Wikipedia:Recent changes patrol

Recent changes patrol, or RC patrol, is a Wikipedia communal patrol whereby individual users check the recent changes of various articles for inappropriate s.

The patrol is entirely voluntary and carries no obligation. At its heart, it is really just a way to try to ensure that every ed article gets checked in a timely manner and is given a boost on its way to becoming a "featured article", while simultaneously ensuring that Wikipedia is not harmed by unconstructive s.

Recent Changes Patroller badge.
Recent changes Patrol Userbox

Regular RC patrollers may wish to put the RC patrol userbox on their user page by adding {{User wikipedia/RC Patrol}} to their user pages.

What to do[]

RC Patrolling primarily consists of a four step process:

Identify "bad" or "needy" s
RC patrollers efficiently identify problematic s using the tools described below. A bad is an that, for one reason or another, may need to be entirely removed. A needy requires maintenance or improvement in some manner.
Remove or improve the
Needy s should be tagged according to their need, or boldly changed immediately. A useful list of tags can be found at WP:TC. Bad s should likewise be tagged or deleted. Because Wikipedians do not like their s to be deleted, it is important to leave concise but clear justifications on the talk page or in the summary. When adding tags, please consider discussing the issue on the article's talk page before adding them in the article itself.
Warn the or
In the cases of deliberate vandalism or an evident lack of knowledge on Wikipedia procedure, offending ors should be warned on their talk pages. While this is an optional step, the Wikipedia:Guide to administrator intervention against vandalism says that a final warning should always be given before reporting a vandal, and warnings should be a regular part of a patroller's duties, as it minimizes conflict, educates new ors and alerts administrators of repeat offenders. For efficiency and consistency, standard warning templates can be used. However do feel free to simply write a warning if the available templates are not appropriate.
Check the user's other contributions
You will often find more s with similar problems. As an RC Patroller, you may want to fix those as well.

Being nice to others[]

Throughout the entire process of RC patrol, it is important to remember not to bite the newcomers. A 2006 essay indicated that newcomers, far from being a monolithic horde of vandals, trolls and spammers, wrote most of Wikipedia's content.[1] If you see a new user or IP address contributing, welcome them if you're so inclined, and include a pointer or two of feedback about how they can make their contributions even better. Most will welcome the support.

It is also important to assume good faith as much as possible, or, minimally to assume incompetence or lack of experience instead of malice. For example, remember not everyone is as computer literate as you; some people will accidentally blank or damage pages when attempting to cut and paste material from Wikipedia. Others may not understand that, yes, their changes really are visible to the entire world immediately.

Patrolling s to existing pages[]

One thing to keep in mind is to not only focus on patrolling articles in the main namespace but also to check other pages — such as, for example, image pages, which are frequently victims of nonsensical s and vandalism. Such unchecked s may be particularly harmful because the result might be removal of copyright tags.

Newcomer tests[]

Look for newcomer tests (odd s which are not vandalism), but do not bite the newcomers. Revert their experiments and leave one of the following messages on their user talk page. Be sure to sign and timestamp (~~~~) the warning. You can use Twinkle to revert the page and issue the warning faster.

{{subst:uw-test1}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Welcome and thank you for your contributions. This is a notice that your test has been reverted or removed. If you would like to experiment further, please use the sandbox instead. Please take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you. ~~~~
{{subst:uw-create1}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. A page you recently created may not conform to some of Wikipedia's guidelines for new pages, so it will shortly be removed (if it hasn't been already). Please use the sandbox for any tests, and consider using the Article Wizard. For more information about creating articles, you may want to read Your first article. You may also want to read the introduction page to learn more about contributing. Thank you. ~~~~
{{subst:uw-delete1}} ~~~~ (a variant suitable for blanking) 
Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. It might not have been your intention, but your recent removed content from Wikipedia. When removing content, please specify a reason in the summary and discuss s that are likely to be controversial on the article's talk page. If this was a mistake, don't worry; the content has been restored, as you can see from the page history. Take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia, and if you would like to experiment, please use the sandbox. Thank you. ~~~~
{{subst:uw-test2}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Please refrain from making test s in Wikipedia pages, even if you intend to fix them later. Such s look similar to vandalism and have been reverted. If you would like to experiment again, please use the sandbox. Thank you. ~~~~
{{subst:uw-delete2}} ~~~~ (a variant suitable for blanking) 
Information.svg Please do not remove content or templates from pages on Wikipedia without giving a valid reason for the removal in the summary. Your content removal does not appear constructive, and has been reverted. Please make use of the sandbox if you'd like to experiment with test s. Thank you. ~~~~

Lack of sources[]

Addition of unsourced material without proper citations

{{subst:uw-unsor1}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. We invite everyone to contribute constructively to our encyclopedia. However, adding content without citing a reliable source is not consistent with our policy of verifiability. Take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-unsor2}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Please do not add content without citing reliable sources. Before making potentially controversial s, it is recommended that you discuss them first on the article's talk page. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-unsor3}} ~~~~ 
Nuvola apps important.svg Please do not add unsourced or original content. Doing so violates Wikipedia's verifiability policy. If you would like to experiment, please use the sandbox. Thank you.


Further non-constructive s sometimes can be viewed as vandalism, and dealt with as below.

Spam[]

Copyright violations[]

Vandalism[]

Look out for vandalism, and revert it. It is often worthwhile to check the page history after reverting to make sure you have removed all the vandalism. Also, check the user contributions of the vandal - you will often find more malicious s.

Additionally, leave warning messages on the vandal's talk pages using the following system.

Also be sure to check discussion pages for possible explanations of s.

Warning templates[]

Note that these templates need not be used sequentially. If the is clearly vandalism, use the template {{uw-vandalism1}} instead. For continuing severe vandalism, {{uw-vandalism2}} may be skipped and {{uw-vandalism3}} given straight after the first warning. If, however, you are not sure that the is vandalism, always start with {{uw-test1}}. If a user made such an and reverted it themselves, use a {{selftest}}. For extreme or extensive cases of vandalism committed by users who have received no prior warnings, {{uw-vandalism4im}} may be used. The ~~~~ in the templates below cause the time and your signature to be added to the warning.

{{subst:selftest}} ~~~~ (use if an appears to be a reversion of a newcomer test) 
Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. Thank you for reverting your recent experiment. Please take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to our encyclopedia. If you would like to experiment further, please use the sandbox instead. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-test1}} ~~~~ (use if an appears to have possibly not been an intentional act of vandalism) 
Information.svg Welcome and thank you for your contributions. This is a notice that your test has been reverted or removed. If you would like to experiment further, please use the sandbox instead. Please take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-error1}} ~~~~ (use if an adds seemingly incorrect information to an article) 
Information.svg Your recent appears to have added incorrect information and has been reverted or removed. All information in this encyclopedia must be verifiable in a reliable, published source. If you believe the information that you added was correct, please cite the references or sources or before making the changes, discuss them on the article's talk page. Please use the sandbox for any tests that you wish to make. Do take a look at the welcome page if you would like to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-vandalism1}} ~~~~ (use if an is clearly vandalism)
Welcome to Wikipedia. Although everyone is welcome to contribute to Wikipedia, at least one of your recent s did not appear to be constructive and has been reverted or removed. Please use the sandbox for any test s you would like to make, and read the welcome page to learn more about contributing constructively to this encyclopedia. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-unsor1}} ~~~~ (use if an is unreferenced)
Information.svg Welcome to Wikipedia. Everyone is welcome to contribute to the encyclopedia, but when you add or change content please cite a reliable source for the content of your . This helps maintain our policy of verifiability. Take a look at Wikipedia:Citing sources for information about how to cite sources and the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-test2}} ~~~~ 
Information.svg Please refrain from making test s in Wikipedia pages, even if you intend to fix them later. Such s appear to be vandalism and have been reverted. If you would like to experiment again, please use the sandbox. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-error2}} ~~~~ (use if an adds factually incorrect information to an article) 
Information.svg Please do not introduce incorrect information into articles. Your s appear to be vandalism and have been reverted. If you believe the information you added was correct, please cite references or sources or discuss the changes on the article's talk page before making them again. If you would like to experiment, use the sandbox. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-delete2}} ~~~~ (a variant suitable for vandalism that consists of blanking text) 
Information.svg Please do not remove content or templates from pages on Wikipedia without giving a valid reason for the removal in the summary. Your content removal does not appear constructive, and has been reverted. Please make use of the sandbox if you'd like to experiment with test s. Thank you.
{{subst:uw-test3}} ~~~~ 
Nuvola apps important.svg Please stop making test s to Wikipedia. It is considered vandalism, which, under Wikipedia policy, can lead to a loss of ing privileges. If you would like to experiment again, please use the sandbox.
{{subst:uw-error3}} ~~~~ 
Nuvola apps important.svg Please stop. If you continue to vandalize pages by deliberately introducing incorrect information, you may be blocked from ing Wikipedia.
{{subst:uw-vandalism4}} ~~~~ (not suitable as a first warning) 
Stop icon You may be blocked from ing without further warning the next time you vandalize Wikipedia.
{{subst:uw-vandalism4im}} ~~~~ (used as a first warning for extreme cases of vandalism) 
Stop hand nuvola.svg This is your only warning; if you vandalize Wikipedia again, you may be blocked from ing without further notice.

Alternatively, you can use:

{{subst:selftest-n|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-test#|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-error#|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-vandalism#|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-delete#|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-vandalism4im|PageName}} ~~~~
{{subst:uw-unsor#|PageName}} ~~~~


to explicitly state which articles were vandalized. Where appropriate, replace the "#" with the warning level number (1 to 4). Insert the title of the article being referenced. For example:

{{subst:uw-test1|France}} 
Information.svg Welcome and thank you for experimenting with Wikipedia. Your test on the page France worked, and it has been reverted or removed. Please take a look at the welcome page to learn more about contributing to this encyclopedia. If you would like to experiment further, please use the sandbox instead. Thank you.

The "subst" causes the template text to be pasted into the talk page as if you had typed it out, instead of leaving {{subst:uw-test1}} visible when ing the page. This makes the messages more personal to the user, and thus, more friendly. Also, if someone vandalizes the template, then the vandalism will not affect every page that uses the text from the template.

If the vandal will not stop, list them at Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism. Ensure that the user has been warned thoroughly before posting a notice on Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism and has had time (three or four minutes) to read the warnings and still ignore them. If a user has not been sufficiently warned, or has only vandalized a couple of times an administrator may simply remove the notice without action.

The blocking administrator will usually leave this or one of the other Block Templates on the vandal's talk page:

{{subst:uw-block1}} ~~~~ 
Stop x nuvola with clock.svg
You have been blocked temporarily from ing for abuse of ing privileges. Once the block has expired, you are welcome to make useful contributions. If you would like to be unblocked, you may appeal this block by adding the text {{unblock|reason=Your reason here ~~~~}} below this notice, but you should read the guide to appealing blocks first.

Remember to sign and timestamp your warnings by leaving four tildes (like this: ~~~~).

Trace IP address[]

Also, consider tracing the IP address. Find owners by using:

If an address is not in one, it will probably be in another. Then add {{Shared IP}} to the talk pages of users who vandalise – for persons ing from an organization the realisation that they can be traced is often sufficient to make them stop. (See the template page for variations as to schools, libraries, government institutions, etc.)

Tools[]

The following is a list of tools and resources available for those who want to clean up with a more systematic approach.

Monitoring[]

Screenshot of Wikipedia recent changes IRC feed

The old school way is to load recent changes and check the (diff) links. It can be filtered according to featured articles, good articles, living people, new ors' contribs, IPs' contribs and mobile contribs (as these are more prone to vandalism, see Help:Recent changes). Searching for articles by their namespace and specific tags (e.g. VisualEditor, possible BLP issue or vandalism, etc) can also be done. If they contain harmful s, you revert to the previous version. However, the high volume of s that occur each second makes this difficult to accomplish most of the time, and several tools have been created to simplify the process:

Rollback tools[]

These tools extend the rollback feature by allowing you to specify a summary when using rollback. They may also offer additional features:

Rollback-like scripts[]

These tools can be used to achieve the same effect as rollback if you do not have it.

Special pages[]

Task Forces[]

IRC channels[]

Note that these are not operated by or affiliated with Wikipedia.

For a list of bot commands, see CVNBot Documentation. To use these commands, you must be voiced, which requires NickServ registration and an invitation from local operators or #countervandalism connect.

Other[]

See also[]

References[]

  1. ^ Aaron Swartz. "Who Writes Wikipedia?".