Wikivoyage:User ban nominations

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User bans are put into practical effect by using a Mediawiki software feature to block edits to any page (except pages in that banned user's user talk namespace) by the banned user.

Add nominations for user blocks to the list below, but please do so only after reviewing Project:How to handle unwanted edits. After a nomination has been made, the nominator is responsible for ensuring that appropriate notice is given on the allegedly delinquent User's Talk page of the nomination made here.

In general the preferred way of handling problem users is through the use of soft security. In the case of automated spam attacks the Project:Spam filter can also be a valuable tool for stopping unwanted edits.

For a history of older nominations see Project:User ban nominations/Archive.

Outstanding nominations[edit]

Symantec user[edit]

See Wikivoyage:User ban nominations/Archive#Symantec user for previous background.

I'm posting here not to propose an immediate user ban, necessarily, but to once again bring up the idea that perhaps the Telstra user also uses Symantec on occasion. I don't think we should just tolerate this kind of edit by a user who never replies to his/her user talk page (see User talk:117.120.18.131). I will post another talk page message, but I believe it's time to start blocking this user (for a day, initially) if they continue to refuse to pay attention to attempts to communicate. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:52, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

Aside from the pointless subsection, I don't see a huge problem with the addition. Is it only because you suspect it's the same user as Telstra? Powers (talk) 20:13, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
It's a pointless empty optional subtitle plus a bunch of names with no other information, and it is absolutely identical to problematic edits by the Telstra user. And this user is no more communicative than the Telstra user. Yes, I think this is the same user, and even if not, exhibits exactly the same behavior, and I warned him/her that s/he is likely to be blocked, initially for a day, if s/he posts no reply to his/her user talk page the next time s/he logs on. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:44, 26 November 2014 (UTC)
Well, Telstra seems to have given up trying to use their mobile connection for edits since the 24th November.
The edits of Symantec do look similar, and may be a response to the success of the Telstra filter above.
How about creating a new filter that will only track and tag for Symantec? Then we would have a better idea of the pattern. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:42, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Sure. Good idea. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:10, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
Sorry to chime in late on this. These don't look anything like the edits that put the Symantec editor on our radar screen before - originally, the Symantec editor added demographic facts and figures to the "Understand" sections of various articles that was encyclopedic in tone and of dubious relevance to travellers, but not strictly in violation of policy. As well, he never engaged in copyvio or added long bullet-point lists of attractions or redlinked cities in "Go next". In short, this looks far more like the Telstra vandal's work, yet the IP address used belongs to Symantec, which perplexes me.
I'm not yet ready to conclude that the Telstra vandal and the Symantec user are one and the same - though IMO the possibility is much greater than before. I'd say use the usual ban procedures for now, until a longer pattern of Telstra vandal-like edits from Symantec IPs is established. If and when that happens, let's add the Symantec IP ranges to the Telstra vandal filter.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:38, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
I have a very different memory of the previous edits than you do. I noticed the similarity very quickly, and it's very apparent now. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:48, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
The strange (and probably incorrect) demographic figures have indeed disappeared. All other edits look similar enough.
Although it can't be proven 100%, I would guess that Telstra was frustrated by no longer being able to edit and moved on to a fixed internet terminal somewhere else in Australia.
I will at least tag Symantec for now. Then at least we can have a good holistic view of their editing pattern. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:16, 27 November 2014 (UTC)
OK, I created a new filter just for this user. Please note that I named it 'MessageLabs' since that is the name of the ISP now.
The good news is that this ISP has a very easy IP range to catch (anything under 117.x.x.x).
Just to emphasize, this is just for tracking and tagging purposes for now. Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:34, 27 November 2014 (UTC)

[unindent]And we have our first real data from the tagging. This user made a bunch of edits. Many and perhaps most of them are somewhat helpful, but his/her edits to population stats for Iraq are quite dubious, as things have definitely changed since IS murdered thousands of non-Sunnis and loads of those who could escaped. Also, there were at least two instances of uncredited copypasta from Wikipedia. I posted a message to User talk:117.120.18.135, the latest iteration of his/her user talk page. I don't expect a response but would love to get one. Ikan Kekek (talk) 04:45, 2 December 2014 (UTC)

Also the latest edit for is copypasta from wikipedia for w:Guinea-Bissau
So basically this user is adding either dubious statistics or text copied from Wikipedia. I'm fairly confident they are Telstra.
Since they will not respond to messages asking them to refrain from these edits, what is the best course of action? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:14, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
As long as we have no way to fully prove any connection between these two accounts, the best thing would be to leave that issue aside. Fairly confident is not enough, searching for similarities takes a lot of time and in the end it doesn't even matter. Let's focus on the edits themselves. Even if it would be the Telstra user, it would seem that he or she is at least trying to change their game. That's a good thing. For me, considering that this was never a conventional vandal but rather a well-intending editor making unhelpful edits, it's not so terrible if their block-scheme starts from the start. If the behaviour is not changed enough (or it is a different user) we can just use the normal increasing times. It may cost us a few extra short time blocks, but it will save lots of discussion. Who created that "notice" again, making it impossible to edit unless a message was posted? That was a nice and fair solution. JuliasTravels (talk) 09:27, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
I didn't catch that copyvio. I'll delete the edit. It really wasn't helpful, anyway, as without any description, how would a visitor know what Tina and Tinga sound like? Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:11, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
By the way, the prevalence of copypasta from Wikipedia doesn't give me confidence that this user is trying to change their game. We can start with short blocks, but I think we'll have to have a longer block in pretty short order, except in the very unlikely event that this user responds to a user talk post. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:13, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, I know. I'm not optimistic either :-) It will however save us discussions about good faith and fairness and so on, so it seems the easier way. JuliasTravels (talk) 10:38, 2 December 2014 (UTC)
The annoying part is that this user probably doesn't know anything about the "Tina and Tinga sound", and is just blindly copying bits and pieces.
Also This change to Femo was a particularly bad copy violation.
There have been no more edits for a few days. I would suggest a longer block if it happens again. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 09:48, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Unless someone else blocked this user, there have been no blocks so far, as after I posted the warning, the user has yet to return (to my knowledge). Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:24, 4 December 2014 (UTC)
Just as an update, the range of IPs I was looking for was too broad. I have restricted the range to between 117.120.18.0 and 117.120.18.255 Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:22, 8 December 2014 (UTC)


I blocked 117.120.18.132 who appears to be the same user, since they are adding unhelpful edits in rapid succession. I took the step to ban them for 2 hours.
Also if you look at the edits on Mali, it appears this is the same user as Telstra. They made similar edits.
Can we place a longer ban? Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:23, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
Absolutely. 1 day should be the minimum initial block. But if you ask me, I think we should do a range block as necessary, because this individual will never engage in a dialogue. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:41, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
I see no reason not to expand the range of IPs covered in the Telstra filter to also include Symantec. For my part, I think it's hardly relevant anymore whether the Telstra vandal and the Symantec vandal are the same or not. The edits are equally worthless, and the refusal to communicate is equally troubling, so there's no reason the same course of action shouldn't be applicable to both users. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 04:16, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
I extended the ban to one day for now. I support adding the range block as per Ikan and Andre above. Andrewssi2 (talk) 04:59, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
It's only been a couple of weeks; how can we be sure we won't be catching any valid users in the rangeblock? Powers (talk) 22:06, 10 December 2014 (UTC)
User:117.120.16.138 is using a new Messagelabs (symatec) range. I blocked the user for a day and adding the range to the (tag) filter. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:06, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
For what it's worth, 117.120.16.138 is blocked for a year on Wikipedia, so per policy a longer block could be applied here if desired. -- Ryan • (talk) • 05:23, 16 December 2014 (UTC)
OK great. Seems like a few blocked WP people decide that coming to WV is the next best thing that they can do.
I 'could' apply a longer block, however I fear that next time they wish to share their wisdom they will have moved onto a new IP address. :( --Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:29, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

139.218.172.128 (Telstra again)[edit]

The Telstra user is really persistent, now using another Australian internet provider (Dodo). Example here. I will ban for a day in order to prevent edits whilst a discussion can be had. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 11:44, 12 December 2014 (UTC)

Question for Andrewssi2 or anyone else who might be keeping track of the Telstra abuse filter: Since we instituted the filter, how many false positives have been generated? -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:55, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
All the attempted edits can be seen here (I think perhaps only Admins have access to this page)
I do monitor this at least every few days to ensure that no one other than the vandal is blocked. We do actually have one edit which I think on balance is a 'false positive'. A Telstra IP address tried to edit the user page of User:EurovisionNim with a link back to the user's Wikipedia page. EurovisionNim's editing pattern on both WV and WP does not seem to match the Telstra vandal. If it was EurovisionNim then they could have logged on to complete this edit. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 18:55, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Just as I suspected. The abuse filter has been in place for many months now and we have a grand total of one false positive, being an already-registered user who simply forgot to log in.
My favored course of action, then, would be to expand the filter to include all anonymous edits from Australian mobile networks, plus the Symantec range referenced above. If the filter has had what amounts to a 100% accuracy rate in catching vandalistic edits while leaving others alone, we can afford to widen the dragnet - especially since, without recourse to any other means of anonymous editing, the vandal will probably give up before too long.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:12, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
Actually the only mobile network used so far has been Telstra. Messagelabs (Symantec) and Dodo are both broadband providers in Australia.
The pattern for the Telstra network has to been making a few edits every few days. The broadband connections tend to be more spreadout, such a a large number of edits every one or two weeks.
I would say we should keep the Telstra network filter edit ban active a bit longer since it appears to have dissuaded any edits from that channel quite successfully. I would ask to just track the Broadband providers for now until we have more data to prove there would be no false positives from those sources. We can still ban if the tagged edits are obvious and since we have already had an effect on this user's behavior there may even give up before too long. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:25, 12 December 2014 (UTC)
I just want to thank you for your good work and say that I support you in whatever action you deem most appropriate going forward. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:36, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
I just wanted to update that this user is still trying to update. Every few hours they keep trying to add the same text to Luxembourg (city) : "It is regarded of being the most dramatically situate capital in Europe". (An observation that was already conveyed in the existing article with more colorful prose)
I now feel sorry for them since it really does appear they have no idea that they are being blocked, or that we are trying to contact them. ( I am leaving messages on their talk pages ). Any other ideas gratefully received. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 10:03, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
It's the Wiki way, not to mention human nature, to assume good faith in situations like this. However, let's not forget that we've left literally dozens of talk page messages for this user, each one of which would have placed a garish orange bar at the top of his screen the next time he tried to edit, which reads "You have new messages". It's usually at that point when the user switches to a new IP address. It strains credulity to think that not one of those times was his curiosity piqued enough to click on that orange bar and that the IP address changes were mere coincidences.
What this user's motivations are is anyone's guess, but one thing I think is quite clear is that this user does know that the community disapproves of his editing style yet consciously chooses to continue anyway, without so much as even bothering to try to make contact with the community - either through edit summaries, responses to talk page messages, in the pub, or through any other method - to find out what our problem is. I think these edits are intentional vandalism and should be treated as such without equivocation.
As for how to proceed, our ideal course of action is best summed up by a quote from myself regarding an earlier iteration of Telstra vandalism: "we need to deny recognition to this vandal by not leaving talk page messages for him, however terse and sternly worded, and simply revert, block, ignore from here on out. To quote Wikipedia: 'The best way to dissuade [vandals] from vandalising is to convince them that vandalising is boring and has no impact on the community or the [project]' and 'when they are simply reverted and blocked without so much as the bat of an eyelash and everything continues on as usual, they will go elsewhere.'" This vandal may be extraordinarily persistent, but the principle, in my estimation, remains true.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:56, 22 December 2014 (UTC)