User:Go Phightins!/Adopt/Benedictdilton

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Hi Benedictdilton and welcome to my adoption course. It is here, your "classroom", where you will be guided through a series of lessons and tests culminating in a final exam. Though I will be your primary adopter, you should know that I have a few assistants who help out on occasion maybe grading a test or posting a new lesson at my discretion. Should you ever have any issues with them, please bring them directly to me. They just help keep things running smoothly for you. My top deputy is Tazerdadog and he may, on occasion, grade a test or post a new lesson or help me on the administrative side of things. JHUbal27 and Jackson Peebles, both previous adoptees, have also expressed willingness to help me out, so they may be around too. But at the end of the day, I am your adopter and will be your primary guide. The first lesson, on the five pillars, is below. Let me know if you have any questions, and we will get started! I look forward to a fruitful relationship and anticipate great success. Your adopter, Go Phightins! 19:09, 29 May 2013 (UTC)

Lesson Status Grade Pass?
One  Done 30/40 (75%) That's an affirmative
Two  Done 17.5/20 (87.5%) Yes
Three Not done
Four Not done
Five Not done
Six Not done
Seven Not done
Eight Not done
Nine Not done
Final Not done
Five Pillars

Lesson one[edit]

One of the most important essays in Wikipedia is WP:FIVEPILLARS which is designed to summarize why we're here.

  • Pillar one defines Wikipedia as an encyclopedia. It suggests some things that we are not. Thoughts about what we are not are covered in the deletion lesson.
  • Pillar two talks about neutrality, a concept that this lesson will be concentrating on.
  • Pillar three talks about free content. The Copyright lesson will go into this in more detail.
  • Pillar four talks about civility. Wikipedia is a collaborative working environment and nothing would ever get done if it wasn't. I'll go into civility more during the dispute resolution module.
  • Pillar five explains that Wikipedia does not have firm rules. This is a difficult concept and will be covered in the Policy and consensus lesson.

How articles should be written[edit]

The articles in Wikipedia are designed to represent the sum of human knowledge. Each article should be written from a neutral point of view – personal opinions such as right and wrong should never appear, nor should an editors experience. Neutrality also means giving due weight to the different points of view. If the broad scientific community has one set of opinions – then the minority opinion should not be shown. An example is in medicine – if there was an article on say treatment of a broken leg, a neutral article would not include anything on homeopathy.

To ensure that the information in an article is correct, Wikipedia has adopted a policy of verifiability. Anything written in Wikipedia should be available to confirm by looking at the associated reliable source. Wikipedia should not include anything not verifiable by seeing it is published elsewhere; in other words, it should not contain anything original.

Reliable sources[edit]

So what is a source? 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 while "Airfix monthly" may be a good source on the first model aeroplane, it probably would not be authoritative on the Boeing 737.

A source that is self-published is in general considered unreliable, unless it is published by a recognized expert in the field. Generally, self-published sources aren't considered reliable. This means that anything in a forum or a blog and even most websites are considered unreliable by default. 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.


Any questions? If not, I will post the test. Go Phightins!

Reliable Source - I had come across a lot of news websites publishing news provided by news wire services like Reuters giving credit to the provider. In this case can we consider the independent website which publish the news as a reliable source or only the news wire service.Benedictdilton (talk) 17:10, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Well, the news wire service is a definite yes. It depends for the publishing site. For example, if ESPN publishes something from the Associated Press that is different than Shamrockville Community Monthly Newspaper publishing the same thing. ESPN is reliable, Shamrockville Community Monthly Newspaper (which FYI is made up) would not be. One must analyze on a case-by-case basis. Go Phightins! 19:43, 31 May 2013 (UTC)

I got it. Can we go forward to the test.Benedictdilton (talk) 22:00, 31 May 2013 (UTC)


Here is the test. You have up to one week to complete it once I've posted it, but it shouldn't take more than 30 minutes maximum to complete. I'm looking for thoughtfulness in your answers, and reserve the right to post follow-up questions should your answer be ambiguous or not on the right track. Good luck, and here we go:

1.) Q- You have heard from a friend that Mitt Romney has been appointed the chancellor of Harvard University. Can you add this to Romney's (or Harvard's) article? Why?

A- No - Wikipedia is not a place for rumors. I will wait for a published reliable third party source.
Right. Wikipedia is not a tabloid. 4/5

2.) Q - The Daily Telegraph has published a cartoon which you see is clearly racist as part of an article. Can you include this as an example of racism on the newspaper's article? What about on the racism article?

A- No for both . I feel a cartoon published on The Daily Telegraph is copyright protected.
The question is more asking whether you can mention the content of the cartoon, not whether you can post it ... so can you post information on a cartoon you deem racist to an article on racism? 1/5 (pending follow-up)

Answer to the Follow Up- I think I misunderstood the first question. I was first warned on wikimedia for copyright of an image and nearly escaped from a ban. Answer to the follow up question - Yes In an article on Racism I will mention it as an example of racism. I think it will be more helpful in spreading awareness on Racism.

You need to first determine that reliable sources refer to the comment as racism ... otherwise, it is likely that you are adding original research. 2/5

3.) Q- You find a reliable article that says Americans are more likely to get diabetes than British people and British people are more likely to get cancer than Americans. You find another reliable article that says Americans are Capitalists and British people are Socialists. Can you include information that says Capitalists are more likely to get diabetes and socialists are more likely to get cancer anywhere on Wikipedia?

A- No. Both are separate articles and I am not supposed to merge these articles and reach my own conclusion. Till the time any thing of such kind is published on a reliable source and I am convinced about that I will not include it.
Correct. Synthesizing data violates our policy against original research. You need to wait for reliable sources to synthesize the data for you prior to including it on Wikipedia. 4/5

4.) Q- Would you consider FOX News to be a reliable source for information on MSNBC? What about for information on Sarah Palin?

A- No For MSNBC - Both channels seems to be competitors on the same market. I will relay on other reliable sources. For Sarah Palin it’s a yes.
Correct on the first half. I will exempt you from the last half as you would have to know that Palin was employed by Fox for a short time. Consequently, I will give you full credit (5/5) for this question.

5.) Q- Would you consider Ben and Jerry's official Twitter page a reliable source?

A- Yes for Ben and Jerry only if it qualifies all requirements as mentioned on WP:SELFSOURCE.
No. Twitter should not be used as a reliable source. Ever. Though it is better than nothing, third party sources are king. 2/5

6.) Q- A "forum official" from the Chicago Tribune community forums comments on the newspaper's stance on world hunger. Would this be a reliable source?

A- No If its was a article on Chicago Tribune I should have considered. But a forum comment definitely no.
Right on. A forum official can't possibly be expected to speak for the paper. 4/5

7.) Q- Would you object to the "about us" section on say Burger King's website being used as a citation in its article? (Hint: see WP:SELFSOURCE)

A-No If it qualifies all requirements as mentioned on WP:SELFSOURCE.
Fair enough, but again it depends on the type of information ... Burger King was founded in _____ would be fine whereas Burger King hamburgers are better than _____ is not. Tread carefully. Again, independent sources are best. 4/5

8.) Q- Everybody knows that the sky is blue right? An editor doesn't agree - he says it is bronze, do you need a source?

A-Yes, I need a very reliable scientific source(maybe like Nasa) to prove its bronze. I myself will not include such a information till the time I am not convinced about it.
The goal of the question is as follows: do you need a reliable source to substantiate any type of information, including something as seemingly basic as "the sky is blue", "the grass is green", "the first president of the US was George Washington"? Follow up please. 3/5 pending follow up.

Answer to the Follow Up- No I don't need any reliable source for basic facts.

Most would agree with you, but WP:BLUE and WP:NOTBLUE provide two dissenting opinions. When in doubt, I would assume add a citation for it, but consensus is not clear on this. 5/5
  • Score: 30/40 (75%)
  • Comments: Please answer the follow-up questions and then we can discuss what you don't understand. Thanks.
    • If you want me to elaborate on any of the answers kindly let me know. Benedictdilton (talk) 21:05, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
  • OK, you have gotten a high enough score to move on, but be careful, as these are the founding principles of Wikipedia and upholding them (including number five) is paramount to our success as a project. Do you have any further questions, or are you ready to move on? Go Phightins! 21:12, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
      • I got a doubt here if a website of some particular organization can be considered as a source based on WP:SELFSOURCE then why can't their social media pages. Benedictdilton (talk) 21:28, 5 June 2013 (UTC)
        • Social media is used solely as a promotional tool, whereas an organization's website, while also to promote the company, provides factual information, which is what we want. Any other questions? (Sorry for the wait, you got buried on my watchlist Face-smile.svg) Go Phightins! 21:55, 8 June 2013 (UTC)
Wikiquette/Assuming Good Faith

Lesson two[edit]

You've successfully completed the first lesson. I'll warn you, that was the easiest one. Now, let's move on to some bigger and better things, shall we? Lesson 2 is below:

WP:Wikiquette - or the etiquette of Wikipedia is something that you may already be familiar with, depending how much reading around the different wikipedia pages you've made.

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 and I'll be going over it again in dispute resolution. 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 software will stick your signature and timestamp in, allowing the correct attribution to your comment.
  • Try and keep to threading, replying to comments by adding an additional indentation, represented by a colon, :. I cover more about this in my basics of markup language lesson - let me know if you'd like to take it. Talk pages should something like this - Have a read of WP:THREAD to see how this works.
How's the soup? --[[User:John]]
:It's great!! --[[User:Jane]]
::I made it myself! --[[User:John]]
Let's move the discussion to [[Talk:Soup]]. --[[User:Jane]]
:I tend to disagree. --[[User:George]]

How's the soup? --John

It's great!! --Jane
I made it myself! --John

Let's move the discussion to Talk:Soup. --Jane

I tend to disagree. --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.
  • Watch out for common mistakes.
  • Did I mention that you should assume good faith?
  • Comment on the edits. Not the editor. I'll cover this more in dispute resolution.

Assuming good faith is one of the most important points of Wikipedia (as you may have noticed by my numerous mentions). The test will focus primarily on assuming good faith, threading, and on more assuming good faith. Do you have any questions? If not, let me know, and I will post the test. Thanks. Go Phightins!

I was stuck up with some professional issues from the last one week. Today I am starting working on this lesson. I will be ready for the test in a couple of days.Benedictdilton (talk) 23:32, 16 June 2013 (UTC)

This lesson seems a little confusing. But Cam we go forward to the test.Benedictdilton (talk) 17:10, 19 June 2013 (UTC)


Without further adieu, here is the test:

1.) Q- In your own words, explain what it means to assume good faith.

A- What I under stood by the Good Faith is to believe that all the editors in wikipedia is trying to help and improve wikipedia with their edits. If some one involves in any wrong doing first we had to make sure that they had not done it purposely talk to them on their talk page and try to rectify their mistakes.
Essentially, assuming good faith means that, until proven beyond a reasonable doubt, we assume that someone is trying to help the encyclopedia. 5/5

2.) Q- Explain how you would deal with this scenario using specifics: You are working in New Page Patrol and come across a new page that, though it's content is fine, has a few minor formatting issues. The page is three minutes old. You fix the format issues on the page. A few minutes later, you get a nasty note on your talk page which states that you caused the new editor, who created the page, an edit conflict by performing your few minor corrections. He was unaware of how to correct an edit conflict, and therefore lost everything he was trying to do. He even goes so far as to start an AN/I discussion about how you're incompetent and should butt out of his editing. What specific steps would you take? Disclaimer: This is based on a true story. Note: A similar question will be asked once we get to the dispute resolution question, but simply based on assuming good faith, I want to here how you'd approach this scenario.

A- I will explain my view point to him on his talk page in a simple and polite manner and if necessary seek help from a senior editor admin or my adoptor to rectify the issue.
Buzz. Assume good faith, of course! Everything you said is fine, but make sure that you assume good faith. 3/5

3.) Have a look at the conversation below:

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

3a.) Position A?

A- Rod's Mate
Yes. 2.5/2.5

3b.) Position B?

A- Rod
Yes. 2.5/2.5

3c.) An editor who has a low edit count seems awfully competent with templates. Should he be reported as a possible WP:SOCK?

A- No Never. Being good in something doesn't mean he is a sock especially if all his edits are comming from the same account.
Right, assume good faith. Maybe he does coding in his job. We don't know, but always assume good faith. 4.5/5

When you're finished, we'll move on to a really fun topic, vandalism.

If any explanation is required kindly let me know.Benedictdilton (talk) 19:24, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

I'm giving you a 19/20 (95%), going behind GoP's back. Good job. He'll be mad, but I don't care. ~~JHUbal27 21:03, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Well, I graded it and came up with a 17.5/20, for a 87.5% (JHUbal, a) you're too friendly Face-smile.svg, and b) being the math whiz you are, check my math there ... too lazy to pull out a calculator, so I did it mentally), which is the final grade. JHUbal is welcome to provide feedback, but my grades are the final ones. Go Phightins! 21:43, 24 June 2013 (UTC)
Would you prefer me to be mean? I will pack you (slang for insult you). Are you married/have a girlfriend or do you spend all your time on Wikipedia? I know you won't answer, but oh well. ~~JHUbal27 05:28, 25 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the update on the slang; also, nice try with the white text in the middle of black. Let me put it this way: giving someone a grade on a test quantifies to them how their answer was. By giving them a 5/5, you tell them, that is a perfect understanding, go out with that in the encyclopedia and use it ... no one will dispute it. It should be difficult to get a 5/5. Not to go all "geezer vs. youngeon" on you, but in American education today, students are taught that an A is the default, while a C is failing when in fact, a C should be the default, and an A should be well exceeding expectations. But I digress. In any case, I would prefer you not grade tests unless I tell you to do so, because it likely confuses Benedictdilton, whose learning is the main goal of this course. Thanks for your understanding. I am archiving this. Go Phightins! 12:11, 25 June 2013 (UTC)

Lesson three[edit]

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 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 go 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:

How to Revert[edit]

Well, If you're using anything but Internet Explorer, 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.

I am stuck up with some issues in my professional life. I think it will take one more week to clear the clouds. Kindly bear with me. Benedictdilton (talk) 21:19, 16 July 2013 (UTC)