Wikivoyage talk:Vandalism in progress

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See also: Wikivoyage talk:Vandalism in progress/Archive

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)


Yes, I am User:libertarianmoderate. I created the second account because I wanted to see if I could edit my user page (and my user page ONLY) during the block. It turned out that I couldn't do it on my computer because the IP address was blocked as well, so I will likely delete this account soon, unless I find a use for it. LibMod (talk) 19:02, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

Block evasion is a fundamental reason for a longer or even indefinite block. Never do this on any Wiki site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:38, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

How to stop Telstra[edit]

I have a plan to stop Telstra once and for all. We need to find another Australian user who knows how AU law works. One that we know is not Telstra. Then, we need to have him go to the police in exchange for a favor, like admin status. We would give them the user names, IP addresses, and emails of all the Telstra accounts. They would then file a police report for mutiple counts of vandalism, give them the evidence, and have them trace the edits to Telstra’s computer. I’m not sure what the police will do, but if we want any chance of stopping the vandalism, this is the way. Maybe we could at least make him sweat. Libertarianmoderate (talk) 00:09, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

There used to be a TV show (called Dad's Army I think) where a corporal called Jones was always coming up with grand ideas for how to solve problems, and his captain would tell him, "I think you're in the realms of fantasy there, Jones." No offense, but your proposition is in the realms of fantasy, although I'm sure you have only the best intentions in mind.
If we really had that view about Telstra, we'd more likely through Wikimedia Foundation's channels try to track down his IP address. From the IP address we could track the Telstra editor down, somewhat like you are saying. But there's no need to speculate about these plans. We do better if we carry on our normal lives on Wikivoyage despite Telstra. If we let him consume our thought lives and plans every day, he's been successful. He has stopped Wikivoyage from actually expanding in content like it should. I've learned by myself and from other editors: the more we try to track down Telstra, the more he's stopping this website from becoming the travel guide we want it to be. Selfie City (talk) 00:36, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
In a sense, the fact that there's been an uptick in vandalism is a sign of good things. I remember the days when Wikivoyage was practically vandalism-free because we were too small and unknown a website for them to bother with. Seriously, though, each of us has already spent orders of magnitude more time talking about Telstra in this conversation than it takes to revert and block him when he pops up. It might seem like something to worry about when you look at the Recent Changes page, but it really isn't. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:43, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

Telstra user, change of attitude[edit]

Swept in from the pub

I would like to suggest that going forward we handle the Telstra user differently. For one thing he has got better with contributions. Many of the new articles actually have reasonable listings and the minor edits are generally positive ones. Yes it is slightly annoying that these are done under different user ids, sometimes running at 4 or 5 new users a day, but this is not vandalism. Should we be more considerate to people with intellectual impairments? At the moment people are reverting about half of his edits, even good ones, often just reverting back to another entry made under a different user account of the same person. Suggest we just treat like any other contributor and correct edits only when needed. --Traveler100 (talk) 07:53, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

I am not wholly unsympathetic to this idea, but would like to point out that this user has consistently showed no regard for the fundamental principles of a wiki, namely co-operation, collaboration and communication. That he or she is intellectually impaired is pure supposition and I don't think we should assume things like that. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:20, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Not sure if it will be the majority view here but I would like to judge the edit based on the edit itself rather than the user. If some of the edits help Wikivoyage move one step closer to becoming a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable worldwide travel guide then I don't see the harm in keeping those edits and reverting the junk. When the Telstra user makes a good contribution on an article I watch and it is reverted, I add the listing again but copyedit it or add further details so it's not exactly the same. Gizza (roam) 09:20, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Should we be blocking a user account and then complaining that he keeps creating new ones? --Traveler100 (talk) 18:53, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
@AndreCarrotflower: can we look at an alternative approach? --Traveler100 (talk) 18:53, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
There are other issues besides the quality of the edits. For instance, sockpuppeteering, which is part of the Telstra user's M.O., is only allowed on Wikivoyage in a narrow range of circumstances (within which his/her edits don't fall). If we were to begin allowing the Telstra user to edit as normal, would we be able to trust him/her to stick with one account rather than hopping between different ones? Can we even be sure that s/he understands our policy on sockpuppets, or any of our other policies? That's information that can only be obtained through communicating with the user, which s/he stubbornly refuses to do despite numerous entreaties. I think the fact that the Telstra user's edits are improving in quality is promising, but further progress towards rehabilitating the user would hinge on him/her establishing a willingness to communicate with us and doing so consistently, and that's something on which there has been little if any improvement. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:02, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Although I usually take a more gentle approach toward vandals than other admins do, in the naive hope that some good can come of doing so, in the case of the Telstra vandal, s/he really creates so much work for other editors that I am not inclined to be forgiving until s/he takes a big step toward engaging with us. If s/he were to do that, then I would say that it would be worth working with him/her given the recent improvements in contributions. But without that show of good faith on the vandal's part, I think we should continue to take a hard line for the sake of not taking up others' time cleaning up after him/her. Ground Zero (talk) 20:15, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I would say, consider whether the value added is worth the extra work. If not, block for a short period. Repeat as necessary. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:54, 16 July 2018 (UTC)