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What is vandalism?

The term vandalism refers to the act of destroying something, on wikis, this can be seen as a number of things:

  • Intentionally inserting false information or removing correct information for one person's benefit (Scamming)
  • Moving pages to irrelevant names (Irrelevant moving)
  • Advertising things not relating to the game Tibia, or things which go against the Tibia Rules (Spamming)

What to do if you spot vandalism

Ideally, you'll want to revert the edits the vandal has made, see Help:Reverting for how to do that.
Sometimes however, you will be unable to undo the vandals edits as a normal user. You may require assistance from an admin if, for example, the vandal creates a page irrelevant to the wiki.
If the vandal created pages which should not be here, you may mark it for deletion. The same applies to images. It would also be appropriate to inform an admin of their inappropriate edits.
Here is an example of vandalism: Vandalism Help

Examples of vandalism

Here is a small list of things which are commonly seen as vandalism, it is not limited to these, but these are seen most frequently.
Keep in mind that the punishment isn't "pre-determined" i.e the punishment the vandal receives is entirely up to the admin.

Reason Example What to do Likely Result
Scamming "This item is very rare because it is only dropped by The Horned Fox" on the page Axe. Revert, inform an admin if they continue Warning, temporary block if the vandal persists.
Irrelevant Moving User moves Ghazbaran to Gazbaren Move the page back to the appropriate page, and inform an admin. If seen as intentional, a temporary block, if not, then a warning.
Spamming Glorifying rule-violations, "if you spam it hard enough someone will buy" on any page. Revert the edits and if necessary explain on the talk page, inform an admin if they add it again. Depends how serious the offense is. Most likely a warning, and block if they persist.
Clearing Pages Removing all content from any page Revert it and inform an admin. Most likely a warning, and block if they continue.
Nonsensical or Irrelevant Pages Creating a page with the contents "adhahahl" Mark the page for deletion. Page would be considered for deletion and the vandal warned.

Vandalism is the conspicuous defacement or destruction of a structure, a symbol, or information against the will of the owner/governing entity. In the context of an online community project, it is a usually deliberate attempt to damage the usefulness of content for other viewers.

Assuming good faith

Useful community content presents the widest range of relevant and accurate information on a topic. In the case of a wiki, if someone edits a page so it reflects only a single viewpoint, that can be considered vandalism. For example, if a page about a TV show character contains information both from the show itself and from spin-off shows, books, etc., and a user removes all information that isn't strictly from the main show, the other community members will likely see that as vandalism. However, to keep good faith, you might assume that this editor was only trying to show that any source of information on that character besides the main show isn't true canon and shouldn't be in the article.

In general, an edit that seems like deliberate vandalism is often just a clumsy attempt at editing by someone who is new to wikis, simply didn't know the community's rules, or someone who didn't know how else to propose a change in how things are done on the wiki. In those cases, you can explain to that bad editor what they could do better, where they could go to discuss their ideas, and why certain things are just not allowed on your community, even if they're okay elsewhere. That way, a user who first seems like a vandal can turn into a useful editor and member of the community. Unless you can clearly see that someone had bad intentions, always assume they just didn't know better and offer your help!

Avoiding critical mass

Vandalism is often an aggressive attempt at getting a point across to the community, by an angry or spiteful user. You can try to defuse the situation by talking to the vandal, suggesting to work things out peacefully, or by explaining better ways to achieve what the vandal wants to achieve. If you alienate the editor, however - for example by insulting them right back - vandalism can turn into a form of vengeance. Fandom has tools and mechanisms in place to minimize the effect of pranksters and can even handle a few determined vengeful vandals, but dealing with a full-blown vandalism movement is much harder and costs a lot of time and effort.

Because of this, you should assume good faith and react with kindness wherever possible to avoid making the vandal(s) even more hateful and to prevent a vandal attack from reaching critical mass.

Dealing with vandalism

In general, the best way to deal with vandalism is to revert the vandalism, block the vandal, and ignore any attempt from the vandal to bother you further. For more information on this, we recommend reading these three pages, which go into each of these steps in more detail:

There are measures administrators can put in place to help prevent vandalism before it begins:

Two anti-vandalism extensions are used often on Fandom. ProtectSite locks down the ability of specific user groups from being able to do basic actions, such as editing or creating pages or uploading images, for up to 12 hours. If a community is facing a surge of vandalism, the SOAP or Fandom Staff can enable ProtectSite to prevent new, unregistered, or even non-sysop users from being able to do those particular things. The other extension is AbuseFilter, which allows skilled coders to block the submission of edits if certain conditions are met, for example if a particular rude or inappropriate word is included in the new text. SOAP can help a community set up filters against regular vandalism.

Admins and Fandom staff can also turn off anonymous editing in wiki features if anonymous accounts (identified by their IP address) continually cause problems on a community.

See also

Further help and feedback

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