Bravo Fleet Infobase:Vandalism
Vandalism is any addition, deletion, or change to content made in a deliberate attempt to reduce the quality of the Infobase. The most common type of vandalism is the replacement of existing text with obscenities, page blanking, or the insertion of bad jokes or other nonsense. Fortunately, this kind of vandalism is usually easy to spot. Any effort to improve the Infobase, even if misguided or ill-considered, is not vandalism. Apparent bad-faith edits that do not make their bad-faith nature inarguably explicit are not considered vandalism. For example, adding an opinion once is not vandalism — it's just not helpful, and should be removed or restated.
Committing vandalism is a violation of the Infobase policy and it needs to be dealt with immediately — if you cannot deal with it yourself, you can seek help from the Staff.
Not all vandalism is blatant, nor are all massive or controversial changes vandalism: Careful attention needs to be given to whether the new data or information is right or whether it is vandalism.
Dealing with vandalism
If you see vandalism (as defined below), revert it and leave a warning message on the vandal's talk page and then contact the Staff. Check the page history after reverting to make sure you have removed all the vandalism; there may be multiple vandal edits, sometimes from several different IPs. Also, check the vandal's other contributions — you will often find more malicious edits.
Types of vandalism
These are the most common forms of vandalism:
- Removing all or significant parts of articles (sometimes replacing the removed content with profanities) is a common vandal edit.
- Adding inappropriate external links for advertisement and/or self-promotion.
- Childish vandalism
- Adding silly comments along the line of "poop jokes".
- Silly vandalism
- Users will sometimes create Bad jokes and other deleted nonsense or replace existing articles with plausible-sounding nonsense, or add silly jokes to existing articles.
- Sneaky vandalism
- Vandalism which is harder to spot. Adding misinformation, changing dates or making other sensible-appearing substitutions and typos.
- Attention-seeking vandalism
- Adding insults, using offensive usernames, replacing articles with jokes etc.
- User page vandalism
- Replacing User pages with insults, profanity, etc.
- Image vandalism
- Uploading provocative images, inserting political messages, making malicious animated GIFs, etc. Repeatedly uploading images with no source and/or license information after notification that such information is required may also constitute vandalism.
- Abuse of tags
- Bad-faith placing of speedy-deletion tags on articles that do not meet such criteria, or deceptively placing protected-page tags on articles.
- Template vandalism
- Any vandalism to templates.
- Page move vandalism
- Moving pages to offensive or nonsense names.
- Redirect vandalism
- Redirecting articles or talk pages to offensive articles or images. Some vandals will try to redirect pages to nonsense titles they create this way. This variation is usually performed by vandals whose accounts are too new to move pages. It is also often done on pages that are protected from moves.
- Link vandalism
- Rewriting links within an article so that they appear the same, but point to something irrelevant or ridiculous.
- Avoidant vandalism
- Removing tags in order to conceal or avoid entries to risk deletion.
- Removing warnings
- Removing warnings for vandalism, personal attacks, or disruption from one's talk page is also considered vandalism.
- Random character vandalism
- Replacing topical information with random characters, or just adding random characters to a page. "aslkdjnsdagkljhasdlkh," for example. Be careful: only in extended cases is this vandalism; it could also potentially be a new user test.
- Changing people's comments
- Editing signed comments by another user to substantially change their meaning (e.g. turning someone's vote around).
- Talk page vandalism
- Deleting the comments of other users from article Talk pages, or deleting entire sections thereof, is generally considered vandalism.
- Official policy vandalism
- Deleting or altering part of a official policy with which the vandal disagrees, without any attempt to seek consensus or recognize an existing consensus. Improving or clarifying policy wording in line with the clear existing consensus is not vandalism.
- Copyrighted material vandalism
- Knowingly using copyrighted material in ways which violate copyright policies is vandalism. Because users may be unaware that the information is copyrighted, or of policies on how such material may and may not be used, such action only becomes vandalism if it continues after the copyrighted nature of the material and relevant policy restricting its use have been communicated to the user.
- Account creation vandalism
- Creating accounts with deliberately offensive terms in the username is considered vandalism, whether the account is used or not. This also includes making accounts with nomenclature similar to usernames of known vandals.
What vandalism is not
Although sometimes referred to as such, the following things are not vandalism and are therefore treated differently:
- New User Test
- 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. This is not vandalism! On the contrary, these users should be warmly greeted.
- Learning Wiki Markup and Manual of Style
- Some users require some time to learn the wiki-based markup, and will spend a little time experimenting with the different ways to make external links, internal links, and other special characters. Rather than condemning them as vandals, just explain to them what our standard style is on the issue in hand.
- NPOV violations
- The neutral point of view is a difficult policy for many of us to understand, and even Wiki veterans occasionally accidentally introduce material which is non-ideal from an NPOV perspective. Indeed, we are all blinded by our beliefs to a greater or lesser extent. While regrettable, this is not vandalism.
- Bold Edits
- Infobase Types often make sweeping changes to articles in order to improve them — most of us aim to be bold when updating articles. While having large chunks of text you've written deleted, moved to the talk page, or substantially rewritten can sometimes feel like vandalism, it should not be confused with vandalism.
- Sometimes, users will insert content into an article that is not necessarily accurate, in the belief that it is. By doing so in good faith, they are trying to contribute to the encyclopedia and improve it. If you believe that there is inaccurate information in an article, ensure that it is, and/or discuss its factuality with the user who has submitted it.
- Bullying or Stubbornness
- Some users cannot come to agreement with others who are willing to talk to them on an article's talk page, and repeatedly make changes opposed by everyone else. This is a matter of regret, however, it is not vandalism.
- Harassing or Making Personal Attacks
- We have a clear policy on the Infobase of no personal attacks, and harassing other contributors is not allowed. Some forms of harassment are also clear cases of vandalism, such as home page vandalism. However, harassment is not in general vandalism.
How to spot vandalism
The best way to detect vandalism is through recent changes patrolling. Once you've found it, revert the page to an earlier version.