Arcen Wiki:Vandalism

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Vandalism is the modification of any content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the wiki. Vandalism, of course, is against our policy and it needs to be dealt with immediately. There are several different types of vandalism, the most common being inserting obscene content onto pages. Fortunately, these kinds of vandalism are easily spotted.

Any edit made in good faith is not vandalism. Unjustifiably labeling someone's edits as vandalism can be seen as insulting and therefore false accusations of vandalism should be avoided. Cases where an editor simply disagrees with you over the content of an article are not vandalism; see the article on consensus for appropriate ways to respond in such cases. Even apparent bad faith edits that do not make their intent for malice explicitly clear cannot be considered vandalism. You should clean up the mess made by these users and briefly explain the problem to the user without scolding or reprimanding him or her.

Not all vandalism is obvious and not all controversial edits are vandalism. Please give careful consideration to whether the new information is correct, false but submitted in good faith, or an act of obvious vandalism.

Dealing With Vandalism

Remove It

If you see an edit that was vandalism, revert it. You should check the history of the page to make sure that you took care of it all, because sometimes vandalism may come from more than one account. In addition, it may help to check the user's contributions because there may be more vandalism from the user that has not been noticed. If an entire page was created in attempt to vandalize, list the page for speedy deletion and contact an administrator if necessary.

Warnings

After you clean up the vandalism, you should warn the vandal. The warning should always have a friendly and calm but serious tone that explains the situation and your concern; several pre-written warnings are available that can be customized as necessary. Some vandals know what they are doing is bad and they will not stop until they are blocked indefinitely, but others don't understand the concept of free editing and may be stopped by a simple, well-worded warning. The latter may even begin to contribute productively! When in doubt, always assume that the user is testing the wiki or something similar, and if you are uncomfortable with warning these users you can always seek assistance.

The final warning for a user should always self reference that there will be no further warnings and that the user will be blocked by an administrator if he or she continues. If the user continues, briefly explain what they are doing on the administrator noticeboard and get the attention of an administrator if the vandalism is in progress.

Types of Vandalism

Page Blanking
Removing some or all content from pages without explanation, especially when done to multiple articles on the site or when the content is replaced with profanities. It is not necessarily vandalism when the editor was attempting to inappropriately delete the page or when the reason for the content removal was apparent upon examination of the removed content. In addition, some browsers cannot handle the volume of text and will send a corrupted or snipped version of the article back to the database. Because of the possibilities for unintentional and good faith page blanks, strong warnings against page blanking is not recommended except for blatant instances of vandalism.
Note: The proper way to recommend a page for deletion is discussed on the deletion policy page.
Graffiti
Another common type of vandalism is the addition of childish insults, bad jokes, or other nonsense. The more profane the graffiti is, the more stern the warning should be. Because the addition of non-profane graffiti can simply be the result of not understanding the purpose of a wiki, as opposed to malice, keeping your warning in these instances short, simple, and nice in this case will help matters more efficiently.
Spam
Spam is the addition of any inappropriate links to articles for the sole purpose of advertisement. These are usually obvious to spot, especially when these links are to off topic sites such as online casinos. Adding links that advertise a personal Elder Scrolls-related fan site is usually inappropriate, but not necessarily vandalism.
Sneaky vandalism
This type of vandalism is hard to spot. This includes silently changing numbers or the factual correctness of a statement, making two vandalizing edits and only reverting one, or hiding vandalism so that it does not appear in the final product of a page.
Altering comments
Altering the comments of other users so that they have different meanings is considered to be vandalism. It's not vandalism, although it may be considered controversial at times, to remove personal attacks or profanity from the comments of others. It may also be acceptable to fix a typo or misspelling in someone's comments if the meaning was ambiguous or it resulted in a broken link. Adding {{unsigned|user}} to the end of a user's comments is always acceptable when they forgot to add a signature, as is formatting to fix indentation or similar issues to improve readability.
Abuse of process
Abuse of process is one of the favorite hobbies of trolls. Examples of this include nominating pages for deletion that are clearly of value to the site, recommending stubs and incomplete articles for featured status, or voting for something that obviously would harm the Wiki.

What Vandalism is Not

Good Faith
As stressed above numerous times, any edit made in good faith, no matter how misguided it may be, is not vandalism. If it is possible that something may not be vandalism, don't deal with the problem like it is. Use less stern warnings, and avoid calling the edits vandalism.
Honest Mistakes
Those of us that are not infallible humans will occasionally make mistakes. The best thing that you can do for people who make mistakes is to fix them, and leave a note on their talk page or on the article's talk page when appropriate.
Stubbornness or Bullying
Some people cannot come to an agreement and will take up a position for the sake of argument and sometimes just to cause a conflict. These people cannot collaborate and will often go as far as making changes that are opposed by everyone else or that have not reached appropriate consensus. Although this is a regrettable action that may fall afoul of other policies like Etiquette, this is not vandalism.
Harassment and Personal Attacks
Personal attacks are clearly against the policies of the Wiki, and harassment towards other members is likewise not tolerated. Although infringing either of these two policies is a blockable offense, it is not considered to be vandalism.