Wikipedia talk:Do not insult the vandals

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not useful[edit]

Doesn't seem to convey much useful advice, and even has some misinfo. Uncle Ed 22:26, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

I would add that many vandals are disrespectful bullies, and sometimes the nicest thing you can do for a bully is to let them know, firmly enough to get their attention, that they are being a bully. If bullies are appeased, they often won't see a need to change their behaviour. How can they know the practical advantages a respectful concern for others affords if they don't directly experience some of the practical disadvantages of their bullying behaviour? That isn't to say that we should be vicious and mean spirited ourselves, we should not forfeit our dignity after all, but to beg and plead with a bully (or vandal) to "please behave" very seldom works, IME. --Fire Star 22:39, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
Plz, plz expand. I had this thought after posting: if, for instance, someone uses a racial or sexual slur should I be nice? You should be civil but by no means should you not be sharp and direct with them. This isn't an invitation to grovel. This is basically a start-out stub so, as I say, expand. I think it useful to drive home the one point in bold: insulting vandals is the surest way to increase vandalism. My goodness, this is true--trolls and vandals positively desire angry commentary.
I'm also curious about, "even has some misinfo." Such as? Marskell 23:16, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
I think it is a fine idea, and don't really want to change the project page at all, I just wanted to add my 2 cents for the benefit of those who are working on it. I don't know what Ed Poor meant by "misinfo," however. --Fire Star 23:22, 19 October 2005 (UTC)
For starters, I can personally verify the part about some vandals becoming admins; I was once an anon vandal (see my talk page.) Y0u (Y0ur talk page) (Y0ur contributions) 23:25, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

(Humorous vignette that was previously here removed by our "peer leader") This is just a joke, pls don't take it too seriously... --Fire Star 23:20, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

I deleted your joke. We should be firm but not nasty.
I have taught children from age 3 to age 18. Being "nice" is not enough by itself. one must also firmly enforce the standard that they must be nice. There is no purely "nice" way to do this.
I am one of the peer leaders of the admins around here, and I counsel them to avoid both extremes: appeasment and revenge.
Politely, but firmly explain the rules. If that doesn't work, use force. Uncle Ed 23:46, 19 October 2005 (UTC)

Otherwise, Wikipedia will denegerate into a bunch of flamewars like Usenet. 20:03, 29 July 2006 (UTC)


I can certainly live with "Do not insult..." rather than "Be nice..." but I'm wondering the use of deleting a pic post on talk. It was just a way to lighten the mood.

Anyhow, the advice the article attempts to impart is quite sound. In incidental ways, dealing with vandalism is dealt with on Wiki pages but perhaps we need one or two placeholders that directly address it. A "what if" section ("what if they insult my race," "what if they actually threaten me") could be useful here or on a related start-up. Marskell 00:09, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

Hm, I guess that makes me a vandal, so be nice to me, okay? ;-) Uncle Ed 02:33, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Hey, Ed, there is another "nasty" picture below for you to delete, have fun! --Fire Star 05:09, 20 October 2005 (UTC)
Does HTML strikeout work on images? ;-) Uncle Ed 11:10, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

User boxes[edit]

Those do contrast a little bit this user box :):

Operation Upshot-Knothole - Badger 001.jpg This user maintains a policy of mass annihilation for vandals

Titoxd(?!?) 03:45, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

How about this one?--HereToHelp (talk) 22:21, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Operation Upshot-Knothole - Badger 001.jpg This user thinks that vandals should be exterminated one way...or another.

Inviting vandals?[edit]

With a userbox like that I think you are inviting infinitely endless vandalism to your userpage and talk page. --ElectricEye (talk) 06:26, 29 April 2006 (UTC)


Which vandals have become admins? I would like to see an example. -- Psi edit 04:54, 29 December 2005 (UTC)


Can someone please tell me what the heck the shortcut stands for?--HereToHelp (talk) 22:01, 15 January 2006 (UTC)

Be nice to vandals. Didn't even have to look it up. Booyah! Matt Yeager (Talk?) 06:09, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Assuming that vandals/trolls want to be 'fed', wouldn't not feeding them be considered provoking them by not giving them what they want. But since they want to be provoked, aren't you provoking them by not denying them the provokation they so desire?


This is childlish[edit]

I'm not saying I could do better, but it just seemed impossible for me not to express my opinion about this article: it is very childlish and naive. Specifically, I liked this part: "If bullies are appeased, they may or may not change their behaviour. But if bullies are antagonized with retaliatory tactics, this will almost certainly make the situation worse." Wow, we could sure use this approach before WW2. Oh wait, we tried that...

Yes, "keeping it cool" and "being civil" is very important at all times, and if somebody writes "haha you got blocked" on a vandal's talk page - they need immediate medical attention. However, recommendations like "Making vandals angrier will decrease the chance that the vandal will stop vandalising" belong in the UN, not a serious organization like Wikipedia. If nothing else, it's POV.

There. --Chodorkovskiy 13:22, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I think you may be confusing one sort of "appeasement" with another: namely, tactful discussion with absence of interference. The policy doesn't mean that vandals shouldn't be blocked, or that their edits shouldn't be reverted. It means that they should be informed — sternly but thoughtfully — that such action is not tolerated, without it stooping to an immature and personal level.
By definition, Chamberlain's appeasement policy (prior to Germany's invasion of Checoslovakia and the subsequent British ultimatum) did not even reach this point, in the form of a speech specifically denouncing the Third Reich and explaining why. The equivalent to violating this essay's spirit would be if Chamberlain had said something like "You know what, Hitler? Up yours, asshole" which would have been entirely understandable (in addition to being true about Hitler), but would accompolish nothing in itself. Conversely, something like "the world community will absolutely not tolerate this behavior, and has already intervened with force to counteract it" would be more like it. Which, it happens, the Allies did get around to… eventually… but that's the point where the analogy blurs. Still, thanks for raising these points (and inspiring me to research the subject a little more deeply!) Lenoxus " * " 02:45, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

This is bullshit[edit]

... and shows why Wikipedia is fatally flawed and will probably not survive long in its present form (door opened wide for any idiot to "contribute").

Why shouldn't we call a spade a spade, and just tell vandals to fuck off? I'd think the wussy messages that are presently left for them ("Thank you for experimenting ...") would be enough of a hoot for them to encourage them to keep at it. And obviously, you can't just "ignore them and they'll go away".

Let me be clear about this: I'm talking about obvious cases of intentional vandalism, not questionable cases that might be a newbie's attempts at editing.

I'm also skeptical of the claim that some vandals go on to become "respectable" editors. Cites, please?

Anyway, it also strikes me as yet more of the enforced "nicey-nice" enviroment around here. Doesn't anyone else find this the least bit creepy? --ILike2BeAnonymous 22:40, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

After being reminded of this, I might make an exception for AOL users, since so many of them share a common IP address. (But only grudgingly). --ILike2BeAnonymous 23:15, 25 March 2006 (UTC)
Amen to that. Well, most of it anyway: I still think anyone should be able to edit WP. However, I wholeheartedly agree that much harsher measures should be taken against obvious vandals. Such as: permanent blocking instead of this 24-hour ban (WTF, we're giving them vacations?), serious warning messages (Oh please, pleeease stop vandalizing WP... C'mon... I'll be your best friend...), just not so colorful as to entice the vandal to see what the next one will look like. And yeah, the "nicey-nice" attitude is creepy. --Chodorkovskiy 06:58, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
While I do see your points, I still believe in the current hierarchial system of warnings. I agree that the test1 template does seem a little too weak and laughable to be effective in detering the "real" vandals, but in most cases such a warning is appropriate. The first edit I ever made was, by definition, vandalism--adding the word "Boo" to Wikipedia. If I had immediately received a message stating something to the effect of "you fucking shithead pussy bitch, stop fucking vandalizing or we're gonna block your fucking vandal ass," I probably would have never come back. The truth is that the first edits newbies make are typically "vandalism," and there is really nothing wrong with one or two test edits. Anyone who really wants to rid Wikipedia of vandalism would realize that the problem primarily stems from Wikipedia's openness, that we allow people to edit without registering. While I'm all for the philosophy of "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit," I simply don't see why users aren't required to register. I'm so sick of the users who bitch about warnings they receive intended for someone else, and I'm even more sick of the users who are blocked, reconnect to the internet with another IP, and continue vandalizing. That's the real problem--not the softness of our warning templates. AmiDaniel (Talk) 10:19, 27 March 2006 (UTC)
AmiDaniel: +1 (Irony) for having the VandalProof guy having started out as a vandal. Admit it, it's funny. n.n ~Kylu (u|t) 01:22, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

just sayign that the picture is awesome. good job to whoever did that. 21:33, 26 March 2006 (UTC)

Huh??? Are you sure you're in the right place? --ILike2BeAnonymous 22:00, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
They often do go away if you ignore them. HighInBC 19:27, 24 August 2006 (UTC)
"Anonymous", your attitude is exactly why there are so many vandals in the first place - they like to annoy people like you who take this place way too seriously. If you want an encyclopedia [i]anyone[/i] can edit there's always going to be problems. Most people know to check other sources, and any articles of worth are usually quickly restored. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kittie Rose (talkcontribs) 14:17, 3 December 2006 (UTC).
I am new to Wikipedia, and I have myself tripped the first warning for vandalism. I think the first one should be stern but levelheaded. While the second should be something along the lines of "You are being a vandal, cease or you will be blocked. You have 20 seconds to comply" (Robocop reference xD) With all due respect, DeadlyDilemma 00:48, 21 July 2007 (UTC)

before i read the rule, i thought you put anything in here. so i did wrong edits. people who wrote on my talk was not niceXelas211 23:24, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Visibility problem[edit]

Am I the only one with this problem? In the following paragraph—

  • Vandals can become useful editors, and may even become administrators! Approach them with a suggestion, and the possibility exists they will decide to contribute helpfully.
—the words a suggestion, and the are hidden by the right-hand Vandalism panel. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Copey 2 (talkcontribs)

I think there is something wrong with the panel or photo. The entire article appear lower than the end of the photo on my screen. I notice panels from other projects don't have this same problem. --ElectricEye (talk) 06:14, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, I don't know if I fixed the problem you are experiencing, Copey 2, but I fixed the problem that was appearing on my screen. --ElectricEye (talk) 06:36, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

Cheers, ElectricEye. Problem sorted. (This time:) Copey 2 13:45, 1 May 2006 (UTC)

Different approach[edit]

I haven't read all of the above discussion but I think many new users are just being bold and having fun and are not considering that their edits are vandalism. When some newcomers are first told they are vandalizing, they become upset and can become angry and decide to be outright vandals. But when they are welcomed first and foremost, they may change their edits and start actually contributing. If they don't and continue to vandalize, then they should be warned appropriately. --ElectricEye (talk) 06:25, 29 April 2006 (UTC)

How tragic for them, that they can't come here and "have fun." How awful, that being corrected makes them "angry" and "upset."
Wikipedia is not an amusement park. Wikipedia is an important cultural project, carried on by adults of all ages. This is our turf, not the vandals'. -- JEBrown87544 03:12, 21 March 2007 (UTC)

And you take yourself way too seriously. Wikipedia does have an element of entertainment in it. Anyone can go to an encyclopedia to look something up. Wikipedia allows everyone to take part. Yes, it is an important undertaking. But to deny the element of fun involved is stuffy and self-important. Do you really think Wikipedia was started by it's creators solely with the thought "this is going to be an important cultural project" without any thought to it being a fun and entertaining undertaking? If you do actually think that then your life must be very dry and lonely and I feel very sorry for you. People edit and add to Wikipedia because it is fun for them to do so. Because they enjoy spreading knowledge and contributing to a project like this. To come down overly harsh on them because they went about it the wrong way on their first attempt is entirely defeating the purpose of Wikipedia. They should be encouraged and shown the correct way to go about it, not attacked for doing it wrong. Doing that will only end up leaving them feeling insulted and ending up resenting Wikipedia and having a bad opinion of it. Do you want to be open-minded and inclusive or elitist and exclusive? The entire point of Wikipedia is to be inclusive and tear down the walls of academic elitism and not exclude people from the process of sharing information, while at the same time being accurate and correct. RyokoMocha (talk) 19:01, 18 January 2011 (UTC)


{{user doesnotinsultvandals}} and {{user vandalcorrection}} added.
Maybe with luck, people will use these and be tempted to actually follow through. c.c

~Kylu (u|t) 22:59, 29 April 2006 (UTC)
And what they look like:
-- nae'blis (talk) 19:26, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
What a nice and touching userbox. --Siva1979Talk to me 17:36, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
UGGH!!!! Give me a bucket, please! This is disgustingly soft! Vandals deserve to BURN IN HELL!!! Steinbach (fka Caesarion) 16:37, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Operation Upshot-Knothole - Badger 001.jpg This user thinks that vandals should be exterminated one way...or another.

That says it all. --Shrieking Harpy......Talk|Count 03:13, 11 November 2006 (UTC)

Status of this page[edit]

What is the status of this page?



Proposed POlicy/Guideline?


AndrewRT 17:38, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Somewhere between Essay and Guideline. I don't think this could really become a policy. If it did it'd be folded into NPA or something similar. 05:28, 12 October 2006 (UTC)


How utterly patronising and biased. I guess it doesn't matter if you go against Wikipedia's guidelines as long as it's something the main editors agree on. Most vandals vadalise because the editors lack a sense of humour in the extreme, and are extremely geeky with all their "THIS USER HAS CHLAMYDIA" Merit badges. Once you take something so abstract so seriously(like that pathetic VANDALS MUST BE OBLITERATED merit badge), people will mess with you. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kittie Rose (talkcontribs) 14:12, 3 December 2006 (UTC).

I generally think I have a good sense of humor- hell, I'm even in a comedy troupe. But I don't use Wikipedia to laugh. The goal of this site is to build the most comprehensive encyclopedia in the world. Vandals can't use the "oh, have a sense of humor, it was just a joke!" defense more than once- after that, it's just flat-out vandalism. -- Kicking222 15:33, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
To see if it's appropriate humor being wet-blanketed or just vandalism: see if it would fly on Uncyclopedia. If doing it there provokes an immediate "No Redeeming Value" or similar, then it's either lame humor or just malice. 05:11, 30 January 2007 (UTC)

And denying the element of fun inherent in Wikipedia is being self-important and all-but inviting vandals to try to deflate your opinion of yourself and the "valuable project" you hold in such high regard. It is possible to hold something in high value and at the same time not act like a stuffed shirt and alienate people by acting stuck-up. Yes, vandalism of Wikipedia should not be allowed. But being overly antagonistic and patronizing about it invites vandalism. It is itself a way of "feeding the trolls." A simple warning and removal of the vandalism is enough. Calling attention to the vandalism is only going to encourage the vandal and invite even more problems. RyokoMocha (talk) 19:12, 18 January 2011 (UTC)

Giving up[edit]

Having reverted and undone enough, I've adopted a new policy. I won't revert. It's too difficult. The vandals win simply because it is harder to revert than it is to vandalize. The undo feature works but only for the most recent edit. That is not a powerful enough tool. When Wikipedia creates an easier way to accomplish the reversion process (going back more than one edit), I'll resume reverting. The grunt work of reverting will eventually get done by those who are willing to spend brain time doing shit work. Bless their souls.

There should be a 'timeout' button that forces a vandal from any further edits for 8 to 24 hours. One click and their work is simultaneously reverted and they're locked out for a period of time. Like a penalty box. Block the ip address and let them cool off doing something that doesn't harm wikipedia. If we have to be the referees, then it has to be as simple as yanking a flag out of a back pocket. The closer we can get to correcting unacceptable behavior within seconds the more effective we'll be in discouraging/frustrating vandals. blackcloak 07:41, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

The Undo button is a good start. Now it needs more features and more automation. Let's have a checkbox labeled "Revert As Vandalism" which causes (1) the appropriate user-warning template to automatically appear on the offending user's Talk page, (2) with forwarding to WP:AIV if the final warning has already been given. The majority of vandals are still getting away unconfronted and uneducated. I'm with User:blackcloak: Let's make the process easier. -- JEBrown87544 20:14, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

As with most Wiki-issues, Where You Sit is Where You Stand[edit]

It's a well-known fact that if given a problem with a variety of possible solutions, even the most fair-minded people will generally pick one that dovetails best with their personal philosophies. In this case, I think it's entirely possible that this prevailing attitude of "love thy vandal" seems to stem from editors who would self-classify as more permissive, understanding, and open-minded than most of their contemporaries.

That said, I certainly don't begrudge them their personal philosophies, since even the best of us tote a certain degree of baggage to the Project (some more than others). But the real issue here needs to be fact; what are the different types of vandals, what motivates each type, and what kind of interaction is the most effective with each.

Politics aside, I will say that I think we run a serious risk of trying to lump apples and oranges together in one category when in reality the strategies for dealing with one type of vandal over another may differ wildly. I can however say that from my personal experience I have never once run into an IP user who: 1)vandalized more than once, 2)recieved a warning, 3)heeded it, saw the error of his/her ways, and started editing productively. Most of course ignore the warnings and continue until blocked. Some probably come back (or try to) for another round in one incarnation or another. But I believe I can safely say (from my limited perspective) that 9 times out of 10 the guys we catch are on their 4th or 5th blatant vandalism, long past AGF.

I'd also like to point out that with the lack of a cut and dried policy on blocking (the so-called "blocking policy" is by no means definitive), the response from admins on AIV is wildly variant. Different admins seem to have entirely different interpretations of what the policy actually means in practice. I've been verbally-smited for failing to give "the required 4 consecutive notices" before reporting a prolific and active IP vandal, who, without any further commentary and no more than a minute later, got a weeklong ban from another random admin who happened to be passing by. It happens more often than you might think.

Nobody is arguing about "protect, not punish". Nobody is arguing about AGF until proven otherwise. The issue is when and how we should go about doing it. It needs to be clarified, set in stone, backed up with consensus, and violators sanctioned. But no more of this "the flower-children vs. the war-hawks" business, as it just leaves the hard-working WP:CVU watchdogs stuck in the middle. BullzeyeComplaint Dept./Contribs) 09:31, 5 June 2007 (UTC)


Is the Thor picture -really- needed? It is rather funny, though. 19:33, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

  • Funny I had the exact same thought when I arrived at this page... RP459 (talk) 14:14, 5 June 2009 (UTC)
As if it gives the wrong message - the opposite of this page's intention. --Biblbroks (talk) 09:30, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

When a vandal causes trouble for you back[edit]

Someone called Gurch kept on removing the imformation that i made on Wikipedia, so i got angry and went on his user page and edited it saying rude things about him. I then got banned temporalily and was treated like the vandal. He got to carry on causing trouble. So remember people, don't vandalise the vandal's things because he will get people to treat you like a vandal instead. So listen to my warning or the vandal will get you back!

Nice job[edit]

I just got the urge to make a page entitled Do not insult the Visigoths.

But anyway, nice essay/guideline page, I congratulate its makers. --Kitty who? 01:57, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Voice your opinions[edit]

If you really don't like this page or think it's totally pointless, go voice your opinion to the administrators. I'm mostly neutral on it; I consider it just to be an extention of Wikipedia:No personal attacks. Tezkag72 13:45, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

User:Bortmeister is a Vandal[edit]

Ok has anybody else encountered Bortmeister? He just vandalized my userpage... yes, I was able to revert it without any problem, but this sort of childish behavior can be aggravating. Can anything be done about this guy?-- Avazina, (Talk to me). 15:50, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

I've added the appropriate user warning tag to the vandals userpage.-- Avazina, (Talk to me) DEMs are morons. 16:39, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

ha ha[edit]

how ironic would it be if someone vandalised this page!! (talk) 19:18, 19 March 2011 (UTC)