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This is not the place to post notices of vandalism. Please email your report to management AT Powerbase.info and sysop AT Powerbase.info.
Vandalism is any addition, removal, or change of content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Powerbase. The most common types of vandalism include the addition of obscenities or crude humor, page blanking, or the insertion of nonsense into articles.
Any good-faith effort to improve Powerbase, even if misguided or ill-considered, is not vandalism. Even harmful edits that are not explicitly made in bad faith are not considered vandalism. For example, adding a personal opinion to an article once is not vandalism — it's just not helpful, and should be removed or restated. Not all vandalism is obvious, nor are all massive or controversial changes vandalism; careful attention needs to be given to whether changes made are beneficial, detrimental but well intended, or outright vandalism.
Committing blatant vandalism violates Powerbase policy. If you find that another user has vandalized Powerbase, you should revert the changes and warn the user (see below for specific instructions). Users who vandalize Powerbase repeatedly, despite warnings to stop, should be reported to the editors by emailing management AT Powerbase.info and sysop AT Powerbase.info, and administrators may block them.
How to respond to vandalism
If you see vandalism, please do the following:
- Check the article's History page (located at the top of the articles page) to identify all vandalised edits. Usually, if the most recent edit by a particular user is vandalism, then all recent edits by that user are also vandalism. It is then necessary to revert to the last version before that user started editing.
- For a new article, if all versions of the article are pure vandalism, email management AT Powerbase.info to alert the Managing Editor.
- Otherwise, revert the edits. Explain in the edit summary that you have reverted vandalism. Remember to keep/reinstate any useful information that has been added since the vandalism!
- Leave a message on the user's talk page reminding them that vandalism contravenes Powerbase policy. Their talk page can be found by clicking on their name in the articles History page and then click Discussion at the top of their user page.
- Check the vandal's other contributions (click "User contributions" on the left sidebar of the screen).
- If a vandal continues to cause disruption after being warned, please report him or her by emailing sysop AT Powerbase.info. The Powerbase Sysop will make the decide of whether an individual who vandalises should be blocked.
- If you're not sure if something constitutes vandalism email management AT Powerbase.info for clarification.
How not to respond to vandalism
When responding to vandalism remain polite and do not engage in insulting language. It may well be that a user has made a mistake but was acting in good faith. Blatant and repeated vandalism will be dealt with by the Sysop. They can be alerted by emailing sysop AT Powerbase.info
Types of vandalism
Powerbase vandalism may fall into one or more of the following categorizations:
- Removing all or significant parts of pages' content without any reason, or replacing entire pages with nonsense. Sometimes important verifiable references are deleted with no valid reason(s) given in the summary. However, significant content removals are usually not considered to be vandalism where the reason for the removal of the content is readily apparent by examination of the content itself, or where a non-frivolous explanation for the removal of apparently legitimate content is provided, linked to, or referenced in an edit summary.
- Page lengthening
- Adding very large (measured by the number of bytes) amounts of content to a page so as to make the page's load time abnormally long or even make the page impossible to load on some computers.
- Continuing to add external links to non-notable or irrelevant sites (e.g. to advertise one's website) to pages after having been warned is vandalism.
- A script or "robot" that attempts to vandalize or spam massive numbers of articles (hundreds or thousands).
- Silly vandalism
- Adding profanity, graffiti, random characters, or other nonsense to pages; creating nonsensical and obviously non-encyclopedic pages, etc. Please note that the addition of random characters to pages is a common way that new users test edit and may not be intentionally malicious.
- Sneaky vandalism
- Vandalism that is harder to spot. This can include adding plausible misinformation to articles, (e.g. minor alteration of dates), hiding vandalism (e.g. by making two bad edits and only reverting one), or reverting legitimate edits with the intent of hindering the improvement of pages. Some vandals even use edit summaries such as "rv vandalism" to mask their changes.
- Userspace vandalism
- Adding insults, profanity, etc. to user pages or user talk pages.
- Image vandalism
- Uploading shock images, inappropriately placing explicit images on pages, or simply using any image in a way that is disruptive.
- Page-move vandalism
- Changing the names of pages (referred to as "page-moving") to disruptive or otherwise inappropriate terms.
- Link vandalism
- Modifying internal or external links within a page so that they appear the same but link to a page/site that they are not intended to (e.g an explicit image; a shock site).
- Discussion page vandalism
- Blanking the posts of other users from talk pages other than your own is generally considered vandalism. Editors are granted considerable latitude over editing their own userspace pages (including talk pages), and blanking one's own user talk page is specifically not prohibited. Users removing warnings from their own talk pages is prohibited on the grounds that it would create more issues than it would solve.
- Repeated uploading of copyrighted material
- Uploading or using material on Powerbase in ways which violate Powerbase copyright policies after having been warned is vandalism. Because users may be unaware that the information is copyrighted, or of Powerbase policies on how such material may and may not be used, such action only becomes vandalism if it continues after the copyrighted nature of the material and relevant policy restricting its use have been communicated to the user.
- Edit summary vandalism
- Making offensive edit summaries in an attempt to leave a mark that cannot be easily expunged from the record (edit summaries cannot simply be "reverted" and remain visible when viewing a page's history).
- Hidden vandalism
- Any form of vandalism that makes use of embedded text, which is not visible to the final rendering of the article but visible during editing.
What vandalism is not
The following actions are not considered "vandalism" and are therefore treated differently:
Tests by experimenting users
New users who discover the "edit this page" button sometimes want to experience editing a page and may add something unhelpful to a page (e.g., a few random characters) as a test. Such edits are not done in bad faith and are therefore not vandalism. Rather than be warned for vandalism, these users should be warmly greeted, and given a reference to the sandbox where they can continue to make test edits without being unintentionally disruptive.
Inexperienced users often are unfamiliar with Powerbase's formatting and grammatical standards (e.g. how to create internal and/or external links, when certain words should be bolded or italicized, etc.) Rather than label such users as vandals, just explain to them what our standard style is on the issue at hand - perhaps pointing them towards our guidelines on how to edit a page and the like.
Changes are often made to pages in order to improve them. While having large chunks of text you've written removed or substantially rewritten can be frustrating (and without good reason can constitute vandalism), simply making edits that noticeably alter the text or content of a pages should not be immediately labeled vandalism. It is best practice to be sensitive to the efforts that other users have put into creating articles/pages and only make sweeping changes if it will substantially improve a page. See Powerbase guidelines on etiquette for more information.
Sometimes a user will add content to an article that is factually inaccurate, but in the belief that it is accurate. By doing so in good faith, they are trying to contribute to the encyclopedia and improve it rather than vandalize. If you believe inaccurate information has been added to an article in good faith, discuss its factuality with the user who has submitted it using the talk page.
While intentionally adding nonsense to pages is a form of vandalism, sometimes honest editors may not have expressed themselves correctly (there may be an error in the syntax, particularly for those who use English as a second language). Also, sometimes connection errors or edit conflict unintentionally produce the appearance of nonsense or malicious edits. In either case, assume good faith.
Harassment or personal attacks
We have a clear etiquette policy on Powerbase and the harassment of other contributors is not allowed. While some forms of harassment are also clear cases of vandalism, such as user page vandalism, or inserting a personal attack into an article, harassment in itself is not considered "vandalism" and should be handled differently. Powerbase dispute resolution offers some useful advise.
Keep in mind that we do not want to alienate or drive away editors by treating them as vandals when they have been acting in good faith.