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Final Fantasy Wiki:Vandalism and Good Faith Policies

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All wikis have a fair share of vandalism, and at the Final Fantasy Wiki, we have policies to try and prevent it. This guide informs you on how to combat vandalism, how to distinguish them from edits made in Good Faith and advises you on what to do after.

Vandalism and Good FaithEdit

Many users may initially find some difficulty to distinguish between edits that are blatant vandalism and edits that are made in Good Faith. There is a difference between the two, and should be dealt with differently.

Below are a couple of examples of blatant vandalism.

  • Inserting explicit and/or offensive material.
  • Promoting/Advertising illegal actions or wares.

All other edits that don't fall in the above two examples should be assumed as made in Good Faith and should never be treated in the same way as vandalism. The following table lists some examples of edits that should be considered to be made in Good Faith.

Example Edit Why is it Good Faith? What you should do
Removing parts of an article without specifying a reason (if it is not obvious at first glance). The user may believe that the removed section is incorrect, too obvious, explained elsewhere etc. and may either have forgotten to add a reason in the edit summary, or didn't know about the edit summary. If you don't know why the user has done this, you can ask them on their talk page. Don't undo the edit unless you cannot think of a conceivable reason why this edit was made, or you think the article is worse off after the edit has been made.
Changing or adding details not present or referred to in games or game manuals without citing a reputable reference. The most common examples of this are character ages and heights, as well as voice actors for upcoming games. The user may believe they are right and the previous details are wrong. A common mistake is users thinking that forum posts and sites like Wikipedia are reputable sources or they may not know that such claims must be backed up by references Undo the edit and ask the user where they are getting their information from. If different users are making the same edit, it is a good idea to add a comment next to the detail in question (i.e. <!--please cite your references-->) which should hopefully deter some editors from editing it without a reference to show for it.
Messing up table or template formatting. This is usually a mistake, often caused if the user is rushing to complete their edit, they are unsure about wiki formatting or they didn't know they could preview their changes. Try and fix the formatting if possible. If the user is repeating this mistake, ask the user via the talk page what he/she is trying to do, and remind them to Preview their changes before saving them.
Constantly undoing another person's edit (edit warring). They believe that their version is right or the other person's edit is wrong. Ask the user via their talk page to cease their edits on that article, and instead discuss why they are making the edit on the article's talk page. In general, the article should be restored to a revision before the edit war was triggered, until the discussion is complete. If the user continues to edit war, make a Protection request on the Staff Noticeboard.
Posting a link to an external website that you don't recognise. This may not be malicious, and the user may be attempting to add a reference. You must not, under any circumstances, visit websites you do not recognise, as the link may contain explicit content or contain malware that will infect your computer. If you have any doubts over the safety of the linked website, no matter how small, you should remove it immediately. Despite this caution, still consider the edit as potentially made in good faith and inform the user why you have removed the link. If another user does recognise the website and knows it is safe, he/she can always reinsert it.
Inserting gibberish or random words (page testing). Some users are unfamiliar about how a wiki works, so they perform a "test" on an article to see if the wiki actually saves it. These tests often come in the form of typing random letters and words. Undo their edit, then welcome them to the wiki with a Welcome template ( {{Subst:Welcome}} ) on their talk page, and point them in the direction of the Sandsea for testing.

Do Not Bite the NewcomersEdit

This is one of the golden rules of the Final Fantasy Wiki and should not be broken. When a new member, registered or anonymous, edits the wiki, ninety-nine times out of a hundred they do so because they want to help and improve the knowledge base. So if they make an edit that does not conform to the wiki's standards, such as poor spelling, grammar, formatting or anything else that comes under Good Faith, do not bite their heads off. Treat them as you were treated when you first arrived at the wiki and then they will feel welcome here and hopefully they will stay and edit more.

If you see a new user make an edit to the wiki that does not completely conform to the wiki's standards, do the following.

  • Amend or revert the edited information.
  • Go to the user's talk page and welcome to the wiki (if this hasn't already been done, type {{subst:Welcome}} at the top of their talk page and write your message below this) and thank them for contributing to the wiki.
  • Inform them in nice friendly words how to do that edit in the future so that it conforms to the wiki's standards.
  • Do NOT tell them off and say they've done it completely wrong, because they haven't. Instead be positive and tell them they they have the right idea, but it just needed tweaking.
  • Encourage them to be bold. This is another golden rule of the wiki. Editors gain confidence after editing for a while, but those first few edits can be daunting. Encourage them to edit and not to worry if they get something wrong. It can always be amended and no damage is done.

Do Not Feed the TrollsEdit

Some vandals behave the way they do because they feed on the reactions of other editors (this is called trolling), and therefore they may think a warning or other message on their talk page is some sort of medal for their efforts. It is best not to give them this satisfaction by just reverting their edits and doing no more. Most of the time vandals will get bored from the lack of response and cease vandalising the wiki, and the more persistent vandals will eventually be blocked from editing the wiki by an administrator.

Methods of Reverting EditsEdit

Whilst patrolling the Recent Changes page, sooner or later you will find an edit that needs to be reverted. There are a few ways to revert edits, and these steps are described below:-

UndoEdit

All users have the ability to undo edits. If you spot a single edit on an article that, for whatever reason, needs to be undone, do the following to remove it:-

  • On the Recent Changes Page, click the "diff" option on the edit in question.
  • Next to the "Latest Edition as of..." at the top of the article, click "undo".
  • In the Edit Page screen, type the reason as why you are undoing the edit in the Summary box, and then click "Save Page".

Typing reasons in the Summary Box is important as it may not be clear to other users as to why you are undoing the edit, and they could even undo your undo. If it is vandalism, it is usually obvious why you are undoing it, and so you wouldn't be expected to type in a Summary as the main goal is to remove the vandalism as quickly as possible.

Restoring Past RevisionsEdit

If a user has made multiple edits and you deem all of them to be incorrect, following the above method will only undo the latest edit. Therefore you need to restore the article to a past revision.

  • On the article, click the dropdown by the "Edit" button and click "History."
  • On the History page you will see a timeline of revisions made to the page. Click the date of the revision before the unwanted edits were made.
  • Make sure the revision is the one you want, then click "Edit this page" at the top of the page.
  • In the Edit Page screen, type the reason as why you are restoring the past revision in the Summary box, and then click "Save Page".

New PagesEdit

Most users are unable to delete articles, however they can mark articles for deletion. To do this, type {{SD|reason=<your reason>}} at the top of the article. If the article contains explicit material or advertisements, you should remove it from the page, but make sure you've included in your reason what was there without the gory details.

If you wish to delete a page that may not be seen as spam or vandalism, you should instead type {{Delete|reason=<your reason>|time=~~~~~}} at the top of the article, and you should state your reasons why on the article's Discussion page in addition to the reason you have stated on the Delete template. The discussion page allows you to enter more detail in your reason why it should be deleted.

If an article you marked for deletion earlier hasn't been removed yet, it is advised you contact an administrator via the Staff Noticeboard.

Using the Test TemplateEdit

Thank you for experimenting with the Final Fantasy Wiki!
Your test worked, and has been removed. For further tests, please visit our Sandbox instead of the main pages of the Final Fantasy Wiki. Here are some more suggestions to help you get started:
  • Please visit this page to help you get started editing. For further aid, please visit our Help Portal.
  • For major changes, please visit our Manual of Style to help learn the rules of editing.
  • If you have any questions, feel free to ask me on my talk page (click my name below), or check out our fora.

This template is not designed as a punishment for befouling the wiki, but as information to the user that what they did was wrong, and lists some pointers on what they could do to improve the wiki instead. The trick here, though, is to know when to use it. To add the test template to a user's talk page, simply type {{subst:test}}. Please also specify the reason why you are giving them a test template below, and remember to sign underneath the template.

The only time you should use the test template is when a member performs a page test (typing nonsensical words or gibberish) on one of our articles on the wiki. You should not use it if there is a chance that the user is editing in Good Faith, or if you are in some sort of dispute with that user, and you definitely shouldn't use it on users that have performed what you think is intentional vandalism.

If you feel that a user is undeserving of a test template, you can remove it from their talk page, but make sure you specify a reason why you removed them on the talk page. You should not remove test templates on your own talk page, but if you feel you do not deserve it, contact an administrator.

Hopefully you would never have to use the test template, but please be aware that it does exist and only use it if you have to.

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