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Wikitravel:User ban nominations

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Add nominations for user blocks to the list below, but please do so only after reviewing Wikitravel:How to handle unwanted edits. In general the preferred way of handling problem users is through the use of soft security. In the case of automated spam attacks the Wikitravel:Spam filter can also be a valuable tool for stopping unwanted edits.

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

Outstanding nominations[edit]

Special:Contributions/120.72.90.34[edit]

I've blocked this hotel marketer for three days, and per policy am placing the ban notice here. This user is responsible for some of the more egregious SEO violations on our site (see [1] for what is probably the worst example I've ever seen on this site) and has never responded to the myriad messages left on his/her talk page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:33, 21 June 2010 (EDT)

I've sent the following email to Marriott, although it was sent to their general contact address so I'm not sure if it will get the necessary attention:

Hello,

I am an administrator of the wikitravel.org web site, the web's largest open travel web site. For several months we have been fighting Marriott hotel spam from an SEO marketing company based out of Mumbai, India (IP address 120.72.90.34) that has thus far refused to abide by our site policies and has led to discussions about blacklisting all Marriott hotels from the wikitravel.org site.

We would greatly appreciate it if the appropriate marketing contact within the Marriott organization could be made aware of this problem and put a stop to it. The primary URL at which general comments can be left on our site is http://wikitravel.org/en/Pub. Thank you.

Ryan Holliday
Wikitravel.org Administrator

-- Ryan • (talk) • 00:56, 21 June 2010 (EDT)
Barring objections I'd like to continue blocking this marketer for periods of multiple days - in the two months he/she has been spamming us, every single edit gets reverted almost immediately so it's a waste of time for us and the user in question to continue allowing these edits to Wikitravel. -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:51, 25 June 2010 (EDT)
I assume the block expired, because this one is active again. Gorilla Jones 00:45, 26 July 2010 (EDT)
I had to set the eighth block for this marketeer as Ryan's block expired. I blocked him for a week, that why i leave this notice here per our policy. jan 05:24, 5 August 2010 (EDT)
Didn't take him long to start up again. I'll go block him for two weeks this time. LtPowers 09:30, 13 August 2010 (EDT)
I think we need to think a bit more longterm because the spammer is not impressed with one or two weeks. I think three months like spambots should be approriate after ten blocks. jan 09:45, 13 August 2010 (EDT)

Today this user earned his 10th block for touting. I blocked him for a month for all the obvious reasons. I tried to start a discussion on the talk page but so far no one responded. jan 07:33, 30 August 2010 (EDT)

The endurance of this editor is amazing. Exactly one hour after the one month block ended, he/she started again. It's the 11th block and i know block this IP for three month like a spambot. jan 03:32, 1 October 2010 (EDT)
  • Amazing 12th block for this IP! I start to admire his/her endurance. Just hours after the last three months block ended, Peter had to revert and today i did. I reinstalled a new three month block and ask, if we need to think more longterm? jan 04:42, 6 January 2011 (EST)
This IP address is back after more than fourteen blocks. I've applied a three month block given this IP's incredible persistence. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:41, 19 April 2011 (EDT)

Special:Contributions/24.29.233.163[edit]

I blocked this user for a week and per policy am placing a note here. This is the tenth block applied to this IP address. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:31, 30 June 2010 (EDT)

Special:Contributions/Shankarpur and Special:Contributions/Shantiniketanm[edit]

The multipage West Bengal protection detailed here is designed to see if these spammers move on after a full two week block. But this goal is compromised by the fact that they have two auto-confirmed accounts. I would like to block these two accounts for the remaining duration of the aforementioned page protection. --Peter Talk 13:05, 27 September 2010 (EDT)

  • Support. This user(s) has made a mess of the page and refuses to engage in dialog - I say block away. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:10, 27 September 2010 (EDT)
  • Comment: Blocking them would make identifying them harder, as they are likely operating as anon users also. After a very quick look at Shankarpur revision history, I think 122.173.185.37 is highly likely the same user with this/these one/s. I remember seeing other IPs showing a very similar behaviour as well. Maybe we should block these as well? – Vidimian 13:23, 27 September 2010 (EDT)
From Digha's revision history:
These IPs show very similiar behaviour with the edits by users proposed to be blocked here. There are still more IPs just at Digha's revision history that made not as much, but still quite similar edits. – Vidimian 13:39, 27 September 2010 (EDT)
Support. Whoops, I somehow forgot to take into consideration the fact that the pages in question are already protected against non-auto-confirmed edits when I was typing above, so I vote for block. – Vidimian 16:41, 27 September 2010 (EDT)
  • Support I keep asking myself what is it with Indians and Wikitravel... --Stefan (sertmann) talk 17:08, 27 September 2010 (EDT)

I have blocked them for a period corresponding to the protection. If anyone disagrees, we can lift the block. --Peter Talk 19:12, 27 September 2010 (EDT)


Special:Contributions/Bakkhali[edit]

The same reason as the above two: this is an autoconfirmed account being used to circumvent the current protection. I have set the block to correspond to the period of protection. If anyone objects, I will happily lift the block. --Peter Talk 22:05, 3 October 2010 (EDT)


All of the West Bengal phone number spammers[edit]

Unsavory "hotel bookers" have for the past four years plagued Mandarmani, Digha, Bakkhali, Sundarbans National Park, and other West Bengal articles by switching actual hotel phone numbers for their own. They have done so the with astonishing persistence, and the volume in recent months has been so high that their dummy numbers have spent about as much time in the articles as the real numbers—they seem to be as diligent as our janitorial staff.

Our latest, more severe tactic was to protect all these articles for two weeks to see if that would discourage and drive off the touts/vandals, but they have persisted even throughout the protection period by either using autoconfirmed accounts or by spamming talk pages and other unprotected articles. I don't think the protection is generating long term success, and it could be blocking legitimate new users from contributing.

I'm proposing that we apply our spambot rule to these spammers, when clearly identified, to see if blocks can bring a true end to the problem. (I don't believe, however, that these are bots.) That basic rule is 3 months for the first clear offense, and then escalating 2x blocks for each repeat offense past the original block period. --Peter Talk 15:29, 8 October 2010 (EDT)

Would it be acceptable to start with one month bans, and then increment to 3 months (and so forth) for further violations? A three month ban is a long time, and it might be a dangerous precedent to begin allowing multiple-month blocks on real users, even if in this case it's probably warranted. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:47, 8 October 2010 (EDT)
Absolutely. --Peter Talk 19:09, 8 October 2010 (EDT)

Sadly, no sooner have the protections ended than we have 12 ips/users adding in the same junk again. I have blocked them all for one month, and we'll see what happens. If anyone disagrees with this procedure, please speak up, then I will remove the blocks and we can discuss how to move forward. --Peter Talk 22:27, 10 October 2010 (EDT)

No worse offence on WT then deliberately misleading travellers for personal gain. Plain old vandalism comes way down the list. --inas 16:59, 12 January 2011 (EST)

I'm actually a little surprised to see that this tack has helped. The spamdals are still around, but their work has slowed to a mere trickle. --Peter Talk 20:41, 15 February 2011 (EST)

I wonder if this is why I'm not able to edit and add high commission/embassy listings to Kolkata. I later tried New Delhi and found the same. All of my URLs are from the country's gov't site. Some listings existed before I started to work on the subsection, so I guess it's possible some of the ph #'s may not be legit but even so, they already existed on the article so...anyone able to fill me in? Zepppep 17:41, 15 April 2011 (EDT)
Both fixed. When the blacklist triggers the pattern that triggered it is always shown at the top of the screen. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:49, 15 April 2011 (EDT)

Special:Contributions/66.129.86.4[edit]

This IP has never made an edit that is acceptable under the SEO guidelines and returns on a near-daily basis to add new listings, despite numerous talk page messages pointing to appropriate Wikitravel guidelines. After numerous 24 hour blocks I've now blocked the address for a month to avoid wasting more time and am listing here per policy. -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:07, 27 April 2011 (EDT)

Recent Spambots[edit]

Recently two spambots have been hitting the site and creating user accounts, and then creating topics of the form "SEO Term- How to do something", or "SEO Term" and then uploading two supporting images for that term. Per policy a spambot user account is subject to permanent block, but we're generally pretty cautious with such blocks, so I've been leaving messages on the user pages such as User talk:Lifeinsuranceplans. That said, these seem like pretty easy patterns to identify. Since in 30 days these accounts will be able to make auto-patrolled edits, would anyone object to permanently blocking this particular bot as it appears? -- Ryan • (talk) • 13:15, 29 April 2011 (EDT)

Special:Contributions/Creditcardscomparison[edit]

New work of suspected spambot - User:Creditcardscomparison -- see also -- Credit Card- How To Build Good Credit Habits and associated image uploads Image:333.jpg and Image:444.jpg. I have applied a {{vfd}} to this article and associated 2 images as I am unable to delete them myself. I have also listed on the deletions page. I am sure you would like to deal with the user account concerned as I see you have been following the activities closely. -- Keep on sending them home to their mothers Ryan. cheers -- felix 00:56, 30 April 2011 (EDT)

Special:Contributions/120.72.90.34[edit]

This smart indian spammer is bringing is to a new level of SEO and dt violation. It acts like a spambot, refuses any contact and i wouldn't be surprised if some script supports it. I proposed a three months ban due to the similarities with a spambot but it is human. Currently some anon IP's are running high on blocks (couple of them reach or crossed 10th block) and have a huge track record on their talkpage. Any opinions? jan 09:59, 13 August 2010 (EDT)

User_talk:Xiali1208[edit]

This user has consistently placed ads for escort/prostitute services on his user talk page. Another appeared today despite a very obvious warning message. The sites have been black-listed but no doubt there are more. I am not sure if it is enough to blacklist the urls or whether a temporary user ban in order? --Burmesedays 09:57, 11 June 2011 (EDT)

As the one who deleted the latest pimping, I second the ban nomination. Ikan Kekek 12:04, 11 June 2011 (EDT)
I haven't actually made that nomination :), as I know that is a serious step. Rather, for an infringement of this nature, I am asking whether other folks think a temporary ban nomination is in order or whether the blacklisting is sufficient :). --Burmesedays 12:14, 11 June 2011 (EDT)
This account's contributions look very spambotty to me. That said, it's only posted two urls. As blocks are the last resort (aside from obvious spambots), lets blacklist the urls first. --Peter Talk 17:47, 11 June 2011 (EDT)

Special:Contributions/62.28.47.46[edit]

Policy allows for blocks of increasing length, but since this one has gotten up to a month I'm listing it here. This user has ignored all messages on User talk:62.28.47.46 and continues to add multiple listings that aren't appropriate per the SEO guidelines. The user is now on his 13th block, and following the guidance of using slowly increasing block lengths the current block is up to one month. If anyone objects to this block it can easily be removed, but otherwise I'd suggest that until this user either responds on his talk page that he has read the SEO guidance or else begins contributing constructively, continuing to block this user after problem contributions is the best solution. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:59, 30 August 2011 (EDT)

Special:Contributions/216.97.213.176[edit]

Per policy this IP has been banned for increasing lengths of time (currently three months) due to repeated vandalism here, on shared:, and (for what it's worth) the IP has also been troublesome and banned on Wikipedia and Meta:. Listing here per policy. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:07, 28 November 2011 (EST)

I'd make the observation that this may well be our first user ban of a significant duration for a non-spambot. I think our soft security advocates must be in hiding. --Inas 17:10, 28 November 2011 (EST)
I'm fairly certain that there are also some hotel marketers that have hit the 3 month limit. I'm happy to reduce the duration, but as I understand the "increasing ban length" policy, once a user has been blocked more than a half dozen times then a duration of a month or more would not be unreasonable. I've been an advocate of soft security in the past, but at the same time six years of experience on wikis has caused me to reconsider whether spending any amount of time dealing with obvious trolls and vandals is in any way worthwhile. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:45, 28 November 2011 (EST)
Well, if so they don't seem to have been noted here, as I think policy would require. Personally I don't have a problem with this userban, but I also do notice the change from a time where have no user bans was badge of honor for WT. --Inas 21:54, 28 November 2011 (EST)
Special:Contributions/120.72.90.34 is on this nomination page and was given a three month block, so there's at least one past precedent. As to soft security, User:Evan and User:Mark were both huge proponents of not using blocks or page protection in Wikitravel's early days, to the point where we would sometimes spend (literally) hours reverting and re-reverting a single user's vandalism. While the idea was noble and made sense when many at Wikipedia were over-eager to block people for experimenting, it reflected a time when trolling and vandalism weren't nearly as prevalent, and was done at the expense of chasing away some admins who didn't want to spend their time babysitting. Today I think we do a decent job of striking a balance between encouraging new users and not forcing admins and patrollers into jobs that they shouldn't have to be doing, even if the lack of blocks and page protections is no longer something Wikitravel can brag about. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:27, 28 November 2011 (EST)
I'm very tempted to say that this ip is not enough of a significant problem to warrant a block greater than 1 day. I understood the cascading blocks to apply only to spambots (starting at 3 months and doubling from there on). --Peter Talk 02:15, 29 November 2011 (EST)

Special:Contributions/192.251.125.40[edit]

Another hotel marketer who has ignored all pointers to Wikitravel:Don't tout. Blocked for the tenth time today (for one week), and listed here per policy. -- Ryan • (talk) • 11:55, 21 December 2011 (EST)

216.66.128.0/18[edit]

A user utilizing numerous addresses from this IP range (Toronto area) has been repeatedly vandalizing the site over the past three days. Per policy any block longer than 24 hours should be listed on this page, and with the latest block of one week I'm doing so. Also note that this same IP range was blocked for a month on Wikipedia - WikiPedia:Special:GlobalBlockList/216.66.168.191 -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:39, 18 March 2012 (EDT)

User is back after almost exactly one week, so blocking again for a week. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:24, 26 March 2012 (EDT)
IB has disabled the ability to implement a range block, so this nomination is no longer relevant. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:53, 10 April 2012 (EDT)
We turned that off (was supposed to be temporary -- hours -- to investigate performance problems); I have just had tech re-enable it, so should be good to go now.--IBobi 14:18, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
Thanks IBobi. I've blocked this range again for a week due to multiple visits per day over the past week resulting in hundreds of pages that had to either be reverted or deleted. Also worth noting is that the range is again blocked on Wikipedia: WikiPedia:Special:GlobalBlockList/216.66.168.191. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:14, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
I've also applied an infinite block to this user's various registered accounts under the "Doppelganger" guideline of the Wikitravel:How to handle unwanted edits policy. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:23, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
Sorry to be out of touch with this user, but I'm just checking that the names were impersonations of other users? The Doppelganger guideline does not pertain to sock puppets, which we actually allow. That might be worth revisiting, but just sayin'. --Peter Talk 17:03, 13 April 2012 (EDT)
If a high-volume vandal creates a half dozen accounts and uses them solely for the purposes of vandalism it seems silly to leave them active, just as we wouldn't leave spambot accounts active. That said, I'm not up-to-speed on whatever the correct terminology of a single user having an army of different accounts, so if the doppelganger rationale is not justified would this be something that needs a policy change proposal? -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:19, 13 April 2012 (EDT)
I had the same thought as Peter; doppelganger accounts are those created to impersonate another user, like User:Peterfitzgera1d or something. But I couldn't figure out what accounts belonged to this IP so I didn't say anything. =) LtPowers 20:10, 13 April 2012 (EDT)
User is back again, blocked for another week. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:29, 20 April 2012 (EDT)
Side note, but this block should apply to 216.66.128.0 thru 216.66.191.255 if my math is right. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:41, 20 April 2012 (EDT)
User back again, blocked this time for two weeks. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:26, 30 April 2012 (EDT)
Blocked again for two weeks. Almost exactly at the expiration of the last block 20+ doppelganger accounts were registered here and on shared, which seems strangely coincidental. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:12, 14 May 2012 (EDT)
You mean sockpuppets, right?  ;) --Peter Talk 10:01, 14 May 2012 (EDT)
This time I think I got the terminology right - the accounts were almost all of the form ".Wrh2" [2] :) -- Ryan • (talk) • 10:44, 14 May 2012 (EDT)
That's... kinda creepy. LtPowers 13:46, 14 May 2012 (EDT)
Blocked again for a month. I also assume the 20+ "Ikan Kekek" doppelgangers created here and on shared were from the same user. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:28, 18 June 2012 (EDT)
Exactly one month after the expiration of the last block 20+ "Wrh2" doppelgangers were created here and on shared, and I'm receiving "your password was reset" emails from IP 216.66.188.111, so I'm blocking this range for two months. See [3] where the range has been repeatedly blocked on Wikipedia as well. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:33, 21 July 2012 (EDT)

Special:Contributions/212.121.219.1[edit]

I blocked this anon IP to get his attention because he/she creates loads of skeletons. My aim is to get his attention. Jc8136 10:59, 28 March 2012 (EDT)

I tried several shortterm blocks (15 mins to 2 hours) but no reaction. The user recognises the ban and starts about an hour after the ban again. Also he/she starts with political edits about Kashmir and Punjab that likely is a source for edit warring between Indian and Pakistani users. Any objection and i shorten the ban. Jc8136 16:27, 31 March 2012 (EDT)
I've shortened the most recent block - while the user continues to create questionable articles, I don't think the contributions are malicious and have concerns about a lengthy block for what may be good-faith edits. -- Ryan • (talk) • 12:02, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
Ryan, the editor started just again, therefore i reinstalled the one week ban. We tried every way to get the attention of this user and even though he might be in good-faith it will end with political disputes. The user focuses on the sensitive area of Kashmir and when i see statements like indian administered Kashmir it will only take days until some indian user will start to edit warring. I patrol Pakistan articles for quite some time and it always ends nasty. His userpage is full of encouragement but somehow he/she doesn't take that chance. Jc8136 12:07, 11 April 2012 (EDT)
This user's behavior is puzzling, but I am also worried that a week long ban is too harsh for what appear to be good-faith, if thoroughly misguided efforts. Actually, I would be of the opinion that it would be too severe for dealing with all but the most persistent of bad faith edits, as bans are "an extreme last resort," and an "embarassing... admission that our community is not strong, patient, and professional enough to deal with unwanted edits using the simple freedom built into the Wiki way." Let's also remember that our ban policy requires the agreement of three admins to apply blocks longer than one day, aside from the specific exceptions enumerated there.
I'm back from the party, and will be happy to help with reverting this user's edits, until (hopefully) he gets bored and moves on. --Peter Talk 22:09, 17 April 2012 (EDT)
Peter, great to have you back. I think the same user has tried to work under another anon IP User_talk:2.96.61.173 and that shows he/she knows his/her efforts are not in compliance with our policy. I will not call it bad faith but Pakistan seems to attract some attention from people that try to push through its ideas without the community. Jc8136 03:04, 18 April 2012 (EDT)

User:Lamhuy300890[edit]

Keeps adding the same, identical listing for a motorcycle tour listing in multiple destination articles (especially the larger nearby tourist town of Hoi An) and does not respond to either his talk page or to more than TEN reverts by myself and others.

I request a 3 day block (since he is only infrequently active and otherwise may not notice) to get his attention followed by escalating blocks if there is no adequate response since he's wasting other editors' time that could be better spent on improving our guides. --Ttcf (talk) 03:12, 1 December 2014 (EST)

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