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Wikitravel:How to handle unwanted edits

2,870 bytes added, 22:38, 9 August 2010
help --> policies. This is actually a policy page, despite the "HOWTO" in the name
This document deals with how we, as Wikitravellers, deal with unwanted edits. See also [[Wikitravel:Welcome message]] if you're addressing a newcomer.
==What is an unwanted edit?==
'''Vandalism''' is when a user deliberately replaces page content in a way that damages or destroys an article. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between ''vandalism'' and ''graffiti''. However, vandals will tend to ignore pleas to stop their activities. Persistent and non-obvious vandalism activity should be posted on [[Wikitravel:Vandalism in progress]] so everyone can help repair the damage. Vandals tend to stop only when they realise their changes are easy to remove, and will be removed faster than they without acknowledgment. '''Slow reverts''', that is, waiting a while to remove the vandal's changes, can post be very effective in discouraging vandals by boring them.
From time to time [[:wikipedia:User:Willy on Wheels|Willy on Wheels]] impersonators all of whom go by many numerous names come to Wikitravel to attempt to wreak havoc. Their mode of operation usually includes copying and pasting a boring message on a lot of pages or moving a page from '''Foo''' to '''Foo on Wheels!''' To fight this it is easiest to team up with multiple users to move the page back to '''Foo.''' If an administrator is also logged into Wikitravel try to work with the administrator by moving all the affected pages back to the proper title while the administrator deletes the vandalism pages.
'''What you should not do''' It is best to never acknowledge an act of vandalism - neither by posting a message on the vandal's user page nor by commenting about the act in the edit summary. Vandals (trolls) love to be acknowledged and any comment ("nice try," "why are you doing this," "you can't win," etc.) will only encourage the vandal. It can be boring to repeatedly make edits without a reaction and the focus should be on making it as boring as possible for vandals.
'''Copyright violations''' are contributions of text or images that the contributor didn't create themselves, and didn't get the original author's permission to license under our [[:shared:Copyleft|copyleft]] policy. This kind of contribution is occasionally made by overzealous editors who think it's more important to have ''lots'' of information in Wikitravel, forgetting our goal that the information has to be ''free'', too.
Searching on [ Google] for some key phrases in text is a quick way to find if the text has been copied from somewhere else. Another clue is that text copied from Wikipedia ([[:shared:copyleft|which uses the GNU Free Documentation License, which is an incompatible with our license]]) often has <nowiki>[[lots]] of [[Wiki links]] [[everywhere]] to [[subjects]] not usually found in a [[travel guide]]</nowiki>.
If a text edit is a copyright violation, simply revert the edit, and add a note on the Talk: page explaining where the text came from and why it was removed. It can sometimes be helpful to send a message to the user who posted the text, pointing out our [[:shared:Copyleft|copyleft]]. As usual, a gentle approach, without recrimination, is the best way to make sure that a contributor continues to help with our guide.
If an image is a copyright violation, remove the image from any pages that are using it, and list the image on the [[Wikitravel:votes for deletion|votes for deletion]] page. Again, a polite note to the uploader explaining our copyleft can be helpful. (A [ Google image search] for the filename or the name of the subject is often a quick way to find if an image has been copied from another Web site.) If in doubt about an image's copyright status (e.g. it's on another web site, but ''maybe'' it's the uploader's site) tag it with <nowiki>{{copyvio|}}</nowiki> and ask the uploader to clarify.
==Harder cases==
The basis for a lot of humor in the English-speaking world is tweaking the tail of authority figures, zealots, and the self-righteous. The Internet example of this is ['''trolling''' ] -- a practice of disrupting an online community for amusement. People who troll -- themselves often called "trolls" -- enjoy seeing someone get all red in the face over an issue they themselves don't actually care about in the least. The more people that get in the argument, the more successful the troll.
(Note that sometimes the term "troll" is generalized to mean what this document calls "excess baggage", and even to mean what this document calls "challenges to policy". Because the word is emotionally charged, it's probably not a good idea to mix those (at least sincere) concepts with deliberate disruption.)
There are any number of trolling techniques, but most involve starting an argument through feigned ignorance or advocacy, then fanning the flames with outrageous assertions or personal attacks. In general, a troll works to instigate conflicts by focusing attention away from the project's [[Wikitravel:Goals and non-goals|goals]] and instead towards individuals or policies. Note that in the case of trolls it is always best to err on the side of being overly tolerant as it is far worse to alienate a new (but possibly confused) contributor by treating that user as unwanted.
The best way to protect yourself and Wikitravel against trolling is to keep an open mind and not take yourself or the site too seriously. Keep a level head during editorial conflicts and [[Wikitravel:edit war|edit war]]s, remember to be fair and objective as often as possible, and try to keep focused on issues rather than on personalities. Most of all, avoid being pompous, authoritative, or pushy. One of the best ways to let yourself be trolled is to accuse someone of being a troll.
===Repeat offenses===
It can happen that, even after having been notified with polite but firm requests, a contributor ''continues '' to make deliberate unwanted edits. The response, as usual, is to '''revert''' them. Again, and again, and again, as long as is necessary.
Our community and professional attitude are stronger than any particular person's commitment to mess up the guide. It may seem kind of annoying and distracting, but it actually strengthens the project when we deal with problems like this. It only takes a very little time to correct unwanted edits, fix mistakes, and keep the guide in good shape.
==Last resorts==
These are some last resort options for dealing with really, really problematic situations. We haven't had to deal with them yet, and hopefully we'll never have to, but here are a couple of problems that may crop up, and how we can solve them.
===Project fork===
User bans are an '''extreme last resort''' for us. They are ''embarassing'', because they are an 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. In addition, they are ''terribly ineffective'' -- a user can change IP address by moving to another computer, or of course just change to use another user account. Lastly, they make an ''enemy'' out of a potential friend. Our project is enough of a challenge; we don't need enemies.
If there is a need for a user ban, someone needs to nominate the user or IP address for banning on the [[Wikitravel:user ban nominations]] page. If the ban gets seconded by two administrators, and no objections from administrators, within 3 days, the ban goes into effect. If a nomination is not unanimously supported, then a broad consensus for the block is the only necessary requirement before the block be instated. Any administrator may also apply a user ban at their discretion at any time, if they feel that the damage done while discussing the ban for 3 days would be unsupportable. However, the administrator has to put the ban on the nominations page, also, and if the vote doesn't pass, the ban is removed. Bans made without a vote and without an understanding of the gravity of this action are considered '''abuse''' by the administrator. In other words, a user ban is a really, really big deal. Exceptions to the user ban nomination process include:
Any administrator may also apply * Blocks of one day or less when used as a user ban at their discretion at any timediscretionary tool for administrators. These blocks are sometimes used in slowing exceptionally high-volume unwanted edits (e.g., move vandalism) or to halt the vandalism (however temporarily) to create space to clean it up. In general such blocks should be applied for very short periods (two hours or less) and only increased in length if they feel the vandal persists.* Blocks of automated spambot scripts. Automated scripts that add spam to Wikitravel are typically blocked for a period of three months. Note that if the damage done while discussing the ban IP address being used for 3 days would spam has also been used to make legitimate edits then a shorter block should be unsupportableapplied since some IP addresses are shared by large pools of users. However* Blocks of [[:WikiPedia:Wikipedia:Doppelganger account|Doppelgangers]], the administrator has which are user accounts meant to put mimic another account for the ban on the nominations page, alsopurposes of causing confusion. For example, "Joel" and if "JoeI" look the vote doesn't passsame, but the ban is removedsecond version uses a capital "i" instead of a lowercase "L". Bans made Doppleganger accounts may be permanently blocked without any need for a vote and without an understanding ban nomination.* Blocks of user accounts created by spambots. Some of the gravity more advanced spambots are actually capable of this action creating user accounts. These accounts should be permanently blocked as soon as they are considered '''abuse''' by the administrator. In other words, a user ban is a really, really big dealidentified as being spambot accounts.
However, if a script is badly-behaved -- due to programming error or malicious intent -- an administrator can and should put a user ban on the IP address and/or user account the script is using. Again, the administrator should note the ban on the [[Wikitravel:user ban nominations|user ban nominations]] page, and the same procedure applies as for other bans.
==See also==
* [[Wikitravel:Welcome message]]
* [[Wikitravel:Protected page policy]]
* [[Wikitravel:Edit war]]
* [[Wikitravel:User ban nominations]]
* [[Wikitravel:Don't tout]]
* [[Wikitravel:Spam filter]]
* [[Wikitravel:Recent changes patrol]]
* [[Wikitravel:How to revert a page]]
==External links==
*[[MeatBall:SoftSecurity]] -- the quintessential description of dealing with unwanted edits
[[de:Wikitravel:Umgang mit unerwünschten Veränderungen]]
[[it:Wikitravel:Come trattare le modifiche involontarie]]
[[ko:Wikitravel:바람직하지 못한 편집을 처리하는 방법]]
[[nl:Wikitravel:Hoe ongewenste edits behandelen]]
[[ru:Wikitravel:Как мы справляемся с нежелательными правками]]

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