Wikipedia talk:Long-term abuse

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Gender pronouns of these vandals[edit]

Most of the vandals listed here I see are referred to as 'he'. If they are confirmed to be males that's fine but if we don't know, its better to use gender-neutral pronouns like 'they'. WdS | Talk 08:08, 31 July 2016 (UTC)


Might an LTA page be warranted? They've used a staggering 293 accounts and IPs to sock incessantly for 3 years, filling up 160 SPI reports. They've also gone cross-wiki, requiring stewards to lock some accounts. We would need to be very careful to avoid WP:BEANS, but I think an LTA page might help. I wanted to hear some other opinions on this. Thanks, GABgab 20:04, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

Support: Isn't there somewhere better to suggest this where more people will look? MM (WhatIDo WHATIDO?) (Now THIS... I did.) 19:12, 27 October 2016 (UTC)

Not saying we shouldn't (yet) but would there be any benefit to doing so? It seems that Europefan's socks are already pretty easy to spot, and a lot of users are looking. LTA might be warranted if they were difficult to identify, or special attention is needed when they edit (like revert copyvios, report to an ISP, or something). Everything seems to be covered with the cross-wiki abuse notice at the SPI page already. I was just thinking about creating one for Filipz123 as well, but I'm not sure it would be of any real use at this point. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 18:15, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

Who reviews new LTA reports?[edit]

When a new long-term abuse report is created, its status is set to pending by default. Who is it that reviews/approves new pending reports? I created Wikipedia:Long-term abuse/Fangusu a little over a month ago (thought it was longer, oops) but it has not been reviewed yet. I don't see reviewing in the instructions anywhere so I'm not sure who I should contact, if it was at the point where I should be contacting anyone. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 18:20, 4 November 2016 (UTC)

There is something of a backlog in the review process (probably not helped by the lack of instructions). See thesecomments and this thread. I have marked this case as active. Please keep in mind to keep it updated. -- zzuuzz (talk) 18:47, 4 November 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for taking care of that one, but I'm more curious about what the actual process is, for possible future follow-up. I'm an SPI clerk and I might participate here if I had any idea what a patrolling user ought to be doing. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 17:59, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
I don't know, but I watch this page and have occassionally reverted changes, and I think I once got a bad report deleted. One report went to MfD here. I would suggest checking that the purported LTA really is banned (and not just one of the many indeffed trolls with socks), and that there might be some point to maintaining an LTA report. People have suggested that per WP:DENY all LTA pages should be deleted because glorifying LTAs is not a good idea. There is merit to that, but keeping some history is desirable because there are LTAs who go away for a year or more only to return, and it is useful to have a way to explain what is going on to others. Therefore, some judgement about the desirability of having an LTA report is required. Johnuniq (talk) 02:29, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree with pretty much all of the above. I watch the page and occasionally nominate bad reports for deletion at MfD. I don't have a strong opinion about WP:DENY. Some banned editors resent having an LTA report about them, and some believe it's the crowning touch of a long career in trolling Wikipedia. It kind of depend whether you need an LTA page or not, but I think sneaky vandalism is one case where it helps quite a lot. Non-obvious disruption that can be easily overlooked by editors who assume good faith is another. Finally, there may come a time when you tire of dealing with constant disruption and want to move on to other things. It's much easier for other editors to understand what's going on if you create an LTA report or some other explanatory note. NinjaRobotPirate (talk) 06:08, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
In terms of the process, I simply changed the status to active.[1] That's the easy bit. I also took the decision to not put them in the main list.[2] Before that I applied some judgment about whether they are actually active, as well as whether they merit a LTA page. Some of these questions, as others have pointed out, are rather tricky to write instructions for, as they require familiarity with LTA in general and/or the specific LTA. -- zzuuzz (talk) 07:50, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
I hope I didn't just jump the process by adding Wikipedia:Long-term abuse/Brightify to the list. He is not banned AFAIK, but is a fairly prolific socker and active for years. I won't have hurt feelings if it needs to be reverted. - Brianhe (talk) 08:26, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

Discouraging LTA[edit]

Picture: You are a new Wikipedia user, decide to try doing some silly vandalism for the heck of it and are blocked promptly. The next day, you do it again, and again after that, because each time, it becomes more fun. Pages are protected, your socks are tagged and such but that only makes it more exciting. This scenario sound familiar? That's how the common vandal becomes a LTA. It feels to me like this is happening more regularly; instead of attracting helpful new contributors, we keep getting these LTA cases. An extreme more recent example would be Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/The Suix. It has to do with the way things work here; this is like a game to them. Other than the standard WP:DENY stuff, does anyone have any new ideas for how to make disrupting Wikipedia and evading blocks boring, and how to make reformation more desirable? Of course there will always be some trolls who will troll no matter what, but surely there has to be something we can do, some changes to the system that will discourage this kind of behavior more. Sro23 (talk) 03:08, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

There's advice somewhere about not creating an LTA case when a user is obviously just trolling for the sake of trolling, along the lines of WP:DENY. Generally when it becomes clear that a user is just in it to rack up a blocked accounts score, we stop tagging their socks. LTA should really only be for cases of specialized disruption, like the various civil POV-pusher sockmasters who aren't always easy to detect, when there's a benefit to tracking and publicly sharing information about them, and especially when a sockmaster has a tendency to "go quiet" for very long periods of time, so that when they turn up again it's easier to link them back to their old pattern. In your example, for editors who are just doing it "for fun", we have WP:RBI. And frankly I question the worth of reporting petty vandals to SPI in the first place if the common behaviour that they're known for is behaviour that would get them blocked without prior socking history anyway. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:33, 27 December 2016 (UTC)

Two comments:
  • Having identified a true vandal, it would be desirable in the spirit of DENY to leave them in the dark about the fact that their edit has been reverted, and simply keep showing them their vandalised version while everybody else gets the repaired version. However, if we designed such a system, some portion of vandals would eventually figure out what happens when they brag to their friends and look stupid, and would learn to always check on a second device if their vandalism is still "up".
  • We have a system designed for immediate response. If response to minor acts of vandalism could be delayed by a few hours or days depending on the traffic at the article, the "game" would be more boring. Samsara 14:47, 11 January 2017 (UTC)