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Disruptive editing is a pattern of editing that, while by itself, seems to help the community, but when combined with other edits, disrupts progress towards a community's goals. Disruptive editing can occur for many reasons. For example, one may be disruptive because they do not know how to make an edit and forget to fill in the edit summary. Another may also be disruptive because they do not have the competence required to participate in a community. Just because the disruption happens in good faith does not mean that it is not harmful to the community.

How to identify disruptive editing

A disruptive editor seems to be helpful at first, but there are many characteristics that distinguish them from other editors. For example, a disruptive editor:

  • Is biased
  • Does not engage in forming consensus
  • Does not listen to community input
  • Drives away potential contributors

How to deal with disruptive editing

Disruptive editing can be hard to deal with, depending on the type of disruption. Vandalism can be reverted as soon as it is identified. Do the following:

  1. Revert the edit(s). You may want to use the rollback tool if you have the rights.
  2. If the editor reinstates the disruptive edit(s), then revert in addition to letting the disruptive editor know.
  3. If you are an admin on the community where the disruption is happening, block the editor if they continue to disrupt.