Wikipedia:Talk page stalker

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"WP:TPS" redirects here. For the essay about third-party sources, see WP:3PARTY.
Temporal range: Holocene
Obscured jaguar.jpg
A talk page stalker hiding in the foliage of an administrator's talk page.
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Felidae
Genus: Panthera
Species: P. wikistalkustalkus
Binomial name
Panthera wikistalkustalkus
GrollTech, 2012

Known range, shown here in white

A talk page stalker (sometimes known as a WikiJaguar or talk page watcher) is an individual who keeps an eye on one or more users' talk pages (often via the watchlist) and answers or adds input to threads in which the stalker is not directly involved.

Talk page stalkers often make very constructive commentary, and should not be confused with Wikihounders. On the other hand, neither are they to be confused with people who have a life. While it is best to treat them politely, and even with some safe measure of kindness, they should be watched carefully for other symptoms of Wikipediholism. If you believe your TPS may be experiencing other symptoms of this condition, you may wish to suggest diplomatically the Wikipatch or, for advanced cases, a visit to the Wikipediholic clinic.

Popular targets of talk page stalkers include administrators, bureaucrats, checkusers, high-profile or highly active users, and other types of megalomaniacs. Talk page stalkers have even been known to stalk each other! Contrary to popular belief, talk page stalkers mightn`t all be scheming villains – rather, they generally contribute with some helpful piece of advice especially when the particular user the message was left for is not immediately available. Talk page stalkers have also been known to make minor tweaks to the talk pages they stalk; for example, replacing plain text archive listings with archive boxes. One can see just how stalked a particular person is by looking at their page information.

It is considered polite to announce one's intention to stalk another's talk page, perhaps through some creative means.

How to spot[edit]

Known talkpage stalkers have been tagged with the following warning:

Obscured jaguar.jpg Beware! This user is a known talk page stalker.

Wikipedians whose talk pages are routinely stalked are often not disturbed by this fact; and sometimes even welcome the practice, displaying a fair warning to others who dare post there:

Obscured jaguar.jpg Beware! This user's talk page is patrolled by talk page stalkers.

{{WP:TPS/banner}} is also available for this purpose, and lets talk page stalkers know they are welcome and appreciated.

{{WP:TPS/vector banner}} is also available for those with the vector skin.

Somewhat less ferocious among this group are the talk page watchers:

Navy binoculars.jpg Beware! This user's talk page is monitored by talk page watchers. Some of them even talk back.

Including {{WP:TPS/watcher}} on your user page produces this:

Navy binoculars.jpg This user is a known talk page watcher.
Some stalkers surreptitioulsy advertise this essay by tagging individual messages with {{tps}}: (talk page stalker)

Awarding stalkers[edit]

If you've been helped by a talk page stalker, consider awarding them the WikiJaguar Award for Excellence by adding {{subst:WP:TPS/award|(message) ~~~~}} to their talk page. If you do not include a custom message the output will be as follows:

Obscured jaguar.jpg The WikiJaguar Award for Excellence
For your recent assistance responding to the request I left on someone else's talk page, I award you the WikiJaguar Award for Excellence in talk page stalking efforts. ~~~~

If you wish to use the above default text but add an additional custom message before the signature, type {{subst:WP:TPS/award|2=(additional message here)}}

Another talk page stalker lies in wait.

Surprise your stalkers[edit]

The first obligation of a host is to not always offer the same thing. Be often polite, gracious, and soothing; but do not constantly offer such fare. Remember that unrelieved politeness may carry an implicit reproach. If a guest feels that they have been told "Look at me being incredibly polite; can you do this"?, they are unlikely to return. Allow them instead to experience an agreeable sense of superiority by telling them to get lost.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Panthera wikionca is listed here.