you to the help page on diffs, unfortunately, however an actual diff link will bring you to a screen that looks like this one, an actual diff of another article. Content removed appears in red text in a yellow box on the left; content added appears in red text in a green box on the right.
  2. The "hist" link will bring you to the page's history. You can click on the "hist" link above to get to the help page for this feature. A page's history lists all edits ever made to a page, something which is required under the terms of the GFDL, Wikipedia's licensing.
  3. The next link is the article that the edit was made to.
  4. The time stamp will indicate when the edit was made. The time will appear in your time zone, as you have it defined in your Special:Preferences. Note that this is different from signature timestamps, which are always in UTC/GMT time.
  5. The green or red number after the timestamp will tell you how much was added or removed to the article in the edit. A green "+" number shows the number of bytes added to the article - a red "-" number indicates the number removed. In general, the number of bytes is equal to the number of characters, however this is not always the case: Certain special characters can contain more than one byte, and templates can completely mess this number up. Templates will be covered in another lesson later on, however you will be using some in your patrols later. This number will be in bold if a very large number of characters were removed, which is usually a good indicator of vandalism.
  6. The next part is the name of the user who made the edit, which will link to their user page. In this case, an IP address made the edit, so the link will instead go to their contributions. Since most vandalism comes from these anonymous editors, this serves as another convenience to those on patrol. The user name is followed by a link to their talk page.
  7. The last part of a RC report is the edit summary. When editing a section of an article, the title of that section will automatically be included in the edit summary, as you see above. Other special edit summaries include "Replaced page with..." and "Blanked the page". In general, these last two are dead giveaways for vandalism edits, however you will occasionally see an editor blank his own user or user talk page, so be careful about that.

Now that you know how to use Recent Changes, I want you to and find some vandalism edits. I don't want you to remove the edit yourself just yet - we'll get to this shortly and chances are, another editor or bot will beat you to it. So before you go on, go to Special:RecentChanges and find three vandalism edits. So that I can check your work and we can discuss things, I want you to copy the links to the diffs of these three edits into the brackets you see below. (This is most easily done by copying the URL from your address bar while you're viewing the diff.)


IMPORTANT WARNING: Due to the very nature of vandalism on Wikipedia, it is possible you will encounter something that will offend you. I take this time to point out Wikipedia's Content Disclaimer, which basically says that you can find just about anything on here and it's not WP's fault. While you may find something offensive in your searches and subsequent vandal patrols, it is best to simply brush it off and not take it to heart. Later on, when you are actually reverting vandalism, it is possible that your own user pages will be vandalized. Here the same thing applies - ignore and simply remove it. I do not tell these things to scare you, or to imply that it will happen. I am simply pointing out that it is possible, although exceedingly rare. In many cases, these attempts to attack you are in fact somewhat amusing. If it occurs, just remember how intellectually superior you clearly are to the vandal and be glad that you actually have a life. Please add your signature here (~~~~) to confirm that you have read and understand this warning: TAP 08:50, 17 June 2012 (UTC)


Now that that's over with, go do your task. Have fun! (By the way, please ignore new pages, indicated by a bold "N" on the log entry.)

  • Diff 1: [1] Why you think this is vandalism: messing up of interwiki links.
  • Diff 2: [2] Why you think this is vandalism: changing principal's name.
  • Diff 3: [3] Why you think this is vandalism: random characters.

How to Revert[edit]

Well, if you're using anything but Internet Explorer 8 and below, I suggest using Twinkle. You can turn it on by going to My Preferences --> Gadgets --> Twinkle. saving your preferences and then holding shift while pressing the refresh button. Suddenly you have new things to play with! Each diff gives you 3 options to roll back - more can be found at WP:TWINKLE

Vandalism and warnings[edit]

You occasionally get the repeat vandal. The vandal who is here, not because he is bored and has nothing better to do, but because he has a singular purpose of wreaking as much havoc as he can before he gets blocked. These vandals go in and remove entire sections of text, or replace entire pages with gibberish repeatedly. Even after you've given them a warning, they ignore it and continue. It is for these vandals we have multiple levels of warnings. In general, you will escalate up those levels from 1 to 4 as the vandalism continues. If it's nothing clearly malicious (see below), you should always assume that it was a careless mistake (in short, assume good faith, one of Wikipedia's foundation principles), and just let them know that you fixed it. As it continues, it becomes more and more obvious that they intend to cause trouble, so the warnings get more and more stern. Occasionally, you'll get the vandal, who despite all logical reasoning, continues to vandalize after that final warning. When this happens, we have no choice left but to block them. Since we're not administrators, we lack this ability, so we must report them to those with that power at Administrator intervention against vandalism. That page provides complete instructions on how to file a proper report. If you are using Twinkle, you can report a user to this page by clicking the "arv" tab at the top of any of their user pages. Usually, an administrator will take action within minutes, but until that happens, you need to continue watching the vandal's contributions and reverting any further vandalism. The Three-Revert Rule does not apply when dealing with obvious vandals. I should also note here that many vandals will remove warning template from their talk page. While this may appear as vandalism, and for a time was treated as such, it is not necessary to re-add these warnings, and no warning should be issued for the blanking of the talk page. While these templates do serve as an easily accessible record for other vandal fighters, their main purpose is to alert the vandal to the consequences of their actions. Removing the templates is considered a way to acknowledge that they have been read.

Then you get the belligerent vandal. This is very similar to the last kind, although they actually take the time to read the warnings (or are able to) and take offense. They go by the logic that anyone can edit Wikipedia, so who are you to tell them that they can't edit in this particular way? To make this rather annoying point, they will leave an offensive message on your talk page, or more often simply add some sort of vandalism to your main user page, which you generally won't notice for several more minutes, or days, if someone else reverts it first.

When this happens, you just have to take it in stride, and remember that you are far more intelligent than them because you actually stop to read information instead of blanking it away, and thus the human race still has some hope for salvation. Just revert it, and slap them a {{uw-npa}} warning of whatever severity you deem necessary. The last version got a {{uw-npa4im}} warning, an "only warning" for the most severe offenses, and I still reported him straight off anyway.

The final version is the malicious vandal. These are hardest to notice, because their edits aren't immediately recognizable. They will seem to be improving the article at first glance, when really they're replacing true information with false, often libelous parodies. Others replace valid links with shock sites, or add hidden comments with offensive information. This last version doesn't actually appear in the article, but is there waiting when someone comes to edit it. A similar type of vandal, the "on wheels" vandal, is here for the sole purpose of destroying the encyclopedia. The namesake, User:Willy on Wheels, replaced dozens of pages with the text "{{BASEPAGENAME}} has been vandalized by User:Willy on Wheels!" The BASEPAGENAME variable is a magic word that displays the name of the page. After his blocking, Willy continued to create hundreds of sockpuppets for the same purpose. This sort of vandal is clearly here to vandalize, as such actions are not accidental. With them, you can safely assume bad faith right from the start and slam them with a more severe warning. No, you don't have to escalate in all cases - if there is no doubt that the edit was made with bad intentions, you may start with a higher level than normal. The "4im" level is designed specifically for cases of severe vandalism, and is an only warning to cease and desist.

Keep an eye out for all of these vandals, and keep that information in mind when stopping them. There is a full customized range of warning templates to be found at WP:UTM - use the most specific one possible, so that the vandal, if he did make a simple mistake, has the links at hand to learn from his mistake and improve. Any questions, please put them on the adoption talk page.


Any questions? If you want to take the test, please confirm that you have finished your task in the "IMPORTANT WARNING" section, and have signed the important warning so I can give you the test.

  • Test please! TAP 08:52, 17 June 2012 (UTC)


  1. What is vandalism?
    A: Simply it is the removal of content or addition of content in bad faith.
  2. We currently have four levels of warnings, have a look at them if you like 1, 2, 3, 4 - along with an only warning. Do you think we need 4 levels?
    A: Four warnings so that the user can be reminded what they are doing wrong. This will help distinguish a vandalism only account if these are ignored.
  3. Does an admin need all 4 levels to block? How many do you think they need? How many should you have gone through before going to AIV?
    A: Normally four, however if it is an obvious vandalism-only-account that is not the case, or personal attacks.
  4. When do you think you might use the "only" warning?
    A: The only warning for a bad offence, possibly to skip the other warnings.
  5. Is a copyright violation vandalism?
    A: Often so if intended, sometimes though it is just missing the WP:POINT.
  6. The vast majority of vandalism comes from IP editors... but the majority of good edits are also made by IP editors. Should Wikipedia require registration?
    A: I personally believe so. All editors should have a name attached to them, not an IP, which is sometimes dynamic.

Final Assignment: Working on Wikipedia[edit]

Welcome to your final assignment! Great job for getting this far. This assignment is designed to teach you about the different areas you can work. It's a big wide encyclopedia out there.


The first option is to build new articles. You know an awful lot about how Wikipedia works now, what's notable and what's not, and what are reliable sources and what are not. How about you try and write an article? Something new, something different. You may have already done this. If you can write 1500 characters about a subject, you can submit it for Did you know (DYK). Did you know is a great way to ensure your new articles are up to scratch (they need to be less than 5 days old in the mainspace, well sourced and have a catchy "hook") and the hook should appear on the front page in the Did you know section! You can also apply for a DYK if you expand the characters in an article by 5x. That can be quite tough, but it is possible.

Join a WikiProject[edit]

Have a look at your favorite articles. On the talk page, you'll often find that they have an associated WikiProject. The project is always looking for new members and will enjoy your help! They often have to-do lists and you could help out. :)


Why not mozy over to WP:XfD? There's always debates going on about articles that might need deleting from the encyclopedia. Throw in a view! You've been reading so much theory, you'll know as much as most people. There's an page on arguments you should avoid in deletion discussions which might help you.

List of areas[edit]

There's a lot to maintain at wikipedia, and your help would be gratefully received.

  • New Page Patrol checks every single new page to see if it meets the guidelines, wikifies it, tags it and marks it as patrolled. Would be very helpful if you'd help out :) Have a read an think which you might be interested in helping out there. You may end up using your CSD knowledge, or at least propose or nominate them for deletion.
  • Articles for Creation allows for any experienced, auto-confirmed user to review new articles at CAT:PEND. Read WP:WPAFC of you'd like to join!

Help the encyclopedia move forward[edit]

There's always discussions going on at requested moves and RfC. Why not see if you can offer a point of view? The most important (supposedly) at any given time are listed at WP:CENT. Hey, you can even wander around the village pump (the encyclopedic version of the water cooler) and see if there's any general discussions you're interested in.


Think there's stuff there you can do? Are you ready for the final exam? I have to warn you, some of these will be involved in the practical test... oh yes, there's a practical test. If you're ready for the exam, please let me know, and I'll provide you with a link to it! :)

  • Final exam please! TAP 15:27, 18 June 2012 (UTC)