User:Girth Summit/CVUA/Puddleglum2.0

Hello Puddleglum2.0, and welcome to your Counter Vandalism Unit Academy page! Every person I instruct will have their own page on which I will give them support and tasks for them to complete. Please make sure you have this page added to your watchlist. Your academy page has been specifically designed according to you and what you have requested instruction in - for that reason, please be as specific as possible in your answers, so that I know the best ways to help you (and do not be afraid to let me know if you think something isn't working). If you have any general queries about anti-vandalism (or anything else), you are more than welcome to raise them with me at my talk page.

Make sure you read through Wikipedia:Vandalism as that's the knowledge which most of the questions I ask you and tasks you do will revolve around.

How to use this page

This page will be built up over your time in the Academy, with new sections being added as you complete old ones. Each section will end with a task, written in bold type - this might just ask a question, or it might require you to go and do something. You can answer a question by typing the answer below the task; if you have to do something, you will need to provide diffs to demonstrate that you have completed the task. Some sections will have more than one task, sometimes additional tasks may be added to a section as you complete them. Please always sign your responses to tasks as you would on a talk page.

The CVUA curriculum

There are several sections of the training course. In some of them, will be asking you to do perform practical exercises; in others, I will ask you to read certain policies and guidelines, and then ask you some questions about their content. To be clear, it is not a problem if you give the wrong answer to any of the questions - making mistakes and discussing them is a crucial part of the learning process. For that reason, it is important that you do not attempt to find previous users' training pages in order to identify the 'right' answers to give: all your answers should be your own, so that we can identify and address any misconceptions that you might have. There is no time pressure to complete the course: we will go at whatever pace works for you, and you can take a pause or ask questions at any point along the way.


Counter-vandalism work can result in very large watchlists, which can make it more difficult to monitor pages using that alone. For this reason, I will ping you whenever I update this page with some feedback or a new task; I would also ask you to ping me when you have completed a task, so that I get a notification telling me that it's ready for review. See WP:PING for details on how to do this if you aren't sure. GirthSummit (blether) 07:28, 22 October 2019 (UTC)

The startEdit


Twinkle is a very useful tool when performing maintenance functions around Wikipedia. Please have a read through WP:TWINKLE.

Enable Twinkle (if haven't already) and leave a note here to let me know that you have enabled it.

user:Girth Summit Ok, I have it installed and ready.Β :)

​ Great. Just a note about pinging - if you don't sign your post with four tildes, the notification system isn't activated - so, I didn't see that you'd edited this into I just took a look. Make sure you sign your post in the same edit that you add the ping - if you forget to sign, add another ping (you can avoid making the page look cluttered by using a 'hidden ping', like I just did for you).
So, the first part of the course will involve identifying some vandalism. Are you familiar already with the recent changes? You can get to it by following the link at the left of your screen, in the 'interaction' section. That's where we'll be looking for dodgy edits. Note that you can set up filters. I like to look at 'Likely bad faith' - that feed you a lot of vandalism, but note that a lot of innocent stuff will also come through, as well as edits which aren't vandalism, but probably need to be reverted anyway. Which leads me on to the first formal task... GirthSummit (blether) 12:30, 23 October 2019 (UTC)

Good faith and vandalismEdit

When patrolling for vandalism, you may often come across edits which are unhelpful, but not vandalism - these are good faith edits. While it is often necessary to revert such edits, we treat them differently from vandalism, so it is important to recognise the difference between a vandalism edit and a good faith edit. Please read WP:AGF and WP:NOT VANDALISM before completing the tasks in this section.

Please explain below the difference between a good faith edit and a vandalism edit, and how you would tell them apart.

@Girth Summit:Okay, so basically a good faith edit is one made when a user doesn't know that they are doing a wrong thing. (Take, for instance, the edits of mine that you reverted. Β ) They are generally nonconstructive and unhelpful, but the intent of the edit is not toward malice. On the other hand, vandalism is a deliberate, nonconstructive, malicious edit with no apparent point other than destroying Wikipedia articles. Generally it is obvious an edit it is vandalism or good faith, but if it isn't obvious, it is important that one should assume good faith and revert the edit as such. Really the main distinguishing factor is the intent of the edit. Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ (talk) 22:21, 23 October 2019 (UTC)

Β Y ​Absolutely right - it's all about intent. If the intention is to harm the encyclopedia, then it's vandalism; if it's not, then it's not. Your edits were obviously very far from vandalism - not exactly improvements, but clearly someone trying to help - we still revert them, but I use Twinkle's green 'Rollback [AGF]' option for this - that explicitly says in your edit summary that it was a good faith edit you are reverting; you should ideally add a few words about what was wrong with it. It doesn't have to be much - just 'unsourced' or 'ungrammatical' is enough sometimes.
Please do note that you will sometimes come across stuff where it's hard to tell whether it's vandalism or not. For example, if someone adds esoufnvisfgbiosebrgiaeirbfaerfaeirugbsirotbgrsiuorgbs to the lead of Cheese, they might very well be vandalising; on the other hand, they might just be mashing the keyboard to see whether they really can edit. This is where WP:AGF comes in - we assume good faith unless we're confident about the user's intention. For a 'first offence', I would assume it was a test and do a good faith revert; if they keep doing it, or if they are doing that with a deceptive edit summary ('Fix typo' for example), obviously it starts to look more like vandalism.
So, with that in mind - on to the next task. GirthSummit (blether) 14:17, 24 October 2019 (UTC)
Please find three examples of good faith but unhelpful edits, and three examples of vandalism. You don't need to revert the example you find, and I am happy for you to use previous undos in your edit history if you wish. Place diffs below, and explain your thinking about why they are/are not vandalism for each.

@Girth Summit:

GF1 This was a good faith edit because the user probably just wanted to change some wording, but it waasn't actually helpful.

Hmm. I don't see a reason to revert this one actually. The change is unsourced, but so is the original content, so we don't have any basis to say the original was better in terms of accuracy with regard to any source. I actually prefer the IP's text - 'chilly', that you reverted back to, is rather informal for my liking - I think it was an improvement, if only a minor one, I'd have left it alone. GirthSummit (blether) 18:15, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

GF2 Good faith edit from a user whose intent was probably just to add more information to the article.

Β Y I'm kind of leaning towards this probably being vandalism, but I can't prove that so I'd go with your good faith revert. Certainly the edit was problematic - terrible spelling, and at best entirely pointless; I suspect the editor was intending a 'nudge-nudge, wink-wink' allusion to masturbation, but as I say, when in doubt, AGF, so agree with you here. GirthSummit (blether) 18:15, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

GF3 Good faith edit from a user who wanted to show his opinion.

Β Y Yes - no reason to assume vandalism here, but adding 'reportedly' isn't appropriate, it's on the line between WP:EDITORIALIZING and WP:WEASEL - it was better before. A quick note in your edit summary here explaining your rationale for the result would have been a good thing. GirthSummit (blether) 18:15, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

V1 Obvious vandalism.

Careful now - remember that 'test edits' are a thing. An edit like that in isolation is very possibly just someone clicking 'edit' and mashing the keyboard - without realising that they are actually editing the live article. That's not a valid edit obviously, but it's not intentional vandalism. So, you were right to revert, but this should have been a green or blue revert, with an edit summary along the lines of 'Revert test' or similar, and you should have given a 'Level 1 test edit' warning. GirthSummit (blether) 18:15, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

V2 The user changed the name to an offensive name, obviously not helpful to Wikipedia.

Β Y Yep - no doubt about that, vulgar silly vandalism. Cluebot gets most of it, but we have to mop up the rest. GirthSummit (blether) 18:15, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

V3 Obvious vandalism because of the edit summary and the mass deletion.

Β Y Yes - definitely vandalism, and a BLP violation to boot. GirthSummit (blether) 18:15, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

PS Is there a better way to link diffs and if so how? I just went with what worked. Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ 00:34, 29 October 2019 (UTC)

Puddleglum2.0 OK - good work on this, see my feedback above. I changed the format of the diffs in this edit - note that I'm using a single pair of square brackets, then pasting the URL, then leaving a space, then typing the text that I want to appear in the link. That's probably the best way to provide a diff.
With regard to the ping thing, can I ask how you are signing your posts? I can't say for certain, but your sig looks to me like you're adding it manually rather than signing with four tildes. It's the conversion of the tildes into the sig that actually triggers notifications - if you don't sign like that, the notifications don't get sent. Try pinging me and adding the tildes in your next comment and I'll let you know if I get the ping. In the meantime, while encouraging you to read and think about the feedback above, I think you're ready to proceed with the next section, which is now below. GirthSummit (blether) 18:15, 1 November 2019 (UTC)

Warning and reportingEdit

When you use Twinkle to warn a user, you have a number of options to choose from: you can select the kind of warning (for different offences), and the level of warning (from 1 to 4, for increasing severity). Knowing which warning to issue and what level is very important. Further information can be found at WP:WARN and WP:UWUL.

Please answer the following questions
Why do we warn users?
When would a 4im warning be appropriate?
Should you substitute a template when you place it on a user talk page, and how do you do it? (Hint - read the link before answering!)
What should you do if a user who has received a level 4 or 4im warning vandalises again?

@Girth Summit:

1. We warn users so that they can see the right way to edit and so that they can have a chance to reform their ways.
Β YYes, that's part of the reason. It's also about creating a sort of 'paper trail' to show that they have been given multiple opportunities to stop their behaviour - an admin will find it much easier to justify blocking someone if they are ignoring repeated warnings. It also helps other patrollers - if you see several recent warnings on a talk page, you know to escalate your own warning, and probably to check the user's contribs as well because there is likely to be other vandalism in there that hasn't been picked up yet. GirthSummit (blether) 10:34, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
2. A 4im warning is the most serious of all warnings; it is the only warning the user will receive and the last. It should only be used when the editor has engaged in persistent, extremely disruptive editing. It is the most serious warning for the most serious offenses.
Β Y Mostly correct. It can be used for persistent vandalism - if, for example, they've vandalised multiple pages but nobody has warned them yet; the other situation it's used for is egregious vandalism. If someone puts blatant racist abuse on a BLP, for example, feel free to go straight to 4im for the first offence. GirthSummit (blether) 10:34, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
3. Yes, you should use a subst template when posting on user talk pages, you do this by simply adding "subst:" before the template name.
Β Y Yes - Twinkle does this for you automatically, but if you ever put a template on a talk page manually, remember to substitute it. GirthSummit (blether) 10:34, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
4. After a user has received a level four or 4im warning, you should bring the user to the attention of an uninvolved administrator, who will take the appropriate actions. Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 21:11, 5 November 2019 (UTC),
Β Y The easiest and quickest way to do this is to report them at AIV, using Twinkle. GirthSummit (blether) 10:34, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

@Girth Summit: I'm just making sure you got pinged... By the way, I'm not completely sure why the answers got put in those boxes... I can't seem to get them out either. Do you know why? Thanks as always, Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 19:47, 6 November 2019 (UTC)

Puddleglum2.0 Thanks for the reping - I didn't get the first one, not sure why not. The boxes were because you had a space at the beginning of the line - I've replaced them with colons, to indent them, and the boxes are gone. Good answers above, I've given some feedback, and I'll put the next section up shortly (probably this evening, UK time). GirthSummit (blether) 10:34, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

OK Puddleglum2.0 - next section is below. This should test not only you counter-vandalism skills, but also your use of tables in Wiki Markup! Hopefully it's pretty self-explanatory but let me know if you're not sure how to add to the table. GirthSummit (blether) 22:54, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

@Girth Summit: OK, working on it. Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 23:08, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

Find and revert some vandalism. Warn each user appropriately, using the correct kind of warning and level. For each revert/warning please fill in a line on the table below.
# Diff of your revert Your comment. If you report to AIV please include the diff Trainer's Comment
1 [[1] Mass blanking; unacceptable Puddleglum2.0 Please review this one. It's not blanking, scroll down and see that they replaced the text with new text - they basically re-wrote the lead. I haven't read through the article carefully to see whether it's an improvement, but it's not blanking, and at a quick glance it doesn't look like vandalism. A revert of this kind would require an edit summary, explaining why you think the original text was better than what the IP replaced it with. Please assess the edit properly, and (if you feel it necessary), put an explanatory note on the IP's talk page - or, self-revert. GirthSummit (blether) 23:21, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
2 [[2]] offensive name change and unsourced change of order Β Y Yes - your diff is the wrong revision, the actual diff you reverted was this one, but you were right that this was clearly silly vandalism, and your revert and warning were appropriate.
3 [[3]] The IP changed from image to file, probably bad intent because of the edit summary, which said that they fixed punctuation. Not sure about this one. They just changed the link to the photographs from 'Image:...' to 'File:...'. It had no effect on the appearance of the page - I'm not sufficiently familiar with the technical side of images to say whether their edit was an improvement in some way, but it's not clear to me that it needed to be reverted. I'd probably have left this one if I'm honest.
4 [[4]] offensive name change Β Y Yes - silly vandalism.
5 [[5]] BLP violation; reported to AIV because of past warnings. ([[6]] (Update: IP blocked for 31 hours.) Β Y Yes - silly vandalism, good report to AIV.
6 [[7]] BLP violation. By the way, is the username egregious? Β Y Yes and yes - I'd block an account like that on sight, even if they hadn't edited, it's clearly offensive and has only been created for trolling. By the way, the link was wrong again, the correct diff was this one. I note that the account has now been blocked, and the page protected.
7 [[8]] Unsourced opinion from the IP. Β Y Definitely revert; I'd probably have given an 'unsourced changes' warning here, rather than vandalism, although it was probably bad enough to just-about justify the vandalism warning.
8 [[9]] Insulting the government and blanking the other links on the page. Β Y Yes, vandalism, and the account has now been blocked.
9 [[10]] defamation of a company Β Y Yes. Again, your vandalism warning was fine, but a 'defamatory content' warning might have been better here, just because the advice it contains is more specific to what they did.
10 [[11]] use of cuss word, defamation of person, not OK. Β Y Absolutely not OK - good revert, good warning.

@Girth Summit: I was reverting this edit [[12]] and I was going to leave a notice on the IP's talk page, and I saw they are blocked... Is this a block evasion somehow? What's going on? The IP is here: [[13]] Thanks, Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 23:31, 7 November 2019 (UTC)

​ I think you were just quick on the scene - their contribs show that they were blocked the same minute they made this edit - my guess is that you reverted it while the blocking admin was filling in the paperwork for the block (it takes a bit longer than reverting an edit). Your revert was fine, and the block should stop them from further disruption. GirthSummit (blether) 23:38, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
@Girth Summit: Oooh, OK. Thank you! Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 23:39, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
@Girth Summit: OK, I'm done. I need to go do other stuff now, so I will not immediately be able to respond to your feedback, but I will do that ASAP. Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 23:44, 7 November 2019 (UTC)
{u|Puddleglum2.0}} OK, I've reviewed these - see the feedback above. Mostly good finds, a couple of points above for you to consider. I'd like you to comment on the first one before we move on - what are your thoughts about that, did you just miss the content they added or was there something about it that I've overlooked that makes you think it was vandalism? Cheers GirthSummit (blether) 13:38, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
@Girth Summit: I think I must have accidentely misread the diff. I went back and self-reverted after I saw the mistake. I think another reason it happened is because I was in a little bit of a hurry and I saw on the recent changes feed that the user had blanked 300 bytes and so I just assumed it was mass blanking. I will pay more attention in the future. Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 15:38, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
​ OK, that makes sense - I thought it might have been something like that. I took another look at the edits just now - they were problematic, in that the IP user removed all the references from the article - they were obviously trying to make improvements, but they didn't really know what they were doing. I just went and merged some of their content into the original text, so that the refs were reinstated but most of their content survived. Mulling it over, I think that a good faith revert would have been fine in this case, due to the issues with the refs, and perhaps a friendly note (or a welcome template) to the editor, just to say 'thanks, but that's not really the way to do it'. Your next section is below... GirthSummit (blether) 16:43, 9 November 2019 (UTC)
@Girth Summit: OK, thank you. Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 16:45, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Protection and speedy deletionEdit

Protecting and deleting pages are two additional measures that can be used to prevent and deal with vandalism. Only an administrator can protect or delete pages; however, anyone can nominate a page for deletion or request protection. You can use the Twinkle menu to request page protection or speedy deletion (the RPP or CSD options).


Please read the protection policy.

In what circumstances should a page be semi-protected?

@Girth Summit: A page should be permanently semi-protected when there is insistent and heavy vandalism happening; a page should be temporarily semi-protected when there is significant vandalism that is probably temporary. (i.e., vandalism of a contentious news topic.) A page should also be semi-protected when edit-warring going on. =

Β Y This is right as far as it goes - but it's important to note that it's only effective when the disruption is coming from IPs or new accounts. It's very common subjects that are in the news - a lot of people head over to the page, and a few of them decide to vandalise it while they're there. If edit warring is taking place amongst experienced editors, semi-protection isn't effective. It's normally applied temporarily rarther than permanently, since the vandalism usually slows down once the subject drops off the headlines in the media.
In what circumstances should a page be pending changes protected?

Pending changes protection should be imposed on pages that are subject to relatively light yet persistent vandalism. It allows IPs to edit it but their edits must be reviewed before being accepted. Note: Can you revert pending changes edits the same as any normal edit?

Β Y Yes - this is normally applied on pages that consistently attract low levels of vandalism - it's a pain, since we need to check contributions, but it allows more open access than semi-protection so is generally preferred when semi isn't really necessary. And yes, you can revert vandalistic changes in the normal way using Twinkle.
In what circumstances should a page be fully protected?

When there are significant content disputes and/or edit wars. Also it can be used to preemptively protect a page against vandalism, but this is not generally done and should only be done for a short time period.

Β Y As above - the key point here is who is doing the edit warring - if it's just vandalism from new accounts and IPs, semi is fine, we use full protection when it's edit warring between established accounts.
In what circumstances should a page be creation protected ("salted")?

When an article is bad but is being persistently re-created by the author, it can be salted.

Β Y Yes - if a subject has been through a deletion discussion, and consensus determines it not to be notable, but one or more authors continually try to recreate it, we salt the title.
In what circumstances should a talk page be semi-protected?

Talk pages are rarely protected, but they can be if they are subject to extreme vandalism by IP's. Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 16:58, 9 November 2019 (UTC)

Β Y Yes - this is pretty rare, but it can be a necessary temporary step to stop disruption.
Correctly request the protection of one page (pending, semi or full); post the diff of your request at WP:RPP below. (Note - it might take you a while to come across a circumstance where this is required - we can continue with the next section of the course before you do this, but when the need arises please post here and ping me).

Right here, [14]

@Girth Summit: Hmmm, for some reason the link changed to a different request, but it was a correct link when I put it in. I will try to find the right link, but if I can't, the page I requested was the 2020 Democratic presidential Primaries, it got semi-protected for a year. It can be found in the 09 November Archive section of RPP. Sorry about that... Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 00:54, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

​ No worries - I'm happy to take your word for it! So long as you know how the process goes, that's fine. See comments above, next section is below... GirthSummit (blether) 12:45, 10 November 2019 (UTC)

Speedy deletionEdit

Please read WP:CSD.

In what circumstances should a page be speedy deleted?

@Girth Summit: A page should be speedily deleted if it meets any one of the Criteria for Speedy Deletion (CSD). Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 22:12, 11 November 2019 (UTC)

​ Fair enough - some people give examples to illustrate this answer, but your simple answer is probably better than just copy/pasting the criteria! The next task gives some examples and asks what criteria might apply... GirthSummit (blether) 07:05, 12 November 2019 (UTC)

Speedy deletion examplesEdit

In past iterations of this course, students have been asked to go out and actually tag pages for deletion, but with the introduction of WP:ACPERM, the amount of straight vandalism that gets created directly in mainspace has reduced dramatically. As such, I'm going to ask you to say how you would act in a set of hypothetical scenarios. What would you do if you saw the page listed in each scenario? Note that not all scenarios may warrant speedy deletion.

Scenario 1

A user with the username "BobSucks" creates an article called "John Smith" that contains solely the following text:

John Smith is the worst elementary school teacher on the planet.

@Girth Summit: I would request speedy deletion for G10 and possibly G3 violation.

Β Y Yes, either of them would work.
Scenario 2

A user with the username "GoodTimesLLC" creates a user page with the following text:

'''Good Times LLC''' is an organization dedicated to helping your children get the highest quality education at an affordable price. Visit our website at and contact us at 123-456-7890.

G11 violation, I would request speedy deletion.

Β Y Yep
Scenario 3

A user creates an article titled "Edward Gordon" with the following text:

'''Edward Gordon''' (born July 1998) is an aspiring American actor and songwriter. So far, he has starred in many school plays and has published two albums on SoundCloud. He has over 5,000 subscribers on YouTube.

Hmmmm... I think this one would fall under violation of the A7 criterion, so I would request speedy deletion.

Β Y I agree - A7 is quite subjective, but and it's worth reading WP:SIGNIF for a background discussion on this, but starring in school plays, creating albums on a self-publishing site, and having a few thousand YouTube subs doesn't meet the requirements to my mind.
Scenario 4

A user creates an article titled "Bazz Ward" with the following content:

Bazz Ward was a Hall of Fame roadie and I wish he was as well known as Lemmy. Cheers Bazz.

(Attribution: Ritchie333 came up with this scenario as a question to an old RfA candidate. I've borrowed his example here. Hint: Try Google searching a few key terms from this short article.)

Well, after looking into it a bit, I think I would just make this a redirect. The closest criterion is A7, but I don't think it quite works.

Β Y You're right - a redirect to an article mentioning the subject (The Nice) would be a valid choice here. His being a Hall of Fame roadie, if true, would count as a claim to significance, so A7 doesn't quite apply here. You could argue that A1 (insufficient context) might work here, but ideally you'd do a quick check to see whether there is such a thing as a Hall of Fame for roadies, and whether Bazz Ward really is on it - if you were able to confirm that, A1 wouldn't apply since you can identify the subject. A redirect would be totally uncontroversial here though, since the article is so obviously completely inappropriate.
Scenario 5

A user creates an article that was clearly copied and pasted directly from another website, which states "All Rights Reserved" at the bottom of it. Would your answer be the same if it didn't state "All Rights Reserved" at the bottom?

Well, with the All Rights Reserved, that's a clear violation of G12. At least in the US, whatever you write is automatically 'copyrighted' unless explicitly released into the public domain, so I think it would still fall under G12 without the All Rights Reserved. I don't know if that US law is universal though...

Β Y on both counts. Yes, we assume copyright, unless there's a formal disclaimer saying allowing reuse - and even then, you generally need attribution to indicate where the content has come from. The only time it can get a bit complicated is when content has been copied from Wikipedia onto another website, which happens quite a lot - but if in doubt, tag it and an investigating admin will do the checking for you.
Scenario 6

A user creates an article, but you can't understand any of it because it's in a foreign language.

Um... I think I would stick it into a Translate program, see if it is copied from anything, if it's not, I would flag it for translation. If it is copied, I would nominate it for speedy deletion under G12.

Β Y Yes, checking for G12 is a good plan; also check for G11, G10 etc - we don't want foreign language advertising or vandalism any more than we want the English language equivalent. If it's copied direct from another Wikipedia article, A2 applies - but only if it's a copy/paste, if the content is different then sticking a translation tag on it is the way to go.
Scenario 7

A user creates an article, but shortly after creating it, the same user blanks the article by removing all of its content.

I would request speedy deletion under G7.

Scenario 8

A new user creates a user page with nothing but the following content:


How would this scenario be different if the page was created in a different namespace?

On a userpage that is totally fine because it isn't harmful or advertising. Anywhere else I would speedy delete it under the G1 criterion: Patent Nonsense. Yours - Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 04:17, 13 November 2019 (UTC)


@Girth Summit: Sorry if its an inconvenience, but I don't know if the ping worked over all that stuff, so I will just reping you here. Yours - Puddleglum2.0πŸ‘Œ(talk) 04:20, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

PS: New signature, better or worse? Puddleglum2.0 \/ Have a talk? 04:51, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

Puddleglum2.0 This is all good - feedback above, and a bit of extra reading for you, but all correct answers. Thanks for the extra ping by the way - for some reason I didn't get the first one, not immediately sure why not, but the second one worked. As for the signature - your call, naturally. Personally, I prefer the original, but that's just personal preference about the font/colour, go with whatever you prefer.
I'll post the next section shortly... GirthSummit (blether) 11:15, 13 November 2019 (UTC)

@Girth Summit: Hi. I recently had someone whose edit I reverted come to me on my talk page and talk about it. I thought he provided good reasons, so I restored his version. Can you look into it and tell me if I handled it well? I would like to know so that I can handle situations in the future better. Thank you! Yours - Puddleglum2.0 Have a talk? 22:23, 14 November 2019 (UTC)

@Puddleglum2.0: Hi there - sorry for the slight delay, I've been really busy with work this week. I guess it's a sigh of aging that Friday night rolls around and I think 'Ah, I can put light the fire and catch up with Wikipedia' instead of going out to paint the town red...
Right, I've had a look at your talk page and, not having read through the article in question, that all looks fine. Your response to the new editor was perfectly polite and reasonable - you remove a whole chunk of text without explanation, expect to be reverted. They seem to have a rationale though, I see no reason to suspect bad faith, so I'd leave them to it. If you aren't 100% satisfied, and think their edits could do with some eyes, Wikiproject Chess is fairly active - you could always drop a note on their talk page along the lines of 'A new editor is making some big changes; I'm assuming good faith, but a subject-matter expert might want to take a look.' I sometimes do that sort of thing when I'm not sure about edits to a BLP (BLPN), some sort of conspiracy theory (FRINGEN) or medical issues (Wikiproject Medicine). Anyway, I think you did well there - you will occasionally revert good-faith editors, and it's usually worth giving them a polite explanation and/or link to a relevant policy or guideline. We'll cover how to respond to different types of approaches soon in the course.
So, without further ado, the next section...

Revision Deletion and OversightEdit

Please read WP:Revdel and WP:Oversight.

Occasionally, vandalism will be so extreme that it needs to be removed from publicly accessible revision histories - the criteria for these are described in the articles above. Revision deletion hides the edit from anyone except admins; oversight provides an even greater level of restriction, with only oversighters able to see the comments. The threshold between the two is quite fine - I've been on the wrong side of it a few times. If you are in doubt as to whether revdel or oversight is required, the best bet is to forward it to the oversight team - whoever reviews it will be able to make the decision and act on it.

If you believe an edit needs to be revision deleted, how would you request that?

You could either leave message on the talk page of an admin in the Admins Willing to do Revdel category, or you could email them. I think a quicker, (and therefore probably better) way would be to reach them on the IRC.

Β Y Yes - IRC is usually the fastest way to get eyes on the problem. E-mailing an admin is the next best choice, but try to contact one who is clearly online and at the time (check their contribs, see if they've edited recently). Third-best is to drop a note on their talk page - that's allowed, but since admin talk pages often have a lot of watchers, it can result in publicising the diff that you want hidden.
If you believe that it's so serious it needs oversight, how would you request that?

Either email an overnighter or request it at the !oversight channel of IRC. (I'm sorry if I didnt use the correct terminology for IRC, I'm not super familiar with it.)

Β Y Yes - best is to go on the revdel IRC and just write '!oversight'. If an oversighter is around, you can ask them to pm (private message you) and you can present the diff. Don't post a diff that you think needs oversight anywhere on Wiki, and generally don't post it on the revdel IRC channel until you're in touch with an oversighter (although, if noone else is around, a regular admin might be willing to review it for you and revdel it until an oversighter can be contacted).

@Girth Summit: OK, I'm done with the questions above. It's no problem you're busy; I understand.Β :) It's always nice to sit back and catch up with the Wikipedias with a nice cuppa. :D Can't wait for the next section! Yours - Puddleglum2.0 Have a talk? 23:30, 15 November 2019 (UTC)

​ Good stuff - all correct. On with the next section... GirthSummit (blether) 12:20, 16 November 2019 (UTC)
  • Disruptive usernames include outright trolling or personal attacks, include profanities or otherwise show a clear intent to disrupt Wikipedia.

Please read WP:USERNAME, and pay particular attention to dealing with inappropriate usernames.

Describe the what you would about the following usernames of logged in users (including which of the above it breaches and why). If you need more information before deciding what to do, explain what more you need.

I actually think this is fine; their name might be Bob Gates or something like that.

Β Y Yes, this would be fine, but you might want to check their contribs to see whether they have been editing articles like 'Microsoft' and attempting to imply that they are Bill Gates. If they are, you could report to UAA and note the attempted impersonation in your report; otherwise, leave them alone, as you say there must be lots of people out their for whom this is their actual name.

Reportable for promotional advertising in a username.

Β Y Yes, but remember not to report username like this until the user edits.
G1rth Summ1t

This username should be reported for impersonation.

Β Y Yes - and this you could report before the user edits. Attempts to impersonate other Wikipedians are only every likely to be used for vandalism or trolling - if you see something like this, report it immediately.

This is OK.

Β Y Yes - the 'JoeAt' but makes this OK - however, you might want to investigate their editing, and see whether they have read and complied with WP:COI and WP:PAID. If they're in breach of these, WP:COIN is the place to report.

Unless this user is actually an admin, this should be reported.

Β Y Yes, this should be reported.

This should also be reported for impersonation.

Β Y If you keep up your involvement with counter vandalism, don't be too surprised if you get something like this. User:Girth Summits was created once (and blocked very quickly), and I've reported attempts to impersonate various other editors in the last year or so.

Unless this is a bot, it should be reported.


This should be reported for profanity in the username.

Β Y Yes, this is offensive. If you see usernames containing hate speech, feel free to report without waiting for them to edit; this one is borderline, I think in the past I'd probably have waited for it to edit before reporting, but on the other hand now that I've got the admin tools I'd probably block this on sight without waiting - nothing productive is ever going to come from an account with that name!

I would talk to the user about this name, but I don't think emojis are actually disallowed.

Well, NOEMOJI is a thing, but it's not a blockable offense. You could talk to them, and if they refused to change a discussion at RFCN could force them to change it; personally, I wouldn't bother, I'd leave them to it if they were doing good work.

@Girth Summit: OK, answers above! Puddleglum2.0 Have a talk? 19:41, 16 November 2019 (UTC)

​ Good work above - we've done most of the course now, just a couple of short sections and then we'll discuss rollback. Next one below... GirthSummit (blether) 14:42, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

Dealing with difficult usersEdit

Occasionally, some vandals will not appreciate your good work and try to harass or troll you. In these situations, you must remain calm and ignore them. If they engage in harassment or personal attacks, you should not engage with them and leave a note at WP:ANI. If they vandalise your user page or user talk page, simply remove the vandalism without interacting with them. Please read WP:DENY.

Why do we deny recognition to trolls and vandals?

Because that's exactly the thing they want.

Β Y Exactly - don't feed the trolls, as they saying goes.
How can you tell between a good faith user asking why you reverted their edit, and a troll trying to harass you? (Note - this is not a trick question, but it's not a straightforward one. Have a think about it, make your suggestions, and then we'll have a discussion. There isn't necessarily a clear right answer, but I'd be interested to know the factors you'd consider.)

@Girth Summit: Personally, I would pay attention to how the message is worded. I think the way that the user wrote it will definitely play a big part in deciding if it is Good Faith or not. Take for example the user who messages me about an edit of his I reveted. He wrote multiple long paragraphs about why his edit was OK, so I definitely think that that is one way to tell, but it obviously can't be the only way because most GF editors probably won't be writing mini-essays. Because of this, I think that there are two major things to take into consideration: 1) how the message is worded and 2) the language the user uses. I think if the user is using crude language and bad stuff like that, it becomes obvious that they are just there to harass. Puddleglum2.0 Have a talk? 16:27, 17 November 2019 (UTC)

Β Y You'd think that politeness versus rudeness would be a good way of judging, but it isn't very reliable. Some good faith editors get extremely cross when they're reverted, and may come across as very rude on your talk page; that doesn't mean that they're vandals, it just means they're grumpy. The thing to do is go back and have another look at the edit - is it possible that you made a mistake? Then look at the user's contribs - are they a vandal come to jerk your chain, or does it look like a good editor who maybe slipped up? There's no right or wrong here, use your best judgement, but don't rely on politeness as a guide. If you are convinced they are a vandal, revert, warn and ignore; if you think they're a good-faith editor, then regardless of how rude they have been, try to engage with them courteously. 9 times out of 10 they'll calm down and apologise for any rudeness - if they continue to harass you though, you can always reach out for help to me (or any admin), or at ANI if necessary.
​ OK, last section before we talk about rollback... GirthSummit (blether) 16:35, 17 November 2019 (UTC)


I hope this never happens, but as you participate in counter-vandalism on Wikipedia, it is possible that you may come across a threat of physical harm. In the past, we have had vandals submit death threats in Wikipedia articles, as well as possible suicide notes. The problem is, Wikipedia editors don't have the proper training to evaluate whether these threats are credible in most cases.

Fortunately, there's a guideline for cases like this. Please read Wikipedia:Responding to threats of harm carefully and respond to the questions below.

Who should you contact when you encounter a threat of harm on Wikipedia? What details should you include in your message?

First email with links to relevant diffs and the page where the threat is found, and then request oversight on IRC. It is important not to bring it up in publicly visible areas.

What should you do if an edit looks like a threat of harm, but you suspect it may just be an empty threat (i.e. someone joking around)?

Same thing as above, maybe specify in the email that you only think it is a threat of harm.

@Girth Summit: OK, answers above. Puddleglum2.0 Have a talk? 03:58, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Β Y Yep - anything along these lines, either a threat of harm or of self-harm, report to Emergencies. GirthSummit (blether) 18:35, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

OK Puddleglum2.0, the course is just about complete. Just two things remain - a rollback application (which is optional - you don't need to apply for rollback to pass this course), and the final exam. If you still want to apply for rollback rights, please review the section below and respond - once that's done, I'll support your request at PERM. Should you decide that you're no longer interested in rollback, let me know and we can skip this bit and go straight to the exam. GirthSummit (blether) 18:39, 18 November 2019 (UTC)


In light of your recent contributions, I expect that if you apply for the rollback permission at Wikipedia:Requests for permissions/Rollback, another administrator would be happy to enable it on your account, but first we should demonstrate that you understand what the tool is, and the responsibilities that go along with it.

The rollback user right allows trusted and experienced counter vandalism operatives to revert vandalism with the click of one button, not unlike the "rollback" button that you've already been using in Twinkle. This would give you a new rollback button in addition to the three you've been seeing in Twinkle. The new rollback button is slightly faster than the Twinkle rollback button, but more importantly, having the rollback right gives you access to downloadable counter-vandalism software like Huggle and Stiki.

If you're interested, take a look at our rollback guideline at WP:Rollback and feel free to answer the questions below. The rollback right is not an essential part of this course, so if you're not interested, feel free to say so and we'll skip this section.

Describe when the rollback button may be used and when it may not be used.

The rollback button should only be used in cases of obvious, blatant vandalism. It should not be used to revert good faith edits.

Yes - only blatant vandalism. If in doubt, leave an edit summary.
Hopefully this will never happen, but it does occasionally. If you accidentally use rollback, what should you do?

Self-revert (without rollback) and explain why in the edit summary.

Yes, that's an option. Alternatively, you could leave the revert, but add a dummy edit with an edit summary explaining the previous revert.
Should you use rollback if you want to leave an edit summary?


Correct. There are some scripts you can install which give you the option to Rollback with an edit summary - but I'd just use Twinkle if I wanted to do that.

@Girth Summit: answers above... Puddleglum2.0 Have a talk? 20:13, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Β Y ​Yep, that'll do. See above for a few extra pointers. So, head over to PERM, and submit an application for Rollback, leaving a link to this training page and pinging me; I'll chime in with a note of support. And now without further ado... your final exam! Take your time, you don't have to do it all at once - just ping me when you're done. GirthSummit (blether) 20:25, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

@Girth Summit: Done. Puddleglum2.0 Have a talk? 20:27, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

@Girth Summit: It doesn't really matter, but how long on average does it take for an admin to get to a rollback request? Thanks- Puddleglum2.0 Have a talk? 20:45, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

No guarantees, but I'd be surprised if it took more than a day or two. GirthSummit (blether) 22:12, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Final ExamEdit

Please read each of the following questions carefully, and ensure that you have responded fully - some of them ask you to expand on what you would do in different situations. When responding to numbered questions please start your response with "#:" (except where shown otherwise - with **). You don't need to worry about signing your answers.

Part 1Edit

For each of these examples, please state whether you would call the edit(s) described as vandalism or good faith edit, a reason for that, and how you would deal with the situation (ensuring you answer the questions where applicable).
  1. A user inserts 'ektgbi0hjndf98' into an article, having never edited before. Would you treat it differently if they had done the same thing once before?
    I would give test edit warnings the first 3 times, level 4 final warning the last time, and then if they did it one more time report to AIV.
    Β Y
  2. A user adds their signature to an article after once being given a {{Uw-articlesig}} warning. What would you the next time they did it? What about if they kept doing it after that?
    I would give them a level 2 polite warning, then try and talk to them, if they don't stop I would bring it to ANI.
    Β Y
  3. A user adds 'John Smith is the best!' into an article. What would you do the first time? What about if they kept doing it after that?
    If it were in a article about John Smith, I would give some test edit warnings, but if they didn't stop I would bring them to AIV. If it weren't in a John Smith article, I would give vandalism warnings and bring them to AIV sooner.
    Β Y
  4. A user adds 'I can edit this' into an article. The first time, and times after that?
    1-3 test edit warnings, then a level 4 vandal warning, then AIV time.
    Β Y
  5. A user removes sourced information from an article, with the summary 'this is wrong'. First time, and after that? What would be different if the user has a history of positive contributions compared with a history of disruptive contributions?
    With good contribs, I would start a thread with them about blanking, but if they didn't stop then I would issue warnings and eventually take them to AIV. With bad contribs, I would go straight to warnings and AIV.
    Β Y I'll give you this one, but be careful - remember, with blanking, to check the sources yourself, especially where it concerns a BLP. Do the sources actually source the assertion? Are they reliable? An IP popping up to remove content from a BLP may be a vandal, or they may be the subject of an article trying to whitewash it - but a may be a good faith user with genuine concerns about false or biased content, who doesn't know how to go about raising their concerns properly. GirthSummit (blether) 07:37, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

Part 2Edit

Which templates warning would give an editor in the following scenarios. If you don't believe a template warning is appropriate outline the steps (for example what you would say) you would take instead.
  1. A user blanks Cheesecake.
    Β Y
  2. A user trips edit filter for trying to put curse words on Derek Jeter.
    Β Y
  3. A user trips edit summary filter for repeating characters on Denis Menchov.
    Β Y
  4. A user puts "CHRIS IS GAY!" on Atlanta Airport.
    Β Y
  5. A user section blanks without a reason on David Newhan.
    Β Y
  6. A user adds random characters to Megan Fox.
    Β Y
  7. A user adds 'Tim is really great' to Great Britain.
    Β Y
  8. A user adds 'and he has been arrested' to Tim Henman.
    UW-biog, since it is a BLP.
    Β Y
  9. A user blanks Personal computer, for the fifth time, they have had no warnings or messages from other users.
    Β Y
  10. A user blanks Personal computer, for the fifth time, they have had four warnings including a level 4 warning.
    Right to AIV they go.
    Β Y
  11. A user blanks your userpage and replaced it with 'I hate this user' (you have had a number of problems with this user in the past).
    Β Y
  12. A user adds File:Example.jpg to Taoism.
    Β Y

Part 3Edit

What CSD tag you would put on the following articles? (The content below represents the entire content of the article).
  1. Check out my Twitter page (link to Twitter page)!
    Β Y
  2. Josh Marcus is the coolest kid in London.
    Β Y Probably A7 is closer to the mark here, but you're right that since there are probably a few people called Josh Marcus in London, A1 would probably apply too.
  3. Joe goes to [[England]] and comes homeΒ !
    Β Y
  4. A Smadoodle is an animal that changes colors with its temper.
    A11? Not quite sure, it might be G1... I'm going to go with A11.
    Β Y A11 is close enough, but really this is a G3 blatant hoax. The difference is that G3 is for blatant misinformation, whereas A11 is for ideas that the author has invented, and which clearly have no notability. So, for example, if I wrote an article about a new genre of fiction that I had invented, or about a fictional character that I had written about in a self-published novel, A11 would apply. In this case, if the article's creator was claiming that the Smadoodle was a mythical creature, A11 would be right since it would be a mythical creature of their own invention; since the article seems to be suggesting that it actually exists, then G3 is slightly more appropriate. Either option would get the article deleted though, so I'm happy to accept this answer.
  5. Fuck Wiki!
    Obvious G3.
    Β Y Yup.

Part 4Edit

Are the following new (logged in) usernames violations of the username policy? Describe why or why not and what you would do about it (if they are a breach).
  1. TheMainStreetBand
    Um, I mean, if they aren't editing their band article or saying bad things about other bands, it's fine... Otherwise I would bring it to UAA.
    Β Y So, the question asks whether this is a violation of policy, and it is - it appears to represent a group, and so falls foul of ORGNAME, and ISU. As to whether to report, or discuss, I think your assessment is more or less correct - if they were editing about their band, or other associated bands, I would report this; if they were just doing regular editing, I would start a conversation with them, and give them links to UPOL and UNC.
  2. Fartypants
    If they do bad editing, I would report to UAA, otherwise I would probably talk to them about possibly changing their username.
    Β Y So, this is vaguely offensive, but probably not enough to warrant a block. If they were doing good editing, I'd leave them alone; if, on the other hand, they were vandalising, a note to AIV would be more appropriate, with a comment that their username doesn't inspire confidence that they are HERE for the right reasons. A report to UAA for this account name would probably be declined.
  3. Brian's Bot
    Straight to UAA if the user isn't a bot.
    Β Y
  4. sdadfsgadgadjhm,hj,jh,jhlhjlkfjkghkfuhlkhj
    I would discuss their name, I they didn't respond, I would report them to UAA.
    Β Y Yes - this is disruptively confusing, so fails UNCONF. I agree with talking to them about it first, but WP:RFCN might be a better venue than WP:UAA if they refused to change.
  5. WikiAdmin
    Directly to UAA.
    Β Y Yep.
  6. 12:12, 23 June 2012
    Um, I think I would take them to WP:RFCN
    Β Y
  7. PMiller
    Its fine.
    Β Y
  8. OfficialJustinBieber
    Bring them to UAA for impersonation.
    Β Y Yes - this account would be blocked until the user had demonstrated to an OTRS agent's satisfaction that they genuinely were the celebrity in question.

Part 5Edit

Answer the following questions based on your theory knowledge gained during your instruction.
  1. Can you get in an edit war while reverting vandalism (which may or may not be obvious)?
    Yes, with the 3RR rule. This can get really sketchy when reverting non-obvious vandalism.
    Β Y Yes - be careful. WP:3RRNO provides explicit exceptions to the 3RR rule, and reverting obvious vandalism is included as an exception, but be careful to stay inside the rules. I've seen experienced patrollers get blocked for getting carried away with reverting, when the edits are potentially good faith. Only go past 3RR if it's clearly vandalism; if you think it's good faith, but otherwise problematic, get more eyes on it via one of the formal venues, e.g. BLPN, FRINGEN, ANEW, etc - or just drop a note on an admin's page and ask them to take a look.
  2. Where and how should vandalism-only accounts be reported?
    AIV, with Twinkle.
    Β Y
  3. Where and how should complex abuse be reported?
    ANI, with Twinkle.
    Β Y
  4. Where and how should blatant username violations be reported?
    UAA, with Twinkle.
    Β Y
  5. Where and how should personal attacks against other editors be reported?
    ANI, with Twinkle.
    Β Y
  6. Where and how should an edit war be reported?
    AN3, after warning the involved parties.
    Β Y
  7. Where and how should ambiguous violations of WP:BLP be reported?
    At BLPN, maybe even at the revdel IRC If it's serious.
    Β Y Β Y Well done for mentioning IRC - if in doubt, say you're not sure and ask for someone to review the diff.

@Girth Summit:, OK, I got it all answered. I was going to do it yesterday, but I decided to read up on relevant policies instead so that I get a better score. Thank you! Puddleglum2.0 Have a talk? 22:20, 19 November 2019 (UTC)

Great work - this is an obvious pass. I've got to dash now, so I'll do the formal notification etc later on today when I have a bit of time, but you have done a very good job of taking all of this on board. Congratulations! GirthSummit (blether) 09:18, 20 November 2019 (UTC)


@Puddleglum2.0:Congratulations from both myself and all of the instructors at the Counter Vandalism Unit Academy, on your successful completion of my CVUA instruction and graduation from the Counter Vandalism Unit Academy. You completed your final exam with 97%. Well done! GirthSummit (blether) 17:40, 20 November 2019 (UTC)

As a graduate you are entitled to display the following userbox (make sure you replace your enrollee userbox) as well as the graduation message posted on your talk page (this can be treated the same as a barnstar).
{{User CVUA|graduate}}:

Β This user is a Counter-Vandalism Unit Academy graduate.

@Girth Summit: Thank you SO much for taking me through this course. I learned a lot from it and am really grateful for your training. Thanks, - Puddleglum2.0 Have a talk? 19:56, 20 November 2019 (UTC)