Hey guys, JustLeafy here and today, we are gonna talk about very common problems, specifically in FANDOM, and which many know called vandalism, also spam. First, let's talk everything about them.
Definition and Observation
Have you ever seen a user making a ton of (non-breaking) spaces in an article, or even in a reply? Have you ever seen a user providing a large chunk of completely irrelevant text like, yeah, you already get it. Anyways, have you ever even seen a user posting a ton of emojis, enter lines or swear words? This is all categorized as spam, and we can also say that spam appears in multiple ways (commonly, the ways mentioned in here).
Have you ever seen a user remove like a large part of the article, or the entire article? This is called vandalism, which is a very bad problem that happens in many wikis, even Wikipedia. This can be observed, in History pages, if there is a revision containing a bold and large negative number marked in red. It can also be observed if there are summaries like "(Removing all content from a page." (or something like that) or "Replacing all content with [insert spam/profanity here]." (or something like that). Vandalism is only acceptable if somebody removes all content from their sandbox or personal templates (at least in my opinion, unless if somebody else does it to them).
In extremely popular communities containing a younger audience in a community's specific franchise, especially with FANDOM users (anonymous/unregistered users), spam will be very common in these cases. Some users may even be 5 to 7 years old, and with that spam, they can get influenced with it, and maybe someday, the spam grows and influences more kids and the cycle goes on and on, leading into a failure for a decent of general/average maturity in a specific community.
Also in extremely popular communities containing a younger audience in a community's specific franchise, especially with FANDOM users, in communities describing a heavily disliked franchise, or in communities that lack rollbacks and other staff members, vandalism may appear to be from a somewhat common to an extremely common problem in these type of communities. Persisted vandalism, or even long-lasting vandalism, will make a specific community lose readers, and never come back into a wiki. Another plus is a loss of content if a specific page was heavily vandalized, causing a possible deletion for the page.
Some tips may be fairly to very obvious, but some may actually be useful for your community.
- Roam Special:WikiActivity in your community, check if there are spam comments and edit/remove them: Editing or removing these comments will reduce the amount of kids influenced with that type of spam, as well as shown immaturity.
- Warn these users, and recommend them the full rules: Warning these users may actually make them point out their past mistakes and try to behave more often. However, in case if there is a rule that they have broken, and they haven't realized, recommend them the full rules so that they can (accidentally) break less to no rules. If they disobeyed the rules, temporarily block them. I'd recommend being a bit more strict if the user was vandalizing.
- Quickly revert their spammed edits in articles: Keeping an article clean from spam and vandalism will re-attract its readers, even if it spams about opinions, profanity or unofficial content. To make this revert even faster, rollback these edits, or tell an administrator to add this script for a faster undoing progress for all users.
- Get more staff: Remember this: "More staff, more protection". Nuff' said.
- Create a wiki describing a franchise with a generally mature community: If you are about to start a new wiki, I'd recommend making the wiki describe a franchise with a generally mature community. That way, it could be possible that there would be less spammers and vandals than usual.
- Disable anonymous users: While some of them are very nice and useful in editing, not all of them make the best edits or make non-spammed comments. If at least 80% of your anonymous users are like this, I'd recommend disabling them, as it will reduce the amount of spammers and vandals.
Thanks for reading guys, and hope this helped.
P.S. I think there should be a help page called "Dealing with vandalism" or something like that.