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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
==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 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 removed
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.
'''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 [http://www.google.com/ 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 (which uses
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,
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.
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.
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.
These are some last resort options for dealing with really, really problematic situations
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.
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.
*[[MeatBall:SoftSecurity]] -- the quintessential description of dealing with unwanted edits
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