User:Go Phightins!/Adopt/ForrestLyle

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Well ForrestLyle (is Forrest OK?), here it is. My system runs on a pattern of lessons and tests. I post a lesson, you let me know when you are ready to take the test, I post it, you do it, I grade it, we discuss it, and then we move on to the next lesson. There are nine lessons as well as a final exam, that culminates the course. If you complete that, you get all sorts of shiny wikiparaphernalia. Please sign here to indicate you have found the adoption center, and lesson one is posted. Let me know when you are ready to test. Go Phightins! 19:05, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Sign here:ForrestLyle (talk) 20:25, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Lesson Status Grade Comments
One  Done 38/40 (95%) Excellent start.
Two  Done 24.5/29 (84%) Good job
Three  Done 38.5/45 (86%) Plugging away :-)
Four  Done 28/30 (93%) Solid effort.
Five Not done
Six Not done
Seven Not done
Eight Not done
Nine Not done
Final Not done

Lesson one: Five pillars[edit]

Five pillars

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!

I am ready for the test!


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- The information cannot be added to the Mitt Romney or Harvard University pages as it is only verifiable through hearsay. 1
Outstanding. You need verifiable sources to add something to an article. 5/5

2.) Q - The Los Angeles Times 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- The comic cannot be used as an example of racism unless it has been interpreted that way by a verifiable source. 2 I am not a verifiable source. Posting the comic as an example of racism would violate no original research.
Right on. 5/5

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. This, once again, describes original research.3 Unless a verifiable source can validate the connection between Capitalists and diabetes, socialists and cancer, it is original research. See synthesis of published material that advances a position.
Yes, this would violate WP:SYNTH, as it draws conclusions from information that the source itself did not promulgate. 4.75/5

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

A- The reliability of FOX News is controversial. While Fox themselves have refuted claims of their bias, other verifiable sources have been critical.4 Based on these controversies it would be automatic to dismiss FOX News information on MSNBC because of the context. Information on Sarah Palin provided by FOX News would, on the other hand, be considered more reliable.5
I definitely agree with your first two sentences, however remember that Palin was a contributor/panelist on FOX for a while (maybe she still is, I don't watch), so there might be a conflict of interest there. 4.25/5

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

A- No. Ben and Jerry's official Twitter page would be a self-published source and would not fall under a reliable context.
Follow-up question: What if a tweet was announcing a new flavor of ice cream?
So long as there is no doubt about its authenticity (i.e. Ben and Jerry aren't joking)it would be acceptable.
Pretty much. That is OK as a temporary source, but eventually, look for a press release or something. 4.5/5

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- Yes and No. This could be used as a reliable source for building an argument as a "forum official" may be (in certain contexts) considered an authoritative person. Though, the information provided by the person may only constitute a single view of the topic.
Right. Generally, a forum official probably does not speak on behalf of the newspaper though. 5/5

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- It would depend on the context once again. The Burger King page should not cite self-published information that pertains to, for example, qualitative information on the company's food or services. While referencing self-published works to validate subjective perceptions is not reliable, referencing those sources for historical information or other information that may call on Burger King themselves to be the authority is acceptable.
Correct. I could not have phrased it better myself. 5/5

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- In the case of the sky being blue, the information can be considered common knowledge. If an editor wanted to dispute the point, attributing the fact to common knowledge should be enough to support the claim that the sky is indeed blue. Despite this, there are reliable sources that could refute the point if a distinction needs to be made for the sake of the article.6
Right. When in doubt, cite. 4.5/5
  • Score: 38/40 (95%)
  • Comments: Excellent work (the citations really make it terrific as well - first adoptee ever to use in-text citations Face-smile.svg). I think we are ready for lesson two. Go Phightins! 19:10, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

Lesson two: Wikiquette[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. To reiterate, until proven otherwise, all editors are acting in good faith.
  • 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 contributor. 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!

Bring it on! -- ForrestLyle (talk) 19:47, 9 April 2014 (UTC)


Without further adieu, here is the test:

1.) Q- In your own words, explain what it means to assume good faith. Cite an example of a situation in which, while it may be tempting not to, one should still assume faith.

A- Assuming good faith means that I, as a Wikipedian, take on the general assumption that other Wikipedians are here to improve things. This assumption extends into every facet of Wikipedia and is a key guideline in dispute resolution. In general, Wikipedians should be seen as having good intentions. An example of this may arise if one of my edits were reverted suddenly without explanation. If I were acting under the assumption of good faith I would investigate the user who reverted my edit, attempt to put myself in their shoes, and attempt to understand their reasoning before reverting their reversion. The opposite of acting under this assumption would include taking a defensive stance, acting impulsively, and making accusations.
Predominantly correct. That is a good approach to dealing with issues, and a relevant example. 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 would lead with an apology explaining that I had no intention to offend, harm, or otherwise bruise the user in any way. I would follow by stating my intentions and the purpose behind my edits. I would ask the user (or rather imply that) the user should explain their actions. I would work towards a compromise, being sure to point out the high points of the user's original content and making polite, actionable suggestions on the disputed content. Of course, if the user continues to act hostile I would employ the help of an administrator or follow other dispute resolution protocols.
Leading with an apology is good; make sure also, if possible, to rectify the situation. 4.5/5

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
Yup. 2/2

3b.) Position B?

Yup. 2/2

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

A- This is questionable. Obviously if the user keeps asserting their point like this (not adding value to the conversation and acting like a spammer) then yes. In this isolated incident, Position: A can been seen as probably legitimate and Position: B can be taken as a mistake. Unless it become painfully obvious that this use is acting in bad faith, it should probably be ignored.
Meh. I think it is key to assume good faith here. Remember, wiki-code is similar to lots of other types of code, so perhaps he is just a competent coder. I am going to have to disagree with some of what you said here. 3/5

4.) In which of the following scenarios is it OK not to assume good faith. Please bold your selection (use three apostrophes '''bold text''' before and after the choice).

I: An editor comes to your talk page and calls you an idiot because you reverted his edit.
II: An IP editor deletes the content on Barack Obama, and replaces it with "Barack Hussein Obama is an _______(insert expletive here) Muslim who will rot in _____"
III: An editor deletes all the content on a page and replaces it with "butts"
A: I only
B: II and III
C: II only
D: III only
E: I, II, and III
F: None of the above.
Explain your answer:
  • Explanation: I struggled with this one and I have conflicting thoughts on this as a whole. Of course, it is extremely important to be sensitive to the beliefs of others as a Wikipedian. Despite this there is no doubt that an edit like any of the above should be promptly changed. The first point can be seen as a personal attack and surely violates Graham's hierarchy pictured below. The third point is also reckless in my opinion. But, going along with your emphasis on Assuming good faith, each point should "pass the test" so to speak, before official action should be taken against the user. I am at a loss when it comes to giving a more definitive answer here. In practice I would say all three points are "bad faith" but in theory all things should be considered before jumping to conclusions.
Graham's hierarchy of disagreement: You must stay in the top three sections of this pyramid during disputes.
The best answer is probably "D" simply because there is absolutely no way one could construe that the edit was made in good faith. Even in number II, if some Christian thought he was a Muslim, they would likely consequently think that he would end up in hell, so while the edit obviously is a blatant WP:BLP WP:V WP:NPOV WP:AMILLIONOTHERFOURLETTERACRONYMS violation, it could have been made in good faith. As such, I think that while it would not harm to assume good faith in choice III, it is safe not to do so, as there is no way one could construe that the edit was made in good faith. 8/10
  • Score: 24.5/29 (84%)
  • Comments: You obviously understand the general gist of the lesson, which is to unequivocally assume good faith unless there is no chance that the edit was made in good faith, however there are some "secondary topics" in which your knowledge could expand. No trouble; this course is not designed to be easy (Wikipedia policy is far from easy Face-smile.svg!) Good job! Go Phightins! 21:12, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Lesson three: Vandalism[edit]


We now are going to 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 (ForrestLyle (talk) 23:38, 10 April 2014 (UTC)) 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.


ForrestLyle - are you ready for the test? Go Phightins! 20:16, 13 April 2014 (UTC) I'm going to try to keep this test short...that was a lot of reading you just did (or hopefully just did Face-smile.svg). There is a practical aspect to this test, so if you don't have Twinkle turned on, I would recommend doing so now.

1.) Q- In your own words, define vandalism.

A- Vandalism is any defacement or clear act of bad faith upon a page on Wikipedia.
Yes, provided the defacement is in bad faith; it could be a test edit. The best definition I have heard is any bad faith edit that hinders the goal of Wikipedia. 4.5/5

2.) Q- What are obvious indicators of a vandalism edit while watching recent changes (e.g., before you look at the edit, what are indicators of vandalism from the list of recent edits at Special:RecentChanges?

A- Any extremely large changes on already established pages, especially if they are from anonymous users. Changes with no explanation.
All good indicators. 5/5

3.) Q- What warning template would you use if a user removed or blanked all the content from a page?

A- If the entire contents of the page are blanked uw-delete4 or higher if there were multiple attempts.
You have to remember that some people want to test to see whether or not they can edit Wikipedia, and a way they do that, is by deleting all of a page's content. While this must be reverted, remember to assume good faith. Probably use either a personal note or a level one template for the first offense. 3/5

4.) What if I came to your talk page and called you a !@#$!#$!@#$!#$!#$!#$!#$!#$!@#$!@#$!@#%#$^$%^#@$~#$@#$%!@#$!@#? Then what warning template would you use?

A- uw-harass3 or higher.
Meh. Yeah, okay, that is probably appropriate. 4.5/5

5.) What is WP:AIV and when should you use it?

A- This is administrator intervention and should only be used when it is not possible to resolve the issue in any other way, such as repetitive page blanking by a single user, etc.
Correct. This is the last step. 5/5

6.) Find three instances of vandalism, revert them, warn the users appropriately, and post the diffs below (the diffs of the vandalism will suffice, I will go ensure that you warned them appropriately and don't need diffs to do so).

  • [4]
  • [5]
  • [6]
    • You did not warn the editors in any of these cases on their talk pages, and the first edit is not necessarily vandalism. Please try again (6/15 pending second try), and this time, post a diff of you warning the vandal:
  • First instance [7] [8]
    • There you go. 5/5
  • Second instance [9] [10]
    • Make sure you sign, but other than that, good job. 4.5/5
  • Third instance [11] [12]
    • That could have been a test edit. 4/5

7.) Should you always use warning templates when reverting vandalism?

A- Yes.
What might go through your head if you were trying to help the encyclopedia, and got an angry warning template on your page? Please expound upon your answer, ForrestLyle. Remember, I look for evidence of thought. 2/5 pending additional responses
There are plethora of different templates that can be used for vandalism, Many of which can be found at WP:UTM. I would consider leaving the appropriate template a courtesy to a user who might have made a mistake or engaged in vandalism. If a user got a warning message, they could reference the specific issue that the warning message references, thereby giving the user an opportunity to improve their editing. For vandals, the point is the same. The messages pays them notice for their potentially bad activity which, ideally, will persuade them to stop doing those kinds of edits or escalate the issue.
OK, there are several instances in which a personal note is better than a template, but good work with the templates. 3/5
  • Grade: 38.5/45 (86%) Not good yet, but that's OK; please redo questions six and seven :-)
  • Comments: Please redo questions six and seven. Thank you, and Happy Easter! Go Phightins! 17:43, 19 April 2014 (UTC)
    • Grade updated. Nice job.

Lesson four: Twinkle[edit]


After the mega-lesson that was vandalism, it's time for a mini-lesson on some of the other things you can do with Twinkle. If you don't already have it enabled, you will definitely need to do so for this lesson. It's under the "Gadgets" section of "My Preferences". Aside from it's vandalism tools, there are several other features of Twinkle.


Talkback is a feature that allows you, in a single click, to notify a user that you've responded to their message at another page. To use it, mouse over the TW button in the editing interface and select "TB". A window will pop up, that gives you several different options as to what page you're on. All you do is type the name of the page you replied (everything in the URL after and click submit query. If you'd like to link to a section, remember that it's case-sensitive, and type the name of the section. If you'd like to add an additional message, simply type it. It's really easy to use.


You can also request page protection using Twinkle. Go to whatever page you want to have protected, and click "RPP" under the Twinkle dropdown menu. It will ask you some information, give it to the window, and click submit.


You probably figured this out in the last lesson, but you can report a vandal to administrators, or a username to WP:UAA, using Twinkle. Click "AIV" or "ARV", depending on what type of page you're on, and fill out the information that you're asked for. Noticing a pattern?


The next feature we'll discuss is how to add maintenance tags to an article. We'll cover this a bit later in a lesson on working the encyclopedia, but the gist of it is that you select whatever maintenance tag you'd like, and click submit. This feature is located under "Tag" (a truly creative name, I know).


The most common feature you'll likely use in Twinkle is the "rollback feature". When looking at a diff, you have three options to rollback an edit: Rollback AGF (assume good faith) which is in green and should be usually be used with newer editors who are acting in good faith, but whose edit wasn't constructive. This type allows you to leave an edit summary, which we'll discuss more in depth later, where you can explain why you're rolling it back. Also, there's simply Rollback which is in light blue. This should be used the most often when rolling back an edit; again, you can (and should) leave an edit summary. Lastly, there's the Rollback Vandal choice, which as soon as you click reverts the edit leaving an automated edit summary. You should then follow up at the vandal's talk page, leaving a warning template, which you should already know how to do.


The last feature we'll discuss is welcoming users. To do this, you can either click the yellow text that says "Welcome" next to a user's name when looking at a diff or you can select "Wel" in the Twinkle drop-down menu. You'll then be prompted to select a welcome template.


Well, this wasn't that short, but it should be a little easier to grasp. Questions, or are you ready for the test (using that word lightly in this case). Go Phightins! 00:55, 30 April 2014 (UTC)



This test should be relatively easy. Please post diffs of you doing the following actions using Twinkle. Perform the action in number 1 on my talk page (User talk:Go Phightins!).

1.) Q- Leave a talkback template below stating you've replied to my post at WP:ANI.

Yup. 2.5/2.5

2.) Q- Post diffs of you using each of the three types of rollback.

A- Diffs:
I did use the red button. Here is another: (I am not sure the edit description says whether or not I used the rollback vandal button or not)
Hmm. I believe it used to say "Reverted vandalism by ...", but I could be wrong. Anyway, that is a decent example. 4/5

3.) Q- Post a diff of you welcoming a new user.

A- [13]
Excellent. 2.5/2.5

4.) Q- Find an article that needs a maintenance tag, and add it. Make sure you explain the issue on the talk page. Post a diff here.

Did you explain the issue on the talk page, ForrestLyle? What is wrong with the layout?
Here is another that is more appropriate:
Good. 5/5

5.) Q- Review Question- Ha ha! Cite a situation in which you'd report a user to administrators as a vandal.

A- Multiple instances of blatant vandalism such as blanking a page and replacing the entire body of text with expletives.
Good. 5/5
  • Grade: 28/30 (93%)
  • Comments: Solid effort; just a few minor blemishes. Overall, excellent work. Go Phightins! 19:09, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

Lesson five: Dispute resolution[edit]

No matter how well you edit Wikipedia, no matter how simple and obvious your changes may seem, you are very like 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 editwarring 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 Rerverts 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 editors argument and respond to that.

If you think about what you are saying and how the editor is likely to respond you realise 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 2) It will not address the situation, thereby infuriating the other editor and escalating the drama.

Accusations of attacks, bad faith, WP:OWNership, WP: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). The editors at each specialise in sorting debates.

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 it's 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 that 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 realise you are flogging a dead horse.

Any questions?[edit]

Questions about any of the above?

Test Time![edit]

Let's rock 'n' roll!