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There are basically two types of vandalism -- manual and automated. Because this wiki is regularly maintained and Admins frequently check the Special:RecentChanges, manual vandalism typically gets taken care of very quickly. What we are more concerned about is vandalism automated by vandalbots. A vandalbot is a script which automatically performs some kind of edit or similar operation to the wiki. Because of the speed with which they work, they can do a lot of damage, and this damage can take time to fix. It is a sad fact that as our traffic and popularity has increased so have the automated attacks.

This page is specificially intended to help you know what to do in case a vandalbot attacks. There are a number of stages to any response.


The first step is notification. If you notice an automated attack occurring and are not a administrator/moderator, please let one of the administrators know immediately, either by leaving a note on their User_talk page, or, for quicker results, by clicking the "E-mail this user" link on their user page.

If you are a moderator and notice automated vandalism in progress, please ban the user(s) in question, and then send an email to the administrator mailing list.

Banning Users

Once an administrator has been notified that an attack is in progress, he or she can ban all of the user names involved in the attack. Bans can be temporary or permanent. In the event of an automated attack, we have no hesitation in imposing an infinite ban on the user account(s) in question.

see also religionwiki:Banning Policy

Reverting Vandalbot Edits

Rollbacks are easier for moderators than editors. For this reason, moderators have the primary responsibility for reverting mass vandalism.

Rollback options for moderators (regular logged-in users)

  • Go to the page, click on "history" at the top ("Page history" in some skins), and click on the time and date of the earlier version you want to revert to.
  • Then when that page comes up, you'll see something like "(Revision as of 22:19 Aug 15, 2002)" below the title and beneath "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia".
  • Verify that you've selected the correct version, and click to edit the page, as you would normally. Important: in the case of vandalism, take the time to make sure that you are reverting to the last version without the vandalism; there may be multiple vandal edits.
  • You'll get a warning, above the edit box, about editing an out-of-date revision.
  • After heeding the warning, save the page. Be sure to add the word "revert" to the edit summary. Most Wikipedians abbreviate this to "rv". A common and useful addition is the usernames of who you are reverting from and to. For example, a good edit summary would be
rv edits by to last version by xyz </p>

The clickable links are created by entering [[User:|]] (replacing with the real IP address or [[User:Username|Username]] for logged-in users, replacing Username with their real username.

  • Check the contribution history of the user who vandalized the article. (Click on their IP address or username. That will bring you to their User page. In the lower left-hand corner, there is a toolbox with a "User contributions" link. Click that.) If this user is vandalizing many articles, please report them to one of the Sysops.

Rollback options for Admins

On the User Contributions page an admin has additional "rollback" links at lines which are the last edit made by anybody to that article.

The rollback link is also shown on the Diff page when viewing the difference between the most recent version of a page and the last version.

Clicking on the link reverts to the previous edit not authored by the last editor, with an automatic edit summary of "Reverted edits by X to last version by Y".

If, between loading the User Contributions page and pressing "rollback", someone else edits or rolls back the page, or if there was no previous editor, you will get an error message.

Rollbacks should be used with caution and restraint. Reverting a good-faith edit may send the message that "I think your edit was no better than vandalism and doesn't deserve even the courtesy of an explanatory edit summary." It is a slap in the face to a good-faith editor; do not abuse it.

External References

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