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An anti-Wikipedian (/ˌæntiwɪkɪˈpidiən/) is the evil doppelgänger of a Wikipedian; they are clearly not here to build an encyclopedia, but to destroy it. (in some instances, with a metaphorical atom bomb.) The best explanation for their existence is the quote,
some men just want to watch the world burn.
Anti-Wikipedians come in all forms: IP users, registered users, sockpuppets and edit warriors. Their usual tactic is vandalism, however some also undermine Wikipedia subtly or with more elaborate schemes. What separates anti-Wikipedians from the average-Joe vandal is commitment; anti-Wikipedians may operate for years (even with blocks) with complete focus and energy on disrupting Wikipedia, while average-Joe vandal might insert "sucks dick" into a biography once or twice in their wiki-career. Anti-Wikipedians are the hardest vandals to combat, as being blocked doesn't discourage them from creating a new account or using a different IP address to continue their work.
More subtle anti-Wikipedians are difficult to identify. These may do a variety of things that aren't necessarily vandalism, but are intended to hurt Wikipedia in some way. This could include: finding loopholes in policies that allow them to, for example, harass a user; tagging articles for deletion or removing article content for dubious reasons; rearranging categories; instigating disputes between Wikipedians; biting newcomers; gaming the system; and generally disrupting Wikipedia in bad faith.
Similarities with Wikipedians
The main thing in common between Wikipedians and anti-Wikipedians is a long-term commitment to editing Wikipedia. They will also know their way around Wikipedia. Anti-Wikipedians may use the bookmark tool in their browser in lieu of the watchlist. They may also keep a document file, blog, or website to organize and coordinate their activities in lieu of a user page.
Dealing with anti-Wikipedians
The easiest anti-Wikipedians to stop are the blatant vandals. Simply report them to the Administrator Intervention against Vandalism noticeboard and have them banished to the Shadow Realm or blocked for extended periods of time. However, they are almost guaranteed to return as either an IP user or sockpuppet. These socks will also have to be blocked once recognized as the anti-Wikipedian. This pattern of vandalizing/blocking/socking can continue for years.
The most difficult anti-Wikipedians to stop or even recognize are the subtle ones. In order to deal with this type of anti-Wikipedian, one must first have undeniable evidence of a history of generally disrupting Wikipedia on a regular basis. With this evidence, report them and request a block. They may or may not create a sockpuppet once blocked, so remain alert.
- ^ The Dark Knight. Dir. Christopher Nolan. Perf. Christian Bale, Michael Cain. Warner Brothers Studios, 2008. DVD.