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OpenID still not working
Also, login on en: using OpenID from fr: and URL fr:user:joelf doesn't seem to work either. Thanks for your help. joelf
I feel that we lack a right to vanish policy. The meatball version is to be found here. The Wikipedia version is here. Suggestion: import the current Wikipedia version. Riggwelter 09:45, 12 September 2012 (EDT)
Nominations should also include a sentence or two outlining the nominee's relevant experience and understanding of Wikitravel's policies. --W. Franke-mailtalk 21:24, 23 September 2012 (EDT)
The main reason for this problem is that nearly all the current admins have left to start another project. Pashley 22:01, 23 September 2012 (EDT)
W. Frank is correct -- qualified admins are needed now, and to guide this project going forward. This is an excellent fresh start for Wikitravel :) --IBobitalkemail 20:29, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Can the techies improve the captcha or something to cut down on the amount of spam? I've been deleting several pages a day for some time & over a dozen today, and I am not the only admin doing it, but there are lots more. Most involve accounts apparently registered only to spam. Is there a way to prevent spambot registrations? Pashley 01:24, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Captcha is at its highest level (recaptcha, actually). We're exploring new ways to combat spam accounts, including the Abuse Filter extension. If you notice patterns in the spammers, please let me know. Whether it's coming from a common IP range, always posting the same exact content, similar usernames, etc -- if there's a pattern we can write a rule around, we can set up blocks.--IBobitalkemail 20:34, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Another is use of the <br> tag, not needed on a wiki but found in many pages whose pattern is "Hello, I'm Bozo McGuffin from Camelot.<br><br> See my blog:" then some rubbish link. Pashley 23:33, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
Thinking about it, if there was a way to prohibit new users from posting links -- for example just reject any edit to a new user page that includes a link -- that would eliminate most spam. Pashley 23:51, 24 September 2012 (EDT)
FYI, we have placed some filters, as well as scripted the mass deletion of the vandalism over the last 2 days. It's not a big deal in the end, just a minor annoyance. Vandalizing a wiki... pointless. Thank you all for you help.--IBobitalkemail 14:54, 25 September 2012 (EDT)
This account  has vandalised thousands of pages. On the software side of things, can making more than "X number of edits in X amount of time" by a new user/IP address be blocked? AHeneen 03:33, 26 September 2012 (EDT) PS:The name translates (Google Translate) as "Stalin-our shared combat". Wonder if it has something to do with those Pro-Communist/Russian nationalist people we've had to deal with on the Russia & Tiraspol pages?
PPS:Looks like several vandalism bots might be those people. За Родину!= For the Motherland! Слава России!!!=Glory to Russia! Слава Родине!=Glory to the motherland! Пиздец неруси!=Nerusi f***ed! Русская месть=Русская месть Возмездие= Retaliation Месть русских=Revenge of the Russian That's all the Cyrillic user names that appear in the block log going back through the 14th.
The red box being put on pages corresponds with the page of the user that has taken over the Russian WT merging former Soviet countries into the "Russia" page. User page translates to: "Слава России! GLORY OF RUSSIA! Glory to the great heroes of the Russian land! Honor, praise, honor and eternal glory to the victorious people! Kudos to you, brave, GLORY, fearless! Eternal glory SINGS TO YOU PEOPLE. Valiantly lived, Death is broken, MEMORIES OF YOU WILL NEVER DIE! WE - RUSSIAN, God with us!" Clearly some delusional apparatchik well-versed in Russian nationalist, revisionist history. Can Cyrillic characters be blocked from new user names? Any other ways to deal with this? Seems to me like the people who gave us the headache over on the Russia/Tiraspol pages were likely from Transnistria (which corresponds to the Tiraspol edits & the fact that Transnistria remains stuck in the 1980s with the Communist party in charge). Any way to automatically block (or put restrictions on editing capability) of Moldovan IP addresses? Possible to also add Ukraine, too, because Transnistria borders it and it's possible telecom services might come from Ukraine due to the conflict between Moldova/Transnistria.AHeneen 04:22, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
Can we make it impossible to register an account on en with a non-ASCII name? There have been at least two accounts with Russian names used for vandalism. Pashley 03:45, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I see the vandalism and your heroic efforts. I think both those restrictions are on the table and good ideas. Thanks for your heroic efforts in reverting. We'll have to see about a mass revert via username. If the Abuse Filter can handle the x edits/x time restriction, that might do it. Even if we set it to 50/hour, it would have helped here tremendously.--IBobitalkemail 03:56, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I would strongly deprecate any blocking based on geographical area or Cyrillic alphabet names. We do not want the innocent to suffer because of the guilty. Number of edits allowable per minute (if technically feasible) would not penalise the innocent newbie so much, but set much lower limits eg 1 edit per 2 minutes for 1st 7 days of a new account, then 1 edit per 1 minute for next 7 days, then 2 edits per 1 minute for next 28 days, then 3 edits per 1 minute for next 90 days, subject to manual override on appeal. -- 22.214.171.124W. Franke-mailtalk 04:36, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I agree with Frank, we shouldn't discriminate against a certain area or language. Anyways, the vandal could switch to ASCII names, so there's not much point in blocking non-ASCII names. But I'm fine with an edits per minute limit. –sumone10154(talk) 10:23, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I am taking out anywhere from two to twenty spam pages every time I visit, and that is just the obvious stuff. I'm not even looking at the dozens that are probably spam, the ones with a three-line intro to a "user" and some irrelevant link. Nor am I patrolling edits other than new pages and some things on my watchlist. I am doing far more deletions now than I used to when there was a whole crew of editors, but I'm also seeing more problems I do not have time for and much less patrolling by other admins.
If IB want to keep this site alive despite the massive defection of editors, something must be done quite urgently. Either find many new editors or have IB employees doing extensive patrolling. Pashley 23:48, 14 October 2012 (EDT)
And the spammers are getting craftier. I believe this one created several different "Black Hat" user names to vandalise dozens of pages and then went back using his "White hat" user account to "repair" the damage - but also added a tailored external link to a travel guide each time, hoping it would not be noticed in the pag3 "restoration"!
IBadmins are doing extensive patrolling Monday to Friday but there are patterns in this spamming which could be used to automate reversions.
Thank for that alert, guys -- were you in fact seeing that spam piling up on the weekend? We do expect to see less of that as more admins are starting to peck away at night and weekends. We also are in the process of implementing a number of filters that keep vandalism and spam more at bay, but there is only so much Captcha and filtering can do versus NEW pages; no system is going to be able to tell what is a "good" new page and what is not, because there's very little commonality with which to write a rule that prevents them without potentially preventing "good" new pages from being created.
The good news is, new content continues to be added to WT at a fantastic rate. This site is doing great, and you two are part of the reason. If you have ideas for spam remediation, I am more than happy to implement them!--IBobitalkemail 18:24, 18 October 2012 (EDT)
I do have one lead that you might want to check out - but since I suspect it might be against (your implicit) policy to mention the source here, I will email you about it. --W. Franke-mailtalk 18:44, 18 October 2012 (EDT)
The abuse filter names are singularly unhelpful (they appear to be named after things like Stephen King novels and the like). When a user gets a message like "A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: Lethal Weapon", that doesn't help them make more constructive edits, because it doesn't explain what the problem was. LtPowers 16:47, 25 October 2012 (EDT)
User User:IBlegal has made some imprecise and obnoxious threats and IB has actually sued some users and there are countersuits.
Would it not be a better use of legal dep't time to go after the spammers who are actively and persistently damaging the site? I took out 24 rubbish pages today, 19 yesterday, and I'm just doing the obvious ones. Unchecked, these bozos will destroy WT.
Also, going after spammers would be much better politically, doing something that might help all the other wiki sites out there rather than appearing petulant and aggressive. Pashley 06:09, 13 November 2012 (EST)
FYI legal has nothing whatsoever to do with spam. Spam is handled here, by people like you & me. Some of it we can handle technically, a lot of it manually. This is how it is everywhere. It's a neverending battle, but we do very well at it. I saw your edits over the weekend and recently, Pashley, and you're doing an amazing job! For instance: the life of the knob and door page was... about 3 hours? That's fantastic!--IBobitalkemail 16:05, 13 November 2012 (EST)
That's great news if it really is true that Internet Brands have reached an out of court settlement with the Wikimedia foundation and the former contributors to this site that it sued, IBobi. Where can we see the press release and then move on? --W. Franke-mailtalk 16:23, 13 November 2012 (EST)
Good question! Pashley 08:02, 15 November 2012 (EST)
Yes, I know that currently "legal has nothing whatsoever to do with spam"; I am suggesting that they should. There are laws in place that make misuse of other people's computers a criminal offense and/or grounds for a lawsuit in many jurisdictions. The site logs have IP addresses for where this rubbish comes from. The spam itself has URLs for advertised pages. I'm both cynical and biased, so my opinion of IB's legal department is remarkably low, but I imagine they could do this. It might even be profitable if they nail the right spammers. Pashley 08:13, 15 November 2012 (EST)
This action has been automatically identified as harmful, and therefore disallowed. If you believe your edit was constructive, please inform an administrator of what you were trying to do. A brief description of the abuse rule which your action matched is: Link spamming by anonymous or recently-registered users
Hi there, It may be that your edit included a link, which is something the system looks for from newly registered or anonymous IP editors (since they are often sources of spam). Sorry about that, it's a protection that helps keep Wikitravel's pages clean and spam-free. I recommend registering an account, and after you've become recognized by the community and the system, your edits can be properly attributed to you, etc. Welcome aboard!--IBobitalkemail 15:42, 25 September 2012 (EDT)
Also, I have made that revert!--IBobitalkemail 15:58, 25 September 2012 (EDT)
Ok, I've made an account and I'm trying to revert vandalism on the page Mombasa, but I cant, and I still get the same message! Im only trying to help wikitravel. Ÿ;;!!! 09:31, 26 September 2012 (EDT)
I'm sorry, I realize you're helping by editing the page back to where it was before. Please keep making constructive edits -- we're happy to have you!--IBobitalkemail 03:07, 27 September 2012 (EDT)
User MVGreenland has been contributing many listings and photos (see WS). What do you think of these contributions? Touting?--IBobitalkemail 14:34, 27 September 2012 (EDT)
Someone needs to review all the photos to ensure the licensing is correct...someone over on WT Shared needs to check these. Make sure to click the link to the photo. At first I clicked the link to the user stream and saw all the photos were copyrighted. However, when I clicked on the link to the photo (on WTS and on flickr) I noticed it was licensed CC-SA 2.5 on WTS & CC-A 2.0 on flickr. As far as edits go, I went through the most recent 100 edits and didn't see anything that goes against our policies. There were a couple photos of businesses added (1-2 hotels & a bookshop), but none of the wording in hotel listings this user has added sound like touting. IMO, the user seems like a very helpful contributor to our Greenland pages. AHeneen 00:24, 28 September 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for that -- I generally felt the same way, as did IBcash, about the tone of his edits. Skirting the line perhaps but nothing worse than other business owners do.--IBobitalkemail 01:29, 28 September 2012 (EDT)
Selection of Destination of the Month and Off the Beaten Path for Main Page
Hey current editors! We have changed the Destination of the Month and Off the Beaten Path sections of the Main Page for October. However, we would value your input and suggestions in the Destination of the Month candidates page for following months. Please check it out! IBcash 15:38, 2 October 2012 (EDT)
Obviously I'd like to feature a New Zealand destination - but first I need to get one to Star status! --W. Franke-mailtalk 07:50, 3 October 2012 (EDT)
Albuquerque has been already featured in the past as a Destination of the Month. –sumone10154(talk) 17:01, 3 October 2012 (EDT)
You're right! It slipped past me. Thanks! Since we changed it early because we didn't have one in September, we could keep it there until the 15th (the actual time when the OTBP would change) and then change it. What do you think? Any suggestions for another October OTBP? IBcash 13:59, 4 October 2012 (EDT)
Hello! We are looking for some suggestions for the Destination of the Month and Off the Beaten Path for November. Please let us know your ideas in Destination of the Month candidates page. Thank you! IBAlex 15:35, 26 October 2012 (EDT)
Being an experienced Wikipedia editor, but very, very new to Wikitravel editing (though a somewhat frequent reader of), I - on my very first intended edit - ran into a question.
In the By car-section of the Slovakia travel guide, I would like to have quoted a part of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice for Slovakia: "The standard of driving is not high and can be aggressive. Specifically, beware of oncoming cars overtaking on your side of the road (particularly on bends and hills)." In my view it sums it up very brilliantly (having being a driving tourist in Slovakia on several occasions) and I think, that sourcing it would only make it all the more authoritative in this case. While being a reader of Wikitravel I have never pondered over the "lack" of quotes, but I have now looked into both a number of articles as well as various parts of the Wikitravel:Manual of style, the Wikitravel:External links (could be it had something - it didn't) and Wikitravel:Welcome, Wikipedians/Wikitravel:Cooperating with Wikipedia/shared:How to re-use Wikipedia content (Wikipedia is rather anal about quoting and sourcing). Basically I came up empty-handed in all cases. I even found Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Reflist indicating that I'm not the only one with this "predicament". So my question is:
How do I quote and reference it?
I'm inclined to just insert a statement such as:
As the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office put it in their travel advice for Slovakia: "The standard of driving is not high and can be aggressive. Specifically, beware of oncoming cars overtaking on your side of the road (particularly on bends and hills)."
But I would rather do it in the right manner, in case I have missed something very obvious :). In kind regards, Henrik/Heb 04:01, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
You could go the short quote route (under the fair dealing copyright provisions) providing a link to the source (that might quickly become outdated) but it might be better just to put that in your own words - especially if you've personal experience of driving in Slovakia. That would mean one less external link - which we prefer. We normally don't reference material here and unless we're (rarely) using a direct quote, don't usually source either. Enjoy your new-found freedom and plunge forward Henrik!--W. Franke-mailtalk 07:55, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
Okay, another question from newbie Dane, but please bare with me...
I wanted to update the S-train-map in the Get around-section of the Copenhagen travel guide. The one currently there is from 2009, and there has been two changes since then. Because I am slightly lazy, I thought of using the map from Wikimedia Commons, which as far as I read shared:Tech:Enable InstantCommons should be fairly easy. Unfortunately the simple [[Image:S-train diagram (dec 2011).svg|thumb|420px|Map of S-trains and Metro in the Copenhagen area, with districts marked in the background]] didn't work - and neither did replacing Image: with File:. So I tried including a .png-file from Wikimedia Commons and that actually did work :)
Then I did a search for .svg-files on Wikitravel and there seems to be a lot of them. But none of them works. So I'm guessing there is an issue with SVG-files somewhere. I tried with SVG-files on Wikimedia Commons and there have no problems. What do I do? In kind regards, Henrik/Heb 04:28, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
I'm afraid this is beyond my knowledge - but I can confirm it's a real problem - I had to substitute a png file for an svg file in this template, Henrik. --W. Franke-mailtalk 17:16, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
I will have tech look into this! Thank you, --IBobitalkemail 18:30, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
OK -- we're seeing that they do in fact work (you have to click all the way through to the actual file, not the thumbnail), they just won't produce thumbnails.
Can you tell me how you're uploading them, and where, step by step, i.e. 1) Go this page 2) Edit 3) Upload this file or reference this file 4) Error?--IBobitalkemail 18:50, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
Looks like this may be fixed; thumbnails should slowly repopulate as the cache rebuilds over time. Let me know if this is still not working as expected.--IBobitalkemail 20:16, 17 October 2012 (EDT)
Hello! I would like to call to action all the administrators and contributors on WT.
For a long time Travel news have been outdated. It is time to change it and keep the Travel Alerts and Current and upcoming events up-to-date. To achieve that, I need your help. Who is willing to offer his/her help? Thank you! IBAlex 15:54, 29 October 2012 (EDT)
The stay safe section in Stockholm (and to some extent Sweden) is frequently subject to edit conflicts, many of them pushing the opinion that Stockholm would be a dangerous city. Can you give some advice how to solve this disagreement? Thanks in advance. /Blist 09:45, 6 November 2012 (EST)
Hello Blist! Thank you for notifying me. I checked it out and I saw that the user with the IP address 126.96.36.199 has made just one change in the stay safe section in Stockholm. However, I have already contacted him asking to avoid edit wars on Stockholm page and discuss all the changes he is planning to do on the discussion page.
I am also watching this page so I will keep an eye on this issue. Cheers! IBAlex 13:04, 6 November 2012 (EST)
The best solution is always to discuss the changes you both are making, using the Discussion page for that article. Sometimes it can be difficult to get an IP user to engage in this way. Try leaving a detailed note in the Edit Summary asking him/her to talk to you.--IBobitalkemail 14:43, 6 November 2012 (EST)
Bizarre! You might want to check the logs. (IBadmins have recently promoted - without any community discussion or warning - a number of admins that, unlike yourself, have a very limited understanding of the policies and procedures of the English Wikitravel. Equally it might be some new spammer trickery.) --singaporeAlice 00:57, 1 November 2012 (EDT)
Fixed; no biggie. Just re-saved from earlier edit. Happens with MW database on occasion.--IBobitalkemail 04:58, 1 November 2012 (EDT)
Thanks for your very rapid response.
I have deleted the contents & re-directed: Southwest (United States of America) since it's a breach of our Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike licence to duplicate a page without duplicating the attribution history.
I'm still baffled as to how (on the face of it) an IP editor managed to duplicate an article and then delete the original (and its edit history) and all without leaving a trace in the logs. --singaporeAlice 00:36, 4 November 2012 (EDT)
Without doing extensive research, I'm not sure that's how it went down. Looked to me like a DB error that was easily corrected. At any rate, after verifying that the "new" page redirects also redirected to the "old" page, I went ahead and deleted the "new" page, as it consisted of nothing more than dupe content, which is confusing. We don't want people contributing on one location and not the other, which is just what would happen.--IBobitalkemail 15:52, 5 November 2012 (EST)
We're looking into what causes this. Obviously we do not want to wait until a knowledgeable editor like yourself discovers pages that are unusable. Did you find these by browsing to them or by some other method?--IBobitalkemail 18:39, 5 November 2012 (EST)
The article above states: "It's possible to encode information about the latitude and longitude of a destination into the destination guide itself. This information will then be used to make special HTML tags to show that the page is related to those lat/long coordinates;"..."A "Map" link will also be added to the "Toolbox" in the left pane, which will take users to a Google, Yahoo, or Microsoft map of the location."
I've added the relevant template to our Nelson (New Zealand) article but the "Map" link was not added to the "Toolbox" in the left pane! --singaporeAlice 20:37, 6 November 2012 (EST)
Hmm. Research shows that there have been problems with this template interfering with formatting. And not being terribly useful besides. We'll have to look into this one. Do you see an example where it is working?--IBobitalkemail 13:35, 7 November 2012 (EST)
I can't find any page where it is not currently broken - sorry.
It's not terribly useful to save the few keystrokes needed to key "Nelson, New Zealand" into the on-line mapping provider of your choice but
it would enhance the advertising click revenue of Internet Brands to have our relevant article page (with advertising by default) show up on users geocode-enabled smartphones according to their GPS location
it's very useful to find out of the way places (often in third world countries) where names are often incompletely found or differently spelt on maps. --singaporeAlice 17:01, 7 November 2012 (EST)
You are taken to the special page but, although the search box is correctly pre-populated the "Go" search button no longer works. --singaporeAlice 16:26, 7 November 2012 (EST)
Hmm. I'll queue it; no guarantees on timing as this is the first I've seen of this functionality.--IBobitalkemail 18:00, 7 November 2012 (EST)
Appears to be working as designed. It's generating the AMAZON and B&N, etc. links at the bottom of the page. The input box is just to refresh the page and generate those links. Let me know if you have info to the contrary.--IBobitalkemail 18:12, 7 November 2012 (EST)
UPDATE: My clarifications have now been deleted (twice).
So we are now back to the hypocrytical situation of having one policy actively enforced and promulgated (at least by some IBadmins) without ever having that policy enunciated on any policy page that I am aware of. I think I'll change my user name to George Orwell. --singaporeAlice 18:48, 5 November 2012 (EST)
1. WT editors are not to make changes to policies unilaterally. That is why the changes were reverted (at the request of another non-IB editor). 2. The policy in question doesn't really need a change. It's being interpreted internally in a way that it hasn't been interpreted before, due to a situation that has not arisen before. And it's almost entirely in the past. Thus there is no reason to amend policy, both because as it stands it is being applied consistently, and because the situation requiring that interpretation was unique and has now passed. It's time to move forward.--IBobitalkemail 19:06, 5 November 2012 (EST)
1) I don't think you can have it both ways. Either you genuinely do not think We do not allow (and will attempt to strenuously police and expunge) external links to, or promotion of, travel websites that are not primary sources - this policy includes other wikis, whether Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 licensed or not has been our policy for a long time or I'm a Dutchman the policy in question has always existed and doesn't really need a change. Instead it's being interpreted internally in a way that it hasn't been interpreted before, due to a situation that has not arisen before. That interpretation needs to be made explicit and prominent to avoid edit wars.
2) I do think it completely Orwellian and counter productive not to explicitly warn people that they should not include links to or use the naughty names of other travel wikis in text - particularly those that have recently started operating from Wikimedia servers. Since I am not an admin I really do need an explicit policy to link to in a terse but precise and authoritative way when I excise naughty names or links if the (often bona fide but ignorant-of-our-policy-that-can-not-speak-its-name) editor is not to be left puzzled, frustrated and annoyed by my (to him, incomprehensible) edits. An example of this is where an article discussion section dating back to July 2006 was removed to the genuine puzzlement of an IP contributor. --singaporeAlice 16:51, 7 November 2012 (EST)