Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit/Re-formatting/Discussion

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(Moved from Think tank)~~Ebe123~~ (+) talk
21:42, 1 November 2011 (UTC)


I'm glad to see Ebe has started the process. I was actually planning on recruiting a team to start re-organizing this project after the Fall semester ended. I've got several ideas for the revamp. Ultimately, my plan integrates several existing projects in to a new wider sweeping, more organized CVU. Right now, as the project is, CVU does massive amounts of reverts, Abuse Response relies on reports from users to make inquiries to ISPs, Long-Term Abuse tracks a very specific set of offenders, SPI investigates reports of suspected socks, and I'm sure that I'm leaving some out.

Ultimately, all counter-vandalism operations would become a single project which would have several divisions, each with different responsibilities, and better communication between them, rather than each being it's own project. Just off the top of my head, this is what the structure would have been like:

Counter-Vandalism Unit

Administration (Oversees all divisions, making sure they are active and maintained, handles issues within divisions, etc.)
Abuse Investigation and Tracking (These divisions would monitor abuse over long periods, investigate socks, and study abuse trends for filters, etc.)
Long-Term Abuse (Monitoring and tracking repeat offenders, sock masters, etc. and contacting ISP's as deemed necessary)
Vandalism Analysis Unit (Responsible for monitoring and reporting trends in abuse)
Sock Puppet Investigations (self-explanatory)
Abuse Patrol (These divisions are responsible for reverting abuse as it happens, and reporting potential trends)
New-Page Patrol (self-explanatory)
RC Patrol (self-explanatory)
Special Response Task Force (would respond to situations where single pages were targeted, 4chan attacks, etc. Would be comprised of members of other divisions, and administrators. Goal would be to have members available around the clock to deal with special circumstances.)
Abuse Prevention
Abuse Filter (Responsible for creating abuse filters at the request of the community, and/or other CVU divisions)
Page Protection (Responsible for protecting pages at the request of the community, and/or other CVU divisions)

Now, granted this isn't a final plan by any means, but it is something to consider working for. It would take a lot of work and a lot of cooperation between existing project organizers and us.

This just honestly made sense to me at the time I started thinking about revamping this project, and I feel it would allow us to deal with vandalism on Wikipedia more effectively.

Anyway, I figured I'd throw my idea out there to let those still interested in the project consider options, and decide what would be the best way to go. Right now, no option should be off the table, so feel free to fire back changes to this plan, or add your own. If we're revamping the project, we should revamp it so that it will last, and have a lasting impact on Wikipedia. AndrewN talk 01:39, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

I feel this is an excellent plan. What causes many projects to fail is the fact that there is not an implemented plan and dedicated people to carry out these plans. I think ideas like this will keep the CVU strong as it is revitalized. Tarheel95 (talk) 02:18, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
It's a good plan, and I was thinking of it. ~~Ebe123~~ (+) talk
11:17, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
This is my comments about the different units:
Administration (Oversees all divisions, making sure they are active and maintained, handles issues within divisions, etc.)
  • Elections may decide about a lead coordinator, and how about 3 coordinators.
Abuse Investigation and Tracking (These divisions would monitor abuse over long periods, investigate socks, and study abuse trends for filters, etc.)
Long-Term Abuse (Monitoring and tracking repeat offenders, sock masters, etc. and contacting ISP's as deemed necessary)
  • You're talking about Abuse Response, and Long-term abuse. Contacting ISPs is pretty sensitive, since we're talking to big companies.
Vandalism Analysis Unit (Responsible for monitoring and reporting trends in abuse)
  • WikiProject Vandalism studies, that is going to get merged
Sock Puppet Investigations (self-explanatory)
  • Yes, but we have SPI already.
Response: SPI would be merged in to CVU as per this proposed reorganization. AndrewN talk 01:18, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Abuse Patrol (These divisions are responsible for reverting abuse as it happens, and reporting potential trends)
  • Huggle, Twinkle, igloo and other Anti-Vandalism programs could get more funtionality to report when it attacks happen.
New-Page Patrol (self-explanatory)
RC Patrol (self-explanatory)
Special Response Task Force (would respond to situations where single pages were targeted, 4chan attacks, etc. Would be comprised of members of other divisions, and administrators. Goal would be to have members available around the clock to deal with special circumstances.)
  • Elections, and time zones.
Abuse Prevention
  • This is the most important, leaves nothing in the edit history. Always clean is better than cleaned.
Abuse Filter (Responsible for creating abuse filters at the request of the community, and/or other CVU divisions)
  • Yes, another for WT:EF.
Page Protection (Responsible for protecting pages at the request of the community, and/or other CVU divisions)
  • Another thing for RfPP.
~~Ebe123~~ (+) talk
11:17, 30 October 2011 (UTC)
Another idea would be to appoint specific project heads (eg, head of New Page Patrol) and make these heads the collective administration. Tarheel95 (talk) 17:19, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
I've reformatted the discussion a tad, using : instead of * for indentation. Now, in response to some comments.
RE: SPI - SPI would be merged in to CVU, likely later on down the road, but SPI should fall under CVU duties, rather than be totally independent.
RE: SRTF Elections - SRTF should be more an appointment position. It would be up to Division heads and Administration to appoint members to the SRTF based on their work in their respective projects.
RE: LTA/Abuse Response - I am a Proj. Cord. and investigator for Abuse Response, and it's pretty disorganized. I feel the duties could be easily rolled in to CVU, and successfully. The way LTA and AR work now is LTA tracks, AR contacts after investigating a person again. There's no reason why we can't make those one division under CVU.
RE: WT:EF - The edit filter is primarily a tool used to combat vandalism. There's no reason why it shouldn't fall under CVU.
RE: RfPP - Another project I propose should be merged in, because protection is primarily a tool to combat vandalism.
RE: Coordinators - Yes, a head coordinator elected, and 3 persons below them, like branch coordinators. (i.e. CVU Director, Abuse I&T Director, Abuse Patrol Director, Abuse Prevention Director), and then each individual division would have a head, and possibly some form of rank structure within (this is really something to work out later, once we hammer out a main structure).
I'll organize the discussions a bit later tonight or tomorrow by breaking each division to it's own discussion/heading so we can better track our comments. Glad to see there are a few people on board. AndrewN talk 01:18, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm forwarding this to the affected noticeboards, and WP:AN, since the CVU is general interest for Administrators. I could prepare the Director pages and the election. The election could be in January, or February. ~~Ebe123~~ (+) talk
21:39, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
Let's just SNOW close the proposal to merge other processes. ~~Ebe123~~ (+) talk
10:35, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Discussion != Proposal. ebe123: You have seriously jumped the gun here. There are ideas of how we might like to proceed, not how we are going to proceed. Please feel free to DISCUSS, but there is (was) no reason to forward to noticeboards at the moment. It's up to the rest of the CVU project to decide if this is a road we would like to take, which the answer is likely no. The only reason I posted these ideas was to spur discussion on revitalizing the project, not to have a new user start posting at WP:AN and other noticeboards that "we're taking over this this this this and this suck it." AndrewN talk 22:47, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Not all uses of the edit filter are for the range of vandalism/sockpuppetry/test edits (which, to the best of my understanding, is waht CVU handles) - for example, Filter 435 notices when new users, acting in good faith, add protection templates to pages when they think that this action actually protects the page. We have had other filters like this - for example, Filter 313, which is specificly designed to handle side-effects the user is indoubtedly unaware of. And RfPP is used not only for vandalism-handing, but also for dealing with some edit wars. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 07:12, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
There are other uses for filters, but primarily it seems to be vandalism, and same with RfPP. The majority of filters are to prevent vandalism, and the majority of page protections are to prevent templates/articles/pages from being vandalized, and others are to prevent inadvertent changes. I just feel that consolidating all these individual projects in to one larger project would make things run a little smoother. AndrewN talk 22:47, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Overall, this looks like a great plan. If I understand correctly, under this organization the CVU would undertake a far more important role than it does now, serving as a center for all anti-vandalism activities. While the CVU has been inactive for a long while (until now), almost all of the discussions, questions, and reports I used to see where about RC patrolling. The ambitious proposal calls for the CVU to expand to cover SPI, LTA, NPP, etc. This is a far greater territory to cover. The problem I see is in beginning it. Firstly, there will be persistent debates about whether several smaller organizations are better or worse than one large one; in the area of vandalism, I am of the latter opinion, but this certainly has its critics. Secondly, the CVU has been criticized (I remember an old article linked from the CVU page) for approachingly vandalism in too much of a militaristic faction; the addition power invested in the CVU by this plan and the additional bureaucracy would certainly not silence these critics. And finally, egos will clash. Although there is little power and authority to be had on Wikipedia, there are those who coordinate other projects who would feel threatened by centralization into the CVU; many will feel that they and their projects would be made subordinate. These petty squabbles could undermine the whole of our efforts.
There is a chance that things will go smoothly, if the sub-projects are given a good degree of independence while still being under the centralized CVU. However, it is likely that there will be a good degree of opposition for the reasons described above. In debates, I feel that CVU apologists will far outnumber critics, but Wikipedia is not a democracy. To invest all anti-vandalism efforts on WP under one roof is a move which will seemingly require the approval from some of the highest organs of Wikigovernance. While a difficult task, though, it would certainly allow for far better coordinated efforts. It's amibitious, with a chance of failure, but every grand change must begin somewhere. Marechal Ney (talk) 03:22, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for your input Marechal. Honestly, I'm surprised there's been any support for the raw BS idea I originally posted... Simply put, what I posted above was just something really extreme, to spark debate within CVU of what we wanted to do, and get a discussion going. There is so much to be discussed, to see how far CVU wants to go. This discussion however, has gotten way out of hand, so my project this week is to better the discussion by sorting out the mess, and holding this page as an archive. A lot of people jumped in to this discussion thinking "This is a crazy proposal, no way we're doing this." There wasn't really much constructive discussion. It's like people came in, saw the "hierarchy" and said "no, just no."
I absolutely agree that the above would be a huge undertaking, and I honestly wouldn't support moving forward with even proposing such a plan to the main WP community without support from everyone in CVU, upping our active CVU participation, and of course the support of a majority of other relevant groups. I think that merging all these projects under one roof would significantly impact vandalism on WP. With more communication between groups, and better tracking of who's doing what, it'd be much easier to identify trends, locate sock puppets, locate long-term abusers, etc. It will take hard work, dedication, and a long time to complete a plan like this. It's not an overnight change. We'd have to set everything up such that it would address any possible concerns from the community (i.e. being too militaristic in approaching vandalism). The old CVU is dead (obviously). It's time really to decide if we want to archive this project, or whether we want to develop the CVU in to something that will help improve WP and further the goals of WP, and the WMF in general. Honestly, this is something I would like to see, and like to be a part of. The question is, does anyone else want to be a part of that? Only time will tell. AndrewN talk 10:06, 7 November 2011 (UTC)


This Section of Discussion Archived/Closed (Reason listed in Archive Result area)

'This section has been marked as an archive to prevent the discussion from going out of control. Many users here were directed here and viewed the proposal out of context, and they did not realize that this was not a proposal, but a discussion to see how CVU wants to pursue it's revival. There are a few good comments within, but leaving this open would likely inflame the already ongoing situation regarding the misinformation many projects received. Users are invited to participate in the discussion, but the discussion needs to get back on track first. AndrewN talk

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Why are you trying to subsume all the processes under the CVU? What purpose does it serve other than aggrandizement of the CVU? Fences&Windows 22:08, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

It's that vandalism processes could be put well into the big place for combatting vandalism. Though I do not agree that much about merging RfPP, since there's more than vandalism. ~~Ebe123~~ (+) talk
22:12, 1 November 2011 (UTC)
NPP, RfPP, SPI, RC are not just anti-vandalism processes. These are community-wide processes and there is no sense in this moribund WikiProject setting itself up as a supposed umbrella for such diverse processes and handing out baubles and important-sounding titles. Strongly oppose this and all such proposals. Fences&Windows 01:21, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

What exactly would be the effect of this "reorg" on, for example, New Page Patrol? 28bytes (talk) 23:29, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

None. It would be in a division of the CVU, but all the processes will remain the same. That's if the proposal on merging the projects gets accepted. It will not. ~~Ebe123~~ (+) talk
10:47, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Strongly agree with Fences and windows. This is a WikiProject—"merely a collection of individuals dedicated to removing vandalism". A WikiProject for vandal fighters is, in this day and age, simply not needed. But fine, wanting to revive it is fair enough. But suddenly proposing that it absorbs half the administrative processes on Wikipedia is just... excessive. Swarm X 01:37, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. Doing all this seems like fixing something that isn't broken, and is just going to confuse everyone who is used to the current way of doing business. Also, why is this being done/proposed on a WikiProject and not something like the village pump or what have you? Tiptoety talk 05:57, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Seconded. The instant you start proposing changes to widely-used processes, this needs to be posted at (or at least linked from) the Village Pump. Discussion within the CVU about formulating a cogent proposal, or on putting together an RFC to find some third path, that's all you. But when it extends beyond the project, it needs to go to VP. That's why we have the VP. UltraExactZZ Said ~ Did 13:36, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
Have to pile on here. CVU itself is fine, but the suggestion that it should absorb all other processes such as RFPP, SPI etc will never fly. RFPP for example doesn't just handle vandalism issues. Yeah, sorry, this is a bad idea that I just can't support. Steven Zhang The clock is ticking.... 03:23, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Fences&Windows got it exactly right. T. Canens (talk) 10:05, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
No disrespect to anyone, but speaking with SPI in mind, by the looks of things I'm going to be the fourth checkuser to say that this is a bad idea, and I don't see any SPI clerks that think it's a good one either. Agree with Fences&Windows entirely: it's all rather superfluous bureacracy, hierarchy and process. WilliamH (talk) 12:04, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not a CU or SPI clerk, but I do work there from time to time, and I have to agree. Actually, my thoughts, which concern the entire proposal, boil down to this: More bureaucracy is never the right answer. I have no doubt that the proposal was made with the interests of the project in mind, but with all due respect, bureaucracy is something to be minimized, not expanded. ​—DoRD (talk)​ 13:04, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Please see the notice now at the top of the page. This was simply a discussion to see if this is a route that the project would like to pursue, not a proposal to actually do anything. ebe123 jumped the gun posting at other notice boards honestly. I only posted the original ideas to spur conversation between project members to determine what we want to do, and how we want to do anything. Sorry for any inconvenience. AndrewN talk 22:49, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the clarification. ​—DoRD (talk)​ 00:31, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
As many people here have posted, this proposal seems a very bureaucratic and unnecessary one. It is probably true that better integration is a good thing, but not by merging, as somebody said, half of all of all administrative process on Enwiki seems extreme and unhelpful, also, it looks like somebody should SNOW close this or drastically reformulate it, it clearly had no consensus whatsoever from what can be seen above. Snowolf How can I help? 00:59, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
I also want to add, that I think a useful read would be WP:ESPERANZA and related material, really, the proposal as it is structured is a very bad idea in my opinion. More bureaucracy is something we hardly need on the English Wikipedia. Snowolf How can I help? 01:11, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
I don't see the point of more bureaucracy especially with something as simple as vandal fighting, I totally agree with Snowolf. Secret account 01:48, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Your vote is appreciated, but you should read the edit notice at the top of the page clearly stating that this is a discussion on what CVU may or may not like to pursue in the future. This is NOT a proposal for action at this point. This is a simple discussion. AndrewN talk 03:07, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

A good point from all this[edit]

I think it's extremely valuable to consider how WP:ABUSE can in some way work more closely with WP:LTA. Whether that means both being merged into CVU, or one being subsumed into the other, I don't really care. As I've explained at Wikipedia talk:Abuse response, much of what WP:ABUSE does at the present time seems completely pointless; whereas if it were focused on issues raised by WP:LTA then it would be (at least) less pointless. (Incidentally, Jimbo has given some support to the latter idea.) Ditch all the ideas about electing chairpeople to oversee underpopulated ships; concentrate on making these two initiatives work together to actually do something useful. Make records of your results, anonymised if necessary. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 23:11, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Demiurge, ABUSE and LTA do need to work more closely, and I called for that before Netalarm left WP to work on his own site. Honestly, ABUSE, LTA, and SPI need to work better together... There are so many things that need to happen with AR and LTA it's not funny. I agree with having project coordinators within CVU however. As for Chairmen, we really have to have a set few people who know whats going on, and can oversee the n00bs CVU seems to attract. Essentially Project Coordinators. The point of the Administration sub-group is just to handle disputes between chairs, and make sure that the projects are active and up to date... More secretary/counselors than administration. Thanks for your input! AndrewN talk 23:20, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
Project coordinator, chairmen, administration sub-group, chairs, secretaries, counsellors, to be honest, these words rather make my toes curl. How exactly do ABUSE and LTA need to work better together with SPI? WilliamH (talk) 00:17, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
Abuse could do LTA type reports, and that requires CU most of the time. In better words, contacting ISPs about users, not IPs. Oh, and LTA is only for serial sockpuppets and this could put reporting in the normal work of the clerks. But I think that just having 1 lead and 3 coordinators are enough. ~~Ebe123~~ → reportContribs 12:55, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Main Page[edit]

I am designing a new MP for the CVU since the current one is a mess. It's at Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit/Sandbox. ~~Ebe123~~ → reportContribs 12:09, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

Let's hold off for now. We need to first decide what the CVU's goals are going to be. Besides, it'd be easier just to clean up the main page. AndrewN talk 20:25, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
When it's done we could decide. ~~Ebe123~~ → reportContribs 21:32, 7 November 2011 (UTC)
I finished it. If there's no objections, lets move it up. ~~Ebe123~~ → reportContribs 19:56, 13 November 2011 (UTC)
I approve, but I think the CVU banner should be centered, just below the quote, to be more aesthetically pleasing. Marechal Ney (talk) 20:32, 13 November 2011 (UTC)

Stop I am reverting the main page back to it's original state, and unarchiving this discussion. There was no consensus established from the active project members to do anything. As clearly stated in the notices on the top of this page, we are NOT taking action yet, on ANYTHING proposed on this page. We won't take action on it until there is a consensus between all active project members. AndrewN talk 23:16, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

Correction, I'm having an admin restore the deleted version, and move the current page back to the sandbox. A majority of the content on the page has been proposed, but not approved. AndrewN talk 23:24, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
Complete consensus needed on the design of a page? The new page, if I remember correctly, added nothing that significantly changed the page; it was simply regorganized, a few aesthetic changes made, and the members list added. If you were unsure about the inclusion of proposed research and administration divisions, then those two lines should have been left out, not the entirety of it reverted. Does anyone actually contest any fundamental parts of the new page, now in the sandbox once more? I agree, consensus of the active community is needed for major changes, but the conversation is limited to a handful of people. If need be, request a group message, asking for more participation, to be sent by bot, but please do not eliminate what progress. Do we really need a majority of active members, most of whom rarely check the CVU page at all, to approve minor, aesthetic changes? If that's the case, then shouldn't this page be deleted for lack of any discussion as to whether we should have discussion? Look, we won't be getting a majority of even active members to participate in the discussion, and especially not in something as trivial as what our main page should look like. What we can do is to address any concerns that are raised; if no one has a problem with the new main page, and it has its supporters, then do we really need everyone to support it? I think not. Marechal Ney (talk) 22:56, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Six days later, no more discussion has occurred. I think it's fair to say that my aforementioned argument that we, unfortunately, can't get a complete idea of group consensus due to low activity has been proven. However, there is a consensus of the few active people in the discussion. The support of this new page has two votes yes, zero against (AndrewN's criticism is not on the basis of its content); there have been no objections raised to the design of the page, other than my small aesthetics suggestion which I promptly did. If there is no opposition raised with the "new" page (the one in the sandbox) within a reasonable time period, I will go off of the consensus of the active community and change it. A thank you to those who are participating in discussion, and remember: Be bold. Marechal Ney (talk) 02:45, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
I did criticize the pages content. The new page details things that were proposed here, but have not been acted on or approved by anyone here. I ask, why do we want to change the page now? Why not wait until it NEEDS to be changed? We should wait until we know what we plan to do, so we are re-designing it once, instead of several times over. AndrewN talk 01:47, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
What's your criticism on the new content? You only said to put this on hold and clean-up the current. Nothing about the new content. ~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 11:33, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

Administration Page Discussion[edit]

Vandalism studies will likely be merged soon (though we still need anyone who hasn't posted there already to go to the talkpage and Support the measure), so now the big hole in our layout is administration. There are two big areas to address: 1) Layout of the administration page(s). 2) Structure of administration itself. Anyone can start to work on #1, and I have no real opinions to say as to preliminary design concpets. #2 is far more important, and needs active discussion by the community. Firstly, elections. I see no way to make the administration, if this project is to grow, without some form of election. The specifics of this are difficult to decide, however.

  • What are the requirements to be for voters? Will everyone in the project vote, or will there be, perhaps, some sort of electoral body which does?
  • What are the requirements for candidates?

Secondly, it must be more specified what the coordinators exactly do.

  • Exactly what powers/duties are bestowed upon coordinators?
  • How long will terms be?

I will need to think about the answers to these questions, though I think the discussion should begin now. Marechal Ney (talk) 03:58, 15 November 2011 (UTC)

I could work on it. So the requirements could be simple, such as 150 edits by the start, the requirements for voters could be "some vandalism reverts", and everyone in the project may vote.
The coordinators don't have powers, but they can just help divisions with problems, be the point of contact and such. The terms could be 1 year. ~~Ebe123~~ → reportContribs 20:50, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
  • I suggest the voting requirements be: To Vote Vandalism-Combat related activity within the last 6 months, must be an active member of the CVU. Every member who meets these requirements can vote. To Run Must have at least one year of experience within their concentrated field (eg. NPP, CSD, ect). Coordinator Powers The administration shall be treated as regular members of the CVU when discussing proposals, but the administration must, as a collective whole, come to a majority decision regarding such proposals. The administration shall be expected to 1. Resolve questions and problems within the CVU divisions 2. Resolve conflict within the CVU as a collective body. 3. Be expected to explain their actions when asked to do so by three or more CVU members. Term Length The term length shall be exactly one year from the closing election (To be conducted in a similar fashion to RfA, majority rules) to the closing of the next election. There is however, not a limit to how long an editor can serve on the administration, although they must request candidacy each year they would like to do so. Finally I believe whatever consensus we reach should be written in a CVU Ratified Bylaw section, visible to everyone, and changeable via a majority vote among the community. Therefore The administration has very limited powers, and the final say (when not specifically outlined as an administrative duty) shall belong to the community. Tarheel95 (talk) 13:29, 16 November 2011 (UTC)

Discuss, Don't Do[edit]

Just a reminder to everyone. We are only talking about what we may like to do, not actually doing anything. At this point, there is a lot to be discussed. Before we take action, we need to draw up a proposal detailing EVERYTHING to be done, and then all the active project members need to approve it. AndrewN talk 23:28, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

It seems the most important question now is "what is the proposal detailing everything to be done, and who should write it?" Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 15:33, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes. ~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 00:02, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
This proposal that I speak of would cover what ever action the project as a whole decides to take on. It would be a work by all the project members. Ultimately, it would be a reformat of this discussion after anything voted out gets removed. AndrewN talk 01:49, 7 December 2011 (UTC)


I have begun drafting a proposal. Feel free to change it liberally. It can be found here. Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 14:19, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Proposal Presentation/Vote[edit]

The following is the tentative proposal for the guidelines of the CVU. I propose the project take a vote for its ratification. Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 16:42, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

CVU Guideline Proposal[edit]

The following are the proposed guidelines for the operation of the Counter Vandalism Unit.


The purpose of the Counter Vandalism Unit is:

  • To improve Wikipedia by removing content identified as vandalism.
  • To educate the community at-large about the differences between what is vandalism and what is not.
  • To be a central project for all users interested in partaking in the aforementioned task to discuss various matters related to the subject.
  • To develop and/or discuss the development of tools used in the combat of vandalism.
  • To study vandalism trends through the merge of vandalism studies.
  • To take appropriate action when potential vandals damage the encyclopedia.
  • To encourage those who edit in good faith, even if their edits are classifiable as vandalism.

Guidelines on Policy[edit]

  • First and foremost, if an edit meets the criteria of vandalism, revert it.
  • Do not bite newcomers. To do so is against the CVU's purpose and Ideals.
  • Repair and prevent vandalism, don't punish editors.
  • Overall, being a member of the CVU grants no special authority to users.

Think Tank[edit]

  • The think tank shall be set up in such a way as to retain previous discussion, as well as invite new discussion.
  • All user's opinions shall be treated equally with "coordinators" receiving no special status when discussion arises.


  • The CVU shall have several coordinators, each willing to serve a term of six months.
  • There shall be a "board of coordinators," with a coordinator, elected on by the coordinators themselves serving as chair.
  • The board shall make no decision without first initiating discussion among the collective CVU.
  • There shall be a specific place for the aforementioned discussion to occur.
  • Overall, the coordinators have no special authority, other than taking final consensus of the collective CVU and acting upon it.


  • As stated above, each board member will agree to serve a six-month term.
  • There shall be no limit on the number of terms a coordinator can serve, provided the coordinator follows the selection process each time.
  • Elections shall be set up in a way similar to other discussions, with users able to !vote using support, oppose or otherwise.
  • A 2/3 majority Consensus must be reached for an editor to assume the role of a coordinator.

On CVU Status[edit]

  • The CVU shall not merge with any other projects, or vice versa (except with consensus of the two projects) The Unit will merely be a place where editors can collaborate on and discuss said projects.
  • As stated above, no CVU member has any special authority (except when their role explicitly requires it within the Unit.)
  • All actions taken by the CVU, including the ratification and revision of the final version of this or or other proposals must pass a general discussion, in which a 2/3 majority consensus must be reached to determine group-wide consensus.

The Role of the Coordinator[edit]

A coordinator shall be, in general,

  • A member of the Counter-Vandalism Unit that is in good standing within the project.
  • A user that has obviously showed interest in the ideals of the project.
  • A user that has not been blocked for any period of time.

The coordinators duties shall include, but not be limited to:

  • Resolving disputes within the project.
  • Organizing drives and events (similar to GOCE).
  • Representing the CVU and its ideals.
  • Being willing to share information about the project with other projects, ect. (interviews in the signpost, village pump, ect)
  • Administering the selection process.
  • Closing discussions on project-wide proposals.

The Role of the Member[edit]

A user shall be viewed as a member of the CVU if he/she:

  • Is within good standing within Wikipedia.
  • Represents the CVU's ideals.
  • Has not been blocked for any period of time.
  • Obviously shows interest in the ideals of the project.

On Disputes[edit]

  • Any dispute which arises within the project shall be defaulted to coordinator intervention unless the situation calls for further administrative action.
  • The coordinator shall interview the parties involved, give each party a chance to share their viewpoint, then make a decision.
  • The decision shall not be enacted until the coordinator consults the other members of the board.
  • When and if the board comes to a 2/3 majority consensus, the decision which is in the majority shall be enacted.



  1. Changed version, asked to submit it. ~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 21:04, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  2. Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 02:07, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  3. Support Dan653 (talk) 22:46, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  4. Support RA0808 talkcontribs 17:04, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  5. Support - per below Achowat (talk) 18:11, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  6. Support - Mrlittleirish 12:19, 18 February 2012 (UTC) {Wasn't logged in!!!}
  7. Support --Ankit MaityTalkContribs 06:57, 9 March 2012 (UTC)


  • Oppose the lot except perhaps the "Purpose" section. The rest reads poorly, and is far too bureaucratic. Bureaucratic to the extremest of extreme. At a minimum, everything about coordinators should be stripped out. Disputes resolved by co-ordinators? No. We have dispute resolution for that. And it seems unreasonable to create requirements for users to join a WikiProject. So yeah, as I said, the lot needs to go except the purpose section. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 21:50, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Is your concern specifically those two things? It seems that Coordinators work well in the GOCE and MilHist for creating drives and working with the project at whole? (And I think we just forgot to take out the requirement of no block for membership) Achowat (talk) 22:02, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Keep in mind that this is a draft. We're open to anyone changing it with prior discussion. Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 02:22, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
    • It's way too bureaucratic. A project like this doesn't need co-ordinators at all, let alone co-ordinators resolving disputes. That's what dispute resolution is for. A board of co-ordinators? No, this is going into the completely wrong direction. The purpose is fine, but the rest really needs to go. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 02:35, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
      • Maybe Ebe or Tarheel could tell us what kind of 'Disputes' the envisioned the Coordinators dealing with. Achowat (talk) 12:36, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Disputes would refer to very minor disagreements between members of the project related to matters which concern the project. They are in no way related to standard mediation disputes, and would not require their services, nor arbitration. Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 16:42, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
    • So, could you conceive an example that wouldn't be able to be dealt with through consensus and would not be escalated to DRN? Achowat (talk) 18:01, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
    • My oppose stands. CVU didn't have co-ordinators back in the day when we didn't have Cluebot NG or edit filters, and vandalism was a major issue. Vandalism is still an issue, but a structured CVU is not needed. Co-ordinators of any shape or form are not needed for this project. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 00:25, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
      • You don't see any benefit in Coordinators in the same idiom as those on other successful projects, to coordinate drives and 'contests' and other motivating factors? Really, the biggest thing I'd like to see out of the new-look CVU is more effort put forth to educate potential-vandal hunters in how to do what we do. I think Coordinators can and should take a Lead role in this endeavor. Achowat (talk) 23:05, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
        • I think coordinators would be very beneficial to this, or if we everyone certain positions. I'm not sure how to elaborate on this, but yeah, positions. Glacialfox (talk) 16:07, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
          • What sort of positions to you envision? In my ideal CVU, there would be a Lead Coordinator to more-or-less oversee the whole Project and the work of the other Coordinators, a Coordinator to work with Tool Developers to suggest ways to improve Huggle, Twinkle, etc, for our purposes, a Coordinator to work with the Academy (as detailed below), and a few at-large Coordinators, people given trust by the project to work with the 3 'Roled' Coordinators and be extra voices for the Project. Essentially a cooling dish to give the ideas of Unit Members a looking-over before being introduced to the full membership. While Vandal-fighting will always be One Wikipedian sitting down patrolling Recent Changes, there is work to be done on a more macro level, and it makes sense to coordinate them in this Project.
            • yeah, basically like that. and maybe things like a group of people that would make drives and stuffGlacialfox (talk) 18:39, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
              • Which would be the role of the Coordinators, en masse in the scheme I support. Achowat (talk) 18:44, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
                • Oui. I think what we also need to figure something out for is that, for example, I've noticed a lot on igloo when you start from the bottom of the white articles you find a lot of obvious vandalism people missed either because they just missed it or because they never got to it because of all the more recent edits that kept coming up. I'm trying to think of something that could be done to help with that. I think I'm getting rather off-topic here. :| Glacialfox (talk) 19:13, 1 February 2012 (UTC)
                  • And a "Tools Coordinator" may be of use to discuss what issues have come up with Igloo (and Huggle, and Twinkle, and all the other scripts) with the Unit and work with those tool developers to come up with solutions. Achowat (talk) 19:17, 1 February 2012 (UTC)


  • The main issue for this sole "oppose" seems to be lack of need for co-ords on this project. I do see benefit from co-ords for the reasons Acho stated above. While Steve does not see a purpose to co-ords he has also not recommended any other ways to coordinate drives, contests, or to get general info out to the other reverters of the CVU. The only thing said by Steve is to not have the CVU at all, which I have survived without, but I think it would be beneficial. It would be nice to have the support of other reverters if you have a question or concern. Examples of these questions would be, should I revert this page, is this vandalism, an editing test, or just a noob, etc. Just to have the support the support of other reverters, the ability to concentrate efforts if there is a spate of vandalism on certain pages, and/or to coordinate with other editors if e.g. Cluebot went down again would be worth having a CVU. Dan653 (talk) 22:45, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
    • (P.s. just read the neutral comments and I agree 100% that collaboration would be a main + of getting this project running again)
  • What drives? Contests? For what? Reverting vandalism isn't a game or a contest. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 23:59, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Neither is Copy-editing, wikifying, or moving free-use files from Wikipedia to the Commons, but all of those associated WikiProjects have been very successful with their drives. Achowat (talk) 12:46, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Let me just say about how I like that the MtC drives I created are a sucess. Thanks for the barnstar. ~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 20:49, 3 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Hmmm I do not see any talk about reverting vandalism being game anywhere except for you saying it, so thanks for stating that because I really didn't know that. Also you say "what drives?", I say drives to root out vandalism missed by the WP:RCP. They deal with 1,000s of edits a day, so of course they will miss some. And it will be the CVU's job to root out this vandalism. The time taken to find and revert vandalism on some articles is 12.5 hours [1]! An example of an article that had vandalism that went undetected for a long time was this one [2], which went undetected for about four months! Also, making anything a competition, not a game, gives incentive for other users to help revert vandalism. Overall, I repeat that I fully believe in reviving the CVU. Dan653 (talk) 01:02, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
  • To sum up my view on the oppose, I'd like to quote the proposal "Overall, the coordinators have no special authority, other than taking final consensus of the collective CVU and acting upon it." The whole point of the coordinator is to make sure things get done around the project, and to prevent the future need for revitalization discussions such as this. Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 15:30, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
  • I don't oppose, but I agree with what you say. Dan653 (talk) 22:33, 16 February 2012 (UTC)



  • Consensus should be used, not votes, and projects may merge in the CVU by consensus, link Vandalism Studies will. ~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 20:16, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
    • I've changed it myself. ~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 20:31, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
      • Overall, your changes were good, the only bits that still bother me are the "2/3 for coordinators" and the "2/3 of all members to determine group consensus". Setting hard-and-fast numbers like this seems to be in opposition to the ideas in WP:CON. Achowat (talk) 20:47, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
      • Alright, my major concerns are taken care of, so I guess I'll bring up my nit-picky ones. Purpose - only "blatant" vandalism? We can't remove all vandalism? Think Tank section still mentions voting, I'd prefer to see 'discussion'. Also, excluding people who've been blocked ever seems against the goals of the blocking system. The reason blocks expire is because they're supposed to be "preventive" not punitive. I'm sure I'm not the only opinion that matters here. Could I ask why those terms were chosen? Achowat (talk) 21:04, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
        • As this is not that active for now, so you may change it. ~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 21:43, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
          • my edit, minor but salient issues, of which I'd be willing to explain the rationale for to any interested party. Achowat (talk) 22:42, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
  • These changes look good. I'm honestly not a big fan of the voting system, it just seemed the most obvious to me at the time. "Blatant" vandalism was taken directly from the site-wide policy on vandalism reversion. I also agree with your changes with blocking, all users deserve the right to contribute regardless of their editing history. Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 02:00, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
    • Blatant vandalism, as I understand it, is the standard for exceptions to rules and procedures. Blatant Vandalism doesn't violate WP:3RR, for instance, and you can use WP:ROLLBACK on it. We should still removal vandalism, especially subversive vandalism that it might be missed by WP:RCP. I've just looked through all of CVU's MfDs, and it seems that the way to revitalize the project is to change what we do. We need to collaborate. I added Education to the core principles (in fact, I made it the second one) because the biggest thing that CVU can be useful for is taking WikiGnomes and turning them into Page Patrollers. I'd like to see an Admin Coaching/Adopt-a-User style program in place (maybe the CVU Academy; I like thinking of us more as law enforcement than the military-esque tones drawn up by some of the UBXs) where Budding Anti-Vandalians can learn to distinguish Vandalism from what it is not. I know I'm rambling, sorry. This Talk page needs it's own Talk Page. Achowat (talk) 20:45, 26 January 2012 (UTC)
  • How about having a limit of 4 coordinators, 1 lead, and 3 others. ~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 20:26, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
    • To be expanded by the Project as necessary per WP:CCC? I can deal with that. Achowat (talk) 20:36, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
  • That's the idea of this proposal as well, it all can be changed in any way if and when it is enacted, provided there is consensus. Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 17:55, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Standing Count[edit]

The count of each section as it stands on Friday, February 10th, 2012 is 6/1/0 Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 17:56, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

I oppose the inclusion of this statistic, per WP:DEM. Wikipedia is not a democracy, but government by consensus. The strength and breadth of the arguments made, and their ability to pursuade other editors, is how we determine whether a proposal has community support, not by a head-count. Achowat (talk) 18:19, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
  • This wasn't my intent by any means, only a way of keeping tabs as this page is now flooded with comments. Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 04:39, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

The elephant in the room[edit]

Let's say that this vote stays open for another week. It passes with flying colors – only one oppose, that's consensus! – and the CVU has a shiny new official charter. What happens next? You spend a couple of weeks agreeing that three, four, five, or all of you get to add CVU coordinator to your signatures (maybe someone makes a userbox for that); someone spends a week or two closing the Vandalism Studies WikiProject merger vote and moves their pages into the subpages of CVU...and then what? What are the near-term goals and tasks the CVU might conceivably perform (subject to whatever paperwork and coordinator rubber stamps are needed) to fulfill their mission(s)? What are the useful and constructive tasks that the CVU members here would like to carry out? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 17:21, 15 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, the sole reasons I support a re-vitalization of the CVU is because I think we have something to offer in regards to Education and Coordination. The immediate steps that I would like to see are 1. the Creation of a CVU Academy (like Adopt-a-User or Admin Coaching) where Recent Changes Patrollers can be taught to identify vandalism (and what Vandalism is not), how and when to use the tools, the correct application of warning templates, the processes at AIV, and how to identify and revert subtle vandalism. 2. Reach out to anti-vandalism tool developers (like Huggle, Twinkle, Igloo, etc) and open up a dialogue with them so that it would be easier to tailor the tools to exactly how anti-vandals are actually using them. Achowat (talk) 18:13, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, I second what TenoOfAllTrades said. IMHO, and I have detailed why, I don't think co-ordinators for a project like CVU are needed, especially when it would likely be those who made the proposal to have co-ordinators that turn out to be the co-ordinators. It would be like Julia Gillard making herself the Governor General. It's just not right. Either way, I've left CVU. I don't think it will accomplish anything useful, especially not when it's bogged down with bureaucracy. Steven Zhang Join the DR army! 19:46, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
It's not "bogged down with bureaucracy," the point of coordinators is to make sure we never have to hold another discussion like this. It's to make members of the project more productive and their efforts more visible. It's to keep the project active and vital, with increased attention to areas like WP:RC and others. The proposal specifically states that coordinators have no special authority. The whole reason Wikipedia works so well is that it's not a bureaucracy. Sure, Wikipedia has administrators, and they often display this right on their user pages, but the clout doesn't keep the project running. Even if we completely throw out the idea of coordinators, (which can happen as it is a proposal) the bottom line is to keep the CVU alive. Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 14:41, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm going to be blunt; I apologize if it seems like I'm picking on you guys, but here it is in all of its tl;dr glory. I don't think the current small cadre of organizers on this talk page have demonstrated a need for a new project to perform the tasks that they present as its purpose(s), and I don't think that they currently have the necessary experience, skills, and social capital to pull the job off even if we grant that it ought to be done. Worse, it's all my fault that we're even here having this discussion.

I'm a bit of on odd duck on this page. I'm not a member of the CVU, and never have been. I only watchlisted the CVU in late 2010 because I noticed that the main page contained misleading and potentially harmful instructions about how to use vandalism warnings. (New editors were being advised to only take reports of vandalism to WP:AIV after four warnings had been issued: generally a waste of time, and an invitation to more vandalism. This attitude had begun to leak over into more-experienced editors at AIV – who had absorbed the CVU instructions over the year or so they had been up – who were starting to turn down perfectly reasonable requests because a prolific vandal hadn't received their allotted three or four warnings.) I raised the problem on the CVU talk page [3], and figured that someone from the CVU would fix the problem. More than a week later I had received no response, and I had to rewrite the instructions myself. No CVU member then or since has bothered to even acknowledge that I did their project a good turn, and honestly I doubt that any of them even noticed that their front page had been changed.

Fast forward a year to October 2011, and I was still the last editor to make any significant update to the CVU mainpage. I put up the {{historic}} template, and Lord! what a storm that provoked. The same violently apathetic members who couldn't be bothered to fix core instructions about Countering Vandalism on their own project's main page couldn't stand the suggestion their userboxes were merely ornamental. (Indeed, the very first edit to the CVU mainpage after I marked it 'historic' was a reformatting of the userboxes table: [4].) An urgent message went out to the members. The 'historic' template was removed two and a half days after it went up—far less time than it took to fix an error on the project's front page. Who will mind this store, and what are their priorities?

Step forward another four months, and now we're here. The 'save our project' signature campaign drew in forty-five signatures. The guidelines for a new and revitalized CVU have been posted for three weeks; of the forty-five editors who cared enough to sign last year's I'm-a-member declaration, just six are still paying enough attention to the project to vote on the proposed guidelines. Is this lack of involvement due to a lack of interest on the part of most CVU members, or is this the result of very poor communication on the part of the editors trying to manage this process? (My own suspicions lean more to the former than the latter, but either cause suggests serious problems.)

The most active individuals here – the ones participating in this discussion, who would by default likely end up in the proposed leadership roles – are not among Wikipedia's most experienced editors. Most have been involved with Wikipedia for less than two years (some for significantly less time). To be absolutely clear, I am not suggesting that newer editors aren't valuable, that their enthusiasm should be squelched, or that you guys aren't competent and hardworking—but I'm having trouble seeing the 'street cred'. If you lead, will people follow? In this core group, I don't see

  • any administrators,
  • any edit filter managers,
  • any Mediawiki developers,
  • any developers of the editing tools like Huggle and Twinkle,
  • any operators of anti-vandalism bots like ClueBot,
  • any Checkusers,
  • any editors with advanced permissions on other projects.

In other words, you guys are missing the permissions and experience necessary to perform several of the core functions of vandal-fighting.

The proposed guideline and ensuing discussion touch on CVU having a particularly persuasive or cohesive voice in guiding the development of anti-vandalism tools. Why should the various software developers and bot operators be expected to lend more weight to your requests and opinions—just because a little group of you assigned yourselves some titles? Have you previously participated in the leadership of any WikiProject, or demonstrated skills in communicating with software developers?

The lack of experience will affect your ability to carry out your proposed missions. Above, Achowat foresees the creation of a CVU Academy, wherein part of the curriculum would involve the processes at AIV. Achowat is, as far as I know, a good editor, who works hard, and is approaching all of this in the best of faith—but as of last month, he was still making basic errors like these ones at AIV (placing reports of vandalism in the commented-out header instructions). It's not fair and it's not appropriate to hold yourselves out as experts and leaders when you're still making 'rookie' mistakes.

From the standpoint of creating or summarizing documentation, procedures, and policy, I have qualms. (Remember, I came here because one such summary was done particularly badly.) Wikipedia's policy and Help pages are very heavily watched and discussed, and generally quite carefully and thoroughly edited. It's not clear to me that attempting to duplicate and condense those rules under CVU's imprimatur will necessarily be a good and helpful thing; if done poorly, it would be damaging; if done well, the effort might better have been spent on the policy pages themselves. With a small number of highly-active editors on CVU, we won't necessarily be getting How to Handle Vandalism; we'll be getting Ebe123's Opinions on Vandalism, with Foreword by Achowat.

Wikipedia already has pages where editors can ask questions about how Wikipedia works, including how to handle vandalism. Pages like the Help Desk and the Administrators' noticeboard are constantly and enthusiastically watched by rather large numbers of Wikipedia's most experienced editors, and polite questions receive constructive responses within minutes. For situations requiring additional skills or permissions, there are lots of editors with admin privileges and with years of experience in handling WP:SPI, WP:CCI, WP:AIV, and every other alphabet-soup acronym on the project. WT:CVU, on the other hand, has a track record for responses than run in the hours-to-days-to-never range, and limited experience and tool availability. Repairing vandalism is generally a pretty solitary pursuit; in the situations where it isn't, editors need access to bigger guns than the current CVU skill pool provides.

A suggested purpose of this project is to coordinate and centralize various other vandalism-related projects; do those projects want your help, or see a need for your role? Beyond folding the also-essentially-defunct Wikipedia:WikiProject Vandalism studies into this one, who is out there for you to coordinate with? Do you anticipate that CVU would be consulted by (or even give permission to) on- or off-Wikipedia projects that study or respond to vandalism? (And if so, why? Do you bring particular skills or expertise in sociology, psychology, criminology, etc. to the table?) Is there anyone present in this discussion with clear and specific plans to conduct their own vandalism-related research, and who has the dedication, resources, and time to follow those plans through?

Looking at the current process, I'm seeing many of the same problems that plagued the original incarnation of the CVU. Back when it was first formed (2005/6), the CVU had some serious reputational issues. The attitude on these pages sometimes had a paramilitary flavor, with a declared intention to seek out and "destroy vandalism", a Wikipedia DEFCON meter (which was about as useful as the U.S. color-coded terror alert level meter), discussions about creating a CVU SWAT rapid response team, and other silliness. There was a great deal of process (and attempts to build and create new process) for its own sake, but precious little that one could point to and say, 'that was a useful addition to Wikipedia'. (Editors involved in administration from that era remember the CVU as a source of mild amusement and sometime pain in the neck. While attempting to start a new counter-vandalism project under the CVU banner means you get a pre-made mailing list of members and snazzy userboxes, be aware that you also get a fair bit of historical baggage.) What you have is a moderately-sized but very loose collection of individuals who are content to have their involvement with CVU limited to a userbox. Under that somewhat-broad but thin support you have a tiny core of individuals who want to build a more elaborate and far-reaching organization, but who haven't made a persuasive case for it.

As Tarheel95 says so succinctly above, the purpose of this discussion is "to keep the CVU alive". I don't find that a compelling argument. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:36, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Whoa! Exceptionally well-argued. To refute some arguments (there are others that are still valid and I'll allow to stand):
  • CVU in the Past: The Unit, in the past, has sucked. Let me be clear, I am not parsing words. CVU did a bad job at what it was trying to do. But that's because it was trying to do the wrong job. We can't be like a regular WikiProject, because countering vandalism isn't something you can collaborate on. Content Creators can collaborate on finding sources or writing prose, Counter Vandalism is one person at a computer, hitting 'undo'. But CVU can be a useful tool, if for no other reason than people are familiar with it. 2,800+ members of. There have been a few MfD's about this project in general, and there will be more the more we are redundant to WP:RCP. We end that redundancy by doing what RCP can't: Education, Coordination, and Collaboration. Also, this discussion is about CVU in the future; bringing up our failures in the past is building a straw man.
  • I, for one, find the DEFCON useful, as it turns out. When it hits higher than normal, I'm far more likely to spend a few hours patrolling Recent Changes than, for instance, reading a tl;dr comment and responding to it with a (potentially) longer rebuttal Face-smile.svg.
  • The Academy: I was the first person to propose this, so I'll tackle it first. I don't imagine the Academy as being a collection of pages re-summerizing WP:VAND. What I imagine it more as is a place to put experienced anti-vandals together with new anti-vandals to help improve those skills. People are going to mess up, they're going to forget to Substitute a WP:WARN template, they're going to call a Good Faith Edit vandalism, they're going to mess up when they report to AIV. It happens. What the Academy would do, by pairing a novice-style user with someone with more experience, is to let the latter watch over the vandal-fighting of the former, so instead of getting an impersonal message on your Talk (or an irate message from someone who feels bitten by the word 'vandal'), you get a re-assuring comment from someone you have a relationship with. Now, I've gone out of my way (tremendously so) to ready every WP:OMGWTFBBQ we have, and I still was unsure of how AIV worked. This is not an argument against the formation of the Academy, but demonstration that the current Policies, Guidelines, Essays and such are insufficient and a guiding hand may be needed.
  • Tool development: The term "Coordinator" was not chosen accidentally, nor simply for consistency's sake. Their role should be that of coordination. As a Tool Developer, a comment like "A few of us got together and thought a useful functionality would be x" would be given far more weight than any comment an individual could bring individually. I don't understand any coding other than WikiCoding, but I know that it'd be useful (if possible) to know if a registered User has removed any Warning Templates before I slap a {{uw-vandalism1}} on there. for instance. I'm sure people who use the Tools more often (I'm a rollback/Undo kinda guy, myself) can find other issue, and CVU can be a place to talk about them.
  • Street cred: You're right, none of us have the mop, none of us have many of the tools it's useful to have to fight vandals. I hate that term, by the way, "vandal fighter". We get in the wrong mindset, we bite, we treat IP addresses as prison jumpsuits. I much prefer the term "anti-vandal". My job isn't to stop, seek, job is to Undo, revert, and prevent damage. Frankly, I don't need to be able to block a vandal to help coordinate efforts against them because, frankly, the people who've signed up as Counter-Vanalism Unitarians don't have those tools either. If there were two competing ideas of how to make this project work, one moply and the other by us, by all means put the other to good use. Remember, we should be talking about the merits of this proposal, not the merits of the people who proposed it. Right now we're at a situation where there are editors who would like to improve this project (and through it, the encyclopedia) and no counter-program proposed. Essentially, the question shouldn't be "Is this new CVU 'strong enough' to be effective?"; rather it should be "Is this new CVU better than the one we have now?". And I strongly believe that, even if this new CVU is just 6 people (right now), it's more useful than the CVU is, currently constituted. Achowat (talk) 18:19, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
For people who do not agree with what we would like to do what would make you support, or do you feel that the CVU is just dead, which means whatever we say will not change your mind and you are just wasting your time and our time. Dan653 (talk) 22:42, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
If your including me, you are wrong. I was here for over 2 years, and have advanced permissions on an other project (bureaucrat on the incubator:, and sysop on strategy:). ~~Ebe123~~ → report on my contribs. 22:57, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
If that's the only part of my comment that you disagree with, then you can see the problem with your proposal as it stands.
In any event, I did say most editors had less than two years' experience—and really, you're being unhelpfully nitpicky. Your first enwiki contribution was on 5 February 2010; you were still under the two-year mark when you posted the proposal. If we want to examine your advanced permissions, I don't dispute that you have them. I do believe I should have been more specific—just having the tools on a wiki that doesn't see significant vandalism, or not using the tools regularly to deal with vandals and vandalism, makes those permissions much less useful or meaningful in the context of this discussion.
Looking at the relevant recent changes pages, Incubator gets about 100 edits per day, and Strategy gets about 5 edits per day. On both projects, a dedicated individual could hand-review every single edit made. enwiki, on the other hand, sees a hundred edits every minute or two. Neither Strategy: nor Incubator: see a lot of vandalism; they're out of the public eye and are less appealing targets. Counter-vandalism skills and processes on those projects are likely to be quite different – less formal, and much smaller in scale – than they are on enwiki.
Addressing your specific experience on those projects, at Incubator: you've made fewer than 1000 edits to the project, and have blocked one vandal. On Strategy: you have blocked a substantial number of spammers, but I can only find one vandal in your entire log. You have made fewer than 200 edits to the project. You did make two proposals for new initiatives—can you comment on what you've done to follow up or through on those proposals, particularly in a leadership or coordination role?
The work that you've done on those other two projects, while constructive, does very little to bolster your credentials as an individual who can offer particular insight into either the study or the reduction of vandalism on enwiki. Experience that might suggest strong leadership, communication, coordination, or liaison-type work in the context of long-term projects wasn't immediately obvious, but I admit that I didn't go digging. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:38, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
But you're still not arguing the heart of the issue. The issue isn't with the people who support this change, but with the change itself. Do you have criticisms of the proposal, or just the proposer? If that sounded facetious, I'm sorry; I mean that as a legitimate question. I came to this discussion (as a pretty inactive CVU member) because I had hope, I had faith, that CVU could be more than it was. If you think there's a better way to organize, educate, and coordinate Anti-Vandals, I'd love to hear it. "These are the wrong guys to fix it" is a pretty weak argument to me. Achowat (talk) 16:49, 17 February 2012 (UTC)
I'll give it one more shot, but if you aren't seeing the fundamental problems here I'm not going to throw another two thousand words at this page. You – and I'm using that 'you' in the collective, second-person-plural sense – don't have any concrete plans for the organization, and you don't have any people who have demonstrated the skills necessary to carry out the few vaguely-defined notions that you do have. By far the most-discussed issue is also by far the least relevant: organizing elections so that you can have four coordinators running a five-editor project. What you have here is an elaborate exercise in putting a very large cart before a very small horse. The entire approach here is ass-backwards. You're busy deciding who is going to be allowed to give interviews when you haven't had a single substantial conversation about what the project is really going to be working on.
You talk about coordinating requests for features and feedback on anti-vandalism tools. Have you approached even a single tool developer to see if they want a forum created for generating feature requests, and if they were amenable to having the CVU operate that forum? Have any of the would-be Coordinators shown that they can work effectively on tool development with the software writers? You're telling me that tool developers will pay more attention to you with a CVU badge than without, but have you actually found that tool developers are unwilling to engage with you as individuals when you approach them with reasonable, courteous, helpful suggestions and requests?
You talk about mentoring new vandal fighters by pairing them with experienced editors, but have any of you actually just gone out and tried helping new editors in a systematic way? It would be a simple way to generating a proof of principle, and a demonstration of ability in that area. Is there a reason why prospective mentors in the coming months will want to subordinate themselves to, and be represented publicly by, a group of relatively inexperienced, self-appointed Coordinators? Have any of you tried your hands at updating, discussing, or improving existing Wikipedia resource pages related to vandalism? TenOfAllTrades(talk) 03:52, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

WP:AVOIDYOU (Make note, I'm directing you only to the paragraph linked to and not the great WP:NPA; nothing you've done so far has even approached a personal attack). That being said, we're here to "discuss the edits, not the editors." If you have no arguments against the actual content of this proposal, then there's really no discussion. I don't even know if you think these ideas are worthwhile or not, all I keep hearing is that there is somehow this band of 4 or 5 of us who will somehow by fiat declare ourselves Coordinators, create a userbox, and then spend the next 6 months twiddling our thumbs until we decide to have another sham election. That is, frankly, a little insulting. The category for Wikipedians in CVU is full of about 2,800 Users. To suggest that the only ones who would want to discuss the processes at CVU are those who want to discuss the way people discuss processes at CVU is, frankly, misguided. If a consensus is reached for the (s)election of Coordinators, I will make sure an invitation to participate in that (s)election process is given to every single person in that category, even if it takes me 60 hours to do so. And I welcome your participation; you have a better understanding of the issues that may face CVU in the future. You have a greater insight and more clue than a great many members of that Category. However, if you really think that these goals aren't worthwhile or that there is a better way to achieve these goals, let's talk about them. But, unfortunately, you haven't provided any insight into how you're thinking. I'm not dyed-in-the-wool about Coordinators, so let's talk constructively about whether they're needed and what they should do (well, assuming that you're opposed to the idea of Coordinators to begin with). We're stuck with a situation where Decisions have to be made by those who show up, and you've shown up so I want you to help make this decision. WP:DEMOCRACY doesn't just need we need to put exclamation points in front of the word "vote", it means when two groups of editors disagree, they reach a compromise. So let's start talking shop: Is there any revitalization of CVU that you would think would be of benefit to the encyclopedia, or do you believe that re-activating CVU is inherently detrimental? (Not facetious). Achowat (talk) 05:06, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

I surrender. You're too hung up on the idea that talking about Coordinators is the most important thing to be doing. There seems to be some sort of impenetrable and immovable assumption that if only there were figureheads everything else would fall into place, that elected Coordinators would be magically imbued with the ability to offer practical and concrete instructions to throngs of newly-energized CVU members. I suggested several relatively simple things that the editors who want to bring back CVU could be doing to build experience and establish your credibility, but you're too busy being offended by my refusal to use the passive voice in describing your actions and proposals to consider them.
Finally, have you actually bothered to look at your supposed 2800-strong member list? You keep mentioning that figure as if it were meaningful; it's not. Starting in the B's, the top 20 entries are
  1. B-Boy 369 (talk · contribs), last edit 17 January 2012, 16 edits this year.
  2. B33R (talk · contribs), last edit 6 April 2007
  3. Babij (talk · contribs), last edit 2 November 2010
  4. Babylonian Armor (talk · contribs), last edit 13 March 2011
  5. Badgernet (talk · contribs), last edit 9 February 2012, 44 edits this year, active in reverting vandalism.
  6. BadHappyness (talk · contribs), last edit 19 April 2006, 2 edits total
  7. Bagoncalves (talk · contribs), last edit 10 September 2009
  8. Bakilas (talk · contribs), last edit 10 February 2012, 6 edits this year
  9. Baksoul (talk · contribs), last edit 7 May 2011
  10. BananaFiend (talk · contribs), last edit 24 October 2011
  11. Bananafritter (talk · contribs), last edit 8 December 2007
  12. Bantersomething (talk · contribs), last edit 29 March 2006
  13. Barkjon (talk · contribs), last edit 2 December 2010
  14. Barliner (talk · contribs), last edit 4 January 2012, 1 edit this year
  15. Barron64 (talk · contribs), last edit 11 October 2006
  16. Bart133 (talk · contribs), last edit 18 October 2011
  17. User:Bart133/Userboxes, subpage of User:Bart133 containing another CVU template
  18. Bartzw (talk · contribs), last edit 18 December 2006
  19. Basawala (talk · contribs), last edit 17 February 2012, 1 edit this year
  20. Bass fishing physicist (talk · contribs), last edit 2 August 2007
In total,
  • 1 entry is a duplicate username from template(s) appearing on a subpage (this is actually pretty common in the category);
  • 14 editors have not edited Wikipedia this year, and most have been gone for more than a year;
  • 3 editors have made fewer than 10 edits this year;
That leaves B-Boy 369 – who last edited more than a month ago, and who was blocked for a week in December 2011 when 'friends' of his created vandalism-only throwaway accounts while using his computer – and Badgernet, who really is a reasonably active editor with a track record for removing vandalism.
If you send out a notification to the entire list, at least three quarters will never read it because they're not editing the project any more. Of the remainder, most are CVUers "in userbox only": occasional or infrequent editors who will revert vandalism when they see it, but who really aren't all that active on Wikipedia. In this sample, just one in twenty might have a level of engagement sufficient for them to follow through on a longer-term responsibility like mentorship or collaboration on software development, but even there you don't know that they want to work with the CVU as an active member. Honestly, none of the editors approach daily or even consistent weekly editing. The fact that so few editors (experienced or otherwise) have noticed and participated in this discussion should be telling you something.
But go ahead and assign yourself some hats and logos. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:49, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

ToAT makes a good point here, and I'm sold. This project, as it stands is to small for Coordinators. The core of 5 or 6 editors we have now can effect the change that we want to see. Nothing of what we're talking about requires an executive sub-group and there are likely not enough people who would be active anyway. If we focus on the goals instead of the process, we'll see that we really don't need Coordinators right now. Let's build The Academy, let's create a Tools Noticeboard, but together a drive. Look at all the opposes, there's too much bureaucracy and process, and that's the only thing people don't like. Let's try to run this through discussion and consensus, and maybe if we get too big to be wieldy, we can talk about a process to fix that. My !vote as above should be Oppose the inclusion of Coordinators. Achowat (talk) 17:23, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Wait, I did develop Twinkle a little.--Ankit MaityTalkContribs 17:06, 19 March 2012 (UTC)

Where to go from here?[edit]

It's now apparent the project should not be led by coordinators, which is perfectly fine. Where should we go from here? Should we implement the proposal, or reform the project completely? Tarheel95 (Sprechen) 13:32, 29 March 2012 (UTC)

The obvious solution would be to get 3-6 editors who want to be thoroughly and intensely involved in the project and steart working on the ideas. It seems, however, that those who fought most adamantly for Coordinators have abandoned the project now that coordinators are no longer to-be-(s)elected. I'd love to be proven wrong, and it seems that (at least) you and I are on board. We just need another few dedicated souls and we can actually make things happen. Achowat (talk) 13:37, 29 March 2012 (UTC)
I've been waiting for ages for some one to comment on this page as shown by my talk page rant :P . Achowat I'm a "dedicated soul" let me know what to do and I'll do it. Dan653 (talk) 00:04, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Dear Sirs, as a relatively new editor and novice, I am interested in the whole Vandalism control issue and have tried to follow this whole, long and elaborate discussion, as above. If I may say so, please, it seems to me that this discussion centers mostly around rather complex, complicated ways and means, that would probably be suitable and comprehensible for very highly experienced editors/admins. An average, newish recruit like me can only read all this to his/her utter confusion!  : ) Also, the whole discussion and its various proposals and ideas seem to me to be rather 'exclusive' i.e. they tend to marginalise many of us, who are also responsible and seriously committed editors/users, and would like to play whatever little role we can, in also inproving Wikipedia and checking/controlling Vandalism, at the same time, also keeping in mind the BASICS of Wikipedia guidelines/principles relating to (a) trusting people and assuming good faith and (b) encouraging 'interactive' role of Wiki users and the public. Under the circumstances, I cannot but feel that Wikipedia already has considerable guidelines and mechanisms to check and revert real cases of vandalism, and to eventually block vandals, and that more and more complicated systems of control would only end up being obstacles. Let's please leave things as they are, thanks! Khani100 (talk) 21:55, 30 March 2012 (UTC)Khani100

Well, I think we've move beyond the complicated bureaucracy and moving more towards "Let's make some pages that help anti-Vandals". Right now, CVU doesn't do anything, so there's clearly ways to improve. If you'd like to help us out with that, please...we need more folks willing to help. Achowat (talk) 23:28, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

Ok, so Tarheel, Dan, and I make 3. Let's triage this and find a more appropriate forum (Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit/sandbox might be a good place to start). So, what is the most important thing we need to do, like right now this instant. Or, put more succinctly, what can we do right now that will have the greatest impact? Achowat (talk) 14:42, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Teaching newbs: how to identify vandals; difference between newbs and vandals i.e. don't bite; how to go through recent changes, then ip's, and the revert; how to recieve rollbacker rights/use huggle... Dan653 (talk) 18:02, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
So let's not try to build a better mousetrap. Let's use WP:Admin Coaching as a template. Pair experienced anti-vandals with budding anti-vandals and go from there. What topics should we focus on? Identifying Vandalism is an obvious one (what is and more importantly is not vandalism). Using Rollback wouldn't be the worst idea, User Templates is a must, maybe Tool Use, like Huggle, Twinkle, and Igloo. Anything else specifically come to mind? Achowat (talk) 18:15, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Well rat poison is a better mousetrap :P . Sounds good I use Huggle for vandalism reversion, and a bit of Twinkle, but I can't help people with igloo. Rollback is very, very helpful. Templates would rank high. Would I be classified as an experienced anti-vandal??? >:/ Dan653 (talk) 23:21, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Oh, definitely. You know when and when not to call something "vandalism". You know how to use the Warning Templates and how to report to AIV. That's what we should be teaching, primarily. Achowat (talk) 03:42, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
So, I've gone ahead and started work on Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit/Academy, Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit/Academy/Identifying vandalism, Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit/Academy/Rollback, Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit/Academy/User warning, Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit/Academy/Tool Use. I'm sandboxing right now, so feel free to add things as you see fit. Specifically, I manually revert, so I have exactly ZeroPointZero expertise in using those tools. Achowat (talk) 17:29, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Well if you ever decide to machine revert use Huggle. FTW. Dan653 (talk) 18:24, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
I'm also making a Wikipedia:Counter-Vandalism Unit/Academy/Reporting to show Enrollees the ins-and-outs of AIV. And Dan, maybe you could start working on the "Tool Use" page, since I have, literally, no experience with that. Achowat (talk) 18:39, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Ok, so Dan and I have put some work into those pages. I think we should move the Centralized Discussion of what to do with The Academy to Wikipedia talk:Counter-Vandalism Unit/Academy. Sound good? Achowat (talk) 14:14, 4 April 2012 (UTC) Sure. As I'm sure you already know I have worked on the tools use page a bit. Dan653 (talk) 18:14, 4 April 2012 (UTC)


If the unit is relaunched, how about a new name without the SWAT-like connotations? As I former member, I think it may be a good thing. Cloudbound (talk) 21:38, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Like what??? Counter-Vandalism Unit sounds pretty SWAT team based already. Dan653 (talk) 22:11, 1 April 2012 (UTC)
Like "WikiProject Anti-Vandalism". I think Cloudbound wants us to nix the SWAT, military whathaveyou pretense and recognize what we are, a group of editors who want to collaborate to keep vandalism down. Achowat (talk) 12:00, 2 April 2012 (UTC)
Oops, kinda was working on three hours of sleep and wasn't reading. Dan653 (talk) 14:34, 2 April 2012 (UTC)

Discussion still needed?[edit]

I've gone ahead and removed the "Discussion" template from the top of the CVU homepage. It seems like this proposal has petered out and there's no more discussion. If I've been too bold, feel free to revert me. Achowat (talk) 19:51, 11 April 2012 (UTC)