Help talk:Contents/Archive1

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This is an archive page, last updated 22 December 2018. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Questions and Answers[edit]

Should we delete some of these questions once they've been answered specially if they're facile or not of further interest (bum!) (back button) (edit toolbox) Keep to yourself 23:32, 24 August 2007 (CDT)

Only if they are no longer relevant (back button) (help link in navbox). Many people still need to know about the BDA and their crimes upon my person. Stick 'em in an archive? humanbe in 23:51, 25 August 2007 (CDT)

How to Add News Story to "What is going on in the world?" Page[edit]

That page is currently locked. Should I post the news in the respective Talk section or is there someone I should send the source to?

What's the deal with the arrows on the edit history page?[edit]

Never having edited a wiki before, I can't help but notice that there are green and red arrows with numbers beside them looking like vote counts next to each edit listed in the history page. What are these, what do they represent, and am I missing a "vote" button somewhere? UnerringlyErrant (talk) 05:22, 22 November 2014 (UTC)

Think you must be looking at a "WIGO" type of page - if you are then they are votes - if you're not then I've no idea what you're talking about, sorry. Scream!! (talk) 12:54, 22 November 2014 (UTC)
No, I'm the one who is sorry; I don't know why my brain inserted arrows there... it's just numbers in parentheses, +green or -red. Simply click on "Fossil Record" at the top of this page to see what I'm talking about. P.S. Looking again, something just clicked. Are the numbers indicating an increase or decrease in the amount of information on the page? Like whether the person added or removed something, and how much it was? UnerringlyErrant (talk) 01:04, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Pretty sure it is character count, or rather the change in it. Green for plus, red for minus, and bold for delta bigger than 500. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 01:54, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

How to undo a Redirect[edit]

Page A now redirects to page B (which contains some material about A); I want to take the A-material and put it back at Page A. But how can I edit Page A (to add this material) when trying to get to A lands me at B? Ahaynes 02:44, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Never mind, I see, click on the "redirected from" link. Ahaynes 02:55, 29 November 2009 (UTC)
If you get to page B via page A there will be a thing at the top that says "redirected from page A" with a special link to page A that says "&redirect=no". That link will take you to page A, the redirect, which can still be edited to make it a "real" page again. Yup, you got it. ħumanUser talk:Human 02:56, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

How do you edit the toolbox[edit]

I know you can edit the navigation box at Mediawiki:Sidebar but how do you edit the toolbox? You can set the Common.css to not display it at all, and I think monobook.php has some of the toolbox code stored. But what the heck? Way to confusing. Anyone know more about this? tmtoulouse nettle 13:04, 12 August 2007 (CDT)

I'm fairly certain that it's simply an issue of modifying monobook.php and main.css. I'll go test it on my local installation of MW. --Linus(plot evil tech) 17:41, 12 August 2007 (CDT)

How do I make a "screen shot" image?[edit]

On a PC, type your "Print Screen/SysReq" button, then Paste (generally CTRL-V) into another application. "Alt-Print Screen" copies only the current window.

Alt+PrintScrn copies the active window to the clipboard, Ctrl+PrintScrn copies the entire screen display.

On a Mac (from wp:Screenshot), "Pressing Command-Shift-3 takes a screenshot of the entire screen, and Command-Shift-4 takes a screenshot of a chosen area of the screen or if you press Space afterwards you can choose a window on the screen to individually screenshot. These images are saved to the desktop, but if you hold down the control key with the rest of the keyboard shortcut, the pictures are copied to the clipboard instead. These shortcuts also work in Mac OS Classic." Sterileblah, blah, blah 14:29, 24 August 2007 (CDT)

Excellent, thank you very much!!! humanbe in 14:37, 24 August 2007 (CDT)

Also there are loads of free downloadable progs (windows!) that enable capture of the full screen or just the current window - google 'screen shot program' or 'screen capture program' - over 25000 responses Keep to yourself 23:30, 24 August 2007 (CDT)

Can this article be added to the navigation box?[edit]

Apparently, yes, it can, and it has been. humanbe in 14:46, 24 August 2007 (CDT)

How do I put in a smart "Back" button?[edit]

Is it possible to put something on a page that will auto bounce back to the previous page ie - like clicking the back button on the browser? KeepYour legs together! 06:55, 15 August 2007 (CDT)

How about the back button? ThunderkatzHo! 09:43, 15 August 2007 (CDT)

This code should place a back button on the page that will go back to the previous page in the browser history:

{{#form: {{#input:type=button|value=Back|onClick= var summary=''; history.go(-1); }} }}

Best to copy it from the "edit" screen, not this screen.

tmtoulouse nettle 13:01, 16 August 2007 (CDT)

Assuming I've done it right, it don't do it: User_talk:SusanG/newelc if it did I'd try to put the meat of it into a "redirect" target: #Redirect[[history.go(-1)]] ?

KeepMe informed 18:36, 16 August 2007 (CDT)

It does work, maybe its just not work on your system. Does it support forms? The "meat" won't work like that in a redirect, tell me what you want to do and I can come up with something. 18:38, 16 August 2007 (CDT)
It doesn't work for me. Mozilla 1.7.13 on XP Pro. Maybe it needs a "return=true" line. That's what my perl stuff always needs. humanbe in 19:04, 16 August 2007 (CDT)

Essentially wot I wanted to do (I can't remember why now!) was effectively to render a page unreachable by bouncing anyone who landed on it back to where they came from - like a redirect but backwards. Don't reely matter anyway. (The form appears - just doesn't work as it shud - yes I do have 'history' on my system - I use it alla time.) KeepMe informed 19:21, 16 August 2007 (CDT)

OK, not even wondering what the point is, now I see what you wanted. I don't think anyone realized that. Why would one want a page with more than one link to it that cannot be reached? And maybe we should discuss things on "talk" and move them here when they are a succinct Q&A? humanbe in 19:42, 16 August 2007 (CDT)


Either (a) because the dentist has interfered with your rear while you were unconcious or (b) because you instinctively thrust down (away) when hands, drills, needles etc. approach your mouth causing pressure on your fundament. KeepMe informed 23:29, 16 August 2007 (CDT)

Yeah, well, considering what he/she charges, I would prefer to remain awake for the pleasure! humanbe in 23:57, 16 August 2007 (CDT)
umm.. I think I missed something.. not quite what I expected to see on the help page... LOL. but, carry on.. carry on... :p Refugeetalk page 15:05, 24 August 2007 (CDT)
Nobody expects... oh, bugger! humanbe in 15:26, 24 August 2007 (CDT)

How can I create a banner?[edit]

How can I create a banner like the pseudoscience one? --BobDo you agree? 12:41, 2 September 2007 (CDT)

easiest way is to copy the coding from template:pseudoscience, then change the wording and coloring to what you want. ThunderkatzHo! 12:44, 2 September 2007 (CDT)

Can this page be automated? Code wizard challenge![edit]

Is the following possible:

A form that accepts a help query and then:

  1. creates a new (/) sub page with the query as title;
  2. inserts a return link on the sub page;
  3. repeats the question as a link ([[help page/the question]]) to the sub page on the help page.

Susan Jayne Garlicktalk 08:02, 6 September 2007 (CDT)

I bet it is possible, and it's an interesting idea, however, cleaning up after a vandal (or worse yet, a bot) using it would really suck... also, what about poorly worded/mispelled questions? We aren't all always perfectly litret on here! humanbe in 13:30, 6 September 2007 (CDT)

Math formatting[edit]

I'd like to create some science and math articles, and it appears that RW doesn't have the standard formatting tools. \sqrt{3} WP, and even CP, have this. There is no page math/README. Is there some way I can help? Gauss 15:37, 7 September 2007 (CDT)

We are on the verge of paying siteground for the tech backup to install the "math" markup you are familiar with. Two suggestions to speed it up: 1. Pester user:tmtoulouse and 2. make a small donation if you can. We all want to be able to use it! humanbe in 15:39, 7 September 2007 (CDT)
All hail Trent and RW 2.1 !!!! We gots "math"s now! humanbe in 12:34, 11 September 2007 (MDT)
\frac{\sqrt{8\,\sum_{i=1}^{thanks}\,i\  +\  1}\ -\ 1}{2}
Gauss 12:35, 12 September 2007 (MDT)

Ah Vienna. Don't work for me but that's me! SJGsjg 12:39, 12 September 2007 (MDT)

See also[edit]

This thing I found - not quite a help file, but it lists a lot of LaTeX markup: TEX/Favorites. humanbe in 16:57, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

What should be entered as the "destination file name" when uploading?[edit]

Some wiki's auto fill the destination. --ИїģḥŤŗáìṇ ♦Τάļќ ǃ 16:49, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

This one does, too - with the filename on the uploader's computer, which might not be the best one to use. It can be overwritten by the uploader easily; just don't mess up the file type. As with any file system, it helps to come up with a good intuitive name for the image. humanbe in 16:53, 25 September 2007 (EDT)
Err, I was just trying, and no, nothing was filled in the box for me once I selected the file. :-( But you did answer my question, however in your clever, all-inclusive post! So I just leave the extension alone and give it my own, short home skoolued name! --ИїģḥŤ¤Ṭŗáìṇ ♦Τάļќ ǃ 16:57, 25 September 2007 (EDT)

Text in uploaded SVG files[edit]

I've been having less than good luck uploading SVG diagrams with text in them. The text doesn't show. I finally downloaded a file from WP [1] that has text, and uploaded it here [2]. Sure 'nuff, the text is missing. Can anyone help? Gauss 12:44, 29 September 2007 (EDT)

What prog are you creating the files in? Susantalk to me 13:40, 29 September 2007 (EDT)

The ones that I created for the relativity article were made with Inkscape. After the first one [3] didn't work, I had Inkscape export in "plain" svg format [4] instead of "Inkscape svg", in case there was some proprietary stuff going on. No luck. I zoomed it up in case the text was too small for the software to notice. No luck. Finally, I downloaded the thing from WP trigonometry. That one was not made by me, and presumably not made by Inkscape—it has a different looking background. But it doesn't show text on RW either, even though the CP version shows the text and the text is visible when I read it into Inkscape. Gauss 14:34, 29 September 2007 (EDT)

Dunno inkscape, you got illustrator? If so try a load/export - you get loads of choices with font subsets etc. If not - dunno - sorry. Susantalk to me 14:51, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
As a short-term "fix", why not convert them to .gif or .png and load them that way for now? And maybe I'll remember to play with Inkscape myself to see if I can tell why it does/doesn't work... humanbe in 16:46, 29 September 2007 (EDT)
Interesting data point - I saved the reltest svg linke above to my computer, and when I open it in Inkscape, the text is there. I think you might somehow be losing a layer - or, rather, leaving it hidden? Or behind an opaque background? humanbe in 16:54, 29 September 2007 (EDT)

Could we have some style classes?[edit]

Hopefully this is a simple request. I would like a RationalWiki administrator to copy the style class definitions from this page:

to this page on RationalWiki:

Then RationalWiki will have a useful subset of style classes from wp:MediaWiki:Common.css, enabling things such as: {{Tl|Talkheader}} to display correctly. Reference:

Another option is to copy everything from wp:MediaWiki:Common.css, but I don't know whether Wikipedia's version contains extra stuff that could create problems. I only need a subset of what Wikipedia has in their Common.css. Thank you. --Teratornis 16:04, 13 October 2007 (EDT)

Thanks to User:Tmtoulouse for fixing {{Tl|talkheader}} by manually importing the style, and then by updating MediaWiki:Common.css. You folks are incredibly responsive. Let me know when my suggestions get annoying. --Teratornis 17:31, 13 October 2007 (EDT)

editing my user page[edit]

I just created an account and I am unable to edit my user page. Every time I try to save an edit it comes up with an edit conflict thing and puts the following message in instead:
The database did not find the text of a page that it should have found, named "User:BillOhannity".

This is usually caused by following an outdated diff or history link to a page that has been deleted.

If this is not the case, you may have found a bug in the software. Please report this to an administrator, making note of the URL.
Anyone know what this means/how to fix it? Thanks.--BillOhannity 15:48, 3 December 2007 (EST)
I was able to fix this by deleting the user page then recreating it. humanUser talk:Human 16:30, 3 December 2007 (EST)

Editing main page colors?[edit]

How do i change the color of the main page in my sandbox and on Liberapedia? --Signed by Elassint the Great Hi! 20:06, 3 December 2007 (EST)

Can you ask that more clearly? What part of the page do you want to change the color of? (And once we figure out what the question is, let's rename the header) humanUser talk:Human 20:37, 3 December 2007 (EST)
OK, I went over to yr sight and mucked in yr sandbox (plx cleen it itz full). The colors are defined by the little six digit hex codes preceded by "#". They are in the code you assimilated. I heop my editz shode u how to mak yr sight bettrz. humanUser talk:Human 21:01, 3 December 2007 (EST)

Where to put Conservapedia gaffes[edit]

I found some real howlers on Conservapedia, but they may be the result of hilarious sabotage. Noting them here might get them corrected, removing a valuable sign to any who might stumble across CP and accidentally think it reliable. I want to share them , however, so we can all have a larf. What's the standard procedure? Coarb 19:21, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

Sadly, all we can really do when we come across such gems is share them in private correspondence -- email, or telling someone in the Real World. Discussing them anywhere on RW (even the forums) makes it easier, as you mentioned, for CP to track them down. <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!</font>Hysterical and useless 19:42, 20 June 2008 (EDT)

How to search pages[edit]

Is there any way to search for a word on various pages, without the search prompting for the main entry? That is, if I know some pages are mising links to "wine", and would like to search "wine" to see what pages have that in the text, it simply gives me the Mainspace page "wine" (which didn't exist till, oh, 10 minutes ago, grins.) While wine is a fun thing, I would like to get links to things like "Paul of Tarsus", and "Jerusalem" once those pages are made. — Unsigned, by: WaitingforGodot / talk / contribs

You click "search" rather than "go". I think that works. <blink></blink> <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 15:56, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
Yup! SusanG  ContribsTalk 15:58, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
You can always google: " wine" (without the quotes) like this SusanG  ContribsTalk 16:02, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
1, thanks for the "idiots guide" to wiki-ing. sometimes i swear i can't see what's right in front of my face. 2. didn't know you could google a particular site. the things I learn! --WaitingforGodot 16:19, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
Re:2) (Don't tell anyone but neither did I until I just tried it) SusanG  ContribsTalk 16:23, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
I didn't know about it until a couple of weeks back. Saw it on xkcd (<3 <3 <3) <blink></blink> <blink></blink> <blink></blink> 16:25, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
Ok, same question, part deux. Does anyone know if the "search" menu which searches only the Mainspace (if that's the correct term) is set that way by default, choice, or "it can't be changed, blow it out your ear". Cause i think that there are some great fun pages, and essays, and debates that someone could find in a search on something like Lenski, that will not come up at present. Luckily, Susan gave me a work around for Cat Tidy. Don't know why I'm obsessed with cats today. must be the reasearcher in me. hehe--WaitingforGodot 16:43, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
You can set your own default namespaces. Just go to your preferences and hit the "Search" tab. You can check all namespaces you want to search by default. --Sid 16:47, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
heh. thanky.--WaitingforGodot 16:50, 25 July 2008 (EDT)

Help on Fossil Record[edit]

We should have a page about using the fossil record. It's pretty easy if you are the "play around with it till you figure it out" type. But then again, those types sometimes break things or make it worse. (looks around, who, me???). specifically, I'm curious if it is prefered to "undo" a change or "rollback" a change. The page I was looking at is "antichrist" which now reads "1". Last time i tried to "undo" i just made it all worse. --Waiting for Godot 13:12, 28 July 2008 (EDT)

Well, it depends on what you want to do. "Rollback" undoes every consecutive edit by the editor in question back to a previous editor's version (like say I or a vandal make 3 or 4 bad edits to an article, "rollback" gets rid of them all), and rollback is a one-click operation. "Undo" only goes back one edit, and opens an edit window so you can also make changes if you want, and also allows an edit comment. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:12, 28 July 2008 (EDT)

How to overwrite the brains logo on your own pages?[edit]

The Rational Ghey wants to display the fun: version of the logo on his user and talk pages. I know this can be done, but I can't remember where to go to copy it for him. Didn't Mei or Mei II do this for a bit? Any help appreciated, and we should add it to "being ubercool". ħumanUser talk:Human 02:23, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

You can't -- Nx / talk 11:11, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Shrinking the width of a centered piece of text[edit]

I've put <center></center> around a paragraph of text and I just want to know how to shrink the width of said text (and maybe justify it as well). Sam Tally-ho! 06:52, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.
<div style="margin:auto; width:200px; text-align:justify;">{{Lorem ipsum}}</div>
Change the bold 200 to the width you want. Remove the text-align:justify; part if you don't want it justified -- Nx / talk 07:31, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Thank you. Sam Tally-ho! 22:00, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
Seconded thanks. I've been wanting to know how to do that for ages. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 22:08, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Entering a code when editing[edit]

Whenever I make an edit I then have to enter a code to prove I'm not a spam-bot. Is this something that will eventually go away when my "new-ness" wears off, or is it something every user has to put up with? Thanks. Thanos6 (talk) 05:54, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

Verily it passeth as do all things. Scream!! (talk) 12:02, 9 July 2014 (UTC)


The template {{infobox}} is broken. Plus it isn't in the official list of templates. Is it deprecated? Cheers. Ithaca8 (talk) 18:22, 30 November 2014 (UTC)

Talk about the page itself[edit]

Human I like this (Hint: Copy what you like the look of.) better without the explanation. I'm gonna shift it unless I hear from you in the next 600 seconds. 599, 598, 597 ....

Keep-»-»-» on running -»-»-» 15:44, 13 August 2007 (CDT)

I just got back in... So, you want it as a joke, then, right? I'm ok with that, but why not call the link "goat" instead of "hint"? I'd give ya ten mins to answer except we know your GPS won;t let you do so that quickly! I may just go change it to goat, now... humanbe in 19:11, 13 August 2007 (CDT)
Good job on the help pages! Refugeetalk page

looks quite good[edit]

It don't half look ok now don't it? All hail the formatting & clear mind of Human! Keep-»-»-» on running -»-»-» 19:47, 13 August 2007 (CDT)

Not by half, innit, yeah... nice work writing up all them subfiles! Now no one will ever have any questions... humanbe in 20:35, 13 August 2007 (CDT)


Human, can you play with an 'archive' button to dump old & useless bits (like the back button) in when they've proved pointless like this.? KeepMe informed 20:18, 16 August 2007 (CDT)

I actually simply deleted allthe talk before it was supposed to work. That's why I suggested talking about solutions here. We need to improve the main page so it says "ask questions in talk" to keep the main page "clean" but save all the b*shit. humanbe in 22:09, 16 August 2007 (CDT)
I understand how annoying it is when people who haven't done the work suggest more work to the people who did, but I'm wondering why RationalWiki's Help desk does not mimic the Help desk on Wikipedia a bit more. Over on Wikipedia, they have a pretty nice Help desk setup, with a bot that automatically archives off the old questions, and since their Help desk page is Wikipedia:Help desk, they have an actual talk page for discussing improvements to the Help desk itself. (It is a bit non-orthogonal that Wikipedia's Help desk page is not technically a talk page yet it follows the talk page guidelines, but everybody who asks questions is so confused anyway that they don't usually complain.) Plus they break out the boilerplate content into a header subpage and so on. I'm pretty active on Wikipedia's Help desk (with over 1,700 edits there, making me the second-most help(desk)ful Wikipedian by volume at the moment) but I don't know that much about the underlying guts. Although I could probably figure it out if I had to. Anyway, it seems that since there will always be a need to talk about one's Help desk in addition to talking on it, you might consider making:
  • RationalWiki:Help desk
to be the Help desk, and then:
  • RationalWiki talk:Help desk
would be the proper talk page about the Help desk. That should be easy enough to implement without disrupting much. Then later you might think about organizing the Help desk by month and day like they do on Wikipedia's Help desk. (In my just-over-a-year of administering some MediaWiki wikis, I've learned to live by the adage, "Wikipedia is (usually) smarter than you are." I.e., it's best to try to copy/steal stuff from Wikipedia than to reinvent my own inferior lumpy square wheels. Not that I'm suggesting for an instant that your wheels are anything less than perfectly round and true, at least to my lumpy eyes.) --Teratornis 15:25, 13 October 2007 (EDT)
Let me add that my suggestions are just that: suggestions, for people to consider and ignore, modify, or act on as they please. I'm still new here and I haven't seen the reasons for why everything is the way it is. RationalWiki looks like one of the best small wikis I've seen, with an unusual concentration of people who know what they're doing. --Teratornis 17:36, 13 October 2007 (EDT)


Does anyone know if we can upload audio files, and if so, in what format?-- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --Do not read my blog 11:04, 29 February 2008 (EST)

yes I think so - try MP3. SusanThe Earth Moved 11:07, 29 February 2008 (EST)

Special:version shows "FlashMP3 (version v0.91) Plays mp3-files in an embedded Flash-player" SusanThe Earth Moved 11:12, 29 February 2008 (EST)

I tried to upload an mp3, and got this message:
Upload warning
".mp3" is an unwanted file type
List of allowed file types: png, gif, jpg, jpeg, svg 
And most of it was in bright red. So that didn't help at all. Try ogg? That what WP usually uses. humanUser talk:Human 13:59, 29 February 2008 (EST)
Is .ogg a sound file? What do you need to play them?-- Asclepius staff.png-PalMD --Do not read my blog 14:03, 29 February 2008 (EST)
Yes, I think so. Long name is ogg vorbis, as I recall. I'd suggest wikipediaing those. I never figured out what I needed to play them, probably some open-source addon? humanUser talk:Human 20:28, 29 February 2008 (EST)
An MP3 player should play ogg. (It's the preferred codec on Linux) SusanThe Earth Moved 20:33, 29 February 2008 (EST)
"An MP3 player"? On my machine, RealPlayer does that work, or Windows Media Player could if I let it. But it phaioled when I tried to get to to play oggs. Or are you saying the files should be downloaded to an iPod? humanUser talk:Human 23:21, 29 February 2008 (EST)

accessing deleted pages[edit]

How do I access an article that as been deleted? Mythbuster 03:10, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

What page do you want to see? tmtoulouse nettle 03:11, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
The deleted article on Shakespeare Authorship and its fossil record. It contained info that the present article does not. Thanks for responding so quickly. Mythbuster 09:10, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Try this. Click the date and time to see the source for the page at that point. Don't check the boxes or click restore. Hope this helps. ThunderkatzHo! 10:24, 24 June 2008 (EDT)
Won't work for non-sysops. I'll upload the deleted versions here in a minute. NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 10:33, 24 June 2008 (EDT)

Some suggestions[edit]

These are just suggestions, so don't think I'm really asking you to totally revise your pages!  :-)

  1. I'd make a section just for "editors" and under it use sub topics like "RW style" and include not only *how* to do quotes, but when to do quotes; that each page should have categories, and how to put categories in.
  2. Make the "editors" section a "beginners" (do you see a typo? Is there a small error", and "advanced" (tables, formating side by sides, etc)
  3. try hard to get a clear title for each link.

Course, it could jsut be cause I am not RAtionalMinded :D--WaitingforGodot 21:14, 25 July 2008 (EDT)

No it was done piecemeal as thoughts occurred and could do with organising properly. Trouble is - I'm too close to it. I'll work on something & consult further. (I've got a practice wiki to work on) SusanG  ContribsTalk 21:27, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
Thanks, Ms. WfG - actually, organising the help page itself has been forgotten by me on my agenda for a while. It's not really grouped intuitively, especially for the newcomer. I'll forget about it again now try to come up with some improvemints. You're welcome to "help" too of course! ħumanUser talk:Human 21:48, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
By the way, let me introduce you to my alter ego "ms. Libraian". enough years of research and you start to think like a library. I guess that's why I've got a mini "project" to sort out the categories, and had issues with two of every bible page. rolls on teh floor. If only I had a bun on my head! --WaitingforGodot 22:46, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
Well, hello there, "Ms. Libraian"! By the way, shouldn't a good library have many books on any given topic? And don't go too nuts on the cats without a lot of talk first, they are far more flexible than any "normal" cataloging system (they can break hierarchy, be in each other, etc., with no problem). Of course, adding them wherever possible is teh totally awesome thing to do. ħumanUser talk:Human 23:31, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
I'd never delete any cats, and woudln't worry about a real heirachy, just asking if one existed. But I think if there are cats that are off on thier own, they can be subed under other cats without causing too much strain on the minds here at RW. --WaitingforGodot 23:58, 25 July 2008 (EDT)
Yup! ħumanUser talk:Human 03:47, 26 July 2008 (EDT)

Random requests for help that have nothing to do with the wiki[edit]

Please help Trent with some math[edit]

Think along with me. Let us say I have a probability distribution. The distribution integrates to 1, but can be any type of distribution (it does not have to be normal; Poisson, bi-modal, uniform, whatever). The y axis is the probability, the x axis is some variable that has y probability. So I can draw any x value out of this distribution I want, and let us just say that I want the log of its probability. So I have some term that is:


Easy enough right? Now suppose I want to take the log(p(x)) of various distributions but normalize the value relative to the variance of the distribution? Thoughts? tmtoulouse nettle 01:20, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

My thought is to use the log of the largest probability for the distribution basically:log(max(p(x))). So you get:

F(x)= {log(p(x)) \over log(max(p(x)))}

But this feels a bit inelegant and I am not convinced it works for all distributions (I think it should as long as they integrate to 1).... tmtoulouse nettle 01:54, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

I'm not sure this is the kind of help this page was made for... that being said, I can barely understand your question, not having gotten that far in math yet (is this something I'd learn in probablity or graph theory?). ThunderkatzHo! 11:47, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
I know, I know, but it is worth a shot there is several math gods that frequent the site that might see it...maybe I should go to that "goto" category....anyway it is all stuff that can be understood with probability and graph theory. Take any scalar phenomenon that has an associated probability with its value. Call that "x", so that any value of "x" has a corresponding probability "y" then graph these. You will get curves called probability distributions showing the probability of any "x" value, these distributions can be normal, bi-modal, whatever.
Now I am interested in the log of the probability, so log(p(x)). A log of a probability creates a log value that increases in size when the probability is low, and decreases in value when a probability is high. A log of a zero probability is infinite, log of a 100% is 0. But I don't just want that log value, I want to "normalize" a log value drawn from different distributions relative to the variance of the distribution. So if I draw my p(x) out of a distribution with a really high variance I want the log(p(x)) to be a smaller value than if I draw my p(x) from a distribution with really low variance.
Does that make it clearer? tmtoulouse nettle 12:53, 13 August 2008 (EDT)


How does one take a screenshot? --"ConservapediaSubwayResistorfeline fanatic 18:41, 30 January 2009 (EST)

You on Windows? Press control/ PrtSc together then paste into a graphics prog. (if memory serves) Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 18:44, 30 January 2009 (EST)
There's no print key. --"ConservapediaSubwayResistorfeline fanatic 18:46, 30 January 2009 (EST)
All computers have a print screen key, it is usually next to num lock. - User \pi 18:48, 30 January 2009 (EST)
It's called "PrtSc/SysRq" on my keyboard. You do need a graphics program though to paste it in to. Just open a new picture and Edit: paste; the grabbed screen should be what's pasted. You might need to resize the canvas first, depending on the program, to the size (in pixels ) of your screen. Don't forget to crop down to cut out anything that might identify you before uploading. Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 19:02, 30 January 2009 (EST)
As you use windows CUR paint will do fine just white out any identifying details. - User \pi 19:03, 30 January 2009 (EST)
cropping will also reduce the file size; save as xx.png to keep file size down. Toast s.png (Toast) and marmalade 19:23, 30 January 2009 (EST)
On Windows PrintScreen grabs the whole of your visible desktop, Alt+PrintScreen copies just the active window. There are shareware and freeware options like SnagIt which add more bells and whistles but if you just want a snap of a CP page then try the ScreenGrab extension for FireFox which is linked in the Saloon bar. This allows you to select the whole page, the visible portion or a marquee selection dragged out with the mouse so you can omit your username or IP from the capture. The only minor drawback is that it uses png images which you can't edit in Paint, you need the bitmaps which the Printscreen options produce. If there are no images in your screencap other than say the CP logo which you can usually omit, then saving the images as gifs produces smaller files as just text on screen and a uniform background allows better compression, it is also preserves the text sharpness compared to jpegs. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 19:31, 30 January 2009 (EST)

How Do I Delete My Account?[edit]

Lets just say I would like to keep my reputation at CP and not because I'm a dumbass who used the same username when he/she registered here.G antczak 10:05, 11 February 2009 (EST)

Your account can easily be renamed by any bureaucrat. I'll be happy to do it if you let me know what name you'd like. As far as I know accounts can't be deleted, but to get a more definitive answer from somebody more wikiknowledgeable, you could ask again at RationalWiki:Technical support. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 10:11, 11 February 2009 (EST)
Only Trent can delete accounts and you'd need to have a very good reason to get him to do it. Otherwise get yourself renamed. You can email a bureaucrat rather than asking in open space. Redchuck.gif ГенгисRationalWiki GOLD member 10:58, 11 February 2009 (EST)
It's already been done. ΨΣΔξΣΓΩΙÐWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 12:48, 11 February 2009 (EST)

shouldn't "screenshots" really link to a help page that then mentions capturebot?[edit]

Yes, if there was such a page. In its absence this seems like a reasonable solution. I am eating Toast& honeychat 21:36, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

Hey, thanks for preserving my edit comment question. And, yes, for now, it does. But a basic screenshot help page ought to be easy for us to bang together, rather than explaining it to each other every few months? Perhaps we should start with one last discussion of the methods on the S Bar, in order to gather them to start the page? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:26, 26 September 2009 (UTC)
Amusingly, I just looked up two sections and guess what... ħumanUser talk:Human 02:27, 26 September 2009 (UTC)

Technical help[edit]

Since I see no easy to find link to RW:TH, shouldn't it at least be in the first section of links on here? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:47, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

You mean tech support? It's on the sidebar. -- Nx / talk 20:50, 12 March 2010 (UTC)
Yeah, never mind, I just saw it finally... can you go there and see if you can build the new toy I just asked for? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:51, 12 March 2010 (UTC)

How can I create a poll?[edit]

How can I create a poll?--BobSpring is sprung! 11:51, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

The multiple option one?
option one4Vote
option two1Vote
You can add more options later, but only to the end. Don't reorder options or insert new options between existing ones, as the stored votes will be incorrect. (when you vote for the second option, only the number "2" is stored* in the database, so if you reorder the options the new second option will get the old one's votes)
Add closed=yes to hide the vote buttons (this won't prevent voting if someone opens an older revision and clicks the vote buttons there)
option one4
option two1
*actually, 1 is stored for the second option because programmers count from zero -- Nx / talk 12:02, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Mmmm. Thakx Nx. I was thinking of creating one for the UK general election so that we could have an RW one.--BobSpring is sprung! 12:29, 4 May 2010 (UTC)


Should articles that have titles that begin with the word "The" have a DEFAULTSORT tag so that they don't automatically show up under "T" on the categories pages? PACODOGwoof, bitches 18:16, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Yup! But you don't need defaultsort, all you need to do is put e.g. [[Category:Pseudolaw|Annotated Citizen's Rule Book, the]] 18:21, 22 June 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Like wot I just done. 18:23, 22 June 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
I see. Also, what about Essays and Fun pages? They shouldn't all show up under "E" and "F" right? PACODOGwoof, bitches 18:28, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
True. Nods.gif Have a nice time finding 'em all though Excited.gif. 18:30, 22 June 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Well that should keep me busy for a while. Thanks! PACODOGwoof, bitches 18:32, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
OK it appears that I can go through the essays that aren't listed properly and simply remove "[[Category:Essays]]" from the edit box and that fixes it, and "Essays" still shows up at the bottom of the page automagically. I thought it might be a good idea to check with somebody more experienced before I go screwing around with all those pages tho. Whaddya think? PACODOGwoof, bitches 18:53, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Aah er ... No? If the're essays they wanna be in that cat. (to avoid having to nowiki round cats just put a colon after the first double "[") 19:12, 22 June 2010 (UTC) SusanG Toast
Yeah that doesn't work. sigh.(the removing category thing, not the nowiki thing) PACODOGwoof, bitches 19:18, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

Why can't I edit my user page?[edit]

I am a sysop and I made my account so only sysops can edit it.It was fine when I did this, but now all of a sudden I can't edit it!Why?How can I fix it?--Thedoctor80 (talk) 10:44, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

Coz someone thought it would be a good idea to take everyone's sysop away. If you ask nicely, one of the chosen few may give it back to you or at least unprotect the page. Just another example of how dumb a decision this was. (((Zack Martin))) 10:45, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
See here to get up to speed. Aboriginal Noise with 4 M's and a silent Q 10:47, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
Unprotected now. Edit away! Aboriginal Noise with 4 M's and a silent Q 10:48, 18 May 2011 (UTC)


I've been trying to make my own userbox but I've been failing miserably at it. I've read the page about userboxes carefully and tried following the directions as best I could when I'm editing the new template-thing but I'm not getting it right. And why are they also called "userboxen." SoCal 212 I can't find my talk page 00:16, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

The "userboxen" thing is an escapee from Wikipedia as the plural of "ox" is "oxen". If you can't make your own box from scratch then find another one of which you like the general format and save it with a new name then play around with the different parameters to personalise it. Redchuck.gif ГенгисOur ignorance is God; what we know is science.Moderator 06:03, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
Thanks SoCal 212 I can't find my talk page 04:22, 21 July 2011 (UTC)

How do you convert your talk page to liquid threads?[edit]

Like, RationalWiki:LiquidThreads kinda doesn't tell you that.... steriletalk 00:51, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

Anyone? Bueller? steriletalk 02:45, 7 September 2011 (UTC)
{{#useliquidthreads:1}} -- Nx / talk 02:49, 7 September 2011 (UTC)


...who does a guy talk to about changing his username around here? I still haven't adapted to who has what rights in this crazy new year or so old system we have. SJ Debaser 14:11, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

You must lie prostrate to the glorious moderators... or go here ТyLonely. Ever so lonely. 14:15, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Internationalization (i18n)[edit]

I think is a great idea. I use this site for demonstrating most people's fallacies but I always get the same "Está en inglés" (Spanish for "I's in English") answer. I can volunteer myself to do so along with many others. I know that MediaWiki has a great support for internationalization (i18n) and localization (l10n). Just to consider, here is a nice wiki that uses this: Samsagax (talk) 17:51, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

How do I nominate myself for sysop?[edit]

I was wondering how I would go about doing that. Bootmiiwanna play nomic? 03:34, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Where do I get that bar with a rounded top right corner?[edit]

And how do I change its color? Bootmiiwanna play nomic? 04:37, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Fiddle around with this code until you get the effect you're looking for:
{{titlestyle:background:#7AAD00; color:#000000; padding:0.2em 0.6em; -webkit-border-bottom-left-radius: 40px; -moz-border-radius-bottomleft: 40px; border-bottom-left-radius: 40px; margin-top:.5em; -webkit-border-bottom-right-radius: 40px; -moz-border-radius-bottomright: 40px; border-bottom-right-radius: 40px;}}
Peter is procrastinating. 04:44, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

How do I do that horizontal line thing?[edit]

I've heard somewhere on WP that's it's just four hyphens, but I'm not 100% sure.Bootmiiwanna play nomic? 06:47, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Yes, ---- works, as does <hr/>. You know you can try the preview button to work these things out, and if it comes down to it this isn't really the place to ask these questions. Peter with added ‼Science‼ 08:36, 15 May 2012 (UTC)

Comparing RW articles with Conservapedia[edit]

I was thinking that it might be cool if for every article you write, you can link it to Conservapedia's version of the article. Like for the page on say homosexuality, it would link to Conservapedia's article. It would be cool to compare the opinions and show the batshit version. Supyloco (talk) 19:24, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

What would be cool about doing what we used to do five years ago? SophieWilder 19:28, 29 June 2013 (UTC)

can't create an account[edit]

When I try to create an account I keep getting the response "incorrect or missing confirmation code". I've been putting "rationalwiki" as the answer to the "What is the name of our webiste?" question. What am I doing wrong? (talk) 22:41, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Someone else said the same thing a few months ago and I wasn't able to reproduce the problem. How many times have you tried? What browser are you using? Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 23:01, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
At least six or seven times. Using firefox. (talk) 23:08, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
I can't replicate it. I'll ask the operations manager. Nutty Roux100x100 anarchy symbol.svg 23:10, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

This is, unfortunately, a known issue and is all most impossible to fix because it can not be replicated by anyone server side. All I can do is try and iterate some changes and wait for feedback. The best solution likely involves substantial software upgrades and will have to wait. I have tried switching over to a different captcha, can you try and test it now? Tmtoulouse (talk) 23:20, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Suddenly it worked at about the third attempt. Many thanks for your prompt efforts. (talk) 23:33, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Accidental IP Post[edit]

Is their any way to remove an not intrusive non-life threatening to the page, IP-Reveal edit from the Log that I made by accident? I'm really worried about this, please help...— Unsigned, by: Crepox / talk / contribs

There are no recent edits to this page (Help contents or the talk page). What are you talking about? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:31, 6 November 2013 (UTC)
It's on another page...Crepox (talk) 00:51, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
Why does it bother you so much? WěǎšěǐǒǐďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 01:09, 7 November 2013 (UTC)
That's not very helpful. PowderSmokeAndLeather: Say something once, why say it again?.Moderator 01:15, 7 November 2013 (UTC)

Uploading an image, no toolbox[edit]

I'm trying to upload an image file, but there is no "toolbox" or "upload file" button to the left of my screen. What to do? What to do?

Finuka — Unsigned, by: Rzander / talk / contribs

Try again... your "autopatrolled" bit is now set. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 19:42, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks! Finuka 20:09, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Unable to login[edit]

I'm a relatively long time member usually going by the username Pascal yuiop, but recently I have been unable to successfully login in RW. Almost definitely a problem with my browser or my ancient computer, but what happens is that I enter my usual login details, press the button, and then it takes me back to the same page I was on but instead of my account stuff in the top right it still has "Log in / create account". No error message is displayed at any point, so I'm at something of a loss. Please tell me I'm an idiot and this is something pathetically simple that I've missed. Cheers.

Cookies disabled? Most session-based authentication uses cookies. You say it's likely a problem with your browser. What browser and version? Ikanreed (talk) 17:27, 23 February 2015 (UTC)
I did have cookies enabled, and I managed to solve the problem by deleting the rationalwiki cookie and trying again which, as you can see, was successful. Thanks! Pascal yuiop (talk) 17:37, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

What is our policy[edit]

regarding using images from Wikimedia Commons? Seems to me that all those images are free, but I thought I'd ask before charging ahead. Thanks Einar aka Carptrash (talk) 21:18, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Use 'em - they autmagically pick up if you just link as if they were on RW - no need to import or external link. Scream!! (talk) 21:24, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Being a bit of a luddite this might be more of a challenge for me than for you, but at my age it is all about firing some new synapses . . ....... or something. Thanks. Carptrash (talk) 21:28, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I have started something at Atheism - at the bottom, it will be obvious what - that needs some professional help. Among things. I wait in wonder. Carptrash (talk) 21:40, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

Vandal Bin[edit]

The heck is this? Can't find any mentions of the vandal bin anywhere on the wiki. (talk) 16:21, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

Look here. MarmotHead (talk) 18:35, 14 March 2016 (UTC)

Locked article[edit]

How does one get to edit articles which are locked? I found that only moderators can edit such articles, which makes it quite annoying, or at least makes RationalWiki a site which is only partially open to the contributors. What do if I want to contribute, since a partial lie was written in one article and I'd like to correct it (with added sources)? Scott1 Carson (talk) 13:54, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

Post on the talk page for the article. Only a very few pages are mod-locked. Mod locking is only used for good reason, like long-term edit warring. --Ymir (talk) 06:30, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Who do I have to get in touch with to create a new non-English RW?[edit]

Greetings. I just noticed that there was a Russian RW, and I was wondering who I'd need to get in touch with to create an Arabic one? I feel that the Arab World needs to read many of the articles on this site, but in Arabic. I could translate the entire website if need be.--Nay1989 (talk) 01:29, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

You can make a new heading in the bar if you'd like to propose a new language project (like the one for Russian that you mentioned). This help page contains some more info. Acquiesce /ˌakwɪˈɛs/ 04:03, 25 May 2016 (UTC)

Questions About Wigo[edit]

Hey everyone. Long-time reader, first-time contributor here. I just had a question or two about how the news articles, etc. on the WIGO pages worked. How are the articles that are linked selected? Can any user submit a link there, or only certain users? Also, on the subject of upvoting/downvoting the articles and links there: are upvotes and downvotes based on the claims written in the article proper, or is it more based on whether or not you think it should have been posted at all? For example, say I encounter a WIGO link that has lots of downvotes. Should I infer that article is not on mission for the site, or merely that a large number of people disagree with that article's premise? Or both? Sorry if any of this seems like it should be easy to answer or if any of it's unclear. I'm new here, and I just wanted to make sure I understand how things work before I do anything. Archmage (talk) 15:42, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Everyone can put something on the WIGO pages, as far as I know. Downvotes usually mean that people don't like the article's content - unless it's on WIGO-Clog in which case upvotes mean that it's deliciously stupid.--JorisEnter (talk) 15:52, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Footnotes to Bibliography question[edit]

I am cleaning up the many repeated references in an article but have run into a problem.

I have two references to Josephus, Titus Flavius in the Bibliography section formatted thusly:

* Josephus, Titus Flavius (c. 75). The Jewish War. 
* Josephus, Titus Flavius (c. 94). Antiquities of the Jews. 

but when I put in a reference

{{sfn|Josephus|c. 75|pp=2.57-59}}

it goes to the footnote page but the footnote doesn't go to the Bibliography section. So am I formatting it wrong and if so how do I fix it?--BruceGrubb (talk) 09:20, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

{{sfn}} doesn't understand that "c. 75" is a year, I think. Replacing ref=harv with ref={{SfnRef|Josephus|75}} allows you to reference the book as "Josephus|75". Rather than page numbers, you can also refer to locations in the book with the |loc= parameter.--JorisEnter (talk) 09:35, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

On inquiring skeptical views of prophecies/religion[edit]

So if I want to ask how skeptics view some parts of prophecies as interpreted by fundies, or how they view several practices/beliefs of religion or something, where would be a good place to ask of such topics personally? (e.g. a forum-like function) Thanks! -Webshite Hunter 07:35, 23 June 2016

You can throw it in the Bar, I guess.--JorisEnter (talk) 08:56, 23 June 2016 (UTC)

Lost links at the very top of my user page[edit]

I somehow lost links to sandbox, namespace at the very top of my user page Outside of the editable part Answer This is controlled in the gadgets tab of Preferences Got it Purebread (talk) 03:15, 25 August 2016 (UTC)

What are the limitations on reverts for new users?[edit]

I noticed that Alex Jones had been blanked and replaced with your standard "I thought this was RATIONALwiki" spiel so I attempted to undo the changes and revert back to the previous version. When I did it I ended up with an error message saying something along the lines of how my edit had be detected to be non-constructive. It also had the error code $1

What's the deal with this? Did I try to revert using the wrong method (undo via past revisions), or is there some kind of time/contribution limit before reverts are allowed? I'm not sure why a simple revert would trigger the vandalism filter while page blanking by a BoN didn't. I don't really mind, and the vandalism was fixed by someone else within a few minutes anyway, but I'm just wondering how to avoid it in the future. MVHVTMV (talk) 15:40, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Help topic[edit]

This is coming from someone new to wikis altogether, but one of the first things I looked for once I created an account was a private message function. By now I'm fairly sure that there isn't meant to be one, in which case why not add this in the help section for newcomers? After all, I notice that the help does cover general wiki topics, so it might save people some time...or am I just missing something? :) Tma (talk) 15:55, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

If someone has set a valid email address in their Preferences you can email them, that's the closest thing there is. Christopher (talk) 16:00, 9 June 2017 (UTC)
Use Special:EmailUser. Christopher (talk) 18:04, 9 June 2017 (UTC)

How to contribute to a topic that is an "essay" from someone else?[edit]

How do I write material on a topic that has been written on previously, but only in the form of an essay from another user rather than an article designed to be edited? I am hesitant to create a new article because the essay already exists, yet I feel queasy about editing someone else's essay without their permission. What is the way out of this dilemma? (talk) 11:36, 21 June 2017 (UTC)Nightvid

A bit late but I'd just create a second essay, we've got loads of different essays on similar topics. Christopher (talk) 17:18, 29 June 2017 (UTC)


Last night I added the Wikispooks article. I had it full of links to Wikispooks itself, like where they claim stuff etc. I had perhaps 5–10 links but when I tried te submit, I couldn't because the system considered I was spamming. Perhaps so! Should I rate limit adding links or is there some policy on how to source statements like "X claims Y", sourcing to X or to 3rd party sources? --Gerrit (talk) 20:34, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

When it comes to sources in <ref> tags, it's basically the more the merrier. What's truly useless is a bunch of specific statements given with no instruction to the reader on where precisely (e.g. with a URL) you found said statements. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:47, 29 June 2017 (UTC)

How do I delete my account?[edit]

I wish to delete my account and hopefully all traces of it. How do I go about doing that? I can't find anything about this anywhere on the site. Danish (talk) 23:05, 8 July 2017 (UTC)

We run this wiki on Mediawiki software. It doesn't allow for account deletion as it will mess up the database. It is possible to remove an account if we have this extension installed. We don't have this extension installed. It would be very helpful as we have a bunch of spam accounts that we wish to get rid of. Ask User:FuzzyCatPotato to install this extension. ClickerClock (talk) 08:03, 9 July 2017 (UTC)