Help:How to handle vandalism

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RationalMedia Foundation (RMF)

Vandalism at Rationalwiki is broken down into three main categories:

  1. Funny
  2. Not unfunny
  3. Unfunny

Any vandalism that falls into the first 2 categories should not be considered a binnable or blockable offense. However, repeated vandalism from the third category may prompt use of the vandal brake, thus limiting the vandal to no more than one edit per thirty minutes.[note 1] In some cases, particularly where a vandal is using multiple accounts to avoid the vandal brake, it may be appropriate to block the user for 52 minutes or pi hours.

If you see funny vandalism that is particularly amusing, you may want to copy a permanent link or difflink to the edit before reverting, and mention it on the article's talk page. If it's about a particular topic, you could even give it a funspace article of its own, like so.

Removing vandalism

When removing or reverting vandalism, always use undo or rollback. Don't just edit out what you can see — there is sometimes stuff hidden in formatting or similar places where it might be missed. Note that if you add &bot=1 to the address to show user contributions, then the vandalism does not show up in the recent changes list.

Undo is a two-step process that lets you leave an edit comment, whereas rollback is a one-step process that also removes all edits made by the vandal to that page since the most recent editor before them.

Sysops only

If the vandalism is all the editor is doing, copy the name, paste into the box on Special:VandalBrake, and press "Vandal". This will put the name into the vandal bin and restrict their editing abilities, thus removing the need to block.


Remember: unfunny vandalism is often committed by those lacking elementary interpersonal skills, often with a mental age considerably less than their physical age, and such persons should be pitied rather than censured. They are unable to make any meaningful contribution to society and are reduced to attempting to destroy the works of their betters. Do not be harsh; rather invite them to make meaningful contributions. (unless they're totally beyond the pale, in which case marmalise them!)

Also remember: those most strongly objecting to funny vandalism are also typically lacking elementary interpersonal skills, along with a sense of humour and proportion. Such persons are to be pitied, to an extent, and their self-righteous whining should not be taken to heart, but do exercise caution in your dealings with these sorry individuals. And above all, don't get bitten or you too may end up treating funny vandalism like serious business.

See also


  1. or 1800 seconds