Wikipedia talk:Administrator intervention against vandalism/Archive 10

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Request for discussion on essay

I've written... well not really an essay, but it outlines some of the issues I think exist in the AIV model of dealing with vandalism reports: User:Crazycomputers/Problems with WP:AIV. Comments are welcome. --Chris (talk) 18:26, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Vandalism marked as bot edit?

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.

Discussion moved to WP:VPT#Vandalism marked as bot edit?Travistalk 22:58, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Hi, I spotted the following edit in my watchlist:

 b  16:51 November 3 (diff; hist) . .  (-43) . . (Talk) (→Births)

which appears to be a bot edit... but it was actually a self reversion of the previous edit from minutes before. The ip has already been blocked for a week, but I'm wondering if this 'impersonation' of a bot is a warnable offense, and if so: what warning? Geoff Riley (talk) 21:25, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Interesting question. I'm not sure, however, how the IP could mark the edit as a bot edit. Minor edits have a tick box, but as far as I know there is no corresponding box for a non-bot account to mark an edit as a bot edit...without wishing to question you, are you absolutely sure you're reading the watchlist correctly? GBT/C 21:29, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Add the page to your watchlist and you’ll see it too. IPs don’t even have a minor checkbox. This is probably an issue for Village Pump (technical). —Travistalk 21:41, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, I'll get my knife and fork and tuck into a big helping of humble pie! Very strange indeed...whilst I'm not the most technically minded of people, is it perhaps possible that the bot wasn't logged in at the time...? GBT/C 21:43, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I was just about to say that as well. Probably either a bug in the software or the IP hacked into marking it as a bot edit somehow using the URL or some foreign editing thing (perhaps?).   jj137 (talk) 21:44, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it's definitely as I depicted it above: at first I skipped over it because I generally ignore bot edits, but the fact that it was an IP drew my eye back to look again. If someone has found a way to mark vandalism as a bot edit then we'll have even more to examine in the chase. I'll wander over to the VPT and see if there's anyone interested. Thanks for the suggestion. Geoff Riley (talk) 21:48, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
There is definitely something wrong somewhere - I've taken a screen-dump of the result in case it's required for future evidence, as it won't be seen next time the page is edited. Let me know if you need it. —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 22:41, 14 March 2008 (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.


Just out of interest, how are reports handled here. Of lately, it seems that the newest reports are dealt with first, leaving older reports lingering for quite some time. I must say I never even noticed this before, but the speed with which reports are dealt with seems to have decreased quite considerably so it has become more obvious. Wouldn't it make sense to deal with the oldest reports first to avoid a back-log? JdeJ (talk) 23:34, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

The most recent ones will typically be handled first, but more obvious vandalism will tend to get handled before more complicated cases. I think you are raising this because a recent report of yours have been posted for a while. I have personally looked at this and it is not clear that this is vandalism rather than a content dispute, and also not clear that the user is engaging in sockpuppetry. I am not saying that the report is incorrect, just that it is not as obvious as other, which is why I think it hasn't been dealt with yet. TigerShark (talk) 23:44, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the answer. No, my recent report isn't the reason I asked, I've been wondering for a while already. I admit though that I think that case is rather evident, the user and the IP have repeatedly written exactly the same comments and don't even deny it. And the user agrees that he deletes the sourced fact because it's not positive to his country, being (in my opinion) a clear violation of Wikipedia rules. But once again, this is something I have noticed before both with reports I've written myself and with reports by others and the current case just gave me the impulse to ask about it. JdeJ (talk) 23:50, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, it is not clear whether to block everyone involved for 3RR. Generally the most obvious obvious vandalism is dealt with first. -- zzuuzz (talk) 23:48, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Just a quick note to say that I have removed the report without issuing a block but have left a 3RR warning for the user (plus the IP). I would hope that would put a stop to any problems, but the user has removed the warning from the talk page - so I am not hopeful. I will keep an eye on it for now, but if it resumes I would suggest a report at WP:AN3 rather than here. Cheers TigerShark (talk) 23:58, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
If I go to AIV and see two reports, one three minutes old and the other one minute old, I will always start on the newer report first. Why is that, you ask? In my experience, "simple" vandalism reports take 1 - 2 minutes to research (cross-reference the editor's talk page history with their contributions to make sure all warnings were properly applied, review the talk page itself to make sure a "last warning" was issued recently, verify a couple of contributions to make sure it is vandalism and not a content dispute, etc.). Assuming other admins need the same amount of research time, then the three minute old report could be blocked at any second by an admin who came to AIV two minutes ago. SOCK reports and "complex" vandalism cases take even more time, so I always do those last rather than risk putting five minutes of research into an issue that was blocked then seconds after I started looking into the issue. --Kralizec! (talk) 00:50, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
On a related note, if it's a more complicated issue, I'll usually comment on the report, e.g., "I don't see the obvious vandalism, but I'm warning for 3RR and looking further" or something like that. It establishes that somebody is looking into it and is dealing with the complexity, so if there is a backlog, we aren't doubling up. —C.Fred (talk) 01:12, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for two very informative answers. :) JdeJ (talk) 09:46, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Non admin

I suppose as a non-admin I can't be the slightest bit of help here = ( ? --Camaeron (talk) 13:45, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Sure you can. All the reports to AIV are either from bots or non-admins. Jauerbackdude?/dude. 13:48, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Back in the days before AIV helperbots, I sometimes made myself useful by doing pretty much what they do, now. :p If there are reports that seem fishy, complex, or otherwise a bit more than the usual fare, you could look into those, either commenting or redirecting users as needed. Checking every report might get painstaking, though, if you find yourself just agreeing it needs a block most times, so probably try and find a good medium level of interesting. In the event of backlogs, it can be very useful to poke somebody (IRC is great for that: it's quick, easy, and won't make a big deal of it; if not, I suppose AN/I works). Malformed reports can need fixing, especially if they're malformed in a way that the bots will potentially remove them as comments on another report. Little things, mostly, but they're there. – Luna Santin (talk) 20:56, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh, but you can really help! AIV is understaffed at most times, like most places on Wikipedia. Check each report, warn if not warned, note that you've done so, remove if it's spurious, remove if it's vastly too complex (move it to WP:ANI would be a really great help), doublecheck and annotate reports accordingly... If you've got a good grasp of the rules, you'll be invaluable. Remember, whilst only admins can block, that's not because they're special. They just have the extra tool because the community trusted them with it. If you can write succinct edit summaries and are prepared to take your share of the flak from angry reporters who want someone BANNED NOW NOW NOW for moving an image in 'their' article, then you can do all of the job short of the actual block. The function will be available to you very shortly if you do! There's no such thing as an admin-only job: just chores only we can complete. It's really No Big DealTM. ➨ REDVEЯS is a satellite and will be set alight 21:40, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Block request for Thegingerone

Before anybody starts anything about an edit war, I would like to tell my side of the story. When I started editing the Rudolph Valentino, I saw that the page had bias, fan site material throughout the page. So I cleaned it up, but the user continued to put them in then, and has still continued to do so. For sake of justice, I am requesting the user Thegingerone get a block.Kevin j (talk) 00:50, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

WP:AN/I is probably the best place for this, however reviewing the edit history of the Rudolph Valentino article appears to show you in violation of WP:3RR. --Kralizec! (talk) 01:57, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
This user Kevin jis posting block requests all over the place to the point of harrassment. I have warned him that if he continues I will block him. It takes two to edit war. Theresa Knott | The otter sank 06:02, 21 March 2008 (UTC)

Please Block USER:TEDICKY has been Vandalizing My User Page

User:Tedicky has vandalized my user page with obvious ill intent, he has been harassing me for some personal reason of his own. (Lookinhere (talk) 17:15, 25 March 2008 (UTC))

  • User Jons63 is following in Tedicky's footsteps and Vandalizing my User Page (Lookinhere (talk) 17:37, 25 March 2008 (UTC))
Each user has edited your page once. And Jons63 was correct, as you do not own your page. Grsz 11 17:46, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
Technically that's right, but it is considered bad manners to edit other peoples' userpages to do anything other than trivial maintenance (such as migrating userboxes) or removing offensive content. Hut 8.5 17:49, 25 March 2008 (UTC)
This is not the place to make block requests. Either do it on the main WP:AIV page or at WP:AN/I (or WP:AN). The message at the top of this page is perfectly clear. Waggers (talk) 15:16, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Bot reported reports are not being removed by bot

I don't know if something is wrong with the page, but all bot reported reports aren't being removed by the helperbot. and it's missing the bot reported header. Can someone fix the page? I tried to but I don't think it worked. Momusufan (talk) 18:24, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I reinserted the header, it looks like this edit did it[1]. (1 == 2)Until 18:30, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Yeah, seems Cluebot is not functioning right. It screwed up the Open Proxy page last night as well. Momusufan (talk) 18:36, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Proposal: Template:AIV comment

I've recently created the above template for the use in AIV noticeboard. Quite often, AIV gets backlogged, or, reports are filed that do not quite meet the criteria for reporting to this noticeboard. As non-admins can help out at AIV, see the above discussion, I created this template for use at AIV, for comments regarding reports. At the present time, users just comment in raw text, and I created a template so this can be done in a possibly more effective way. Substituition of this template is required, errors occur without it. I will also work to possibly expand it's functionality in the future, but I'm seeking opinions on the template, whether you would use it or not, and whether you think it should be adopted. If accepted, it would be added somewhere on the AIV page, for easy access. What are other peoples thoughts? Steve Crossin (talk to me) 18:48, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Support. Like I've said on your talk page, I believe that it could be useful. Just putting this here so the community will know. Malinaccier (talk) 18:52, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Support. Try changing {{{message}}} to {{{1}}}, to allow for easier typing. 21655 τalk/ ʃign 18:54, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
For some reason, the template doesn't work right when {{{1}}} is used. I had to correct it earlier. Maybe {{{msg}}} ? Malinaccier (talk) 19:41, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Works for me. Even better: {{{m}}}? 21655 τalk/ ʃign 20:16, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

All template issues resolved, and it auto-signs as well, making it simpler, and easier to use. Steve Crossin (talk to me) 20:44, 29 March 2008 (UTC)

Support - it's a lot like template:RFPP that we use for page prots. Let's fix this up and make it indispensable - Alison 19:37, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Willing to give it a shot if we mold it into something more like {{RFPP}}; as currently implemented, I'd rather stick with raw text. Have commented on template talk and proposed some changes. – Luna Santin (talk) 21:26, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Support - while not actually being much quicker than raw text for me (I type pretty fast) anything that helps clear backlogs quicker is to be welcomed - and this is a wiki, it can be improved by the next person who comes along. LessHeard vanU (talk) 20:08, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Support - fixed the template so the sig is automatically added, would greatly simplify things. --FastLizard4 (TalkIndexSign) 21:35, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Support - will make reading the noticeboard easier when it gets crowded. Tiptoety talk 22:39, 29 March 2008 (UTC)
Note: I've made a pretty substantial edit to the template, bringing it more in line with other established templates used for similar purposes; interested parties may wish to review this. – Luna Santin (talk) 03:21, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
OOO! I like! This will make my job much easier! Good work Luna! Tiptoety talk 06:03, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
  • More categories have been made, such as to redirect requests for page protection to the appropriate noticeboard, and added a few other templates. Ideas for further messages can be added either here, or on the talk page of the template, or feel free to make the change yourself. Steve Crossin (talk to me) 09:33, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Would a default indent be possible, so reports and comments would not appear as blocks of text when the page is busy? LessHeard vanU (talk) 09:46, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
Comment: Those are definitely handy looking! But do you think we are getting a bit image spammy with our templates? Are the small icons a must? I still love that these have been created however!¤~Persian Poet Gal (talk) 21:27, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
  • Support Very useful templates. They will make things more consistent & readable, especially when later going through archives. нмŵוτнτ 21:32, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

It should be ensured that the AIV helperbots do not do weird stuff when they see these. --uǝʌǝsʎʇɹoɟʇs(st47) 21:43, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Good point. It has been live for a few hours. I suppose they are removed as are raw text commets currently. Also, most of these are used when the report doesn't meet criteria, which are usually removed manually when the report is by an admin, so again it shouldn't effect the bot. LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:50, 30 March 2008 (UTC)
I have blocked a few cases that had templated comments placed under them and it seemed to archive them just fine. Tiptoety talk 00:53, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

Ajjay is vandalsing many pages


No, he isn't.LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:04, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

Ajjay (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log) has changed not only the title of "Deh Siva bar Mohe" to Deh Siva Var mohe" but keeps on vandalsing the refs and refs on Guru Gobind Singh > death (see discussion) he has had several warnings already. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:58, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

No warnings, contrib history is full of talkpage edits (and unreverted edits). Appears to be good faith editor. Improper report... No action required by admins. LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:04, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

What happened to the 'how to submit' instructions on the project page?

I was just looking for the magic template discussed above (having seen the refernece on ANI) and went to AIV. Unless my mind is decaying more than usual, I thought there was text there a few days ago that said "add lines in the following format: * {{IPvandal|address}} description". I can't seem to find that there anymore. Am I going blind? Loren.wilton (talk) 04:29, 31 March 2008 (UTC)

What constitutes final warning?

Does a final warning need to be in the form of an actual level four official warning template? Or does the level 3 which mentions they will be blocked if they continue constitute a final warning? What about a hand written note that if they continue they may be blocked? I am trying to get clarification because I have been told that only a level 4 header is a final warning for the purposes of AIV, and I don't want to waste people's time with reports that don't have the correct type of warning. Sam Barsoom 00:12, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Generally, if it uses the words "final warning", I consider it a final warning, even if not a template. Frankly, I prefer un-templated, particularly if they're a regular contributor. Make no mistake about it though, if it's bad enough, I'm not going to hold up a block based on the lack of the word "final" in a warning statement. I think most admins would agree with me on that. - Philippe 00:15, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
  • IMHO, the mention of blocking is what makes it a final-grade warning. So, a non-template message that says "stop or you may be blocked" is a final warning, as is a level 3 template. It then becomes a judgment call. If somebody's gotten a level 3 warning and does some severe vandalism, I'll block with no further warning. If it's less malicious, I'll give a level 4 and only block when they repeat. However, if they've only gotten level 2 or lower - where there's no mention of the possibility of a block - that's what I call "no final warning". —C.Fred (talk) 00:17, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
And I agree with Philippe: regular contributors get the courtesy of a detailed message instead of a template (though I may use {{uw-3rr}} to both parties in an edit war to keep things even). I think I've even started a warning to one with "You probably know this, but don't forget..." —C.Fred (talk) 00:20, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
The specific situation in question is here. Tiptoety talk 00:25, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
I think the question (asked on my talk, link above) is more in regards to an IP, who has been reported and has only received up to a level 3 {{uw-vandal3}} warning. He was asking if it would be okay to block the user if they had performed your run of the mill vandalism. Tiptoety talk 00:28, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
It's probably not offically condoned, but my usual criterion is whether I am positive they have seen at least a level-3 warning (or one that mentions blocking), and vandalized anyway. If they vandalize, I post a level-3 warning, and they vandalize again, it's conceivable they only got the yellow bar after they hit "save". I'll usually give a level-4 warning, and if they vandalize again, I'll know for sure they saw the level-3 warning and vandalized anyway. Blocked. I make up for the added time required by skipping the level-2 warning altogether. --barneca (talk) 01:49, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Vandals versus userlinks

  • What is the difference between using vandals and userlinks tag? I can't see it documented on this page. --David from Downunder (talk) 02:21, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

How are reports made?


I need to report (talk) for vandalism but don't know how to report here. How are reports made? Cigraphix (talk) 02:44, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

It says on the page. Just click edit on the User-reported section and enter {{IPvandal|}}. BoL (Talk) 02:46, 3 April 2008 (UTC)
Oh the text is hidden, thanks Cigraphix (talk) 02:52, 3 April 2008 (UTC)


Ragib is continously changing the core article of Rohingya. He Purposely adding Bengali term on their main page . please someone can handle on this issue since he is admin in wiki. It is hard to control on his activity against the Rohingya most oppressed people in the world.-- (talk) 02:00, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

WP:ANI is what you want, but you'll need diffs to illustrate your issues. - Philippe 02:12, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Gaps Between Reports.

Just a thought. Wouldnt it make it alot easier to read the page if people added a gap in between each report? There is so muhc going on on the page it just looks like 1 big mess sometimes. ·Add§hore· Talk/Cont 22:55, 3 April 2008 (UTC)

Sounds okay to me; I typically try to add spare lines between reports when it's helpful to do so. It would probably help if we modified reporting scripts like Twinkle to add an extra newline prior to each report. – Luna Santin (talk) 04:04, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, anything to make it easier to read would be nice, especially when it gets busy. Tiptoety talk 23:32, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Agreed I like a gap in between reports as well. Jeepday (talk) 23:53, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Isn't there a way to modify the {{vandal}} and {{IPvandal}} macros to do that without a ripple effect?Kww (talk) 23:55, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm all for it. -- Alexf42 00:05, 5 April 2008 (UTC)
Same here. Tiptoety talk 05:15, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

I started adding them to all the reports if i make a Note on one of them but this isn't very practicle. Might even be worth making a bot for it or something as well as getting the scripts to do it automaticly. ·Add§hore· Talk/Cont 16:01, 13 April 2008 (UTC)

Problems on Maitreya

I have not placed a vandalism notice on the main page because I feel an admin may think the situation is an edit dispute. Basically, User:Thamarih continually removes material pertaining to the Bahai faith from the Maitreya article. However, the material is relevant and fully cited. So, in essence, it is an edit dispute, but take a look at the user's page and you will see a long history of warnings and blocks for their edits pertaining to Bahai information. Despite what Tharmarih thinks, I am a western atheist with no affiliation with the Bahai faith. I had never even heard of it until the material was added to the article. I only care that the Bahai information is fully cited. The major consensus on the Maitreya talk page is that the material should stay (see here). But, despite several vandalism warnings placed on their page, they continue their pov-based removel. The user thinks I am bullying them because of my repeated vandalism warnings. See his comments on my talk page.

Do I have just cause to list the person on the main page? --Ghostexorcist (talk) 09:19, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Simply put I'm sorry to say the answer is no, this is a content dispute. I haven't had a chance to look all through the history but have you tried to engage Thamarih in discussion, giving examples of why the Bahai faith is related to the article, and why you think it should be included in the article? Though his approach is somewhat confrontational the onus is more on yourself to prove it's worth in inclusion. If you want any help leave me a message on my talk page, I'll try and point you in the right direction, though I would suggest starting here. Khukri 10:03, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, there is a discussion on the Maitreya talk page (see here). The person has been blocked at least three times for disruptive edits and comments on articles either containing or are about the Bahai faith. I am not a proponent of the faith myself, I only care that the material on Maitreya is fully cited. I will contact you on your page, but I think any kind of mediation will be futile. --Ghostexorcist (talk) 16:53, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
The blocks were for 3rr, and twice incivility, I'm having a look through the history and am no means an expert but at fast glance I'm seeing corroborative sources, but not seeing any 3rd party sources or sound reasoning for it's deletion. I'm away for a few hours but I will try and have a more detailed look later on. Khukri 17:16, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Have left a message for all concerned on the talk page. Khukri 23:19, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

What constitutes active now?

I have a vandal who last vandalised about 3 hours ago. Report or not report that is the question...--Cameron (t|p|c) 19:14, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Someone beat me to it now!--Cameron (t|p|c) 19:18, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
Depends on context. The main factor as I see it is whether vandalism is likely to continue. If a user makes four edits in a minute and then does nothing for fifteen, they're probably stopped; if, however, that same user returns the next day and the day after, the time frame we're potentially working with has expanded. Shared IPs and such can make these considerations more complicated. – Luna Santin (talk) 23:21, 10 April 2008 (UTC)
If i am marking things on AIV as "stale" i generally wait until they have been inactive for around 15 minutes. I think the actual point when reports are meant to be 100% stale and removed is 30 minutes with no posts. ·Add§hore· Talk/Cont 16:04, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Keeping in mind the primary goal is stop or prevent ongoing vandalism. I think it all depends on the activity cycle of the vandal. If all the initial vandalism was posted in with a few seconds or a couple minutes at most between edits, I generally consider them no longer active if there has been no activity in 20 minutes and remove them from the list. If the contribution history is a pretty steady on or two random acts ever day or every other day (assuming a static IP with consistent history) I would consider them active if they made one edit in the last 24 hours and block them for a 72 hours. I want to prevent the next act of vandalism from occurring without a significant risk of negative impact to another user. Jeepday (talk) 17:28, 13 April 2008 (UTC)
Are shared IPs at schools treated differently? I have seen, for example, a burst of vandalism from a single shared IP address resulting in a long term block. I am not looking to reverse this block, just to get a better understanding of process. Thanks. --NERIC-Security (talk) 11:23, 14 April 2008 (UTC)
Some might argue this, but most would agree that shared IPs certainly have the potential for a lot more vandalism than a static IP. Lets face it, one IP shared by a five hundred junior high kids has a significantly higher chance of vandalism -and of also receiving a long term {{schoolblock}}- than a largely static IP assigned to a telco's DSL pool. Much like what Luna Santin said above, if a shared school IP was on a spree of vandalizing one article per minute for five or ten minutes, but has had zero edits for the past ten or fifteen minutes, it is probably pretty safe to assume that the kid has either gotten bored or changed classes and is now someone else's problem. --Kralizec! (talk) 13:18, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

Please pass on spam reports to Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spam‎

Spammers seldom stop after being blocked. If they've been persistent enough to merit a block here, then they'll probably be back, either after the block expires, or more likely sooner with a new IP or user name. That's why blacklisting their domains is such a powerful tool.

Such a spammer also usually has additional domains we'll want to blacklist. The volunteers at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spam‎ have special tools for tracking this stuff down and making sure all the necessary domains get blacklisted. These templates give a sense of all the different things they check:

We then make a determination as to whether to monitor the domains using XLinkBot, blacklist them on the English Wikipedia only or blacklist them across all Wikimedia projects.

Looks pretty tedious, huh?

Fortunately, WP:AIV volunteers don't have to fool with all this. If you get a spam complaint here, please just make sure you or the complaining editor also gets word to us at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spam‎. Block the IP or username here and then we can take it from there.

Thanks, --A. B. (talkcontribs) 13:21, 14 April 2008 (UTC)

General Question

(moved from project page to talk page by Tiptoety talk)

Continued vandalism continues from many users on the Bill Ayers wiki article. Other edits are in good faith, but it appears from my limited experience on the Bill Ayers article that problems continue to arise from anonymous IP users or new users. Is there anyway to semi protect this site to prevent these problems? please advise. Also, let me know if this question is more appropriate at a different administrator discussion place, because my question here is not targeted at any specific user or IP. thanks again. It is me i think (talk) 22:36, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

Vandalism program

I dont this this is the right place to post this, but i am not sure where to post it:

Per [2] "Please bring this to the attention of someone who can take action on behalf of wikipedia" "A website hosting information regarding the Game has posted a ... downloadable program that automatically vandalises wikipedia articles. The program changes "is" to "makes you Lose the Game and is" in random wikipedia articles."

TheRedPenOfDoom (talk) 16:28, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

This isn't the first program that's been written to vandalise Wikipedia, by a long way. You might want to put it on WP:ANI as it will get more traffic there. Hut 8.5 16:50, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


1. Maemo is a mobile operating system used by Nokia. A user called "General Antilles" has been posting on a forum used mostly by evangelists for the platform asking for help with the article. When I added information that is sourced, but which he apparently saw as negative, he deleted it without discussion. I restored it and explained the rules of discussion and the need for sourced counter argument and mutual resolution, and that deleting simply because he dislikes bad PR for a hobby or business interest is vandalism, and offered such discussion. He then went to the nokia forum, where he seems to have gathered a "posse" of evangelists for the operating system together to wage a revert war: see

2. Nokia have a department aimed at influencing developers to act as evangelists for them. They hand out free hardware and special access to future OS developments (potentially very financially significant if the platform succeeds - and GA has made posts boasting of such information) and jobs to evangelists who please them. Even if none of these people work for Nokia, I'm not sure that they are sufficiently disinterested so that they should be editing the wikipedia article - they all have a potential financial interest and Nokia is trying to actively use them as PR tools.

3. Some of the material that he deleted without discussion as being untrue included information that wasn't just sourced from Nokia's own developer documentation, but ***actually quoted it.***

4. This seems a case of an especially dangerous situation to wikipedia: corporate PR indirectly motivating "swarms" of enthusiasts for their product to attack wiki, editing articles to a company's advantage, and using off wikipedia forums to do so. I would suggest that some discussion of a guideline related to this is needed - eg people shouldn't appeal for fellow evangelists to aid in writing pro-whatever articles, still make "How dare someone on wiki doubt the Faith Of X!" posts that can raise a mob. This probably wouldn't work very well in practice, but at least it would indicate disapproval.

5. I'm asking for the article to be frozen for a cool-off period at a point before GA's deletions. I would also suggest that he may need asking not to contribute to the article any more, as his aims are obviously evangelism (as shown by his deletion of statements from Nokia stating eg security limits because they were unfavourable to his aims).

6. Depending on wiki policy, you may want to contact Nokia and these people asking what their relationship is - eg whether any have received free hardware from Nokia or have applied for jobs, get special access to information, etc. Umptious (talk) 17:15, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Symbol wtf vote.svg Err, is this the place for this comment? Anyone know where this would be better suited? Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 17:25, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Requests for mediation would be my first choice. ArcAngel (talk) 18:04, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Some help here please

Well, I've tried to report a certain IP user who vandalised the Summer Olympics page, but the page to report it is protected for some reason (I dont know whos idea that was seeing how Im supposed to report it here but then it says not to report it here, if you get my drift?) anyway this is what I was trying to report:

User: the Summer Olympics page sevral times, and I'm not sure whether I should report it here or no sorry - There were several vandalism edits to that article so someone should look at it as well. Thanks [and I apologise if this is in the wrong place too :( ]

I hope someone can do something about it Silica-gel (talk) 18:57, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

You should be able to edit WP:AIV (it's not protected against editing). The user concerned hasn't received any warnings and hasn't edited in five hours (so they have probably left the computer and blocking them will have no effect). Hut 8.5 19:10, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

To fellow administrators

I stopped, some time ago, to follow on reports at WP:AIV because of how fellow administrators act on such reports. I decided to resume today, but I found the same concept that made me step away from this page in the past.

So I thought, that maybe if I say something, maybe we can start a discussion on the subject. I've seen and I still see, blocks on IP of educational institutions with only one single warning. While you can't just warn a IP/user with 4im, that is for special cases only, users make mistakes, no big deal, the administrators who handle the report should explain to the users how our warning system works, as I'm sure most of us do.

But administrators can't be excuses when they block in spite of our warning system. One warning, one vandalism is not enough. at least in my opinion. I admit I stopped following the 4 steps warning system a long ago, mostly I use 3 or even in some cases 2 warnings, but one is out of the question. Especially when dealing with shared ips like those of educational institutions. I'm upset at vandalism as much as you are, in fact I used to deal with a lot of vandalism in the past (having switched to Linux I'm not able to run most of the tools used nowadays and I'm semi-retired/indefinite-wikibreak anyway), but such block-everybody behavior can't be excused. I probably am trigger happy too, and if you look at my block record probably I blocked users when I shouldn't have to, but the problem stands anyway.

I can be mistaken or wrong, but most of all I wanted to know what you thought of this.

Yours sincerely, Snowolf How can I help? 15:10, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Safe to say you are correct. One instance of vandalism is not enough to block anyone. Are there any specific instances you would like to cite which illustrate this? There may be some greater context to the blocks you describe. For example, I could see an IP being used as a sock to warrant such an action. Hiberniantears (talk) 15:39, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
I'd prefer not to cite specific examples, but I can assure that no strange circumstances was involved. Just a plain 4im warning on a school ip and admins within less than minutes blocking it. Snowolf How can I help? 15:55, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
I can largely agree with the thrust of what Snowolf is saying here. Perhaps because of that, I generally end up declining 20 - 30% of AIV reports because the vandal in question was either insufficiently warned or the vandalism was not recent enough (which is especially important in the case of schools). All too often recent changes patrollers (and a few overly enthusiastic admins) seem to follow a zero tolerance policy. --Kralizec! (talk) 18:02, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
I know that the idea of very short "warning shot" blocks has been rejected many times in the past, but can I maybe spin this another way? For school IPs, I imagine a 1-hour block would do wonders -- just need enough time to get the active vandal out of study hall and into his or her next class for the day. I don't see any problem with that type of short, preventative block on an IP which has produced two or three vandal edits in the past five minutes, has made vandal edits in the past, and has zero productive edits ever. --Jaysweet (talk) 18:10, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Study hall? Or is it Recess? >:) Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 18:13, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
In the event of obvious, malicious vandalism, I see no need to give more than one warning or even warn at all if an admin notices it. Especially if you are just dolling out 3, 12, or 31 hour blocks. John Reaves 18:14, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
John Reaves, I used to feel the same way, but have changed my mind -- not because I think there is any chance of these people becoming productive editors, but in order to offload work from admins. A surprising number of the most malicious vandals magically stop after receiving a warning or two. (Why someone would think it was okay to write "I LIKE POOP" in an article, but then realize it wasn't okay the minute someone asked them nicely not to do that, I don't understand, but whatever...) So if one of the legions of vandal patrollers can solve the problem with a warning, that is less work for the admins.
I agree with the sentiment, though -- I have never, repeat never seen someone whose first edit was malicious vandalism reform into a good editor. Now, if somebody blanks some random content, or inserts something that looks like maybe a test edit or a mistake, let's be real gentle with the warnings, because although it's rare, I've seen those folks turn into productive contributors. That's where the four-level warnings make sense, is for people who might be doing it by mistake. If it's obviously purposeful, malicious vandalism, though, then I don't think WP:AGF really makes any sense ("Gee, he replaced the entire article with 'MY CLASSMATE JOE EATS WORMS', but I'm going to assume he meant to improve the quality of the citations!"), but warnings still make sense because it eases the load on admins. --Jaysweet (talk) 18:21, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Let me clarify, I don't think multiple warnings should be needed for a block, they should, however, be needed before a report to AIV is made by a non-admin. John Reaves 18:38, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Whole-heartedly agreed. --Jaysweet (talk) 18:40, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Blocks are designed to prevent damage to the project. If an IP is actively vandalizing in clear bad faith after receiving a warning, I see no reason not to block it. Mr.Z-man 18:26, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. Much as I agree with warning first, I found an IP today that came back from a three-month schoolblock. On the day that expired, they started vandalizing again. Plus it was the same caliber of vandalism, replacing random phrases in the target articles with sex references. When it looked like they came back, seeing if they could get away with it, and started when they could—in that case, they had plenty of prior warning, so they got an immediate six-month schoolblock. If the same vandalism had been done by an account with no prior block history, or even only a 24/48 hour block, I would have warned again. Granted, it would have been level 3 or 4, but it would have been a statement of "This is what got your IP blocked before; stop or it will be blocked again." —C.Fred (talk) 18:36, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

I'm not for sure if this is deviating too far from the original topic, but I generally give a block out if an IP address returns from a block and continues a vandalising spree. It's pretty discouraging when a user has been given a 24 hour or two week or two month block, then resume vandalising the very next hour or day, en mass. The patterns that I have seen indicate that the vast majority of these types of edits (in my case) come from schools, where dozens of students have access to Wikipedia. Outside of recommending an outright indefinite block of these IP addresses (which is not what I am recommending), a series of short blocks can be made ... at least until summer break hits.

It's not as if they haven't received many warnings. On one talk page from a user I blocked I think today or tomorrow, they had a very lengthy list of warnings -- L1 to L3, but no final notice. From February 2008 until April, with no block. I proceeded to block for one week (IIRC) given the ignorance of the warnings, and felt that 24h would be far too lenient. Now, if that said user is willing to return after the block and continue vandalising, what should the course of action be? More warnings? Or another block? seicer | talk | contribs 18:31, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Snowolf, a few questions to clarify here: What if a school-IP vandalizes up to final warning, then disappears for two weeks and comes back? Do you go directly to block? Final warning? Or do you start the warning process over again from the beginning? If the latter, what if it's only one week? Or three days? Or one day?
If a school IP vandalizes up to final warning, then comes back the next day and vandalizes a different article, we have no idea if it is the same person or not. Sometimes I feel it is disingenuous to go directly to final warning when I am pretty sure it is a different vandal from the same IP, but anything else allows unnecessary damage to the project.
I think Mr.Z-man has it right. As long as an IP has been warned once and the vandalism is still in progress, there is no reason not to issue a short block -- especially if the IP has zero constructive contribs ever. I mean, what are the odds that in the next twelve hours following the vandalism, that someone is going to make the first ever constructive edit from that IP? --Jaysweet (talk) 18:36, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
There have been some pretty verbose discussions about {{schoolblock}}s in the past, mostly at WP:AN I think. The general idea as I understand is that we should strive to use the shortest preventive block length reasonably possible. If there is only a small amount of recent abuse, shorter blocks make sense; if the abuse goes back for days, weeks, months, and there's no decent contribution, it seems a waste of time and effort to keep playing cat-and-mouse with them, and a longer block will save us some problems (I generally prefer to make such blocks anon-only, and allowing account creation if the problem user(s) don't seem too persistent). – Luna Santin (talk) 23:02, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Would the vandal get the warning? Many districts NAT a single IP address for a building. At any point in time, dozens of stations may be using Wikipedia. If any one of them clicks on the new messages link before the vandal refreshes, would the intended individual receive the notice? --NERIC-Security (talk) 18:59, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Could point. Actually getting the warnings to the proper user for IPs is very much a crap-shoot (and until recently, a bug in the Wikimedia software made it even less likely to work). This, again, is why many of us -- myself included -- feel that IPs should get few warnings, but short blocks. --Jaysweet (talk) 19:08, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

The key, I think, is “blatant vandalism” vs. “potential test edits”, and where you draw the line between them. Blatant vandalism = intent to damage = no intention to be productive. Test edits = intent to experiment = some hope of becoming productive.

I have no problem bringing the hammer down ASAP on someone intentionally vandalizing. Although I usually give one or two warnings anyway (mostly to avoid getting yelled at by kinder and gentler editors), I don’t think a warning is even necessary. If they are older than my 6 year old kid, they know it’s wrong. So, for example, when an editor recently vandalized WP:ANI, I indef blocked the account after 2-3 edits and no warning. If you know about ANI, you’ve been around long enough to know better. Another IP that I blocked for 1 week after 1 warning said (paraphrasing here) “This isn’t fair! From what I’ve seen, people are supposed to get 4 warnings before they get blocked.” Same goes for “you’ll never stop me!” vandals, rapid vandalism on multiple articles, etc. In these cases, warnings are not going to adjust behavior. Possibly an immediate "you're gonna get blocked" warning might.

For the miniscule percentage of intentional vandals that can be reformed, I’m a strong proponent of {{2ndchance}}. By and large, unreformable vandals won’t jump thru that hoop. Reformable ones will.

However, I think edits that could, conceivably, be someone trying out the system should be treated differently, perhaps more gently than would be rational. I think the majority of what we see here might be this kind of thing. If someone types “I love Jimmy”, or “poop”, or even “Mrs. Hilby sucks”, or blanks a page, they’re quite possibly seeing if this really, truly is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Maybe they don’t quite grasp that this is visible to everyone. Maybe they didn’t get it that you can truly blank a page. If they’re just messing with things, we have a better shot at solving the problem without blocking. In these cases, I usually use 3 warnings (a customized uw-test1, then a test3, then a vandal4). In these cases, the editor is more likely to say "oh crap, I could get caught" and stop. Accounts that pushed testing too far, I’ll block for a length of time, rather than indef.

In short, the whole key in my mind is intention. If the intention is at all unclear, 2-3 warnings is reasonable. If the intention is quite obviously vandalism rather than testing, no warnings. The difference between admins is mostly where they draw the boundary. Some see everyone as a vandal. Some see everyone as a potential future FA writer. Most have a fuzzy grey boundary in between.

The main problem, at this particular page, is twofold. First, many RC patrollers always assume intentional vandalism and go for the uw-vandal4im. Second, either due to malfunctioning software, cluelessness, or a belief that the ends justify the means, many are not truthful about the situation. Last night, I noticed at least 5 reports that said “vandalized after final warning” when that was simply not true. “Immediately after release of block” is another good one. I think if RC patrollers aren’t going to assume “test” instead of “vandal” unless there’s a reason to do otherwise, the admins on the page have to do it for them. And, although I know what Snowolf is talking about, I think by and large from what I’ve seen, admins are doing a really good job of doing just that. Rejecting a report (and taking heat for it) is really pretty common every time I’ve paid attention. The only thing we could do better is spend more time gently adjusting the reporters’ attitudes.

God, that was long. Sorry. --barneca (talk) 19:49, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Applause. That was one of the most lucid posts I've read in a long time. Well done! DurovaCharge! 15:34, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
That last bit about truthiness regarding "vandalised after final warning"/"upon release from previous block" is problematic - anti vandal patrollers do an invaluable job is alerting the community to potential vandals, but it would be far more helpful if they were more accurate/less presumptive in some of their reporting. I had wondered about suggesting an "improper report" option in the templates, but I thought better of it. In the end the vast majority of reporters are acting in what they see is for the benefit of Wikipedia, and I don't want to upset the patrollers. That said, I have in one or two instances dropped a quiet note on a reporter that if a report is rejected then it shouldn't be re-added unless there is further vandalism - shopping for blocks is not part of the job description. LessHeard vanU (talk) 20:40, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
  • As a reporter, I get frustrated by reports that get rejected, especially two classes: vandalism-only contributors, and vandalism after release of block. In my mind, if the first edit an IP makes after block release is vandalism, block them again. I really don't care if it took them a day or two to notice the block was released, and don't think that should give them a fresh warning cycle. If they vandalised seriously enough to earn a block, and the next edit isn't a valid edit, there is no reason to allow them to continue editing.
A vandal like Healthek (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log) gets extremely frustrating. I reported him as "vandalism-only", and the block was rejected as "No vandalism after final warning". Of course not ... he comes back every five or six months, vandalises for a bit, and goes away. Would it have better for me not to drop a warning on him? Would it have been acted on if I just reported him as a "vandalism-only" account?Kww (talk) 21:18, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Persistent ip vandals are often the most difficult to get consistent action on - and it often depends on the reviewers interpretation of WP:AGF. It is entirely possible that a different person from the one that got the account previously blocked is now vandalising the encyclopedia. Do we whop them with a stiffer sanction than previously, and run the risk that the address will be relocated again and a potential good user prevented from editing? I try, if there is time, to see if a "returning" vandal is targeting the same subjects as previously or is using similar methods of vandalism; if not I AGF and treat them as if they were first time accounts (needing appropriate warnings, etc.) I like to think that the returning vandal that gets AGF'd is likely to re-offend anyway, so it is a matter of time before they are blocked. The time spent in investigating whether the account holder is the same as the one previously blocked is not always worth it, when issuing a warning and waiting to see if there are further violations is an option. That is my opinion, anyhows. LessHeard vanU (talk) 21:32, 16 April 2008 (UTC)
Some IPs are obviously shared by looking at contribs; others obviously aren't. I try to assume the most recent activity is a different person unless there seems to be a link to prior behavior (that seems to be what you're suggesting, too, I think) -- editing the same articles, using the same phrases or lingo, and so forth (though in the case of school IPs and such, it's not uncommon for two people to vandalize that particular school/town's article, so we need to be mindful of context). – Luna Santin (talk) 01:33, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Although I'm not an admin, in the past I've looked over reports, and I've said before, all users should be given due process. We can't block users after one vandal edit/one warning. And, we shouldn't file untruthful reports, such as "vandalism directly after release of block". Additionally, with IP's who have received a "final warning", we need to also consider the time of their last edit, and warnings that are stale may need re-issuing to be considered appropriate. Thats just my two cents. Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 23:07, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

To get back to the original point, I definately feel the same way and often decline reports. I am not always comfortable doing so, though, because often those which I do not decline end up being blocked by admins who have been around and ostensibly know better than me. Even still, I decline old reports and those who are throughly warned, and have to agree that one warning is not enough. Often, even after being issued several warnings, vandals will actually stop. It can be seen in stale reports where no block ended up being made. To give any fewer than two warnings, to ensure that the first was received, seems a little bite-y and not assuming good faith, at least to me. SorryGuy  Talk  02:23, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I have to agree here, I often go to remove an editor to find myself in edit conflict with an admin I may respect who has already gone and issued a block. With the ambiguity of the current system and the fact that if I go to this admin and ask why did you block, all they have to say is "I believed this block stops further disruption to the project" leaves me with no other option but to shrug my shoulders and say to myself "Well I wouldn't do it". None of the blocks I must stress I had enough issue with to warrant asking for an unblock, but still not comfortable with the situation.
When I first got involved with the user warnings, in the days of the 5 levels and the early days of the UW system, it was standard practice that all new talk pages had a welcome / good faith message and then possibly another couple of warnings, before a block would be considered. The {{bv}} or now IM warnings like {{uw-v4im}} were only used once a talkpage was full of warnings, with admins admonishing editors for incorrect reporting or hasty issuing of these templates. The mantra was that by always looking to the positive and that if we gain 1 positive editor from a 99 negative having tried to reason with them was a net positive for the project. Note: there was an essay floating around about this many many moons ago, can't remember by who though.
But we all now see 4im warnings as a first warning on a talk page, the amount of {{uw-aiv}} templates I issue out is often more than the blocks themselves. Going back to the ambiguity we see the trimonthly question of what does "recent" mean, there's one above and I've raised it in the past. Everyone comes in and gives their opinion of it, but that's it nothing in writing. We all bemoan, as I have above, the falling standards in warnings being issued and the haste with which some now reach for the block, it's a vicious circle and I applaud Snowolf for re-raising the issue, but if it continues we will have a zero tolerance system soon. We see now editors trying to reach for the banhammer when other editors come in with what seems good faith edits, but because they were maybe unaware of some of our policies, we see other editors instantly throwing warnings around without taking the time to explain these policies. Sometimes I wish I hadn't got involved with the warning system when I see them being so misused. It's all well and good to give editors a standard set of tools to do their job, but if we don't take the time to educate them then we will continue to find ourselves sheeping round staring at our feet and the walls complaining about the situation.
In my mind it's clear that we have to have a set of guidelines in place, how warnings and blocks will be issued, with potentially 8 or so case studies which can be used as a guide. I know that we cannot cover every situation, and I'm not saying we should remove the flexibility of administrators, but I think it's imperative we set a benchmark standard on how we and editors who wish to report to AIV conduct themselves with regards to blocks. I have offered to do this before but I will not start an essay or guideline to have detractors come in at the 11th hour having not contributed and tear it to shreds as so often happens round here. I'm not a vandal apologist but we already see snotty comments about how a vandal patroller feels their work is dead end as the vandalism doesn't stop and we are sometimes throwing out cases on some hidden ideals, that we all talk about here but never actually put down on paper. A balance needs to be struck and I think as an administrator by setting out our stall giving a mandate on how we operate using either an essay or preferably a guideline can only help the situation. But it requires concensus from all of you who have written above me and will write below so that we all appear to be singing off the same hymn sheet. Khukri 09:35, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

One or at most two warnings should be enough. Sincere experimenters will "get it", and vandals won't care what you tell them, so you might as well block them after at most a second warning. P.S. I'm not an admin, but I play one on TV. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 10:03, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Overly Aggressive Vandal Patrolling Culture

While I always try to assume good faith, I occasionally block a user with little or no warning if it appears clear that they are familiar with Wikipedia and a repeat vandal. Once in while I have probably made poor judgments and blocked incorrectly (to soon or to long). The first thing to think about though is that while you can block to soon or for to long, you can't block to late or to short. There is nothing a vandal can do that can't be reversed, and once they have been identified rolling back their vandalism is simple.

Currently the institutional culture at Wikipedia is moving away from assuming good faith to being over aggressive on vandal patrol, Snowolf and others here have pointed out that our culture is moving in this direction and are suggesting we change it. I firmly believe that all the editors (admin or not) who contribute to vandal patrol are acting in good faith, the problem is that when one of us, (myself included) make an overly aggressive vandal control action there is no mechanism to address it. The action is then approved by silent consent, this is by definition a culture where overly aggressive vandal patrolling is condoned.

Suggestion: How about we have some good faith, friendly tags to plop on each others talk page to suggest a more lenient approach might have been in order for a particular vandal patrol action? Jeepday (talk) 14:40, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

  • I'd definitely support that, and I'd try to make such templates as well. I feel the current culture of vandalism patrol could be an issue at some point. This is definitely a good idea, I think we've lost the balance between being civil and dealing with vandalism. Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 14:47, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
There is already a similar template created {{uw-aiv}}. Not sure if that is the best wording for what we are looking for, but it is a start. Tiptoety talk 14:51, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Steve why don't you go ahead and see if you can make something for this. There does not seem to be any serious opposition to the suggestion so far. Jeepday (talk) 15:42, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

Doing... Will take some time though, I'll notify everyone of the page, and everyone can input on the templates. Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 16:01, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

It's already too lenient and too much time is wasted being polite to users who are playing you for a sap. The more articles you work on, the greater percentage of your time is spent defending them against vandals (typically IP addresses and red-links) instead of doing normal editing. Being polite to vandals is silly. They know what they're doing, and so do you. Warn them once, or twice at most, and then smack them down if they do it again. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 14:55, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

There are plenty of "vandal warnings" applied to edits that are good faith attempts to add content. Dan Beale-Cocks 11:50, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Yeahhh, I think that's what he's talking about. I mean, I know that trawling for vandalism can get super-frustrating super-fast. Sometimes I take breaks for weeks at a time from paying attention to vandals, or new users with bad names, or bad new article creations. You've gotta take a break some time, otherwise it starts to feel like vandals are screwing with you personally, and you start thinking "one strike and then SMACK THEM DOWN" sounds like good policy. Ford MF (talk) 20:13, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Why on earth are you looking for users with "bad names"? As an example, is "dujdue8393ajs" a bad name? Dan Beale-Cocks 11:50, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

It's never personal, since no one knows who anyone is (generally speaking). But you're right that it might be good to stop watching and hope someone else deals with the bozos. The catch is, how does that help the quality of wikipedia's content? Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 20:32, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Personally, I'd welcome feedback from other admins along the lines of "I think you might have jumped the gun there; I'll defer to your judgement, but please take another quick look".
  • Even though it's probably a side-issue, I also want to quickly address the idea above that an early block is losing a potentially productive editor forever. Back before my adminship, I had Oxymoron block my sock for half an hour so I could see what being blocked was like. It's actually handled very kindly, full of AGF. I think this, combined with {{2ndchance}}, means we do have the option of retaining editors than can be turned from the dark side even after a block. I've considered placing {{2ndchance}} on the talk page of some of the users I've blocked myself, though I haven't done it yet. I think a relatively quick block (after a warning or two, but not four) stops the people who won't change, while the block notice and 2ndchance template offer an out for people who will. --barneca (talk) 15:01, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

An official guideline to issuing warnings would help too. A lot of people (myself included) seem to have developed a nominal process of Level 1, Level 3, Level 4, report. Level 1 is because lots of people go away as soon as they know they are being watched. Then Level 3, because lots more people go away as soon as you threaten them with even the mildest repercussions. I see the Level 4 as more of a formality (I've never seen someone become a productive editor after ignoring a Level 3) just to make sure my ass is covered when it goes to WP:AIV -- but then again, a lot of people do stop after the Level 4 as well, maybe because they hadn't gotten the level 3 yet or something, I dunno.
In most cases, the full-blown process of Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, Level 4, report, is completely out of whack. I only do that if the destructive edits are pretty obviously accidental. I wonder how many people say, "Well, 1+2+3+4+block is dumb, so I'm going to go 4im"?
There needs to be a way to let people know that 4im is only for repeat vandals, or possibly for highly-technical vandalism that demonstrates intimate knowledge of Wikipedia.
I'm not even aware of something on the level of an essay that tells people how to warn...? --Jaysweet (talk) 15:13, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I generally start with level 2. By definition, vandals know exactly what they're doing, and when someone replaced a page with the word 'fuck' in caps 500 times, good faith isn't an issue. HalfShadow (talk) 16:33, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
P.S. Just saw Barneca's comments, and I'd sort of like to expand on that. Forgiveness is important, but only if people ask for it. I have actually seen an account where the vandalism was something along the lines of, "Study hall is so boring, luckily I can vandalize Wikipedia to pass the time", but because they weren't active at the time this was noticed, they weren't blocked for another couple of days. In essence, we as a community -- this is crazy -- assumed good faith even when the account specifically stated a bad faith intention. If somebody has only made destructive edits, and has not made even the slightest indication they want to make constructive edits -- why are we assuming good faith again?
My position: For IPs, few warnings + short blocks. For accounts, moderate # of warnings + long blocks, with the caveat that we will be very liberal with the unblocking if they ask for it. --Jaysweet (talk) 15:13, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Mostly agree with all that. I don't advocate easy second chances for people that have intentionally vandalized. I mention the possibiliy of using the 2ndchance template before an unblock request to address the concern some have that once blocked, a potentially reformable editor is gone forever. This (largely mythical) reformed editor might just go away and never come back without requesting unblocking; if presented with a message that details how they can come back, the reformed editor might not give up, while the unreformed vandal would. In theory, at least (hence why I just mention it, rather than advocate it, or actually do it myself). --barneca (talk) 15:28, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
There are examples on both sides of the argument, User:GreYFoXGTi was blocked for vandalism, his last edit was placing the {{hangon}} incorrectly (Special:DeletedContributions/GreYFoXGTi). I am afraid that Jaysweet is correct that a good editor will not come back. User:GreYFoXGTi was clearly trying to build their first contribution to Wikipedia Testosterone loader, was unfamiliar with our expectations and process and 3 editors acting in good faith, became a little over zealous. Now we have one more editor who will not be making any constructive edits after a level four warning and a block. Jeepday (talk) 15:30, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Although that story is a good learning example for unintentional BITEing, it isn't quite applicable here; Greyfoxgti was never blocked: [3]. Your last message on his talk page will hopefully do the trick, and their pattern of editing with long breaks in between make me hopeful we haven't necessarily lost him. --barneca (talk) 15:50, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Good point. I don't think anyone here disagrees that BITEing is always bad. On a related note, I think some of the functionality of Twinkle doesn't help. First of all, I'd rather have "Rollback unproductive edit" rather than "Rollback vandalism" (yes I know there is a generalized Rollback button, but it's a PITA to type a message every time, so I just use the RV link). And secondly, in the automated warning menu, I'd like if there were a check box to also add a Welcome template. Sometimes if I think an account may have made a genuine mistake, I go back and add the welcome message manually -- but other times, I'd like to add a welcome message but I don't because I am in a hurry. --Jaysweet (talk) 16:09, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I don't have an automated tool, but I use user:barneca/temps/uw-test1ip and user:barneca/temps/uw-test1ac for almost every first warning I give (look at the talk pages to see how they look transcluded). In some cases it assumes a little too much good faith, but that's OK. --barneca (talk) 16:26, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Wow. That's one hell of a template! heh... --Jaysweet (talk) 16:45, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
In a good way, or a bad way, or a use-up-all-the-server-space way?  :) --barneca (talk) 16:52, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Do you mind if other people (like, uh, myself) use those templates? I like the well written, gentle approach they use. Sometimes it's not always obvious (at least to me) that an edit is real vandalism or just correctable ignorance, and I'd like something softer than a baseball bat to use for those times. -- ArglebargleIV (talk) 17:06, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I'd be honored (plus, I can't stop you!). Note that you'll have to copy them and fiddle with them a little in your own user space, since my signatures are hard-wired in (saves me precious typing time, since I'm doing it manually, and even after experimenting for hours with noinclude tags and such, I couldn't get the four tildes to work the way I wanted them to otherwise). --barneca (talk) 17:17, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
heh... :D To tell you the truth, I haven't decided yet. I like that it covers pretty much every type of advice I would ever have for a new user after their first edit. I'm not sure whether it might just be confusing, though.
Which brings us to an entirely separate point: So far, we have assumed that the problem is telling between users who a) want to contribute positively but don't yet understand the rules vs. those who b) are here with a destructive intention. There is a third class we haven't yet addressed yet, and I know it goes against all the egalitarian ideals of Wikipedia to say this, but I think it is a quite common problem: users who are just too dumb to ever grasp the rules.
I don't want to cite any examples, but I occasionally see someone with several weeks or even months of edit history, who seems to have good faith intentions, but who is still making newbie mistakes, creating articles about non-notable topics, pushing pov, etc. They seem honest enough, but they also seem to just not get it. Sometimes I look at their contribs and see a 2:1 ratio of destructive changes to constructive changes. How the hell do you deal with that? The current process seems to be to just wait until they do something particularly egregious and then block them via normal procedures. But we should not underestimate the cost to the project of these types of users... --Jaysweet (talk) 16:58, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, that's the $64,000 question. However, we might have veered into village pump territory now... --barneca (talk) 17:17, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

  • <editconflict x2> I think its a great job. I've read your comments thoroughly, and I completely agree. Obvious, blatant vandalism, such as replacing a page with "PENIS" 5000 times, or "X is gay", or putting highly inappropriate images on pages, is unacceptable, and I don't feel they should be given much leniency, as their intention to contribute to the project constructively obviously doest exist. However, people who add things such as "Hi", or "Can I really edit this page", is more of a test edit, and some of us (including myself in the past), have been all but too quick to label this as vandalism, even though our policy on vandalism says that it is not. I know of editors that have been labeled vandals, when they clearly were not so, I was guilty of, and as an example, here it is. Subsequently, I apologised for my actions, and they have gone on to contribute to the project. The other issue I see is, some users are reluctant that they've made a mistake. It's something I believe we should all do, if we've made an error, own up to it. We should try not to be so bitey when monitoring vandalism. Obvious, blatant vandalism should be dealt with in the appropriate fashion, but things such as adding OR that appears to have been added in good faith, or test edits, shouldn't be immediately labeled as vandalism. The other question we should ask before reporting/blocking IP's/users, is, will this prevent further damage to the project, and furthermore, will that outweigh the possible positive contributions they could make in the future. The {{2ndchance}} is a great idea, and as noted, is basically foolproof in a way, as persistent, unrepentant vandals are unlikely to respond to it, but reformed vandals, such as Community service, a fine example of the {{2ndchance}} idea working. As for the templates for pointing to users that they should try to be more lenient when patrolling vandalism, I'd like input on what they should look like? And perhaps we should write an essay too on this discussion? Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 17:13, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
I have to say that i 100% agree with you Steve. Some vandals should receive a block straight off. Such as your example. You just know that they are going to carry on. Anyway im all with everything you said. ·Add§hore· Talk/Cont 20:10, 17 April 2008 (UTC)
Steve these are the exact examples we need to see as case study examples. In a week or so this page will be archived and to all intents and purposes lost to new VP's looking for advice on how to warn and seek blocks through AIV. Looking up through this topic there are some gems here that would be ideal to include. Khukri 08:37, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
  • I think a case study would be a wonderful idea. Is there a way to stop this topic from being archived? But, definitely, we should do a case study, see the effect being overly aggressive to "vandals" can do. For example, cases like this, I feel we have to be more willing to give users the benefit of the doubt, and I also updated the AIV template, added "Blocks are preventative, they are not intended to be used as punishment." Some of the reports we get, are users/IPs who haven't edited in several hours, and then finding the "vandalism", a block is requested. Currently, we just have the "Stale" template, but we may need a stronger message. Blocking is quite powerful tool, and I feel some may not realise that blocks are not a first option, that they really are a last resort, when not blocking would cause damage to the project. That's just my 2 cents worth. Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 09:16, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
    • Looking at the timings in the case you linked there Steve, the editor may well not even have seen the Level 1 warning before doing their last edit (just 2 minutes difference). DuncanHill (talk) 09:39, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Exactly my point. I find it hard to believe tha they would have actually seen the warning before making the last edit. I think I will write an essay on this, just in my user space for now, I think that we really need to re-establish the right balance again, I feel the community has gotten too aggressive towards "vandalism", and while I'm no vandal sympathiser, I've seen first hand the effects of users who have been whacked with the vandal stick, even though they aren't "vandalising", as is documented in our vandalism policy. Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 11:06, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Good for you, I agree entirely. DuncanHill (talk) 11:14, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
  • User:Pixaerial was indef blocked for spamming, even though he had stopped adding links hours before the block, (indeed stopping within a minute or two of a level 1 warning, which I doubt he had seen before adding the last link). He also blanked a COI page, for which he was warned, he responded to this second warning by asking another editor for help/advice. The blocking admin did agree that a block for spamming was inappropriate, and replaced it with an indef block for username. The links Pixaerial had been adding were probably inappropriate according to policy, but did have some relevance to the articles and were not outright commercial either. I think that this was a keen new editor, unfamiliar with our policies, with a (government and university sponsored) website, who could, with the right handling, have contributed productively. DuncanHill (talk) 11:24, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Added a template to the AIV template, for reports that are not vandalism. I think the current way things are being done, is that we are quick to label edits that are not vandalism, as vandalism, purely for the reason as it is faster and easier than giving warning templates for test edits. The template you have made Khukri, for initial warnings, I think is marvelous. I'm no vandal sympathizer, but I feel that people are becoming quick to whack people with the vandal stick. Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 09:36, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
A note on the archive thing. As long as people keep on replying under this heading it shouldnt get archived.(i think). I also "think" that if noone replys for 7 days then it will get archived :). Also those new templates are good and i can see myself using the no vandalism one quite alot. Also many of these what you could call false warns or warns for test edits which shouldn't be warned in that way use huggle. People that use huggle need to know just to press R to revert the edit and then T to give the user a test warn. Q (the big red button) should only be used if you are sure that it is 100% vandalism as it gives out a vandalism warning with it. ·Add§hore· Talk/Cont 10:56, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Some of the tools for vandal patrolling need to be changed. The culture that has grown around vandal patrolling probably isn't helpful;("WARNING TO VANDALS, this editor is armed with" etc) all those userboxes create a "ZOMG WP is under attack", rather than the calm undo that most vandalism requires. There's also a user rights for the sake of it thing going on - "This user has rollback rights on the English wikipedia". People who want to become admins really need to be careful with stuff that they're reverting as vandalism - because that's an easy to understand policy, and they shouldn't be getting it wrong. Dan Beale-Cocks 12:16, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I definitely agree that tools are part of the problem. I use Twinkle, and I'm not going to stop using Twinkle (unless it's to use some more advanced tool) because it saves so much time. But to put it in perspective: To rollback an edit with a "vandalism" summary takes two clicks, and giving the rolled-back editor a "vandalism" warning takes only two additional clicks. Never do you have to touch the keyboard. To rollback an edit with a "test edit" summary takes three clicks plus some typing, and giving the rolled-back editor a "test edit" warning takes four clicks (two of these are to navigate a pull-down menu, which also requires a couple additional seconds, and a lot more concentration). To also give the person a "Welcome" template along with their "test edit" warring -- well, that's not even automated in Twinkle, so by my count that's at least an additional two clicks and a bunch of typing, with both of those clicks involving full page loads (not always a very fast thing when I am going through a proxy server).
Totaling it all up, dealing with someone as if they were a vandal takes me four clicks, two page loads, and zero keystrokes. Dealing with someone as if they were a prospective new user with a failed test edit takes me nine clicks, four page loads, and over twenty keystrokes -- even though in both cases I am still strictly using templates. So tell me again, why do you think we get BITEy with people who make failed test edits? --Jaysweet (talk) 12:41, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

 Done The template that was discussed has been made. It can be found here. It's been suggested that it replace the {{uw-aiv}} template. What do you all think of this idea? Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 18:56, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

It's OK but...... the line 'may not have engaged in vandalism' is different to the AIV template. The uw-aiv template is, Yes we understand this maybe a vandal but it needs at least a final warning or to be recent, you haven't done that. This warning is more about hey steady on don't bite the newbs that edit may not have been vandalism in the first please. To me they are different templates to work along side each other. Khukri 21:14, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

That seems a fair comment. How about you edit the template and fix up the issues. Just because it's in my userspace doesn't mean you can't edit it. ;) Or, if we would keep the current uw-aiv template, then we should think of an appropriate {{uw-}} code. I'm open to suggestions here, or just fix it yourself :) Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 22:01, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Underly Aggressive Blocking Culture

I know, an unpleasant title, but I think we need to realize that we have two problems on our hands. We do have a group of editors that define "vandalism" as "edits with which I disagree or don't conform to my standards of technical perfection." But, on the other hand, we have vandal fighters that get tired and cranky because we keep reverting the same kind of crap from the same group of editors, and admins reject the reports or hand out 3-hour blocks.

I really think we need to rethink both sides. If a school IP vandalises and vandalises and vandalises, I don't really think we need to worry about whether it's the same vandal every time, and restart the warning cycle over and over. The thing we need to look for is valid anonymous edits from that IP. If there's a day gap in vandalism, and that day gap had valid edits, I'm perfectly willing to restart a warning cycle. But, if all we get from that IP is vandalism, why do we worry about whether it was Johnny the first time and Jimmy the second? I get the feeling that all the kids in a school that vandalise Wikipedia know that the others are doing it, and are playing a game to see how far they can go, and who can be the "funniest". If they are vandalising as a club, we should block them as a club.

As for false reporting, I think that false reporting is a form of disruptive editing, and we need to treat it as such. We should adapt the same four level warning structure about false reports that we have for vandalism, and repetitive false reports from the same editor should lead to escalating blocks against that editor. Obviously, we would have to apply a good deal of extending good faith, but blatantly false statements (like "vandalised after final warning" when he did not) deserve a hand-slap.Kww (talk) 12:49, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Esp re schoolblocks - I come down hardest on school ip's. There are a lot of potential vandals in a school, and I can see a whole lot of work that comes from reverting the vandal edits while assuming good faith for the anons who contribute. Well, if they are using a computer at school (or college or university) then the responsibility for the correct use of the item is with the school - not the individual. If I see a pattern of vandalism from a school ip my instinct is to block for a long time; if a teacher wants to undertake to oversee their charges, or similar, then yes the block can be lifted. However, in my time in blocking school ip's I have never been asked to review my block on the basis that a responsible adult will regulate the proper use of the school equipment. Any student who wants to contribute usefully can set up their own account - there are plenty of good editors (and admins) who edit under usernames. LessHeard vanU (talk) 13:02, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

<editconflict> Most definitely. Statements such as "vandalism directly after release of block", "vandalism after final warning", when used misleadingly, should be reprimandable. I check every report on AIV I see, and if their report summary is invalid, I wont hesitate to say so. Additionally, in response to the templates such as "this user is armed with...", perhaps we should have a TFD on them. I feel our way of dealing with vandalism has gone completely out of whack. And users should be more careful before reporting to AIV. Additionally, I see the issue regarding School IPs, I think a few things have to be considered, such as "will this block affect the +ve contributions from this address, such as, if the IP has a history of good edits, but then in the last 2 days, there has been vandalism, I'd consider a 6 month block excessive. Like I said, it's about finding a balance. Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 13:08, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Quick comment, and sorry about breaking the flow. When filling out an AIV report with WP:TWINKLE, there are four checkboxes to describe the user's behavior. The one labeled Vandalism after recent release of block actually drops the text Vandalism directly after release of block. I just noticed that a couple of days ago, and there's no telling how long I've been reporting people for that. I'm about to raise it on the Twinkle talk page. Just wanted to point out that this is not always intentional behavior by the reporting user. // Chris (complaints)(contribs) 16:23, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
  • Strongly disagree with you about lengths. With school IPs, I think we should go straight from the 3-day block to a one year block. The only way to break the pattern is to wait for a new school year to start.Kww (talk) 13:22, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I tend to agree with KWW, maybe there needs to be a template which more prominently highlights that folks can always make an account from a long-blocked IP, thus reinforcing the value of a long softblock Cheers, Casliber (talk · contribs) 13:37, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Two quick comments. First, rather than "reprimandable", maybe "discusssable". I don't think we want to chase overly enthusiastic RC patrollers away, we want to persuade them to alter their style. Rather than a template, perhaps a good natured 2-3 sentence note on their talk page.
Second, I agree with most of what's said here, but by and large, isn't that pretty much what we do already? I haven't run across too many instances where school blocks were consistently too long or too short. Nothings perfect, but we seem to be doing OK in this regard, at least from what I've run across. --barneca (talk) 13:16, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

(ec)OK playing devils advocate here, that vandal school is interspersed with the occasional constructive edit. Do we block the whole school for long periods of time? In my opinion No. The whole ethos of wikipedia is that it's an encyclopedia anyone can edit, until that changes we have to accept the fact we will attract the puerile with not alot better to do. Vandal Patrollers are an invaluable and integral part of the behind the scenes working of the encyclopedia, I and many other admins started out or still do it. But unfortunately many also see it as a crusade and imagine there is an end in sight, the more warnings they dish outm the more reports they can make the closer they get to this goal, and the evil admins are only hindering them. We see everywhere vandal fighters, and as was mentioned above, userboxes of the vigilante who is the 23rd century scourge of vandals, etc. Unfortunately this isn't the case, those who wish to help out with the encyclopedia are in it for the long haul and there is no end in sight, while we have anonymous editing (I don't have a for/against position on it, it just is) until the powers that be decide otherwise, we are going to have vandals.
When it is clear cut vandalism we will take action, but in this rush to nuke the vandal new editors are being hit by over zealous VP'ers. With your example, I have and will block schools for 6 months or a year, and when the schools sysadmins want to know why they can't edit, my name is at the bottom of the page and they can get in touch. There must be some acceptance by the institutions that they must police their affairs as well. So in short most of us will block schools but we have to weigh up if others will be affected. Khukri 13:20, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
I generally prefer to avoid long blocks if there's any decent activity or a reasonable expectation that there might be. Even when throwing out long blocks, I try to allow account creation if I think it'll work out okay. – Luna Santin (talk) 02:05, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Exactly, I feel everything needs to be weighed up. But as noted above, going from a 3 day block to a year, I feel is extreme. We have to balance up whether collateral damage will occur, and punitive year blocks knocking out a large amount of students for the vandalism of few could be excessive. The important thing to look at here, is whether the IP address has a history of constructive edits. Obviously, a school IP used mainly for vandalism would be dealt with differently, say an IP that has a history of constructive edits.

Additionally, I'll withdraw what I said before. We shouldn't reprimand RC patrollers for being overly enthusiastic, however we need to remind them that giving misleading reports, as I noted above, is a serious matter. But, I feel just a reminder would be more effective than a templated message. Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 13:44, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Don't go from a day to a year. Just double it each time. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 13:51, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Yes, good rule of thumb. --barneca (talk) 13:55, 18 April 2008 (UTC)
Khukri, I'd like to see some examples of a school IP that interleaves vandal edits with positive contributions. I've probably reported a hundred school IPs to AIV, and I think I've seen maybe two where there were any constructive edits in the past month. (I actually look, unlike a lot of VPs, which I think is part of the problem we are talking about here)
I'm not saying it doesn't happen, but let's be honest here: Being light with schoolblocks means we are tolerating hundreds of extra vandal edits for each constructive edit. Now, since vandalism is so easy to revert, maybe that is worth it after all. But let's not pretend like we are blocking IPs that are 50/50 between constructive and vandal, or even 10/90. It's more like 1/99 or less. --Jaysweet (talk) 15:27, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Vince the vandal


There is a spate of vandalism at present from several IPs, adding comments about vince the vandal. As it's obviously the same user, I'm blocking on sight rather than giving warnings. Keep an eye on today's featured article, talk:main page etc as this is wehre he seems to be concentrating. —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 21:59, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps a range block might be more effective here, that is, if the range they are editing can be established. They seem rather disruptive. If you could give me the IP's that have been blocked, I'd be glad to help determine the range. Steve Crossin (talk) (anon talk) 22:04, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

So far I've caught (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs), (talk · contribs) —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 22:12, 20 April 2008 (UTC)
Discussion now on WP:ANI —  Tivedshambo  (t/c) 22:14, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

"no warnings needed" template

An editor recently reported an IP address to WP:AIV after only one warning, and no edits after that warning, because they saw this template on the IP's talk page:

Stop x nuvola.svg
Notice to Editors:
This IP may be immediately reported to the Administrators without any warnings

This IP has been repeatedly blocked from editing Wikipedia in response to past abuse of editing privileges and, as such, does not require any further warnings when it is again being used to abuse Wikipedia. Further abuse from this IP may result in an
immediate and extended block.

I removed the template from the talk page, as I don't think it should work like that, and left a final warning instead. However, on a hunch I searched for more templates like this, and found 90 of them: [4].

Now, in this particular case, the vandalism was ugly and a block would not have been the end of the world. In spot checking other IP's, many times it does indeed correspond to an IP with a much longer history of vandalism than this IP had. But in a few cases I spot-checked, it's been added to IP's similar to the original example, with only a few short blocks from (apparently) school IPs. In general, I'm wondering if there's a benefit to this template? It wastes our time, and the reporter's time, when this gets listed on WP:AIV and an obviously pro-vandalism, wimpy admin like me says no, actually, you do need to warn new editors at least once on a shared school IP. Would anyone else block an IP with no recent warnings due to a template like this, added by, basically, whoever wants to add it? I don't think it's worth hunting thru and deleting them all, but if consensus here is that admins who frequent WP:AIV aren't going to honor it, I'll try a post at WT:CVU seeing if people can lay off adding it any more. --barneca (talk) 17:46, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Non Admin Comment In my opinion, this template should go. It completley goes against anything established with warning vandals. Especially with an IP address. Why even have warning templates if we are going to immediatley block someone? That someone could come to a computer that has been used for vandalism, find Wikipedia, and have a quick experiment, find out we are what we say we are, and then decide to stay as a good editor. Dusticomplain/compliment 18:37, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps the topic should be brought up at Wikipedia:WikiProject user warnings? Ashanda (talk) 18:50, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
It is a long term practice to treat IPs that cause habitual problems and little useful contributions with less patience. Admins can still use their discretion when deciding to block or warn. (1 == 2)Until 18:57, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
Works for school-ips: for every good edit we get from a school, we get about 30 bad ones. There comes a point where you just have to say 'I'm not going to waste any more time being polite with you; shape up or piss off.' HalfShadow (talk) 19:00, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
That well may be, but such a situation is made obvious by the number and frequency of warnings on the page. What purpose does this template serve? The IPs in question are never going to see it, because I see no reason why someone new editing from that IP would have any idea what a talk page is, let alone how to access it, and a returning vandal wouldn't care. I think the last thing some RC watchers need is additional incentive to report at AIV without any warnings. And in response to HalfShadow: You can't tell an entire school full of children/teenagers to "shape up or piss off" and expect anything to come of it. I agree that blocks of escalating length are useful for cutting off vandalism from schools full of vandals altogether, but I fail to see what use this template serves in bringing that about.--Dycedarg ж 19:07, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

I would say the only problem with this template is that it treats an IP address as if it were a person; this is a serious flaw, and makes the whole basis of this template rather questionable. User warnings are not meant for IP addresses, they're meant for the people making the edits attributed to those addresses. It is well known that IP addresses can be shared or reassigned — this is why we warn people before blocking their IP even if that IP had been warned in the past.

Other than that "minor" issue, however, I see little problem here. The blocking policy says that "Warning is not a prerequisite for blocking … but administrators should generally ensure that users are aware of policies, and give them reasonable opportunity to adjust their behaviour accordingly, before blocking." If the edit was indeed as "ugly" as you said, and if it was clear that the person who made it did so knowing it was not appropriate, I would've blocked them immediately based on that, not because of some template on their talk page.

Of course, in a case like that I would've made the block, at least initially, a short one (from 1 hour up to at most 24 hours), and would've made sure to leave a note (such as {{uw-block1}}) on their talk page explaining why they were blocked, when it will expire and what to do if they disagree, and to clear away any older, potentially confusing notices from said talk page — that last part being something frustratingly few people remember to do. Sure, an IP talk page full of hundreds of old warnings and block notices serves as a very effective rap sheet — but it's useless for actually communicating with the person using the IP, which is supposed to be the point of the warnings in the first place. (Ahem. Sorry for the digression.) —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 19:26, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Not a fan of the template as it currently stands, would favor a revamp or deletion; users should always be encouraged to take context into consideration. Remember that this template, once left, will be present indefinitely and will eventually become irrelevant. It's easy enough to say an IP has been used repeatedly for vandalism, without resorting to Scary Language, and if it's really to the point where one random edit two months from now is a blockin'... maybe we should just be blocking? – Luna Santin (talk) 21:32, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

AIV Helperbot is Down


Operators of the AIV Helperbot, the bots are currently all down and not removing names from the list. For example, all these had to be removed manually.¤~Persian Poet Gal (talk) 20:52, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Eh heh, nevermind. The minute I posted this notice one just became active.¤~Persian Poet Gal (talk) 20:53, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

To check sockpuppets

Usually we don't know usernames IP. Because even i couldn't determine people sockpuppet, and it will be bad to randomly accuse people per WP:BITE, and do them all wrong. What to check to catch peoples sockpuppet? IP? or what? Do we have system makes checking sockpuppet easy?--Freewayguy (talk) 01:39, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Trust me... 95% of the time, people who come to vandalise wikipedia aren't smart enough to cover their tracks. They return to the same articles, make the same edits, have the same interests, attack the same users. Most often, checkuser isn't even necessary. The duck test usually is 02:54, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Well-put. That's how User:Tecmobowl got nailed, for example. He even invented a sock user ID called "El redactor"... who remained a red-link and was acting in behalf of the then-only-temporarily-blocked Tecmobowl. Many sockpuppeteers assume that wiki admins are as dumb as they themselves are. P.S. The exact techniques of doing the checkuser are secret. Tecmo tried to argue that because of that secrecy, he was denied due process... i.e., he was denied the chance to be more clever in evading the next time. He gone. Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? 03:41, 26 April 2008 (UTC) (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · filter log · WHOIS · RDNS · RBLs · http · block user · block log)

He does only vandalism,reverted the "Far away from showbiz" twice to "adil" and to "--",then theres the James Tandy thing .

New Babylon 2 (talk) 12:49, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

The IP has not edited for several hours. If you see any further edits, please report them here. Thanks! UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 19:10, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Report on (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · filter log · WHOIS · RDNS · RBLs · http · block user · block log) moved to talk page. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 13:56, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

  • (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log) has continuously and repeatedly been doing the same edit (1, 2, 3), even after being warned, and along the way been removing content (4) and even reverting factual updates (5), although the source, which he deliberately disregards, clearly states a different figure. This is not the first time, as he has been repeatedly doing it some months ago with the exact same change of the figure. This is his 5th vandalising edit within 36 hours. ● 8~Hype @ 13:09, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Last edit was 6 hours ago. I'll have a look. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 13:26, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I have declined this block twice so far today ... Pedro :  Chat  13:30, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, make it three - it's not simple vandalism, though I'll warn the IP to discuss the matter before reverting again. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 13:32, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
The sad thing is (as the history shows), it can happen even after 12 hours of silence. This is a current report, and I posted the first report about 5 minutes after his last vandalism, and it remained unanswered for hours, and then got deleted and being labeled as stale. ● 8~Hype @ 13:33, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but this board is for current and clear cut vandalism, per the instructions at the top of the page. Pedro :  Chat  13:35, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
So how is this not current? It remained unanswered for hours, and now is out of date? ● 8~Hype @ 13:37, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, yes - Rule of Thumb is an hour, I believe. The criteria is that the vandal is active now. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 13:38, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
Even 52 minutes after my first report, his vandalising activities occured again. So obviously it is an administrator fault that it did not get answered and is out of date. ● 8~Hype @ 13:48, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
That's as may be, but it's sitting here now, and the criteria now say that it's stale. Setting that aside, it appears in some ways to be a content dispute, as the IP asserts in one instance that a source is in error - and content disputes are typically outside the purview of AIV anyway. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 13:51, 29 April 2008 (UTC)
I'm moving this report to the Talk page momentarily, and will monitor the IP. UltraExactZZ Claims ~ Evidence 13:54, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

IP socks

The above report on illustrates a more generic problem that we really need to figure out a way to resolve. I have similar problems dealing with the various socks of Editor652 (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log), whose personal obsession is to change the number of black Hondurans to 350K. I recognize him immediately, roll back his edits, and then need to report. If I report on WP:SSP, the response time is hours or days, so I get to spend the evening on the rollback button. If I report here, it's hard to persuade people that an edit that looks like a factual dispute is, in fact, clear cut vandalism. Even when I mention that Editor652 (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log), Honduran72 (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log), MTA25 (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log), and MTA254 (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log) have all been indefinitely blocked for making identical edits, they get skipped over for hours, and then deleted as stale, like here and here. We really need an effective method for dealing with IP socks that is faster then SSP, and makes it obvious that "350,472" can be just as vandalistic as "POOOPY PANTS!" Kww (talk) 14:17, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

school system vandals and followups

Has anyone explored setting up some kind of mechanism with school system representatives who could take vandal reports and try to track them back into the schools?--Smkolins (talk) 23:22, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

WP:ABUSE is what you are looking for. Tiptoety talk 23:13, 30 April 2008 (UTC)

What happened with Did this user get blocked? I had to go to work and the page has been wiped now. Amillion (talk) 04:20, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I just realized I could look at the edit history. Apparently it was decided that the user should not be blocked because they had not vandalized anything after their final warning, but they actually received two final warnings, one of which was in January. They have vandalized several articles since then, included two today. Is it Wikipedia's policy to issue nine warnings, including two final warnings, and then not block the user? Shouldn't a user be blocked if they make even one vandalizing edit after their first final warning? That's what the final warning says after all. Otherwise we're sending the message that you can vandalize Wikipedia as much as you want as long as you spread it out across a long enough period of time. Amillion (talk) 04:44, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

We usually don't block IPs unless they've been warned recently. IPs change owners on a regular basis, so we tend to assume that, if a reasonable amount of time has gone by, it might not be the same person who received the final warning.
You'll also note that actually, the user did get blocked after the final warning: here. The block occurred in January, shortly after that final warning. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 05:14, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I did not realize that. So after an IP has been blocked, the vandalism warning series starts over? This user has made six vandalizing edits since they were blocked. Amillion (talk) 05:29, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
That account has made six vandalising edits; without checking out the style of the vandalism, or whether it is to the same subject(s), it is difficult to determine if it is the same individual, but I suggest we tend to AGF where there is doubt. LessHeard vanU (talk) 12:30, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
More to the point, six vandalizing edits have originated from that IP address. It could be the same person; it could be a sequence of people, with the address reassigned every 24 hours; or it could be any number of people connecting through a library/computer lab/company proxy address. —C.Fred (talk) 16:22, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Don't we have tools to determine whether or not an IP address is shared? Amillion (talk) 23:39, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
The only IPs that really get hit hard for long-term blocks are IPs that have been identified as belonging to a school. Technically, static IPs can be long-term blocked as well, but I get the impression that it's harder to be certain whether a static IP is one or not. HalfShadow (talk) 23:54, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

This IP address keeps removing controversial information from the Mercy Ministries article . I reverted it, and I am the second person to revert edits made by this person. Can an admin please look at it and see if this IP needs banned? Thanks. CelticLabyrinth (talk) 07:23, 2 May 2008 (UTC)

I'll warn the user; if the activity continues they may be banned. Mike Doughney (talk) 07:36, 2 May 2008 (UTC)
It's a little more complicated than that. Firstly, this isn't the location to report vandalism - use WP:AIV next time. Secondly, nobody had warned the IP, making a block for vandalism (not a ban, the concepts are different: see WP:BLOCK and WP:BAN) unlikely. Thirdly, the IP address in question is registered to Mercy Ministries of America. The section it was removing from Mercy Ministries was the "controversy" section, which (although sourced) does seem to dominate the article, so they may have a legitimate grievance about balance. I've left a "welcome" message with a reference to WP:COI and will also leave a message on the article's talk page. BencherliteTalk 07:51, 2 May 2008 (UTC)



I count 14 reports on the page right now. I manually added the tag because for some reason, AIVHelperBot wasn't doing it. Enigma message 19:25, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

This could easily be caused by a malfunction within the bot program. Have you tried contacting the bot's owner? Razorflame 19:35, 6 May 2008 (UTC)
Next time just contact the bot owner about the backlog notice and let some admins know over at WP:AN, you will get a faster response. Tiptoety talk 23:56, 6 May 2008 (UTC)

Someone split the bot config line into 3 lines, I bet the bot needs it to be one line only. I have put it back to a single line. (1 == 2)Until 00:02, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Craziest reason yet for not blocking?

The reason for not blocking ("User has not edited in 3 hours") was given here Umm... so what? User has vandalised 8 times since the last final warning. It is a vandal only account. --David from Downunder (talk) 16:58, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Why not make a system wherein a vandal is blockable for the duration of his would-be block time: for example if a vandal should be blocked for 72 hours and 70 hours pass since his last edit without being blocked, he can still be blocked for the final 2 hours. Cigraphix (talk) 17:14, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
IP addresses are not accounts, and it's a shared IP - at a guess, a school. I doubt that today's vandal saw any warnings at all. How long do you think this IP should have been blocked for? -- zzuuzz (talk) 17:15, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
(edit conflict) First of all, that's not an "account", it's an IP address that may be automatically reallocated every hour or so. This would mean that a block would have absolutely no effect on the vandal, but may well hit a legitimate user. Blocks are preventative, no punitive. Cigraphix's proposal suffers from the same problem. Hut 8.5 17:18, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

Yeah, if it were an account then I would totally agree with David from Downunder. IMO, vandal-only accounts should always get an indef block even if they are inactive. They have made their intentions clear. We are only asked to assume good faith, not to maintain good faith in the absence of incontrovertible evidence of bad faith and destructive intent.
But IP addresses are an entirely different story. If they stopped vandalizing, maybe the person left that computer and might never vandalize from that IP address ever again. There's just no point. The only exception might be if a school IP is getting a really tremendous amount of vandalism, a one-year block might be in order even if the account is inactive. But eight vandal edits are not what we are talking about. --Jaysweet (talk) 17:20, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. I was the person who removed the report. If you read the guidelines in the AIV banner right at the top of the page, users should be active now (not my bold) to be blocked. As 3 hours is not exactly now, there really wasn't any benefit to blocking. No reason to block when the block will not actually stop any vandalism. 17:23, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

(edit conflict/reset indent) Um, Dave? There have been two vandal edits from that IP address this entire month. "Final warnings" on IPs only apply for like a day or so, and even that is stretching it, because even 24 hours later there's a good chance it is a different person. For a school IP, this is a truly paltry amount of vandalism. You really think it was the same idiot student on April 17 as it was yesterday? Well, I suppose it's possible, but more likely than not it was a completely different idiot. heh... --Jaysweet (talk) 17:26, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

By that reasoning, the 31 hour block this particular IP got before was excessive Cigraphix (talk) 17:29, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I haven't looked at the actual block, but it depends on the history. The first block on an IP address is typically 24 hours, sometimes even shorter. This is just hoping the vandal gets bored. If the vandalism resumes within a day or two after the release of the block, then we might have a problem. Perhaps a student who likes to vandalize Wikipedia has a daily study hall now. Perhaps a classroom full of bored students have all discovered Wikipedia, and word is spreading throughout the school that you can write "LAURA LOVES MIKEY" in the middle of the article on Abraham Lincoln. Or perhaps it's not even a student at all, just a very persistent vandal.
In any case, the next step then is to impose a somewhat longer block and see what happens. Sometimes, someone will try to vandalize every day until they get blocked, but if you block them for two days, then by that time they've forgotten about Wikipedia and found something else to do. (Seriously! It sounds implausible, but it happens all the time)
Occasionally, things get out of hand and even week-long blocks don't deter the vandals. It's hard to say what is happening here. A very very persistent vandal? The entire school knows about Wikipedia now? Who knows? In those cases, sometimes a block of up to a year is issued, in the hopes that next year everybody will be in different classes, or maybe some of the vandals will have graduated. heh...
However, a couple of vandal edits in mid-April, followed by three weeks of silence, followed by another couple vandal edits? No reason to suspect a systemic problem. It's probably totally different people. --Jaysweet (talk) 17:42, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
I checked the specific case. So it was 31 hours right off the bat. <shrug> Some admins do 12, some do 24, some do 31. One argument for 31 is that if the person has a study hall daily, 31 is effectively a two-day ban for the vandal, while barely more than a one-day ban for anyone else trying to use the IP address.
Really, does 24-hr vs. 31-hr matter that much? --Jaysweet (talk) 17:45, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
No but I'm wondering, if we're so concerned for innocent editors, why not make the block only 3 hours or less (which is the amount of time given b4 it was decided too much time had passed to block and the vandal had left)? Cigraphix (talk) 18:05, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
It's a fair question. First I'll try to answer it in a way that defends the status quo, then I'll let you know why there is some disagreement:
In all cases, there is a need to balance freedom to edit vs. protecting the project. Ideally, we'd never block an IP address ever, and their changes should just be reverted. But (almost) everyone agrees that is impractical.
So, we try to give a block length that balances maximum benefit (reduced odds that the editor will come back) vs. minimum cost (minimum block duration). It is true that in a non-trivial number of cases, a 1-hr block, or maybe even a 10-minute block (!) might be enough to stop the vandalism. That approach very much minimizes cost.
But, what if we're wrong and the vandalism doesn't stop? There are going to be a lot more cases where a person is willing to wait out a 1-hour block than there are cases where the person will wait out a 24-hour block, right? So even though we increase the cost (by doing a 24 hour block), we also increase the benefit (by decreasing the odds the person will come back to continue vandalizing and necessitate yet another block)
Now, if I had a magic crystal ball to see the future, then in the ideal case we would give every IP vandal exactly the duration of block that would result in stopping the vandalism. For some IPs, that would be ten minutes, for some it would be a day, for some it would be a year or more. Obviously, I don't have that crystal ball, so we settle on 24-hour or 31-hour blocks for a first offense.
And finally I get to my point: In the case of the IPVandal that David from Downunder reported, we in effect had that crystal ball. In the case of that vandal, we already know that three hours is enough time for them to get bored and leave. We didn't even need to block them; they just left. In the case of the previous 31-hour blocks, maybe the person would have stopped after three hours if we gave them a three hour block. How can we tell that, though?
Now, all of that said, there are people who believe that first-time blocks on IP vandals should be very short, even as short as six hours or so. So your point is taken.
But remember, the exclusive purpose of blocking IP addresses is to stop vandalism. If the vandalism has stopped, then why block? There is just no reason to. If the vandalism is in progress, then we try to guess what length block will stop the vandalism. Are we always right? No, usually we are wrong :) But nobody has figured out a better alternative. --Jaysweet (talk) 18:23, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Part of being an admin is being trusted to make judgement calls on when and for how long to block users. Each admin has their own system, but generally, first-time or infrequent IP vandals get short blocks (typically 3-31 hours, depending on the admin). If it can be reasonably demonstrated that the same person is vandalizing via the same IP, for example they vandalize the SAME ARTICLE before or after the block, or vandalize in the same manner (such as adding "is gay" after the names of people in many different articles) then a longer block is often implemented. Alternately, if a shared IP, such as those registered to a school, has shown that repeated shorter blocks are ineffective (for example, many months of 1-2 day blocks gets nowhere) then an admin may instituted a multi-month block. However, all that being said, though admins may differ slightly on their own thresholds, ALL admins are expected to block only where such blocks are necessary and effective. For an IP with only 8-9 edits per month, blocking for any length of time is neither necessary (since we can keep up with 2 edits per week by simply reverting and warning) nor effective (since the IP edits so infrequently, and there is no proof that the next person to edit will be the same as the last that vandalized). Blocking an IP which a) isn't currently vandalizing and b) hasn't vandalized much more than once or twice a week doesn't really do much. 19:19, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Expanding on Jayron's point, blocks are preventative, not punitive. The last block I gave was triggered because an IP was vandalizing, but it was done to prevent the person at that IP from continuing to vandalize. Going back to the original example, if a vandal using an IP has been quiet for three hours, that's a good sign they've moved on, so a block isn't as likely to prevent more vandalism as if the last edit was three minutes ago. —C.Fred (talk) 19:31, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. Jayron32 was 100% right to deny the block; if it had been an account, I'd probably slap him with a trout, but this was an IP we're talking about. Different rules. EVula // talk // // 21:58, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
My minimum block for an ip is for 31 hours - providing that they have been properly warned and are active - for the reasons given above; if they come back same time next day and find they cannot edit then I feel there is a good chance they will go somewhere else to find their jollies, and someone logging on a few hours later will be okay - but I always stick the {{subst:uw-anonblock|(length of block)}} on the talkpage, so anyone caught in the meantime have the opportunity to create an account. I also review if the vandalism is the same subjects or style to see if there is a discernible history.
I tend to use shorter blocks for established accounts as a wake up call (never a cool down) regarding their editing. As commented above, short blocks are pointless in trying to restrict a vandalism only ip account. My suggestion for craziest reason yet for not blocking is; I am an amoeba, and have trouble pressing the keys. I admit that I have never seen this reason given, but would guess that it would of course be very difficult to type out. LessHeard vanU (talk) 19:44, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
It wasn't quite a "craziest reason yet for not blocking"... but I once saw an admin give a paltry 12-hour block to a vandal-only account with the username "Suckitlosers".  :D I think it was a very, very new admin, and he or she may not have noticed the username. It was extended to indef a couple hours later when another admin noticed it. --Jaysweet (talk) 19:50, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

This discussion illustrates an interesting difference between admin action and what our younger bloods would like us to be doing. Our young vandalhunters, often with their many automated tools (he says, briefly climbing on to an old bandwagon), see Wikipedia as something of a MMORPG, with goodies and baddies and levels to be reached and goals to attain and points to be racked up.

This is all very well, and I'm sure I was just as guilty 4 years ago, but it misses some fundamental points: that this is an encyclopedia that anyone can edit (both a strength and a weakness but all told our greatest strength) and that the people on the other side of the internet are not goodies or baddies but human beings. And human beings are apt to behave like human beings. Finding a website where they can "hack" the pages, they will "hack" the pages. And they will do so until they get bored, get blocked or get told not to. And if told not to, they will fight back - after all, what can we do to stop them? If we didn't want them to edit, we shouldn't've left the pages so easy to "hack"!

So our aim is always to balance the amount of rope we hand our vandals - because a vandal can become a positive editor quicker than a positive user becomes a vandal. Opening up the world to someone and then immediately blocking them would send them away forever: and this site will not write itself.

Our admins have generally been here a very long time and have generally seen most types of human being/vandal in action. You get a sense of them. Sometimes it's wrong, but generally you learn to almost instantly weigh up the IP address/username, the contributions, the block log and the targeted articles and in 3 or 4 clicks you know that User:X needs to go for a few months, User:Y needs a short sharp shock and User:Z can be left to play for a few minutes more. If you've only been here for a month or so and all you've ever done is "vandalfighting", then the rules of the MMORPG you're playing don't seem fair. But if you've been here forever and you're just seeking to protect every aspect of our freely-editable, freely-reproducable encyclopedia, the rules make much more sense. ➨ REDVEЯS is now 40 per cent papier mâché 20:21, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Well, that's one of my new favourite short-essay explanations of why we do stuff the way we do. Heimstern Läufer (talk) 21:45, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Very well said... Indeed. I may have to quote that some day... 22:08, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

OK. If I can summarize the foregoing, is it safe to say that we are looking for consistency in actions, but still allow human judgment to moderate the response based upon experience? If so, are there written guidelines that admins use as the basis for the consistency? --NERIC-Security (talk) 11:13, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

User (shared IP, I believe) has been posting random & nonsensical posts across talk pages and performed minor edits (changing 1 or 2 words or letters to confuse a point) on articles. Not substantial vandalism, but petty and not contributing. I'm not sure if this classifies as WP:Vandalism. Biccat (talk) 20:49, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it's vandalism, and an IP doing this sort of thing should be warned and then reported to WP:AIV whilst it is on-going. In this case, I've given him a week off here and now due to the prolonged and repetitive nature of the talk page vandalism, plus a stern talking-to. The IP appears to be stable at this point. ➨ REDVEЯS is now 40 per cent papier mâché 21:05, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Seeking consensus

User:Wilson2222 has been repeatedly changing "French fries" in Fish and chips to "freedom fries." I've been undoing the edits and have left him a message to this effect. I've reverted three times, and, while I think it constitutes vandalism, I'd like to get someone else's input before I continue reverting. I'm posting here as opposed to the article's talk page because it's more about what constitutes vandalism than about what belongs in the article. Fogster (talk) 21:46, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Personally I don't think it's exactly vandalism (though it's close and others might disagree with me), but it is the case that the editor is not adhering to NPOV (though that's kind of a weird way to put it) and I warned them as such. If they persist in this course of action a block would probably be appropriate, if anything for edit warring/3RR violation. Hopefully the warning will make them stop though.--Bigtimepeace | talk | contribs 21:53, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Sounds like a pretty obvious troll to me; the "Freedom Fries" goofiness had its heyday four or five years ago now. It's pretty difficult to AGF that he is not just stirring things up for the fun of it. <eleland/talkedits> 22:31, 8 May 2008 (UTC)

Vandal Report on the wrong page (luckily)

  • I suggest that you speak to Slrubenstein regarding their reasons - they have been around since 2001 and are likely to be pretty much aware of what can and can't be done. LessHeard vanU (talk) 20:15, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
  • Esprit de corps is a sockpuppet of Seancarlin84 and has been blocked accordingly. Enigma message 01:15, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

User has quite a history of subtle and odd/unnecessary edits, most of which I would call vandalism. Of note, this user/ip appears to have been banned multiple times in the past, the last one being of 6 months duration. I spotted this on the Saitek x52 article when I was trying to lookup more info on the product. As a new wikian (is that a word?) I'll leave heavy lifting to others and simply report the activity. Chaosratt (talk) 23:16, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Edit warring by user: R.Tabor on Suzanne Olsson article

Hello, is engaging in edit warring on the articles Suzanne Olsson and Jesus bloodline.

I have cited a source whereby the person in question claims to be a descendant of Jesus Christ here:

and R.Tabor keeps deleting it. He is not stopping. I have attempted to take the matter to the Talk Page but he is refusing to co-operate. Thank you,Wfgh66 (talk) 19:16, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Note that both R.Tabor (talk · contribs) and Wfgh66 (talk · contribs) have been blocked for 24 hours, at this time. – Luna Santin (talk) 01:19, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

Keep an eye on this user

User talk: has made a dozen sneaky vandal edits, which I reverted. Vandals tend to get unnoticed when they use an edit summary like "fixed wrong date". --Phenylalanine (talk) 21:52, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Good catch. No edits from that particular IP since the 10th, but something for all of us to consider. – Luna Santin (talk) 01:13, 15 May 2008 (UTC)