Wikivoyage talk:Vandalism in progress

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So, I really don't like the term "vandalism" nor the us-against-them mentality that it breeds. The fact that a lot of people who make unwanted edits are anonymous makes us act like scared children around a campfire, pointing our flashlights out into the dark and imagining things a lot worse than they actually are.

Wikivoyage is an open, welcoming community, and I don't want that to change. I think the extremely easy task of cleaning up after the occasional self-promoter is much better than cultivating an environment of fear and distrust.

We're bigger than any spammer. We should act like it. --(WT-en) Evan 12:40, 23 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Call me a pessimist, but as Wikivoyage gets more popular there will also be more vandalism, esp. of the intentional sort. But for now the main purpose of this page was just to clean up the Traveller's pub. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:19, 23 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I think the term vandalism is appropriate in some cases and the fact it took so long to create this article indicates how little vandalism there has been in the past. As I see it vandalism consists of:
  • Complete or significant replacement of a page with completely irrelevant (not just off topic) content,
  • Repeat posting of that content on multiple pages,
  • Not abiding by requests to stop such activity,
  • Redoing changes that have already been reverted, without talking about or explaining the changes,
  • The same user does the same changes to other wikis.
The casino spammer put the same garbage on Henna for Hair, which is not a wiki. Does that count? -(WT-en) phma 15:22, 4 Oct 2004 (EDT)
If it's open to be written to by anyone - er... Yes. Wiki's for WikiSpam, Blogs for BlogSpam, etc. When it all comes down to the google search it is still Spam links trying to improve page rank. If the links disrupt, distort or subvert the purpose of the site, it is probably vandalism too. - (WT-en) Huttite 04:36, 5 Oct 2004 (EDT)
Hi guys, seems that this person hit us too, after the first attack on Sept. 27th, we got his victim again during this night. Totally Off Topic: do you remember this article?


Swept in from the Pub:

Alert a vandal is ruining the bahrain and NYC articles! 09:38, 31 March 2006 (EST)

Uh, maybe I'm comfused here, but aren't you the vandal in question? If so, I'm amused. (WT-en) Majnoona 09:53, 31 March 2006 (EST)
He was at least partially undoing a vandal's changes, though not always perfectly. I think it was a successful (and moderately amusing) attempt to confuse some of us... -- (WT-en) Colin 10:08, 31 March 2006 (EST)

No maj... i wanted to revert 66 ip sorry i just talked to you on ip 09:55, 31 March 2006 (EST)

Whoa Colin nothing like that 10:11, 31 March 2006 (EST)

Phone number spam[edit]

Swept in from the Pub:

We seem to have a spammer on some of the Indian pages adding his phone number to all listings and in some cases replacing existing numbers with his number. Seems to be same one that was adding URL removed as it has been blacklisted and this was preventing editing of this page - see edit history for URL ~ 22:58, 17 June 2007 (EDT) entries. Is there any automated way to blacklist a number? --(WT-en) NJR_ZA 15:33, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

Or worse, it might be his ex-girlfriend's number...I hope we can blacklist it. -- (WT-en) Ricardo (Rmx) 15:47, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
OK, there seems to be more than just the one number that looks suspect. I'll keep a list here something to work off:
list removed as the numbers have now been blacklisted and this was preventing editing of this page - see edit history for numbers ~ 22:53, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
I have found least 20 articles that seems to be affected so far.

--(WT-en) NJR_ZA 16:12, 11 April 2007 (EDT)

I added a dash after the first digit of these numbers. With them intact, no edits to this page could be made. Of course, the spammer could do the same thing. Sigh. (WT-en) Jordanmills 17:07, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Thanks, was just about to come back and do the same as the spam filter blocked this edit of mine. I have cleaned up one or two of the articles, but am running out of time here and will have to look at the rest tomorrow. It's a bit of a mess to clean up as some of the changes are old and he did not add them in any single simple edit. --(WT-en) NJR_ZA 17:14, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Coolness. I'll see if I can find some time tonight to poke around. (WT-en) Jordanmills 18:27, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Can we do a mass revert of this dork's changes? Here's an IP with a lot. I just got the bright idea to collect his other IPs, so I'll list 'em here. ... never mind, there's a lot. It looks like he comes from and Please advise if the following is possible: block all IPs in those ranges from editing, get a list of all changes made by those IPs, give 'em a quick one-over to make sure we're not removing useful content, and undo all those changes. (WT-en) Jordanmills 18:53, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Here are some more numbers I've seen this spammer using:
numbers removed as they've now been blacklisted and this was preventing editing of this page - see edit history for numbers ~ 22:53, 17 June 2007 (EDT)
Unfortunately, the spammer has added a good deal of content that may or may not be legitimate - a lot of resort entries. --(WT-en) Peterfitzgerald Talk 19:01, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Yeah I noticed that too. But there's generally nothing listed but the name and the spam number, so I'd consider it dubious info at best. I don't know how I'd go about looking up the info to verify, either. (WT-en) Jordanmills 20:56, 11 April 2007 (EDT)
Looks like he stopped. Maybe we got all his numbers, or he got tired of paying for new ones. Yawn. (WT-en) Jordanmills 18:01, 14 April 2007 (EDT)


Swept in from the Pub:

Semi-protection may be in order here until whoever keeps vandalizing it (from a plethora of IP addresses) gets bored. I'd do it myself but my admin buttons aren't showing. (WT-en) LtPowers 14:14, 20 October 2008 (EDT)

Yet another ridiculous problem in the wake of the disastrous server move weeks ago. You'll see your sysop buttons if you use IE instead of firefox, but you can also access the functions through the history tab. Click history, then replace the word "history" in the resulting url with "protect" or "delete" and voila. What's more frustrating is trying to move pages... --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:43, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
Well I wasn't going to point any fingers and was happy to let someone else handle it until the login issue was resolved. Nonetheless, I fired up IE and took care of it. Obviously not an ideal long-term solution, though. (WT-en) LtPowers 17:16, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
Talk:Florida isn't the only one, the same vandal(s?) have hit San Francisco/SoMa, the Chicago skyline guide, and Soma Bay. I dunno about the others, but San Francisco/SoMa I think could use some protection if anyone can access their admin features, because it's been the target of repeated vandalism. (WT-en) PerryPlanet 19:01, 20 October 2008 (EDT)
Done, done, and done. This is shaping up to be a potential problem, though, if this guy is willing to put his ads up on any old page. I was hoping it was just a Florida thing. Blocking the IPs won't help because they change so frequently. (WT-en) LtPowers 08:55, 21 October 2008 (EDT)
I know this is probably gonna come out the wrong way, but i work at a insurance company, and until January 1st, often have long vacant night shifts where i just sit around and wait for a fire or flooding to happen. I'd be happy happy to jump in and help with the admin stuff, and have my rights revoked when the FF bug is resolved (we use IE6 at work). I know this is far from ideal since I obviously don't really have complete grasp of the inner workings of this place yet, but I just felt like i wanted to extend the offer if you guys are feeling overworked - and in any case I'll just try to keep up with normal access stuff at the recent changes page (WT-en) Sertmann 20:21, 21 October 2008 (EDT)


I just noticed a couple more of these... Could an admin please block User:(WT-en) BoricAlace, User:(WT-en) AlgetOrrel, User:(WT-en) RacbaSdarc, and User:(WT-en) RictrElcna? Thanks, (WT-en) JYolkowski 21:36, 19 December 2008 (EST)

done --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 21:43, 19 December 2008 (EST)

He keeps creating new ones. (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 21:48, 19 December 2008 (EST).

Does anyone know how Wikipedia is avoiding this bot, or even what the bot is trying to do? I spent a bit of time Googling but couldn't find anything. While trying to figure out how to stop it I browsed Wikipedia's new user log and they don't have any usernames that match the "10 random characters with the first and sixth capitalized" rule that this bot seems to be using. Since we can't use the blacklist (edits are simply random characters) does anyone have any ideas on how to block this one? -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 22:13, 19 December 2008 (EST)

What about just block user creation with what you said - and make a warning to new users. (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 23:22, 19 December 2008 (EST).
This is an interesting one, isn't it? My guess is that Wikipedia is avoiding it because they are proactive at blocking open proxies (of course, they have 1,500 admins, too). One possibility for blacklisting is that it has some character set conversion problems. For example, in [1], it inserts ü where previously the article contained ü, and several other things. Might be an idea to add to the blacklist strings that couldn't possibly correspond to something people would actually write (is there any possible valid use of ü in a Wikivoyage article?). Unfortunately there isn't any way of blocking user creation without a software change (at least not that I'm aware of). (WT-en) JYolkowski 23:37, 19 December 2008 (EST)
I'd be in favor of some proxy blocking if others are up for it, although having 1500 admins would make such an endeavor easier. As to the blacklist, my (limited) understanding of bad character conversions is that the junk character is just a mangled bytecode, so I'm not sure that it can actually be used in a blacklist since the bot is uploading an invalid character and the software then interprets/converts it to something like "ü". That said, if anyone wants to experiment it couldn't hurt. Hopefully whatever bot is hitting us just goes away... it seems like the pattern is usually 1-2 days of annoyance, followed by the next (different) attack. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 23:51, 19 December 2008 (EST)
Mediawiki is UTF8-safe, so the mangling is happening on the bot's side and it should be fairly safe to block things like "ü". But I think this is the wrong angle of attack, it won't catch more than a fraction of the edits anyway. (WT-en) Jpatokal 01:24, 22 December 2008 (EST)

OK, so these guys are back, but have now resorted to adding spam and then being kind enough to remove it again right afterwards - like this. While I think it's very kind of them to clean up after themselves, and appreciate the humour, I've been a very inhospitable host and blocked the dear bots anyway. Do anyone disagree with that policy? and can anyone explain what the hidden agenda is, cause I can't for the love of god figure it out, since there is no way google is going to catch the links, in the less than 60 seconds the bot leaves it there, or am I missing somethin'?. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 22:21, 9 July 2009 (EDT)

I'm pretty sure the bot author's intention is to get search rank results from the historical version with the spam. Of course, we've set up our site so that older versions from the history are not crawled by search engines... In any rate, lets keep blocking them, since the zombies might change their behavior in the future. They also just clutter recentchanges & article histories. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 22:24, 9 July 2009 (EDT)
Any bot not approved by the Bot Guidelines can be blocked by any admin at their discretion. -- (WT-en) Colin 18:26, 14 July 2009 (EDT)

Does anyone know anything about what the latest incarnation of this bot is trying to accomplish by adding random strings of characters? A Google search indicates that it could either be a test (ie add a random string, then see if it's still there a day later) or a mis-behaving bot, but there doesn't seem to be any concrete explanation. This one is particularly annoying since there isn't any blacklist pattern that can be used, and it appears to be coming from a vast botnet of IPs so blocking isn't particularly effective. I've tried temporarily protecting some of the archive pages that are being hit (I realize that this is slightly outside of policy, but no anonymous user should be editing an archive page so hopefully it's harmless), but that doesn't solve the problem of the bot munging non-archive articles. Anyone have any ideas? -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 12:16, 14 July 2009 (EDT)

This is not the first time the bots have added nonsense. If I were guessing, I'd guess that someone has a botnet which lightly probes once in awhile. If we fail to clean up, it probes harder as it is doing now. Perhaps it is waiting to see if the situation is good for it before it risks spamming urls. -- (WT-en) Colin 18:26, 14 July 2009 (EDT)
Challenge of the day: build a regexp that catches random strings. For example, both "JYeIgZdXVHr" and "hmeyKSnQjlnMSC" would be caught by [A-Z][A-Z][a-z][A-Z], which looks for sequences of upper and lowercase characters in the format upper-upper-lower-upper, which is exceedingly unlikely to happen in real text. Catching strings of five or more consonants should also work, although there might be some collateral damage at Czech phrasebook... (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:56, 15 July 2009 (EDT)
Even if imperfect, perhaps it would be a good idea to introduce this and other similar patterns to the blacklist now? If it's even a little bit effective, it would be a big help on flailing language versions. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 21:42, 24 July 2009 (EDT)
I've plugged in one for five consonants in a row: [B-DF-HJ-NP-TV-XZb-df-hj-np-tv-xz]{5} (WT-en) Jpatokal 00:19, 25 July 2009 (EDT)
Didn't work, too many URLs seem to match that. Further discussion → Wikivoyage_talk:Local_spam_blacklist#Random_spam_catcher. 00:29, 25 July 2009 (EDT)

Archive or even delete?[edit]

Not sure this page needs to be a history of site vandalism.. shouldn't this page generally be blank, except for currently ongoing vandalism? Either a Willy on Wheels-style event, or a Sihanoukville / Mandarmani type of ongoing incident, that requires being brought to the community's attention? – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 15:36, 5 August 2007 (EDT)

Archive might be a good idea. Sometimes vandals can go away for a couple of weeks or months before returning, will be good to be able to check against past events. I do agree that this should be blank while all is quiet --(WT-en) NJR_ZA 15:52, 5 August 2007 (EDT)
I'd support redirecting this page to Project:How to handle unwanted edits. "Vandalism" on Wikivoyage seems to fall into three categories: wikispam, people trying to promote a business, and trolls. The first two can be handled with Project:Local spam blacklist (as a side note to all editors: PLEASE add a note on Project:Local spam blacklist when adding a non-bot to the blacklist) and trolls are people looking for attention, which is exactly what this page gives them. We want to fight trolling by boring the troll to death, not giving them some reinforcement that their actions are causing a bunch of wiki editors to get all upset, and in that respect I think that this page is counter-productive. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 15:55, 5 August 2007 (EDT)
I agree with Ryan; I've never understood the point of this page. If someone sees "vandalism" in progress, they should clean it up themselves, not "report" it here. If someone wants to make sure other people notice the problem, taking care of it on their own will accomplish that goal, because other users watch special:recentchanges. If a someone is worried that the user in question will continue to make problematic edits in the future, they could just bookmark a link to his contributions in their userspace. In addition to giving trolls attention, this page gives the impression that "vandalism" is something to be taken care of by someone else, which, I think, is an impression we should not encourage. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 12:33, 18 February 2009 (EST)
I don't agree. The big advantage of this page is that it permits pointers to vandalism (there are other kinds, btw -- malicious renaming of pages, for example) that endure long after the person who generates the pointers goes offline. Some of the vandals are remarkably persistent and can stay on-line, and doing damage, for hours at a time -- don't they have lives? Noting their activities will allow others to join the clean-up crew. Yes, "sweeping" the page from time to time, probably into an Archive as Nick suggests, is a good idea, but don't throw out the baby with the bath water. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 20:11, 18 February 2009 (EST)
Yup, I concur, it can be a nice tool but as so many other things around here, we suck at keeping things current :) --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 20:22, 18 February 2009 (EST)
Why can't users simply glance at special:recentchanges to check if any persistent vandals are hanging around? For the reasons listed above, I'd wager the (small) advantage of the page < the downsides. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 20:25, 18 February 2009 (EST)
(Re-indenting) I'm not sure that we need "pointers to vandalism". As Peter has said, Special:RecentChanges makes it clear when any significant vandalism is occurring, and people are much more likely to look at that page than this one. For vandals that re-appear every few weeks, the moment one edit is reverted most editors will check the user's edit history and revert other changes that look problematic without the need to first refer to this page. This page was originally created when Wikivoyage had fewer users, no spam blacklist, and a much more permissive policy about problem editors. Today we have users online at all hours, a blacklist to handle common vandalism and spambots, and a policy that allows temporarily blocking users who are truly abusive. As a result, this page serves solely as a badge of honor for trolls looking for attention while failing to provide value to Wikivoyage users - has anyone in the past few years actually looked at this page and then cleaned up vandalism that they (or others) wouldn't have noticed via recent changes? I'd be surprised if the answer to that question is yes. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 21:41, 18 February 2009 (EST)
In the past few years, I for one have, although not in the past few days or even weeks. As for the recent-changes page, that's fine if the edit rate is so low that vandalism can always be caught there by an admin or other helpful general editor. That's not the case. I've seen vandalism go undetected for remarkably long times. Finally, I don't think vandals give a rat's *ss whether their names are mentioned in this page or not, meaning that the argument that they get their jollies from seeing names here is a bit weak. What makes you think they do? I'm genuinely curious about that. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 10:05, 19 February 2009 (EST)
First - if this page is actually being used then I'd retract my support for deleting it - there's no point in keeping useless pages around, but any page that is a useful tool for editors is worth retaining. That said, if it is going to be kept it would be nice to have a discussion about how to actually make it more useful. Second, with regards to trolls, see What is a troll?. The key point is that trolls are trying to elicit a response: "The basic mindset of a troll is that they are far more interested in how others react to their edits than in the usual concerns of Wikipedians". Someone who is trolling is looking for validation that they are disruptive and causing problems, and listing them on a "vandalism in progress" page, arguing with them, or similarly showing any sort of negative reaction is incentive for them to continue. The way to beat a troll is to bore them, and giving them any extra attention defeats that effort. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 11:35, 19 February 2009 (EST)

Ignoring the issue of whether this page is useful or not, I'll point out that both this page and Project:User ban nominations have the same name as pages on Wikipedia (well, at least pages that did exist on en:wp when the Wikivoyage pages were created). I'd imagine that this isn't a coincidence; I'd guess that they were set up to serve the same purpose as the Wikipedia pages do. The problem that I see is that we deal with unhelpful edits and user conduct problems in a very different way from Wikipedia. My suggestion would be to create a single page where these topics can be discussed in a manner that dovetails with the way we do things; then we wouldn't need either of those pages. Cheers, (WT-en) JYolkowski 18:17, 19 February 2009 (EST)

Round two[edit]

We don't use this page, and I don't think we should. (The last two substantive edits on this page were my own, each a year apart.) We have other means of communication (pub, wts, email, user talk pages, recentchanges, watchlists, etc.) for coordinating anti-vandalism efforts, and vandalism honestly isn't that big of an issue. But most importantly, we just don't use this page. Let's redirect it to Project:How to handle unwanted edits, per Ryan above? --Peter Talk 02:11, 29 September 2012 (CEST)

I think vandalism is going to increase significantly as the site grows. While we can post vandalism in the pub, it could become very crowded with reports. And in terms of user talk pages, new users may not know who to approach to report vandalism, and a particular admin may take a large amount of time to check. I feel that we can make good use of this page, we just need to put it in a better place (possibly the sidebar), make reporting easier and make sure that admins check it more frequently. I have seen a page like this utilised very well. When users made a report, they would use a special template that would bring up the vandal's contributions and a Special:Block link, making it easier for admins to check the contributions and block immediately. I will try to bring it across later to demonstrate it. JamesA >talk 02:25, 29 September 2012 (CEST)
Ugh, the last thing I want to see as a janitor are notes regarding dirt—they're just more litter to clean up. --Peter Talk 02:48, 29 September 2012 (CEST)

Strange vandalism[edit]

Does anyone understand what happened here [2] ? My revert doesn't show up, either. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:03, 13 March 2009 (EDT)

I tried to revert that as well - I think what happened is the spambot clicked on the "+" for "add section", entered a section name and edit comment, but since there was no section content Mediawiki didn't save a version. I could be very wrong, however. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 16:11, 13 March 2009 (EDT)

Not archiving[edit]

Similar to Project:Requests for comment, I don't think this page really needs the additional red tape involved in archival. Additionally, the "trail" by which decisions are made on site really doesn't include comments here—they are just alerts (like rfcs). I just cleaned the page of old comments without bothering to archive them—if others find this inappropriate, feel free to archive the comments, and then comment here to let me know not to do this in the future. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 17:44, 21 May 2009 (EDT)

Agree – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 00:27, 22 May 2009 (EDT)

Massive creation of user accounts.[edit]

Swept in from the pub

There is an ongoing massive creation of user accounts at a rate up to several per minute. I don't know what should be done, but if any steward sees this I suggest a checkuser may show account creation from one or a small nimber of addresses. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:15, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, this isn't good, but I'm not sure if something can be done at this point. Should a massive spam/vandal attack occur and local admins are unable to handle it, it's usually possible to flag down a steward to take emergency measures, BTW. (Apparently this happened with a ton of IPs over at Simple English Wikipedia a year ago, and the stewards temporarily made the site a m:global sysop wiki.) --Rschen7754 10:46, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Endless... where are the stewards? sats (talk) 14:23, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't see any issue unless these accounts start doing malicious things. Looking at the last few days of account creations, the rate of account creation doesn't seem too high (Special:Log/newusers). What exactly can be done to stop this purported problem? Checkuser? AHeneen (talk) 15:05, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
They have been created non-stop (about 2 per minute) since November 11 - there might be a very rational explanation of what is creating the automatically generated new users (now over 100,000 I think), it would be good for someone in the know to pop up and explain it all, so that the average wikivoyage participant doesnt have panic attacks looking at the new user log.... sats (talk) 15:38, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Aren't most of them created when they sign up to other wikis? I know I've never had an en-wiki account until I joined Wikivoyage, and now I've a red-link userpage there. - Torty3 (talk) 15:50, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Maybe that is the rational explanation - maybe there is a need for clarification of something like that - otherwise there is uncertainty as to what is generating the names and where they are coming from... sats (talk) 15:57, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Sincerest apology to all who have read this - answer is at sats (talk) 16:09, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

It's my understanding that an account is automatically created when someone is logged into a WMF wiki and visits another project. So someone logged in at en-WV and visits ru-WV will automatically have an ru-WV account created. Same as someone logged into en-WV visiting en-Commons will have an account automatically created there. AHeneen (talk) 16:55, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, the "was created automatically", as opposed to simply "was created", for most accounts indicates this is the case. These are likely people with a Wikipedia account that are now visiting Wikivoyage for the first time. —Ruud 19:42, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Looking up a few names at Special:CentralAuth suggest there is indeed little to worry about. This actually looks like a good thing. —Ruud 19:48, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought it seemed a little high, but I guess I wasn't used to the numbers (seemed a little high for even the English Wikipedia). --Rschen7754 19:58, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I would beg to differ as to the explanation now visiting Wikivoyage for the first time - over 100,000 new since november 2012 suggest the wikimedia server is simply placing usernames that exist elsewhere and might take months yet
For something positive to come out of this - any suggestion where the following should be placed:
Note that automated background Automatically created newusers appear on the User creation log are being generated as part of the linking in with Wikimedia servers and not to be concerned about  ?? sats (talk) 01:17, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't think this is a background process. Your Wikivoyage account should be created when you visit the site for the first time. No sooner, no later. —Ruud 19:38, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Would it be more appropriate then to have a comment - Note that automated Automatically created newusers appear on the User creation log when users from other wikis visit Wikivoyage for the first time - would that be closer to the mark? sats (talk) 23:57, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
That sounds right to me. —Ruud 10:35, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Expanding this page[edit]

I'm suggesting that this page become a more general seek help with a problem page. The discussion is at Wikivoyage talk:Travellers' pub#Splitting the Pub --Inas (talk) 04:56, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Support from me. Some suggestions of what "problems" should be covered: vandalism, edit warring, requests for renames, and requests for anything that require permissions (such as page move requests from IPs). -- Ryan • (talk) • 06:50, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:04, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Scope of this page vis-à-vis Wikivoyage:User ban nominations[edit]

Lately there's been a sharp increase in the use of this page to head off problem edits, which, don't get me wrong, is a very good thing. However, it's brought to the forefront an issue that could use resolving, which is that there's a lot of overlap between this page's purview and that of Wikivoyage:User ban nominations. A textbook example is DAZ14LPA a few weeks back - while clearly a problem user, the issue with him arguably had very little to do with vandalism. I think it would be good to more clearly define not only the scope of this page, but also in a larger sense what constitutes "vandalism" as opposed to other types of problem edits. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:29, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Isn't Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress the equivalent of {{delete}} and Wikivoyage:User ban nominations the equivalent of vfd? In other words, the former is used in clear and urgent cases, while the latter is used for situations where the case needs to be discussed and "don't ban"/"keep" is a possible outcome? ϒpsilon (talk) 17:53, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Rather than having a page for vandalism only, it seems like it is time for something like w:Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard here, which would be useful for highlighting any issue that requires an experienced user or someone with admin permissions to deal with. The noticeboard would replace this page, which has a limited scope and overlaps somewhat with the more formal ban nomination page. The scope of the page might be something like:
  • Requests for oversight.
  • Pointing out vandalism or spamming.
  • Help with impolite or uncivil communications, edit warring, assistance in resolving disputes.
  • Requests for page protection.
  • Suspected sockpuppetry.
  • Fixes for cut and paste moves/history merge, improper imports, etc.
User ban nominations and VFDs would still be handled at their current locations, but this new noticeboard would be a useful catch-all for everything else. I believe that there may have been objection to such a page in the past, although I can't recall the reasons, but at this point it seems like the time has arrived where such a page would be a very useful tool. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:00, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
This seems like a good idea to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:30, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Seems like a good idea to me too. I have noticed more... "this isn't a problem yet, but just to make you aware..." type statements being raised, and the presence on the VFD or Vandalism pages of that statement gives a measure of prejudice against the subject article/contributor --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:25, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

I had thought the scope of this page was clear: "Use this page when you need assistance from an administrator, for example when vandalism is occurring at a rapid rate or over an extended period of time. Or even if you have been managing a vandalism attack but are now going offline." A noticeboard is prone to extended discussions, while this page is intended for alerts that are both simple and clear. Powers (talk) 00:08, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

The issue right now is that there are problems that are not prototypical vandalism but don't rise to the level of a proposed user ban, and there's no obvious place for us to discuss them. Do you support creating such a place? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:10, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
What needs to be discussed? Powers (talk) 00:14, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
What needs to be discussed are events that don't fall neatly into this page's scope. I assume that you did actually read the short discussion above? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:26, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] Well, where do you think the best place would have been to discuss the problems with User:DAZ14LPA's edits? My nominating him for a user ban would have been unnecessarily inflammatory, in my opinion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:27, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Well that's what I'm trying to get a handle on. You specifically said "Nothing needs to be done at the moment" so I'm not sure what the end goal was. Is there a reason the Travellers' Pub isn't suitable for odd one-off discussions of this type? Powers (talk) 01:19, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
The Travellers' Pub is an inappropriate place to focus discussion on a particular user, don't you think? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:27, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps. If you need advice on how to handle particular problematic edits, there's Wikivoyage talk:How to handle unwanted edits. I'm just not sure it's a good idea to have a place where we talk about how problematic certain users are. Ban nominations is one thing, because it's necessary administrativa. But absent a ban nomination, do we need to regularly be discussing how bad User A or User B is? Powers (talk) 17:28, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
You don't think we sometimes need to discuss problems before they reach the level of userban nominations? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:04, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
That brings me back to my original question: What needs to be discussed? Specifically. What sort of questions and answers do you propose to see in these sorts of discussions? Powers (talk) 23:45, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
This isn't a purely theoretical discussion, as you know, so why are you pretending it is? Look at my first post in Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress#User:DAZ14LPA. Sorry, that last post irritated me a bit. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:33, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
I have looked at it, and I can't figure out what action you wanted taken. Was it intended as a message to DAZ14LPA to shape up? Or was it a request to keep him/her on a short leash? Or were you just frustrated and venting steam? Powers (talk) 23:15, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
It was in order to suggest for admins to keep a close eye on his future posts, and to have a record in case action would need to be taken in the future. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:23, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like more of a long-term thing. This page was (I think) intended to be used for more immediate needs. I would have concerns about converting this page to a more long-term watchlist, and grave concerns about having a page that was all about "here's a list of users who haven't done anything really wrong yet but we're watching closely". It's needlessly stigmatizing; note that in this case, it was a young user who simply didn't yet understand the norms of the site. Powers (talk) 01:43, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
There is a big difference between "haven't done anything really wrong" and "is nominated for a userban." But I feel like you're belittling the situation, so don't want to continue this conversation with you. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:22, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
If by "belittling" you mean that I don't think this was as serious a situation as you did, then I suppose I am. But I don't think that's any reason to cut off discussion. I just think this is a rare type case that doesn't need a whole project page devoted to a list of editors that other editors are supposed to keep an eye on. Powers (talk) 20:03, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
OK, that's a better argument than the insensitive stuff you posted immediately above. But that still doesn't address where it would be best to put these kinds of posts, forgetting for a second that you don't seem to understand the justification for them. If you're willing to give the "Where you can stick it" question some thought and address it, go ahead. Otherwise, I won't have anything more to discuss with you in this thread. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:04, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
I did make a few suggestions but you didn't like them. Can you think of other ways to mitigate my concerns about having a "watchlist" type page? Powers (talk) 13:04, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
The only suggestion I see from you is the Travellers' pub, which if you're concerned about stigmatizing a user is the worst possible place to put this kind of discussion. Did you make any other suggestion? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:25, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
The other thing I would say to you is: The alternative is in fact to have this kind of discussion at the Userban page. So you should seriously consider whether that would "allay your concerns" or make things worse. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:27, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
I also suggested Wikivoyage talk:How to handle unwanted edits if there's some question over how to handle a particular situation. I disagree that the Pub is worse, because Pub threads get archived and isn't a single page devoted exclusively to problem users, so there's no "hit list" effect. Powers (talk) 00:48, 12 May 2015 (UTC)


Do we archive any of the contents of this page? For example, the section on User:DAZ14LPA is absolutely not a "current alert" and should no longer be on the page, so it would be natural to archive the section, but unless I've missed it, I don't see any evidence of any archive for this page. If I'm right, should we create one and move expired notices there, or should our only recourse be to delete the section, with the record remaining only in the edit history of the page? Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:58, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

See the #Archive or even delete? and #Not archiving threads above, which indicate that old alerts should just be deleted rather than archived. We might want to revisit that guidance since there is some value to being able to refer back to past patterns of vandalism when trying to determine if a new user is a repeat vandal or not. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:08, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
I think archives should be optional for this page, but I will go ahead and delete the section I mentioned. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:43, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Prevent video uploads, maybe images under certain conditions[edit]

Following the discussion on User_talk:Zhuyifei1999#The_Future.2C_our_wishes, it has been requested that owing to significant recent abuse that we block:

  1. Uploads of video files for whatever reason
  2. PDF files for whatever reason

Furthermore, it is desired that image uploads to Wikivoyage (as opposed to Wiki Commons) from anonymous or recent contributors be blocked as well.

Any thoughts and/or concerns in going forward with the above? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:13, 6 August 2017 (UTC)

I'll note that I don't have any opinion on images; WP0 pirates (very) rarely abuse them --Zhuyifei1999 (talk) 05:16, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
I support blocking uploads of video files, and I would also support blocking audio files if they start being abused. I'm not sure about images. I'm tempted to suggest blocking only video files for now and seeing what happens. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:21, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
OK, I hope blocking videos as a start will not be controversial, given that we do not allow them presently. I am aware that some admins are very wary of the term 'ban', but we can set this filter up to tag only to begin with. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:25, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
I would set it to block such uploads. Warning spambot vandals is not useful. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:59, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
I just start with tagging, since a new Filter could potentially be buggy and catch innocent edits. The video filter hasn't caught any edits in the past 12 hours.
Once we get a high level of confidence that only video uploads are being caught then I will set it to block. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:40, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
That's reasonable. Thanks for explaining. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:07, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
It successfully tagged 8 malicious edits this weekend. I upgraded to a block. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:38, 13 August 2017 (UTC)