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Talk:Manual for administrators

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Comments[edit]

Thank you for translating this page! There is a lot of very useful content, some of which I was entirely unaware (the special unwatched pages in particular). I am hesitant, though, to support some of the guidelines under the "Warnings" and "Block" sections.

Templated warnings are popular on Wikipedia, but I tend to think they encourage trolls who are looking for a reaction and get a certain thrill from "collecting" warnings. Warnings do go somewhat against the established policy at en:Wikitravel:How to handle unwanted edits#Trolling. My feeling is that it is best to just quietly undo and correct harmful changes and to exercise cautious judgment and restraint when leaving messages for vandals; I think that templated warnings may encourage quick, counter-productive warnings and actually provoke more unwanted edits.

I would prefer to leave out the timescale guidelines for blocking users. I think it is best to just make it very clear that we only block users or ips as a last resort reserved for extreme situations (i.e., when administrators are not able to keep up with a particularly damaging vandal or an illegal bot). And I would prefer that we don't use long-term blocks at all. If we run into a repeat extreme-case vandal, it seems to me just as effective to use temporary bans and complaints to ip servers because that user can simply come back under new usernames or different ips. Whereas listing long-term bans as an accepted guideline may encourage ineffectual abuse. --Peter 18:25, 25 July 2007 (EDT)

Peter, thank you for your comments - they are very valuable. However, I am an admin on both Wikipedia and Wikitravel in swedish. I have never seen any indication that vandals would "collect" warnings, so I think that is highly unlikely. Templates are there to make it easier for admins. As for the policy: we must be aware that if a policy (or a manual...) is not in accordance with the real situation, it is the policy that should be changed. As for bans - I do not know about the situation in other countries, but Sweden has one of the worlds highest internet penetration levels, so we get loads of vandalism from schools and anonymous IP:s. In that aspect, Wikitravel in swedish has found it necessary to be much more liberal and we have no problem to ban vandals. Complaints to ISP's have shown to be less efficient. I have no problem leaving out the time scale - after all, it is a suggestion. Riggwelter 11:56, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
I have to say I think I agree with Peter, for now... Riggwelter I think your approach is great for further down the road (or maybe more immediately on the Swedish version) but for English (and I think many other language versions) we still seem to be doing fine without having to be heavy-handed. In fact I think we've only blocked 1 user account in the history of the English site, plus a few scripts running from anon ips. I like the idea of this manual, but it's natural that we're going to start seeing the differences in how each language version does things as we try to write it :) I think Peter summed up the consensus of the English WT pretty well though, at least. I'm wondering if we'll need to make the admin handbook language-specific? – cacahuate talk 16:46, 31 July 2007 (EDT)
I think that the localized manual is needed because the situation vary with the language version; number of admins/registered users/anonymous users, geographical distribution, behavior of vandals, etc. In the case of ja:, vandals are not so many but it is hard to watch the site on a 24/365 basis because the active admins are not scattered all over the world, so we use short-term blocks very occasionally. Probably our response makes trolling people pleased, so I just revert and block temporarily without warning, of course I fill in the block reason. Considering ISPs which provide shared ip address to their users, probably I should leave a message on the talk page of the ip. -- Tatata 00:34, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
I see the potential value to localized admin manuals, but we would lose something potentially very valuable—knowledge-sharing across versions. Insightful discussions have happened on some versions that others would benefit from, and practices have evolved differently to create different policies. I think that in the process of coordinating a general, universal manual, we would gain a lot of insight from each other that has been missing due to the general lack of interwiki communication. That said, it might be useful to have some version-specific guidelines, perhaps in an article on each language version that directs readers to this article for more general and comprehensive guidelines? For :en, far more conservative anti-vandalism guidelines may be in order simply because :en has admins spread across time zones (and a handful of insomniacs ;)). --Peter 01:56, 1 August 2007 (EDT)
I think we can agree on that we need a manual for administrators. I think that we also can agree that we need a manual that is as shared as possible, regardless of which language it is intended for. I imagine common headlines and common text, but a separate headline where there could be language-specific adjustments. On shared:, these adjustments could be translated from the corresponding language and put on a subpage, for example Manual for administrators/Language-specific adjustments. Under these specific headlines, we could present the local adjustments. How does that sound to you? Riggwelter 13:45, 2 August 2007 (EDT)

Blocking[edit]

I'm going to make some changes in regards to blocking. I think we're missing the point that blocking an IP does not block a user, but rather blocks any number of potential users. An IP is not a useful identity token in any real sense, so an IP based blocking scheme is rather a blunt instrument.

It's all we have though, so it's very important that administrators understand how it works, and why it's a last resort. -- Mark 03:52, 13 August 2007 (EDT)

changes patrolling pages function[edit]

Hi there, A month (or two) ago there seems to have been a change in the way the admin log in functions. I'm an admin on the Dutch pages and I've noticed a couple of changes.
1: changes by users who have made quite a few changes don't show as 'pages to be patrolled any more
2: also changes made by sysops/admins from other language versions don't show that.
3: Now I get the 'patrol' signal also on other language versions, even though I'm not an admin there.

Maybe this info has been published somewhere, but it hasn't been communicated by email as far as I know. I'm pretty sure this patrol indication worked different a few months ago. Does anybody know where I can find out more? 3wisemen 14:54, 16 August 2007 (EDT)

en:Wikitravel talk:Recent changes patrolcacahuate talk 16:46, 18 August 2007 (EDT)

Thanx! 3wisemen 11:52, 22 August 2007 (EDT)

Protection and Administrators[edit]

The last sentence under the "Tools heading" is:

  • "These functions are used to delete pages, and to protect (and un-protect) pages so they cannot be edited by anonymous users or administrators."

Admistrators? Those have the power to do harm, bud have the self control and the thrust not to abuse that power, as stated above. They can easily undo the protection. --Rein N. 18:51, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

Fixed – cacahuate talk 20:59, 28 September 2008 (EDT)

Spambots[edit]

I highly recommend that all admins here please block spambot ips—they will otherwise continue the attack (and they have been repeat-attacking in the past couple days). The practice on :en is to block first for 3 months (this almost always ends all spam from the blocked ip.) If they do come back, we have cascaded block lengths to 6 months. Personally, I recommend not blocking registered users from the ip, as it's possible that a compromised computer could belong to a potential human contributor. --Peter Talk 17:29, 1 August 2009 (EDT)