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Vandalism is any addition, deletion, or change to content made in a deliberate attempt to reduce the quality of the encyclopedia. The most common type of vandalism is the replacement of existing text with obscenities, page blanking, spamming, or the insertion of bad jokes or other nonsense. Fortunately, this kind of vandalism is usually easy to spot.
Any good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia, even if misguided or ill-considered, is not vandalism. Apparent bad-faith edits that do not make their bad-faith nature unarguably explicit are not considered vandalism at Wikipedia. For example, adding an opinion once is not vandalism it is just not helpful, and should be removed, restated, or added to the talk pages.
Dealing with vandalism
If you see vandalism , revert it and leave a warning message on the user's talk page. 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. If it is obvious that all versions of the page are pure vandalism, nominate the page for deletion. Also, check the vandal's other contributions - you will often find more malicious edits.
How to spot
You can spot vandalism through looking on the recent changes or the history of who edited the page. If your user page gets vandalized simply revert the edit through the history. Just enter the following tags on to their user talk page. Do not use these templates in discussions or Disputes.
For First offense
For second offense
For third offense
Contact an sysop so they can block the vandal. Normal users are unable to block other users.
As for the page, revert the edits by the spammer. If it is a whole new page that was made then nominate it for deletion by copying the tag below.
Trace IP address
Also, consider tracing the IP address. Find owners by using:
- IP-Adress (World Wide)
- ARIN (North America)
- RIPE (Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia)
- APNIC (Asia Pacific)
- LACNIC (Latin American and Caribbean)
- AfriNIC (Africa)
- Honey pot (Trace if common Spammer IP)
- Spamhaus block list
- Spamhaus Exploits block list (For checking open proxies)
If you add random unrelated links you will be banned immediately. Here at Codex Gamicus, we have a basic vandalism policy, it works on a three strike policy:
A warning will be placed on the user's discussion page. The text of this warning message can be found here.
A warning will be placed on the user's discussion page. This warning message can be found here.
Third (and subsequent) offenses
The user will be blocked for a period of time at the discretion of the administrator. A note may be left on the talk page of the blocked user's page which can be seen here.