Wikivoyage talk:Vandalism in progress

Active discussions
See also: Wikivoyage talk:Vandalism in progress/Archive

Massive creation of user accounts.Edit

Swept in from the pub

There is an ongoing massive creation of user accounts at a rate up to several per minute. I don't know what should be done, but if any steward sees this I suggest a checkuser may show account creation from one or a small nimber of addresses. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:15, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, this isn't good, but I'm not sure if something can be done at this point. Should a massive spam/vandal attack occur and local admins are unable to handle it, it's usually possible to flag down a steward to take emergency measures, BTW. (Apparently this happened with a ton of IPs over at Simple English Wikipedia a year ago, and the stewards temporarily made the site a m:global sysop wiki.) --Rschen7754 10:46, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Endless... where are the stewards? sats (talk) 14:23, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't see any issue unless these accounts start doing malicious things. Looking at the last few days of account creations, the rate of account creation doesn't seem too high (Special:Log/newusers). What exactly can be done to stop this purported problem? Checkuser? AHeneen (talk) 15:05, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
They have been created non-stop (about 2 per minute) since November 11 - there might be a very rational explanation of what is creating the automatically generated new users (now over 100,000 I think), it would be good for someone in the know to pop up and explain it all, so that the average wikivoyage participant doesnt have panic attacks looking at the new user log.... sats (talk) 15:38, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Aren't most of them created when they sign up to other wikis? I know I've never had an en-wiki account until I joined Wikivoyage, and now I've a red-link userpage there. - Torty3 (talk) 15:50, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Maybe that is the rational explanation - maybe there is a need for clarification of something like that - otherwise there is uncertainty as to what is generating the names and where they are coming from... sats (talk) 15:57, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Sincerest apology to all who have read this - answer is at sats (talk) 16:09, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

It's my understanding that an account is automatically created when someone is logged into a WMF wiki and visits another project. So someone logged in at en-WV and visits ru-WV will automatically have an ru-WV account created. Same as someone logged into en-WV visiting en-Commons will have an account automatically created there. AHeneen (talk) 16:55, 16 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes, the "was created automatically", as opposed to simply "was created", for most accounts indicates this is the case. These are likely people with a Wikipedia account that are now visiting Wikivoyage for the first time. —Ruud 19:42, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Looking up a few names at Special:CentralAuth suggest there is indeed little to worry about. This actually looks like a good thing. —Ruud 19:48, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Yeah, I thought it seemed a little high, but I guess I wasn't used to the numbers (seemed a little high for even the English Wikipedia). --Rschen7754 19:58, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
I would beg to differ as to the explanation now visiting Wikivoyage for the first time - over 100,000 new since november 2012 suggest the wikimedia server is simply placing usernames that exist elsewhere and might take months yet
For something positive to come out of this - any suggestion where the following should be placed:
Note that automated background Automatically created newusers appear on the User creation log are being generated as part of the linking in with Wikimedia servers and not to be concerned about ?? sats (talk) 01:17, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't think this is a background process. Your Wikivoyage account should be created when you visit the site for the first time. No sooner, no later. —Ruud 19:38, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
Would it be more appropriate then to have a comment - Note that automated Automatically created newusers appear on the User creation log when users from other wikis visit Wikivoyage for the first time - would that be closer to the mark? sats (talk) 23:57, 17 February 2013 (UTC)
That sounds right to me. —Ruud 10:35, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Expanding this pageEdit

I'm suggesting that this page become a more general seek help with a problem page. The discussion is at Wikivoyage talk:Travellers' pub#Splitting the Pub --Inas (talk) 04:56, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Support from me. Some suggestions of what "problems" should be covered: vandalism, edit warring, requests for renames, and requests for anything that require permissions (such as page move requests from IPs). -- Ryan • (talk) • 06:50, 22 November 2013 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:04, 22 November 2013 (UTC)

Scope of this page vis-à-vis Wikivoyage:User ban nominationsEdit

Lately there's been a sharp increase in the use of this page to head off problem edits, which, don't get me wrong, is a very good thing. However, it's brought to the forefront an issue that could use resolving, which is that there's a lot of overlap between this page's purview and that of Wikivoyage:User ban nominations. A textbook example is DAZ14LPA a few weeks back - while clearly a problem user, the issue with him arguably had very little to do with vandalism. I think it would be good to more clearly define not only the scope of this page, but also in a larger sense what constitutes "vandalism" as opposed to other types of problem edits. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:29, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Isn't Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress the equivalent of {{delete}} and Wikivoyage:User ban nominations the equivalent of vfd? In other words, the former is used in clear and urgent cases, while the latter is used for situations where the case needs to be discussed and "don't ban"/"keep" is a possible outcome? ϒpsilon (talk) 17:53, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Rather than having a page for vandalism only, it seems like it is time for something like w:Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard here, which would be useful for highlighting any issue that requires an experienced user or someone with admin permissions to deal with. The noticeboard would replace this page, which has a limited scope and overlaps somewhat with the more formal ban nomination page. The scope of the page might be something like:
  • Requests for oversight.
  • Pointing out vandalism or spamming.
  • Help with impolite or uncivil communications, edit warring, assistance in resolving disputes.
  • Requests for page protection.
  • Suspected sockpuppetry.
  • Fixes for cut and paste moves/history merge, improper imports, etc.
User ban nominations and VFDs would still be handled at their current locations, but this new noticeboard would be a useful catch-all for everything else. I believe that there may have been objection to such a page in the past, although I can't recall the reasons, but at this point it seems like the time has arrived where such a page would be a very useful tool. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:00, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
This seems like a good idea to me. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:30, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Seems like a good idea to me too. I have noticed more... "this isn't a problem yet, but just to make you aware..." type statements being raised, and the presence on the VFD or Vandalism pages of that statement gives a measure of prejudice against the subject article/contributor --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:25, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

I had thought the scope of this page was clear: "Use this page when you need assistance from an administrator, for example when vandalism is occurring at a rapid rate or over an extended period of time. Or even if you have been managing a vandalism attack but are now going offline." A noticeboard is prone to extended discussions, while this page is intended for alerts that are both simple and clear. Powers (talk) 00:08, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

The issue right now is that there are problems that are not prototypical vandalism but don't rise to the level of a proposed user ban, and there's no obvious place for us to discuss them. Do you support creating such a place? Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:10, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
What needs to be discussed? Powers (talk) 00:14, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
What needs to be discussed are events that don't fall neatly into this page's scope. I assume that you did actually read the short discussion above? Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:26, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
[Edit conflict] Well, where do you think the best place would have been to discuss the problems with User:DAZ14LPA's edits? My nominating him for a user ban would have been unnecessarily inflammatory, in my opinion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:27, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Well that's what I'm trying to get a handle on. You specifically said "Nothing needs to be done at the moment" so I'm not sure what the end goal was. Is there a reason the Travellers' Pub isn't suitable for odd one-off discussions of this type? Powers (talk) 01:19, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
The Travellers' Pub is an inappropriate place to focus discussion on a particular user, don't you think? Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:27, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps. If you need advice on how to handle particular problematic edits, there's Wikivoyage talk:How to handle unwanted edits. I'm just not sure it's a good idea to have a place where we talk about how problematic certain users are. Ban nominations is one thing, because it's necessary administrativa. But absent a ban nomination, do we need to regularly be discussing how bad User A or User B is? Powers (talk) 17:28, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
You don't think we sometimes need to discuss problems before they reach the level of userban nominations? Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:04, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
That brings me back to my original question: What needs to be discussed? Specifically. What sort of questions and answers do you propose to see in these sorts of discussions? Powers (talk) 23:45, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
This isn't a purely theoretical discussion, as you know, so why are you pretending it is? Look at my first post in Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress#User:DAZ14LPA. Sorry, that last post irritated me a bit. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:33, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
I have looked at it, and I can't figure out what action you wanted taken. Was it intended as a message to DAZ14LPA to shape up? Or was it a request to keep him/her on a short leash? Or were you just frustrated and venting steam? Powers (talk) 23:15, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
It was in order to suggest for admins to keep a close eye on his future posts, and to have a record in case action would need to be taken in the future. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:23, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
Sounds like more of a long-term thing. This page was (I think) intended to be used for more immediate needs. I would have concerns about converting this page to a more long-term watchlist, and grave concerns about having a page that was all about "here's a list of users who haven't done anything really wrong yet but we're watching closely". It's needlessly stigmatizing; note that in this case, it was a young user who simply didn't yet understand the norms of the site. Powers (talk) 01:43, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
There is a big difference between "haven't done anything really wrong" and "is nominated for a userban." But I feel like you're belittling the situation, so don't want to continue this conversation with you. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:22, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
If by "belittling" you mean that I don't think this was as serious a situation as you did, then I suppose I am. But I don't think that's any reason to cut off discussion. I just think this is a rare type case that doesn't need a whole project page devoted to a list of editors that other editors are supposed to keep an eye on. Powers (talk) 20:03, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
OK, that's a better argument than the insensitive stuff you posted immediately above. But that still doesn't address where it would be best to put these kinds of posts, forgetting for a second that you don't seem to understand the justification for them. If you're willing to give the "Where you can stick it" question some thought and address it, go ahead. Otherwise, I won't have anything more to discuss with you in this thread. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:04, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
I did make a few suggestions but you didn't like them. Can you think of other ways to mitigate my concerns about having a "watchlist" type page? Powers (talk) 13:04, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
The only suggestion I see from you is the Travellers' pub, which if you're concerned about stigmatizing a user is the worst possible place to put this kind of discussion. Did you make any other suggestion? Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:25, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
The other thing I would say to you is: The alternative is in fact to have this kind of discussion at the Userban page. So you should seriously consider whether that would "allay your concerns" or make things worse. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:27, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
I also suggested Wikivoyage talk:How to handle unwanted edits if there's some question over how to handle a particular situation. I disagree that the Pub is worse, because Pub threads get archived and isn't a single page devoted exclusively to problem users, so there's no "hit list" effect. Powers (talk) 00:48, 12 May 2015 (UTC)


Do we archive any of the contents of this page? For example, the section on User:DAZ14LPA is absolutely not a "current alert" and should no longer be on the page, so it would be natural to archive the section, but unless I've missed it, I don't see any evidence of any archive for this page. If I'm right, should we create one and move expired notices there, or should our only recourse be to delete the section, with the record remaining only in the edit history of the page? Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:58, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

See the #Archive or even delete? and #Not archiving threads above, which indicate that old alerts should just be deleted rather than archived. We might want to revisit that guidance since there is some value to being able to refer back to past patterns of vandalism when trying to determine if a new user is a repeat vandal or not. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:08, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
I think archives should be optional for this page, but I will go ahead and delete the section I mentioned. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:43, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Prevent video uploads, maybe images under certain conditionsEdit

Following the discussion on User_talk:Zhuyifei1999#The_Future.2C_our_wishes, it has been requested that owing to significant recent abuse that we block:

  1. Uploads of video files for whatever reason
  2. PDF files for whatever reason

Furthermore, it is desired that image uploads to Wikivoyage (as opposed to Wiki Commons) from anonymous or recent contributors be blocked as well.

Any thoughts and/or concerns in going forward with the above? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 05:13, 6 August 2017 (UTC)

I'll note that I don't have any opinion on images; WP0 pirates (very) rarely abuse them --Zhuyifei1999 (talk) 05:16, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
I support blocking uploads of video files, and I would also support blocking audio files if they start being abused. I'm not sure about images. I'm tempted to suggest blocking only video files for now and seeing what happens. Ikan Kekek (talk) 05:21, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
OK, I hope blocking videos as a start will not be controversial, given that we do not allow them presently. I am aware that some admins are very wary of the term 'ban', but we can set this filter up to tag only to begin with. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 12:25, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
I would set it to block such uploads. Warning spambot vandals is not useful. Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:59, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
I just start with tagging, since a new Filter could potentially be buggy and catch innocent edits. The video filter hasn't caught any edits in the past 12 hours.
Once we get a high level of confidence that only video uploads are being caught then I will set it to block. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:40, 6 August 2017 (UTC)
That's reasonable. Thanks for explaining. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:07, 7 August 2017 (UTC)
It successfully tagged 8 malicious edits this weekend. I upgraded to a block. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:38, 13 August 2017 (UTC)


Yes, I am User:libertarianmoderate. I created the second account because I wanted to see if I could edit my user page (and my user page ONLY) during the block. It turned out that I couldn't do it on my computer because the IP address was blocked as well, so I will likely delete this account soon, unless I find a use for it. LibMod (talk) 19:02, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

Block evasion is a fundamental reason for a longer or even indefinite block. Never do this on any Wiki site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:38, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

How to stop TelstraEdit

I have a plan to stop Telstra once and for all. We need to find another Australian user who knows how AU law works. One that we know is not Telstra. Then, we need to have him go to the police in exchange for a favor, like admin status. We would give them the user names, IP addresses, and emails of all the Telstra accounts. They would then file a police report for mutiple counts of vandalism, give them the evidence, and have them trace the edits to Telstra’s computer. I’m not sure what the police will do, but if we want any chance of stopping the vandalism, this is the way. Maybe we could at least make him sweat. Libertarianmoderate (talk) 00:09, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

There used to be a TV show (called Dad's Army I think) where a corporal called Jones was always coming up with grand ideas for how to solve problems, and his captain would tell him, "I think you're in the realms of fantasy there, Jones." No offense, but your proposition is in the realms of fantasy, although I'm sure you have only the best intentions in mind.
If we really had that view about Telstra, we'd more likely through Wikimedia Foundation's channels try to track down his IP address. From the IP address we could track the Telstra editor down, somewhat like you are saying. But there's no need to speculate about these plans. We do better if we carry on our normal lives on Wikivoyage despite Telstra. If we let him consume our thought lives and plans every day, he's been successful. He has stopped Wikivoyage from actually expanding in content like it should. I've learned by myself and from other editors: the more we try to track down Telstra, the more he's stopping this website from becoming the travel guide we want it to be. Selfie City (talk) 00:36, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
In a sense, the fact that there's been an uptick in vandalism is a sign of good things. I remember the days when Wikivoyage was practically vandalism-free because we were too small and unknown a website for them to bother with. Seriously, though, each of us has already spent orders of magnitude more time talking about Telstra in this conversation than it takes to revert and block him when he pops up. It might seem like something to worry about when you look at the Recent Changes page, but it really isn't. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:43, 19 July 2018 (UTC)
I'm in Australia, and if this was a viable option I would have considered it long ago :).
One thing I observe is that they evade the block by creating multiple throw away accounts within a few minutes of each other. It would be great to change Wikimedia policy to:
* Prevent account creation from the same IP within an hour's timeframe
* Force the user to validate their email registration before being allowed to edit Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:11, 28 September 2018 (UTC)

Telstra user, change of attitudeEdit

Swept in from the pub

I would like to suggest that going forward we handle the Telstra user differently. For one thing he has got better with contributions. Many of the new articles actually have reasonable listings and the minor edits are generally positive ones. Yes it is slightly annoying that these are done under different user ids, sometimes running at 4 or 5 new users a day, but this is not vandalism. Should we be more considerate to people with intellectual impairments? At the moment people are reverting about half of his edits, even good ones, often just reverting back to another entry made under a different user account of the same person. Suggest we just treat like any other contributor and correct edits only when needed. --Traveler100 (talk) 07:53, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

I am not wholly unsympathetic to this idea, but would like to point out that this user has consistently showed no regard for the fundamental principles of a wiki, namely co-operation, collaboration and communication. That he or she is intellectually impaired is pure supposition and I don't think we should assume things like that. ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:20, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Not sure if it will be the majority view here but I would like to judge the edit based on the edit itself rather than the user. If some of the edits help Wikivoyage move one step closer to becoming a free, complete, up-to-date and reliable worldwide travel guide then I don't see the harm in keeping those edits and reverting the junk. When the Telstra user makes a good contribution on an article I watch and it is reverted, I add the listing again but copyedit it or add further details so it's not exactly the same. Gizza (roam) 09:20, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Should we be blocking a user account and then complaining that he keeps creating new ones? --Traveler100 (talk) 18:53, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
@AndreCarrotflower: can we look at an alternative approach? --Traveler100 (talk) 18:53, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
There are other issues besides the quality of the edits. For instance, sockpuppeteering, which is part of the Telstra user's M.O., is only allowed on Wikivoyage in a narrow range of circumstances (within which his/her edits don't fall). If we were to begin allowing the Telstra user to edit as normal, would we be able to trust him/her to stick with one account rather than hopping between different ones? Can we even be sure that s/he understands our policy on sockpuppets, or any of our other policies? That's information that can only be obtained through communicating with the user, which s/he stubbornly refuses to do despite numerous entreaties. I think the fact that the Telstra user's edits are improving in quality is promising, but further progress towards rehabilitating the user would hinge on him/her establishing a willingness to communicate with us and doing so consistently, and that's something on which there has been little if any improvement. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:02, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
Although I usually take a more gentle approach toward vandals than other admins do, in the naive hope that some good can come of doing so, in the case of the Telstra vandal, s/he really creates so much work for other editors that I am not inclined to be forgiving until s/he takes a big step toward engaging with us. If s/he were to do that, then I would say that it would be worth working with him/her given the recent improvements in contributions. But without that show of good faith on the vandal's part, I think we should continue to take a hard line for the sake of not taking up others' time cleaning up after him/her. Ground Zero (talk) 20:15, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I would say, consider whether the value added is worth the extra work. If not, block for a short period. Repeat as necessary. Cheers, • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:54, 16 July 2018 (UTC)

It’s me, SoftAngelFromHellEdit

Sorry. I didn’t mean to vandalize. I will stop and wait until I have more relevant information. I just got excited. Forgive me for my mistakes. SoftAngelFromHell (talk) 02:19, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

No, I'm sorry that I assumed that too quickly. Thanks for responding with the above, however, since it clarifies that you are not a vandal. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 02:21, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Blocked. LibMod doppelganger. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:22, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
LM just can't stop getting on here with different accounts. Meatball:GoodBye seems to be quite accurate. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 02:24, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Ugh... I'm torn about this one. My gut tells me it's LibMod, but there's no smoking gun yet. I'm unblocking him for now, but will keep a close eye. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:25, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

Oh great. Now I’m being assumed to be this LM person who makes 10,000 accounts. SoftAngelFromHell (talk) 02:26, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, I know plenty about Iowa. Might make a page about my hometown, cause I know way to much about it. SoftAngelFromHell (talk) 02:27, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

@SoftAngelFromHell:, I reverted your edit on Iowa ("However, please be careful. Some people I know take advantage of travelers.") because we don't write in the first person, and it doesn't seem that your warning is specific to Iowa -- the same could be said of anywhere. I'm sorry I didn't get around to explaining this earlier. I hope that you will take some time to review the links that Selfie City provided on your talk page. I think they'll help you understand how you can contribute effectively. Ground Zero (talk) 02:30, 28 August 2018 (UTC)


That’s fair. Besides, just having a random blurb without a location makes no sense at all. I get the concern. SoftAngelFromHell (talk) 02:31, 28 August 2018 (UTC)

Does anyone object to this page being semi-protected?Edit

It's become a bit of a magnet for vandals, and I'm quite sure there isn't anyone monitoring against vandalism in a bona fide way who isn't already an autoconfirmed user. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:13, 26 September 2018 (UTC)

Go ahead. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:17, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, fine by me. Pashley (talk) 22:28, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
Sure. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:41, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
  Done -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:56, 26 September 2018 (UTC)
Just wanted to say that I agree absolutely. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 00:55, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
Strongly agree, and if there are other articles and pages that are frequently vandalized, I'd suggest they should also be semi-protected. ϒpsilon (talk) 03:57, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
Other than the pub, which really must be open to all, I agree with Ypsi. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:05, 27 September 2018 (UTC)
And the Arrivals page should not be protected. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 00:39, 28 September 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, that's obvious. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:02, 28 September 2018 (UTC)
I'm not opposed to semi-protecting more pages as needed, but ultimately I fear the only viable solution to this problem of persistent vandalism by sockpuppets is to petition the stewards at Meta to impose a rangeblock. I've been preoccupied with offwiki duties of late, but I'll see if I can't carve out some time to put in a request over there. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:45, 28 September 2018 (UTC)
That being said, I've also semi-protected United States of America for 3 months; it's been hit by vandals three times over the past two days. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:13, 28 September 2018 (UTC)
Three months because of three incidents in two days? Sledgehammer meet fly. I don't object to a short term protection, but one that is 45 times longer than the attack period is overkill, I think. Ground Zero (talk) 18:18, 28 September 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree with GZ above, unless vandalism is a frequently recurring problem on the article (I don't follow it, but neither do I see it much on Recent Changes, which I tend to track with a borderline clinical obsession). --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 18:23, 28 September 2018 (UTC)

Importantly, the article was semiprotected, not fully protected. To ThunderingTyphoons' point, a look at United States of America's revision history will show that by no means did the vandalism problem on that article begin three days ago. Furthermore, the nature of that article in particular is such that, because its current content is largely the painstaking result of contentious debates about what should and shouldn't be included, even a significant proportion of good-faith edits end up getting reverted. I don't think it's an altogether bad thing that users who haven't even been here long enough to earn autoconfirmed status are now unable to stumble blindly into that minefield. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:53, 28 September 2018 (UTC)
Agree with AndreCarrotflower, from my own experience of editing that page. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 00:54, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

Chinese nationalist vandalEdit

Swept in from the pub

I've noticed that there is this vandal who seems to be bent on vandalising articles about China and China's geopolitical allies and rivals. I was wondering if we should have a partial protection on these articles so people don't have to keep reverting this vandalism. For a start, perhaps the articles we could do a partial protection on are the articles for China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, North Korea and the United States. What do people say about that? The dog2 (talk) 19:02, 6 August 2018 (UTC)

  I'd lock the bigger/controversial countries (US, China...) for auto-protected users only... and also auto-ban new-comers who (nearly-)blank big pages like Pub within the first hours of their account existence. (talk) 19:57, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
I'd probably have supported that second proposal, if I hadn't just accidentally blanked a Google Doc and needed ten agonizing minutes to figure out how to get my browser un-stuck and the previous content restored. As it is, I'm a little more aware of the possibility that something might go wrong accidentally. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:16, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
In GD you don't have to push "save", here you do... What about "auto-revert" and ban for 12h, then after next accident 24h, 48h...? But I don't know if this is even possible with mediawiki, not if there are so many cases that or deserves a topic even :) (talk) 20:43, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
It was a pure coincidence that I posted this at the same time that this most recent vandal was going around blanking pages. But this Chinese nationalist vandal who names himself some iteration of Fuerdai (which btw is Mandarin for second-generation rich). I think if we protect the articles I mentioned from edits by non-autoconfirmed users, we should be able to stop him from vandalising them. The dog2 (talk) 20:52, 6 August 2018 (UTC)
True, Andree. But it's also true that you can click "Publish" without realizing that you've screwed up things that aren't visible on your screen.
Is this vandal doing large-scale blanking? It might be possible to set up an abuse filter for blanking (or certain names) by new editors in the mainspace. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:25, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
If you want to know (I'm mostly active on the English Wikipedia, I just saw this post after looking at some of this vandal's edits), this page gives some info on this user. SemiHypercube (talk) 00:41, 20 August 2018 (UTC)

What the hell?Edit

Swept in from the pub

Why am I blocked? AndreCarrotflower blocked me without even nominating me for a ban! I have done nothing wrong! @SelfieCity:: praised my Ada, Oklahoma edits! Who the hell is LibMod, what did he do that you now suspect me of, what the heck is a doppelganger, and what does any of this have to do with me?! If you're going to ban me, at least answer me! AmericanRide2 (talk) 00:44, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

As you well know, since you and him are the same person (I'm writing this mainly for the benefit of the other editors who may be following these events), User:Libertarianmoderate is a former editor who was banned for making bigoted statements and who has resurfaced several times under different usernames to cause further trouble.
Like you, LibMod:
  • has a habit of creating stub articles for unimportant small towns in the American Midwest, especially Chicago suburbs such as Beecher
  • has a habit of creating garbage redirects like International Date Line and Prime Meridian
  • has a habit of including city, state and zip code in the address section of listings, like so, in violation of our manual of style
  • uses Template:Listing for all listings, rather than differentiating by "See", "Do", "Buy", "Eat", "Drink", or "Sleep" (see link in the above bullet point)
  • uses Template:Ping frequently, and tends to do so in the middle or at the end of his comments rather than at the beginning
  • after being banned, began making his doppelgangers write in affected dialects in an attempt to throw admins off the track (compare "Wazzup dudes? I'm American Ride!" on User:American Ride to "now why did y'all block me? I ain't done nuttin wrong!" in an email to me by an account that later admitted to being a LibMod doppelganger)
No, there's no smoking gun, but the nature of doppelganger detection is such that there never is. But the volume of circumstantial evidence I laid out above makes it extremely difficult if not impossible to draw any other conclusion.
In conclusion, LibMod, I would advise you to stop wasting your efforts. Here at Wikivoyage we have lots of experience with vandals and problem editors. We can spot a doppelganger a mile away, even when the vandal tries to cover his tracks, which believe me, you're a lot less good at than you think you are. You're never going to fool us, so your best bet is to cut your losses and go vandalize some other wiki.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:01, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
I have to say, the use of Template:Ping is a dead giveaway. New users probably wouldn't know how to use that template. Thanks for figuring this one out, and sorry if any of my previous comments to the user caused any problems. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 02:11, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Also, I think if we still had any doubts as to whether or not LM was a problematic user or not (which was pretty clear already), this latest incident removes any doubt. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 02:19, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
No problem at all, SelfieCity. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:20, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, @AndreCarrotflower: --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 02:21, 9 September 2018 (UTC) ;)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Thanks for pinging me on en.wp. I knew you had a handle on it. If there's a serious doubt, we can get a CheckUser but this is classic "walks like a duck, talks like a duck". —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:38, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

Ban was correct thing to do. No doubt about the MO of the edits. --Traveler100 (talk) 06:20, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
The ban is justified. I understand the desire to defend and explain such a ban, but listing all of his "give-aways" will make it easier for him to avoid detection. Ground Zero (talk) 06:42, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
If he returns. If he does, he's just being foolish. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 21:24, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
As I said, we at Wikivoyage can generally identify doppelgangers even of vandals who are good at covering their tracks. LibMod would have to make some pretty major improvements to his strategy before I'd start worrying about him slipping through the cracks. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:28, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
Yep. He hasn't covered up his tracks so far. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 21:33, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
One wonders whether he even cares if he's detected. It seems like his object is to annoy us, rather than to return to editing per se. If he slips through the radar undetected, he's not annoying anyone. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:35, 9 September 2018 (UTC)
I don't know what he's trying to do, really. But I think we ought to watch the User Creation Log and follow when new editors start adding quite a lot of content with decent knowledge of how to use the editor mode (although not perfect, as the examples above show), particularly in the Middle East or the American Midwest. We're not having to deal with Einstein, though, so I don't think we need to examine every new user too much. As long as we follow possible LM doppelgangers that emerge fairly closely, we should be able to figure out who's LM and who isn't. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 22:32, 9 September 2018 (UTC)

User pages and User talk pages of vandal sockpuppet accountsEdit

Even though deleting the above-mentioned pages has become a routine element of our procedure in rolling back vandalistic edits (between Fuerdai, BTCentralPlus, and LibMod, I've given up trying to keep track of who's who, if indeed they're even different people), I've nonetheless noticed that the user pages and talk pages of previously banned sockpuppets are popular vandalism targets for subsequent generations of socks. To those of us who do vandalism patrol: I recommend that when these vandals appear, you not only ban them and cut off their access to their own user page and the EmailUser feature, but also delete and lock their user page and talk page so they are not usable by future socks. For my part, I've just gone back into the user creation log and salted a month's worth of sockpuppet userpages and user talk pages (accounts created on or after 2018-09-04). -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:10, 4 October 2018 (UTC)

Thanks for doing this! The thing is, though, is protection of empty or deleted pages ever effective? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:04, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
Ikan - The short answer is no, not directly, but I suspect it might be effective as one part of a multipronged strategy. I'm hesitant to speak in more explicit terms in a forum that's accessible to prying eyes, and I see that you don't have the EmailUser feature enabled, so I wonder what would be your preferred way, if any, to convey this information to you privately. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:59, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
You have a couple of ways to contact me. :-) Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:41, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
Gotcha. :) I wasn't sure if it was a contravention of policy to handle Wikivoyage business through unofficial channels, but in any event I've dropped you a line. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 02:19, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
Well, email is equally private, right? -- Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:12, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

I agree with Andre's initial proposal.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 10:49, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

Wikivoyage:Protected pagesEdit

I'm fully in support of using the temporary semiprotection of articles as a weapon against vandalism. However, the fact that we're doing this also brings up questions related to w:WP:BEANS. Especially given the fact that this information is available from other sources within the MediaWiki software, how valuable is it really to serve these vandals on a silver platter, in a forum that's completely accessible to them, a continuously updated listing of articles they are and are not able to edit? Certainly there are some sections of Wikivoyage:Protected pages that are useful - the permanently fully-protected projectspace pages related to our Wikitravel-era history, for example - but let's not forget that the semi-protection on the vandal-targeted mainspace pages will eventually lapse anyway, and that all it takes for a good-faith user to attain permission to edit any semiprotected page is a nominal number of useful edits. I have to ask if the scrupulous updating of Wikivoyage:Protected pages#Temporary semi-protection is ultimately doing us more harm than good.

(I'm posting this here rather than at Wikivoyage talk:Protected pages because it is a question related to vandalism, and this page seems to have more watchers. Regretfully, the requirement that proposals for policy changes be conducted in an open and transparent manner rather than behind closed doors - and this is a matter of formal written policy - also preclude this issue from being handled in private emails to admins, as some other recent ones have.)

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:55, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

Pinging Ikan Kekek, ThunderingTyphoons!, Ground Zero, Andrewssi2, SelfieCity. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:57, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Given our recent experience, I support taking additional measures. How about a six-month suspension of updating of Wikivoyage:Protected pages#Temporary semi-protection, renewable if the current issues persist? Ground Zero (talk) 16:12, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
Support for this. Any user can review page protection at the appropriate log. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 16:19, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
No point in keeping up the list of protected articles, though the vandal probably doesn't sit and analyze it anyway but simply just opens articles and talk pages they're "interested in" in editing mode and vandalizes as much as they can until they're discovered and blocked. Also, anyone will find out that an article is protected when trying to edit it (this very editing window has a warning above it). ϒpsilon (talk) 17:00, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't think I knew we were supposed to update any page with this info, anyway. Yeah, no reason to do that. Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:05, 18 October 2018 (UTC)
It isn't updated automatically? Oops. I haven't been doing it either. Ground Zero (talk) 02:02, 19 October 2018 (UTC)
Support Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:14, 18 October 2018 (UTC)

The “beans” policyEdit

Regarding what happened today and other vandals recently, I think we need some kind of standard procedure and policy when it comes to repeat vandals. Something along the lines of w:WP:BEANS so that we know what should be reported as vandalism and how to best deal with the vandals in the respect of this. We need to be able to state why a user is a repeat vandal without revealing how they do, what they do. The current method doesn't seem to be working, so I think some kind of written standard of how to deal with repeat vandals, and identify them as such, would be helpful to go by, that's not just some article written on another site but actual Wikivoyage policy. I'm not sure how much of this is already covered in WV policy, but if it is not I think it should be.

I must say that I am very sorry if my or anyone else's comments did any harm today. I know that having to remove comments for that reason is not the best solution on Wikivoyage, and that having to resort to doing so shows that some wrongs were done, especially on my part. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 03:25, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

As I said to ThunderingTyphoons! on my talk page just a few days ago: "You're talking to the guy who just a few weeks ago posted a whole exhaustive list of ways you can spot a LibMod doppelganger, so no apology needed! :) We're all still getting the hang of watching what we say". As for the first part of your comment, I agree with you, but it's still unclear exactly what the solution is going to look like. I do want to say two things, though. One, we should get out of the habit not only of discussing specific patterns of behavior or tactics against vandals, but of talking so much about vandalism, period. Besides w:WP:BEANS, another important principle is w:WP:DENY. Even if we're keeping tight-lipped about the specifics, the simple fact that we're spending so much time kvetching about vandalism gives the vandal the reinforcement they want, and leads to more vandalism. The rule of thumb should be block, revert, and don't make a fuss. If a non-admin notices a vandal who needs to be blocked, they should trust that it will be taken care of by an admin before too long. If they absolutely must report on it at Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress, it should at least not lead to a long conversation. Two, admins or other users who are interested in combating vandalism are encouraged to enable the EmailUser feature on their profile, and keep track of their email inboxes. This is a secure way to share information that shouldn't be discussed in open forums. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:36, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, that information is very useful. I think we need some kind of statement that makes it clear to users what to do in these situations. Maybe the text on Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress should make it a little clearer that it's not a discussion forum on vandalism, but just for extremely rare cases. --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 03:43, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
Is there any way of having a "secret room" visible only to admins and some others where we could discuss whether or not a new editor is a vandal without prying eyes? (Of course, we'd have to make SelfieCity an admin, but that's something we should be doing anyway.) Ground Zero (talk) 04:35, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
It should be possible to set up an admin-only mailing list (or, I think, an admins-plus-SelfieCity mailing list), but I don't know much about this. Some information is at w:Wikipedia:Mailing lists and meta:Mailing lists. Also, some abuse filters are hidden from public view such as Special:AbuseFilter/29; we could make one of those for each long-term vandal and use the "Notes" section as a makeshift place for discussion. —Granger (talk · contribs) 06:22, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes to a mailing list or an anti-vandal room of requirement. Despite my frustration yesterday, I do recognise that discussion is sometimes needed, but it would be best not to air it in a public setting. I'd be interested to know if any other wikis have a similar thing; perhaps User:WhatamIdoing would know?--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 09:27, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
One word of caution: Years ago, we had some private discussions between admins, and this was a source of suspicion and resentment from users whom admins and some other longterm regulars clashed with because of their repeated flouting of policies they disagreed with. So if any kind of secret forum is started, we need to assure everyone that nothing but vandalism and other security threats will be discussed anyplace where other users can't read and reply. Ikan Kekek (talk) 09:57, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
Ypsilon is another non-admin who has been actively engaged against vandals and should be given access to any private discussion sphere that we may establish. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:19, 22 October 2018 (UTC)
Then how about a "Vandalism Patrol Room" open to admins and others who are vouched for by three admins? Ground Zero (talk) 18:10, 22 October 2018 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Sure. I never knew such a thing was possible. What if it could be seen by autopatrollers, though, instead of admins only? Would that help solve two of the problems stated above? --Comment by Selfie City (talk about my contributions) 00:31, 23 October 2018 (UTC)

Good idea. Is that possible? Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:48, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
Mailing lists are the normal way of handling this. Perhaps zzuuzz, who has some experience with sock puppets and long-term abusers at the English Wikipedia, would share a recommendation for or against that approach.
I don't think that a page can be kept private (nobody else can read it) on any of the public wikis. (There's software that can do that, but it's not installed, and probably wouldn't be even if we asked.) A private IRC channel could be set up. There is a way to keep Phabricator tasks private, but a task-tracking system isn't necessarily a good match for what you want to do. Some communities choose to discuss things completely off wiki (like a Facebook page or internet discussion forum). WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:58, 23 October 2018 (UTC)
Hello all. Since you asked for an opinion I'm happy to state it, but I won't make any claims about how generalisable it will be. I don't really rate off-wiki communications. At enwiki we do not have admin/vandalism mailing lists, though we might ccasionally email one another if there's something sensitive. For most of my admin career, basically until I became a checkuser, I hardly ever used email and got along just fine. I still don't like using it unless I have to. We do have some private IRC channels, such as the one only for admins. I basically don't use IRC any more and, related, it's been observed that its echo chamber qualities can give rise to strange conclusions. We have a large selection of edit filters which, when set to private, can be very useful in documenting 'tells' - if only in the things they check for. The problems I see with these methods is they can exclude too many people, or they can include the wrong people, and they are liable to leaks and other issues giving rise to a false sense of security.
Among the public tools we have available are the LTA and SPI pages (including sockpuppet tags and categories). These can often be overdone, but if done right they can have value. There is a balance to be struck between documenting something, and BEANS and DENY (when it comes to DENY I usually prefer linking the early revisions). I think the most useful thing to have is a sample of accounts so that users can see for themselves. If there's common IP address ranges, document those. Maybe don't describe each quirk, but give enough sample accounts. And anything containing obvious vandalism should just be deleted with prejudice, because you don't need clues to identify it. By far the most important thing is widespread knowledge among admins and regular users, so once a user is identified it's useful for as many as possible to see what they look like. Zzuuzz (talk) 17:41, 24 October 2018 (UTC)

Message to adminsEdit

ThunderingTyphoons!, Ground Zero, Granger, Gizza, Ypsi, Andrewssi2 - please check the inboxes of whatever email addresses you have connected to your accounts; I've sent a private message to you all and I'm interested in your feedback. Ikan, I've also sent the same message to you via the same alternate channel we used before. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:51, 27 October 2018 (UTC)

Odd EditsEdit

Swept in from the pub

Hello! I don't follow the edit/troll sagas too closely, but I'm aware of them. Not sure if these are related, but these two IP users are likely the same person. Their edits don't seem very... let's say... high quality? I reverted two edits, but just wanted to post it here in case this is part of some larger pattern. Thanks! --ButteBag (talk) 00:17, 18 September 2018 (UTC)

Abuse filter tidy upEdit

I checked through the list of filter rules we have at Special:AbuseFilter and decided to disable a few that only got a few hits over the years.

The main rationale is that each enabled filter adds a small cost to the time it takes to save a page, and if we can make more efficient then we should. I don't think performance issues have been raised as a concern, but wanted to be transparent about this. Please let me know if you have any questions. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:43, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Good point. I agree. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 14:47, 29 November 2018 (UTC)

New policy for WikivoyageEdit

W:WP:Deny is perfectly reasonable, but it's not a Wikivoyage policy. Shouldn't we transcribe it over here? --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 19:00, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

Agreed. We are treating W:WP:DENY like policy, and there's nothing wrong with that, but it would be even better if we had another version of it written here. We might want to make it our own writing, though, rather than copy-pasting it from Wikipedia to Wikivoyage. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 23:34, 30 November 2018 (UTC)
A lot of the directives in that policy are WP specific. Here's the Simple WP policy (with links adjusted) we could use temporarily, to enshrine the principle, while decide on our own specific directives:
Some [[w:WP:VAN|vandals]] want attention. They try to interrupt the Wikivoyage community. They sometimes make Wikipedia users focus time and energy on them. These users enjoy the attention that Wikivoyage users give them. Users should not give them special attention. 

Some ways to avoid giving them the attention they want:
* Revert and warn them like other users
* Report to [[WV:Vip]] and let [[WV:Admin|an administrator]] block them
* Do not give them attention on your user page 
* Do not have arguments with them
Up to the community if this is wanted or not, but better to have something than nothing, I think. ARR8 (talk) 17:31, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
Good. I like it. If we're going to use this text for policy, though, which I actually quite like: it says, "Some vandals want attention"; probably that should be "most vandals want attention". And, of course, we'd change "They sometimes make Wikipedia users...." to "They sometimes make Wikivoyage users..." Plus, we don't warn vandals. We just revert. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 17:38, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
Seems I missed a WP mention. But, yes, I'd agree with those changes. ARR8 (talk) 17:45, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
As the infobox on the top of the page says, w:WP:DENY isn't hard-and-fast policy on Wikipedia, either - more like a guiding principle that's applicable to any wiki. I obviously agree that we should pay it careful heed, but I don't see any pressing need for a redundant version of that page over here. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 19:47, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
Good point. I think it should be policy here, since we treat it like policy. Perhaps we should write a draft completely different from the WP version.--Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 19:47, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
IMO all policies that we apply here on Wikivoyage should also be written down here. ϒψιλον (talk) 20:18, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
I'll start drafting a policy, first in userspace. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 20:37, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── How's this: User:SelfieCity/Deny? --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 21:14, 1 December 2018 (UTC)

SelfieCity - w:Wikipedia:Don't stuff beans up your nose, w:Wikipedia:Revert, block, ignore, w:Wikipedia:Do not insult the vandals, and w:Wikipedia:Don't eat the troll's food are other good sources to draw from, if you haven't already, when crafting a comprehensive policy of this nature. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:44, 1 December 2018 (UTC)
I added links to those in the "see also" section, and I think perhaps "RBI" would be good in the policy article I'm creating. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 22:11, 1 December 2018 (UTC)


Swept in from the pub

Pinging Ikan Kekek, SelfieCity, ThunderingTyphoons!, Ground Zero, Andrewssi2, Ibaman, Granger, and all other admins, please see a message of special import that I've left in the "Notes" section of abuse filter 25.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:35, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

And 37. --Comment by Selfie City (talk | contributions) 04:16, 30 November 2018 (UTC)

Archive or delete?Edit

The oldest discussion/alert on Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress is from 2015, and I think we should trim down the page a bit. Should the discussions/alerts be archived for future reference or deleted outright? --Ypsilon (talk) 19:51, 11 January 2020 (UTC)

I would favour archiving, as it can be helpful to refer to historical cases, which often repeat themselves through the years.--ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 22:21, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Vandalism in progress".