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Wikitravel:Administrator's handbook

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This is a basic how-to manual for administrators, not a policy page.

Keeping things clean

The Administrator's handbook is a manual for how to use sysop-level tools.


The revert button is essentially the same as the "undo" tool, except it removes some steps and has added functionality to help Administrators handle unwanted edits. Clicking the revert button will automatically undo all edits to a given page by the last contributor and will also mark the edits in question as patrolled. There is no additional confirmation step for rollbacks, so make sure you want to do this before clicking the button. There is also is no way to leave a comment when rolling back edits, so consider using the undo tool if you would like to leave an edit summary.

The revert button is available from "edit differences," article histories, and user contributions. The biggest advantage of this tool is the ability to quickly revert all edits from one user, by simply clicking all the revert buttons so that they open in new tabs.

Rollbacks are a hard (and potentially insulting) measure, and should mostly be used for vandalism and spam. Good faith edits should be undone with an explanation in the edit summary.

Move reverts[edit]

Move reverts are a more specialized tool, useful for quickly undoing move vandalism (i.e., moving many pages to nonsense names). This feature is accessible from the move log. Clicking the revert button will take you to a confirmation screen, where you should also choose to move back the associated talk page. To speed up the process, open the revert confirmations in new tabs, leaving the move log open.

Unfortunately, move reverts do not currently auto-delete the vandal-created page, so it's necessary to do that manually. The most efficient way to do this is to open the redirect pages you intend to delete directly from the move log (using tabs will make this even faster). That way, you'll go straight to the redirect page, rather than the target of the redirect. From there you can delete the page as usual.

Deleting & restoring pages[edit]

Administrators can delete any page, per the rules outlined by the deletion policy.

If an article was improperly deleted, or was successfully voted for undeletion, an administrator can restore the page from the deleted page itself, or from the Deletion log.

Protecting pages[edit]

Page protection is generally a tool of last resort. We are a wiki, and allowing anyone to edit any page at any time without exception is a guiding principle of how we operate. If an article is being repeatedly vandalized, it is almost always better to simply add that article to your watchlist and revert the edits. Over time, this discourages most vandals. One might object, on the basis that there are some unusually persistent editors, who appear to have serious, untreated behavioral/psychological problems, who just won't give up, and continue to add their unwanted edits daily, even for years! But this is a very small subsect of Wikitravel contributors, and it is not worth it to compromise our basic principles for their sake. We can and do control these problems through watchlisting the affected pages, reverts, occasional additions to the spam blacklist, and coordination at Wikitravel:Vandalism in progress.

Exceptional cases do exist, for which we have established consensus on the corresponding article talk page, but these cases are governed by the (strict) Wikitravel:Protected page policy, and are rare.

Administrators may, at their discretion, temp protect a page undergoing high volume unwanted edits (i.e., a revert war), but the time spans on such temp protects should be short, no more than a cooling-off period.

To protect a page, simply click the protect tab at the top of any article, and fill out the confirmation form. You can set the expiry time either by setting the duration or the end time. Examples:

2 hours
3 weeks
1 day 4 hours 32 minutes
05:44, 8 December 2012 (UTC)
8 December


User bans/IP bans are perhaps our least favorite tool of all, and extraordinarily ineffective in the anonymous, dynamic ip-loving world of the internet. Their use is governed by Wikitravel:How to handle unwanted edits#User ban.

Users can be blocked from their respective pages, Special:Recentchanges, Special:Watchlist, page histories, edit differences, and the logs, by clicking on the block button. Don't institute bans without adding an entry to Wikitravel:User ban nominations. If you have any doubt at all as to whether you should institute a block, definitely wait through the 3 day process on the nominations page before instituting it. Recently applied blocks can be seen from Special:Log/block.

Permanent blocks are very rare, and so far have only been allowed for cases of deceptive user names (e.g., dopplegangers, bot impersonation).

Blocks exempt from the nominations process include spambot blocks (which should not be permanent and should not prevent account creation) which are generally set for three months, or six months if the bot has already been blocked before; and temp blocks to halt extremely high-volume vandalism (i.e., move vandalism), in order to create space to clean it up. Temp blocks may not exceed a span of one day—longer blocks must first be nominated at Wikitravel:User ban nominations.

See also[edit]