Wikipedia talk:Vandalism-only account

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No warnings?[edit]

So just to be clear.. a new user account with only one or two obvious vandalism edits can be blocked indefinitely WITHOUT ANY warnings?? -- OlEnglish (Talk) 20:41, 16 February 2009 (UTC)

Only if it is clear they are only here to cause problems. People really don't need to be told replacing a page with "penis, hehehe" is inappropriate. They already know. Also it is often the same vandals over and over. Chillum 03:36, 18 February 2009 (UTC)


What this page describes has been our long standing best practice for years. I propose we slap a policy tag on it. Chillum 03:37, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

No objection from me. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 05:35, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Running it up the flag pole to see if anyone salutes! Chillum 19:35, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

I think that the {{policy}} tag is suitable for this page. -- IRP 20:37, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Looks like someone went and reverted the tag, but failed to make any sort of arguments here to support the action. Lets wait a day or so to see if any reasoning behind the revert is given here. If not, I will return in. Chillum 00:32, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

Nothing in the text of the project page is a policy per se. I think there is a misunderstanding here over what a policy is and is not.
What has been created is a definition, and one that may be useful when referred to as part of a policy. The definition itself is not controversial. It contains common sense and has been in common use for a long time.
The thing that I object to is the attempt to classify this project page as a policy. I am opposed to that because a policy should be discussed with substantial input from many editors
I do not object to a good attempt such as this to draft a definition. But what is required is a banner at the head, similar to {{policy}} that states that it is a definition, used in the following policy(ies). I may have a go at that in my userspace and suggest it here shortly.
There is an argument, though, that any definition should be incorporated in the policy that it relates to. That could/should be done by transclusion. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 17:47, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
That was easier than I thought! Primarily because I an not an expert so can;t easily add parameters. Please look at User:Timtrent/poldef to see what I have in mind. I see no point in moving it to template namespace unless people are in agreement (and it is complete), but please feel free to edit and play with it where it is and try it out for size. I have no proprietary interest in it. It is there for all to work with. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 17:55, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

More policies without discussion?[edit]

Honestly! Policies do not happen just because someone, however well intentioned, slaps a policy tag on them. If you want a policy the policy is that it gets discussed and a consensus is reached. Silence is not consent for policies.

Just slapping a tag on it is tantamount to a coup at the palace. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 00:38, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

What part of this do you object to? Stifle (talk) 12:31, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes, seriously if you want to object to this being policy you need to give reasons. This page is not a fresh new idea it is how we have done things for years. Silence is no justification for reverting. Make points to substantiate your arguments. Chillum 14:54, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Reverting? I have reverted nothing at all. I see this as yet more bureaucracy. "Let's have another definition and grind people into the dust."
I don;t object to the content. It's a simple enough definition, but it is not a policy because it is not phrased as a policy. It might be a useful adjunct to a policy, I suppose. But tagging it as a policy is technically incorrect.
Even if this were phrased as a policy, which it is not, I do not believe that you have any consensus to make this an official policy, either. I see that as a step reached without building of consensus.
On that basis I will be removing the "policy" tag from it.
Hold a discussion, reach a consensus, and draft it as a policy, and you will be able to justify it. Declaring it as such does not meet community needs. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 15:19, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
Of course, if you agree with me that this is not a policy but is a definition then this discussion segment becomes irrelevant and we should simply work out which policies this defines a term for. Se section above this where I have discussed this at woeful length and provided a potential unfinished template for a banner. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 18:04, 5 March 2009 (UTC)

No consensus, not needed[edit]

To the extent that there is anything new on the project page, it belongs in Wikipedia:Blocking policy.

And I'm puzzled - it's not yet April 1st, yet some editors apparently are saying that "consensus" and "no one has objected to a proposal made in an obscure corner of Wikipedia" are the same thing. Very odd.

Finally, it apparently has escaped notice of the vast number of experienced editors that this proposed policy is actually needed, and thus should have been proposed a long time ago. Or, alternatively, one might conclude that this "policy" is not needed. -- John Broughton (♫♫) 00:15, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

Aside from some ambiguity regarding drafting new rules, silence does mean consensus, according to the policy. But that having been said, this should probably be nominated for deletion. I don't even think it should be an essay, as it doesn't present anything new or of value. Equazcion /C 00:23, 6 Mar 2009 (UTC)

I see no purpose for this page. It is redundant with Wikipedia:Blocking policy. It's specific information should be obvious to any administrator. Who else would it be seeking to information. Not only is it creep, it is pointless creep. It should be converted to a redirect to Wikipedia:Blocking policy. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 08:34, 6 March 2009 (UTC)

In case anyone missed it: Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Vandalism-only account. Equazcion /C 12:45, 6 Mar 2009 (UTC)
Its usefulness is in answering my original question regarding immediate blocks without warnings. This to me is an important issue and I think it's important that this "policy" or "guideline" or whatever you want to call it is made clear and apparent to everyone. Its purpose is not just a definition of what a vandalism-only account is but what is to be done with them. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 18:48, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Suggest {{promote}}'ing it as a deletion guideline ({{Subcat guideline}}). -- OlEnglish (Talk) 01:40, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Err, behavioral guideline rather. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 18:27, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

What is the purpose of this page? Specifically, who do you think will benefit from reading it, and why do you think they don't already know everything it says. Why do you think it shouldn't be shelved as instruction creep? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:22, 13 March 2009 (UTC)

Well, I didn't know that vandalism-only accounts could be blocked without warning, I just think this should be mentioned. -- OlEnglish (Talk) 02:30, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Avoid instruction creep is an essay, not a policy, so that should not be used as a guideline for enforcing or proposing policies. Administrators will benefit from reading it because it is a how to guide on how to deal with vandalism-only accounts. A user can use {{blatant vandal}} or {{onlywarning}} for severe vandalism and the {{uw-vandalism}} warning series for typical vandalism. It does not even make much of a difference, because (for example) Superchan got him or herself indefinitely blocked in just 4 minutes (and went through the entire {{uw-vandalism}} warning series) for nonstop vandalism on the Quidditch article. -- IRP 04:20, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Geez, fine, it is not policy(well it is but the label is of little importance). It is just the best practices that we have been following for years(even though that is what policy is meant to reflect). Regardless of which tag this page has administrators will still be acting on the practice described here. The only reason it should be marked as policy is for those who insist that every thing an admin do have some sort of policy to support it. Chillum 15:19, 14 March 2009 (UTC)
Then those people, presumably part of the growing legions portrayed in Idiocracy, need to start to learn the precision of the language that is required to administer things. We do not dumb down Wikipedia to suit the terminally bewildered. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 22:36, 14 March 2009 (UTC)

Why, Chillum, does the content of the page not belong at WP:Blocking policy. If you can give a good answer to that, then do you think this page could/should be tagged {{supplement}}? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 06:30, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

This content belongs in the blocking policy. I only wanted this page marked policy because it basically is policy and it was not on the policy page. Moving to the policy page does make more sense. Chillum 17:58, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Well, it is not policy at all, now, is it. It is a definition, or an adjunct, or a supplemental item. Language is precise. The best thing for this is to merge it to the Blocking Policy and redirect the whole thing to the right part of it. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 18:41, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Yes it is policy. You see policy describes our best practices, it does not prescribe them. The very fact that all day every day administrators perform according to the wording of this page demonstrates it is our best practice. What we have here is a labeling problem.
The page defines what a vandalism only accounts are then explains how to deal with them. It is not just a definition, it is a description of our best practices. Yes I agree it should be merged into the blocking policy and then redirected there. Chillum 18:49, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
Whatever you believe it to be, and I think you will not agree that it is not a policy, I agree that it needs to go into the blocking policy if it goes anywhere. Perhaps you might be bold and put it there, in the right place, and ten create the relevant redirect. Any further discussion should then take place there. Fiddle Faddle (talk) 19:33, 15 March 2009 (UTC)
The content of the page is policy in that it describes actual practice, i.e. defacto policy. However, not every description of policy should be on a separate {{policy}} tagged page. Agree with Fiddle Faddle that this discussion should be continued at WT:Blocking policy. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:53, 16 March 2009 (UTC)
Sure, whatever. This seems like a lot of process just to correctly label something. You can label it policy, or move it to policy, or delete it, or mail it to Santa. Regardless, administrators will continue to follow the advice on this page because it is policy, it is what we do. Don't get too caught up in labels. Chillum 03:57, 18 March 2009 (UTC)

Any further discussion on what to do with this page should take place at Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy#Vandalism-only account. -- IRP 22:14, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Three minor changes[edit]

As long as this page exists it should reflect both reality and the blocking policy. I've made three changes[1] to this effect:

  1. Vandalism-only accounts are usually blocked after being warned. This is not a requirement. Even the most obvious sockpuppets and vandals usually have a talk page full of warnings before they are blocked. The accounts which are less likely to be warned are those users where it is obvious they have seen the warnings before - usually known sockpuppets or those referencing vandal memes. For others it is less likely to be known that they are vandalism-only accounts until they persist in vandalism after warnings.
  2. Userspace pages of vandalism-only accounts are not always deleted. Many are sockpuppets, some have a useful history, others are kept for other reasons. A huge number are simply not tagged for deletion. Further, not all userspace pages are deleted. The ones which are are usually talk pages.
  3. IP addresses used only for vandalism should only be tagged as an IP address used for vandalism and blocked for a long time if they have been used for vandalism for a long time.

-- zzuuzz (talk) 12:49, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Where's the template?[edit]

Where's the template to use for such accounts? Someone has imitated my user name so closely that no one discovered that my userpage and many other subpages were blanked! -- Brangifer (talk) 06:42, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

To notify users that they have been blocked for using a vandalism-only account, administrators, and only administrators will issue the {{uw-voablock}} template. -- IRP 20:52, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

Example of Vandalism-only Account's Contributions[edit]

The example of a vandalism-only account's contributions should be changed back to Wii Menu's contibutions because I want to show obvious vandalism, (where the edit summary states the vandalism). Keyboard mouse (talk) 03:26, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

The current example account has been tagged as historical and used as an example for a significant amount of time. Additionally, vandalism is not always that blatant, therefore, it shouldn't be used as a prime example in my opinion. -- IRP 20:50, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

If the edit summary doesn't state the vandalism, the example might be misleading. Do you agree? Keyboard mouse (talk) 23:40, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

No, sorry, I don't, as the vast majority, if not all contribution reviwers will check the diffs. Perhaps, though, we could add the other one as well, for an example for more blatant cases? -- IRP 21:17, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

If anybody would like to, they can add it. I don't agree with IRP because not all contributors will check the diffs. Keyboard mouse (talk) 00:15, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Maybe we should keep the current example and then under the "See also" section, we can add a more blatant example of a vandalism-only account's contributions. Keyboard mouse (talk) 00:25, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
I added that to the page. Sonic120 (talk) 01:12, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Is it wise to put actual examples of actual vandalism contributions here? The way I see it, the troll who vandalized might see this as a reward. This seems to have some risk of inadvertently enforcing vandalism behavior. (talk) 22:19, 24 March 2011 (UTC)


I usually block accounts (but not IPs) indef as VOAs if their first and only edit is to add stuff like "X sucks goats" to BLPs. Seeing a lot of this, it really seems to me the only way to get the message across that one edit of that nature will get you blocked. The policy should make it clear that we will not tolerate "obvious and gross" violations of BLP, since in general attitudes seems to have been toughening up on sourcing and BLPs in general over the last year or so, pending flagged revisions. Doesn't tell the vandals anything, obviously, since they don't read policy pages before vandalising, but I think we should make it utterly plain. Rodhullandemu 01:04, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

This isn't policy :) The only people who see this page are those who have already been blocked. -- zzuuzz (talk) 14:16, 24 April 2010 (UTC)
Why the mixed signals? I agree entirely with Rodhullandemu's philosophy, but WP:AIV still seems to encourage us to give them "fair warning." I think a clear policy has to be set down. JustinTime55 (talk) 21:22, 25 October 2012 (UTC)

Adding a Different Version of the page[edit]

I am developing Wikipedia:Vandalism-only account/Version 2 at User:Boygirl22/Vandalism-only account version 2. You can look at it and see if you would accept it or not. Boygirl22 (talk) 00:51, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Considered "Disposable account"?[edit]

Shouldn't this type be called a "disposable account" because you can't contribute when the account has been blocked? Sonic120 (talk) 01:25, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

No, because an account that is only used to vandalise is a vandalism-only account. "Disposable account" is very vague and does not give enough description of what the account is. PeterSymonds (talk) 15:59, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't think so because since it says: "Disposable", it means you can't use it anymore. Sonic120 (talk) 22:10, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Heading Choice[edit]

Which heading do you think is best for the last section of the page: "See also" or "Other Useful Information/Links"? Isabel25 (talk) 03:47, 16 June 2010 (UTC)

Page for reporting vandalism only accounts[edit]

Where is it? I know it exists as I have used it a few times. This page is practically pointless without a prominent link to that page. Roger (talk) 08:47, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

WP:AIV. The link was there but I've made it a bit clearer. -- zzuuzz (talk) 08:53, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
Thanks! Roger (talk) 09:02, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Longer term VOAs[edit]

The example on the page of a VOA is this. Fine as far as it goes, but this gives the impression that a VOA applies only to a short-term spree. Some vandalism goes on at a low level for some months; see for example Special:Contributions/Rob0074 where in a series of 13 edits lasting from November 2011 to June 2012 only one isn't clearly vandalism (and even that's a self-revert of BLP vandalism). Every edit (bar one) made by the account is vandalism – clearly "an account that is used only to vandalize Wikipedia". I'd like to change wording along the lines of "if the clear majority of edits made by an editor are clearly vandalism, irrespective of the time over which the edits are made, the account may be blocked as a VOA". Any comments? Tonywalton Talk 00:51, 26 June 2012 (UTC)

Discussion notification[edit]

This page is mentioned at Wikipedia talk:Guide to administrator intervention against vandalism#Vandalism-only accounts. Yaris678 (talk) 16:54, 28 December 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 29 October 2014[edit]

Cyber Mech (talk) 15:47, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Pictogram voting question.svg Question: What would you like done?...... –Davey2010(talk) 16:24, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: as you have not requested a change, but please note this page is only for discussing changes to the page Vandalism-only account.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Given the nature of this page, any changes will have to obtain consensus before they are implemented. - Arjayay (talk) 17:36, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

About the blocking[edit]

Why can't only the users page and their sub page be blocked from editing? But it should not stop user from editing other pages. That would help. Where am I supposed to say this if it is to be addressed? Plz help...

Learnerktm (talk) 15:48, 29 November 2014 (UTC)

Block an IP for over a year?[edit]

Shared IPs may make this a small problem. If a legitimate editor uses the same IP as a vandalism account, this could pose a problem as someone with good editing skills could not edit. A dynamic IP would also warrant a range block, making that problem even worse. I think that the period of time an IP can be blocked should be shorter. Anyoldeditor (talk) 17:25, 20 December 2014 (UTC)