Wiktionary:Vandalism

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This page is about vandalism to Simple English Wiktionary. For the word, see vandalism.

Vandalism edits are edits that try to make the dictionary worse. Some common types of vandalism are:

  • Adding text or pictures that may offend people
  • Adding nonsense
  • Adding information that they know is wrong
  • Removing information from pages
  • Insulting other people
  • Moving pages to page names that are nonsense

Vandalism is a very serious problem, and people who vandalize may be blocked from making changes to Wiktionary.

How to fight vandalism[change]

Only administrators and bureaucrats can block users, but anyone can help fight vandalism. One way to find vandalism is to watch the newest changes to the wiki.

  1. Click the 'New changes' link in the left bar titled "links".
  2. Check some of the edits by pressing the (diff) link to see the changes. Watch for anonymous users - most vandals edit with just their IP address, not with a user name.

If you see that a page has been vandalized:

  1. Undo the vandalism edit(s).
  2. Warn the vandal by putting a message on their talk page (see below for available vandalism templates).
  3. Check the user's other contributions by clicking the "changes" link next to their username on the 'history' tab. (For unregistered users, you can simply click on the IP address.) They may have vandalized other pages.
  4. If they continue to vandalize pages, do not continue to fight with them by reverting -- report them to administrators here.
  5. If there are no administrators online to block the users, try to contact them through their talk pages on a sister project if they have one, or through the email links on Wiktionary:Administrators.

In addition to New changes, users may also watch for vandalism in #cvn-simplewikis, an IRC channel dedicated to fighting vandalism on Simple English Wikipedia and Wiktionary.

Warning templates[change]

Note that these templates do not have to be used in order. If the edit is clearly vandalism, consider starting with {{test2}}. For severe vandalism, {{test3}} may be skipped and a {{test4}} given right after a test2. If you are not sure that the edit is vandalism, always start with {{test}}.

To use these warnings on a user's talk page, type {{subst:test#}}, replacing "#" with the number of the template you would like to use. Always sign your warning with ~~~~ to add the time and your signature to the message.

Template Shows as
{{test}}
Information.svg
Welcome to Wiktionary, and thanks for experimenting with the pages. Your test worked, and has been removed. Please use the sandbox for any other tests you want to do, since tests in articles are normally removed quickly. Please see the welcome page if you want to learn more about how to help here. Thanks.
{{test2}}
Information.svg
Please, do not add nonsense to Simple English Wiktionary. It is considered vandalism. If you would like to experiment, use the sandbox. Thank you.
{{test3}}
Nuvola apps important orange.svg
This is your third warning. If you continue to do vandalism, you may be blocked from editing Wiktionary without further notice.
{{test4}}
Stop hand nuvola.svg
This is your last warning. The next time you vandalize a page, you will be blocked from editing Simple English Wiktionary.

When an administrator blocks a user, they will leave this message on the vandal's page:

Template Shows as
{{test5}}
Stop x nuvola.svg
You have been temporarily blocked from editing as a result of vandalism of the Simple English Wiktionary. Blanking pages, adding nonsense or spam, adding false information, violating privacy, and repeatedly violating the NPOV policy are considered vandalism. Once the block has expired, you are welcome to make useful edits.

Types of vandalism[change]

These are some common forms of vandalism:

Page blanking
Removing all or large parts of articles (sometimes replacing the text with profanities).
Personal insults
Adding someone's name as a definition of an offensive word.
Spam
Adding external links for advertisement and/or self-promotion.
Copyrighted material vandalism
Knowingly using copyrighted material on Wiktionary is vandalism. Many users feel they are being helpful by cutting and pasting from sources such as www.dictionary.com. These type of edits are not helpful. This is very serious vandalism because it is difficult to find and (due to American copyright laws requiring deletion) hurts the project when it is found and removed.
Silly vandalism
Creating joke articles, replacing existing articles with plausible-sounding nonsense, or adding silly jokes to existing articles.
Sneaky vandalism
Vandalism which is harder to find. Adding false information, changing dates or making other sensible-looking changes.
Innappropriate usernames
Creating accounts with usernames that are offensive or otherwise inappropriate.
User page vandalism
Replacing user pages with insults, profanity, or nonsense.
Abuse of tags
Bad-faith placing of {{delete}} or {{qd}} on articles that do not meet such criteria, or placing protected-page tags on articles that do not need them. Also, removing these tags in order to avoid deletion.
Template vandalism
Vandalizing templates.
Page move vandalism
Moving pages to offensive or nonsense names.
Redirect vandalism
Redirecting articles or talk pages to offensive articles.
Link vandalism
Rewriting links within an article so that they appear the same, but point to something irrelevant or offensive.
Removing warnings
Removing warnings from one's talk page.
Changing people's comments
Editing signed comments by another user to change the comments' meaning.
Talk page vandalism
Deleting the comments of other users from an article's talk page. This does not apply to the user's own talk page, where users generally are permitted to remove outside comments at their discretion.

What is not vandalism[change]

Although the following things are sometimes called vandalism, they are not and should be treated differently. It should be made clear that the following are only examples. This list should not be viewed as all inclusive or doctrinal:

New user tests
New users who discover the "Edit this page" button sometimes want to know if they can really edit any page, so they write something inside just to test it. Sometimes these users revert their changes. This is not vandalism! These users should be welcomed and given a link to the sandbox. This can be done using the {{test}} template message.
Learning wiki markup
Some users need some time to learn the wiki-based markup, and may spend a little time trying different ways to make external links, internal links, and other special characters. They might find a friendly message with a link to Wiktionary:How to edit helpful.
NPOV violations
The neutral point of view policy is a difficult policy for many of us to understand, and even users who have been here for years occasionally accidentally introduce material which is not NPOV. Breaking the NPOV policy is not vandalism unless it is repeated and/or blatant.
Bold edits
Wiktionarians often make large changes to entries in order to improve them. Even though having large parts of text you've written deleted, moved to the talk page, or rewritten can sometimes feel like vandalism, it should not be confused with vandalism. If big changes affecting many articles was not previously discussed, if may be considered vandalism.
Mistakes
Sometimes users add content to an article that is not necessarily accurate, believing that it is. These edits are made in good faith and the users who make these mistakes are trying to be helpful. If you believe that there is inaccurate information in an article, ensure that it is, and/or discuss it with the user who has submitted it.

Tools to revert vandalism[change]

There are a few tools that users in Wiktionary has developed to fight vandalism. They are:

  • Twinkle - A tool to make it easier to warn a vandal, report the vandal and tag pages with {{QD}}.
  • Vandal Warner - A tool to make it easier to warn a vandal.

These tools can be enabled on your Special:Preferences when you are logged in.