Wikipedia talk:Vandalism/Archive 8

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Archive 7 Archive 8 Archive 9


Searching AIV

I've proposed some changes to make vandalism report follow-up easier and am looking for feedback.--Elvey (talk) 20:32, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Enforcement policy?

I'm not sure why I didn't notice before, but this page is 95% enforcement issues (what to do when people behave badly) and 5% conduct issues (what to avoid in your own editing, and assuming good faith when an editor makes the occasional obnoxious edit). Are there any objections to moving this page from Category:Wikipedia conduct policies to Category:Wikipedia enforcement policies? - Dank (push to talk) 14:14, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Edit request

{{Editprotected}} In Wikipedia:Vandalism#Types_of_vandalism "Discussion page vandalism", please remove the last line "Since anonymous user talk pages may be shared by many users, removal of warnings is generally not appropriate." This has since been explicitly rejected all over the place, most notably in discussions leading to the current (and mega-stable) wording of WP:BLANKING. Thanks. (talk) 00:08, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Done.  Skomorokh  07:13, 6 December 2009 (UTC)

Unclear instructions

The page says:

If you see that a user has added vandalism, you may also check the user's other contributions (click "User contributions" on the left sidebar of the screen). If most or all of these are obvious vandalism, you may report the user immediately. Otherwise you can leave an appropriate warning message on the user's talk page. ... If a user continues to cause disruption after being warned, report them at Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism.

This tells when and how to issue a vandalism warning, and what to do if the warning is ignored. But in the case where a user's only contributions are vandalism and there has not yet been a warning, it says "you may report the user immediately" and does not say how to do it. Or not that I could figure out, anyway. -- (talk) 19:14, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, in the same place as you'd report them after warnings. I've changed it to make it clear - I also added that we would only report vandals immediately if there's an urgent need for them to be blocked. (Personally I would do without these warnings - the vandal knows what he's doing, we should either block him or ignore him - but people seem to see some value in wagging the finger.)--Kotniski (talk) 06:40, 25 September 2009 (UTC)
Not really on the topic of the "Unclear Instructions", but some people A. use shared computers, and so for IP addresses warning sometimes advise creating an account, and B. sometimes people don't realize that they can get blocked for vandalizing/that they will be caught, and so the warnings let them know that there is a punishment/it will be enforced, so that the vandalizing stops without having to block a user. Just a side-note HaiyaTheWin (talk) 22:58, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

what was this last person trying to say?

The following text is apart of the Vandalism article. Old text means: older text or text from an older version of this article. New text means: the stuff I wrote.

OLD TEXT: Sometimes vandalism takes place on top of older, undetected vandalism, sometimes other editors make edits without realizing the vandalism occurred, and sometimes bots try to fix collateral damage and accidentally make things worse.

NEW TEXT (what I wrote): Sometimes vandalism takes place on top of older versions of an article. With undetected vandalism, editors may make edits without realizing the vandalism occurred. Sometimes bots try to fix collateral damage and accidentally make things worse.

Anyone want to help me out? Got any suggestions? --Cozzycovers (talk) 08:42, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

I think you have improved the readability of this by splitting it into three clearly written sentences instead of one unclear one. On the other hand I think "on top of older, undetected vandalism" is the essential meaning here, and "on top of older versions of an article" misses the point: vandalism is often on top of an older version of an article, and that does not cause any problem. However, if edit 1 is vandalism, edit 2 is more vandalism, edit 3 is undoing edit 1, edit 4 is a legitimate edit, the result can often be that edit 2 gets so hidden among other edits that it is easily overlooked. I have rephrased the wording in the article to try to clarify it a little: I don't know if I have helped at all. JamesBWatson (talk) 16:21, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Any sense on the age/editcount of accounts that vandalize?

Is there any good sense on the age and edit-counts of accounts who vandalize?

What I'm getting at is this:

If there is a way to impose some editing restrictions on "novice" or "journeyman" accounts, i.e. those between the current autoconfirmed threshold and what would normally qualify for a routine grant of a WP:rollbacker-request? For example, if mass page-move vandalism and bad-faith or practical-joke new-page creations are typically done by these editors, then limiting them to a few a day while providing an easy way for good-faith prolific new-page creators to do their work may be a way to cut down on vandalism without hurting good-faith editors.

I wanted to check with people who are interested in vandalism to get a sense whether this would do any good before putting it up on the pump. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs)/(e-mail) 15:13, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

I have long thought that autoconfirmation is a very low hurdle, and there may well be a good case for something of the sort suggested. JamesBWatson (talk) 16:47, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Vandalism on this Page

Hey I was just wondering how do I revert the massive vandalism on this page? I came here to get help on vandalism and the comments on the page obviously don't help. Brody's Ghost (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 07:23, 31 January 2010 (UTC).

I see in the edits that the vandalism was reverted, but I am still seeing it on the page. Something is keeping the page from refreshing, and since I can refresh all the other pages that I have visited, I say it as your (Wikipedia's) end). (talk) 07:45, 31 January 2010 (UTC)
Try purging the cache. Hut 8.5 10:57, 31 January 2010 (UTC)

Scaring away good-faithed new editors

I noticed that Template:Uw-vandalism1 might not suit all types of vandalism. I have recently created Template:Uw-vandalism0 to better suit good faith edits that were misguided. These circumstances at this point require a time consuming, tailored warning that many users (especially IP's) will never read. Off the top of my head I can only think of one instance that this has happened to me, [1] (read the edit summary and you will see that the edit was in good faith) but I am sure this is a common occurrence. If there is no consensus against this I will add it to Template:WarningsSmall. username 1 (talk) 19:01, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Concerning what is suitable for vandalism, "appeared to be in good faith but misguided" is not appropriate at all: vandalism is never done in good faith. Concerning edits which are not vandalism, but misguided, I see this new template as too vague to be helpful: anyone who has made a good faith attempt to improve the encyclopedia and is then simply told that their effort is "misguided", with no indication why, is neither being helped to do better, nor being treated courteously. If the edit was done in good faith then we should not even be thinking of using a vandalism template of any sort. In most cases one of the other warning messages is more suitable. JamesBWatson (talk) 13:39, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
Additionally, I would add that {{uw-test1}} exists for good-faith edits that are not vandalism. — Kralizec! (talk) 13:59, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Whois instructions have problems

The whois instructions tell you to use a site ( directly. But there are built-in whois tool links at the bottom of every IP talk page, which link to a different site, Is that not as good? Neither domaintools nor site has a field named "orgname", which is what you're supposed to use as "name of owner" (also not present in their output). There is one called "netname" - is that what you want?

Also, I wish that you could add a single template for a whole range of IP addresses saying who owned them and what the range is, and have it come up for all of them at once (inside the built-in "discussion page for an IP user" template). Wnt (talk) 07:03, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

Vandal tagging

I've been using Huggle, and I realized that I had mistagged many pages. (For example, marking edasfgffgsg as spam). Could someone give me an example of each of these tags?:
Personal attacks
Editing Tests
Removal of content
Blanking pages
Biased content
Factual errors
Inappropriate biographical content
Failing to cite a verifiable resource

Also, could someone tell me what each one of these should be tagged (Out of the ones given on top)?
Adding random text like fdgsxcbvadv
Writing ABCD is a ***
Replacing words with inappropriate words
making pages 'funny' by replacing words (Example: The Packers are a toilet)
On a page of an actor/actress writing "I love him/her!!!"
Removal of AfD tags

Thanks, ManishEarthTalkStalk

Although this is certainly relevant to vandalism, it is not a discussion of how to improve the project page, which is what the talk page is for. JamesBWatson (talk) 19:42, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Where should I go? ManishEarthTalkStalk 08:15, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Daniel Tosh likes men... for obvious reasons wheres the puke? your going to get canceled if u dont show the puke, nobody gives two shits about your shitty ass comedy —Preceding unsigned comment added by Haxorsbutch (talkcontribs) 04:46, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Wow! ▒ ♪ ♫ Wifione ♫ ♪ ▒ ―Œ ♣Łeave Ξ мessage♣ 19:41, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

Image Missing?

This, being a semiprotected page, is not readily fixable. The image of 'Wikipedia Vandal.png' is not showing, so I presume it either does not exist, or is mistyped. I was able to find a related image called Wikipedia VandalismWikipedia vandalism.PNG. Would a page admin please fix this issue? —Preceding unsigned comment added by GoldKOL (talkcontribs) 04:07, 26 February 2010 (UTC)

That image isn't appropriate for the ombox. The image has to have some meaning when its made tiny. This: Wikipedia vandalism.PNG doesn't mean much...ManishEarthTalkStalk 09:36, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Also, per WP:BEANS and WP:DENY it is not desirable to glorify unhelpful edits by posting such an image. Johnuniq (talk) 22:55, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

Uncyclopedia divert

Related discussion at Wikipedia:VPP#Uncyclopedia I've created a template to divert 'funny' vandals to Uncyclopedia. Its at {{User:Manishearth/divert}}. It basically tells vandals who are adding sarcastic misinformation that their contributions would be appreciated more on Uncyclopedia, hopefully diverting a would-be persistent vandal to a place where he will be useful. Where should I list this? On WP:VAND? Or Wikipedia:Template_messages/User_talk_namespace? ManishEarthTalkStalk 12:24, 1 March 2010 (UTC)

Temporary Autoblocking of probable 'vandalism-only' IP addresses

This proposal is intended to help in reducing vandalism incidents on the Wikipedia project with a specific focus on rollbackers. In summary, IP addresses that have had two vandalism warnings within a period of 60 minutes from two 'separate' rollbackers will be automatically edit-blocked (by a specified bot linked to the IRC feed) for a period of one hour. The block will 'be valid only if there are separate rollbackers issuing the warning. The genesis: It has been seen that in certain cases, specific IP addresses - whose vandalism is reverted once - again indulge in vandalism within a period of a few minutes. This is more so the case when seen in the context of open IPs being accessed, for example, in schools by school children (over a half hour lunch break, as a point). If the system being proposed here could be implemented, vandal fighting could become more specific, as temporary fly-by-night (used as a metaphor) vandals do not succeed in (1) Continuing their vandalising (as their immediate vandalism behaviour is curbed over the short term) (2) Getting the open (school?) IP blocked.

Why are you changing from the usual "five bad edits and you're outta here" to two? --NeilN talk to me 21:07, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
Three fewer bad edits, presumably - the less bad edits, the better for the encyclopedia.--Kotniski (talk) 07:06, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
It's not being changed. Just that we are trying to add a miniblock feature which temporarily blocks until an admin reviews. And, the 2 edit thing has always been there. If a user is clearly vandalizing, we give him a 4im. 4im has been there for ages. ManishEarthTalkStalk 12:52, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
It is being changed. Changing "X is a town in Y" to "X is a place where hicks and unicorns live in Y" gets a rollback and a level 1 warning, not 4im. --NeilN talk to me 23:57, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
I agree with NeilN that 4im is for worse things than that, but I don't agree that you have to start with level 1 where vandalism was obviously intended. If there's no no reason to assume good faith it is OK to start warning at level 2. If there is reason to assume good faith, you shouldn't use rollback anyway, because rollback doesn't let you leave an explanatory edit summary. - Pointillist (talk) 21:57, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Rollback does leave a summary, which can be changed via the MediaWiki API. That's why Huggle can leave custom messages. Strangely enough, there's an api.php parameter for rollback summary but no index.php parameter. ManishEarthTalkStalk 01:56, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps I should have made it clearer: regular rollback doesn't allow you to put an explanation into the edit summary; if an editor's actions merit only an (AGF) level 1 warning, then they merit an explanation too. - Pointillist (talk) 10:15, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I support this proposal. The type of vandalism referred to is not adequately dealt with by our present procedures, as the time scale is wrong. A vandal can, and often does, make dozens of disruptive edits in the time it takes to wait for enough warnings for a WP:AIV request and then wait for a response to that request. The proposed short term block (1 hour) would be long enough to stop this behaviour, but short enough not to be likely to cause major problems for other editors. Obviously it would not be perfect, but it would on balance be much better than the present situation. (Incidentally I am not aware of any "five bad edits and you're outta here" policy. I can only assume this refers to the idea that one goes through warnings at levels 1, 2, 3, and 4 before taking an action on the fifth occasion. However, there is nowhere any rule, policy, or guideline that says that this is necessary. If an editor's first "bad edit" is unambiguously not done in good faith then giving a friendly "sorry to trouble you, as you probably didn't mean any harm" level one warning is not only unnecessary but unhelpful, as it conveys quite the wrong message to the vandal: a level 2 is far more appropriate. In fact we even have Level 4im tags, which say "This is the only warning you will receive" indicating quite clearly that we do not have to go through all the levels.) JamesBWatson (talk) 10:21, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
Going through levels 1-4 is not necessary but left to the reverter's judgement. This proposal takes judgement out of the process and, relying on automation, increases the chances of mistaken blocks. --NeilN talk to me 00:13, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
The chances of mistaken blocks may be extremely less, given that two separate rollbackers would have had to give the two warnings within a period of 60 minutes. Further, in the small case of a mistaken block, the block is any which way lifted after 60 minutes. This autoblock is intended to temporarily block only a vandal ip (and not a registered user) who deliberately has vandalised twice within 60 minutes, and has been called on that by two rollbackers. ▒ ♪ ♫ Wifione ♫ ♪ ▒ ―Œ ♣Łeave Ξ мessage♣ 19:05, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
It's a nice idea. Refine it, present it clearly, then open a widely-advertised RfC on it. Fences&Windows 14:49, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
A) couldn't this be an edit filter? B) rather than jumping in with live blocking, start with a test phase that logs blocks that would have happened. If that record looks OK, it'll be easier to get community endorsement. Rd232 talk 22:51, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't think that this would work as an edit filter. EFs don't allow the edit to happen in the first place, and they return a warning. The vandal will just find a workaround (probably creating an account). But I like your second idea. I'm not sure if its easily implementable, but that's the best way to go. ManishEarthTalkStalk 01:05, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
Fences, I've RfC'd the proposal. RD232, I've incorporated your point about testing. Thanks ▒ ♪ ♫ Wifione ♫ ♪ ▒ ―Œ ♣Łeave Ξ мessage♣ 19:32, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Temporary Autoblocking of probable vandalism-only IP addresses

"This is a proposal intended to help in reducing vandalism related incidents on the Wikipedia project with a specific focus on helping rollbackers. The initial proposal was discussed here leading to this RfC after the same was suggested by two administrators. It is proposed that IP addresses that have had two vandalism warnings within a period of 60 minutes from two 'separate' rollbackers will be automatically edit-blocked (by a specified bot linked to the IRC feed) for a period of one hour. This auto-block system will, in the first phase, be tested against live data without undertaking any active blocking procedures against any IP addresses. This test phase will assist in ensuring that false positive cases could be caught, analysed and minimised before the system actually goes live. Once, and if, the auto-block system finally goes live, the auto-block will block any IP editor only if there are a minimum of two separate rollbackers issuing vandalism warnings within 60 minutes." ▒ ♪ ♫ Wifione ♫ ♪ ▒ ―Œ ♣Łeave Ξ мessage♣ 19:29, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

  • I would support this only if the bot could check on whether the vandalism was really ongoing. I have in the past warned a vandal after finding a string of bad edits, they have stopped, then I've watched a series of warnings get added for the other bad edits. In at least one case the rationale was "they always continue, so I like to get 'em up to level-4 as fast as possible". Some RCP/first-person-shooters seem to think the goal is to get IP's blocked rather than to stop vandalism and I can't accept another loophole for them to game. Franamax (talk) 20:00, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
  • The idea sounds good in principle, but I think it still needs tweaking:
  • It's entirely possible to get two separate vandalism templates for a single edit. Before any auto-block one would have to check that each of the warning editors has used rollback on the IP.
  • As a result of this proposal I might feel uncomfortable warning in some cases. Perhaps the second template should have to be fourth level for an auto-block.
  • It's not clear to me how it should be checked that an IP got a substituted warning template. I can think of a way, but it could lead to serious abuse that I won't describe (WP:BEANS).
Hans Adler 20:08, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
    • As with the others, I like this in principle. If we can find ways to avoid false positives and abuse of the system to block other editors then this could help nip vandalism sprees in the bud. Does this even require templates, can a bot detect rollbacks as vandalism by two separate rollbackers? Fences&Windows 21:10, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
    • False positives will be avoided because, ecen after blocking, the vandal will be reported to AIV with a little tag that says that he is already blocked. Admins can then review the block and extend it to 24hr/indefinite, or they can remove the block and notify the blocker.ManishEarthTalkStalk 01:32, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
      • But isn't the question "Do they stop after a warning" though? How else to spot that other than through TP analysis? Rollback plus an IP talk edit by the same editor, one edit grace period (they haven't seen the orange bar yet) then rollback+talk-edit by a different rollbacker - that might do it. Franamax (talk) 21:53, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
        • Two vandalism warnings within 60 minutes could be a level 1 followed by a level 2, in which case it might well leave the IP editor wondering what happened and why they were blocked, and I consider that would be poor communication on our part. So there are really two issues here, blocking in effect by two rollbackers, and reducing the usual number of warnings from usually four to two for IP addresses. I'm fairly supportive of both ideas, but I would prefer that they be trialled separately rather than together. For moving to two warnings for IP addresses I would like to see some stats on recidivism levels - i.e. what proportion of vandals stop after the first, second, third and fourth warnings as opposed to people who are reverted without warnings. If the stats or a trial run indicate that moving to a two level warning system means we block as many users but do so a couple of vandalisms earlier, then I'd buy that change. As for blocking if two rollbackers both warn an IP for two different edits, I'd be uncomfortable in the current system unless one warning was level 4. ϢereSpielChequers 23:22, 8 March 2010 (UTC)
          • Yes, call me naive, but since we haven't yet fully scrubbed "anyone can edit" off the signs yet, I figure everyone in the world gets a chance to find out. So only a couple billion more test edits to go and we'll be done. :) I don't even consider "Hi Janie!" as vandalism, but some do. Then they call Janie over and show them in another article - I don't consider that blockworthy. In the great majority of cases I see the maximum attention span of a vandal is <beans> minutes. (Square-root of 225) They don't even need warnings, you just revert their edit before Janey ever gets to see it. Never underestimate the mystery of Special:Contributions nor the power of one single note obviously written by a human, like "time to stop now?" - that raises hairs on the back of their neck and they almost always stop right away. Franamax (talk) 00:09, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
          • 'Hi Janie!' would get a vandal a level one template which basically sys "Hi. Welcome. Unconstructive edit. Try Sandbox. Read Welcome page. Bye."

Sounds like a more complicated and less ideal replacement for WP:AIV. After 4 warnings, anyone can request a block there, and it is human reviewed, so gaming the system is harder to do. Prodego talk 00:33, 9 March 2010 (UTC)

We are not replacing AIV. This is for temporary blocking, and the vandal will still be reported to AIV. After all, this is only temporary blocking, so an admin has to review it and extend it to 24hr/indefinite. So the system can't be gamed. I propose a bot which makes sure that a tempblocked user is reported to AIV (Or the bot can report it himself). The bot will trawl the log of tempblocks and make sure that every block has a corresponding AIV report within 5 minutes. If not, the bot will report it himself, and warn the tempblocker. ManishEarthTalkStalk 01:32, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
  • It's better if the blocking is done by a human than a bot. Its quite easy to get rollback, and someone might revert a nonvandal (Sometimes rbkrs revert their own edits instead of using 'undo'). This could create mass chaos. I stich to the original proposal: A trusted group of users who have access to a tempblock feature, which blocks only for a short time. As I said above, the block will still have to be reported to AIV (for a permblock to take place), and a bot should ensure that is is reported.ManishEarthTalkStalk 01:38, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Temporary blocking is what AIV is for - 24 hours is temporary. I'm not sure what you are trying to fix here, seems like a solution looking for a problem. Why block someone for 5 minutes (or 10, or 20), and then still have someone have to review the block to extend it? Wouldn't it be a whole lot easier to skip the middle step and just request a block on AIV? As far as extending a temporary blocking right, that's unlikely, it would likely require a non-trivial change to blocking behavior (if you want to let people undo blocks they make anyway). Any bot solution is very unlikely except for very very blatant vandalism that the bot can detect itself [e.g. moving a page to a page on wheels], because any mistaken block leads to a lot of complaints from people who were mistakenly blocked. Prodego talk 02:01, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Vandals can vandalize 5 pages a minute. So tempblocking them reduces patrollers' load. AIV isn't always patrolled. So we block them for an amount of time within which we can be sure that an admin will review. ManishEarthTalkStalk 09:09, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Prodego, I have to agree with Manishearth here. Surf the IRC feed (during certain times) and what goes on is really not something that should be going on. And the time invested to revert clear vandals is also criminal (metaphorically speaking, again). Still, I value your comments. ▒ ♪ ♫ Wifione ♫ ♪ ▒ ―Œ ♣Łeave Ξ мessage♣ 16:57, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm with fixing the current warnings system in general, it is very inefficient. We have to make vandalism not funny and time consuming for vandals. This idea is reasonable but we need more. Sole Soul (talk) 01:54, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
  • If the problem is lack of admins at AIV, perhaps the most elegant solution is to appoint a few more admins. A couple of years ago we had over 1,000 active admins, today it is down to 874, at some point our declining number of active admins is likely to cause bottlenecks at AIV, if that has actually started the solution is fairly straightforward (BTW if any potential admins here think they meet my nomination standards, my email is enabled!) ϢereSpielChequers 17:56, 9 March 2010 (UTC)
Good solution. I'll contact you when I cross the 5000 edit mark and your standard :) But that would not resolve this issue as multiple vandalism would keep continuing till we reach the four warning level. The intent is to reduce extremely obvious vandalism from anon-IPs temporarily (for an hour), which would ensure that the immediate impulse to revert and vandalise again would be reduced. ▒ ♪ ♫ Wifione ♫ ♪ ▒ ―Œ ♣Łeave Ξ мessage♣ 04:32, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Why not simply make the automatic block a new-account-creation-enabled SOFTBLOCK? That doesn't interfere with the idea that anyone can edit-- it simply means that to edit from that IP address they have to choose a username and a password. They don't even have to wait the registration time if they're going to edit non-sprotected articles. You can leave a template to that effect: "DUE TO POSSIBLE VANDALISM FROM THIS IP ADDRESS, for the next X days, to edit articles from it you will have to register (link) and pick a username and password." Simple enough and problem solved. They want to keep vandalizing, they'll have to do it individually. For shared IP addresses, this is especially effective (since individual users who are vandals can be identified to the shared IP administrator). Of course, the larger the fraction of WP that was semi-protected, the better a softbock on a vandal-only IP-address would be. SBHarris 04:00, 10 March 2010 (UTC)
Softblock destroys the basic premise of Wikipedia, that of attracting new users with the thrill of being able to edit at the click of a mouse. That won't work in consensus. ▒ ♪ ♫ Wifione ♫ ♪ ▒ ―Œ ♣Łeave Ξ мessage♣ 04:32, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
  • This has some merit in principle. But is there any mechanism against rollbackers who abuse vandalism warning? A number of people apply the word "vandalism" to a variety of instances that are not clearly intended to be detrimental to the encyclopedia. Maurreen (talk) 19:23, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
Maurreen, rollbackers are anyway supposed to only use their 'power' for specific vandalism cases (for example, while using Huggle). Action guidelines/past cases against rollbackers misusing powers already exist. ▒ ♪ ♫ Wifione ♫ ♪ ▒ ―Œ ♣Łeave Ξ мessage♣ 04:32, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
I'm not talking about the rollbacking, I'm talking about the warnings. For example, see these: [[2]] and [3] Maurreen (talk) 10:57, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
I don't see Maurreen's point. One of the links she gives is a talk apge in which she says that a particular editor (who had been blocked) had not been vandalising. The editor had partially removed a template notice, leaving a mess, and had repeatedly replaced a correct name with an incorrect one. Maurreen thinks that was not vandalism: many of us would disagree. I don't see what that has to do with warnings or rollbacking. The other link is to the edit history of an article. She does not specify what particular aspect of the history we are to look at, but an edit of hers is there, so I guessed I should look at that. Another editor had placed a prod in which he/she had given instructions to restore the prod tag if it was removed without justification. Maurreen quite rightly removed this instruction: it is contrary to the policy on prods. However, once again I see no connection between that and either rollback or user warnings. JamesBWatson (talk) 15:13, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

Question: Is one of the goals of this proposal that the types of edits that usually receive uw-vand1 and uw-vand2 templates result in a temporary block? If so, that doesn't seem to reflect current policy. If not, I'm unsure how that would be prevented. Are you suggesting we stop using rollback in those cases? FCSundae (talk) 10:35, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

  • Alright, given the more or less positive responses, let me suggest the next step: We take this proposal to the test stage and find out the percentage of false positives. If the false positives, after tweaking the code to adjust clear cut code issues, is more than 10%, we reject this proposal; if not, we allow it to run for a month and get feedback about its helpfulness from editors and rollbackers through another RfC. If the general response is that it worked well, we let it remain, else we nuke it. ▒ ♪ ♫ Wifione ♫ ♪ ▒ ―Œ ♣Łeave Ξ мessage♣ 04:32, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
I like the idea of a test with no actual blocks to get a better sense of the problems that might crop up. I don't support the "10%" rule though — I think we need more discussion, both of the test results and among the community, before we implement something like that. Even if it has very few false positives I still have some concerns before I could support this. But I'd be interested to see the data! FCSundae (talk) 10:35, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
A test run with no blocks is an excellent idea. I agree, though, that we should then consider the results, rather than make a decision now on 10%. JamesBWatson (talk) 15:16, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
  • This proposal pretty much is contrary to what happens at ANI - they would get a first and second warning and be automatically blocked? What happened to blocking after vandalism following a final warning? What's more - this is going to put shorter blocks in the block log of persistent vandals. I use a blocking script that shows me the last block and I determine the block length from there. If a short block shows up, I would probably tend to a lesser length when they may actually deserve a year. So, consider this an oppose as proposed. One more thing: it's really not that hard to obtain rollbacker. So two trolls in concert could cause some serious damage. –xenotalk 13:48, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This proposal effectively grants blocking powers to rollbackers, which I oppose in principal. Administrators at least were elected to block. The same can not be said about rollbackers. The proposal if implemented will elevate rollbackers to sort of semi-administrators. In this case all exiting rollback permissions should be revoked and new rollbackers should be approved using some kind of RFA-light process. Ruslik_Zero 17:31, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
    • I agree with Ruslik. Administrators could and should be blocking more freely (see User:NuclearWarfare/Vandal Warnings for more of my views). However, I simply don't trust that WP:PERM, which operates more on the basis of "we think you aren't a vandal" rather than "we trust you completely", is enough of a process to essentially give out blocking tools. But perhaps I am wrong. Would anyone want to write a bot for a test run that would list the blocks it would have made rather than actually make them? NW (Talk) 19:21, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I prefer to see blocks implemented by editors who have been thoroughly vetted. Too often I see rollbackers over-zealously and/or inappropriately warning IPs, and while 95% of them do a great job, the remaining 5% makes this proposal untenable. — Kralizec! (talk) 21:50, 17 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment Xeno, Kralizec, Ruslik, would you be interested in finding out what is the actual rate of false positives (that is, take this to the test phase without actually blocking; if not over a month, three months?) and then bring this back to RfA? Or would you not wish to even have this tested? Thanks and best.▒ ♪ ♫ Wifione ♫ ♪ ▒ ―Œ ♣Łeave Ξ мessage♣ 03:51, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
    • Even 1 false positive is unacceptable. But no one can stop you from running a passive test. –xenotalk 13:15, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
  • definately a bad idea, bity and likely to result in incorrect blocks. Spartaz Humbug! 11:53, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: maybe this idea would fly slightly better if it involved throttling a suspect IP's edits rather than blocking. Slow the possible vandal down so they can't do so much damage before their edits are reviewed by a human, and before they can read messages to them, etc. A mechanism for this would though somehow need to take into account many-user IPs (AOL etc) - probably just by excluding them from the equation. Rd232 talk 17:46, 18 March 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose autoblocking. As others have said, it's easy to get rollbacker (that shouldn't change) and it would only take two mischief-makers to block new editors who wouldn't have a clue they're being played with. The proposal states this is to mitigate vandalism when AIV isn't patrolled. What happens to good editors who have been improperly blocked during this time? Also, a test phase isn't likely to expose people who will wait until the change goes in production and then try to game the system. --NeilN talk to me 05:48, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
    Why not switch back to my original proposal here? Give a new usergroup of trusted users the ability to tempblock. These tempblocks will still have to go to AIV, where they will be extended. Or let autoblocks happen if two trusted users revert. ManishEarthTalkStalk 08:44, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
    Per Shimgray, "This is probably the most contentious power available to an administrator - to block someone... Basically, my objection is that I can't really imagine a situation where I'd be happy to give someone this right but not give them full blocking rights; and at that point, we may as well make them admins, we trust them enough. Is there really a nontrivial group of people who we'd issue this to who shouldn't be made administrators?" --NeilN talk to me 17:11, 19 March 2010 (UTC)
    The original proposal is a non-starter. We're not changing the block right based on how long someone can be blocked. End of story. ^demon[omg plz] 23:46, 19 March 2010 (UTC)

Promotion of political/nationalistic viewpoint

One of the pages that I watch has five examples taken almost randomly from around the globe. One of these examples is from Greece. I have recently had two occasions where that entry was replaced by an equally valid entry from Turkey. Given the Greek-Turkish animosity, I reverted the change with a statement about not bringing petty nationalistic squabbles here. Any comments from other editors?. Any need to flag this type of vandalism? Martinvl (talk) 12:52, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

At first glance, that appears to be a content dispute, not vandalism. --Carnildo (talk) 23:28, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
  • You could revert with summary "There's no problem, why fix it". We need a policy for this (We probably do, but it'll be hard to find from out 500+ policy pages...) ManishEarthTalkStalk 14:37, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Copyright blocks

Hi. I've raised a question about copyright blocks, the appropriate venue for requesting & the number of warnings required at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Copyright blocks. Feedback there would be most welcome. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 02:04, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Photoshopping out vandalism

If a photo of a landmark contains graffiti (that is actually on the landmark itself) should the photo be digitally manipulated to remove the vandalism? --Pascal666 15:14, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

On one hand, Wikipedia's lack of censorship says that if that's the way the landmark looks, then that's they way it photographs. On the other hand, having graffiti memorialized here sends the wrong signal to the vandals. I suggest:
  1. If there are alternate photos lacking vandalism, or minimizing it (as by distance or angle), those would be preferable to a recent photo clearly showing vandalism.
  2. If the vandalism can be minimized from a useful photo by cropping, that would be the most preferable alteration.
  3. If the vandalism is so extensive or prominent that the only choice is between not using the photo or altering it by "retouching" edits such as blending, copying and pasting portions of it, rotoscoping, etc., then it's probably better to not use the photo.
Once the door is open to substantially manipulated images, integrity and truth are at stake. —EncMstr (talk) 18:24, 28 April 2010 (UTC)
Any specific comments regarding File:Tropic-cancer-slp-mexico.JPG? I was thinking the changes were inappropriate and should be reverted, but since the current image is in use on 9 different wikis I figured I'd bring it up here first (since the editor referenced this policy as the reason for the changes). --Pascal666 14:43, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
The justification of the image edit using WP:VANDAL seems unfounded. This guideline is about intentional alterations to Wikipedia content, not about photographs of vandalism. While the photoshopping of the edit is very good technical work, it seriously alters the appearance of the marker. One viewing the photo then visiting the site would most likely be seriously disappointed with the change. —EncMstr (talk) 16:39, 29 April 2010 (UTC)
Photos should not be altered to misrepresent reality. Period.
Cropping does not misrepresent reality. Maurreen (talk) 16:45, 29 April 2010 (UTC)

"Welcome to Wikipedia...."

I'm sure this issue has been regurgitated many, many times before, but I feel that some long-term vandals (with warnings/blocks every month) have been warned insufficiently in the sense that, say after a month block expires, and they're back to vandalize, we are giving them level 1 warnings, and giving them another 4 chances before a block. Usually when I see this, I elevate the warning to a 3, or even a 4 if the vandalism is clearly in bad faith, and long term. I strongly think we need to use more sense in warning vandals, some long term vandals don't need a "Welcome to Wikipedia...", and another 4 chances to vandalize. Usually, when I warn vandals, I take into the account the reverted edit, and my best assumption of whether it was made in good or bad faith. Good faith for a first-time contributor? 1st warning. Bad faith for a school IP with blocks and warnings every month of the year? Only warning. New account with a first edit as bad faith vandalism? 4th/3rd/2nd warning depending on severity. We don't need to waste time with these longterm vandals being given countless chances at vandalizing, and wasting our time, which, frankly could be spent doing other more productive things. Any other thoughts? Connormah (talk | contribs) 18:26, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

I never give a level 1 warning to someone who has received warnings before, usually level 2, when it's really bad level 3. But to a new account with a "bad faith vandalism" I do give a level 1 warning - even if it looks bad, it can be somebody testing or simply not believing that the things s/he writes really will be publicized. In my experience, most new accounts immediately stop vandalizing after their first warning. Lova Falk talk 15:44, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
What you need to remember is that these "long-term vandals" you mention are very usually a new person making their first ever edit each time. If you give an only warning to a new editor without even pointing out that there's a sandbox for testing, you're likely to not get the admin response you're looking for. Generally the lower-level warnings make more sense and are most effective because of it. If the only edits over a long period are not constructive then you need to look beyond the warnings. -- zzuuzz (talk) 15:58, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
There are two flavors to this problem: registered users and IP (anonymous) editors.
For registered users, we can assume the same person is behind the edits—or at least held accountable for them. Once a person has demonstrated repeated bad faith, they ought to be permanently blocked. They can arrange their own reprieve by creating a new account and acting responsibly.
For anonymous editors, it may take some investigation and judgment to conclude that a series of edits are by the same person. Always in my mind is the question, does an edit demonstrate that the person was willfully inflicting damage? If so, there's no need to mess around with the nicer warnings. Depending on the number and severity of the edits, a level 3 or 4 might be the first notice I give. If there's history—particularly a long one—then I will block them so they'll hopefully go outside and play or whatever.
The more difficult issue with anons is when a series of vandalism closely follows (in time) some helpful edits. I'm more likely to try more warnings. In my experience, alas, the newer vandalistic personality tends to dominate and a long term block is later needed. —EncMstr (talk) 22:03, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
I've been using the does this edit demonstrate that the person was wilfully inflicting damage? test for the past year or so and I strongly recommend it. You can definitely start with a level 2 warning for wilful damage, but I wouldn't start at level 3 unless the vandalism is very severe (e.g. adding filthy language) or follows an already established pattern of harm to Wikipedia. So I agree with EncMstr in respect of warnings. However, I'm not comfortable with his/her idea that an admin can be both witness of and judge for a single incident. When an admin witnesses vandalism I'd prefer them to report it at WP:AIV rather than execute sanctions on the spot. That way there's no confusion about which hat they are wearing when they apply their admin powers. - Pointillist (talk) 23:18, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
For example, an edit like this is completely unacceptable, and, was issued a 3rd warning, which I elevated, as that type of edit is just plainly juvenile and unacceptable. Connormah (talk | contribs) 23:49, 18 May 2010 (UTC)
Warnings...I remember when I still made those on a regular basis. NW (Talk) 00:14, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
What is your point, NuclearWarfare? Are you gainsaying the current consensus on escalating warnings? Do you assert that admins should be both witness of and judge for a single incident? - Pointillist (talk) 00:23, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
There's not much to witness or judge if the vandalism is blatant. We elect administrators to use their judgment; I'm sure that all administrators can identify when an IP is obviously editing in bad faith. If they are, there is no need to waste anyone else's time with warning and waiting for them to vandalize again so that you can warn them again. NW (Talk) 00:30, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Are you saying that an admin is at liberty to block a contributor in circumstances where a non-admin would fail to achieve a block by applying to WP:AIV? - Pointillist (talk) 00:35, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Obviously pass/fail at AIV depends on the admin looking at the page, so that's rather subjective. Can an admin block a user/IP without warning if the vandalism was egregious enough? Of course. –xenotalk 00:44, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
It's a very subjective thing, and my philosophy is certainly a lot more harsh on vandals than most administrators' philosophies. But basically...what Xeno said. NW (Talk) 00:51, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Nuke. I think we're far to soft on people who are obviously out to cause disruption and diffs like the Bill Clinton one above should result in a 4im warning at best. There are, of course, those who are disruptive without necessarily intending to be and I believe that is the point of templates like the level 1s (when the right template, rather than the generic vandalism one is used) and {{welcomevandal}}. I suppose it comes down to judgement at the end of the day, but to give 4 freebies to people who wantonly violate BLP like that is unacceptable. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 02:18, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Another example can be seen at User talk: This IP had 6 warnings before being blocked, which included 2 first warnings, 2 second warnings, a 3rd, and 4th, while still going on a rampant vandalism spree (the IP vandalized about 3 more times after being reported to AIV). The IP also had multiple warnings in all months going back to February of this year, yet we wasted more time by going through the whole warning system before blocking the IP, which, frankly, is a waste a time given the the IP has had 2 past blocks, and has continued to vandalize immediately after both block expirations. After that many blocks, it shouldn't be the "Welcome to Wikipedia, your edits appeared to be unconstructive, please use the sandbox for test edits" message, rather it should be the "You are vandalizing, please stop or you'll be blocked" message, IMO for most school IPs. Connormah (talk | contribs) 03:15, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

  • I usually use Template:Welcomevandal for the 1st incident, with good results. If I suspect that the user is knowledgeable about wikipedia, using dynamic ip, and not focusing on a single article, then I don't warn, I just revert. Sole Soul (talk) 13:18, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
  • @Connormah: That particular situation you linked appears to be more related to the user with a "(HG Custom)" giving a user who already had two warnings a L1 warning. When everyone uses huggle, stuff like that will happen because (I think?) it automatically chooses the warning level based on the last one. –xenotalk 15:06, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Of course admins can block editors in situations where regular editors cannot (through AIV or other means). Applying good judgment and common sense in preventing disruption to Wikipedia is what admins are trusted to do, and expected to do. SHEFFIELDSTEELTALK 17:56, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Strange behavior

I've come across a number of instances where an editor (mostly IPs) vandalize a page in some trivial way and then revert their edit a few minutes latter. I suppose in the general scheme of things this really does not matter but I'm beginning to suspect that since they can access their edit through the history page there might be some upside to this behavior. Is there already a procedure to deal with these? Is worth the worry? –droll [chat] 22:43, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Unless there are special circumstances it usually just means that someone can't believe it's really as simple as it is to vandalise. So they try it out, are amazed that nothing prevents them from doing it, and restore the previous state because they don't actually want to do any harm. I once had a boss who told me he had made exactly that experience, and felt he had to talk about it because he still couldn't believe that we make it so easy for vandals. Hans Adler 23:02, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Adler: an edit which is soon reverted is a standard way of testing if anyone really can edit. I remember my first experience, though I didn't vandalize—I fixed spelling and grammar. When it said "your changes will immediately appear" I didn't entirely believe it for a few days. —EncMstr (talk) 23:23, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for responses. This explanation seems very reasonable. This is something that has made no sense to me till now. I guess I was expecting something more sinister in my sometimes paranoid brain. –droll [chat] 00:18, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
We have the template {{uw-selfrevert}}, if that is what you are looking for. Intelligentsium 00:11, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
It doubtless makes an impression on the self reverting vandal that admins are on the job if they get the polite "selfrevert" warning even when they reverted their own vandalism almost instantly. It answers the question "If I add something funny to an article, how long until someone notices? (Sadly, in some cases it is a very long time). I often watch for recent edits by new editors to welcome them or caution and welcome them if they start with vandalism. This catches vandalism of articles with few or no watchers. Edison (talk) 18:03, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Blanking an article page to start over again

I know an article page can intentionally be blanked by a vandal, but what if somebody blanked the article page for a good cause, such as a clean start after it has been messed up? Jim856796 (talk) 11:42, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

No. You'll have to consult regarding a total rewrite, but some people use it as an excuse to hijack the article. Eaglestorm (talk) 14:16, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
See WP:EDITH. –xenotalk 14:19, 25 May 2010 (UTC)
See also WP:BLANK and WP:DOLT. I've even blanked a few myself in recent times, and it used to be standard practice for Wikimedia Foundation edits. It is usually better to revert to the last good revision if an article has been messed up, if one can be found, and work on improving that. See also also Wikipedia:STUB#Stubbing_existing_articles. -- zzuuzz (talk) 16:20, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

WP:AIV not fast enough

Many times, it takes some time for a vandal who has been reported at WP:AIV to be blocked (This usually happens at times when most admins are offline, like work hours, night, etc.). The vandal continues to vandalize, for a few minutes more, without being blocked. I'm requesting for a feature for non-admins to be able to temporarily block a vandal for 5-10 mins until he is permanently blocked. This feature could be made availible to rollbackers or maybe to a new usergroup like 'quickblock' or something similar. Thanks, ManishEarthTalkStalk 05:26, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

I think the occasional few minutes of cleaning up behind a vandal is preferrable to the abuse potential of non-admins being able to block other users, even temporarily. The blocking policy covers much more ground than just simple vandalism, and I'm concerned that even a more responsible group of non-admins, such as rollbackers, might use the block ability in situations other than for simple vandalism, causing all sorts of problems, RFC's etc. It is rare for a listing to remain on AIV for long, and when it does the reason is usually that it isn't a clear-cut case of vandalism and admins are investigating to determine the proper course of action. The current system works. (talk) 05:36, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
That's a very interesting suggestion, although I'm not sure how much support it would get. I think the place to post this is WP:VPR, and it would need a couple of examples where user X was reported (give diff) and yet significant vandalism occurred after the report (give diffs). Apart from the issue just raised above, the main problem is that this would (I believe) require software modifications and the developers already have lots to do. Johnuniq (talk) 05:43, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
I think that this is a good suggestion. I know that I've reported vandals before and in some cases have had to wait hours before an admin has time to do something. Maybe it's a feature that only rollbackers could request but they would have to have had a certain amount of edits before an admin will grant the request? I certainly agree that it's worth suggesting at WP:VPR. I know that it will require software modifications like Johnuniq suggests, but maybe Wikipedia will consider it in the future? --5 albert square (talk) 06:02, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Instead of giving it to rollbackers, I would suggest createng a new usergroup for rollbkrs who have been responsibly reporting and not reporting everything that they see. ManishEarthTalkStalk 07:53, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Cross-posted to WP:VPR at Temporary block ManishEarthTalkStalk 07:57, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Next time, please don't cross-post. Instead just advertise the discussion and ask editors to comment in one place. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:46, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Like the idea in principle, and support the notion of a trusted users group. I suspect there are too many potential problems though for it to become reality. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 12:50, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Yes, I think that's a good idea. Basically extend the "rollbackers" group's privileges to include temporarily blocking IPs and semiprotecting pages. (But I doubt it will happen; admins are too jealous of their powers to share them, and other users are too distrustful of each other.)--Kotniski (talk) 13:01, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
Kotniski, I do not agree with your pov on administrators at all. However, I've penned a proposal that I was wanting to introduce for a long time. Seeing this discussion, I've summarised the basic points. It might interest you. Thanks ▒ Wirεłεşş ▒ Fidεłitұ ▒ Ćłâşş ▒ Θnε ▒ ―Œ ♣Łεâvε Ξ мεşşâgε♣ 18:03, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support the proposal, seems perfectly reasonable to me. ╟─TreasuryTagassemblyman─╢ 19:45, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose We have enough problems dealing with the "admins" we already have.
    — V = IR (Talk • Contribs) 22:12, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
  • This is probably the most contentious power available to an administrator - to block someone. If we trust a user enough to give them this right, we're basically saying we trust them not to use it wrongly at all; using it wrongly is guaranteed to cause immense amounts of drama, and we'd want to guarantee avoiding it. If we trust them that much, why wouldn't we trust them enough to block properly?
  • Basically, my objection is that I can't really imagine a situation where I'd be happy to give someone this right but not give them full blocking rights; and at that point, we may as well make them admins, we trust them enough. Is there really a nontrivial group of people who we'd issue this to who shouldn't be made administrators? Shimgray | talk | 23:01, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, WP:TLDR where does this propossal go next?username 1 (talk) 23:06, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, I like this proposal. NerdyScienceDude :) (✉ click to talkmy editssign) 23:55, 22 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose – As Shimgray notes, blocking is probably the most contentious of the admin rights. even a 5 minute block leaves a permanent block log entry. One could cause a significant amount of disruption with this, and it would require an admin to undo it. Mr.Z-man 04:14, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
  • As I said on WP:VPR: Absolutely not. Under no circumstances are we going to split the blocking permission into "people who can block" and "people who can block, but only for a short amount of time.". If someone wants to help out with vandal blocking, they should become an admin. Or if enwiki wants to grant block rights to a second user group, they can get consensus and request that. But as far as splitting the block right based on lengths of blocks is a non-starter for me. ^demon[omg plz] 14:24, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Definitely not. Seriously, if you're trusted enough to block anyone - even for a short amount of time - you should be trusted enough to be an admin. If you wouldn't pass RfA, ask yourself why that is, and why you should be able to block anyway. I'll also point out that 'a few minutes' backlog is really pretty-darn-fast. Ale_Jrbtalk 23:23, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I have had the unpleasant task of removing rollback before when I just happened across a problem user with the flag. When Rollbackers get it wrong though, they don't leave behind a log that some users will feel to be an indelible slight. If, on balance, there was a large problem with very long delays on blocking spree vandalism then it might outweigh the possible problems, but we are talking here only about a few minutes of delay, and from what I see at AIV, perceived delays are often not delays at all, but an active investigation period being done before the hammer is dropped, which is a good thing.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 23:59, 24 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose - While I agree with MSGJ about supporting the idea of a trusted users group, I just do not feel comfortable with granting blocking privileges to editors who have not been extensively vetted. — Kralizec! (talk) 01:51, 25 February 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose It's a good idea, but then, any rollbacker would be able to block anyone, so if, for example, A (a non-rollbacker) warned B (a rollbacker) and B didn't like that, B could just block A. Even if the person had to be on WP:AIV, B could have simply just reported A on WP:AIV and blocked A. I'm not an admin, by the way, and like I said, it's a good idea, but sadly, it would bring too many problems. --Hadger 01:28, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
That's if you think "rollbackers" (or whatever they would be called) can't be trusted. Even admins do things wrong sometimes (innocently or otherwise); when they do, we put them right (and take away their admin status if their actions have shown they can't be trusted with it). It's relatively easy to unblock someone who's been wrongly blocked, and a rollbacker who did so maliciously would lose his rights (that ought to act as a deterrent to abuse).--Kotniski (talk) 10:38, 26 February 2010 (UTC)
Oh. Well, I'm not trying to defend myself or anything, but I probably had a bad oppose I am inexperienced with proposals. Looking at my oppose, I pretty much agree that probably wouldn't be happening much and that the rollback status would be able to be taken away. It's because at first I thought the creator of this proposal meant for every single user could block another user, but when I saw that it said only rollbackers would be able to do it, I edited my comment. I wasn't thinking about the fact that a bureaucrat could just simply remove a user's rollback status! Sorry about that! --Hadger 23:41, 5 March 2010 (UTC)
Losing something that's trivial to gain is not much of a deterrent for someone purposely abusing it. If they really want to continue abusing it they could start another account and probably get rollback again within a day or 2. I see at least 9 cases this month in the rights log where rollback was removed due to misuse and more than 6 instances in January where it was removed from CheckUser-confirmed sockpuppets of banned users. Mr.Z-man 19:15, 27 February 2010 (UTC)
That's why its also proposed to have another usergroup. It should require a good track record of reverting, and, it can be limited to blocking IPs and non-autoconfirmed users. The members of the group should be able to unblock, too.That prevents mistakes like mine User:Manishearth/Mistakes#Hiya here (I was reporting a vandal and the page flipped in Huggle, while I was reporting, so basically I reported a rollbacker). Btw, even admins can apply or revoke rollback. If you see an evil rollbacker, report it at WP:AN or WP:AN/I.ManishEarthTalkStalk 02:29, 6 March 2010 (UTC)
Support -- (talk) 08:14, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
Also, the members of this hypothetical new usergroup should be able to block everyone, and only Jimbo should have the ability to take away that access. -- (talk) 08:15, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Oppose, very strongly. Rollback is a power which is granted quite easily, and is nowhere near enough of a guarantee that users can be trusted with such powers. If we create a new class of users to do this we will need to have a mechanism in place for vetting the users who are to be given the new powers. We already have RfA, and adding a new layer of bureaucratic process would be cumbersome and time wasting. I do agree that the delay between requesting admin intervention and receiving it can sometimes be excessive, but unfortunately I don't think this is a good way of dealing with the problem. JamesBWatson (talk) 14:21, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

  • Oppose, but I should note that abusing the rollbacking and blocking rights is not rare among admins. Sole Soul (talk) 16:29, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Too much potential for abuse. And some "Junior RFA" would be needed for such "Junior Blockers." Edison (talk) 18:09, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Administrators often decline the reports because the reports don't follow the instructions. If non-admins could block a user, it would be unfair for the reported user to be blocked when they don't really deserve it. 3-5 file (talk) 01:42, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Get rid of this page

Shouldn't we just get rid of the page and leave two links, one to Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism for reporting vandalism and another one to Wikipedia:Template messages/User talk namespace for a list of warning templates? Maybe we should because most people already know what vandalism is when editing a site. 3-5 file (talk) 01:37, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I agree that many details of what vandalism is could be omitted, but the essential reason this page is required is that it specifies what vandalism is not. For example, rollback can be used, but only for reverting vandalism. Johnuniq (talk) 03:38, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

Idea to eliminate most vandalism

Here is an idea. All IP edits and edits from accounts with fewer than 100 or 200 edits or so would not be visible immediately. Instead, they would head to another page, where editors with 200 edits or more would review the differences, and decided whether or not to approve them. If approved, the results of the edit would immediately take effect. If not, they wouldn't.

The reviewers' page would be in the format similar to New Page Patrol. Reviewers would be required to approve all edits that appear to be in good faith, even if they do not agree with them, and even if they lack sourcing, etc, or otherwise look lousy. The only edits that would be rejected would be blatant vandalism (such as obvious nonsense, illegitimate profanity, repeating characters, hateful attacks, or spam). Reviewers would be instructed to approve then revert all other edits they simply disagree with, and when in doubt to approve.

Hopefully, there would be enough reviewers so all good-faith edits would get approved within seconds. Hellno2 (talk) 01:46, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

So basically thats WP:FLAGGEDREVS but a bit more complicated--Jac16888Talk 01:50, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict)You do realize that a huge proportion of edits are made by IPs right? We can't even keep up with new pages now, forget every single edit by users with less than 1-200 edits.--Terrillja talk 01:51, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
  • Short answer: this is a well meaning but unworkable plan. Beeblebrox (talk) 04:17, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Difficult to detect Vandalism

I noticed recently a vandal was making changes to articles on specific beauty pageants, changing the country that contestants were associated with. Without some familiarity of the subject, I wouldn't have noticed the vandalism if not for the fact that they attempted to change multiple countries at the same time. It seems that pages like those, which have numerous tables with easily modified information, and are only moderately popular, are more susceptible to undetected vandalism. Many editors may not know what country a contestant was from in a pageant from decades ago. Is there a way to deal with less popular pages, especially with information that is generally difficult to verify? Becky Sayles (talk) 12:03, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

There could be a new pair of wikicodes affixed to data deemed to be prone to difficult-to-detect vandalism (vandalism difficult to detect). "She was born in England in 1900" could be coded as "She was born in <van>England</van> in <van>1900</van>". Revisions to those data can be tagged in watchlists. There would need to be careful thought given to deciding where to use the wikicodes, so that the emphasis is not nullified by overuse. -- Wavelength (talk) 15:27, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
Becky, Any such change that has no supporting citation can be reverted outright, unless you have some idea it might be correct. It's up to the editor changing information to support the fact per verifiability and reliable sourcing. If you're uncertain, check existing citations for correctness of the article. If it has none, tag it with {{cn}}. Otherwise revert. —EncMstr (talk) 19:19, 3 June 2010 (UTC)
It's awkward knowing when to revert, but I support the above advice. If there is not at least an indication of why the change is made in an edit summary or the talk page, and if the change is not accompanied with a believable reference, please undo the change with edit summary "unsourced". Johnuniq (talk) 02:18, 4 June 2010 (UTC)

Wikipediholism DENY issue

There is a humor page at WP:Wikipediholism test which asks if the reader knows what a certain long-term vandal did (search for "Willy"; occurs in Q6 and Q21). Perhaps I am being over sensitive, but does anyone here think those sections should be deleted per WP:DENY? I noticed this at WP:Help desk where someone asked about it. Johnuniq (talk) 01:51, 15 July 2010 (UTC)

Page blanks are occurring slower than in the past?

I've had this question in my head for the last couple weeks or so. I think the answer to that is the tag filters. When a vandal wants to blank a page and remove all its content, a warning will pop up, and maybe they decide to not blank it. Anyone feel free to comment about why it's been so slower recently, please! :-) Schfifty3 20:23, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Removal of warnings on talk page

Does the removal of legitimate warnings on one's talk page constitute vandalism? Is there any rule against this? And if it isn't considered vandalism, what is it? ForeverDusk (talk) 23:24, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

Well, as far as I know, it is not considered vandalism. One can blank it's own talk page freely. If you need to report severe vandalism that needs admin action, you can do so in Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism. --Legion fi (talk) 23:31, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
For registered users, most types warnings can be deleted once they have been seen by the user. The exceptions (which immediately come to mind) are for ongoing investigations of sockpuppetry, etc.
For anonymous (ip address) users, they should not be removed. Since IPs are often shared addresses, warnings should remain for the actual perpetrator to see. —EncMstr (talk) 23:39, 13 September 2010 (UTC)

As per WP:BLANKING, editors -both registered and anonymous- may remove messages from their own talk pages at will. — Kralizec! (talk) 02:59, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

When you've discovered a vandal, and the talk page is blank, then you check in the talk page history and the whole saga is in there.
Varlaam (talk) 03:01, 28 September 2010 (UTC)


"Often, Wikipedians make sweeping changes to pages in order to improve them — most of us aim to be bold when updating articles."

This doesn't really reflect the WP I know, where changes tend to be modest and incremental.
Varlaam (talk) 03:03, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

That is bizarre. I don't think it needs to be nearly that specific. More broadly, all good faith efforts to improve a page are not vandalism, right? --Bsherr (talk) 04:51, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Entry for user space vandalism

I've been working on updating and making more concise the vandalism page. Only one edit was reverted. I suggest deleting the entry describing user space vandalism, because I believe it is redundant with the other entries. Right now, it states: "Adding insults, profanity, etc. to user pages or user talk pages (see also Wikipedia:No personal attacks)." There's nothing in the entry that wouldn't apply to any namespace. For example, "Adding insults, profanity, etc. to article pages or article talk pages", "Adding insults, profanity, etc. to category pages or category talk pages". The page already covers the addition of "insults, profanity, etc." under silly vandalism. Is there a reason to repeat it for each namespace? --Bsherr (talk) 03:31, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

It is extremely important to repeat the same for each namespace. Because the policies/guidelines that guide user talk page behaviour are not expected to be the same for other spaces. Kindly do not delete such important details, like you did (and I reverted), without gaining consensus on this page. Wifione ....... Leave a message 03:39, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand. If a policy is said to apply to all pages, that includes user space pages, does it not? --Bsherr (talk) 03:56, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Wifione, could you explain which of my changes you take issue with and why? --Bsherr (talk) 04:05, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

Hi Bsherr, could you list down all the changes you wish to make to the vandalism page? As it is a policy page of Wikipedia, and you seem to be wishing to make large changes, it'll be great for you to list all the changes out. Let's get comments from other editors in the next few days on each and every page change you wish to make. I'll comment tomorrow or day after. Thanks. Wifione ....... Leave a message 04:10, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
Wifione, it would be more efficient if you could tell me which changes you take issue with. You've seen them all because you reverted them. Let me know which ones you object to, and I'll explain them. If it turns out you don't object to any of them, that's fine, and I'll restore my edits. --Bsherr (talk) 04:17, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
@Bsherr: It is far too early to know how other editors will react to your proposed changes, and I suggest waiting a few days before worrying about this issue. In particular, it does not seem worth raising on user talk pages. There are several points on this page that may be worth removing (per WP:BEANS, I feel some of the items are just obviously vandalism and do not need to be listed). However, it is important to spell out that putting nonsense in userspace is vandalism to clarify that "I was just playing" is not a valid reason to vandalize a user talk page, for example. Johnuniq (talk) 04:20, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
The page already says, "Adding profanity, graffiti, random characters (gibberish), or other nonsense to pages". I thought it would be clear that pages meant all pages. If not, would it not be simpler to state "Adding profanity, graffiti, random characters (gibberish), or other nonsense to pages, including user and user talk pages"? --Bsherr (talk) 04:28, 5 October 2010 (UTC)
I've made changes based on your comments. --Bsherr (talk) 05:35, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

To make it more convenient to see the proposed changes, I've placed them in the sandbox. I've labeled in the edit summary the revision constituting the old, and the revision constituting the new, for easy comparison. Please let me know if there are any concerns. --Bsherr (talk) 05:35, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

  • As promised, here're my views:
  • I strongly oppose the reformatting of the sections (moving up/moving down of sections arbitrarily). They've been placed in that format there after many years of discussion. Unless you bring forth policy/logic/reason for changing the structure, I oppose it completely.
  • I strongly oppose the deletion of even one line without logic. Just as an example, user space vandalism is a terminology which has been used considerably in the past, being used now, and will be in the future to bring about specific subsequent actions by editors/administrators. Therefore, it needs to be itemized separately. Same with concepts like, say, copyright violation. On another front is the fact that not every editor goes through all policies and guidelines everywhere; therefore, it becomes excruciatingly importantly that for such editors, we cross-reference and double up as much of the policies/guidelines as possible. Therefore, like I mentioned at the start of this paragraph, I strongly oppose all deletions.
  • How do we go on from here? I strongly (and very strongly) recommend that instead of the sandbox approach - which will be not conducive to get consensus or discussions - take one major change at a time. If you wish to delete some major points, list one major change out here, eke out discussion, reach consensus, then move on to the other major change. Given that, and hoping you've read my answer, which other change would you wish to make? Thanks Wifione ....... Leave a message 03:26, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

We can go on from here first by discussing the issues you brought up.

  • I also strongly oppose the deletion of even one line without logic! We agree! Hopefully, where anything has been outright deleted (and I don't believe anything was), I can offer my logic for doing so.
  • Bowing to your request, I have not deleted the user space vandalism type, but I have added more information and made it more specific. It was there in the sandbox before you commented. Did you not see it? What do you think of it now?
  • I haven't reordered the vandalism types arbitrarily. I've alphebetized them to make it easier for users to locate relevant information. As far as I can tell, the existing order has no logic, but if I'm wrong, I'd love to know what it is.
  • Copyright violations are discussed under an entirely different policy in much greater depth (WP:COPYVIO). Is there a reason it also needs to be defined as vandalism? I am interested in the answer. I'm not opposed to cross-referencing, of course; I'm very supportive of it, as you've said you are. But notice that the entry for copyright violations does not include a cross-reference to the main policy! At the very least, that should be fixed.

Before you decide that you strongly oppose something, why don't we discuss it? Maybe you can help me understand your perspective, and maybe you'll allow me to explain mine? --Bsherr (talk) 05:36, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

OK, any further objections? --Bsherr (talk) 16:32, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

Objections to what? The fact that no one has commented may mean that no one has noticed, or it may mean that people are satisfied with the current page. What problem do you want to fix? What changes do you want? Johnuniq (talk) 06:51, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
A summary may be viewed by comparing the marked diffs in the sandbox. --Bsherr (talk) 15:52, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
What problem do you want to fix? (There is no point improving something if there is no actual reason to do so.) Johnuniq (talk) 03:40, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
The absence of several links to important, relevant policies; the reference to the test templates now deprecated for three years, several areas where language could be made clearer and more concise, absence of mention of confirmed users versus autoconfirmed users, and the arbitrary and confusing order in which the items are listed. --Bsherr (talk) 04:31, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Recent changes

Some major changes by Bsherr have been implemented. The previous section highlights some issues that may mean some of the changes are undesirable, nevertheless many of the cleanups performed are good. Because it is a bit hard to follow exactly what was changed, I am posting the following points which might need attention. At WP:Vandalism#Types of vandalism:

  • Abuse of tags has been changed as follows (underline = new text):
    Bad-faith placing of non-content tags such as {{afd}}, {{delete}}, {{sprotected}}, or other tags on pages that do not meet such criteria. This includes removal of extremely-long-standing bad-faith removal of {{policy}} and related tags without forming consensus on such a change first.
    I am concerned that "bad-faith" is undefinable, and so provides a wikilawyer's defense leading to unproductive arguments. OTOH the issue is only whether the reverting editor is able to describe the removal as vandalism.
  • Silly vandalism has inserted "blatant" (is that word necessary?):
    Adding profanity, graffiti, random characters (gibberish), or other blatant nonsense to pages
  • User and user talk page vandalism has inserted "within the control" which is too strong:
    Unwelcome, illegitimate edits to another person's user page may be considered vandalism. User pages are regarded as within the control of their respective users and, with certain exceptions, should not be edited without permission of the user to whom they belong. See WP:UP#OWN. Related is Wikipedia:No personal attacks.

I still wonder, per WP:BEANS, whether it is helpful to lovingly document all the things vandals can do, but I have made some minor changes to Bsherr's text along the lines of a general cleanup. I am not yet ready to express an opinion on whether the recent changes as a whole are desirable because, whereas many individual fixes are improvements, I am sympathetic to the view expressed in the previous section that it may not be helpful to totally reorganize this policy. Johnuniq (talk) 01:39, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

Johnuniq, thanks very much for the kind review of the changes, and for the feedback. The additional changes you made look great. Indeed, you've pointed out some good issues with my changes.
First, I did indeed misremember the phrase used in the guidelines for nonsense—it's patent, not blatant (they're synonyms, but it's preferable to be consistent, of course). I've tightened up the language in that row, and wikilinked to the nonsense guideline.
Next, the abuse of tags text. When I added "bad faith", I was trying to capture what I believe is an existing consensus that the definition actually is more expansive than indicated by the text, that removal of even recently added policy tags can be vandalism too. But I see now that even bad faith (though I disagree in that I do believe it is adequately able to be defined) is the wrong phrase, because we do recognize the concept of good faith vandalism. I think the better word is "baseless", so I'll change it to that.
Finally, user space vandalism. As you notice, I've completely rewritten this row, as I mentioned in the section above. The previous text there was so utterly unhelpful, that I originally suggested the row be deleted, but in response to Wifione's valid concerns, I instead set about to make the entry useful by adding relevant policy and guidelines. Correctly phrasing the relationship between users and their user pages is very challenging. When I find myself unable to articulate it, I sometimes resort to labeling it !ownership (like our !vote jargon). Wikipedia outright refutes that users own their user pages, of course, but, on the other hand, it's frowned upon, or discouraged, or in poor form, or whatever..., to edit other people's user pages. I attempted to define that relationship as one of "control" (short of ownership, but greater than the interest of the common), but maybe that's too strong, too. So I do need help with this. An alternative is just not labeling it at all: "Unwelcome, illegitimate edits to another person's user page may be considered vandalism. User pages usually should not be edited without permission of the user to whom they belong." I also notice now that I completely neglected to address user talk pages, which I'll remedy.
--Bsherr (talk) 14:54, 24 October 2010 (UTC)

The use of the Term Vandalism, to characterise useless distruction, from an Educational Institution, Organisation, Web Site or Encyclopedia, is inapropriate

The Vandals are not a lost tribe somewwhere in ancient History .

Even if it was it, would be inapropriate. But it wouldn't be insulting, as there would be noone to recieve the insult.

But the Vandals are not.

We learn that from around 1540, the Swedish king had been styled, Suecorum, Gothorum et Vandalorum Rex: King of the Swedes, Goths and Vendes. So we see that the name is not a name that the Romans used to call that specific tribe, but a name that they themselves were using.

So isn't it insulting to adopt the name of a tribe, an ethnic group, or a nation, to describe a negative act or behaviour ? Surely it is . Imagine how would you fell if we would oficialy adopt in Wikipedia the terms : brittons the Brutals , french or galls the hypocrites, hellenes the thieves, or germans the selfish.

So I would suugest to ask from the Wikipedia, to quit using this term to define something negative . Henri Grégoire had his reasons. I do not know to say If he was rigjht or not. I know to say however that "labeling" , an ethnic group , as thoughtless distructors, is NOT AT ALL a simple, and safe thing to do.

Offcourse some will say that it is not the Ethnic Group labeled negatively, it is the act taking the name of the group, however i suppose that you all know by now, that it might be more than half of those that heard or even use, the word to describe the destruction, that they do not have an Idea about the Vandals Homeland, History, and not an Idea that until Today the name is used by an Ethnic ,Group in Europe. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Nikitas.palojannides (talkcontribs) 14:22, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia is using the term vandalism in its modern sense (an act of destruction). I'd suggest you first change the English language and then we might consider changing our use of the term. –xenotalk 14:25, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
Believe it or not, this is the not first time this request has come up: Are there any versions of this warning which do not include an ethnic slur?. — Kralizec! (talk) 14:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

We can sidestep the whole debate with a suitable synonym for vandalism. How about sabotage, defacement, disruption, or destruction? —Quantling (talk | contribs) 20:43, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Our own article on the subject indicates that they ceased to be a separate and distinct ethnic group nearly 1,500 years ago, so who exactly is it that is being offended? The meanings of words and symbols can and do change over time. This is a ridiculous objection brought up for it's own sake with no basis in reality. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:05, 19 December 2010 (UTC)

VANDTYPES could be changed

no changes implemented, edit warring over tags still considered edit warring

The POV or BIAS tag could be changed. When placed on a page it says, among other things, "Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (January 2009)." However, the WP:LAMEest thing happened when WP:CABALDEMONS worked together to continually remove the tag despite its clear language not to remove it. You see, between that language and WP:VANDTYPES, I assumed it was vandalism to remove the tag. So, since active and constructive conversation on the issue was occurring in Talk, and for the reasons stated above, I restored it 4 times and, as a result, got blocked under WP:3RR by an action started by one of the cabalists.

My suggestion to prevent such an occurrence in the future would be to remove the language "Please do not remove this message until the dispute is resolved. (January 2009)" from the message.

Alternatively, VANDTYPES could be edited to explicitly state removing the POV or BIAS tag is not vandalism.

Better yet, a decision could be made that removing the tag is indeed vandalism. Then the VANDTYPES page could be updated. I think that would be ideal given the purpose and usage guidelines for the POV/BIAS tag.

So, what do you think? I am going to paste this same message on the Template messages/Disputes page. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 22:53, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

I don't think this has been a problem for anyone but you. Calling other editors "CABALDEMONS" is a personal attack - please assume good faith.   Will Beback  talk  22:58, 23 November 2010 (UTC)
You too, Will Beback, WP:AGF. I was unaware of the limitations of the CABALDEMONS page back then and now even agree with you about userfying the page. It is not a personal attack to have been victimized by a cabal than call the cabal what it is. Recently, something WP:LAME occurred precisely because people worked together to precipitate a 3RR action against me that was ultimately unblocked. This should not happen to anyone else. I am perfectly in my rights to raise this legitimate and even compelling issue here, and there is no need for you to be uncivil and say, "I don't think this has been a problem for anyone but you." While you may be right, the purpose of coming here is to prevent it from recurring. Please be civil. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 15:56, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
"It is not a personal attack to have been victimized by a cabal than call the cabal what it is.". Calling editors, even if perceived as a cabal, demonic is indeed a personal attack and uncivil. Westbender (talk) 16:14, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
That was just the shortcut name of the page having limitations. That's all. I had no choice in it and did not then know that WP:CABALS is a much better page or that it even existed. Be assured, no one here is a demon, except for Maxwell. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 16:24, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
No, the name of that page is Wikipedia:Cabals are evil, not WP:CABALDEMONS. It's not even clear that there is a cabal at work, and claiming there is one without any proof is another failure to assume good faith.   Will Beback  talk  21:32, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Will Beback, I looked at the page again to see if you were correct. On the page it lists the shortcuts you use to reference the page. Those shortcuts are CABALEVIL and CABALDEMONS. I chose the latter because it was the lesser of two evils, in my opinion. When I reference pages having shortcuts, I use the shortcuts. Most people do. That's why they are there. I added the word "shortcut" to the sentence above where I said, "That was just the name of the page having limitations." I should have said, I guess, "That was just the shortcut name of the page having limitations." I apologize if I confused you. But I now understand why you continue to raise these minor issues and try to exploit them, since you told another editor you are gathering evidence for an ANI about my supposed personal attacks. I suppose you'll use what I have said here as evidence, among other things, and that is likely why you have been teasing out various answers from me. I hope the evidence also shows how you seek to manufacture evidence from the slightest deviations in perfection that you can use for an ANI. And there was/is a cabal at work on the SPLC page, and its growing, with now yet another person outing me, besides yourself. But I need not discuss that now. I'll wait for your ANI. --LegitimateAndEvenCompelling (talk) 21:56, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
You're the only editor to ever use that shortcut.   Will Beback  talk  22:11, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Nobody will be using it now. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:29, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

VAND#NOT -> Sockpuppetry

I notice that sockpuppetry is not explicitly listed here. While this technically falls under the umbrella of disruptive editing, I think it would help to clarify it as not vandalism. Are there any objections? I could add it to the disruptive part, with an explanation that disruptive editing/sockpuppetry in the absence of purposeful defacement doesn't qualify as vandalism. Magog the Ogre (talk) 04:27, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

I wouldn't think there would be much likelihood of confusion. Vandalism always concerns the substance of the edit, while sockpuppetry never concerns the substance of the edit, only the fact of the edit. But if you nonetheless think it may be confused, the cost of being explicit is usually less than the consequence of not, so I'd accept it. --Bsherr (talk) 04:38, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

My experience says people do get it confused [4]. Magog the Ogre (talk) 21:13, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Well, that user is correct, to the extent that the user identifies conduct that is vandalism, whether sockpuppetry is employed or not. That's going to be the problem. _____ is not vandalism unless it is used to vandalize. That's going to be a long list: (automated and semiautomated tool abuse, multiple account abuse, administrator tool abuse, trolling, placing irrelevant images, eating egg salad sandwiches, and on and on) until we've distinguished every other kind of abuse. Like I said, it might be worth adding, but it might be better to explain to users (perhaps even in the policy) that vandalism concerns the appropriateness of the substance of the edit only, not the method. --Bsherr (talk) 23:09, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

Some slight changes which do not change sense

Changed a little of the wording to be more precise. Should not change the meaning. But if you think it does, make appropriate revisions. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jackfirst (talkcontribs) 19:56, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

Looks fine. User, editor, and contributor are all considered synonymous in WP:Glossary, though. --Bsherr (talk) 20:06, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
I'm also progressively spiffing the text for syntax, sentence flow, and clarity. Note that this is not test editing. Change anything you like, but I think it reads better now.
On these "official" pages, there seems to be a general reluctance to make purely editorial changes, even if these don't change the sense of the page at all. Likely, this is because nobody wants to stir the pot just because of grammer. I'll bite the bullet, but if there are any objections, let me know or just change them. Jackfirst (talk) 22:52, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
The edits look fine. Thanks for your work. Can't speak to other talk pages, but it's appreciated here. I've been gradually replacing use of the second person with the imperative, since it's more concise and formal. --Bsherr (talk) 23:30, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
On more-or-less sober second thought, agree about imperative, where appropriate.
Moreover, "you" can sometimes be a loaded word. Not what we want more of around here. IIRC, somewhere on the rule pages is something about avoiding the use of the word "you" in discussions with other editors. YMMV. Jackfirst (talk) 17:28, 20 January 2011 (UTC)
Heh. That's silly. Reminds me of Robert's Rules. I thank the lady or gentleman above for that interesting piece of information. --Bsherr (talk) 17:56, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Removal of template listing here

Is there a compelling reason that the vandalism templates listed had to be removed in favor of a reference to WP:UTM? I always found the blanks located on this page to be very helpful - easier to locate here, than at UTM amongst a sea of lesser warnings - when I needed to remember their precise syntax. I would prefer to see them restored here. Thoughts? JohnInDC (talk) 20:08, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

The templates formerly listed here are the first and third in the list at WP:WARN, and there they are listed among all the others, giving the user the benefit of making a better choice. Not listing the templates here allows us to reserve the instructions for their use for WP:WARN, which avoids redundancy. I suspect most users referring to this page are contemplating the policy itself rather than looking for a handier reference to the templates. As an alternative, you might wish to try Template:Tools, either by visiting it directly or transcluding it to your user page; it has the code patterns for the basic templates in it. --Bsherr (talk) 05:03, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Well, it was just a nice easy copy / paste operation from here, with signature tildes and the page reference characters (the vertical bar, whatever that's called) already included. The templates aren't appreciably harder to find now, of course; just a dozen or so keystrokes harder to use. JohnInDC (talk) 23:59, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
If that's the reason, a solution of putting it on a different page than the policy page here would resolve your concern, right? I'm concerned with providing links to the templates without the benefit of the instructions for their use that are at WP:WARN. Is there something we can do about that? --Bsherr (talk) 01:47, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Theres been no consensus for removing this. i too think its palcement here was warranted.(Lihaas (talk) 02:03, 31 December 2010 (UTC)).
Lihaas, I can't assume you still object unless you discuss it here. What are your reasons for wanting to keep this template? --Bsherr (talk) 17:06, 31 December 2010 (UTC)

I am finding that I do in fact miss the handy cut-and-paste reference that the links here provided. WP:UTM provides a useful, broader structure for the use of templates in general, but the templates shown there are truncated and do not offer the same handy, thumbnail summaries that the collection here did. I don't much see the danger in providing a summary of links here, with a notation that broader instructions for their use may be found elsewhere, unless there really has been a problem with novice editors inappropriately placing Vandalism tags on articles because the information on this page is too sketchy. I'd prefer to leave it in. JohnInDC (talk) 13:49, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

I understand you personally miss it, but could you explain why moving it to another page wouldn't address your concerns? It's not that the information here is sketchy; rather, there is no information on this page about the templates: no explanation of their parameteres, no explanation of what the levels mean, no instructions for how they should be formatted on a talk page, essentially nothing. The template in question even contains deprecated and circular descriptions of the user warning templates. What are the benefits for having it? --Bsherr (talk) 17:11, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I freely admit that my reasons are personal. I am just supposing that others share these same personal reasons, and thought to speak for them, and myself, with my comments. Yes, the templates could easily exist on another page. (I have preferred not to create a user page or subpages, so putting it there wouldn't work for me, but of course that's my issue, and one that I suspect many fewer editors share.) The benefits of having them here are, they are handy, and offer up a quick and obvious solution for any inexperienced editor who is confronted with vandalism and wants to figure out what to do about it. (They will find this page long before they find WP:UTM.) Whatever problems they might've presented, they were useful and Good Enough. Finally, it's not my intention to raise a big stink about any of this, just instead to air my concerns, and if it winds up off the page (permanently!), I'll just have to get used to it! JohnInDC (talk) 17:54, 10 January 2011 (UTC)
I do want to try any help you out. What about creating a summary page for the vandalism-series templates that's simplified from WP:UTM? --Bsherr (talk) 18:00, 10 January 2011 (UTC)

That would be better than nothing, but keeping them on this page is preferable in my mind, as a matter of usability, especially for new, well meaning users. Someone anting to address vandalism is likely to come here first, and having the common warnings right on the page, instead of a separate page, amongst many others, is just easier for them. There's enough complexity to Wikipedia policies without needing to run around to other pages.oknazevad (talk) 14:56, 11 January 2011 (UTC)

Agree, this is a useful shortcut to the most used templates. WP:UTM doesn't seem to have the same format, so is leas useful for a basic user talk message, though of course it includes templates for more complex situations. On that basis and the maroiry of views above am restoring it. Please seek consensus before removing it again, dave souza, talk 17:20, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
You haven't addressed any of the concerns I raised for doing so. If you want to leave it in while it's discussed, that's fine, but it should carry the needed advisories until those concerns are addressed. --Bsherr (talk) 14:28, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
restoring while discussing.
I also feel its provides a much easier posting template, though im fine with making it smaller (removing the delete one). the quick ref on the most commonly used with a requisite link off to the others seems to be working. Why fix whats not broekn?(Lihaas (talk) 03:49, 15 January 2011 (UTC)).
Doesn't all of that describe the current revision? --Bsherr (talk) 03:50, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
No. It does not. The original version had two sets of templates (vandalism and removal of content) and included a dummy page parameter. The original was better for cut and paste, and more flexible. I would prefer to see the original listing restored while this discussion continues, and agree that the burden of persuasion falls on the person seeking to make the change (that is to say, on Bsherr). (Perhaps someone can figure out a way to add appropriate cautionary language to the original listing?) JohnInDC (talk) 11:59, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
ditto, the original did have additional parametres already posted. (ie- "{{subst:uw-vandalism1|PageName}} Lihaas (talk) 18:22, 15 January 2011 (UTC) ")
Please dont revert until WP:Consensus which is definately NOT given here, yet anyways. per WP:BRD which your initial addition was fine.(Lihaas (talk) 18:21, 15 January 2011 (UTC)).
I've ensured the pagename parameter is retained. --Bsherr (talk) 16:06, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

I still sorta liked the other better but this is good enough for me and I appreciate the effort. Thanks. JohnInDC (talk) 21:48, 16 January 2011 (UTC)

It seems everyone but bsherr agrees on retaining it. He doesnt have consensus for change apparently only he likes(Lihaas (talk) 21:09, 17 January 2011 (UTC)).
Lihaas, what about my revision do you find unsatisfactory? Per BRD, it's incumbent upon you to discuss, not just revert. --Bsherr (talk) 21:19, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
Bsherr, it's incumbent on you to get consensus for changes you want made, and you won't get that consensus by trying to edit war your changes in, and demanding that others "discuss" your unilateral changes to the status quo. The original version is a good shorthand guide to the most commonly used templates for the tedious task of dealing with vandalism, making it harder by demanding individual attention to every possible template merely increases the difficulty of dealing with this perennial problem. We can and do link to the other options, but they're not needed for run of the mill vandalism. . . dave souza, talk 22:18, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
I understand that view. I'm not trying to edit war my changes in. But I can't possibly conform them if I don't know what's wrong with them. What's the problem with adding the notice boxes, confining it to just the vandalism series (a change Lihaas proposed), and changing the descriptors to match the ones at WP:WARN? --Bsherr (talk) 22:52, 17 January 2011 (UTC)
id accomodate to vandalism with the requisite link to the others, however, per above, the format for the "article" name and other info (see the emphasis i added above) would be better. and wed also get rid of the big tag.(Lihaas (talk) 23:02, 18 January 2011 (UTC)).
Ok, good. Well, the edit most recently reverted had the page name parameter, and it also had the vandalism template series with the link to the others, so I'm assuming that's not the reason it was reverted, yes? I assume by the big tag you mean the notice message box. I'm can compromise from my position that there should be no examples of the templates, but then the notice box is essential. I explained the problem above. We're providing code for using these templates with absolutely no instructions for their use. And we're putting it into the policy not because it's relevant to the policy (how to use the user warning templates is not policy), but for the convenience of users who find using WP:WARN overwhelming. The notice box only says (1) there are other templates, and (2) read the instructions before using them. I'd welcome a more concise message box. But if you disagree with including the notice box at all, can you explain why? --Bsherr (talk) 17:17, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Ok, so no objections to restoring the last revision I presented? --Bsherr (talk) 22:31, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
Which version is that again? JohnInDC (talk) 11:53, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
Revision 408218795, of course incorporating subsequent unrelated revisions. --Bsherr (talk) 23:49, 30 January 2011 (UTC)

Well, I'm in about the same place I was before, which is that I found the original (with the 'blanking' templates and fuller descriptions) more useful but if there's a particular reason to with the revised version, I can live with it. (Needless to say - yet somehow I am saying it - I do not speak for the others.) JohnInDC (talk) 17:34, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

ALL other usrers support the first version, Bsherr is the ONLY one to oppose. we cant bend just to accomodate him alone!Lihaas (talk) 21:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Lihaas, could you address my questions to you above? Otherwise, would you consider dispute resolution? --Bsherr (talk) 02:41, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
you have to first get consensus. so far every other editor here has already signaled they find it useful and pertinent.
the editors who objected to your initial WP:Bold move (which then mandates WP:BRD) also seem to already understand its utility. the onus then (after the first bold move) lies with you to get consensus.Lihaas (talk) 21:27, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I already know that. I've modified my original proposal to address your and JohnInDC's concerns. Why do you still object? What changes to my porposed revision would be necessary for you to agree? --Bsherr (talk) 17:57, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Removing edit warring from see also

May the link to edit warring be removed from the see also section? It's the only conduct policy listed in the see also section, and it arguably is as related to the topic of vandalism as any of the others (civility, no personal attacks, ownership, etc.): related only in that it's separate and distinguishable from vandalism. With that explanation, it's already linked in the page lede and in the "not" section. Is there any other reason to consider it related to the policy? --Bsherr (talk) 01:33, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

IMPOV, removing it from there was wise. Mikael Häggström (talk) 13:23, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Trimming anonymity of vandals by including locale

Since most vandals use IP addresses, and probably continue to vandalize again at the same IP, I'm wondering if we should include our awareness of the locale in warnings. It's already a simple step to find out this information by anyone curious. My theory is that even vandals have a certain, if maybe limited, amount of pride in where they live, and might feel embarrassed about having their locale mentioned.

Example template: Reverted 1 edit by (talk) located in City name, State or country name, identified as vandalism to last revision by . . .

Thoughts? --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 05:59, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

  • I like it. This would be a good way to let the IP know that some of their info is in the public domain. Jusdafax 06:26, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
    • I agree; unfortunately, I don't know how to retrieve information about City and State of anonymous vandals. Can you please explain? Thanks.--Broletto (talk) 09:00, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
      • IP tracking and WHOIS, maybe? I've been using that a number of times to nail socks based in Australia (particularly Victoria) and in Britain. --Eaglestorm (talk) 10:44, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
  • This company is one of many cites that let the buyer download an entire IP database for use on their servers. Then someone would need to program a template to merge the info. from that database. --Wikiwatcher1 (talk) 22:17, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I must disagree. We allow Wikipedia editors to remain anonymous. Unnecessarily calling attention to their biographical details, even if publicly available, isn't consistent with that. --Bsherr (talk) 22:19, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I disagree too. We should assume good faith even among many reverted edits, and explicitly showing the location would be a bit like biting the newcomers. Those who want to scare vandals by stating "I know in which city you live" on their talk pages may use any of those look-up functions already out there on the web. Mikael Häggström (talk) 13:13, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Spelling vandalism


Recently, I reverted changes by a user who:

  • changed spelling of "accessdate" and "archivedate" parameters in a template that resulted in the use of the template being broken
  • changed spelling of <blockquote> HTML markup so that the HTML markup was broken
  • changed spelling of "wiktionary:" namespace preview so wikilinks were broken

At the same time, the user changed:

  • "[...W]hatever" to "[...W]whatever"
  • "licencing" to "licensing"
  • "personhood" to "person hood"

Was this the case of a user blindly running spellcheck on wiki markup, or was it a case of intentional vandalism?

--Kevinkor2 (talk) 08:57, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Given that the user in question is unregistered with no prior edits, and that they also made this edit (which no spellchecker could possibly produce) I think it's vandalism. Hut 8.5 15:27, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Maybe they wrote their own spellchecker? Rich Farmbrough, 20:43, 23 February 2011 (UTC).

Issues with the section: How to spot vandalism

Doubting recent changes is THE best method

I doubt the following statement in the How to spot vandalism section: "The best ways to detect vandalism are through recent changes patrolling, using the recent changes link to spot articles with edits that have come from IP addresses, []". Of course it's extremely important, but so are the other examples given there, and I actually think it should say something like "a very useful way to detect vandalism is...", in order to give relatively more weight to the other methods, thereby motivating a more muli-targeted combination therapy against vandalism. There's no function that labels edits as reviewed or not on the recent changes list (in contrast to the list for pending changes), so vandalism may very well slip through it without being spotted, so I personally don't regard it as being the best. Mikael Häggström (talk) 13:02, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Convert to list format?

I think the methods given in How to spot vandalism should be converted to list format for better overview. What do you think? Mikael Häggström (talk) 13:21, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Not just IP

In addition to "to spot articles with edits that have come from IP addresses", I think "red linked or obviously improvised usernames" should also be mentioned as something like "suspicious factors". Mikael Häggström (talk) 13:42, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Refer to the reality rather than Example.jpg and Example.ogg?

I think the statement "Likewise, File:Example.jpg and File:Example.ogg are good places to find many test edits or vandalism." should be replaced with something like "a good way to start is to click on every edit in watchlists, histories etc. with the least suspicion of being vandalism. Increased experience will probably give a sense of which edit descriptions are worth to check further and which may likely be ignored." Of course, those who want to add File:Example.jpg and File:Example.ogg to their watchlists may still do so - I'm just saying that actively dealing with existing cases is probably better for learning than looking at old and already solved ones. Mikael Häggström (talk) 13:42, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Please explain the "what links here"-method

Frankly, I don't really get the point in the statement "See the what links here pages for Insert text, Link title, Headline text, and Bold text". What in those target pages indicate that vandalism has been committed? Mikael Häggström (talk) 13:51, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

I'm going to revise the section How to spot vandalism according to the issues presented above in a couple of days. Comments and suggestions are still appreciated. Mikael Häggström (talk) 08:10, 19 February 2011 (UTC)
I may comment later, but all I am really concerned about atm is that we do not violate WP:BEANS by explaining what kind of vandalism causes the most trouble, or by listing innovative forms of vandalism.
I think the "what links here" point is that some kinds of nonsense are performed frequently as test edits. If you see what articles use the "example" image, you will possibly find an article where someone has inappropriately inserted that image. Johnuniq (talk) 04:03, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining the "what links here"-method. The method, however, apparently has both low sensitivity and specificity - only a very small fraction of vandalisms use them, and the cases where they occur are more likely test edits, and as such I think it should be mentioned separately, such as at the bottom of the section, perhaps with a " detect test edits." at the end. Mikael Häggström (talk) 05:28, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
I made the suggested changes now. Still, please comment if anything appears inappropriate. Mikael Häggström (talk) 12:39, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

What if...

...Somebody vandalized this page as an ironic joke? Would the wikipeople bitch at them? Q̬̲̜̲͔̤̓̈́̿̿͑̄́͜W̉ͬͯ͗̄ͥͩ͑̎̚҉͡҉̨̯̰͚̰̩̹̗̳̪͎͈̲͖͕̀ͅE̸̵͓͖̳̠̤̣̞̠̤ͯ̓ͮ̄͋͂̃ͦ̈̓͊ͮṚ̛̣̘͇̩̘͚̯̞̤̮͍̥̰͇̻͔̯̾ͯ̒̑̾ͤ̏̑̋͠ͅT̴̛̗̥̺̠̖͙͓̟̙̞͙͇̳̖͈͊ͫͦ̔ͪ͑̏̊Y̢̛̫͚̘̪̅̇͐ͣ̈̈͋̕͜ 20:24, 26 July 2010 (UTC) QWERTY531 (talk · contribs)

No, we would block them. Vandalism is vandalism no matter where it occurs, and this actually has happened before. (hint:it's neither ironic nor funny) Beeblebrox (talk) 20:27, 26 July 2010 (UTC)
Nice unicode. -- œ 16:11, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

I am new to Wikipedia vandalism. Could someone provide me info on how to vandalise Wikipedia and which are the best articles for vandalizing? Also, I would also like to vandalize every page by putting a personal appeal on top of every page. How to do that? Please help. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:19, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

Have you ever noticed there's a close button on those banners (which are not vandalism or even page-specific) and that they appear above the title? They're not designed to be hard-coded into pages. T3h 1337 b0y 01:14, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

If you want to do some vandalism, do it all on my userpage rather than ruining an article that people have put all their hard work into. I couldn't care less what anyone does to my userpage, so have fun. —Reelcheeper (talk) 00:49, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Anonymous user -> unregistered user

{{editsemiprotect}} As per

I think referring to unregistered users as "anonymous users" is incorrect and confusing. Registered users who do not adopt their real name as their username are also anonymous. In fact, registered users are arguably more anonymous, since their IP address is hidden.

Also, the phrases "anonymous user" or "anon" are often used in a discriminatory way by editors who do not fully appreciate (yet) the value and potential of unregistered users.

In light of this, please make the following changes in this project page:

  • "For repeated vandalism by an anonymous [[IP address]]" -> "For repeated vandalism by an [[WP:IP|IP user]]" (or "For repeated vandalism by an [[WP:UAL#unregistered|unregistered user]]"
  • "For repetitive anonymous vandalism, particularly where registered to a school" -> "Particularly if the IP address is registered to a school" (also removing repetition)

Thank you. (talk) 13:34, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Done -- John of Reading (talk) 13:43, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

In a nutshell

It says, "repetitively and intentionally making abusive edits to Wikipedia will result in a block". Is "repetitively" necessary? It seems to let prospective vandals know that they won't be blocked for a first offense. I've been here for about 4 months, and I'm only now beginning to realize what a major problem vandalism is here. I know that most vandals aren't blocked for a first offense, and I'm all in favor of giving them the chance to become productive contributors. But I don't think that the "nutshell" of our policy should be stating that repetitive vandalism must occur before an editor will be blocked. Could we change it to simply, "Intentionally making abusive edits to Wikipedia will result in a block?" Joefromrandb (talk) 09:00, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

After 4 months here, I'm still always afraid that my edits are going to be "wrong". I'm constantly being encouraged to be bold, so that's what I did here. I made the change I suggested, per WP:BRD. I'm fully aware that it may be quickly reverted, which, of course, is fine. Joefromrandb (talk) 09:10, 13 March 2011 (UTC)


In response to a conversation on #wikipedia-en-help, I've added "impersonating another user" to the list of actions that constitute "sneaky vandalism." I don't really think there's dispute over whether this constitutes vandalism, but I'm mentioning it here in case anyone wants to take issue with it. —Tim Pierce (talk) 19:42, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Are editing tests considered vandalism or not?

This Level 2 user talk warning indicates that test edits appear to be vandalism, and this Level 3 warning says that test edits do constitute vandalism. However, WP:NOTVAND says that test edits are not vandalism. Which is it? Can someone explain this? Nightscream (talk) 01:05, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

The template structure presumes the person receiving a level three warning has already gotten the level 2 or some other form of warning or notice. Therefore there is no longer any need to assume they are acting in good faith and are deliberately ignoring the previous warning. At that point further testing is being done in bad faith in the full knowledge that they are ignoring site policy, therefore making it de facto vandalism. Beeblebrox (talk) 03:01, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I have removed the word 'vandalism' from the L2 test template per WP:NOT VANDALISM, but agree with Beeblebrox that it should remain in the L3 warning in line with that templates faith assumption. Pol430 talk to me 21:06, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

failure to explain why there is such vandalism

i guess an effort should be done in order to understand why this vandalism happens, is it because someone wants to spread a message through the Wikipedia, for political reasons, for economic reasons... or is it more deeper, as an act of defiance to the Wikipedia structure? to criticize wikipedia itself, what do you think of this? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:17, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

There's a mix of reasons (and none). See Wikipedia:The motivation of a vandal. -- zzuuzz (talk) 19:20, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
(ec) I would guess it's mostly just people fooling about in an immature way, thinking (wrongly) that they're doing something clever or original. But until someone researches the question, there's not much we can say about it. --Kotniski (talk) 19:22, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

When not to revert

I think this page should be a bit clearer on when not to revert. I just had a bunch of my edits reverted, and to be blunt, it pisses me off. The reverter used an automated tool to delete everything. He or she didn't check the actual contents, didn't check the relevant talk page, probably didn't check my contribution history (which goes back to 2004). I realize I can just undo the reversion (and I did), and that this action at least marginally falls under "good faith", but the point is it still feels like vandalism - and which is much, much worse than random teenagers scribbling profanity - it is nominally backed by WP policies. Thus, it has the potential to drive me away in disgust from WP as such. It is therefor much more crucial to avoid over-eager anti-vandalism than it is to avoid vandalism -- and the anti-vandals ought to know it. Ketil (talk) 12:48, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

it is nominally backed by WP policies - well no it isn't. This page makes it very clear that good faith edits are not vandalism, and Wikipedia:Rollback is clear that the feature is not to be used on good faith edits. In this case I suspect that the reverting editor just made a mistake - they are human after all. Hut 8.5 13:20, 28 April 2011 (UTC)
What I mean by "nominally backed" is that the reverts contain various links to "offical" WP pages, and thus confer an impression of official sanction. And this page backs anti-vandalism in general. Sure it's a mistake, but a potentially costly one; my point is that I think this page should be clearer in order to avoid it. Ketil (talk) 13:38, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

This is frustrating

Read this: Talk:Bhopal#Population. This is not the first of it's type I am encountering. It seems that very often things get vandalized in ways that are difficult to identify (e.g. the population count in this case - one needs to check the reference and search through some 20 page PDF to check the numbers). Often they are good-faith original researches. So those vandalisms remain un-reverted for ages. This is frustrating! How are we supposed to battle such things? I bet there are hundreds of other articles where numerics data have been vandalized and went undetected. Is it possible to prevent anonymous IPs from editing numerics? - Subh83 (talk | contribs) 19:32, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Question along similar line: Is there a tool that will let me find the diff in which a particular part (sentence/word/phrase) of the article was first created. E.g., in the above example, if I were to check when and who (and the corresponding diff) introduced/changed the value of the population of Bhopal to 2,958,416, is there a tool that can help rather than myself trying to search through all the diff history manually (which may almost be impossible)? - Subh83 (talk | contribs) 19:58, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Changing dates and numbers is one of the worst kinds of vandalism, because it often goes unnoticed and/or persons reviewing the edits don't know which number is correct anyway. However I'm pretty sure the answer to both of your questions is no. There is no way to stop editing of one particular portion of a page, and there is no tool I am aware of that is capable of the type of function you mention. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:18, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
Many vandals are unsophisticated about it and make other more obvious changes, or make changes to the numbers that are just implausible (population over 1 billion). But I agree, unless you really want to dig, you just need to AGF on most such changes. That said, its also not particularly visible vandalism, as most people wont notice or rely on the bad information. Monty845 20:24, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
@Subh83: there is WikiBlame for doing exactly that. —EncMstr (talk) 20:59, 29 April 2011 (UTC)
EncMstr, thanks so much! WikiBlame is excellent. I were able to find the diff in the above example using Wikiblame and indeed it seems to be a vandalism by an anonymous IP. However the tool seems to be working very slow. But at least it is better than manually searching all of the history. (P.S. The original link to the tool is broken. It can be accessed from toolserver). - Subh83 (talk | contribs) 21:27, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

Contested edit and suggested policy

I suggest that when contesting edits which are particularly sensitive such as those involving policy, that the reversions not be aggregated but be done one at a time. That way people can dissect the issue. In any case, I dispute this revert:

One is primarily a reversion of what is really just a matter of good composition practice, but the other is substantive. In particular, it seems self evident that some behaviors constitute vandalism but only if they achieve a certain quantitative threshold. I think reasonable persons can differ on that point.

The other reversion which I disagree with seems to think that everyone is aware of the distinction between a synonym and a genera-subspecie relationship between two items. There is a difference.Bard गीता 18:49, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, but I have also reverted your recent two edits. My understanding is that where a bold change has been reverted, the editor proposing the change should provide an explanation of why the change is desirable. However, here is a quick explanation for my reverts: (1) The simple wording "Vandalism on Wikipedia usually falls into one or more of these categories" is clear, unambiguous, and correct. There is no need to provide an introduction that would be more suitable for an academic paper (who cares what is the basis for the categories—experience has shown these are the categories worth mentioning, and that's all that is helpful here). (2) Harassment is prohibited (see WP:HARASS), but harassment is not vandalism as that word should be used at Wikipedia. Vandalism is when someone intentionally inserts bad text, and anything else is not to be called "vandalism". An edit saying "editor X is an expletive" might be reverted per WP:NPA, but it should not be called "vandalism" (unless there is good reason to believe it is, such as a new editor dropping such phrases into multiple discussions concerning different editors). (3) Admins are supposed to follow certain procedures. In some cases, failing to do so may lead to a removal of admin privilege, but the failure is not "vandalism". (4) Occasionally introducing material that fails NPOV is not vandalism, although repeatedly doing so in a blatant manner and after significant attempts at explanation have been provided, it may be acceptable to rollback the edits (I wouldn't, although I might consider rollback if the material was really bad and had repeatedly been added against consensus). Editors have lots of ways of being dumb and disruptive. Some of those methods are vandalism, but many aren't. If an editor repeatedly adds NPOV-problems, the editor is disruptive and eventually fails WP:COMPETENCE, but there is usually no reason to assume it's vandalism (it's just a failure to understand Wikipedia's principles). It certainly is not helpful to call the NPOV-problem editing vandalism—just call it disruptive because it repeatedly breaches WP:NPOV. Johnuniq (talk) 00:38, 7 May 2011 (UTC)
I have restored my above comment so it can be read. Following is my comment with non-standard interspersed replies (I removed my signature from the following, and added the unsigned template to indicate its author with timestamp). Johnuniq (talk) 22:45, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Totally absolutely you are right. I noticed the problem myself and prepared to fix it on your request. Bard गीता 22:49, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but I have also reverted your recent two edits. My understanding is that where a bold change has been reverted, the editor proposing the change should provide an explanation of why the change is desirable. However, here is a quick explanation for my reverts: (1) The simple wording "Vandalism on Wikipedia usually falls into one or more of these categories" is clear, unambiguous, and correct. [Sorry to split hairs,Wikipedia:NOTBATTLEGROUND "clear,unambiguous and correct" does not mean "sufficient" nor does it mean "correctly structured and presented". My edit addresses the problem that the list of types intermingles different categories of types; it is poorly organized. Not necessarily incorrect, but badly jumbled.- Bard गीता] There is no need to provide an introduction The standard is not an editor's subjective sense of need, the standard of inclusion is notability and relevance. WP:NOTABILITYsee also Wikipedia:DICTIONARY. Bard गीता]that would be more suitable for an academic paper Do you mean more suitable for an essay? I agree that the topic can't be adequately covered here. Please excuse me for not posting here the link to the user-space essay I am preparing at User:Geofferybard/Vandalism_typology However at bare minimum the section deserves better organization, and as an interim measure there should be some language to alert the reader that the section list mixes up two or more category of type - Bard गीता](who cares what is the basis for the categories—experience has shown these are the categories worth mentioning, and that's all that is helpful here). - Bard गीता I'll propose we split the difference and make a much briefer line to alert the reader not to overlook the fact that different typology schemes are being utilized. (2) Harassment is prohibited (see WP:HARASS), but harassment is not vandalism as that word should be used at Wikipedia. Vandalism is when someone intentionally inserts bad text, and anything else is not to be called "vandalism". John, this is simply an error on your part. There are many forms of vandalism that are other than additions of bad text. For instance, arbitrary deletion. I am sure that if you pause and review this material you will agree that there are forms of vandalism which do not meet the criteria of being additive. Maybe it is time to slow down, both of us, step back and do a reality check that this dispute is starting to become more about ego and being right than about the quality of the article?An edit saying "editor X is an expletive" might be reverted per WP:NPA, but it should not be called "vandalism" There is no point to this argument this is not at issue, whatsoever. (unless there is good reason to believe it is, such as a new editor dropping such phrases into multiple discussions concerning different editors). John the following argument is an entirely different issue and I am creating a new section for it. -Geof(3) Admins are supposed to follow certain procedures. In some cases, failing to do so may lead to a removal of admin privilege, but the failure is not "vandalism". (4) Occasionally introducing material that fails NPOV is not vandalism, although repeatedly doing so in a blatant manner and after significant attempts at explanation have been provided, it may be acceptable to rollback the edits (I wouldn't, although I might consider rollback if the material was really bad and had repeatedly been added against consensus). Editors have lots of ways of being dumb and disruptive. Some of those methods are vandalism, but many aren't. If an editor repeatedly adds NPOV-problems, the editor is disruptive and eventually fails WP:COMPETENCE, but there is usually no reason to assume it's vandalism (it's just a failure to understand Wikipedia's principles). It certainly is not helpful to call the NPOV-problem editing vandalism—just call it disruptive because it repeatedly breaches WP:NPOV. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Geofferybard (talkcontribs) 22:03, 9 May 2011
I have read through the above comments but am not sure how to respond because it is not clear whether there is a proposal to change WP:Vandalism. Since the page is not an article, there is no need to consider WP:NOTABILITY or to provide an exhaustive analysis of the topic. The page is just advice for editors at Wikipedia (of course, as a policy it's stronger than advice). If there is a proposal for a change, please make it in a new section, with a brief reason for why the change is desirable. Johnuniq (talk) 23:21, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Is administrative action ever "vandalism"

== John's Point (3): Is administrative action ever "vandalism" ==

This item (3) was intermingled in a BIG BLOCK OF TEXT which discussed entirely different reversion discussion which occurred on a different date. For the sake of clarity and keeping our sanity this section is created to keep the issues separate and clear.


3) Admins are supposed to follow certain procedures. In some cases, failing to do so may lead to a removal of admin privilege, but the failure is not "vandalism".


This is probably in regard to John's reversion of an addition I made to the mixed list of types of vandalism. This occured in the context of the article which discussed types of vandalism based upon different criteria and included a discussion of a type of vandalism based upon the role and status of the perpetrator, eg., "ex-wikipedian". A similar type list might include: immature-delinquent, vindictive-real-world-enemy, vindictive-editor, wikipedia-hater, topic-related-extremist vandal.

As luck would have it, the particular "type" I added was administrative-vandal.

Rather than press the point, I withdrew from the debate and started gathering evidence that on some collaborative media, somewhere, in the whole wide universe, there just might be a specimen of administrative vandalism.

Ironically, I was alerted to an alleged case of that occuring, after this exchange with Johnuniq. However, I am not using that alleged case because it is an ongoing dispute that I want nothing to do with.

However, John has kindly offered the above comment, and I have no problem with discussing it here. I am NOT charging back onto the mainspace Project Page and reinserting my information. Actually, it is not, as John seems to believe a bit more adamantly than might be warranted, not "correct". The issue really is that it may be OR (original research).

So John should be happy because (1) he "won" in the sense that I yielded the field as far as his deletion, even though he does not establish that his opinion/POV is the one which is "correct".

Does anyone who gives it much thought really believe that of the hundreds of collaborative wikis around the world, in all languages, that there is never ever any activity by individuals or groups of admins which cross the line into vandalism?

That is not to say that the vandalism is legal or in accordance with policy. Usually, admins who abuse their privilege are disbarred. But in many countries where the government controls the web, government censors routinely deface the websites which violate their policies.

However, this is not the hill to die for. I have not prepared alternative copy for the project page. The only reason I am pursuing this is out of respect for the fact that John is willing to discuss this policy question. It would be interesting to know about more instances in which administrative accounts have been deployed in cyber-war against lesser-privileged accounts, but many people are afraid to come forward for fear of retaliation, especially since the perpetrators do hold higher administrative power.

Note that in the original edit which Johnuniq reverted because in his opinion, it was "simply incorrect" and that never ever anywhere does this occur, I in no way suggested that Wikipedia English is the site of such action.

If asked, I would reword it as thus:

Administrative vandalism: in some relatively isolated cases, individuals with minoritarian or otherwise disadvantaged viewpoints have alleged that collaborative media (wiki) administrators have abused their powers to a degree which constitutes a form of vandalism. Comments are very much appreciated, pro or con. Aside from pro or con, it would be helpful to answer these questions:

1. Do you agree that it at least theoretically possible that administrative vandalism could occur on some wiki, in some language or culture, in some country? 2. Do you believe that it is more likely or less likely to occur where there is signifigant government control of the internet? 3. Do you believe it is more likely to occur on topical wikis which mimic wikipedia from a POV perspective? 4. Do you believe it is more likely or less likely to occur on topical wikis which are created by people with extreme opinions on controversial topics or interests in unusual topics? 5. If after an honest review of questions 2-4, are you more likely to agree with an affirmative answer to #1, above? 6. Are you aware of cases? 7. Would you be willing to link to them for review?Bard गीता 22:33, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

The edit concerned inserted a claim that using administrative tools against policy is vandalism. It isn't. Vandalism, as defined by the introduction, is the bad-faith altering of content in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia. Failure to follow administrative policies does not meet this definition of vandalism. That doesn't mean that is is impossible to use administrative tools for vandalism (I can think of one occasion where this did occur), but including this type in the list isn't appropriate as the list isn't meant to be a comprehensive list of every conceivable form. It's just a list of the more common types for illustration and easy recognition. Hut 8.5 22:49, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with that. But we are in agreement it is not an impossibility. It does occur, but not as far as I know, on eng.wikipedia. It probably occurs more than anyone is inclined to talk about, particularly in other countries. I think that concept is better developed on meta or other WMF not wikipedia because (a) people will get confused and think that I am talking about wikipedia and (b) some will think it is dissing wikipedia and (c) some might even get all defensive and uptight. John pointed out that it seemed more appropriate to an academic paper, and I don't know that I disagree. As stated, I am putting these ideas into essays and much of it may be better developed at meta or in a wikibook format. Thanks for the feedback. Bard गीता 23:23, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Summary of proposal: agreement in principle to take a look at a split of section

Time permitting, a restructuring of the section on "vandalism types" may be useful in that the current list is an alphabetical listing commingling types based, for instance, on what the target is and alternatively what the methodology is. Obviously this section could be broken out but that is a fairly ambitious undertaking. I have (quite a while ago) decided to develope this concept in essays linked from my talk page and would enjoy most any feedback on them. For now, all I would hope would be for agreement in principle (1) that an alphabeticization is not necessarily the only or the best method to present the types of vandalization, and that possibly that list could be broken out into subgroups along those lines. Bard गीता 23:54, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Quarterly update

It would be helpful if, sometime in the first week of July, someone would add the changes to this page from April 1 to July 1 to WP:Update/1/Enforcement policy changes, 2011, which is transcluded at WP:Update. - Dank (push to talk) 19:16, 12 June 2011 (UTC)

Ottoman Familytree simple

This User

Permanently deletes Selim II, and replaces it with Shehzade Mustafa

Please check it...

I added Selim back in the list.

Dilek2 (talk) 02:05, 24 July 2011 (UTC)

Removing uncited contents?

I have once removed a large section from a page, because the entire section was written from someone's personal knowledge and there was no reference and not verifiable. I was told that is vandalism. So, this means original research is good to stay until contents are verified incorrect? What exactly constitutes vandalism when it comes to blanking out something that is obviously written off of top of someone's head? Cantaloupe2 (talk) 22:06, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

You are talking about original research, which usually doesn't constitute vandalism as it is someone's good-faith effort to make a contribution here. There are several options to deal with it. If it's a registered user or an anonymous editor with a reasonably stable IP address, it's always a good idea to communicate with them directly on their user talk page to let them know directly what the problems are and how they can become better editors by including sources. As far as the article content, if it seems like it may be reasonable, you can add a {{fact}} template to request a citation, or even look for sources yourself and edit the text into shape; or you can remove the material with an edit summary of "remove unsourced, apparent original research" and open an article talk page thread to note your removal of the material, including a diff of your removal. Occasionally too you will find OR like "America is evil" or "Nicaraguans control world football" which you would remove more quickly and without much extra work. It all depends on what has been added, but usually OR is not vandalism. Franamax (talk) 00:54, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
As Franamax said, a good edit summary will help distinguish your constructive removal of content from someone who is removing content inappropriately. Looking only at content an editor removes may not make it obvious why they removed it, and any large removal is suspicious, so again, a good explanation in the edit summary is critical. If you believe in good faith that policy calls for the removal of content, your removal is by definition not vandalism, even if it is mistaken for it. Just remember, that if someone disagrees with your removal, you should engage with them on a talk page to sort out your disagreement as to the application of the policy. Monty845 02:28, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
It must be remembered that large sections of Wikipedia were written before there was a need for inline citations. Martinvl (talk) 06:26, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
I didn't just mean lacking in-line citations. I come across pages with no reference, or one or two reference and contents that could not be verified through sources cited or through my attempt to validate the statement. If it's been in citation needed status for over a year and the contents can't be validated independently thorough credible published references, how would anyone know its not someone pulled from the writer's rear? Cantaloupe2 (talk) 07:34, 11 August 2011 (UTC)

Vandalism or nonsense

I have been participating in speedy deletions for a few years. What I have noticed is that there are times when I tag something as vandalism, an admin deletes it as nonsense. It has also been the other way around. Is there a clear description about the difference between vandalism and nonsense? Joe Chill (talk) 00:52, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

It is possible for something to be nonsense without being vandalism. Vandalism requires that the content be added in an attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia. Complete gibberish or completely incoherent text counts as nonsense but it doesn't necessarily become vandalism, as there are good faith reasons why people may add such content. Hut 8.5 10:25, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
What addition of gibberish or nonsense could be good faith? —EncMstr (talk) 14:43, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
Gibberish might simply be a way to experiment with the editing interface. Incoherent text might be a genuine attempt to communicate by someone who can't make themselves comprehensible. Neither of these things qualify as vandalism. Hut 8.5 20:01, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Spam external linking

Under "Types of vandalism", "Spam external linking" the policy includes:

Adding or continuing to add external links to non-notable or irrelevant sites (e.g. to advertise one's website) to pages after having been warned is vandalism, or sites that have some relationship to the subject matter, but advertise or promote in the user's interest, or text that promotes one's personal interests.

I have great difficulty untangling what this means. In particular what does "after having been warned" qualify? I think it is intended to qualify all the types of link listed here and not just those to non-notable or irrelevant sites. By way of analogy I see copyright infringement is only vandalism if continued after a warning has been issued.

Secondly, regarding the last clause, which of these is meant: "Adding or continuing to add text that promotes one's personal interests" or "Adding or continuing to add external links to text that promotes one's personal interests"? I think it must be the latter because the heading relates to external links. If the latter is intended then I am not sure that it adds anything to what has already been said.

Thirdly, adding a links to "non-notable" sites would seem to me to be a matter of editorial judgement, not necessarily vandalism, even after a warning, unless carried out on a large scale. Note: according to the present wording, nothing promotional needs to be in the non-notable site linked to.

So, taking account of Wikipedia:Spam#External_link_spamming, I suggest changing the wording to something like this:

Adding or continuing to add spam external links is vandalism if the activity continues after a warning. A spam external link is one added to a page mainly for the purpose of promoting a website, product or the user's interests rather than to improve the page editorially.

Comments? Thincat (talk) 20:07, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Unless there are objections I shall move the suggested text into the policy page. Does anyone think the present wording in the policy page is in any way satisfactory? Thincat (talk) 18:42, 5 September 2011 (UTC)
You are correct: the current wording is a problem. I like the new wording (I wonder if "the user's interests" should be "a user's interests"?). It is unfortunate that both wordings rely on what is in the mind of the person adding the link—there is no objective means to determine whether adding a link was done "for the purpose of promoting...", so it's hard to prove that adding such links is vandalism. I can't think of good wording at the moment, but it may be useful to include phrases like "without consensus", or "that conflict with the external links guideline". Johnuniq (talk) 02:09, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. I agree that "a user's" is better (and frankly "a non-user's" is also appropriate if the edit is at the behest of someone else). I also agree with your other thoughts. I had wondered about linking to WP:EL (the guideline is generally OK in my view) but linking from a policy to a guideline has caused controversy sometimes. To be honest, I don't think adding poor or promotional external links per se should be regarded as vandalism at all. Such links can simply be removed. Clearly large-scale or repeated insertion can become reason for blocking but such situations are general and not specific to spam external links. However, rather than proposing removing the criterion I thought I would make an attempt to clarify the wording to see if that improved matters sufficiently. Thincat (talk) 08:55, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
I see what you mean about linking to the guideline. The key point (I think) is that rollback can only be used for vandalism (with very limited exceptions), so if an editor repeatedly adds unwarranted external links, we need a clause saying that's vandalism so handling mass link additions can be done in a reasonable manner (i.e. with rollback). If no one has any better ideas soon, please just insert your wording. Johnuniq (talk) 10:16, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Thank you for your support. The words can be treaked afterwards. Of course there are occasions when it should be OK to rollback external links regarded as spam. Thincat (talk) 10:07, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

I have made the change discussed. I have also altered the subheader link which was to WP:Spam into a section link to Wikipedia:External links#Links_normally_to_be_avoided, as mentioned above. Thincat (talk) 19:51, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Something You'd All Like to Know

I've read several blog articles made by the whackjobs that choose to vandalize Wikipedia, just to see how they think. Almost all of them say that they choose to vandalize more discreetly, for example, "John Rutyworth is an active member in the gay rights community" instead of "John IS GAY LOL XD!!!". Just a note to keep an eye out for stuff like that. I'm not sure where this would go in the article, so I decided to post it here and somebody could put it in the appropriate section in the article. This is a problem because of the fact that we can't prove it vandalism, therefore we can't warn them. But that doesn't mean they can't still be blocked. Thanks, Belugaboycup of tea? 02:32, 10 November 2011 (UTC)

New Tool: WikiBlame

Hello there, I found a tool which is promoted on a german wikipedia page Tools/Versioning, it's called WikiBlame.

It helps you to research on which point in time a specific word or sentence has been introduced into a Wikipedia article. This greatly helps finding the culprit/author of any long overlooked act of vandalism (or perhaps only doubtful edit). This way you might be able to contact the culprit/author directly and request a statement. Perhaps it should be inluded in the "Tools" section of this page? I tested it OK. Signed, Stroganoff (talk) 23:02, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

It's already linked to from every article history (see "external tools"). Hut 8.5 23:03, 19 November 2011 (UTC)
Wow you're right. The german wikipedia does not have this feature. Maybe you should add this link anyway to this article (including a hint that's its already added to the history view of each article) because when german (or any "forgein") users try to find a way to fight "vandalism" on google they will most likely find this very page right here (so did I) with a critical bit of information missing. I hope you understand. (talk) 00:13, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

"Vandalism" is quite often a good thing


I think most acts of "vandalism" are perfectly OK. I often fight in favor of it. Supposed "vandals" don't like to be insulted and I think "vandalism" ought to be renamed as something more politically correct. For instance, just because my brain works in a way where I can't be neutral and unbiased when dealing with things I know are stupid, doesn't mean I should be degraded for it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:27, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Not every piece of disruptive editing is vandalism.Jasper Deng (talk) 03:32, 20 November 2011 (UTC)
I guess I won't remove this now it has a reply, but looking at Special:Contributions/ shows several WP:NOTFORUM violations that have been removed. I recommend this section likewise be removed, including the replies. Johnuniq (talk) 06:51, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

So now people are against me? I do just fine stating my case, making myself clear. Whether you agree with what I say or not is none of my concern. Though if I take issue with something, I am going to post where I see fit and I will NOT tolerate harassment, disrespect, or community mobbing. Now get out of my way. Thank you very much. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:09, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Enforcement issues....

I just put a 4im warning on an IP. Said just came back from a block, and said block was after receiving two warnings, the first being a 4im. For some reason, somebody gave a lesser warning the next time instead of a block. Therefore, I think we need to standardize some sort of process so those who vandalize don't get heavy warnings with no repercussions for weeks. That defeats the purpose of the warnings in the first place. MSJapan (talk) 02:45, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

First we have to define "stale", since that was likely the reason for that lesser warning. If only ClueBot NG had the ability to block users.Jasper Deng (talk) 02:47, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

30 times in 6 months?

Normally, I'm not specific about this problem to protect the identities of the others editing the article, but in this case, I feel I have to be. From the beginning:

The show Wild Kratts has a relatively small internet fanbase. Within this fanbase are two types of people: Those that support Martiva (you'll see) and those that don't. Those that support it say that there's proof within the show (mainly things like off hand comments: "I'll never doubt a platypus again."- Aviva, "Or a Kratt brother?"-Martin, "Don't push it."-Aviva; or running into each other out of fear when trying to run from something; and sometimes less than that); and those that say there's no proof, or that the proof applies to other pairings (including Martin and his brother Chris) that don't make sense and so it's not proof at all.

On the article, several members of the Martiva supporters will edit in the phrase (usually this one word for word) "[Martin] seems to be in love with Aviva", and will add the same on Aviva's section (that "[Aviva] seems to be in love with Martin"). The problem lies in that the proof brought to attention, regardless of the amount of fans that consider it proof, does not fit Wikipedia's standards. Even if they were to cite the specific instances and episodes this proof was in, it would still be removed. Not to mention the weasel words and the general bias of the statement. I tried to appease both parties by stating it in a non-biased way (something about it being unconfirmed, I can't remember what specifically I wrote), and even that was removed, proving to me that the comment shouldn't be on there at all.

My question is this: With all the problems the statement has, and the fact the edit has been removed roughly 30 times in the last six months (admittedly most of them by me in the last month, but I'm not sure it constitutes an edit war yet), and since I can't determine the faith of the editors posting it (all of them IP's, BTW), does it constitute vandalism? I'm mainly concerned with the 30-times editor than the others, but is it in reality vandalism as a whole? On the one hand, Wikipedia says nothing about such statements (mostly just about crude jokes and intentional misguidance), but really, 30 times? And the article has enough problems without the statement. (Also, the same user put the edit back in a few days ago, where it was removed by one editor, then replaced by another user, then removed again by me with a notice [I wouldn't say "warning", I just stated why we weren't allowing the comment and pointed out the problems with it] to the newer editor.)

TL;DR: Vandalism or no? Warrants warnings and banning or no? SmallCheez (talk) 06:06, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

Oh, and in case you didn't know, Martin Kratt is a real person, if that makes any difference (but the Martin Kratt referred to in the article is a cartoon character, just for clarity).SmallCheez (talk) 07:36, 3 January 2012 (UTC)

[Information removed due to question answered elsewhere; thanks anyways! :) Please revert this edit if necessary.] SmallCheez (talk) 23:39, 7 January 2012 (UTC)

Question on POV

I have not come up with a solution to this problem, but I'm hoping others might. The term "vandalism" itself, while certainly an English word in common usage, represents a Roman point of view with respect to invading German armies in the 5th century. Descendants of the east German Vandal tribe may feel threatened or marginalized by the use of this term. Some may think this is ridiculous, but the pains our community has gone through to welcome everyone and present a neutral point of view are undermined. Any suggestions for replacing this remnant of a racist linguistic past?86steveD (talk) 05:51, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Section on what is not vandalism

Couldn't the section on "What is not vandalism" have an additional note to say that what is NOT vandalism is accidentally trying to make alterations to presentations of articles, and getting things wrong by accident? This might even apply to experienced editors (I must have been editing Wikipedia for about six years, and have made over 4,000 edits to the Wikipedia encyclopaedia) but I still had problems when trying to improve List of chocolate bar brands. Fortunately, kind people at Wikipedia: Help desk got the article corrected again, although I did tell them there that my accidents in trying to improve presentation were NOT vandalism! We could have such a note - after all, certain articles - particularly those with graphs, tables or lists - might be quite tricky to edit. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 19:52, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

Vandalism stats tool

I recently created this tool which attempts to show statistics relating to the level of vandalism over the last hour. It was made in response to this bot request. Please take a look if you're interested and let me know if there is anything you'd like added to it or removed from it. I'm not a regular vandal-fighter so there might be some glaring omissions. Thanks. —SW— spout 23:45, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Cool. I did a graph about reverts and vandalism too some time ago. About your tool:
  1. Can you link usernames in tables and editcount to special:contributions/user?
  2. In the last section, do you count as vandalism "User:; 10:52 . . (?) . . Materialscientist (talk | contribs) (Vandalism)" ? It is a warning not a revert.
  3. You can add some graphs, flot and flotr are easy-to-use Javascript libraries.
Regards. emijrp (talk) 11:07, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Wow your line chart shows the number of vandalism is suddenly decreasing HUGELY, so there is no more need for users reverting vandalism???--UserWOLfan112 talk 19:03, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

You are misinterpreting the graph data. Intervals are every 2 days between plotted points, except for the last interval that only includes 1/2 day of totals in its interval (or 1/4 of the expected value for the period ending on the 18th of Feb). SkyMachine (++) 20:06, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Line chart for vandalism

Users need a visual to check if vandalism is rising or falling. Please try using a line chart or some sort of grading system to check display the number of vandalism on certain years. --UserWOLfan112 talk 18:57, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Massive vandalism decrease!!! No further need to revert vandalism????Perhaps we should now focus on improving articles.

many stat tools show the number of vandalism has decreased to the point where no further users are necessary to revert vandalism.

<big><big><big><big><big>THE VANDALS HAVE FINALLY GIVEN UP</big></big></big></big></big> --UserWOLfan112 talk 19:08, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Not necessarily. WP:EDITFILTER caused a massive decline in easy-to-spot patterned vandalism, and it can prevent such kinds of vandalism from being saved into articles. However, lots of wise and determined vandals still exist, because if you know what you are doing you can dodge ClueBot and the edit filter. These people need to be watched for scrupulously. --Jayron32 23:46, 21 April 2012 (UTC)
I wouldn't bank on such bold declarations. and seriously, all caps bold lettering 14 point and above is annoying. Even if they have supposedly given up, there will be such numbnut editors who come and wheelwar thinking they can do better that registered editors, such as that anon idiot I encountered two weeks ago on Wikiquote. I've had my fair share of hate messages from vandals too. --Eaglestorm (talk) 13:53, 22 April 2012 (UTC)


Isn't it strange how the user Arnon Chaffin is blocked indefinitely for vandalism but his "Anti-Vandalism Center" is directly referenced at the beginning of the "for beginners" section?Drla8th! (talk) 18:58, 20 April 2012 (UTC)

That is kind of ironic. I share User:Antandrus' suspicions that Arnon Chaffin's account was compromised. It looks to me like User:Arnon Chaffin was a prominent anti-vandal and this probably makes him a prime target for vandals with a chip on their shoulder. -Thibbs (talk) 21:33, 21 April 2012 (UTC)


I reverted the two most recent changes - they seemed to massively alter the meaning of the lead and I wasn't sure to what consensus they referred. In addition, the sentence as it was left didn't quite work anyway, so at the very least it needed a copyedit! :) I apologize if I have inadvertently trodden on toes here and if so please feel free to revert and explain. It's just that I have been referring to this policy a bit recently and was surprised to see such a shift in meaning. Best wishes to all, DBaK (talk) 08:44, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

There is no consensus or agreement of any kind for that change, MuZemike is just being disruptive to make a point. Hut 8.5 08:53, 11 May 2012 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. Oh dear. Clearly I have wandered into a row, a place in which I very much prefer not to be. :( DBaK (talk) 08:55, 11 May 2012 (UTC)

STiki as an anti-vandal tool

Hello. Disclosing conflict of interest, I am the author of the WP:STiki anti-vandalism tool. Would it be appropriate to add STiki to the "tool" subheading? Having been used in 100,000+ reverts and with a healthy spike in user interest lately, I am inclined to think this would be okay. Due to NPOV though, I post here. Thanks, West.andrew.g (talk) 16:43, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, I certainly think you could add it. Hut 8.5 20:18, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Tweaking the lead

Hi, folks. Recently I made a change to the lead of this page [5] which was reverted a bit later [6]. I accept the reasoning on that one. But I do wonder if the meaning of vandalism can be clarified, especially for new users who may be young or foreign. The current statement, "Vandalism is any addition, removal, or change of content in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia" seems a little bit wordy. "Compromise the integrity", in particular, seems like it might be tough to swallow for some. How about: "Vandalism is any edit made with the deliberate intent to harm Wikipedia." This addresses the concern of the revert, and I believe it hits the nail closer on the head. After, of course, the section would clear up that vandalism includes additions, removals, and alterations. Further, the "intent to harm" bit clarifies that disruptive editing is not vandalism when the intent is to help, rather than harm. Might be a baby step towards curbing the 'vandal' label on good-faith users. NTox · talk 05:27, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Can Wikipedia vandalism be considered as some form of cyberterrorism or something like that?

-- (talk) 13:57, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

  • While it would be possible that a vandal could vandalize Wikipedia as part of an act of cyber-terrorism, whether it was cyber-terrorism or not would depending largely on the motives of the vandal. In most cases it is pointless to worry about the motives of a vandal once you determine they are not acting in good faith, so trying to decide if particular acts of vandalism constitute cyber-terrorism would be a waste of time. Clearly most vandalism is just petty vandalism and nothing more. Monty845 15:10, 30 August 2012 (UTC)
I only wanted to know -- (talk) 20:44, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Although, vandalism is a violation of our legally binding terms of use, which you automatically agree to when using Wikipedia, so the foundation could theoretically have grounds to take a vandal to court, should they be so inclined--Jac16888 Talk 21:30, 31 August 2012 (UTC)
Murdering civilians to make a political point is terrorism, especially if you target children or kill and maim people in particularly callous and unpleasant ways. Kids making childish edits on a website is just childishness, its no more terrorism than kids adding moustaches to pictures in their school textbooks. ϢereSpielChequers 19:42, 1 September 2012 (UTC)

Theoretical question

Would it be a good idea to create a special section on the page and then encourage vandals to vandalize it for an example, and while I am on that train of thought, maybe we should have special pages just to vandalize.Bloope (talk) 15:57, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

We already have the WP:SANDBOX, where anyone can make any edits they want, as long as it's not attacking someone--Jac16888 Talk 16:02, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

True, but you can vandalize the sandbox. These proposed "vandalism" sections and/or pages are probably more limited. I would support experienced Wikipedia editors vandalizing this page instead of using real vandals. A bit too...dangerous. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:03, 18 September 2012 (UTC)

Block vandalism

What about block vandalism ???. An example is this, according to block log he was blocked as according to the blocker the account was "imposter", but then he was unblocked by a guy named Barjki S and the block was named vandalism. -- (talk) 17:59, 11 September 2012 (UTC)

Are you asking if that is vandalism, or are you asking if that qualifies as cyberterrorism? Monty845 18:22, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Vandalism -- (talk) 17:33, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Yes, a block can be vandalism, though it is extremely rare. Monty845 17:35, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
While only admins can block. -- (talk) 08:27, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

Pedobear Origin SVG created.

Hi,I was created by the SVG of Pedobear Images,so please add for article one.Article EXSAMPLE.

=== Origin === >[[File:クマ──!!( The Kuma---!! ).svg|thumb|Depiction of The Kuma---!! used on [[2channel]]]] The bear character originates from the popular bulletin board system (BBS) website ''[[2channel]]''in [[Japan]]<ref name="kuma---!!">{{cite web|title=くまくま━━━━━━ヽ( ・(ェ)・ )ノ━━━━━━ !!! |author=blue3|accessdate=2012/10/11|url=}}</ref>, where it was introduced as ''[[:ja:クマー|クマー]]'' (''Kumā''), an interjection of the word 熊 (''Kuma'') meaning ''bear'' in Japanese. Unlike Pedobear, ''Kumā'' has no sexual connotations, pedophilic or otherwise.<BR>

Thank you! --MOTOI Kenkichi(基 建吉) (talk) 22:45, 10 October 2012 (UTC)

Self-reverted vandalism?

I recently saw a case where someone blatantly vandalized a page, but then reverted the changes themselves a few minutes later, instead removing words like "is" which were not central to the article, but should not have been deleted. Normally, I would assume good faith for the later change, but in this case, I am unsure what to do. I do believe they are most likely intentionally vandalizing. Mambawarrior (talk) 18:16, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

{{Uw-selfrevert}} is what you wanted. Nyttend (talk) 03:26, 6 November 2012 (UTC)

Thank you! Mambawarrior (talk) 00:09, 7 November 2012 (UTC)

Time taken to revert vandalism

Is there less people doing anti-vandal patrol now or something as I feel like there is no one else doing it. For example vandalism edits are taking hours until reversion. Maybe an issue which could be addressed, we should encourage people to anti-vandal patrol. TheIrishWarden - Irish and proud (talk) 17:42, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Keep up your efforts. There are indeed others helping, but I am not apprised of the statistics that might indicate a lull in anti-vandalism work. Unfortunately, there will always be vandalistic edits that go unnoticed. Try dropping a note by the vandalism wikiproject (CVU). The editors there may have some more information about the issue. NTox · talk 03:11, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
Idea: a robot counting the word "vandalism" in revision history Edit summaries (and maybe measuring time before reverts) could show the weight of vandalism and flash a warning on Talk page or Project page for editors to deal with. It seems to supplement the CVU tools. Just a suggestion if anyone wants to take it further and relieve editor attention. This should make it easier to manage vandalism, direct attention to suffering articles, and shift efforts from tedious recurring edits to unopposed vandalism. ClueBot already helps us with the simplest vandalism.
  • amount of word "vandalism" on 50-revision page and/or past month
  • percentage of word "vandalism" out of all edits on 50-revision page and/or past month
  • adjustable trigger level for the above and for revert time before notifications:
  • notification on Talk page
  • report to overall statistics pages (viewable only for auto-confirmed accounts? to prevent highscore efforts)

I will repost to CVU:Talk as well. TGCP (talk) 19:49, 4 December 2012 (UTC)

Restoring a clause to the copyright section

In removing "or fails to heed warnings", this edit made policy self-contradictory, as repeated uploading of copyrighted material after warning is and long has been explicitly included as an example of vandalism. I have resolved this by restoring the removed clause. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 15:02, 14 January 2013 (UTC)