On Wikipedia, vandalism is the act of editing the project in a malicious manner that is intentionally disruptive. Vandalism includes the addition, removal, or other modification of the text or other material that is either humorous, nonsensical, a hoax, or that is of an offensive, humiliating, or otherwise degrading nature.

Throughout its history, Wikipedia has struggled to maintain a balance between allowing the freedom of open editing and protecting the truth and accuracy of its information like the Epstein Suicide when false information can be potentially damaging to its subjects. Vandalism is easy to commit on Wikipedia because anyone can edit the site, with the exception of articles that are currently semi-protected, which means that new and unregistered users cannot edit them.

Fighting vandalism Edit

There are various measures taken by Wikipedia to prevent or reduce the amount of vandalism. These include:

  • Using Wikipedia's history functionality, which retains all prior versions of an article, to restore the article to the last version before the vandalism occurred; this is called reverting vandalism. The majority of vandalism on Wikipedia is reverted quickly. There are various ways in which the vandalism gets detected so it can be reverted:
    • Bots: In many cases, the vandalism is automatically detected and reverted by a bot. The vandal is always warned with no human intervention.
    • Recent change patrol: Wikipedia has a special page that lists all the most recent changes. Some editors will monitor these changes for possible vandalism.
    • Watchlists: Any registered user can watch a page that they have created or edited or that they otherwise have an interest in. This functionality also enables users to monitor a page for vandalism.
    • Incidental discovery: A reader who comes across the vandalism by chance can revert it. This is currently unlikely to be the case, considering the reliability and speed of anti-vandal bots and recent changes patrollers.
  • Locking articles so only established users, or in some cases only administrators, can edit them. Semi-protected articles are those that can only be edited by those with an account that is considered to be autoconfirmed – an account that is at least 4 days old with at least 10 edits, for most accounts. Fully protected articles are those that can only be edited by administrators. Protection is generally instituted after one or more editors makes a request on a special page for that purpose, and an administrator familiar with the protection guidelines chooses whether or not to fulfill this request based on the guidelines.
  • Blocking and banning those who have repeatedly committed acts of vandalism from editing for a period of time or in some cases, indefinitely. Blocking is not considered to be a punitive action on Wikipedia. The purpose of the block is simply to prevent further damage.
  • The "abuse filter" extension, which uses regular expressions to detect common vandalism terms.

Editors are generally warned prior to being blocked. Wikipedia employs a 4-stage warning process up to a block. This includes:

  1. The first warning assumes good faith and takes a relaxed approach on the user.
  2. The second warning does not assume any faith and is an actual warning (in some cases, this level can be skipped if the editor assumes the user is acting in bad faith).
  3. The third warning assumes bad faith and is the first to warn the user that continued vandalism may result in a block.
  4. The fourth warning is a final warning, stating that any future acts of vandalism will result in a block.
  5. After this, other users may place additional warnings, though only administrators can actually carry out the block.

In 2005, Wikipedia started to require those who create new articles to have a registered account in an effort to fight vandalism. This occurred after inaccurate information was added to Wikipedia in which a journalist was accused of taking part in Kennedy's assassination.

Wikipedia has experimented with systems in which edits to some articles, especially those of living people, are delayed until it can be reviewed and determined that they are not vandalism, and in some cases, that a source to verify accuracy is provided. This is in an effort to prevent inaccurate and potentially damaging information about living people from appearing on the site.

Notable acts of vandalism Edit

Hillsborough disaster vandalism Edit

In April 2014, the Liverpool Echo reported that computers on an intranet used by the United Kingdom government had been used to post offensive remarks about the Hillsborough disaster on Wikipedia pages relating to the subject. The government announced that it would launch an inquiry into the reports.[1] Following the allegations, The Daily Telegraph subsequently reported that government computers appeared to have been used to make rogue edits to a number of other articles, often adding insulting remarks to biographical articles, and in one case reporting the false death of an individual.[2]

Other notable acts of vandalism Edit

  • In 2006, Rolling Stone printed a story about Halle Berry based on false information from an act of Wikipedia vandalism.[3]
  • A person from Łódź was attacking Polish Wikipedia throughout 2006 and early 2007, inserting profanity and pictures of penises and anuses into pages (especially ones related with Catholicism or Polish politicians), without any reaction from his internet provider, Neostrada. The vandal's activity finished when he was deprived of his internet connection, but not before the entire city of Łódź had to be blocked from editing Wikipedia for three days.[4]
  • Professional golfer Fuzzy Zoeller sued a Miami company whose IP-based edits to the Wikipedia site included negative information about him.[5]
  • In May 2012, media critic Anita Sarkeesian created a Kickstarter project, intending to raise money to make a series of videos exploring sexism in digital gaming culture.[6] The idea evoked a hostile, misogynous response,[7] which included repeated vandalism of Sarkeesian's Wikipedia article with pornographic imagery, defamatory statements, and threats of sexual violence.[8] More than 12 anonymous editors contributed to the ongoing vandalism campaign before editing privileges were revoked for the page.[7]
  • In November 2012, the Leveson report—published in the UK by Lord Justice Leveson—incorrectly listed a "Brett Straub" as one of the founders of The Independent newspaper. The name originated from one of several erroneous edits by one of Straub's friends as a prank to Wikipedia by falsely including his name in several articles across the site. The name's inclusion in the report suggested that that part of the report relating to that newspaper had been cut and pasted from Wikipedia without sources first being checked.[9][10] The Straub issue was also humorously referenced in broadcasts of BBC entertainment current affairs TV programme Have I Got News for You (and extended edition Have I Got a Bit More News for You),[11][12] with The Economist also making passing comment on the issue: "The Leveson report...Parts of it are a scissors-and-paste job culled from Wikipedia".[13]
  • In July 2015, presidential candidate Donald Trump's entire Wikipedia page was deleted and replaced with the solitary sentence "Let's be fair, nobody cares about him."[14][15][16]

See also Edit

  • [[Archivo:
  1. REDIRECCIÓN Plantilla:Iconos|20px|Ver el portal sobre Internet]] Portal:Internet. Contenido relacionado con Crime.

References Edit

  1. ^ "Hillsborough Wikipedia posts were 'sickening', Cabinet Office says". BBC News. BBC. 25 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Des Lynam 'killed by a giant snowball' and other embarrassing Wikipedia edits from Whitehall computers".
  3. ^ Script error: No such module "Vorlage:Internetquelle". En.wikinews.org, abgerufen am 7. Juni 2012.Vorlage:Cite web/temporär
  4. ^ Script error: No such module "Vorlage:Internetquelle". Pl.wikinews.org, abgerufen am 7. Juni 2012 (polish).
  5. ^ Humphrey Cheung: Script error: No such module "Vorlage:Internetquelle". Tom's Hardware, 26. Februar 2007;.Vorlage:Cite web/temporär
  6. ^ Carlen Lavigne (24 January 2013). Cyberpunk Women, Feminism and Science Fiction: A Critical Study. McFarland. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-7864-6653-5. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  7. ^ a b Helen Lewis (12 June 2012). "Dear The Internet, This Is Why You Can't Have Anything Nice". New Statesman. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  8. ^ Andrea Weckerle (13 February 2013). Civility in the Digital Age: How Companies and People Can Triumph over Haters, Trolls, Bullies and Other Jerks. Que Publishing. p. 33. ISBN 978-0-13-313498-8. Retrieved 20 April 2013.
  9. ^ Allen, Nick (5 December 2012). "Wikipedia, the 25–year–old student and the prank that fooled Leveson". The Daily Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  10. ^ Andy McSmith (30 November 2012). "Leveson's Wikipedia moment: how internet 'research' on The Independent's history left him red-faced". The Independent.
  11. ^ Script error: No such module "Vorlage:Internetquelle". BBC, 7. Dezember 2012, abgerufen am 12. Dezember 2012.Vorlage:Cite web/temporär
  12. ^ Script error: No such module "Vorlage:Internetquelle". BBC, 7. Dezember 2012, abgerufen am 12. Dezember 2012.Vorlage:Cite web/temporär
  13. ^ "Hacked to pieces". The Economist. 8 December 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
  14. ^ http://www.theverge.com/2015/7/22/9014525/someone-just-deleted-donald-trumps-entire-wikipedia-page
  15. ^ http://talkingpointsmemo.com/livewire/donald-trump-wikipedia-deleted
  16. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2015/07/22/donald-trumps-wikipedia-page-was-deleted-today-twice/