Wikipedia talk:Removing warnings

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These are some issues we need to sort out. Please help cleanup this Proposal.


Sign under the one you support

Vandalism or AcceptableEdit

(What to call it)

Removing warnings is VandalismEdit

  1. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 06:58, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. Computerjoe's talk 10:14, 17 April 2006 (UTC) I think they should only be removed by a third-party, if it is blatant misgiven.
  3. KillerChihuahua?!? 13:18, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
  4. I generally support this more than the one below (against policy but not vandalism), as I think it is better for them to be removed by a third party. However I am also quite willing to support the next statement as well. Petros471 08:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
    • Comment I don't think removing warnings, by itself, should be regarded as vandalism, however, subsequent article vandalism should treat the previous warning removal as justification to skip a warning level. i.e. A test1 level warning being removed would not justify a vandalism warning, but further vandalism after the removal would skip to a level3. Treating removing warnings as a vandalism act in its own right can lead to situations where an new editor can get blocked for "removing warnings about removing warnings about one minor article mistake", which is a bit harsh, in my view. MartinRe 16:52, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
    MartinRe's comment sounds pretty sensible and a good way around the problem of removing vandalism warnings in themselves being treated as vandalism (if no vandalism was carried out in the first place) but still allows consequences to true vandals removing them. Petros471 19:26, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
    I agree with MartinRe on this especially about Test1. The presumption of calling it test1 is that the user is in fact testing seeing if the wiki really works as described. In so far as that, removing such a message should be fine (and to treat such a removal as vandalism can easily lead to WP:BITE problems). JoshuaZ 05:15, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
    I also like Martin's proposal. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 21:02, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  5. Per. above. Havok (T/C/c) 15:58, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
  6. Users participating in RC patrol often rely on the existence of prior vandalism warnings on the current version of the vandal's talk page to indicate whether and how the vandal should be warned again, or whether the vandal should be listed on Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism. Allowing vandals to hide the warnings in the history of their talk page frustrates countervandalism efforts. Thus, removing legitimate warnings should be considered vandalism. Clearly frivolous warnings -- vandals placing vandalism warnings on the talk pages of the users who reverted their vandalism, for example -- should be continue to be removable on sight. If a warning is of questionable legitimacy but not clearly frivolous, a request should be made for an administrator to remove it. John254 05:01, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
  7. Oh yes. ForestH2 t/c 22:27, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
  8. Definitely. We are lenient enough towards vandals as it is, letting them remove warnings as well would make it only worse. Fram 11:23, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
  9. As long as the warnings aren't out of date, I vote for the stricter rules. Will (Talk - contribs) 09:43, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
  10. Any time! Tiptoety 18:12, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Removing warnings is against policy but not VandalismEdit

  1. SuportVandalism is deliberate. What if you are acknowledging you read the comment or you are too lazy to respond to the comment, or you feel the comment is a personal attack WP:NPA--E-Bod 21:44, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
    Support - there are editors who would never vandalize, but who are willing to remove warnings that they see as spurious or harassing. There's no need to label these editors as vandals, and good reason not to label them so. -GTBacchus(talk) 18:38, 18 April 2006 (UTC) Changed vote; see below. -GTBacchus(talk) 12:16, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support. Vandalism is an edit made in bad faith, and although it is disruptive to Wikipedia and dishonest for users to remove warnings and, for that matter, any legitimate messages from their talk pages, it is often done accidentally and without negative intentions; thus, it is not vandalism. AmiDaniel (Talk) 23:31, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support. I would call it disruptive, but not vandalistic. Unless it is done in a way that is decided to not be against policy, of course, such as through archival, in which case it is neither vandalism nor disruption. –Tifego(t) 01:34, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  4. Other supporters of this view make good points, therefore I don't mind if consensus falls on this view (see also my support above). Petros471 08:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  5. Not vandalism, but not good either. Stifle (talk) 11:48, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  6. As an administrator, it's important for me to see warnings because it gives me some idea whether a user has been warned in the past. Nandesuka 14:24, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  7. Not vandalism, but in poor form if legitimate (warning). - Mailer Diablo 00:50, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
  8. While I agree that this is something a user should be blocked for doing (eventually), I don't think that 'vandalism' is quite the term to describe it. --InShaneee 19:29, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
  9. support, but only if the 3RR is adjusted to allow unlimited reversion of warning deletion in the same fashion that it allows unlimited reversion of vandalism.--Srleffler 22:18, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  10. Support, although I think the user should be allowed to delete or archive it after three days. Invitatious 00:25, 3 July 2006 (UTC)
  11. Support. Definitely against policy, but "vandalism" is just a tad too strong in my opinion. However, multiple knowing and egregious violations of policy amount to vandalism, in effect. If the user keeps doing it it might qualify as vandalism.Herostratus 18:18, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
  12. Support - they should be given the 4 levels of warnings, then banned. Maybe the term "vandalism" isn't the right one, but instead call it "prohibited behaviour" or something. THEY SHOULD STILL BE BANNED FOR DOING IT, however.  Killfest 06:08, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
  13. Support - vandalism doesn't seem to be the right word, but removal of warnings should be prohibited. There should be a mechanism for requesting such a removal from admins in cases of obviously unjustified warnings. --Anonymous44 18:27, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  14. Support--Dark Tichondrias 03:14, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
  15. Support per AmiDaniel. Grand Slam 7 13:18, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Removing warnings is discouraged but not against policyEdit

  1. MartinRe 16:17, 22 April 2006 (UTC) - If removing warnings is regarded as vandalism or against policy, then good editors who receive an unjustified warning (either by accident or in bad faith) are put in an impossible position, leave the warning on their page, taging them as a vandal, or remove the warning, tagging them as a vandal/policy breaker in another way. I don't think vandals removing warnings is a major issue, if I spot someone vandalising an article, the first thing I do is check their contributions to see what other articles they might have attacked, so any edits to their own talk page would become apparent, so their removal of warnings becomes irrelevent. That said, I think it should be discouraged to simply remove warnings, as even good editors should check with the warning giver as to the reasoning. The other editor may agree and retract the warning, or may not (either because of disagreement/unavailablity or bad faith). In those cases, I would not object to the person adding a explaination comment to the warning, leaving for a short while, and then deleting the warning and comment in the same edit. Thus, there are a wide amount of reasons for removing warnings, some of which may be reasonable, some not, that I don't think it would be a good idea to label all removal or warnings as "vandalism" or "against policy", but simply state that it is discouraged. Regards, MartinRe 16:17, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
    Comment See "who can remove warnings" below. These sections are sort of poorly titled -- essentially the above votes were that "Removing warnings except in the way I voted to support below should be against policy." I do agree with you that a user's contributions tell more about his vandalism history than the warnings on his talk page, but I typically only check a user's contribs if I can see on the talk page that the user has vandalised before--if the talk page is blank or almost blank, I assume it's just a new user testing and move right along. Well, that's my two cents. AmiDaniel (Talk) 20:25, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
    Comment None of the "who can remove warnings" seemed to give the owner of the talk page the ability to remove the warnings, hence why I didn't vote there. For reference, my opinion on removing warnings is as follows: "Removing warnings from your own talk page is discouraged. If an explaination to the editor giving the warning doesn't result in the warning being retracted, and you still feel it is unjustified, a reply to the warning on the page with its subsequent removal (warning and explaination together) may be acceptable (but complete archival is preferred). However, removal of valid warnings (especially without explaination) may be taken into account for subsequent warnings and/or blocking actions for continuining vandalism." That basically summerises my take on the matter, first option is ask for the warning to be retracted, second is to archive, third option is to remove it with an explaination, with the proviso that if this is misused it will be held against you. Regards, MartinRe 00:03, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
    Reply Comment The Voting on this page is a mess and will be moved to Wikipedia:Removing warnings poll. You can add a section you want to this page. Also I feel that it is in my opinion it would only benefit a user to remove legitimate clams from their user page because if the claim is not legitimate that user can request a third party to remove it (and they would) or make a comment after it explaining how it has no basis on reality. Finally Any user who checks the history would see it and if you removed it you can't explain why it is illegitimate. Which that user would assume bad faith whereas they would have seen the warning and seen the reason it is illegitimate and then go to the user who posted the warning and leave a message on that users page--E-Bod 01:41, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
    I'd forgotten to mention the third party option, consider that inserted into my comment above between option one and two. I still believe that removing warnings on your own talk page should be discouraged, but not against policy as I've seen too many edit wars over user pages based on removing and re-inserting warnings, creating a revert war over what started as one mistake. Applying a policy of "removing any warnings is vandalism" has the common outcome of increasing tension, not reducing it. If we are to asuume good faith, we should be welcoming at the same time as correcting any initial mistakes, not confrontational. Regards, MartinRe 11:52, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
    Well said. I've been trying to express that so succinctly for a while, and you just did it. -GTBacchus(talk) 12:10, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
    Why I think it is unfair not to be agaist policy Wikipedia_talk:Removing_warnings#Who_removes_warnings.--E-Bod 22:42, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support, per MartinRe. -GTBacchus(talk) 12:16, 23 April 2006 (UTC)
  3. Strongly support, ibidem. Jachin 22:52, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support - Forbidding a user to remove warnings from their page only serves to humiliate and annoy the user. Any 'benefit' in being able to see that the user has been warned before should be handled some other way - I'd suggest putting 'Warning - <whatever>' in the edit summary so that they can be easily spotted in the page history. --CBDunkerson 01:04, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
  5. Zocky | picture popups 18:58, 13 May 2006 (UTC) - removing warnings may be impolite in some circumstances, but there's no reason to obsess about it. Zocky | picture popups 18:58, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
  6. Strong support. If we are even the slightest bit serious about the concept that vandals can become good editors, and we want to encourage this to happen, then permanently stigmatizing users with warnings that they are never allowed to remove is about the worst way to go about it. If someone is irrevocably labeled a vandal, then they are far more likely to continue to act like one. Arbitrary username 22:32, 4 July 2006 (UTC)
  7. Strong support. I've always favored a clean talk page. I don't think people find the information interesting or of benefit the talk that occured months ago. Admins can see with the tools that they have how many times a person has violated policy so keeping them on the page is not completely necessary. Of course, it is probably a good idea to enforce keeping warnings short term so that if there are continued abuses, they can be tracked. Ultimately, people will get into legitimate disputes, people may through out accusations, you may end up arguing with a person. Because a person inserts a "stop" warning or an accusation of "vandalism" does not necessarily mean that the person was engaged in those activies. In the end, the use of warnings is to ensure that people are not simply placing POV edits, or engaging in vandalism per the policy. This is adequately done with the tracking of past violations. Short-term wise, it is good idea to keep warnings on the page and then allow for the page to be cleaned up by the user. My personal preference is for a clean talk page--I prefer replying to inquiries and then deleting comments in a week or so. ED MD 23:34, 6 July 2006 (UTC)
  8. If you want to count noses, I fall in this section. It's not (generally) vandalism, and isn't against policy when done in good faith. However there are reasonable expectations regarding warnings and active "conversations" on talk pages, and something akin to that would be the guideline I would expect to be followed. -- nae'blis 04:08, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
  9. Support If the editor who recieved the warning is of good standing in the Wikipedia community, it should be acceptable to remove the vandalism tag; very often good editors recieve vandal tags from less experienced Wikipedians - in this case, it should be acceptable to not only remove the tag but to pursue the action on the tag-poster's Talk Page (i.e. ask them why they did it.) Anthony 13:08, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
  10. Support These warnings are often made just as harassment or trolling. I've seen numerous cases where established editors or admins were sent vandalism warning templates because of a content dispute, or where an editor who has a massive block log for personal attacks (and whom the arbitration committee has just voted to ban for a year) used to send these templates to people who had calmly criticized editors who had been rude, who had used sockpuppets, or who had vandalized. AnnH 21:18, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

Removing warnings is GreatEdit

  1. Support if the warning in question is no longer relevant. People make mistakes and people can change, and I don't think Talk pages should serve as archives of people's past misdemeanours. I don't think any formalised processes around removing such warnings should be used either. If someone removes a warning to which they haven't responded to (e.g. by apologising), then appropriate actions include placing the warning back, placing a new warning, or using the mediation/arbitration procedure. None of these require any new processes. But if its old or no longer relevant, people should be free to just delete it. It will still be in their history anyhow.... --SJK 09:01, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
  2. oppose: They should simply have it archived if it is out of date, but other than that it should not be removed. Tiptoety 17:58, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Who can remove WarningsEdit

Your commentsEdit

You should Strike Inappropriate CommentsEdit

You should Strike your own Comments with <s>Strike</s> If you left them by mistake and you should comment below other peoples bad comments and explain why they are ill given and ask the person who left the comment to strike it themselves and only strike that person’s comments if they don’t respond after a day. Leaving a bad comment up strike-d will prevent new people from mistakenly giving that warning again.00:10, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

  1. support--E-Bod 00:10, 7 June 2006 (UTC)--
  2. support Havok (T/C/c) 15:59, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support--Grand Slam 7 13:21, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
You can remove your own commentsEdit
  1. (support)--E-Bod 23:27, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
    can remove But Should Strike--E-Bod 00:10, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support in general, although not in all cases. –Tifego(t) 01:37, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
    Certainly it would be ridiculous if editors were not allowed to change or remove parts of their own messages. Imagine if you were to accidentally leave something stupid or inapplicable at the end of a comment, and get accused of violating policy when trying to remove it. Breaking it down into "can remove" and "can't remove" can't possibly result in any meaningful policy for one's own edits. I do think that strikeout should be used instead of removal in most cases if somebody else has already replied to your comment. –Tifego(t) 03:36, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
  3. Basically what Tifego said. Also, we should be happy when someone makes a personal attack or an uncivil comment and then removes it. It isn't good that they made the comment but its a good sign in general. I've seen at least one user go through the process of being highly combative, then starting to remove their combative comments a few minutes after they made them and is now a generally civil editorJoshuaZ 05:18, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
  4. Sure, if the warning cause doesn't apply now, the person giving the warning can withdraw it. Stifle (talk) 14:31, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  5. Sure, if you place a warning, you can reverse it (e.g. if you found you made a mistake.)--Srleffler 22:19, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
    I Strike out my warnings if i fell i made a mistake. However i leave the warning up so others don't make the same mistake ether. Whenever i see a warning (on another user's page) that should not have been given i immeditly leave a comment under the warning and explain why it was inappropriate and then go the the person to leave the warning and explain why it was wrong and have them Strike the warning themselves. --E-Bod 00:10, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
  6. It's your edit. Why wouldn't you be able to retract it? -- nae'blis 04:10, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Every comment should be archivedEdit
  1. I generally follow this policy on my talk page, but I think there are exceptions, and whilst I would encourage other people to keep everything except for the most blatant of personal attacks/vandalism I don't think this should be policy. Petros471 08:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
      • Ps I meant this catigory to be Every comment should be archived even if you want to remove the comment you made. (I can't Re-tilte the section becsoe sombody alrady voted under it.)--E-Bod 20:07, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
Not sure I know what you mean by 'even if you want to remove the comment you made'. What I meant by my comment above was that I generally keep everything (including things like this but I wouldn't want to force everyone to follow the same policy (i.e. I think people should be entitled to remove those sort of comments if they want to). Removal of vandal warnings (of the test/bv variety) should generally be done by a respected third party (such as an admin) as covered by other sections in this page. Petros471 19:35, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
  1. Personal policy. - Mailer Diablo

Personal attacksEdit

can be removedEdit
  1. Support, although I would discourage it (don't feed the trolls!) AmiDaniel (Talk) 23:34, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support, I think it depends on the user. I.e. if you are deeply offended by comments made on your talk page that a clearly made in bad faith (I mean the most obvious 'you suck ****' type comments) then I think it is ok to remove them. Petros471 08:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  3. per WP:RPA SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 03:21, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support Personal attacks are usually very offensive in nature. If you are offended by them, it is likely that other users reading them in your talk pages would also be offended or view the affected user in a different light. --Siva1979Talk to me 20:40, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support--Dark Tichondrias 03:18, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
  6. Support, especially when they're on your own talk page. AnnH 21:21, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
  7. Supportper Siva1979, but if they aren't obviously personal attacks, I think one should leave them for a third party to remove.--Grand Slam 7 13:26, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
Third partyEdit
  1. (support)--E-Bod 23:27, 17 April 2006 (UTC). PS Nobody can Dephine "clearly made in bad faith" about themselves (or a coment about themselves). Only a a third party can really be NPOV--E-Bod 20:04, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. (support) Petros471 08:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  3. support, WP:RPA SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 03:21, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
  4. This is OK too, but not self-removal because people will start removing anything they don't want to see. Stifle (talk) 14:33, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
Archive themEdit
  1. (don't object)--E-Bod 23:27, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. Up to talk page owner. Petros471 08:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  3. Don't object, if you wnat. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 03:22, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
  4. If you want. Stifle (talk) 14:32, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  5. I strike them, put a note next to it, but still archive. If someone else removes it for me, I leave it be. - Mailer Diablo 00:52, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
  6. supportTiptoety 17:59, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Your talk page is yoursEdit

You can do whatever you want to your talk pageEdit
  1. Absolutely. Any other vote is, at best, authoritarianism disguised as subjective civility. --MateoP 16:23, 1 June 2006 (UTC)
  2. Bullying should be deprecated, not enshrined in the rules. Grace Note 00:38, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
no you can'tEdit
  1. (suport)--E-Bod 23:27, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. SupportTifego(t) 01:39, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  3. Strongly support, I've heard people say 'but it's my talk page I can do what I want with it' more times than I care to count. In every singles case there was very good reason for them to not do whatever they want with it (removing warnings given to a blatant vandal being the most obvious, but not limited to that) Petros471 08:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  4. No you can't. Removing warnings being the biggest thing, but also using talk pages as adverts, attacks, etc. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 03:22, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support. Of course you can't do "anything you want" with it. Wikipedia is not a free web host. GTBacchus(talk) 04:12, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
  6. Support Talk pages are for communication and providing a useful record of that communication. Editing of one's own talk page is therefore limited. In fact, I would argue that one has in general more leeway on other people's talk pages because there it is more likely that one is neutral or not as involved. JoshuaZ 05:20, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
  7. Agree with JoshuaZ. Stifle (talk) 14:35, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  8. Support. - Mailer Diablo 00:53, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
  9. Support --InShaneee 19:30, 23 May 2006 (UTC)
  10. --Srleffler 22:20, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  11. Support Talk pages are vital in the sense that it allows users to analyze your behaviour towards other users. It also serves as an important and usful record of your interaction with other users. --Siva1979Talk to me 20:42, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
  12. Support Havok (T/C/c) 16:00, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
  13. Support. --Anonymous44 18:30, 29 July 2006 (UTC)
  14. Support--Dark Tichondrias 03:16, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
  15. Support per JoshuaZ.--Grand Slam 7 13:32, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
  16. Support.--Tiptoety 18:13, 13 September 2007 (UTC)


Can remove warningsEdit

#Support--E-Bod 23:27, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

  1. Support with 'when reasoning is solid' (see below). Petros471 08:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support Only from others pages and only when uninvolved, but in principal yes they can remove them. JoshuaZ 05:21, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support Per JoshuaZ. KillerChihuahua?!? 10:20, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support, from their own talk pages, once they've read them (like any other editor who receives an unwanted message), and from those of others, if they feel the warnings are invalid (like any other third party). 3RR should be respected, though of course it's not usually enforced against non-vandal users removing things from their own pages. AnnH 21:22, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
Should archive warnings no matter how illgivenEdit

#(Don't Object to)--E-Bod 23:27, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

May Remove Warnings Only When the Reasoning is SolidEdit
  1. Support Admins are not above the law, and if an admin vanadlizes an article or violates 3RR, there is just as much reason for others to know that as when a user does these things. Thus, I believe Admins may only remove warnings when they are clearly ilegitimate and inapproptiate (though I would even discourage them in that case). AmiDaniel (Talk) 23:30, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support but this should also apply exactly the same to other non-admins. –Tifego(t) 01:41, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
    Support (I Am Assuming an Admin would do as the section sugests, however i would Trust an admin to Define "Reasoning is Solid" than a reandome user) --E-Bod 23:27, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support as above. Petros471 08:15, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
  4. support Only when warning is invalid. As per Tifego about others. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 03:23, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support - but I don't subscribe to the rhetoric about admins "not being above the law" because it implies that Wikipedia has "law", and I repudiate a legalistic understanding of a Wiki. It's common sense that anyone is "allowed" to do anything that makes sense, in its own context, "when the reasoning is solid", whatever policy may say about it. -GTBacchus(talk) 19:03, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
  6. Support But per GTBachuss and obviously people should only make edits where the reasoning is solid. JoshuaZ 05:23, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
  7. Support, although annotating them to say that this warning is not endorsed by Wikipedia policies would be reasonable too. Stifle (talk) 14:38, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  8. Support Havok (T/C/c) 16:00, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
Same as anybody elseEdit
  1. Support I used to think administrators were selected somehow that meant they are far less likely to violate any policy or understand policy better. Now I realize that admin are just user with tools and I have seen admins that aren’t omnificent (This blue link is actually red. you can write it!!! LOL) (note I added this section latter so above votes may apply hear to). Now I Believe admins have problems with other users too--E-Bod 04:44, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
  2. Administrators should be held to the same standards as non-admin editors when it comes to warnings. Nandesuka 14:25, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  3. Support. Warnings deemed out of place may be removed by anyone in general. - Mailer Diablo 00:54, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
  4. Obviously. Admins should have no subjective power. They have technical power. They are tools, nothing more.
  5. The comment above says it best. Admins have a package of tools that other users don't have, but are governed by policy the same way as everyone else.--Srleffler 22:22, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  6. Suppport Admins make mistakes and normal users can understand invalid warnings--Dark Tichondrias 03:21, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
  7. I don't quite understand the intent of this section, but if you mean are they allowed to remove warnings on their talk page, then it falls the same as any other editor. -- nae'blis 04:12, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
  8. Support--Grand Slam 7 13:36, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Third partyEdit

Archive onlyEdit
  1. Support. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 03:23, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
    I'm confused as to how you could agree with my above post that non-admins should also be able to remove warnings if they have solid reasoning for doing it, yet vote here that they should only be able to archive warnings and not remove them. What does "Third Party" "Archive only" mean anyway? –Tifego(t) 03:44, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
    I think that third parties should be able to remove invalid warnings (i.e. warnings that are blatantly bad faith, i.e. a vandal randomly placing warnings on peoples pages). For all other warnings, it should be archive only. SWATJester Ready Aim Fire! 06:56, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support With interpretation of Swatjester. JoshuaZ 05:23, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
remove warningsEdit
  1. (support)--E-Bod 23:27, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. Independent third parties (not sockpuppets) should be able to remove warnings that appear to be invalid.--Srleffler 22:25, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  3. Yes, if they feel that such warnings are just harassment or trolling. AnnH 21:26, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support per Srleffler.--Grand Slam 7 13:38, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Another issueEdit

Special cases: People with a history of multiple warningsEdit

Absolutely can't remove warningsEdit
  1. (support)--E-Bod 23:40, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. Support. 1 year statute of limitations. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 03:24, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
  3. If the user in question has been blocked in the past, they need to keep all their warnings for at least a set period of time (6 months?). -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 21:04, 24 May 2006 (UTC)
  4. absolutely. People with a history of warnings who remove warnings from their page should be immediately blocked as if they had just vandalized a page (i.e. a short block for a first offense). An exception would be for archiving a talk page with lots of discussion on it, especially if the warnings are old and much discussion has been added since then.--Srleffler 22:27, 6 June 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support Havok (T/C/c) 16:01, 27 June 2006 (UTC)
  6. strong support FearÉIREANN \(caint) 19:42, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Same rule for everyone - don't pick on people because of past problemsEdit
  1. Stifle (talk) 14:40, 10 May 2006 (UTC)
  2. Assume good faith. - Mailer Diablo 00:55, 13 May 2006 (UTC)
  3. True, maintaing good faith is vital here. Some users have been known to change completely from a consistent vandal to an excellent contributor to Wikipedia. --Siva1979Talk to me 20:45, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
  4. Support Picking on user's past problems does not mean they do not have the current ability to know the policy.--Dark Tichondrias 03:23, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
  5. Support but it should not be allowed for anyone in my opinion, so it doesn't really matter whether they were just blocked or not.--Grand Slam 7 13:41, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
What constitutes a history of multiple warnings? As it's stated, I could only support this if I also supported that warnings must absolutely not be removed regardless of whether there's a history of multiple warnings, in which case it's not much of a special case. –Tifego(t) 06:50, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
Complicated and varies according to case. For example, what if someone has a history of warnings but its really clear that the warning they were given isn't valid? (Say a vandal puts an NPA warning on their page after the user asked the vandal to stop vandalizing). Also the type of warning might matter. Someone who had a history of NPA problems might be reasonably able to remove an MOS warning(in general I think of MOS warnings as a lower level than most other warnings). I don't feel comfortable making any blanket statements about this sort of case. JoshuaZ 05:26, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
What I meant was history of multiple warnings from Multiple People. What I mean by this section is that if we end up deciding that we want let all users remove warnings so that if it truly is a bad warning one can remove it. I think that some people should have that right revoked if they have removed warnings multiple times from multiple people, because I feel that it is Offensive to the person leaving the warning to remove it and not address the issue the warning was left about. Because I feel people don’t want to leave warnings on other people’s pages. We Don’t enjoy telling people to fallow policy and when leaving a negative comment we do worry if the comment will be taken wrong and if we fell the issue we commented on was so important that we needed to leave a negative comment on the page then that person should bother to respond. Many users could be to shy to leave a comments. If Somebody has been warned about an issue several times it is easier to warn them again. If somebody is so destructive that they need to be blocked or receive a stern warning it is a lot more comforting to know you aren’t the only one disagreeing with that user’s actions. It’s annoying when somebody else won’t even bother to leave a response to your comment.--E-Bod 20:17, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

Comments and other discussionEdit

I Don't object strongly to calling it vandalism but i know times whare non vandals remove warnings--E-Bod 23:31, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Your commentsEdit

You can remove your comments or Every comment should be archived. I meant this category to be Every comment should be archived even if you want to remove the comment you made. (I can't Re-titled the section because somebody already voted under it.)

Can the People who Expressed that one Should sometimes not be allowed to remove a comment they made that they want to retract expand on that. I Understand that in cases were it would break the conversation up to remove a comment is bad and make other comments out of place, but If somebody makes an offensive comment I think that person should be able to apologize. Some people commented that their are cases that you shouldn’t be allowed to change your comment. I think if you change your comment you should resign it (keep both signatures) and say why you changed it like


  • Your a bastard because you keep removing my comment’s without reading them--E-Bod 20:18, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
    • Wahhh. you hurt my feelings [joe]


  • Please stop removing my comment’s without reading them. It is very destructive--E-Bod 20:18, 20 April 2006 (UTC) Re edited (sorry for the Personal attak)--E-Bod 20:18, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
    • Wahhh. you hurt my feelings [joe]

Is this the case you were talking about. I don't agree with this but i could understand how somebody would want the original comment to remain their so all users know I made a bad comment and so the comment will linker there to ruin my reputation of keeping cool--E-Bod 20:18, 20 April 2006 (UTC)--E-Bod 20:21, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

That violates the rule on "making things go out of context". SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 03:20, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Old TalkEdit

Wikipedia talk:Vandalism Talks about this in several places. We should move that talk hear and sort it.

Lets sort out talk page policy once and for allEdit

I see frequent inquiries regading vandalism on talk pages. And I see general consensus that removing parts of talk pages is vandalism if the content removed was not personal attack. Do I see that right? If I do, lets add this to list: [1]. I propose this paragraph to be added:

Talk page vandalism
Deleting other user's comment or deleting the whole section of talk page. Exceptions are deleting the section to put it to archive and removing a personal attacks.
User:talk should be excepted. A user should be able to modify their own talk pages in any way they wish. Wjhonson 16:17, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

Another acceptable way of including this policy is just to modify this paragraph:

Changing people's comments
Editing signed comments by another user to substantially change their meaning (e.g. turning someone's vote around), except when removing a personal attack (which is somewhat controversial in and of itself). Signifying that a comment is unsigned is an exception. e.g. (unsigned comment from user)

into this:

Changing or deleting people's comments
Editing signed comments by another user to substantially change their meaning (e.g. turning someone's vote around) or even deleting the comment completely, except when removing a personal attack (which is somewhat controversial in and of itself). Signifying that a comment is unsigned is an exception. e.g. (unsigned comment from user)

Comments? Anybody think's this is a bad idea? --Dijxtra 11:54, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

  • I have removed the "Talk page vandalism" section since it does not accord with Wikipedia consensus or practice. Many users, including admins and at least two arbitrators, routinely remove comments from their Talk pages, and advertise this. See User talk:Neutrality for an example: "I archive when I feel like it. Depending on my whim, your comments may or may not be archived. The odds of not being archived are inversely proportional to the amount you annoy me. Please do not annoy me." Until now, no one has ever suggested that this was improper. If you would like to change that policy, I suggest you seek a broader consensus first. Crotalus horridus (TALKCONTRIBS) 13:03, 6 January 2006 (UTC)
    • On second thought, I think we should keep a section on vandalizing Talk pages in general, but make it clear that this only applies to article talk, not to the user's own Talk page. I have rewritten as below:
Talk page vandalism
Deleting the comments of other users from article Talk pages, or deleting entire sections thereof, is generally considered vandalism. Removing personal attacks is often considered legitimate, and it is considered acceptable to archive an overly long Talk page to a separate file and then remove the text from the main Talk page. The above does not apply to the user's own Talk page, where users generally are permitted to remove outside comments at their discretion.

Crotalus horridus (TALKCONTRIBS) 13:09, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I am being warned by KillerChihuahua against modifying my OWN user talk page! This is ridiculous. People modify their own user talk pages all the time. At least in my opinion they do. Now I'm being harassed by Baha'is and they are using the vandalism section to attack me because I'm fixing their articles to be npov. This is getting out-of-hand, I need intervention to stop this. What can I do? Wjhonson 16:14, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

1) I replied to you with several options and an offer of help on my talk page. 2) Removing warnings is vandalism per current policy. Feel free to attempt to change policy if you wish: that is usually a long and winding road, especially for this. It is to prevent vandals from removing warnings with the subsequent result that other editors and Admins AGF looong after it is reasonable to do so. On the other hand, if the warnings are without merit, Admins generally ignore them and watch the warners rather than the warned, so either way it helps. KillerChihuahua?!? 16:38, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
The warnings are without merit in the sense that people make mistakes. I don't feel like I should carry around these warnings for the rest of my life. And it doesn't appear that everyone is in agreement on the ability to blank user talk pages. Those things you reposted are mostly due to attacks by Baha'is because I'm adding details to their propaganda articles to make them npov. But at any rate, even arbitrators remove things from their own user talk pages. Wjhonson 16:43, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

User:talk pagesEdit

Users should be able to remove any comment from their user:talk pages that was not put there by an admin. If a cadre of crazy people decide to target you with a smear campaign, you should not have to meekly put up with it.Wjhonson 00:21, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Users should not be accused of vandalism for modifying their own user:talk pages for any reason whatsoever, short of an official warning from an admin. Wjhonson 00:21, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Removing warnings is currently vandalism. If someone makes a false accusation, that is also vandalism, and there are methods to deal with that. KillerChihuahua?!? 00:23, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
clarifying: I meant in a case of clear NPA, not a disputed warning. KillerChihuahua?!? 00:24, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
This is a discussion. What is the current interpretation is not the issue. Rather the issue is what should the policy be, not what it is or might be. To allow any group of users to tag another user for abuse simply because "that's the policy" isn't a sound argument. A more workable solution would be that only admins can give warnings or that a user can remove a warning provided it's not from an admin. Wjhonson 00:30, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
An equally workable solution would be to make deletion of any comment vandalism, provided the comment wasn't vandalous to begin with. This would force users to keep a record of their past, which has several advantages.
And just so you know, Admins don't dictate policy; they are just editors with a few extra abilities. They are janitors, not infallible editors. -- Ec5618 00:41, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Absolutely right; there is not, nor should there be, a distinction between a warning placed by a non-admin and an admin. KillerChihuahua?!? 00:46, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Admins however have some exposure and reputation. Imagine that a group of anonymous persons have targeted you, and decide to post fifty warnings to your user:talk page? You're going to argue that they should be allowed to and the user can't do anything about it? A warning should be able to be removed in some fashion. My proposal is by the user themselves. But simply putting your head in the snd and saying this doesn't happen ignores the fact that it does. Wjhonson 01:04, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
You are new here, and possibly don't realise that should a group of people start harassing you in such a fashion, there are a number of other policies and procedures which would rectify that situation. Please read the links in your Welcome message, and familiarize yourself with policies and guidelines, before criticising them wholesale (and inaccurately.) KillerChihuahua?!? 01:11, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm not new. I have just not, before today, needed to learn all these new *policies*. And aren't we supposed to be reaching a consensus before we go editing the "official policy" page ? At least that's what I thought we were trying to do *here*. Wjhonson 01:13, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Edit and add, "policies that seem to fluctuate with whoever wants to try to interpret them". My interpretation doesn't match yours. Does this mean you are correct and I'm wrong? I'd like to hear from the original author, and I've posted to his User:talk page to ask him to join this conversation.Wjhonson 01:15, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
My goodness, you're not new. You have 1363 edits. Why the heck are you being so disruptive? KillerChihuahua?!? 01:16, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Correcting errors is not disruptive. It is instructive. This discussion is so that we can reach a consensus. What is the point of revert wars ? The policy should stay as it is *until* a consensus is reached. Wjhonson 01:18, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Reverting a policy page over and over again due to "lack of consensus" when there are only two people in the discussion is not only disruptive, but a violation of WP:3RR, as it appears you've already been blocked for. For the record, I side with KillerChihuahua on this one. User warnings would have absolutely no teeth if people could just revert them and undo the warning. Mo0[talk] 06:16, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
For what it's worth, I also agree with KillerChihuahua. --Ashenai 14:55, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
While I appreciate the support, I was merely stating policy. My opinion is that it is a good policy, true, but I wish it to be clear that this is indeed policy. KillerChihuahua?!? 15:56, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Ah my friend but what you failed to note, is that I was reverting *changes* that were made without a consensus, *back* to what the page said, *before* this discussion started. Therefore, the onus of change is on the person making the changes. Let me quote "before changing this page make sure you have a consensus." I suppose there is some argument now, that certain people can do this and other's cannot? This is not a logical position. If anyone can make changes without a consensus and face no *spank patrol* then what is the point of trying to arrive at a consensus? Should not the burden of consensus-proof be on the person proposing the changes and not on the person removing the changes? Thanks. Wjhonson 00:24, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

:::::::All These reverts to the policy is crazy. Anyway I've never experienced this but this seems like an implied rule that doesn’t deserve being stated. If you are vandal and therefore worthy of somebody putting a warning on your page then you wouldn’t care if it was further vandalism to remove the warning. If the person deletes the comment then it is an acknowledgment that they read it. The only reason I can see that removing warnings is harmful is that it prevents others from seeing the warning and putting a stronger warning up. But I feel that argument is pointless because if they bother to vandalize I expect them to delete the comment. When I leave a warning I always check the history assuming a true vandal would delete the warning. Also what if the Person doesn’t want to leave the message on the talk page. I saw somebody on wikpidia revert a revert of vandalism but I felt the person was not a vandal and it is probably a glitch in the system so I left a message on their talk page asking them to delete the message after they read it. They deleted my message. The only problem with that is that i don't know how he would respond to me but I did specify to delete the message in the message so I’m OK with that.--E-Bod 00:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

You don't tell a bank robber not to jaywalk.--E-Bod 00:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

The policy should be to check the history of the talk page before leaving a warning. Not to elevate the warning because they removed it. If they are a vandal elevating the warning means nothing to them, if they aren’t a vandal and in good faith removed the warning then the initial warning made it’s point and is not longer needed.--E-Bod 00:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Don’t give Vandals ideas--E-Bod 00:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I forgot where but it is discouraged to list every possibly of what could be done because it gives the vandals idea when, never the less a vandal wouldn’t read this page. This page should be to tell people how to deal with vandals.--E-Bod 00:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I vote to remove this (self evident rule)/(shouldn’t be a rule) rule. --E-Bod 00:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC) Sory if my fomating is wrong. If it bothers you just bold it and get rid of the special formating and this line--E-Bod 00:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

I am actualy changing my mind now. If you are remving a warning for vandalism then i see calling that vandalism is pointless, however if you are removing a warning from a talk page that is about someting other than vandalism it could be a problem for long talk pages that have other stuff on them. I think we shouldn't call it vandalism but their still should be a rule. But for new talk pages it dosn;t matter if you remove a warning, for longer talk pages it would be a problem. When i disagree with an edit i usualy chack their talk page to see if other peple had the same problem before. If the page is short i wil check the history but for long extablised talk pages i now understand the problem.--E-Bod 04:48, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

For short talk pages removing warnings is not a problem but for long talk pages it is so the rule should stay but not mabe instad of calling it vandalism call it something else--E-Bod 04:48, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Warnings - how long to leave on user talk page?Edit

Another issue is the age of warnings. If a warning must stay, then there must be a clear policy on how *long* it must stay. Forever, is not acceptable in my opinion. Wjhonson 01:26, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Concur. This is not even vague, its just not addressed. Of course one can always archive, but how long should it stay prior to archiving? KillerChihuahua?!? 01:28, 10 February 2006 (UTC)
Suggest a time frame. Since you just complained that I deleted an archived warning from um... 16 months ago. Wjhonson 03:01, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
How about a week. I would think a week of looking at some warning would be a sufficient spanking. I don't any need to archive warnings, but if you do, I don't think you really want them to live forever in the archive do you? Wjhonson 03:03, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Who complained? It was not I. KillerChihuahua?!? 12:36, 11 February 2006 (UTC)
Let me retract "complained" in favor of "reverted". I'm going to go ahead and post "week" as a policy inless there is a "guideline but not policy" page for warning-archiving or whatever. Since no one else seems to want to talk about this here, I suppose they are agnostic about the issue. Wjhonson 00:27, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

First: I didn't revert the removal of one warning two years old, I reverted wholesale blanking of several warnings. When you removed the two-year old warning alone, later, I did nothing. Second: Strongly object to addition to policy without strong support. Silence does not denote consent in this case: silence denotes lack of interest and support in rules creep. That said, I think a week is sufficient as a rule of thumb - and I don't know any Admin who would object to archiving after a week. KillerChihuahua?!? 00:49, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Hmmm you got strong support *before* you made your change? I don't seem to recall that happening. (See discussion above.) Wjhonson 01:32, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
I didn't make a change. KillerChihuahua?!? 15:28, 13 February 2006 (UTC)
  • In no case should it be less than a month. I personally think 3 months is a good number. Or, 1 archive. Some people may not get enough for one archive in 3 months though, so if they don't, then after 3 months they can delete it. OR, move to seperate "warnings page"
  • Six months seems more reasonable, in the event that the warnings escalated to a block. That's about how long it seems to take people to forgive past sins on RFA, anyway. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 21:07, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Blanking of messages on User talk pages should not be considered vandalismEdit

It is unnecessary and counterproductive that some editors on Wikipedia consider that the removal of messages or warnings from user talk pages as vandalism. While such removal is certainly not recomended, and can reasonably be considered antisocial, it is not, and should not be descirbed as, vandalism. Many good-faith editors remove messages from their talk page. Describing this as vandalism merely imputes bad-faith to many editors when this is not the case. JesseW, the juggling janitor 02:40, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

Message removal I can agree should not be considered vandalism, however warnings are another matter. Someone actively removing warnings may be doing so to evade a block (afterall, if the warning is removed and the behavior that earned the warning continues, the next editor/sysop to come along will not see that the editor had been previously warned (at least not without delving into the history of the page; something I suspect few do)). —Locke Coletc 02:51, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
Removing a warning from a talk page is not vandalism. It's problematic, potentially antisocial, and dispreferred, but it is not vandalism. I'm sorry, but I've seem this used to accuse good-faith editors of vandalism too many times. It's not true and it needs to be removed in order to stop people from using it to accuse good faith editors with attitude problems of vandalism. Kelly Martin (talk) 03:01, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Kelly. We have a narrow definition of vandalism, and that's a Good Thing. "Removing warnings" should be removed from this page. It might not hurt to add somewhere that removing warnings and other messages from one's own talk page is explicitly not considered vandalism. -GTBacchus(talk) 03:45, 9 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm a a little late here, but strongly disagree, especially when dealing with anons. When one is dealing with vandalism it highly useful to know what the user has done in the past, and it is much easier to see this when one has it on their talk page than having to possibly slog through the history. JoshuaZ 20:12, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
I also disagree with removal of warnings, except in the most obvious of cases (e.g. a blatant vandal adding a test4 to an admins page). It would be much better for a third party to remove inappropriate warnings. Petros471 20:17, 15 April 2006 (UTC)
Unfortunately, there is no good reason whatsoever to remove a "VALID" warning from a talk page. unless it's to archive. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 09:29, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
What is and is not considered vandalism is being discussed here. Saying "it's not vandalism" is not a compelling argument to have it removed IMO. With regard to having this abused, scold the editors/sysops abusing it against editors in good standing, don't take it out on the policy. —Locke Coletc 10:47, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

What the hell? Why was this removed from the policy? There doesn't appear to be any consensus that it should be removed. Did I miss some bigger discussion somewhere else? I see 3 people who believe it should be removed, and 3 that believe it should stay. Well, thanks to the removal, RC patrol and user warnings are now useless. It doesn't matter if you warn a vandal multiple times over and over, which are warning signs to the next admin to view that page to be less lenient with that vandal: he/she can just delete the warnings and there's nothing you can do about it. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 09:57, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Great case in point: Shaft121 (talk • contribs • deleted contribs • nuke contribs • logs • filter log • block user • block log), blocked just yesterday, deleted his warnings, they've been reverted back in multiple times. With this change in policy (which, btw, WP:TALK also disagrees with, stating as well that removing warnings is vandalism), I'm now in 3RR violation because I'm no longer reverting simple vandalism. And this vandal gets off scot free, thumbs his nose at the admins, and moves onward. The people who are making a good faith deletion of their warnings will take the appropriate action upon receiving the first warning-deletion warning, be it archiving, leaving it alone, protesting the warning. The true vandals will just blank it anyway. Making warning-deletion ok just gives more power to the vandals, and takes less away from the vandal fighters. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 10:05, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Don't get the wrong impression: I don't think that warnings should stay on there forever. The user should archive them, or, barring that (lets say they don't get much talk page action), then WP:VANDAL or WP:TALK should be updated to include a length of time after which it's acceptable to remove a warning: say, a week, 2 weeks, a month, whatever. But users getting warned and blocked, and then removing the warning less than 24 hours later and saying "haha, can't revert me or I'll give you 3RR" is ludicrous. This whole situation is easily solved by adding a clause in to state that after XXXX length of time you can remove your warning, or, after ANY length of time, you can archive them along with the entire content of your talk page. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 10:21, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't think consensus was reached. A straw poll? Computerjoe's talk 10:09, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I was just about to leave a rant asking why this has disappeared, but it's been fixed now, I've already noticed vandals removing today's warnings and at least one noticed was pointing here asking for the warners to be blocked under 3rr. Tis' fine as it is now - warning messages should not be removed. --Alf melmac 10:22, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

I brought this issue up on WP:VPP a few days ago, but I hadn't examined this talk page, so I assumed consensus had been reached that removing warnings was not vandalism (so I suggested that perhaps it should still be banned via some other policy). So of course I too think that it would be best if removing warnings were still considered vandalism. --TreyHarris 10:36, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Removing warnings don't Vandalize the PolicyEdit

Let's move this Debate to Wikipedia:Removing warnings so we don't keep changing the Policy

This Conversation is taking place on several Locations on this talk page. Anyway whether or not we call removing warnings Vandalism I feel it should not be allowed to pretend they never existed. I Don't care what you call it but If it is a vandal that is removing warnings it doesn't really matter because their Talk page history should be manageable and any warning would also be pernamently in the talk page history. If it is a Good faith editor calling removing warnings shouldn't be called vandalism because they aren't vandals. Mabe we should make a whole new policy page for removing warnings. May by we can call it Wikipedia:Removing warnings. We can then point the templates there. Template:Wr0 Template:Wr Template:Wr2. My problem with people removing warnings is that instead of resonding to the warning they just remove it. If they leave the warning on or archive it then they can just respond to the warning and explain how it is inappropriate. But just removing the warning without an explanation almost Proves that the warning was unjust--E-Bod 16:27, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

(view it at the template page) {{splitsection}} I just found this nice template we can add to this page. However if i am the only one who feels this way then may by somebody else can add the template--E-Bod 16:47, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Acually I just realized it is already Here Wikipedia:Talk page More Specifically Can I do whatever I want to my own user talk page?--E-Bod 17:22, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
It was moved again to Wikipedia:Talk_page#Etiquette But the Offical policy M:Help:Talk_page has nothing on the issue--E-Bod 22:21, 16 April 2006 (UTC)


I removed "removing warnings" from the page in good faith; I figured if anybody objected (as they have now), they'd put it back (as someone has now). Replying to User:Swatjester: To clarify, I don't think anyone's suggesting that we should make warning-deletion "ok", just that it isn't vandalism. If an active vandal removes warnings, I say put 'em back, just don't call it vandalism. It's disruption, and vandals don't get to argue due process. Nobody applying common sense would holdy you in violation of 3RR for that; that would be egregious Wikilawyering.

In reply to Locke Cole above, I'm not concerned about people accusing good editors of vandalism when they remove spurious warnings, I'm more concerned about how this policy is applied among the more borderline editors. Giving somewhat tendentious editors another excuse to wrongfully accuse one another of vandalism is a bad idea. We have a very narrow definition of vandalism and that's a Good Thing. As User:Kelly Martin puts it above, an attitude problem should not be branded as vandalism. -GTBacchus(talk) 16:57, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

I strongly agree that removing warnings should not constitute vandalism. It is an open invitation to revert war on User talk pages and harass people with warnings about removing warnings. Swatjester was recently involved in just such a conflict with Drmagic where there was no ongoing dispute except whether or not it was okay to remove past warnings. Such disputes have a pointlessly hostile and negative impact on good users that outweighs the limited benefit that such a rule would have in dealing with real vandals. If someone is an ongoing disruption to Wikipedia, and is trying to cover that up, then go tell sysops. Using a rule like this to revert war about warnings and warnings about warnings, will not improve the behavior of true vandals and has a lot of potential to upset useful users. Dragons flight 17:16, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
You should only use Template:Wr0 Once (if at all nomater how tempting it is) about a warning you made to inform them not to remove future warnings. But after that It should be sombody else who moves it to Template:Wr and then Template:Wr2. And if you go ahead and "tell sysops" They will tell you To have some tea and let the person get into trouble with somebody else User_talk:Yskyflyer#help_me. It is Point less for one person to warn somebody twise about removing warnings, however if uninvolved people use the warning it may have more meaning--E-Bod 17:34, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
First, Dragons flight, where do you think that DrMagic's dispute came from? It came from him being blocked the day before for 3rr, and trying to hide his warnings. As for getting a Sysop to do something about it, guess what, we already have to. If a person blanks the warnings, and you go tell a sysop, the sysop is just going to ask "did you give him Wr0, Wr1 and wr2"? If not, then they probably won't protect the page. Dragons flight, I'm not sure why you think I was "harassing" Drmagic, considering that was the first contact I'd ever had with him, and the entire situation was resolved amicably. But that's neither here nor there, the point is, that removing warnings disrupts the project, and THAT is vandalism. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 18:54, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
First, the block was a mistake and the blocking admin lifted it [2] and apologized for issuing it. Let us be clear, Drmagic was not involved in any ongoing conflict except the one that you and others initiated by warning him about removing past warnings. Creating conflicts where none exist is exactly the reason this rule should not exist. Dragons flight 19:52, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I was not the one initiating anything. I came on there to welcome him, then once he replied on my talk page that he wasn't a new user, I apologized, and then MoP commented that his page was only blank because he had blanked his warnings. I'm not saying whether DrMagic was validly blocked or not, but regardless, I was misled into thinking he was a new user. More reasoning why warnings should not be blanked. If his warnings were invalid, then he should have immediately contacted another admin and had THEM remove them, or he could have strike-out the warnings and left an explanation, or brought it up to AN/I, any number of things. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 22:00, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
"We have a very narrow definition of vandalism and that's a Good Thing"– we do? Isn't that what's being discussed? So far that's two times the only argument has been "it's not vandalism" (effectively). The only compelling argument against it being part of this policy is that it can be abused (see Dragons flight's comments). But I don't think the potential for abuse should kill what otherwise makes perfect sense. —Locke Coletc 20:35, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
Locke, hi. Sorry for the slow reply. Sorry also for the long post; there's an executive summary at the bottom. I repeated myself, it's true, about our narrow definition of vandalism being a "Good Thing", and you're right, I hadn't yet said why.
Vandalism is Bad. That's kind of a bare minimum Good Faith stance that any contributor should be able to agree with. When we're trying to write an encyclopedia, messing it up instead is directly contrary to the project, and uncontroversially condemned. We take vandalism very seriously. The "v-word" carries a lot of weight here, and throwing it around is often considered to border on personal attack.
There's an important difference between a "problem editor" and a vandal. There are plenty of problem editors who have horrible attitudes, edit from strong POVs, revert war at the drop of a hat, and even remove warnings from their talk page, but who would never consider vandalizing Wikipedia. Their problem is a not malice towards the project itself, but a failure to understand how we go about making a great encyclopedia. A vandal is in an entirely different category - they have a different goal.
I treat vandalism as a direct attack against the project. There's no room for assuming good faith when someone replaces random words with "penis" or blanks articles. On the other hand, when an editor removes what she sees as spurious warnings placed by editors holding the opposite POV who want to intimidate her into backing down in some content dispute, there's still lots of room for assuming good faith. Heck, she may even be right.
An accusation of vandalism amounts to a fundamental accusation of bad faith. If we allow vandalism to be defined in a way that it can be applied to the actions of good-faith, albeit misguided, editors, then we're basicaly giving official approval to assuming bad faith and biting the living hell out of newbies who happen to be socially "difficult". That's a terrible idea. I guess I'm not arguing anything more than potential for abuse, but that's enough, because abuse of the term "vandalism" is counterproductive to the process of helping new editors learn how Wikipedia works. If removing talk page warnings is vandalism, then it's easy for an editor who is merely difficult to be blocked very quickly for what began as a very minor dispute, thus further alienating that editor. Let's try to prevent that sort of thing from happening.
As for the argument that people need to be able to see what's been posted on the talk page, I don't buy it. I warn and block vandals regularly, and I wasn't fooled by a blank talk page more than about once. When I open a vandal's talk page, I've already opened their contributions in another tab, and I'm checking what they've been up to since logging in. If they've been blanking, that's just more information for me to go by.
In short: I object to the labelling of warning removal as vandalism because it has a high potential for abuse, and very little advantage. Such a definition would be contrary to WP:AGF and WP:BITE, and would make the process of integrating socially demanding editors more difficult. Allowing the definition of vandalism to grow around the edges would be Instruction creep of the worst variety, supplying more ammunition for vexatious process-wonkery. -GTBacchus(talk) 01:05, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I am movin this talk to

User pagesEdit

I'm a bit worried by this: "Removing warnings, whether for vandalism or other forms of prohibited/discouraged behavior, from one's talk page is also considered vandalism." I agree that it's uncivil and usually a sign that an editor is the sort of person who engages in vandalism or other disruptive behaviour — but surely the notion of vandalism is meant to help with the protection of the encyclopædia, not individuals' Talk pages. I'm not convinced that this should be a blockable offence in any case, but even if it is, surely it's not vandalism? --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 17:23, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Some abusive admin made that up. I removed it. --Candide, or Optimism 18:03, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Well, then you should remove the entire rule. Why should a warning about vandalism be a more serious offence than a warning about something else, which migh be much graver. Even if "some abusive admin" (would be good to present evidence, if you call somebody names) made that up (aren't all rules "made up"?), it might be sensible to keep it this way.--Fossa 18:30, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
You're right. I'll remove the entire rule. --Candide, or Optimism 18:32, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
No, don't! The reason this rule is in place is to deal with typical vandal behaviour who vandalises an article, gets a warning and then removes the warning before going on to more vandalism (mistakenly thinking that this will let them get away with it). For admins dealing with a lot of vandalism it is helpful to be sure that no warnings have been removed - it gives us a good idea of how persistent a vandal the person is, and threfore how long a block they deserve. Frankly no-one should be removing anything from their talk pages. In either case don't arbitrarily change policy. DJ Clayworth 18:39, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Anyone can remove things from their talkpages. It's their right. Also, show me concesus for this rule. Who decided this? And you speak about vandalism, but the rule mention that any kind of warning that is removed is deemed as vandalism, but as Mel pointed out, it cannot be vandalism. --Candide, or Optimism 18:53, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
The same logic would apply. It is exceptionally useful to have a record of what interactions there have been with a user regarding their behaviour. Removing things from talk pages is not someone's right. In my experience removing things from talk pages (except obscenity and attacks) is usually an attempt to cover up their behaviour. DJ Clayworth 19:00, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
That is your opinion, and perhaps the opinion of others; but opinions are not rules. --Candide, or Optimism 19:05, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Even if we're not going to term it "vandalism," we should certainly have a section somewhere that talks about removing warnings from talk pages. Removing messages from talk pages without archiving is sometimes frowned upon, but if it's non-controversial, etc., then people generally don't make a big deal about it. However, when talking about vandalism warnings, removing these messages is at least highly discouraged, and users will often get another warning just for doing this. These warnings help us keep track of how many times people have been warned without sifting through the history. Any user acting in good faith has no reason to remove these warnings, and if they become a legitimate contributor they can archive them such that they practically disappear. EWS23 | (Leave me a message!) 20:05, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
In my expereience, warnings can be as abusive as the behavior they alledge to caution against. Having said that, for the sake of transparency, I'd suggest to not to remove warnings for a specified amount of time, say 6 weeks. But this should count for all warnings, not just vandalism. I think that's in the spirit of the original policy. --Fossa 20:59, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Exactly; warnings can also be abusive. I don't think that a user should have to keep warnings on their talkpage just because admins find it more convenient. --Candide, or Optimism 22:03, 28 March 2006 (UTC)
Just out of curiosity, by "abusive" do you mean warnings that were not made in good faith, warnings that are worded in some kind of hostile or uncivil manner, or something else? EWS23 | (Leave me a message!) 00:22, 29 March 2006 (UTC)
All of the things mentioned above and in addition to this, not all warnings are warranted. Also see Mel's example below. --Candide, or Optimism 10:49, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Warnings are often placed as retaliation by disgruntled users, as moves in edit wars, etc. I've recently been involved in a case in which an editor was blocked and his Talk page protected because he'd removed bad-faith and mischievous warnings placed there by opponents in a content discpute. That's how I came across this "rule", which I'd not seen before, and which I find dubious. I can't imagine a case in which an editor persistently removed genuine warnings in which she wouldn't face sanctions anyway. --Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:37, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Okay, this is a logical argument that I can agree with. As much as we'd like to assume good faith, we have to accept that there are times when users may abuse the warning system. And you're probably right that if a typical vandal is removing warnings, they're probably doing other things (vandalizing pages) that will get them blocked anyway. However, I still feel that we should address this in some way. Perhaps something along the lines of, "Removing warnings, particularly for vandalism, is discouraged. However, if you feel that the warnings were not made in good faith, you may remove the warnings, stating your reasoning in the edit summary. On the other hand, for the sake of historical records, consider simply archiving or replying to these warnings in a civil manner, or requesting diffs that indicate edits against Wikipedia policy. If you have done nothing wrong, template warnings have no more weight than other false accusations on your talk page."
Just a rough draft there, though I worry that it may give too much leeway to true vandals than the previous "no removing warnings" instruction. Feel free to tweak/chop up/throw away that idea. EWS23 | (Leave me a message!) 17:39, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Folks it is very important that you don't edit a policy just because you think it should work a certain way. For policies we have to get universal buy-in. The way to get a policy changed is to suggest that the change is made. Then allow a reasonable amount of time for discussion - at least several weeks. For anything other than a very minor change there should be a widespread request for comments on the changes. Go and look at Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines for a description of how policy is made. DJ Clayworth 19:57, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Just so you all know, I edited a very closely related section in complete ignorance of this discussion. The result is a cumbersome sentence, but one that actually says what it wants to say. Far too often one sees people using this "policy" as a method of attacking a good faith user who has made a couple of mistakes. I put that removing warnings is "generally discouraged", especially when the removal aims to deceive other users coming to that page. Sam Korn (smoddy) 17:11, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

This is silly. Removing a warning doesn't negate that the warning has been issued. It doesn't make it disappear from history. You can't make up rules because you think its rude. There is no reason to require people leave up warnings for any amount of time. The fact that they removed them proves that they saw them. That's all that needs to be known. --MateoP 21:00, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Yes, but it makes it more difficult for editors and sysops to determine if previous warnings have been issued (recently) if they have to repeatedly go digging through the history (especially when the vandal only removes the warnings and not other messages). —Locke Coletc 00:54, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
Believe me guys when you're dealing with the twentieth person that day who thinks it's funny to insert the word PENIS into an article you don't want to have to go through the history of the offender's talk page to find out how many times he's been warned. You just want to read his talk page and apply an appropriate warning or block. DJ Clayworth 04:39, 4 April 2006 (UTC)
I do revert and warn vandals, but not that manny a day, so i can understand why you may not want to put sometion on a talk pae but most the vandalsim i've come across are New talk pages so they couldn't have possible deleted their warnigs. if they are a new user who deleted a warg then on the histry the Help:Edit_summary should tell you all the warnings their are. If somebody is Vandalizing like adding rude words to text then why would telling them it's vandalism do anyting. They already Vandalized. Then again i don't revert that many cases of vandalism. so i'm not coming fromme the same place. It is like ... This talk page is gettingn too long--E-Bod 13:32, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

I would just like to point out that this issue has caused me quite a bit of problems tonight. I happened to last review these policies while that rule was listed on the page. Since I happened to read the this rule while it was listed on a policy page, I was under the wrong impression and caused me to unfairly ban a user. Hopefully the situation will be considered resolved once the user has had a chance to review my statement to him and it won't leave any long term damage, but I just wanted to mention that there were consequences to this unfortunately situation. My statement to the user about the situation from my perspective is here. To anyone who is considering editing this page without a discussion first, just don't do it. Sorry for bring this issue up again, but I felt this was important enough to be mentioned.

However, templates like {{wr2}} are really misleading and should not remain if there isn't a community consensus to enforce it. --PS2pcGAMER (talk) 08:49, 13 April 2006 (UTC)


I haven't yet properly annouced this Proposal on the appropriate talk pages. Until we do and wait we shouldn't actually count the votes.

To doEdit

  • Announce on all relevant "Wikipedia:XXX" talk pages
    • If you find a talk page link to it on this page. Also pages liked to on this page should have some notice about this page.
  • Announce to all users who commented on Talk pages about this subject.
    • You can find these people by looking through comments pasted below from other talk pages and seeing if they Voted or left a comment on this page.
  • Post in some place of proposed policies (I don't know where it is though)
    • Village Pump has Policy Page witch I copied to this page.


From Village pumpEdit

Proposed optionsEdit

Maybe we should lay out the possibilities:

  1. Warnings must remain on user talk page forever, persisting beyond archival.
  2. Warnings may only be "removed" by archiving them along with all other older messages.
  3. Messages of any kind may not be removed (only archived with all older messages) except for what other editors agree to be obvious vandalism/attacks.
  4. Warnings may be moved to a separate warnings subpage but not removed.
  5. Warnings may be removed only with the permission of the warning-giver.
  6. Warnings may be removed, but the removal is subject to 3RR rules if other editors object to its removal.
  7. Warnings may be removed only with a reasonable/agreeable edit summary explanation.
  8. Warnings may be removed only with a reasonable explanation left in place of the warning.
  9. Warnings may be removed freely only after a set amount of time after the warning was issued.
  10. Warnings (or anything else) may be removed freely (as long as it doesn't materially alter another editor's comments), and other editors are strongly discouraged from reverting these removals.
  11. Warnings may or may not be removed and re-inserted and nobody has any idea whether it's allowed. (this is apparently the current status)

note: Any two of the above could be used, one for anons and one for registered users, although I was primarily considering registered users.


Is removing warnings from your own user talk page an act of vandalism?Edit

Three months ago, someone added:

Removing warnings: Removing vandalism warnings from one's talk page is also considered vandalism.

to WP:VAND without any discussion that I can find. Since then several people, myself included, have expressed the opinion that removing warnings from your own user talk page should not constitute vandalism. [3] [4].

The basic argument on the side of having such a classification is that it prevents ongoing vandals from hiding their misdeeds by giving others the ability to revert the removal of warnings with impunity. The basic argument against it is that it amounts to permanently branding others as bad, invites revert warring, and generally leads to increased hostility especially with good users who merely made a mistake or were inappropriately warned in the first place.

Since the line on removing warnings was first suggested to be a problem 2 weeks ago it has been removed and replaced several times. I would like to see a definitive resolution of this issue, and would encourage others to comment at Wikipedia talk:Vandalism. Dragons flight 18:15, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

Vandal vandals should leave it there. But if someone makes a few mistakes but then comes around, it can be removed in due time.--HereToHelp 18:34, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
That's your interpretation, but people don't treat it that way. I've seen good users get harrassed and even blocked for removing warnings about issues that have already been resolved. Dragons flight 19:08, 16 April 2006 (UTC)
I've seen some long time contributers and admins who have very old warnings on their user page. What is/should be general practice in situations like this should be established. Whether a template is removed or not (or reverted) depends on who is watching recent changes, who has the page in their watchlist and who is around at the administrator's noticeboard when deciding a particular incident, which leads to very different decisions and interpretations of policy. (by "who" I mean admins, mostly). -- Kjkolb 20:51, 16 April 2006 (UTC) -- Edited comment to make more sense, slight expansion. -- Kjkolb 21:10, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Personally I think that it should be forbidden to remove warnings from own user pages, but 1) they can be archived with the talk and 2) unwarranted warnings should be accompanied by an apology or removed by the person who gave them. I have seen some users remove anything that made them look bad from their own pages... but that doesn't make them look any better.--Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus Talk 03:50, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I have seen some users remove anything that made them look bad from their own pages... but that doesn't make them look any better.

It does to the fabled "uninvolved admin" who comes along trying to figure out what's going on and doesn't notice all the removals in their history. Especially if they disguise them as archivals (archiving a bunch of conversations from three months ago along with a bunch of warnings from the day before, etc.)

Is removing warnings from your own user talk page an act of vandalism?

It should be. — Omegatron 05:09, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
  • "Is removing warnings from your own user talk page an act of vandalism?" The answer, of course, is a clear no. It is not "vandalism" to remove a comment from your own talk page any more than it is "vandalism" for a vandal to evade a ban, or to rob a convenience store, or to punch himself in the face; "vandalism" requires deliberate addition or deletion of text and/or code on someone else's page which is designed to cause trouble or inconvenience. Although deleting comments from the Talk page of someone else could certainly be considered "vandalism", deleting comments from your own page isn't vandalism—it's just a really bad idea. If anything, we should create a new term for this form of deceptive behavior, rather than clouding the facts of the matter by misusing the word vandalism.
  • Personally, I'd say that immediate deletion of a warning message placed on the Talk page is not acceptable, especially if no response is given to the notice. However, deleting such a message after a few weeks or months should usually be just fine, whether the user prefers to dispose of his old Talk page through archiving or through simple deletion; archiving your Talk page is not currently a requirement, and I see no reason to make it so as long as the History is undeletable. If the admin cares that much about leaving a permanent warning message for other admins, he should find some other way to do it. However, the same rules shouldn't apply for anonymous IP users as apply to registered one: anonymous IPs should not be allowed to delete old warning messages on their Talk page, as they are often relevant to a number of users at various times who use that IP, not just to the one. If they want to get rid of the message, they can make an account. -Silence 06:18, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I think I generally agress with Silence's assertions. The term vandalism was introduced into the {{wr}} template merely to scare users out of removing warnings. I still think, however, that it should be a policy that removing warnings from user talk pages should not be allowed unless the messages are, say, older than a month (with the IP exception Silence mentioned), as the importance of preserving these messages is clear. AmiDaniel (Talk) 06:30, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Removing warnings to make ones-self look better is vandalism in my book. there is no conceivable reason to remove a VALID (i.e. not retaliatory, not from some random anon etc.) warning from one's talk. To do so only implies that one wants to deceive the rest of the community about one's past, and that disrupts the project, and THAT is vandalism. If a user disagrees with a warning, they're more than welcome to strike it out, write an essay why they disagree and the person issuing the admin was rouge, contact another user (preferably an admin) to have THEM remove it from the talk page. But there's NO justifiable reason to blank it. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 07:02, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Proposed optionsEdit

Maybe we should lay out the possibilities:

  1. Warnings must remain on user talk page forever, persisting beyond archival.
  2. Warnings may only be "removed" by archiving them along with all other older messages.
  3. Messages of any kind may not be removed (only archived with all older messages) except for what other editors agree to be obvious vandalism/attacks.
  4. Warnings may be moved to a separate warnings subpage but not removed.
  5. Warnings may be removed only with the permission of the warning-giver.
  6. Warnings may be removed, but the removal is subject to 3RR rules if other editors object to its removal.
  7. Warnings may be removed only with a reasonable/agreeable edit summary explanation.
  8. Warnings may be removed only with a reasonable explanation left in place of the warning.
  9. Warnings may be removed freely only after a set amount of time after the warning was issued.
  10. Warnings (or anything else) may be removed freely (as long as it doesn't materially alter another editor's comments), and other editors are strongly discouraged from reverting these removals.
  11. Warnings may or may not be removed and re-inserted and nobody has any idea whether it's allowed. (this is apparently the current status)

note: Any two of the above could be used, one for anons and one for registered users, although I was primarily considering registered users.

If we can agree on one of the above, drawing up a policy for it would probably be a simple matter. Personally I prefer #8, because it allows others to see that there was a warning while making it clear it has been taken into consideration and/or no longer applies, for the reason(s) left there.

Tifego(t) 05:46, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I'm personally a proponent of #3. The messages on a user's talk page let others know of any conflicts, problems, etc. the user has had, as well as demonstrating what projects the user is involved in. While I'm not sure there should be a policy that users may not remove legitimate messages without archiving, it certainly should be a guideline. It should, however, be a policy that removing any of the common vandalism warnings or variations thereof should be viewed as vandalism, and repeated removal of warnings from talk pages should result in protection of the user's talk page (unless the removal is justified, i.e. the user was eroneously warned). I assumed, as it was stated such at WP:VAND, that this policy had been agreed upon by the community, but apparently not. I would definitely be interested in establishing a policy to govern user talk pages. AmiDaniel (Talk) 05:56, 17 April 2006 (UTC
I feel that removing warnings does not constitute vandalism generally and should not be reverted unless it is relevant to an ongoing dispute (e.g. the user continues the actions for which they were warned even after removing the warning). Dragons flight 06:37, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Uh, should I add a new option for that or modify one of them, or is it pretty much the same as one of the above? –Tifego(t) 06:46, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I do, actually, agree that removing warnings does not constitute vandalism (it's amazing how once you see a phrase enough times it's hard not to say it yourself); however, I don't feel that removal of warnings should be tolerated even when unrelated to current disputes. I think after a certain ammount of time has passed (I suggested a month above) it would then become acceptable to remove them. That may or may not go in line with what you (Dragons flight) suggested. AmiDaniel (Talk) 06:52, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm a proponent of #2,#4, and #5. Those all could be combined into one: (i.e. Valid warnings can only be removed by archiving the ENTIRE page, or moving warnings to a seperate warnings page, OR with permission from the warning giver). I'm also fine with, instead of archiving (because some pages do not get enough traffic to archive), a user could delete his warnings after 90 days. I think it's also important to make the distinction between a valid warning, and an invalid warning. If you insert "penis" into 3 articles, and I give you test 1, 2, and 3, those warnings are valid, and you should not remove them (except as above). However, if I give you a 3RR warning, but you've only reverted 2 times, the warning is invalid, and you're at liberty to do what you want with it. The problem comes with users getting VALID warnings, for bad behavior, and then trying to hide it. Try and dispute it all you want, but do some counter-vandalism for any length of time, and you'll run into it at least three or four times a day if not more often. These blankings are completely unwarranted, and disruptive to the project. They're aimed only to misled the other editors and admins, and THAT is vandalism. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 07:11, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
You seem to be pretty much assuming bad faith about everyone who would ever remove a warning from their page. Now, I don't have a lot of hope for a "penis" vandal, but there are plenty of newbies who recieve warnings for things like civility, no original research, etc. simply because they don't know any better. A well intentioned editor should not have to be forever branded for their past mistakes. Dragons flight 07:46, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Or are we assuming that all discussion of warnings means only warnings for blatant vandalism? Of course, the 3RR in your example would not really be blatant vandalism since someone can easily violate 3RR out of ignorance rather than malice. Dragons flight 07:50, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I don't see exactly what you're asking? Further, a well intentioned editor is not branded forever: They can archive their page and move on, or should they not get a lot of talk comments, move the warning to a "list of warnings" page, or after a suitable length of time (say 90 days for an arbitrary number) they can remove the warning. Dragons flight, I appreciate where your coming from, but there's a difference between assuming bad faith, and being realistic about the sheer number of vandals who blank their warnings. There are indeed quite a few people who make bad decisions, and then learn from them. That's what the warnings/blocks are for in the FIRST place, to make those people learn from their mistakes. If they indeed are "well intentioned" editors, and are doing a good job, the weight of their positive actions will overwhelm their warnings. Indeed, ensuring the warnings stay on, give other editors incentive to give the newly reformed editor something like a barnstar for improvement, or resilience etc. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 08:02, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

Edit conflict- You further explained the 3rr section since I tried to post the above. If you'd like, I can provide further hypothetical scenarios as to how my system works well. But can you show me scenarios where a user is justified in removing a valid warning? I'd like to see them, so I can debunk them. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 08:02, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

I don't really see it as "assuming bad faith." We're merely asking that users take responsibility for their contributions and wear them on their sleeves. I hardly doubt anyone would look down on a user with a {{test}} warning on their page from a couple of weeks ago, but, as with all messages, warnings are used to aid others in identifying patterns of behavior and/or non-Wikipedian conduct. I look at almost every edit I encounter where a user edited his own talk page (especially IPs), and more often than not I find vandals clearing multiple same-day warnings, in which case I revert and post {{wr}}. User talk page blanking frquently slows down the process of getting repeat vandals blocked, and often times, vandals only get blocked when the same user witnesses five separate destructive edits--if that doesn't scream of the urgency to develop some policy to stop talk page blanking, I don't know what does. Granted, almost everyone (even myself) made one or two test edits when they were first getting started with WP, and no one will hold that against anyone, but when users have an actual history of vandalism, it must be known. I would still dispute the use of the term "vandalism" to describe talk page blanking, as I feel that word gets thrown around too much as an intimidation tactic, but I do agree that removing warnings is disruptive and harmful to Wikipedia and must be stopped. AmiDaniel (Talk) 08:07, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
I can't help but feeling there is a divergence between your perspective as a frustrated user trying to stop vandalism by adding tags, and my perspective as a sysop where it is easy to deal with vandalism and the test tags have little to do with it. Since from my point of view, test tags have very little impact on what I do (looking up user contribs is far more important, which by the way would reveal talk page blanking), I don't see much harm in allowing people to remove warning tags. And I do see benefit in not creating unnecessary conflict about the tags once the underlying behavior has already been addressed. Hence I just can't get behind this must label mentality. Blatant vandals are easily reverted and blocked, and so they cause little relative harm to the project. By comparison, frustrating and driving away good contributors is a much greater harm and that is the one I am worried about. Dragons flight 08:46, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Point taken. Per WP:BITE, users should not be accused of vandalism for blanking or removing content from their talk pages; however, I still feel that these warnings and all messages on user talk pages are vital to the community. I truly don't appreciate your pulling out the SysOp card on me as I don't find that at all relevant (I might note that HereToHelp, Piotrus, Omegatron and likely other sysops have stated that warning removals should not be tolerated), and I am truly not a frustrated user trying trying to stop vandalism by adding tags; alternatively, there's little that SysOps can do in fighting vandalism that I cannot, other than blocking. My reservations in allowing users to remove warnings are: 1) When users remove warnings from talk pages we become unable to identify common sources of abuce (shared IPs inclusive). 2) Users who remove legitimate warnings are, IMHO, often seeking falsely to gain the trust of others to allow them further to perpetuate vandalism. 3) I've recently released my tool VandalProof, and in order to preemptively stop abuse of this tool before it occurs I have to know if users requesting the tool have had a recent history/pattern of vandalism, as well as if they have had problems with 3RR or edit warring. 4) When users make minor changes to facts and figures in articles, it is helpful to know if they have had a history of intentionally changing statistics, etc., to false values, as that will cause me to closer examine the edit and perhaps do a little research to see if their contribution was indeed constructive. 5) Last, but certainly not least, editors must take responsibility for their contributions. We're writing an encyclopedia, and in order to do that effectively we have to peer through the anonymity and see what users have been involved in, where they have had problems in the past, and how they've dealt with conflicts (things that you can't easily tell by skimming through their contribs). Thus, I would propose that we take the text of {{wr}} and expand it into a policy. AmiDaniel (Talk) 20:28, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
My apologies for assuming you were frustrated. I ordinarily do not mention that I am a sysop (my userpage doesn't mention it, for example), but having read through the different threads on this issue (of which there are at least 4 now), I really do feel that in many cases common users and sysops are reacting differently. Obviously it is not all sysops and not all users, but I perceive a distinction nonetheless and felt it worth mentioning, which I couldn't effectively do without stating my own position. I did not mean to make you uncomfortable in doing so or suggest that my opinion is inherently more right because of my position or anything like that. It is simply that you seem to view the warnings as an effective way of determining a user's history and intent, and I honestly don't believe most people issuing blocks see them that way. However, rather than further arguing the point amongst ourselves, which I don't think will accomplish anything, I would like to see if we can work up a poll, with language we can agree on, in order to put the question to a wider audience. Dragons flight 21:21, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
In that case, I apologize for criticizing you of using your position to push the point. I've lately been observing several disputes where admins have defended their cases with merely "I'm a sysop, so I know better," thus my mild adminophobia, but I don't think that was your intent here. I totally agree that we should have a poll on the issue, perhaps "Should there be a policy (or an amendment to current policies) to restrict a user from removing vandalism and 3RR warnings from his/her talk page?" If that much can be agreed upon then we can work out the specific conditions where a user may or may not remove said warnings later; if not, then we can either leave it as it is now or propose a policy/amendment to allow removal of messages and warnings. We might also want to hold a straw poll on removing or rephrasing the clause in question from Wikipedia:Vandalism. I personally would vote to remove the clause, as while I believe users should not remove warnings, it is not vandalism to do so. AmiDaniel (Talk) 23:17, 17 April 2006 (UTC)
Well, voting is apparently evil, but there aren't enough different people commenting here to get much of an idea what the consensus is, so a vote is probably a good idea. I don't think the poll should be worded quite like that though, because that makes voting "no" a vote for option #11, which is chaos. I think we all agree there should be some sort of policy or amendment, because it's causing a lot of confusion that there simply is no policy or even guideline about it. The point is not necessarily to enforce a big change in policy, but to formalize something, even if it happens to be basically the same as (or drastically different from) what already happens. I don't know what the procedure should be here though. It would be a little ridiculous to propose and vote on 10 different policies to see which one(s) have community approval. (note: Looks like I was too tired to read or understand the rest of your comment before responding, but I think most of that still makes sense.)Tifego(t) 08:07, 18 April 2006 (UTC)
I Believe all comments should be archived. Specifically in categories based on the nature of the message like archive of personal attacks, vandalism (maybe), OLD 'warnings, . If the comment is obviously inappropriate it wouldn't heart the user to keep it on the talk page. We could also add a good Samaritan policy that if you see a warning on somebody’s page that you disagree with you are required to comment beneath it that you doubt the warring is appropriate. I feel the biggest problem with removing warnings is if the person is not a vandal because then they would be able to hide removing the warning with lots of other messages where as a Vandal would be revealed at a glace of the history page. Here is what i would vote for , Really Support' (4,5(with archive allowed),,) support (2,3(Archive the warning in a personal attack page then),8,) Oppose (1,6 (If protested the Default should be leave the warning so others can comment on it, if not protested then it can stay off because even if it is policy not to remove them if nobody disagrees who's going to tell the user they shouldn't have done it),7,9,10 (strong oppose), 11(I want to sort it out))
PS I think their should be a distinction for different kinds of warnings. Removing a warning for vandalism should be reverted and Blocked next time. Removing a warning about editing tips should be OK once (although it should just be left there). Removing warnings about an editor's inappropriate behavior should be reverted because it can warn other people about bout how to deal with this person (My dilemma is what if that person removes the warning and calls it a Personal attack See my talk page if you have to find out what happed). Problem Users (users with repeated conflicts with people) should not be able to remove warnings, however other believe that they should be given a second chance and treated equally. I think removing a comment without replies invites suspicion and is bad for the person anyway--E-Bod 21:50, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Removing warningsEdit

Just Found out About this Talk (I Still need to read it). Moments before this Conversation started i created Wikipedia:Removing warnings to move the comments about Removing warnings to stop cluttering Wikipedia_talk:Vandalism because the talk about Removing warnings was/is scattered throughout the page. Please help me clean up Wikipedia:Removing warnings and i will read the above comments shortly--E-Bod 20:48, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

I have read though the post and i will move a copy to Wikipedia_talk:Removing warnings. I am also proposing moving this talk to that page, however this could just be my Arrogance Speaking (because I created that page and by default I have a preference for pages I make).--E-Bod 21:32, 18 April 2006 (UTC)

Broken RuleEdit

What do you do If somebody breaks the rule and Removes a warning

Honestly I have no clue what to do. Even thou we aren’t supposed to re add them I have rewritten the warnings. Once Somebody removed my warning again and I rewrote it a third time and after that I left it out but put a WR0 and linking to the history. It was removed and I gave up. Latter the user removed another person’s warning so I gave them a WR and the other user and remover revert war for a few times. The person I put the warning on accused me of bringing up an old issue that was over and So I Apologized (and the Apology was also removed). I Definitely Did something wrong (I had asked for help and the advise was to stay out of it and let the user get in trouble with somebody else. I should have followed their advise but It is so Frustrating seeing somebody remove a message you left on their talk page and not even address the issue (Not even the Edit summary explained the problem).--E-Bod 21:13, 19 April 2006 (UTC)
Also I would like to address the issue If Somebody removes your warning. Let's say calling it a personal attack and you don't think your comment was a personal attack but you decide to re write the whole comment and check against the what a personal attack second says and then repost your comment. The question I am raising is “is it Appropriate to re write a warning you made that was removed”. (in my case it was written (me), removed(him), re written(me), re removed(him), re re written(me), re re removed(him), “Removing warning template 0”(me), removing “removing warning template”(him), Give up (Me). Se somebody else engage in the same conflict I had(third party), Repost removing warning template(me). removed warning template (him), watch revert war Laughing between Him and third party over whether to keep my warning (LOL). Everybody Gives up with him. Blanks page (him), Revert (4th party) re blank. Etc. It's actually funny in retrospect[5]--E-Bod 20:36, 20 April 2006 (UTC)
The only advise i can get about this issue is just to stay out of it all togeter and let the trouble user do what he/she wants to do becose it's not worth fighting over.--E-Bod 20:36, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

It appears simple to me:

  • If your warning was indisputable, and they remove it, re-add it and add a warning removal template wr0.
  • If your warning was maybe a little disputable, and they remove it, re-add it, and ask them why they did so, and remind them that warning removal is considered vandalism.
  • If they claim it was a personal attack, re-add it, advise them to review WP:NPA, and add a warning removal template wr0.
  • If he/she removes it again, re-add it, bring it up at WP:AN/I, give them warning removal template wr1.
  • If they continue to remove it, readd it, give them template wr2, make sure it's on WP:AN/I, and do your best to find an admin to temporarily protect their talk page. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 03:44, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Warnings you leftEdit

Re add themEdit

  1. and give them a warning removal template, usually wr0. If it persists, ask an admin to protect their talk page. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 03:39, 21 April 2006 (UTC)
  2. As per Swat give them a wr0, but only if they remove it in a way that is not acceptable (see my earlier comments for what I consider acceptable). Also, be very careful if the user is a newbie to not bite them. JoshuaZ 05:29, 24 April 2006 (UTC)
  3. This seems reasonable. -Hit bull, win steak(Moo!) 21:08, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Let somebody else re add themEdit

Let an admin re add themEdit

Go To arbitrationEdit

Just let the user Hide messages they don’t like and hope Everybody checks the history pageEdit

Warnings Somebody else leftEdit

Re add themEdit

  1. and give them a warning removal template, usually wr0. If it persists, ask an admin to protect their talk page. SWATJester   Ready Aim Fire! 03:40, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Let an admin re add themEdit

Go To arbitrationEdit

Just let the user Hide messages they don’t like and hope Everybody checks the history pageEdit

"prohibited" to "discouraged"Edit

Gurk. What a lot of talk. Sorry I haven't read it all. I've just changed "prohibited" to "discouraged" on the page, since I don't think it is completely forbidden. I too do not like "Removing warnings: Removing warnings for vandalism from one's talk page is also considered vandalism." because I've seen too many cases of trolls merrily posting warnings onto good users pages and then reporting them for removing these (invalid) warnings William M. Connolley 19:57, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

I added Both becose it is a Quote of what the Policy says. And it still says "prohibited" not "discouraged" but at times it has said both--E-Bod 21:52, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

Creating a better pollEdit

While I mean no specific offense to E-Bod, this page is rather awkwardly constructed and poorly advertised. In particular, there was no discussion about the contents/format of the poll before people started voting. I would like to construct a more serious poll and widely advertise it to get a better diversity of opinion than is shown here. Towards this end, I have created Wikipedia:Removing warnings poll, which I think addresses most of the major issues. I would appreciate feedback on the format of this poll at Wikipedia talk:Removing warnings poll. I would also appreciate it if people would not start voting until after we have given it some time to make any modification people believe are necessary. Dragons flight 20:02, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Thanks. I totally agree That i Fromated this Wrong. That why i left the note on the top "Please help cleanup this Proposal". This Page Even has a To Do List For advertizing. (note that Noting is under the "Done" Catigory). Thank you (So much) For Fixing it for me.--E-Bod 20:38, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Who removes warningsEdit

When you want to decide the Policy on removing warnings you need to take into account the People Removing the warnings and the People who will get into and edit war about it. When I see warnings put on somebody’s page that was put there by mistake I don’t see the warning removed I see comments below that explain why the warning is wrong. When the comet is legitimist and the user is very uncooperative then they will get into an edit war about it. I don’t think it is far to discourage the Innocent form removing warnings (because a discouragement is enough for them to stop) but to not prohibit the Stuck up and uncooperative from removing warnings (Because those people won’t stop unless the rules spell out in Bold Bring that they will be blocked if they don’t stop). You have to understand who removes warnings before you set the rules. My Problem is that If we say it is discourages so that the Good editors leave bad comments on their talk page and the bad editors remove them.

These are some Examples of Situations I feel good about.

Found Somebody Else’s mistake User_talk: User_talk:Friendly_Neighbour/Archive01#Not_all_annons_are_Vandals

I made a comment that was 100% wrong [6] User_talk:Yskyflyer#Removed_out_of_context_question [7]

Situation that lots of people have problem with One user [8]. In this case of the revert war Multiple people have had a problem with one user about the same issues over and over again. While One could say just letting the user have absolute control stops the revert war I say that telling that one user to reply to their comet’s also stoops the revert war become their won’t be such negative vives. If a user can’t handle poorly written comets then they shouldn’t be repeatedly re adding edits to articles that others disagree with. What’s different about this failing scenario is there is no talk about the issue but rather just removing. It is really stressful to make a comment and just see it deleted. It is eve more stressful to come to terms with your comment wasn’t written the best way, re write it so that nobody could object to it and then see it deleted again with some bizarre reason

Who removes warnings--E-Bod 22:43, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Responses to my commentEdit

What are we trying to find out?Edit

What are we trying to find out and how do we want to present this?

How do we want to start this page?

It currently starts

  • “Should removing warnings other users give you be disallowed?”

I think it should be clarified into

  • “Should a user be allowed to remove warnings other users give?”

But then again this Proposal/Clarity of Policy Is more complicated that one being alloed to remove warnings form one one’s talk page.

We need to address removing warnings, warnings about removing warnings and re adding warnings .

  • Who can do what
  • Where can one do what
  • What can one do. & What can be removed
  • When can what be removed (how long should the warnings stay up)
  • Why can/cant one do what (The explanation for why we chose this policy)
  • How can one go about doing what (reply & keep/archive/delete,) (warn and re add/leave off))

I think it should read

  • When can who do what to warning?

But that doesn’t quite flow well What we are aiming to find out is more of a table.

  • On one axis of the table is the “who can”. On the other Axis of the table is “do what about warnings”.

We also need to deal with violations of the rule Who can & When to

  • Re-add warnings
  • Tell somebody they can’t remove warnings. Wr0 Wr Wr2.

Basically this issue has so many parts to it we may need to break id town into its elements.--E-Bod 03:16, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Top down policy or bottom up?Edit

As mentioned above, this issue has many parts. However, I think that breaking it down into separate elements (like the curent polls) is fraught with difficulties as many elements are co-related, and by separating them there is a risk of the resulting totality being inconsistant when added back together again. So what about looking it from the other angle, and trying to build the policy in one go? IOW, someone creates drafts a policy on the poll page, where people can comment yes/maybe/no. The comments can include minor tweaks as suggestions, but nothing major. If anyone has another suggestion that's not covered by an existing draft, they can add another draft, but hopefully the number of majorly different drafts should be within a reasonable limit. This also has the advantage that once the voting is done, the policy is almost pre-written. Comments? MartinRe 17:29, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

A couple of quibblesEdit

At several points in the discussion, we talk about archiving as requiring preservation on a specific archival page. Yes, many people do that but some archive into the page history. That has been my practice for quite a while and, as far as I know, it's never been controversial. I'm not hiding anything but I don't see much point to consuming yet more server space for a bunch of random questions and comments. It's easy to say that server space is cheap but even small costs do add up eventually.

In general, removal of comments about vandalism are inappropriate, especially on the Talk pages of anonymous IPs. But sometimes, the warnings are just too old to care about even there. Perhaps a time limit would be appropriate? And perhaps there should be a caveat that the warning can be removed when it's addition was clearly in bad faith? But then you get into the question of who determines "bad faith"... It's a difficult question. I'd recommend making this a guideline with the clear expectation that the removal of such warnings will be viewed by the community with great skepticism. I'd also make a specific mention of the three-revert rule. If you delete a warning but it gets added back, somebody's trying to tell you something. Rossami (talk) 13:45, 10 May 2006 (UTC)


Could someone please tell me what the 'positive effects' of forcibly keeping warnings on talk pages are? I can only think of one... specifically allowing admins to see that the user has been warned before. Is there anything else? That doesn't seem like a particularly needed addition... we generally know who the 'trouble makers' are, and with the block log, contributions list, talk page history, et cetera it isn't like it is hard to find out currently. Basically, that seems small cause to go out of our way to harrass already annoyed/hostile users. Instituting a Wikipedia 'scarlet letter' policy wherein we force people to 'wear' the   symbol on their talk pages seems like a terrible idea to me. What exactly is 'good' about this? --CBDunkerson 00:12, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

The scarlet letter itself has some advantages as a mark of shame. Kind of like being branded as a criminal in the Middle Ages (I think?) - it discourages the recipient, and other users, from such actions. But I agree that it does more harm than good, in most cases. TheJabberwʘck 02:15, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

No Magic BulletEdit

What a contentious debate! A lot of us are unhappy with the way that talk pages are being used and it looks as if many of us have dragged our grievances here. Please allow me to make a few suggestions:

  • It may not be wise to label anyone's edits vandalism unless you really, really mean it. "Vandalism" is when someone scribbles sexual suggestions, racist remarks, or patent nonsense on a page. "Vandalism" is when someone blanks an encyclopedic article or project process. The term should be restricted to an obvious and blatant act that disrupts the project or community with no redeeming value. By definition, if it can be debated by rational people whether an act is or is not vandalism, then it is not.
  • Many edits which are not vandalism are unwise or unhelpful. These range from simple mistakes and misstatements of fact through biased contributions, spam, rants, and all kinds of policy violations. It doesn't need to be vandalism to be very bad.
  • One's user talk page is in one's user space; this puts the responsibility for its maintenance on one's shoulders, by default. I don't own my talk page but I assume that if I don't keep it clean and neat then nobody will do this for me. And if it's my responsibility then I generally don't expect anyone to dictate to me how I should do it. There can be no responsibility without corresponding authority.

User talk pages serve at least four very different functions and this is the root of the issue surfaced in this discussion -- as well as many other issues.

(1) You want to talk to me. (red arrow) You want me to be sure I read what you have got to say. You may be talking about me or about something else.

(2) I want to talk to you. (blue arrow) Having read your comment, I want to reply directly to you (while keeping the thread intact).

(3) You want to talk about me (green arrow) You want to be sure that anyone visiting my talk page reads what you have got to say about me.

(4) I want to tell everybody something. (amber arrow) This may not be appropriate for the Pump or some other common page but I want everyone who visits to see it.

It's no surprise that one page is hardly enough for these various purposes. At first the idea was that at least (4) would be fulfilled by one's user page. But users tend to go directly to user talk if possible; there's a widespread demand for direct talk links in sigs and this desire is also reflected in {{user}} and its variants. I don't really expect anything I put on my user page to be seen by most visitors to my talk page. Some maintain their user pages as showcases and UBX farms; others just concentrate links to resources and projects. A surprising number of longtime users refuse to put anything at all in their user pages; a few redirect them to talk! In no case do these user pages seem to be handling any part of the talk page burden noted in the figure.

  • User talk pages are poor places to hold threaded discussions; these frequently end up fragmented among two or more pages. Whenever possible, and when the topic is not a particular user, it may be better to move a thread to a common, more appropriate page.

If we accept that I have at least 2 valid reasons for editing my own talk page then it's very hard to tell me how I should edit it. Where do we draw the line? I can see this discussion going on all year.

I archive my talk page frequently; I hate to see any talk page cluttered with old comments. History is always available and for those who don't wish to pick through it I list the versions immediately prior to mass deletions. I certainly don't think anyone has cause to complain -- but what if someone put a tag on my talk? How long would I be required to leave it up? A week? A year? If I rm it instantly it is still there forever in history. I think the question is not whether I rm it; it's whether I pay any attention.

I suggest that we not attempt to set precise limits on what edits a user may make to the corresponding user talk page. Existing policy is sufficient word to the wise. I suggest that if -- for example -- Bob puts a {{test}} template on my talk page and I remove it without responding to the charge, then this action of mine should be considered to accelerate the warning progression. If I rm a test1 and Sue thinks she has cause to add another warning, she should go directly to test3. If I rm a test3 then I can expect an immediate block the next time I cross the line; no further warning should be given.

Admins should never exercise admin powers to rm comments from their talk page history. If something truly vile lands there then you may persuade a fellow admin to rm it for you. We simply don't trust you to decide what is sufficiently objectionable to the community that no common user ought to be able to read it, ever. You're an interested party.

We're concerned that vandals may rm warnings, leading to repeated test1's and an extended period of free play. Well, that's what AN/I is for. I encourage vandals to rm warnings from their talk pages; I encourage admins to check talk history before taking action and, if a user has rm a warning, well -- no need to cut this one any more slack.

  • To tell the truth, I'm not so certain we really need to issue four warnings before blocking. I'd favor 3 strikes and you're out -- which translates to two warnings only and then a block. Under this system, an admin who visits a talk page to warn and finds an earlier warning removed by the user should immediately block. Why coddle kiddies? WP:NOT censored for the protection of minors; must we hold our editing community open to juvenile delinquents?

In sum: No, it's not vandalism; in some cases it may be very unwise. We should not be afraid to deal with bad actors quickly and decisively. But yet another policy is unneeded instruction creep. To paraphrase Yskyflyer: If removing warnings is criminalized, only criminals will remove warnings. What's the point? John Reid 10:38, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

I Love your Diagram. Did you make it Just for this page. It is Awesome. And I Love you Explanation of the Situation to. You are Rally good ad Evaluating situations. OK. Now here is my response. I was getting sick and tired of watching people revert the Vandalism page by adding and removing the section on removing warnings. The talk page of Vandalism was becoming a mess and so I decided that we can’t keep having people reverting the page and the winner be whoever is the least compromise-able and most dedicated to reverting the page. That is why I made this proposal. Not to actually make a proposal but just to clarify the policy. It also served to Trick any fool reverting that page again into believing that their is a page to battle this out. This page isn’t hear to make a policy. The page is hear so that people stop Filling up the talk page of policies with this issue. I did create this page with the intention of lots of people supporting one side of the issue and passing any policy. I created this page to make it Clear to people what the policy is. I can see know that there is no General feel to what should be done.

Here is my experience and why I feel we should have some policy telling people not to remove warnings. I saw a user make a horrible ugly edit to a guideline page. I reverted it and apologized for the revert. Anyway I tried several times to explaining that this was a guide line and he/she should stop changing it like that. This user totally misunderstood the policies and continues to confuse notability with verifiability. This user always responded to any comment by requesting to know what policy we were talking about and throwing around big policy names. I started to suspect this user was a troll because the user never actually responded to any points made in a comment to him/her and always asked to see the policy page we were referring to even when we linked to the policy page. It was like talking to a wall that kept asking for you to prove you points but never listened when you did. I eventually got around to reading other comments on the talk page to realize this was no the first time somebody felt this way about this user so I decided to put a warning on the page so that future users can save the trouble of responding to this user’s request and just know What issues this user has set their mind on and will not change.

I do not care what the policy is. I just want their to be a clear policy so I know what to do if I encounter this problem again.

I agree that if somebody is behaving properly and happens to remove a waning noting needs to be done but if somebody has been warned for misbehaving, removes the warning, another person encounters the same problem with the same user and assumes good faith again and leaves a warning to behave. I Just feel uneasy to know their are user who are continually warned about the same ting. Won’t accept that Wikipedia poly says something and then keeps pretending that this is the first time somebody has objected to the way this user is acting.

Ok. Now the way I put this is very one sided. The specific case I am talking about is more subtle and The issue is not so This or That. This person does have some legitimacy but I am sore to see that I Spend a lot Of time Explaining myself to this user only to have that user call my comment my personal attack. But to top that off I Re word my comments using the WP:NPA as a guideline and coping the boilerplate suggestion on the talk page and it still ges revered and I again feel I can word my self better as third time and is is still just a revert. I Now want to point to a poly that take some side and doesn’t just say you are wrong if you remove a comment and you are wrong it you re admit I want somewhere for it to say you can’t Just remove a comment to hide it form other people. I love it when user leave patent Personal attack on their talk page with a comment like this about comment speaks for itself because any comment obvious enough to merit removal speaks for self as an illegitimate comment. To make myself celar this is what I am talking about --E-Bod 02:35, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

The problem with the current policy is that the current Policy says it is uncivil to remove warnings and it is uncivil to re add the removed warnings. The poly doesn’t say you can’t remove warnings and it doesn’t say you can’t re add warnings. My problem with that is that Good faith user will see this policy and leave bad warnings on their user talk page while Ill faith users will use this policy as Proof that they can remove warnings. With the current policy the people who deserve a bad comment on their talk page will remove it because the policy page doesn’t spell out that they can’t do that and people who don’t deserve warnings will leave them up because the policy page discourages it. Something like that is totally unfair and that is why I have this talk page. I have no objections that old messages including warnings should be removed. I object to when the same first level warning is placed on a talk page repeatedly by numerous users who each assume good faith and don’t want o go through the history of the talk page to find the truth. After a user has been warned repeatedly about something on isolated occasions I think their should be a non removable comment on the talk page warning other users about the issue because if this user can’t come to an agreement with any other wikidia Every other Wikipedian shouldn’t have to debate this issue with this person time after time. If somebody want to remove a warning it should be easy To find the warning.

My response to this issue has changed a lot. At first I said it was the responsibility of the person leaving the warring to have a Clear edit summary to display their warnings. Next I realized how much time I put into making a comment just to see it deleted and got upset and am in favor of re adding warnings after multiple people have problems with the same issue.

I was initially infer of admins being allowed to deal with warnings but now I realism admits are just users with tools and Even adins can act uncivil at times. --E-Bod 02:35, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

Edit summary. Good user leave bad comments and bad user remove legitimate comets. This is not fair and this policy page is meat to make a nice one rule so people at deferent levels of reasoning can have the same legitimacy of warnings on their page. (note good user don’t mind explaining bad comments that are left on their talk page)--E-Bod 02:35, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

This is all completely worthless. There is 0 reasons to think that you own someone elses talk page, you don't. If you think it's uncivil to blank a talk page, that's your problem. Civility is subjective. There are more reasons to blank a talk page than just to remove warnings or whatever else. It's your talk page, you should be able to do whatever you want with it. Personally, I just don't like crowded text, so I blank mine every once in a while. If people need to know what has been written in the past, use history, users can't blank out their own history. This is getting to the point (even though i've never had a problem with this personally, it is an unethical policy) where I am considering just not using my username any more at all. Wikipedia is becoming worse and worse with these intrusive policies that discourage people from editing. Whatever happened to "be bold" and "assume good faith"? It seems like those things have gone out the window in favor of pointless attempts to enforce someone own's views of civility over everyone else. --MateoP 05:19, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Not responding to MessagesEdit

I have Now seen some cases where people will archive negative comments on their talk page Immediately without ever commenting on the message. This is Unacceptable. It is already called Uncivil on policy pages but i think it would be nice to Have some template warning about it. Technically they are archive it but they are still trying to cover up the negative messages--E-Bod 21:21, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

Moved from main pageEdit

My take--E-BodEdit

  • You should always respond to a comment. If it is really a personal attack you should archive it and say it was a personal attack. If the warning was just plain wrong and somebody put it on you page as a joke it should be easy to prove that and their should be nobody that would disagree that the warning is unjust if you respond to it.

It would only benefit a user to remove legitimate claims from their user page to hide them because if the claim is not legitimate that user can

  1. Request a third party to remove it (and they would because it is illegitimate)
  2. Make a comment after it explaining how it has no basis on reality (third parties would see this and know it was illegitimate)
  3. Any user who checks the history would see it and if you removed it you can't explain why it is illegitimate (and if you did nobody would believe you because others wouldn’t have the opportunity to respond)

Discovering a user deleted a warning is like finding a skeleton in the closet. Other users will become very skeptical and the user’s reputation drops to nothing because any bad facts to ruin that person reputation is deleted.

Knowing a user practices remove comets removes any possibly of assuming good faith because if they just left the negative comment there they would have seen the warning and seen the reason it is illegitimate and then go to the user who posted the warning and leave a message on that user’s page

A good progressing user should have noting to hide. They should acknowledge their mistakes and try not to make them again. They should be able to resolve disputes so both parties can smile at the end (or point out that the other party is a trouble user that many people haven’t resolved disputes before effectively)

The Policy Breaks down when a user calls a warning a personal attack. One solution would be to Leave the Personal attack up for a third party to remove. If it is a personal attack a third party would remove it. If it isn’t they wont. A third party would have better judgment because they are not overwhelmed by emotions of being involved in the dispute. If third is a personal attack

The worst thing a user can do is remove a warning without any explanation. That offends the user who put the warning up and it makes everyone else feel skeptical of that user (the one who removed the warning).

The Problem now is that user remove warnings clearly legitimate warnings and then clam there is no clear policy against it.

If you get a offended when someone removes a warning label from their own talk page, that's your problem. Personally, I get offended when people use subst on my talk page and I think that if you need to tell someone something you should at least have the courtesy to write it yourself. But I'm not trying to make a policy enforcing that. Deal with it.

Blocking for archiving?Edit

This is the only part I object to. Users should be able to archive whenever they want, and as long as they link to the archive, they're not really hiding the warning, they just archived it. I archive my talk page whenever it hits 50 topics. What if the 49th topic is a warning? If I archive it after one more message I'll get blocked because I didn't wait a reasonable amount of time? That's silly. --Rory096 04:50, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

When I wrote the proposal to clarify the policy I was talking about removing warnings without archiving them. As of before this edit I was thinking that archiving is OK in any circumstance but removing the warning without archive is bad. However Very recently I was frustrated When I came across a user who was miss using WP:AWB and I came to there talk page and it was empty and but they did archive it and on the talk page and read numerous complaints scattered throughout the archive Very similar and more serious than mine. These warnings asked Questions and Probed for a response however the user did not respond to any of them. I coped one of the more recent discussion from the archive back to that user page so other users would see the warning and not double up on it and included my warring on the bottom (I left the other unrelated warring on the archive alone only the repeated office. The user then removed my warning so I put a notice telling them the respond to my comment and not hide it. The user removed that too and then put a speedy delete tag on his talk page to remove all records. Another user removed that tag. This user hasn’t uses AWB since my warning so I haven’t taken further action Ian Pitchford

I believe a user should be Blocked for repeatedly and deliberately trying to hide and not respond to complaints from other users. This interferes with our effective ness in finding these troublesome users. Removing a warning within 30 seconds of the warning being placed with no response is wrong. If that warning had been issued independently several times by user who Assume good faith they should receive a strong message that they cannot repeat what they did. They should receive a short block because they are deliberately or doing noting to avoid the discouraged behavior. I did not mean this to Apply to the Good faith user who just treated the warning as any other message on their talk page. The problem is that some people will say that if it isn’t directly prohibited they have a right to do it. They should be blocked for trying to manipulate the system. However I am not saying just block them I am saying we should evaluate the situation and in a case by case situation if it is obvious that they have been told to stop dong this behavior and they Abuse WP:AGF them they should be blocked. In your case we would tell right away what you were doing regular house cleaning. If you are fallowing the spirit of Wikipedia you should be ok. If you are gaming the system you will be warned with a short block.

A different user had also removed warning and told be that the Policy Page only discouraged it and did not prohibit it so he felt entitled to remove the warnings. There is no reason to achieve only the messages you don’t like or to archive all the messages on a really short talk page (If that is the only message you should not achieve because I feel the talk page is not only to receive messages but also for others to know what messages you have received in order to take proper action. If we give progressively severer warnings a users should not be allowed to remove the warnings so new users start back and the early warnings.)--E-Bod 15:44, 3 June 2006 (UTC)

Proposed policyEdit

Here's my take on this; my proposed version of the policy, if you like: Removing recent warnings from your own talk page should be treated in the same way as vandalism. It's not vandalism, but like vandalism, removing recent warnings causes you to be given a warning such as {{wr}}. Repetition of this behavior leads to a more severe warning such as {{wr2}}, and then to a short edit block. Continued repetition then leads to longer blocks, as with vandalism. Also like vandalism, reversion of warning deletion should not count against the 3RR (but repeated deletion of warnings may).

I'm open to discussion on the definition of recent. One month seems fine to me. Whatever definition of recent is chosen, deleting warnings older than that is discouraged in the same way that deleting other talk page comments is. Archiving is preferable, but not mandatory.

Note that I do not propose that removing warnings from someone else's talk page be treated as vandalism. A neutral third party may remove a warning, ideally leaving behind an explanation that an invalid warning was removed. This allows a user who has been unfairly warned to request help from another user or an admin. Similarly, the person who put the warning there is free to remove it if he/she changes his/her mind.

The higher level warnings for warning removal should be given with discretion. A user who removes a clearly invalid warning from his or her own talk page is taking a risk that other users will issue a further warning for this, but in a case where it's clear that the warning being removed is false, it's appropriate to ignore the removal.

One side note: I have seen several users assert in this debate that their talk page is theirs, and that they are free to do whatever they like with it. I disagree. Talk pages and User pages are part of the project too. Anything written on your talk page is issued under the GFDL (see the license notice under the edit box), and is owned by everyone. Usage of these pages is governed by the appropriate policies and guidelines.--Srleffler 23:44, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

My thinking is just this: What if a user joins Wikipedia and, not knowing wht they're doing, messes around and gets a vanadalism warning. A year later, they are a prominent editor of many interesting articles, but people who go to their talk page still see the vandalism warning they outgrew. Can they remove it then? I think the warning templates should have a statute of limitations and a date on them-- you may remove this warning if you have not accrued another by X date. Kuronue 20:40, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
The general rule of thumb has always been that archiving after a week or two is fine. KillerChihuahua?!? 22:53, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Reverting user-blanked talk pagesEdit

I feel you should be able to revert talk pages where the user has intentionally blanked messages. Unless you go through the edit history, it is difficult to get a "feel" for the user when this occurs, as the user is able to select the "image" they portray on Wiki. -- PageantUpdatertalk | contribs | esperanza 03:39, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

This page is messy , so I've marked as rejectedEdit

Actually the tradition is simply that if a warning is removed, it counts as having been read (you need to actually go to your page, find the warning and edit it out, after all).

This basically solves the entire problem quickly and succinctly, I don't think this page is adding anything new or improved to that. If the person avoids the warning again, just block them. This is why it's important to check user talk page history before issuing a warning ;-)

If anyone disagrees, please specify why, and let's discuss. (as per bold revert discuss :-) ) Kim Bruning 07:41, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Users participating in RC patrol often rely on the existence of prior vandalism warnings on the current version of the vandal's talk page to indicate whether and how the vandal should be warned again, or whether the vandal should be listed on Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism. Allowing vandals to hide the warnings in the history of their talk page frustrates countervandalism efforts. Furthermore, there is supermajority support on this page for the belief that removing legitimate vandalism warnings either constitutes vandalism or a non-vandalism policy violation. With 6 established users supporting "Removing warnings is Vandalism", 13 established users supporting "Removing warnings is against policy but not Vandalism", 7 established users supporting "Removing warnings is discouraged but not against policy", and 1 established user supporting "Removing warnings is Great" we have 19 comments in favor of the removal of legitimate warnings being characterized as some type of policy violation, but only 8 comments opposed to characterizing such removals as policy violations. Irrespective of whether "This page is messy", the comments received so far hardly form a firm basis for the rejection of the proposal. John254 05:04, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

If you clearly mark a warning as such in your edit summary, it is very hard to hide it in page history. If bots don't make viewing page history easy, we can fix that quickly. Also, we could get the antivandalbots to trigger on earlier warnings in the edit history itself, possibly. All these methods would be handier, faster, and clearer than editwarring, if you ask me :-) Do you want me to go make a change request for (cd)vf, for instance? Kim Bruning 15:52, 11 August 2006 (UTC)
Those of us that use apps like vandalproof, don't see the history of the page. ViridaeTalk 13:15, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
So don't use vandalproof. It's not free software, so it's harder to commission someone to make the changes we want. Kim Bruning 16:38, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, appears to be rightEdit

There is supermajority support on this page for the belief that removing legitimate vandalism warnings either constitutes vandalism or a non-vandalism policy violation. With 7 established users supporting "Removing warnings is Vandalism", 14 established users supporting "Removing warnings is against policy but not Vandalism", 7 established users supporting "Removing warnings is discouraged but not against policy", and 1 established user supporting "Removing warnings is Great" we have 21 comments in favor of the removal of legitimate warnings being characterized as some type of policy violation, but only 8 comments opposed to characterizing such removals as policy violations. In light of these circumstances, it doesn't appear that Wikipedia:Removing warnings was actually rejected. John254 22:30, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

However, in context it's just moot, since if a warning is removed, you can assume the warning has been seen, and you can then simply proceed to block at the appropriate moment in time. If you want to keep track of warnings anywhere other than a users' own page, that would be a lot wiser. They do exist in page history. If this is insufficient, some other administrative location in the wikipedia: namespace (possibly bot assisted) would also be much better. That way you get no internal contradictions in the rules, and no edit wars, which (I believe) was the point in the first place :-)
Is anyone prepared to just go ahead and set up such a procedure? Kim Bruning 23:09, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
John, this is one of those issues that's hard to legislate for, because admins tend to have to use their commonsense about it. There are some circumstances in which it's important for warnings to stay on talk pages e.g. when a user has been blocked and other admins might need to see the events that led to the block, it's good for that material to stay on the talk page for the duration of the block. Another circumstance might be when someone is engaged in simple vandalism, and it's important to show that they've been warned before and don't need to keep on being warned before being blocked. But apart from situations like those, users are allowed to clear warnings from their talk pages. If they do, we know they've read them; and if we want other admins to see there has been a warning, we can write "3RR warning," or whatever, in the edit summary. The important thing is not to turn the issue of a warning on a talk page into a source of conflict. If a regular editor, who is more or less going about his own business, doesn't want a warning to stay on his talk page, he should be allowed to get rid of it without being harassed. That's the rule of thumb, so far as I'm aware. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:19, 18 August 2006 (UTC)
John, I think the straw poll at the top has a) been largely ignored and b) a tendency to miss the nuances of the arguments here. Most people seem to be saying that it's not vandalism, but it is a bad thing; notice that some of those poll votes were from April! A general guideline is all that's really necessary, and that seems to be what we already have. It doesn't have community consensus, whatever a poll at the top says. Look at the edits going back and forth over this across different polciy/guideline/proposal pages, rather than just counting noses. -- nae'blis 04:25, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
The 'nose count' is particularly inapropriate in this case because it is being applied to things which were never contemplated by the 'poll'. For instance, it is argued that removed warnings should be restored... but in truth only seven people explicitly 'voted' for that in calling it "vandalism". Some of 'the 14' apparently intended that as well, but some just as clearly did not. Ten clearly opposed it. To me that breaks down as a majority against edit warring over warning messages, but this page is then incorrectly 'cited' as grounds for doing so. --CBD 19:09, 19 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm worried that it's too hard for a rule to distinguish between a vandal removing legitimate warnings and a legitimate removal of vandalism in the form of warnings. Can we avoid all this instruction creep? Quarl (talk) 2006-08-24 08:31Z

Wikipedia:Centralized discussion/Removing warningsEdit

Since this page looks like a rather messy place to continue discussion, I've created this page. Please direct all new discussion about this topic there. JYolkowski // talk 21:57, 25 August 2006 (UTC)

Return to the project page "Removing warnings".