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AlexJFox's Academy Page

Instructor: Obtund
Welcome to the Alex J. Fox's Counter Vandalism Unit Academy page. Take a look around!

Identifying Vandalism
Warning Templates
Rolling back


Final exam

Hello Alex, welcome to your Counter Vandalism Unit Academy page! Every person I mentor will have their own page on which I will give them support and tasks for them to complete. Please make sure you have this page added to your watchlist. If you have any general queries about anti-vandalism (or anything else), you are more than welcome to raise them with me here. I will check this page at least once a day while we're working together.

Just some basic info about the course[edit]


Alex, the course I teach consists of three parts. Which are, learning how to identifying vandalism, learning which warning templates to use, rolling back edits, page protection, speedy deletions and new page patrolling. The course has a final exam after all the lessons. I check the page a least twice a day or more. I give a test every lesson so expect them. If you get less than 50% on that test, you fail that course, and we go to a more intense approach, which can take twice as long. ObtundTalk 00:58, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

How to use this page[edit]

CVU Academy.svg CVU Academy Graduate
Put your message here. ObtundTalk 00:34, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

This page will be built up over your time in the Academy, with new sections being added as you complete old ones. As well as giving you important information, each section will contain various tasks, written in bold type - this might just ask a question, or it might require you to go and do something. You can answer a question by typing the answer below the task; if you have to do something as part of the task, please provide diffs to demonstrate that you have completed the task. Some sections will have more than one task, sometimes additional tasks may be added to a section as you complete them. There is a status bar above at the right. You can see that it is currently orange in each lessons but that will change. When the lesson is in progress the bar is yellow, when you pass it, it will turn green and if you fail it, it turns red. The exams are black and will change to green once you pass that course.Please always sign your responses to tasks as you would on a talk page. Indicate below when you've read this and we'll get started! ObtundTalk 00:58, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Wow, this look fantastic! Thanks very much Obtund, I'm ready as I'll ever be in this oh-so complicated place ;) Alex J Fox (Talk) (Contribs) 13:21, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, forgot to minor that last edit, one of my bad habits :/ Alex J Fox (Talk) (Contribs) 13:23, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Minor edits are not for adding sentences, it for editing typos and things. See WP:MINOR, for more information. ObtundTalk 20:04, 2 September 2012 (UTC)
Oh, that makes more sense! Thanks! Alex J Fox (Talk) (Contribs) 16:43, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

Identifying Vandalism and Good Faith edits[edit]


Okay Alex, since you are a pretty new editor, I'm going to start with the basics. If you're already familiar with some of this, it will go pretty quickly, though if you're not, there is no need to rush (the vandalism will still be out there when we finish!). I'm going to make an assumption here that you use Twinkle, but if you don't, just let me know whether you want to or not. I can teach you the techniques either manually or with Twinkle. Once you get Rollbacker status, you can use a tool like STiki or Huggle.

When patrolling for vandalism, you may often come across edits which are unhelpful, but not vandalism - these are good faith edits. It is important to recognize the difference between a vandalism edit and a good faith edit, especially because Twinkle gives you the option of labeling edits you revert as such. The first step is to make sure you've read: WP:AGF and WP:VAND. Just indicate below when those have been completed, and feel free to ask ANY questions you may have! ObtundTalk 20:04, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Read and understood! Took a while sorry, there's a fair bit to digest! Alex J Fox (Talk) (Contribs) 16:42, 4 September 2012 (UTC)


  1. Below, please write out an example of what would be vandalism and an example of what would be a good faith edit.
Good Faith: If a user adds content to an article that is not malicious but also is not really relevant, then I would assume good faith. It could well be a new user who is just trying/testing but who hasn't found their sandbox yet. It additionally could be a user that does not understand policy and for example, adds some biased material to an article contrary to WP:NPOV I would always check the User-page and contributions to see if there is a trend of similar edits or clearly identified vandalism on other articles. This is a good example (and an edit I reverted) of good faith, the editor in question (an I.P.) had changed the team Fabio Cannavaro plays for to the team he plays for now as opposed to the team he played for when he won the award.
Vandalism: If a user blatant defaces a page, attacks someone in an article, a talk page or a user page etc. Or makes intentional subtle erroneous edits in an attempt to avoid detection, then this is clearly vandalism. Again, it's normally always necessary to check previous contributions and the user page to identify any trends. Alex J Fox (Talk) (Contribs) 14:44, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
 Great! ObtundTalk 20:43, 5 September 2012 (UTC)

Warning Templates[edit]


Then you probably already know the 4 levels of warning, but here's how they should be used and additional actions required when you get to Level 4 and beyond.

  1. User has written I love Chris LOL! :) in the article on Monarch butterflies. This is their first edit on Wikipedia. Issue them a general note for vandalism (which van be found on twinkle by clicking the TW tab near the top right of the page and click on 'vandalism'). This is the same warning shown in WP:WARN.
  2. The user has reverted your revert and has replaced the vandalism, or created new vandalism (or performed any other vandalism on the same day. Do the same process as above but give them a level 2 warning ( labelled as a caution on Twinkle)
  3. The user is now seen as purposely vandalizing Wikipedia as they have, on the same day gone onto a completely different article and have placed 'Dfdfhhgrhdhdthdthdthdthdthgdhdthdhthhtdtfhdhdhdthdtfghfhtdh'. Like before, give them a warning but now under level 3 (labelled as warning on Twinkle). This message informs the user that they maybe blocked if they continue.
  4. The user has continued to vandalize in another article. Issue them their final warning (level 4 labelled final warning using Twinkle). If, you are dealing with a registered account (not an IP) it is probably clear that this is a vandalism only account and you can report at WP:AIV using Twinkle. You click on the TW tab and click 'ARV'. Click on the 'select report type' and click vandalism. Then it asks you to tick a box, asking you why you have reported them. Click on 'Evidently a vandalism only account'. Note - you have an option to add a message. Then click 'submit query'.
  5. If you have given the registered user another chance or the IP has continued to vandalize after the final warning, then report at WP:AIV using Twinkle and click on 'vandalism after final warning' with optional message and submit query.
If there is a user who already has a warning for vandalizing Wikipedia (on the same day you revert the vandalism) there is no need to start from a general note. If they were given a caution, give them a warning, if they were given a final warning on the same day, report them.

Given all that... here is your secon test. I'll also be looking at your contributions periodically and checking reverts you do. If you have any questions, just ask. If you can let me know the time of day you typically edit, I'll be sure to check in around those times. ObtundTalk 20:45, 5 September 2012 (UTC)


  1. If an editor was to vandalize a page and revert what you did and put it back, what level warning would you give them?
Providing I had managed to give a level 1 warning for the first instance of vandalism, I would follow up with a level 2 warning. This is of course assuming no previous history/warnings from other editors (quite often I see several people working to revert vandalism from one user). Alex J Fox (Talk) (Contribs) 19:15, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  1. If an editor just came off a block, and began to vandalize again what would you do, and what level warning would you give them.
In this case I believe I would issue a one-time warning as per this template and report the user to WP:AIV Alex J Fox (Talk) (Contribs) 19:15, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
  1. If an editor has never vandalized before writes "This makes psychologists look very silly indeed" what level warning would you give them? (By the way this one is very tricky, think very hard about it.)
I do not believe this one warrants a warning at all, more a welcome to wikipedia with a general note about using the sandbox for test edits. The user could well have just been sharing opinion which could have been put on the talk page (although doesn't really belong there.) Alex J Fox (Talk) (Contribs) 19:15, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
It would be a AGF in practicality. ObtundTalk 22:57, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

 Excellent! ObtundTalk 22:57, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

On a side note, please accept my apologies for taking so long to fill this in, I've been swamped lately! Alex J Fox (Talk) (Contribs) 19:15, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
No problem it happens. ObtundTalk 22:57, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Rolling back[edit]


I would give you an analysis of rolling back, but if you are familiar with twinkle you should know. So if you are or are not familiar, just note it below and we can get started! ObtundTalk 23:00, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

My understanding of Rolling back is that it will revert all consecutive edits from the same I.P. (for example) until an edit by a registered user, or a different I.P. Therefore, it is a useful tool but can only be used in certain circumstances. Alex J Fox (Talk) (Contribs) 14:02, 12 September 2012 (UTC)


Please find and revert three examples of good faith but unhelpful edits, and three examples of vandalism. Please warn the editors with the correct template and give the diffs of your reverts below.
Good faith

Diff 1: Article (Sibel Kekilli) / Notice issued (Could well be interpreted as vandalism by some editors but then I suppose we could identify everything as vandalism if we wanted to enough) YesY
Diff 2: Article (Gastineau Channel) / Notice issued YesY
Diff 3: Article (Antidiarrhoeal) / (No notice issued) YesY


Diff 1: Article (Sarcasm) / Warning issued YesY
Diff 2: Article (Al-Aqsa_Mosque) / Warning issued (I issued all relevant warnings to this user and eventually had to report this IP to WP:AIV.) YesY Must of been a pretty bad editor, he is now blocked!
Diff 3: Article (Victorious) / Warning issued (I originally assumed good faith here, until I saw previous edits to the same article. I matched the previous users warning as I.P. had not been issued an advisory about vandalism) YesY

Final exam[edit]


This final exam consists of four questions-answers should be two to three sentences long:

Identify vandalism and what is not vandalism.

Ask yourself what the intent behind the edit is, Do you think that the user edited this article deliberately to damage it and/or wikipedia, or attack another user/person? If yes, It's vandalism.

How do you restore the pre-vandalized version of the article?

Use the 'restore this version' link on the last good version on the diff page. Edit: It's always worth proof-reading the revision you're reverting to make sure you are actually restoring a good version.

Which warning templates should be used in the appropriate situation?

If warning a new user, whilst obviously remembering not to bite, Then firstly welcome with a general note about vandalism and then follow the templates up-to level 4 and eventually, if necessary, report to WP:AIV. If a user has just come off a block or makes a serious breach of policy, for instance WP:BLP then issue a one-time warning (level 4im in Twinkle).

How do you report persistent vandals?

As above, at WP:AIV.

Hi, before I fill this in, can I ask why it's been "dumbed down" quite considerably? I'm confused!
Because there are requirments, but I was going beyond them if you want more training I can do that too! ObtundTalk 22:17, 25 September 2012 (UTC)
Awesome :) I'll wait to see how I've done so far, thanks :) Alex J Fox (Talk) (Contribs) 23:05, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

Congratulations! You are now a CVUA graduate! ObtundTalk 00:31, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

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Congrats, and great job to all of your hard work! ObtundTalk 00:34, 28 September 2012 (UTC)