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Forums: Index WoWWiki policy Anon editing vandal rules

As per the discussion here, I figured I'd throw some modified guidelines to the vandalism rules that already exist. As most everyone knows, WoWWiki has been closed to anonymous editing for a long time; as such, the existing rules are tailored towards those with registered accounts.

Celess brought up a major point when dealing with these types of vandals, in that IP addresses aren't entirely unique to a single user. Many are shared, depending on situation, and so banning IP addresses for an overly long time (guilty) unfairly punishes those that might otherwise be new, potentially valuable users.


Right now there's a penalty volcano of sorts, with increasing levels of ban length. It might be good include a special version for IP addresses, keeping in mind when someone vandalizes they typically do so repeatedly over a short period of time. To that end:

  • First infraction: 48 hours (should cover the weekend vandals)
  • Second infraction: 1 week
  • Third infraction: 1 month (max)

Keep in mind that the above should be followed when vandalism is conducted from an IP address over a short period of time, i.e. if it is fairly obvious the same person is coming back and doing the same thing. On the other end, the "level" should be reset if there's been no vandalism from that IP within the past few months.


There's a great list that we keep up to date to track vandals who have registered. Right now it can get pretty crowded with anon vandals. If the penalties section is adopted, then we'd end up going back and forth on how long a particular IP might be blocked.

A way to address this might be to create a simple vandal template that we could pop onto an anon's page detailing length of last ban and reason. In this way we can track the pattern of bans, the pattern of edits, and keep the vandals list clear of all but registered users. Raylan13@fandom (talk) 22:35, October 22, 2013 (UTC)


IP usage

Yes, the shared IP thing extends to workplaces, shared IPs for phones and tablets on cell networks, whole apartments, dorms, and even schools or cities in some cases. Second thing to watch for is certain kinds of spam, where they operate on pools of IPs and will never hit on the same IP again. These pools get rotated in and out of general use back to normal land when the providers blocks get blacklisted enough. For these guys will make an account generally and then be gone. For those may be best best to block the user delete page, and turn everything else off for the block. Celess (talk) 21:52, December 6, 2013 (UTC)


  • With that said, its important to *not* leave the IP itself as infinite, via the account creation being disabled.

Over long enough time you end up just blocking random people. This is less of a problem here, as we are just talking about individual IP blocking rather than 'block' or sub-net level blocking. Celess (talk) 22:03, December 6, 2013 (UTC)

  • Also possibly a patrol to look at old blocks and make sure those over a year aren't still blocking at IP level.

I've seen several users come back to edit there blocked user page as anon after a year or more as their home IP, or whatever it was, isn't applicable anymore :)

Penalty stages

I would prefer the following:

  • First infraction: 1 week
  • Second infraction: 1 month
  • Third infraction: 3 months (max)

I don't think the quality of contributions by anons warrants the extra worry about blocking potentially good contributors. Good contributors get registered accounts. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 6 Dec 2013 1:54 PM Pacific

I agree with Fandyllic. PacmanNomNomNom Macrophager (talk) 21:59, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
I think the max definitely shouldn't be longer than 3 months for the IP. Is good to remember that its blocking anon, not account like F said. The account level however maybe should be old rules? :) Who is this RyanPT guy. I think is impersonating Macographer, didnt even spell the name right, hold on brb.... Celess (talk) 22:08, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
No it's me, I changed my username to Macrophager a while back, don't know why it came up as my old one. PacmanNomNomNom Macrophager (talk) 23:23, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
Fixed it, just my old Sig link. PacmanNomNomNom Macrophager (talk) 23:26, December 6, 2013 (UTC), almost banned you for an hour.Celess (talk) 23:56, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
On penalties I think should be discretionary, and probably what would be in practice, like from range of a Raylan, up to a Fandyllic.
  • Hours to week
  • Weeks, up to month
  • Months, no longer than three (on the IP)
And with said, should be very careful for when to choose 'allow creation'. Allowing them to create an account for anon 'violators' might be useful. Conversely if the violation was through an account, then 'block creation' is more useful if they are being tendentious. Three months or infinate on no create might be the only real danger in any of this business. :) Celess (talk) 22:29, December 6, 2013 (UTC)
I know I've made an a.. load of edits here already, just wanted to point on that the possible impetus for this discussion was a pair of anon, probably in "communicea", banned by Raylan for 1 month with account creation turned off. I think you should turn on account, or make it a week or days. Whatever is decided needs to be something are willing to really follow. That's assuming infraction == reprimanded DNP session. ;)
Yeah - I agree with the discretionary range rather than something hard and fixed. We're all pretty savvy when it comes to weighing "types" of vandalism and frequency; I also agree on the cap of three months. I'm probably most guilty of the infinite block, so I'll take the time to go back through the blocks and change those accordingly. Raylan13@fandom (talk) 17:29, December 9, 2013 (UTC)
I'm not voting yet because I still have a problem with 1 act → 2 hours to 1 week and 2 acts → 1 week to 1 month. This seems a little wishy-washy to me. 2 acts should go from 2 weeks to 1 month so there isn't confusion between 1 and 2 acts. Also, it should be 3+ acts and not just 3 acts, otherwise there is ambiguity about anything over 3 acts. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 18 Dec 2013 4:11 PM Pacific
Ok, I put the 3+ and cleaned up the text some. Its supposed to be discretionary and a guideline if someone is wondering what generally they should do. Reason for the discretion is to limit blocking IPs *no longer* than have to. Reason for overlap is to allow someone to block for a day, and then a week if they need to, and at same time saying that second offence should be at least a week. The options in the drop down jump from 1 to 3 months so that part of why the overlap there as well.
Part of the problem here now, is that there isn't enough 'churn' at the moment to be able to make admin mistakes, get feedback, alter rules, so may have to lean on other established policy. Restricting IPs for 2 weeks, for lack of latitude in policy, during blizzcon would be 'shoot in foot' if those were shared at blizzcon and had good traffic here. I read through this, probably hard fought, policy a many months ago for whatever reason I cant remember. This is nearly common thinking and policy in lots of places besides WP, and I know this isnt WP here, Blocking IPs can be very tricky business with bad side effects. :) I think someone should probably go back to all the blocks ever, and make sure infinite's over 6 months old aren't blocking the IP anymore.
Yeah, the guidelines are meant to give the admins greater latitude when dealing with anons, not to be wishy-washy. The guidelines are more concrete when dealing with registered users because there's only one person who has the potential to edit with that account, so longer bans aren't going to really compromise anything. Anon addresses could have edits from different people - so I wouldn't really want to jump to 2 weeks right off the bat with a second offense; one goal is to ban, sure, but the other goal is to keep the door open to encourage honest editors to join. Raylan13@fandom (talk) 20:52, December 26, 2013 (UTC)

Wanted to touch bases on this, as it's been a few weeks. I went back through the block list from the time anons were given access and have removed all the infinite blocks, so no worries there. Where do we stand on coming to an agreement about block ranges? Raylan13@fandom (talk) 19:16, January 10, 2014 (UTC)

I'm ok with whatever. Celess (talk) 20:31, January 10, 2014 (UTC)


Any thoughts as to the template suggestion? The "known vandals" page can get cluttered quickly with IP addresses; but let's be honest, they aren't really "known" if they're non-registered anyway Tongueout. Raylan13@fandom (talk) 17:34, December 9, 2013 (UTC)

UI-Skull-32x32BLOCKED 1 week Icon-delete-22x22 Removing content from multiple pages.
I think its would be harder to manage adding and removing these from user pages than to add to a list. The banners may give the wrong impression to users who share infrastructure, and who may have no knowledge of why that's there. The banners will be visible to search engines and count as a content update and possibly stay that way for up to a year. For this month, which is more than half over, there are list of maybe only 10 so far in the known list, out of millions of views and 10's of thousands of edits. There's no proposal for how this will affect current vandal reporting and process. Celess (talk) 22:24, December 18, 2013 (UTC)
I agree with Celess22 on this one. If we can't control for "good" anon viewers who happen to share an IP with vandals, we shouldn't be using a banner.
Also "known vandals" doesn't necessarily mean we know who they are. Sockpuppets are equally unknown in that respect. To me it means they have been identified as vandals, whoever they are. There are vandals who don't get identified for awhile who aren't "known" in that sense. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 18 Dec 2013 3:20 PM Pacific
Hmmm - all right, I'll conceded this point. I hadn't considered all the above, but was just going from my own perception when dealing with the list and tracking anons. (It's such a pretty template... I wonder if I can use it for something else...) Raylan13@fandom (talk) 20:55, December 26, 2013 (UTC)

Policy changes

The Blocking vandals section of Vandalism policy should be broken up into policy for registered users vs. anons. The policy was written under the assumption, now not true, that only registered users could vandalize.

Basically, the new proposal needs to be more clearly mocked up. Otherwise I agree with the direction if not the specifics. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 6 Dec 2013 1:54 PM Pacific

Ayup - agreed. Once everything's hammered out here, there definitely should be a separate section on the policy page and probably an announcement covering it as well. Raylan13@fandom (talk) 17:34, December 9, 2013 (UTC)
Not sure how this is going, but I put a link to this forum post at WoWWiki talk:Vandalism policy. --Gengar orange 22x22Beware the sneaky smile! Fandyllic (talk · contr) 27 Jan 2014 4:58 PM Pacific

Pretty much a stalemate at this point, at least regarding what penalties there should be. If ranges are a big issue, I would press that we should go back and look at the existing policy for registered users and nail that down. There's ranges in there as well (spec. 2-5 acts being 1-3 months). Raylan13@fandom (talk) 17:33, January 28, 2014 (UTC)

Penalty proposal - vote

Proposal: Changes to the vandalism policy and penalties to reflect the below. In light of the above discussion, a range seems better for penalties, and admins should have discretion when choosing which penalty to hand out, depending on severity and duration. Impetus for change is lack of policy for handing anons.

Voting for
  • the idea of penalty differentiation between anon and registered editors for violations,
  • and the guidelines for length of penalty.
  • meaning of 'act', which can mean: 1) each successive 'reprimanded session' or 'blocking' (default), or 2) per-violation in a session, obviously discretion on what constitutes 'act' (can be used for registered if necessary).

Figure we can slide this right in with the existing vandal penalties:

# of Acts Vandalism (Registered) Block Time
1 act 7 days (168 hours)
2 - 5 acts 1 - 3 months
6 - 10 acts 6 months
11 - 19 acts 1 year
20+ acts ∞ (permanent)
# of Acts Vandalism (Anon) Block Time
1st act 2 hours - 1 week
2nd act 1 week - 1 month
3+ acts 1 - 3 months

  1. Yes Raylan13@fandom (talk) 22:13, December 18, 2013 (UTC) - (Some loose guidelines should be in place, as well as updates to the policy now that anons are allowed to edit.)
  2. yes Celess (talk) 23:07, December 18, 2013 (UTC) - (no comment)

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