Unofficial Handbook of the Virtue Universe:Vandalism

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Vandalism is any addition, removal, or change of content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of any VirtueVerse article or content. The most common types of vandalism include the addition of obscenities or crude humor, page blanking, or the insertion of nonsense.

Any good-faith effort to improve VirtueVerse, even if misguided or ill-considered, is not vandalism. Even harmful edits that are not explicitly made in bad faith are not considered vandalism. For example, adding a personal opinion to an article once is not vandalism — it's just not helpful, and should be removed or restated. Not all vandalism is obvious, nor are all controversial changes and content vandalism. Careful attention needs to be given to whether changes made are beneficial, detrimental but well intended, or outright vandalism.

The general rule for dealing with vandals (trouble makers, malicious users, spammers, etc) on VirtueVerse is swiftly and decisively. For all clear cases of vandalism the user will receive without warning a permanent ban on their account and IP.


How Not to Respond to Vandalism

How to Respond to Vandalism

  1. Check the item history (available under the history tab found at the top of the default skin. Usually, if the most recent edit by a particular user is vandalism, then all recent edits by that user are also vandalism. It is then necessary to revert to the last version before that user started editing. It is also prudent to compare a substantially earlier (un-vandalized) version with the current, as editors may have missed a substantial deletion (a whole paragraph or section) followed by a rude remark. A novice editor may have then simply edited the remark out without checking the history. A reversion to that point followed by re-insertion of non-trivial edits may be appropriate or the missing section may be moved via cut-and-paste operations within your browser.
  2. Check the user's other contributions (click "User contributions" on the left sidebar of the screen). If most or all of these are obvious vandalism, you may decide to report the user immediately.


Types of Vandalism

Committing any of the acts described below will result in an immediate ban from VirtueVerse. These bans are irrevocable, and short of absolute proof that maliciousness was not intended will not be lifted.

Vandalism on VirtueVerse often (but not always) falls into the following categories:

Type Description
Blanking Removing all or significant parts of pages' content without any reason, or replacing entire pages with nonsense by anyone other than a page owner. Significant content removals are usually not considered to be vandalism where the reason for the removal of the content is readily apparent (requested by the owner, or major edits by a owner), or where a non-frivolous explanation for the removal of apparently legitimate content is provided, linked to, or referenced in an edit summary.
Page lengthening Adding very large amounts of content to a page so as to make the page's load time abnormally long or even make the page impossible to load on some computers. Again for this to be an act of vandalism this must be done by someone other than the owner.
Spam Adding external links to non-notable or irrelevant sites (e.g. to advertise one's website) to pages by persons other than the owner. This must be a malicious act, not someone who adds a link they believe is helpful or useful.


A bot or robot that attempts to vandalize or spam massive numbers of articles (hundreds or thousands).
Silly vandalism Adding profanity, graffiti, random characters, or other nonsense to pages; creating nonsensical and obviously non-encyclopedic pages, etc by anyone other than the owner.
Sneaky vandalism Vandalism that is harder to spot. This can include adding plausible misinformation to articles, hiding vandalism (e.g. by making two bad edits and only reverting one), using two or more different accounts and/or IP addresses at a time to vandalize, or reverting legitimate edits with the intent of hindering the improvement of pages.
Userspace vandalism Adding insults, profanity, etc. to user pages or user talk pages with the purpose of insulting, provoking, or attacking another person. Comments made in jest are fine, but please be prudent with the comments you leave, if it has the potential to upset or harm it's probably best to not put it in an archived public forum.
Image vandalism Uploading shock images, inappropriately placing explicit images on pages, or simply using any image in a way that is disruptive. Please note though that VirtueVerse is not censored for the protection of minors and that explicit images may be uploaded and/or placed on pages for legitimate reasons.
Link vandalism Modifying internal or external links within a page so that they appear the same but link to a page/site that they are not intended to (e.g an explicit image; a shock site).
Modifying users' comments Editing other users' comments to substantially change their meaning. Talk pages are not permanent, however users are discouraged from changing comments by other users except to remove them completely or to correct a broken link (or a link to a moved item). Also note that correcting other users' typos is discouraged. Always remember to use your best judgment and follow VirtueVerse Etiquette.
Discussion page vandalism Blanking the posts of other users from talk pages other than your own, VirtueVerse space, and other discussions, aside from removing internal spam, vandalism, etc., is generally considered vandalism. An obvious exception is moving posts to a proper place.

The removal of personal attacks should be left for a sysop or admin and flagged with {{sysopReviewNeeded}}. It is also considered acceptable to archive an overly long talk page by creating an archive page and moving the text from the main talk page there.

Note: The above rules do not apply to a user's own page. Editors are granted considerable latitude over editing their own userspace talk pages, and content talk pages (including talk pages), and blanking one's own talk pages is specifically not prohibited.

Repeated uploading of copyrighted material Uploading or using material on VirtueVerse in ways which violate VirtueVerse policies after having been warned is vandalism. Because users may be unaware that the information is copyrighted, or of VirtueVerse policies on how such material may and may not be used, such action only becomes vandalism if it continues after the copyrighted nature of the material and relevant policy restricting its use have been communicated to the user.
Malicious account creation Creating accounts with usernames that contain deliberately offensive or disruptive terms is considered vandalism, whether the account is used or not. For VirtueVerse's policy on what is considered inappropriate for a username, see username policy.
Edit summary vandalism Making offensive edit summaries in an attempt to leave a mark that cannot be easily expunged from the record (edit summaries cannot simply be "reverted" and remain visible when viewing a page's history). Often combined with malicious account creation.
Hidden vandalism Any form of vandalism that makes use of embedded text, which is not visible to the final rendering of the article but visible during editing.

What vandalism is not

Although at times incorrectly referred to as such, the following things are not considered "vandalism" and are therefore treated differently:

Type Description
Tests by experimenting users New users who discover the "edit this page" button sometimes want to experience editing a page and may add something unhelpful to a page (e.g., a few random characters) as a test. Such edits are not done in bad faith and are therefore not vandalism. Rather than be warned for vandalism, these users should be warmly greeted, and given assistance in working with VirtueVerse.
Unintentional nonsense/Non-malicious nonsense While intentionally adding nonsense to pages is a form of vandalism, sometimes honest editors may not have expressed themselves correctly. Also, sometimes connection errors or edit conflict unintentionally produces the appearance of nonsense or malicious edits. In either case, assume good faith.
Harassment or personal attacks We have a clear policy on VirtueVerse of no personal attacks, and harassing other contributors is not allowed. While some forms of harassment are also clear cases of vandalism, such as user page vandalism, or inserting a personal attack into an article, harassment in itself is not considered "vandalism" and should be handled differently.

If a user treats situations which are not clear vandalism as such, then it is he or she who is actually harming VirtueVerse by alienating or driving away potential editors.

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