RationalWiki talk:Vandal

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Doesn't come up on Recentchanges - could it? SusanG  ContribsTalk 08:42, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

Also, can there be a better explanation of what the vandal group is... I've been away for a week, so I haven't a clue. Sterilesnore! 09:30, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
I think it's still under development? But I understand that it limits the number of edits/time period allowed. (thinking about it leave it off rc) SusanG  ContribsTalk 09:40, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
There's nothing written up on it yet. I think the most complete discussion is here.--Bobbing up 09:44, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

Should we pre-emptively move the vandal users into this category or wait for them to show up again first?--Bobbing up 09:54, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

I'm doing just that as I type. (slowly though - speed's down!) SusanG  ContribsTalk 10:03, 30 June 2008 (EDT)
Ok, I've put them all in now.--Bobbing up 11:28, 1 July 2008 (EDT)
Mmm. Saw it earlier. SusanG  ContribsTalk 11:30, 1 July 2008 (EDT)


Actually, it'd be great if there were a way to autorevert an vandals's edits. Sterilesnore! 09:20, 2 July 2008 (EDT)

Am I missing something?[edit]

I tried this with users Fr and Fre and it didn't seem to work. Am I missing something? --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 12:36, 18 July 2008 (EDT)

Both are already in it. ThunderkatzHo! 12:37, 18 July 2008 (EDT)
In my haste, I missed them. I looked more closely and I saw where they had been added. Sorry. :) --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 12:41, 18 July 2008 (EDT)


Could this page automatically create links to the contribs page of users moved here, and possibly links to their user and talk pages as well? ThunderkatzHo! 12:37, 18 July 2008 (EDT)

I think it might be helpful if the 'history' were in the form of (vandal) was added by (sysop) rather than the current (sysop) added (vandal). --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 12:44, 18 July 2008 (EDT)
That can be easily managed. --λινυσ() 13:10, 18 July 2008 (EDT)
Whoah, Trent, what did you do to this poor file's permissions? --λινυσ() 13:24, 18 July 2008 (EDT)


Can the list of "actions" be inverted, ie, most recent at the top? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:54, 19 July 2008 (EDT)

What he said. (or limit to [say] 20 newest names?) SusanG  ContribsTalk 23:06, 19 July 2008 (EDT)
Both, yeah. I thought of the limit issue after clicking save. Easier to tell if someone you're about to enter has already been done. In fact, how about if the link from the block page fills in the user name automagically and only lists "similar" names, or only theirs if they are in it? ħumanUser talk:Human 23:32, 19 July 2008 (EDT)

Parole page[edit]

Would a parole page that did the opposite thing be a good idea? I'm not sure that it would get much use, but the recent talk between ReligionSucks and Bob M seems to make a parole page a good idea. Thoughts? --Edgerunner76Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 12:49, 18 July 2008 (EDT)

I'm not sure. I think it might overly complicate the issue. I suspect that ReligionSucks' username may have contributed. He made some good edits and then decided to encrypt an article for fun. It could be argued that reversing the edit and writing something on his talk page might have been more appropriate than putting him in the sin bin. But would another category of "user under parole" have helped? I don't really think so.--Bobbing up 13:22, 18 July 2008 (EDT)
A note on his user page would have been good, as would a very short block describing his sin - future blockers see the past block log, making it handy. But anyway, Edge, I see your point. Perhaps this page could have a "parole user" box added to it? Trent!? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:57, 19 July 2008 (EDT)

Additions and changes[edit]

I have attempted to make the changes recommended on this page. tmtoulouse oppress 13:08, 20 July 2008 (EDT)

Who's a clever boy then? Seriously though, Well done! Thanx. SusanG  ContribsTalk 13:22, 20 July 2008 (EDT)
Sorry to be a pain, but is there any way to get a timestamp? Pinto's5150 Talk 13:27, 20 July 2008 (EDT)
And you know, it would be cool to see movements out as well.--Bobbing up 15:23, 20 July 2008 (EDT)
Time stamp is up, and what do you mean by movements out? I have it set to show when a user is "paroled" is that what you mean? tmtoulouse oppress 15:24, 20 July 2008 (EDT)
Scratch that- I've just noticed it. But does that mean that poor "religion sucks" in still in?--Bobbing up 15:26, 20 July 2008 (EDT)
No, it will only show paroles since the implementations of the button. 16:36, 20 July 2008 (EDT)
OK. TM?--Bobbing up 16:38, 20 July 2008 (EDT)
Aye. tmtoulouse oppress 16:41, 20 July 2008 (EDT)
Thanks, Trent, what would we do without you? Pinto's5150 Talk 19:27, 20 July 2008 (EDT)
You might want to make the timestamp match the recent changes one. NightFlareStill doesn't have a (nonstub) RWW article. 11:40, 22 July 2008 (EDT)

Question for Trent[edit]

Or anyone who knows. Do they just naturally leave or not? For me it only goes back to the 23rd of July. Is there a way to find the ones vandaled before that? --US-O11 insignia.svg Gen. S.T. Shrink I can has rank? 20:23, 28 July 2008 (EDT)

I believe the list only shows the last 20 actions. It's a shame we can't see the "activity" of a given user name... although checking their contribs should give you a rough idea? ħumanUser talk:Human 20:50, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
And I thought my last girlfriend was high maintenance........RW puts her to shame. I will look into it. tmtoulouse oppress 20:51, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
Okay done. tmtoulouse oppress 21:59, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
Coolness. Now ;) Can you make it so that when one links over from the "block user" page, it fills in their name in the "add to vandal" box, and shows only their record? Hehe. ħumanUser talk:Human 22:02, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
Done. tmtoulouse oppress 22:28, 28 July 2008 (EDT)
Really? If you pulled that off, you are the wiki-God, and Aschlafly should put you on retainer @ $5000/month. Srs! ħumanUser talk:Human 02:33, 29 July 2008 (EDT)
I am, he should, he won't. Try it out, it should work. tmtoulouse oppress 15:12, 29 July 2008 (EDT)
Very nice, thanks! ħumanUser talk:Human 15:30, 29 July 2008 (EDT)
Any chance that IPs can be added? Pinto's5150 Talk 14:33, 1 August 2008 (EDT)
I'm gonna block the little wanker. SusanG  ContribsTalk 14:35, 1 August 2008 (EDT)
Not without significant work, the vandal brake relies on being able to place a user in a "group" and mediwiki doesn't support placing IPs in a group. I would essentially have to create the whole infrastructure for an IP based group system. However, IPs are permanently limited anyway. They have to do CAPTCHA for external links, they are rate limited to 2 edits a minute, and they will never be able to rollback or move pages. So there is a lot keeping IPs from causing problems anyway. The Vandal group is more for vandals that invest the time and effort to get an "approved" count that allows totally open editing, moving, rollbacks, etc. We needed something other than blocking to deal with them. tmtoulouse oppress 14:37, 1 August 2008 (EDT)
Valid enough. I just was getting tired of the little git, but didn't want to block outright. But it's not something worth putting effort into. Pinto's5150 Talk 14:38, 1 August 2008 (EDT)

fine tuning[edit]

"Note:Sysops can move vandals into the vandal group..."

Should have a space after the colon.

Also, if one enters a user name in teh wandal box and hits "return", it wandals them. Should that be the default? I was thinking it would show me their wandal group history... ħumanUser talk:Human 23:57, 3 August 2008 (EDT)

What for?[edit]

What's the point of this? If someone's being a pest, why not just boot them off and let them go and annoy someone else? I've blocked a couple of idiots, and then someone else unblocked them and explained that this vandalbox thing exists. I think we should get rid of it - and them. Totnesmartin 19:07, 13 August 2008 (EDT)

It stops people from running riot across the wiki just as effectively as a block, though. And it also allows the possibility of appeal in the event of a mistake. I like it. So there :P <font=""; face="Comic Sans MS">Jellyfish!Let's go down the waterfall 19:11, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
Blocking is not really effective at dealing with vandals and there are multiple problems with blocking such as that it can prevent legitimate users from using that ip, and our site policy is not to block. After seeing the way blocking was misused over at CP we decided to pretty much not use it for anything longer than a day or so. This also allows vandals to reform at any time if they so wish. 19:12, 13 August 2008 (EDT)
Well, first and foremost, we have a conceit on RW of using blocking very minimally. Secondly, blocking is a limp tool, since any determined wandal uses proxies. This way, at least we recognise the user names (Fr and Fre, for example), and they go away bored when they can only edit twice an hour. ħumanUser talk:Human 19:15, 13 August 2008 (EDT)


It seems to be me that the "vandal" brake and vandal group has been successful at deterring a large amount of the malicious vandalism. We still get bot IPs trying to spam links but there is nothing that can be done about that beyond what we have done (captcha and spam filter). What is the impression of other people? tmtoulouse oppress 15:36, 25 August 2008 (EDT)

Whether it's the brake or just luck in our "positioning", we seem to get remarkably little vandalism that I can see. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:21, 25 August 2008 (EDT)
I think the brake must be responsible. Seems cool to me.--Bobbing up 05:30, 1 October 2008 (EDT)

Vandal brake's limitation[edit]

Okay there is an obvious whole in the vandal brake that is preventing it from being maximally effective. That is that it is based only on user name and not IP address. I am planning on fixing this whole soon feedback welcome before I get started. The plan so far:

  • When an ID is entered the IP addresses is used to brake editing
  • Therefore, no matter how many accounts an IP has made it can not edit faster than once every 30 minutes over all its accounts
  • Thinking about limiting new account creation for vandled IPs to one account a day

tmtoulouse 16:03, 22 October 2008 (EDT)

Hooking the whole thing to the IP address and then applying the limits to the IP address would seem like a good plan. And yes, subsequently limiting that IPs ability to create new accounts would seem to be an obvious enhancement.
A really dedicated vandal could still get round it by using proxies, but there would seem to be no way around that.--Bobbing up 16:48, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
What about public computers? Suppose a vandal uses a computer at a public library, then anyone attempting to edit from that IP address is boned. Aboriginal Noise Oh, you want to hit people with garbage cans? 17:16, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
They can still post from that computer, and create an account. I will change the message so that it tells them where to go to request that the IP be paroled. Basically I will change the "parole" function so that sysops can remove an IP from being blocked. So it should be easy enough for a user to post a request to be paroled. tmtoulouse 17:20, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
Makes sense now. Aboriginal Noise Oh, you want to hit people with garbage cans? 17:23, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
Sounds good to me. Then, we should make so that only sysops can be blocked ;) ħumanUser talk:Human 19:09, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
Tmt: sounds like a pretty good plan. Human: but, but, but... the hazing of non-sysops...it would end. :( But seriously, I think blocking does need to remain open against everyone, but its use should be strongly discouraged for anything other than lulz. (cool-down blocks, punishment for the rare serious offense, etc. are still occasionally needed) ThunderkatzHo! 20:42, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
What about "promotions" for personal, punitive reasons? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:52, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
Let's not make this about Human again..... Pinto's5150 Talk 04:17, 23 October 2008 (EDT)
I have no problems with expanding the vandal brake to include IPs. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:52, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
As long as there's a way for honest users to appeal, I, too, am for the expansion of the vandal brake. My run-ins with the Freds have been annoying, but the real trouble is when they expand their numbers. --Arcan ¡ollǝɥ 22:18, 22 October 2008 (EDT)
Yeah, it's always good to take care of IPs too. Just make it very clear how to contact someone about getting it unblocked again if it's a mistake or otherwise and make sure that if someone does request it, it's enacted. Although your dedicated vandal would apply for this under a guise that their brother or whatever did it and try again from the same IP, you'll need to keep a good record of who has tried this so we don't need to automatically be suspicious. ArmondikoVpostate 05:00, 23 October 2008 (EDT)
"Vandals" can still edit, just not rapidly. So it is easy for them to "appeal" by leaving a note on their (or one of our) talk page.
Perhaps we should add a "comment" field for when vandals are "grouped" or paroled, so the history has editorial content? ħumanUser talk:Human 15:43, 24 October 2008 (EDT)


Trent, would it be possible to parole an IP without paroling the associated username? Other than that, I'm all for it. Pinto's5150 Talk 04:17, 23 October 2008 (EDT)

Problem with that is it negates the need to log in. I don't see how we can really dissociate IPs and Users. Do we have several different editors using the same IP other than proxies? Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 04:37, 25 October 2008 (EDT)

Techie question[edit]

Would the IP be used to brake in addition to the userID, or instead of the user ID? I'm asking because if only the IP is used, wouldn't Fred457 vandalize, have his IP braked, change IPs, and then wandalize again under the same user ID? By the way I think this idea is a good one, esp. with the parole feature involved.--Bayes 14:17, 24 October 2008 (EDT)


Okay the vandal brake is now upgraded to work with IP's of accounts as well as account names. I had to completely re-do how the system works, the up shot is that previously accounts that were "vandaled" are no longer "vandaled." This isn't really a big deal since most of these accounts are long gone. But we may need to re-vandal a few of our returning customers.

If you want to include an IP in the vandal group, just check the box that says "Include IP." Any account using that IP address will be limited in editing. When an account is paroled, it's associated IP's are also paroled. When an account is limited only by IP and not user name they receive a message that includes the account name their IP address is associated with, and are asked to give that information to a sysop.

Any sysop can then parole the IP's associated with the original vandal, by checking the "parole only ip" and then paroling. That leaves the original vandal name still in the group but rescues the associated IPs.

Let us see how this works for a while and we can tweak as we go. tmtoulouse 17:57, 24 November 2008 (EST)

I tried to put in the vandal group, the computer refused to do it... :( ħumanUser talk:Human 22:12, 29 November 2008 (EST)
Me too! ToastToastand marmite 22:15, 29 November 2008 (EST)
As did I. PFoster 22:15, 29 November 2008 (EST)
I did not think I was the first to try, just the first to complain ;) I based my effort on you folks reversions mostly... Of course, an 8-16 hour block will shut them up? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:21, 29 November 2008 (EST)
We seem to have had several of these single-subject editors lately - animal rights, anti feminist & anti-Brit/pro-Indian; as I recall. They (especially "fall down") keep coming back at intervals - often as IP's. Nothing that we can't cope with though? ToastToastand marmite 22:29, 29 November 2008 (EST)

The purpose was not to vandal anonymous editors, but rather associate the IP of named accounts with the vandal group. If the vandal does not create an account and only edits from IP just block that ip from anonymous edits to force them to make an account if they want to continue. tmtoulouse 14:43, 30 November 2008 (EST)

Integration into the block options[edit]

Currently this system is quite an ugly kludge, can we instead make "vandal braking" something done from the block menu?--Ipatrol 22:26, 16 April 2009 (EDT)

Unfortunately, that would require hacking core MediaWiki files, something we do not want to do. --  Nx/talk  02:47, 17 April 2009 (EDT)