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Wikitravel talk:User page help

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Pages by contributor[edit]

[Moved from Travellers' pub by Hypatia 21:31, 16 Dec 2004 (EST)]

Is there any way of displaying the list of pages that a user has contributed? I often find that someone who makes a mistake in one page replicates this in many and it would be extremely useful if I could simply access them all. --Nzpcmad 03:26, 9 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Yes, this is how I kill spam from a single source. If you go to the User:foo page, somewhere there is a link (in the default skin, it's on the left side in a bar labeled toolbox) you can click labeled User Contributions. This takes you to a page with all contribs. For example, Jpatokal's contribs are [1]. -- Colin 03:31, 9 Oct 2004 (EDT)
OK - excellent. Many thanks --Nzpcmad 03:54, 9 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Should we put an info box on this page that lets people know editing this page won't create their own user page? Looks like it happens pretty often. Maybe something like:

NOTE: Editing this template will not create your user page; for information on how to create your own user page see Wikitravel:How to create a user account.


-- Fastestdogever 13:42, 23 April 2007 (EDT)

Touting on Userpages[edit]

I have seen some very fishy user pages recently (like this one). They are either soliciting, personal ads, or just offering business services. I figure these should be deleted, at least when the user is clearly not here to contribute content, but I am a little wary about just deleting userpages—should I just delete them? --Peterfitzgerald Talk 18:26, 4 June 2007 (EDT)

I don't have a problem with a business owner putting info about their hotel/restaurant/etc on their user page, even going so far as doing a little touting, as long as they've actually contributed to the guide, and it doesn't turn into a free "web presence" for their business. But I don't think the above-linked user page is appropriate. At best it's a "job wanted" advert, and I can't help wondering if the services being offered include "happy endings" (which would be even less appropriate). For something like this (especially since I doubt she's coming back), I think we should blank the page, with a note on her User_talk page explaining why. - Todd VerBeek 18:40, 4 June 2007 (EDT)
Anytime you feel wary about just deleting something, please hold off. In particular, if a user page has some content you think is unacceptable, it's much better to talk to that user than to just delete their user page.
I think that touting user pages are relatively harmless, and I think that it's more important that contributors feel that their user page is their own to do with as they wish. Clearly user pages don't fall under the same MoS requirements as pages in the main namespace. Unless there's clear and imminent harm from having a particular user page on the site, let's practice benign negligence. --Evan 22:42, 4 June 2007 (EDT)
I'm very much with Evan on this one - unless a user page is obviously in violation of the Wikitravel:Illegal activities policy or if they are obviously in violation of the "not a homepage service" goal then I think we should only modify them after leaving a warning on the talk page and reaching a consensus to do so on the VFD (or some other) page. The user page policy tells a user that the page is "their own user page", and just as you wouldn't enter your neighbor's house except in an extreme situation I don't think we should be patrolling user pages without good reason. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:11, 4 June 2007 (EDT)
Just so I better understand how to deal with these—in this particular case, it appeared the user was using her user page to advertise her "escort services" and had not contributed any content to wikitravel other than the user page. I went with Todd's suggestion: blanked her page and left a note on her talk page. Did I overstep with this one? --Peterfitzgerald Talk 00:07, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
I think it's a rare case that we need to do this, but I agree this is one that should have been blanked, yes. I can't think of any reason beyond the 2 Ryan mentioned why we'd need to do this... either a user has turned their userpage into a large and unruly personal website, or if they're in violation of the illegal activities policy. Otherwise, don't worry about it – cacahuate talk 02:01, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
Sorry, I thought this discussion had concluded, so I just reverted Peter's blanking. I rolled back. I am on the fence on this one. — Ravikiran 02:08, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
I agree with Evan on this -- it's not our job to start censoring people's user pages. Jpatokal 02:15, 5 June 2007 (EDT)
One of our non-goals is to "provide personal hompage service", which, I believe extends to businesses. As policy says, "[user pages] should be used to support the development of the travel guide", which the user pages in question don't do. I'd say delete overt advertisements, but leave the user pages of users, who contribute alone, even if they advertise their businesses on a user page. -- Sapphire 22:10, 19 June 2007 (EDT)
The suggestion to "talk to the user" is a good one, and when I have reason to believe the user will be back for a conversation, I do exactly that. I don't like "censoring" anyone, and personally I don't care if someone sells sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll. But when they create a Wikitravel account and place an advert on their not-really-a-user page as their first and only edit, and it clearly isn't consistent with what this site is for, what are we supposed to do? Just leave it until they (don't) come back? The User: space (which isn't where she first created the homepage, BTW; I moved it there) is not the main Wikitravel space, but it's still part of this site, and unless we want this to turn into MyWikitravelSpace, some "policing" is necessary. "Benign negligence" is still negligence. - Todd VerBeek 22:40, 19 June 2007 (EDT)

I would be curious to hear some more opinions on this topic. User:Bestlyriccollection seems to me like a speedy delete candidate, since its only purpose is to spam in a place where we are loathe to interfere, but to speedy delete it would certainly go against the tide of this discussion so far. --Peter Talk 22:56, 15 July 2007 (EDT)

First, I'd ask if you'd leave a welcome message for the user and explain your concerns. If you think it needs to be dealt with immediately VFD it. I agree with you it doesn't much help the project and is fishy, but at least he/she isn't advertising "midgetswithbigcocks.net". -- Sapphire(Talk) • 23:06, 15 July 2007 (EDT)
I left him a message and went ahead and blanked the page... we've pretty clearly got a policy against using userpages as personal home pages... see Wikitravel:User page help. What we've been discussing above is users who are touting about their one specific business on their userpages... and we seem to be leaning towards letting that go. But this user had a list of at least 100 bookmarks, almost all of which had absolutely nothing to do with making a travel guide. One section of the links were to his various other userpages on other wikis, almost all of which had the same list of bookmarks. The notable exception was his Wikipedia userpage, probably because they've also got a similar (and sometimes well-enforced) policy – cacahuate talk 02:10, 16 July 2007 (EDT)

I just rolled back a blanking of some of JossDude's user pages. They're obviously in violation of the "not a homepage service", but at the same time they were all travel related and I'm really, really uncomfortable with getting into the business of policing user pages. Wikitravel policy states that a user's page is their page to do with what they like, so if we're going to start modifying them I think it should be totally obvious even to someone unfamiliar with Wikitravel why the modification is being made (ie the page is filled with spam links or hate speech), or else we should have some sort of discussion ala VFD prior to making changes. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:01, 18 July 2007 (EDT)

Actually, I think our policy at Wikitravel:Goals and non-goals makes it pretty clear that a user's page is not their page to do with what they like as it sets clear limits on what the user pages can/should be. The only part that isn't clear is what happens if a User is in violation. The simplest thing to do is to just leave a message, but in this particular case, the User had not responded to multiple messages for months. I would also venture that my message on his talk page made it perfectly clear why I had modified his travelogues—as I said, I was trying to get his attention so that he would respond to talk messages letting him know that his User page use was in clear violation of Wikitravel policy. Lastly, I would just like to point out that this is no longer a matter of whether touting on user pages is a policy violation, it is now a discussion of how to police policy violations on user pages. --Peter Talk 02:19, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
And Ryan, I would like to point out that a good part of my rationale for the edits you reverted came from your earlier comment in this thread: "unless a user page is obviously in violation of the Wikitravel:Illegal activities policy or if they are obviously in violation of the "not a homepage service" goal..." --Peter Talk 02:34, 19 July 2007 (EDT)
Just to be clear, I don't think you necessarily did anything wrong, and I apologize if I've seemed overly critical. The issue I see is that I don't think there has yet been any agreement on how (or if) this issue should be handled - Evan advocated benign negligence, Ravi is on the fence, and Jani agreed with Evan. In my comments above I agreed with Evan, but I should have used the phrase "blatantly in violation" instead of "obviously in violation" to indicate when I would favor modifying a user page.
The policy currently in place allows us to easily deal with someone who (for example) shows up and creates a user page to hawk the latest male enhancement gimmick - to me that's a blatant/obvious violation, and I think it would be 100% clear to anyone that the content is inappropriate. In the case of JossDude, while his travel journals violate the written policies, I don't think that it's unreasonable for a new user (who probably hasn't read all of the policies) to assume that they could use their user space to write about their travels. Both examples technically violate the "not a home page" guideline, but I see the second example kind of like jay-walking - you only do something about it when it becomes a serious issue, and the rest of the time you just look the other way. Also, I really think that if people want to begin dealing with pages like JossDude's where it's not 100% clear that someone is abusing Wikitravel then we need a discussion process - "we should only modify them after leaving a warning on the talk page and reaching a consensus to do so on the VFD (or some other) page". That's my less than two cents worth, I'll shut up now. -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:05, 19 July 2007 (EDT)

Let's try to set reasonable limits. The guides are the focus of Wikitravel and our patrolling efforts should go there. The talk pages, the User pages and the project pages are supposed to be working towards that goal, but I think that in those cases we can and should allow a bit of leeway there. How much of leeway, is an open question, but let's accept that if we start applying our non-goal rules to User pages, every one of us is in violation. I mention something about me and where I work on my User page - i.e. I am using it as a homepage. If I put a couple of essays about my travels there, I am creating a travel journal. If I put a couple of photos from my last vacation, I am using it as a vacation photo gallery service. I asked Cacahuate for advice when I was planning my honeymoon, so I used Wikitravel as a travel chat board. If I run a restaurant, put a link to it on my user page and brag about how good the restaurant is, I've made it an advertising brochure.

I think the key questions to ask are: Is it travel related? Is it excessive? Does it harm Wikitravel's primary purpose?

Obviously, if someone puts a lot of spammy links or pornography on any page, it affects our reputation, may turn off users and may lower our google rank, so we should police that. If someone puts too many non-travel related photographs, it takes up space on our servers which is obviously a bad thing - but Evan should really tell us how much is too much.

So I think that we did the right thing with Bestlyricscollection. I am not sure if we did the right thing with Haiya1984 - the touting was not excessive, but because it is sex-related, it probably harms our image. But when it comes to JossDude, I am concerned that we are going overboard by blanking out his page, especially now that we have Extra. After all, what he is doing is travel related. He is not adding too many photographs, and I have a hard time thinking of any amount of travel related text as "excessive". It will not harm Wikitravel's reputation or image. On the contrary, if his friends visit his page, there is a chance that they will check out other parts of the site and stay on as contributors. We should try to nudge him to contribute to Extra, but I doubt if "I got kicked out of Wikitravel" is a good enough reason for people to move to Extra. Let it be, I say. — Ravikiran 03:17, 19 July 2007 (EDT)

Ravikiran's guidelines sound very reasonable to me. I will say, however, that the thing that attracted my attention to JossDude's travelogues was the fact that he has uploaded >70 large personal images (our Wikitravel:Goals and non-goals advises that >5 is "pushing it"). I suppose the space that he alone uses for image hosting is pretty negligible, but my guess is that it would start to take up too much server space if this sort of activity became popular. --Peter Talk 02:59, 20 July 2007 (EDT)

Suspected fraud[edit]

Here's another borderline case: User:Saradarani

Anyone familiar with the (still!) ongoing Mandarmani saga will recognize this as a very suspect touting userpage. There has been someone (or some people) who have been very persistently changing the phone numbers for the accommodations listings for Mandarmani and for several nearby locations. He/she/they have also claimed to "be" the owners of these accommodations listings. Since the phone number on this user page does not match up to the ones that the Sana Beach lists on its website, I suspect that this particular userpage tout is actually an attempt to trick people into calling someone else—in short, it is fraud.

My feeling is that we should blank this page. Does that seem reasonable to others? --Peter Talk 03:17, 2 September 2007 (EDT)

While Wikitravel's user page policy says users can do what they want with their user pages, that doesn't include misleading travelers with false information. If this user page is pushing false information with the intent of duping travelers then remove the offending info, but there definitely needs to be a note left on the user page explaining why the content was removed and what needs to be done to restore it, especially if there is any chance at all that the content in question could actually be valid. -- Ryan • (talk) • 03:41, 2 September 2007 (EDT)

More than a babel?[edit]

Swept from the Pub:

Sorry if it shouldn't be discussed here, I couldn't find another place. Anyways if you check out some of the user pages in Wikipedia, like: [2], [3], [4], and [5] and look at the spots with babel's, you'd see there is a lot more other stuff. I was wondering if it is possible to have the same in WikiTravel, or to implement it? I think it'd be neat. Keep smiling, ee talk 19:16, 10 November 2008 (EST).

I like the 'language' the second user has in his Babel: "du-0 This person does not understand dumbass (or understands it with considerable difficulties, or does not want to speak dumbass)." When that 'language' is added to Wikitravel, I will certainly add it to my profile!  :)  :) AHeneen 00:53, 11 November 2008 (EST)
While I like the babel, Ithink we can get more and personailize! Good idea? Happy first day of snow in Edmonton, ee talk 11:33, 11 November 2008 (EST).
I agree. And lucky you...my hometown has seen snow only once in recorded history...about a half inch (a little more than 1cm) in 1977...no "first day of snow" for me!! AHeneen 13:08, 11 November 2008 (EST)
Hehe, here' it'll probably melt tomorrow. It'll probably be off and on until Dec 20 and then it'll stay until about March. Keep smiling, ee talk 13:12, 11 November 2008 (EST).
It's easy enough to add languages into the Babel in Wikitravel. I did it a while ago with Welsh (cy). I just copied the format for all the templates from one of the existing languages, and nicked the definitions for each level from Babel Wikipedia. Obviously if you're trying to set it up for a language you're not that fluent in yourself it makes it much easier if it's already there on Wikipedia. Tarr3n 03:03, 12 November 2008 (EST)
I don't think EE's looking for more languages. I think he/she'd like to have userboxes for other topics like those that are rampant on Wikipedia. LtPowers 09:51, 12 November 2008 (EST)
Eaxactly! I know about the languages. Keep smiling, ee talk 10:30, 12 November 2008 (EST).

So, would people be interested in having this-or is it already on this site? Keep smiling ,ee talk 00:51, 14 November 2008 (EST).

I'd really prefer we didn't. The consensus here has always been against userboxes. Just one reason why I'd prefer we don't is that it would mess up the special:allpages template list. --Peter Talk 01:00, 14 November 2008 (EST)
So then why can Wikipedia have it? TO me it's stupid, its a wonderful oportunity! Why do we need plain jane's when we can have better (not directed necessarily at WT). I don't get it. Seems like your missing out. Keep smiling, ee talk 10:30, 14 November 2008 (EST).
Missing out on what? This is a place for people to write a travel guide, sure we can have a little fun doing it, but this isn't really meant to be a travel version of mySpace. That said, I did create one for my user page, and I wouldn't be against travel-oriented ones like "this user is a couch surfer" or whatever, but I would hate to see it become like Wikipedia too, with endless irrelevant crap – cacahuate talk 04:03, 15 November 2008 (EST)


I found out ya can do more than a babel on Wikitravel, you just gotta know what you want and be aware you can't have the same options as Wikipedia. Check my page. ZOMG meteor on the prairies yesterday!!edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 01:34, 22 November 2008 (EST).

ub[edit]

Okay, in light of the growing popularity of userboxes with more boxes than a babel, maybe we should do an article page like, Wikitravel:Babel? I mean it is only suiting and people seem to like it aswell and it can explain the codes. keep smiling,edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 10:20, 5 December 2008 (EST).

I am strongly opposed to this idea. As I explained in the pub, the consensus on this site has always been against userboxes, and the tone that they set. The most relevant pieces of information on this topic are on this page (Remember that Wikitravel is not a personal home page service or a vacation photo service. Overloaded User pages are considered a form of abuse.) and enshrined in the most important policy article on Wikitravel.
The professional, controlled atmosphere on Wikitravel is deliberate. We are working on creating travel guides, not on social networking. User pages really should be devoted to furthering the aims of Wikitravel and userboxes clearly do not do this. Productive uses of personal space can include friendly, but relevant information, like indications of what languages you speak, what places you know well, places of interest to you. Most userpages do include some personal information, but I think totally non-relevant narcissistic userboxes, or even worse, userboxes that are made to vent personal frustrations, are out of step with the Wikitravel culture that has been cultivated for the past 5 years. There are plenty of other sites on the web for this type of socializing. And on a purely subjective level, seeing pages loaded with irrelevant userboxes makes me take the user less seriously, because it makes the user seem less interested in the project than in himself.
That said, we do not police personal userspace except in the extreme cases that they become external link spam or are advertising illegal services. So no one will remove the userboxes on your page. But while I'm always open to hearing new arguments pro, I have trouble imagining that I will drop my opposition to creating userboxes in our Template: space, and especially to recommending them in this policy article. --Peter Talk 16:50, 6 December 2008 (EST)
Just because you cannot open your mind a smidge to new ideas, doesn't mean things can't change. So what if it has been the same way for five years, nothing stays the same, and you should be open with that. I am not doing this for me, I am doing it for the rising popularity in it. If I was the only one with this, then I would not have brought it up, but there is growing popularity and it would be nice to have a page on it cause it does seem important - not to mention difficult. I really do not get why you are anti userbox as they seem really cool on wikipedia. What is the big deal with getting some off topic when it isnt even an article? I see no reason why we should not have this. Who cares if it is off topic, it's not like it's filling up travel article with ubs, what is the big whupdy? I will see where the anti user box people are coming from if you gimme a good reason that I cannot argue. I cannot get why every little thing has to be about travel, even if it is stuff that doesn't need it. Peter, I don't get it, you don't really see the big picture. edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 22:12, 6 December 2008 (EST).
Peter spelled out his reasoning without resorting to personal attacks in his posting. His #1 reason is not that he opposes userboxes, but he opposes encouraging them by creating templates. Additionally, he sees userboxes as being against the core goals of the site. For the record, over the past year Peter has been instrumental in implementing many new ideas, so accusing him of being close-minded or missing the big-picture is an unfair attack. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:25, 6 December 2008 (EST)

Policing user space[edit]

Leaving users to do whatever they want with their userspace has been the norm on Wikitravel for longer, certainly, than I have been contributing. That norm has been challenged a few times, above, and misplaced here, but while there is significant support for change, there is yet to emerge a consensus for changing this practice.

Because of Wikitravel's increasing weight in search engine results, we are seeing a lot of spam set up in userspace for the ostensible purpose of increasing other sites'/businesses' page rank. I do think that the general rule of inviolable userspace is worth preserving (for the record, I don't think that should extend to modifying others' comments on user talk pages), but I think we can draw a useful line between contributing users and non-contributing spammers. We get increasing amounts of new users who set up clear advertisements in their userspace, then never contribute again. I say, if a user does not make any non-spam edits, we should not extend the same privileges to said user that we would to a Wikitravel contributor.

Reasons for policing user pages to root out spam: 1) having large quantities of irrelevant spam throughout our sites may lower Wikitravel's search engine ranking (indeed, I think it should); 2) having large quantities of irrelevant advertising throughout hundreds or thousands of userpages makes Wikitravel look like an unprofessional, unmoderated, and unreliable website to casual users who come across these pages in search results. --Peter Talk 06:47, 1 April 2009 (EDT)

Given what seemed previously to be rather intense interest in this issue, I'm surprised no one is commenting. In any rate, I would like to use this policy to delete, for example, this page. Since at least one person (last comment in section) has voiced support for this change, I'm going to rfc this, and make it policy in two weeks if no one else comments. --Peter Talk 14:38, 26 April 2009 (EDT)
Frankly, I don't think I even knew this page existed. I support your proposal. LtPowers 20:32, 26 April 2009 (EDT)
Support as well — sorry I hadn't noticed the proposal earlier. Gorilla Jones 20:50, 26 April 2009 (EDT)
I Support, but I really see this as already being a subset of existing policy. We are not a user home page service, and I have seen no consensus ever evolve that there is inviolable userspace, despire the links you have pointed to in the past. We have a specific non-goal stating this, and this should be sufficient without having to present this as a policy change here. User Pages exist to further the goal of building a travel guide. If they are contrary to this, they should be blanked or deleted by the normal process. --Inas 21:25, 26 April 2009 (EDT)

It's been a month and a half, with an rfc, and no objections (there was also support when I brought this up in a vfd). I'm adding this to the Wikitravel:Deletion policy. --Peter Talk 06:32, 14 May 2009 (EDT)

Your modification to the policy only covers User talk pages. Did you mean to leave User pages out of this? -- Colin 17:08, 14 May 2009 (EDT)
Nope, that was just sloppy editing—fixed. --Peter Talk 20:27, 14 May 2009 (EDT)

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