Wikipedia talk:Requests for investigation/archive

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The following moves are in progress. See User:Pathoschild/Projects/Schism for a detailed breakdown.
Proposed renames
Vandalism in progressRequests for investigation
Vandalism in progress/Long term alertsLong term abuse
Cleaning up vandalismVandalism in progress (Update needed before move)

Over the past few months, Vandalism in progress has change drastically. We've mercilessly cut away all overlap with other processes (particularly administrator intervention against vandalism), split open proxies into a highly streamlined dual-wiki process at the WikiProject on open proxies, documented guidelines and policies, and redefined its focus into investigation of complex vandalism.

The current situation is, bluntly, as follows. This page isn't about vandalism in progress anymore. A significant portion of the reports filed on this page should have been placed on administrator intervention against vandalism; reports mistakenly placed here typically lose themselves in the backlog until they're eventually archived as old alerts. The two sections of the process, Vandalism in progress and Long term alerts, operate completely independently of each other; they're now listed seperately on the vandalism navigation template. All of the subpages, excepting the archives, are related to Long term alerts.

I propose that Long term alerts be moved into Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress, and this page be moved to a new title (such as Wikipedia:Requests for investigation). I'm quite willing to perform the move myself if need be. Any thoughts? // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 12:47, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

Moving this (WP:VIP) to your suggested requests for investigation sounds like a good idea to me. Instead of moving long term alerts to this page though we could move long term alerts to its own page (not a subpage of VIP). VIP could become more of a portal for how to deal with vandalism (I sure I've seen such a page, but I can't find it now Wikipedia:Cleaning up vandalism) and be a quick guide for people wanting to report vandalism, directing them towards the correct places, with brief instructions (mainly aimed at people who are not regular RC patrollers, but come across vandalism and want to know what to do with it).
Another thing that I've notice while attempting to do a bit of clearout of the IP section on this page (though I suspect it would apply to registered users as well), is that there appears to be a need for somewhere to report users that are not rapid vandals. It is easy to report a user to WP:AIV that has rapidly moved through the test templates, then keeps going and see them banned. However some other users carry out the same vandalism but over a period of time. They probably need an eye kept on over a period of days but are not worth a long term alert (don't meet the criteria there). Is there a potential vandal watchlist that could be tagged onto the CVU or something? I get the impression this is more what the old VIP page was for (e.g. "WP:AIV is meant to be a rapid blocking tool for non-admin RC patrollers to report on vandals who need to be blocked immediately. WP:VIP is used to inform other people to "check" on whether someone vandalises after having been warned. --Deathphoenix 17:20, 25 January 2006 (UTC)"). Is this the case, and if so was there are reason nothing replaced that role? Or have I missed something? Petros471 15:01, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think VIP (or the proposed RFI) can fullfill that role; that is best accomplished by the Counter vandalism unit, which already uses bots to watch lists of users and articles. What the CVU lacks is a way for non-participants to come by and request that a user or page be added; I'll see if I can set that up. Perhaps we could add a new section on VIP called 'requests for watch' or some such, and have CVU members come by and add them to the lists. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 02:58, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Yeh that's just the sort of thing I was thinking of :) What do you think of my suggestion to make VIP more of an anti-vandalism portal and/or simple guide to dealing with and reporting vandalism? Petros471 08:57, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
What about Wikipedia:Cleaning up vandalism? There's also the new {{editabuselinks}} template. Since Long-term alerts is already here as a subpage and fits the name, I think it should get priority for the name unless we can find a new name for it. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 10:30, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
The reason I suggested moving WP:CUV (or similar type of page) to VIP was that VIP has quite a high visibility throughout Wikipedia. CUV hardly has any (took me quite a while to find it, and I knew such a page existed). Long term alerts can be moved to Wikipedia:Long term alerts. I don't think it's too big an issue though, especially if some of pages that currently link to VIP get updated to point towards CUV or AIV. It would be good to see at least a third opinion on this discussion. Petros471 11:46, 3 March 2006 (UTC)
Uh, so is this going to happen, or what? These comments were over a month ago and there's still no appropriate place to report minor but continuing vandals that haven't struck in the last few hours. DopefishJustin 18:32, 12 April 2006 (UTC)
If you are referring to VIP becoming RFI, that has happened. RFI is the better term as reports here do generally need proper investigation, and are rarely simple vandalism. As for the CUV->VIP move that was put on hold pending more work being done to WP:CUV to improve it as a quick and efficient starting point for people wanting to report vandalism (I've doen some work on it, but needs a bit more). Petros471 18:44, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

I believe that it would be most efficient to merge Cleaning up vandalism and Vandalism in progress/Help, move them to Vandalism in progress, then move the current content of this page to Requests for investigation, and move Vandalism in progress/Long term alerts to Long-term vandalism alerts, and make sure that there is extensive linking between them, Recent changes patrol, Administrator intervention against vandalism and the Counter Vandalism Unit. This page (or RC Patrol) should be the entry portal to vandalism reporting in Wikipedia. Titoxd(?!? - help us) 23:02, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

That sounds fine by me. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 06:35, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
We should phase out terms like 'vandalism' and 'alert', which are more glorious terms for what is essentially abuse of editing priviledges. Based on this and Titoxd's above comment above, the processes would be renamed as such. (I think /Help should follow VIP to RFI, since it's very specific to this particular process.)
Proposed renames
Vandalism in progressRequests for investigation
Vandalism in progress/Long term alertsLong-term abuse
Cleaning up vandalismVandalism in progress
Does this look acceptable? // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 09:36, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm ok with that. Wondering though if the word vandalism is removed from the page title, is the page (thinking mostly of Requests for investigation) only for reporting vandalism, or could it be used for things such as Wikiquette alerts? Either way guidelines for the page should make it clear, however you also have to remember that quite a lot of people don't read guidelines! Petros471 10:30, 4 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't think the page should deal with wiki etiquette alerts. The page is, de facto, for reporting violations of hard policy; if an administrator can't respond with some form of sanction, I don't think it should be on the page. Concerning the guidelines, perhaps we can add a very short resumé on the main page. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 11:45, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Fair enough. I don't think it should be too much of a problem anyway as the page should be linked to from the vandalism articles/templates, not the dispute resolution ones. How much time/support is needed before carrying out any moves like this? Should this proposal be published a bit wider afield before implementing so we don't get too many 'when/why did this happen' type comments? Petros471 11:58, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

The discussion is linked to from the CUV and LTA talk pages, as well as the topics in #wikipedia-en-vandalism and #wikipedia-en-admins. If you can think of anywhere else to advertise it, feel free to do so. There's no absolute rush to perform the changes, but I'd like to do so in the near future. Perhaps in a week or two, assuming no opposition? // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 13:23, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Keeping the term 'vandalism'

Without commenting on the rest of this, I strongly recommend keeping "vandalism", It's a well accepted, wikiversal term for deliberate bad faith edits, see Wiki vandalism and the page on the subject on just about any major wiki: . Also, potentially confusing renamings without an appropriately strong reason are guaranteed to cause problems. I for one cannot see how "vandalism" is any more or less "glorious" then "abuse", although the latter is alot more vague. WRT the Internet, "abuse" is most probably most often associated with SPAM Email and (D)DoSing in that order, with wiki vandalism likely being FAR down the list, if even on it. "Vandalism" clearly implies willful, knowning(,) and deliberate destruction of someone else's property (In this case the Foundation's). So, while the overall renaming may be confusing, it may help some, but totally junking a time proven, universally known phrase just of some unproven and tenuous idea that it "enourages vandalism because it sounds cool" will cause problems far beyond any benefit for some length of time. 22:40, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

Further, as a term, it predates us: . Also, if you rename "vandalism" to "abuse", then do vandals become abusers? If that's the case, I can almost guarantee an increase in the number of people who hit up on child, for obvious reasons (I'm not trying to be funny). While "vandal" may not seem very glamorous to anyone, a newly titled vandal to that page could have a field day with the disruption that would likely insue if he was given the obvious title. Finally, how does "alert" glamorize anyone/thing? 02:40, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
From a social point of view, 'vandalism' is a term popularly associated with such things as teenage rebellion, hip hop, gangs, and Grand Theft Auto. 'Abuse' is a socially inacceptable act. Whereas 'vandalism' can easily be seen as amusing or cool, 'abuse' is reprehensible. Concerning the noun form, there is no need to create an official label for users who abuse their editing priviledges; doing so bestows more importance on their misbehaviour than is necessary. The label 'vandal' is acceptable in common speech, such as on IRC channels, but I don't think it should be used in our official documentation or counter-abuse processes.
From a pragmatic point of view, the term 'vandalism' simply doesn't fit here. The page routinely deals with cases of abuse that aren't described in Wikipedia:Vandalism; most cases of actual vandalism should be directed to Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism (that one retains the term). 'Abuse' covers everything that's reported on this page, from spam to harassment to simple vandalism. If anything, retaining the term 'vandalism' in the title is confusing, since this isn't the page dealing with vandalism. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 17:08, 5 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't know about you, but where I am, "vandalism" is simple destruction of (other people's) property; I've never seen or heard of it associated with "coolness", and even if it IS, it's been used around here for some length of time, and I think we can all agree almost noone here looks upon it as anything but "reprehensible" and anyone who comes here with a yearning for it (coolness) and that impression is quickly shown otherwise. Frankly I think you're importing a denotation which is almost totally inapplicable around here. Also, personally I suggest keeping the long term page as a subpage or somehow clearly be shown as a subset of the normal warnings to clarify it's use for the small minority which need, well, long term watching. 23:59, 9 March 2006 (UTC) As to AIV (This just came to mind, it has nothing to do with this, but I'm throwing it out there as a PS), a better name then might be "Administrator Intervention against Policy Violations" (Possibly "Blatant policy violations" just "Administrator Intervention", or maybe even just "Incedents for immediate action".
If you're voting to keep the term "vandalism", why do you think AIV should be renamed? Jude(talk,contribs) 04:20, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I'm not, but non vandalism ends up on there, and it occured to me @ the time and I didn't want to waste the time spent thinking about it. 05:59, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I don't see why you're opposing the removal of 'vandalism' from the title. Your reply addresses my secondary social points, which weren't particularly important parts of my argument. My main argument in favour of that particular change was:
the term 'vandalism' simply doesn't fit here. The page routinely deals with cases of abuse that aren't described in Wikipedia:Vandalism; most cases of actual vandalism should be directed to Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism (that one retains the term). 'Abuse' covers everything that's reported on this page, from spam to harassment to simple vandalism. If anything, retaining the term 'vandalism' in the title is confusing, since this isn't the page dealing with vandalism.
The two processes, though sharing a space, have grown completely independant of each other. It may be a minority of problem users that need long-term monitoring, but they require more resources to do so than the rest combined. Compare the two process pages: Requests for investigation versus Long-term abuse. Note that the two processes have completely different guidelines, scopes, purposes, and backlogs. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 04:32, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
It's not like it matters now, you (Or someone)'s gone and moved them all in a week in spite of opposition... 00:59, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
Although we respect your opinions, you didn't raise any convincing argument to encourage a postponement. This page doesn't deal with vandalism; debating the acceptability of the term is pointless given that detail. The remaining unanimity—including all those who actually maintain the page—were in favour of the changes. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 01:15, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
You missed it: Whatever you were saying in response to me at 11:32 March 9th didn't matter because the page was already moved. For that matter the 9
15 and this comment are similarly worthless. 05:58, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

Such a great idea, I know I've spent quite some time weeding out IP's that should've been listed on AIV, only to find they were ignored. Will certainly make things easier once these name changes occur. --lightdarkness (talk) 03:36, 8 March 2006 (UTC)

I really like the idea and support! :D Jude(talk,contribs) 04:35, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm all for making the move. Essjay TalkContact 04:37, 10 March 2006 (UTC)
I also support;this will make it much more easy to deal with vandalism, and hopefully will prevent big backlogs from forming.--Shanel 04:43, 10 March 2006 (UTC)


See User:Pathoschild/Projects/Schism for a list of changes necessary to implement this in three phases with nearly no disruption. This will involve heavy use of semi-automated and automated tools, so anyone who can use these is welcome to help. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 22:33, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

New comment

Is there any major problem with keeping the old WP:VIP/ subpages as redirects? Whoever deleted them has probably made tons of peoples shortcuts and broswer autocompletes and (Whatever you call that function in Ffx)s useless, as well as any off-wiki links. 02:11, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

All the shortcuts were preserved and now point to the RFI pages. Browser autocomplete addresses will be quickly updated as users find the new location. Interwiki links are the only problem, but they are a trivial one; no community is harmed in any way if their Willy on Wheels trophy page temporarily doesn't link to Wikipedia's trophy page. We're actively fixing these interwiki links, and other projects will find the new locations rather quickly. There will be a gentle transition from the old location to the new. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 03:09, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Most subpage shortcuts are still missing: Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress/Wikipedia is Communism and Wikipedia:Vandalism in progress/Squidward are two. Not all "off-wiki" links are in interwiki: Benon is going to sent a letter to the responsible library over the latter, he nearly sent it with a hard (http://) link to the old one, which would've been defective. Wikipedia, for that matter, is not harmed in any way by having about 10 more Wikipedia: namespace redirects which, from what I gather, is almost always used in other renamings of pages in that space (EG. "Sock puppet" now redirects to "Sock puppetry"). 06:20, 17 March 2006 (UTC)

Don't we have this already?

Don't we have this already? WP:AN/I? Luigi30 (Ταλκ) 20:04, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Nope, that's a discussion board related to incidents. This is a process page designed specifically for requesting investigation and is constantly streamlined and tweaked to this end. Requests placed here are dealt with by administrators experienced in this task, and are ideally resolved within a day or two. // Pathoschild (admin / talk) 03:03, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
Err... I'm a bit hazy on this one. We've had a few pages deleted recently as "unofficial forks" of existing pages. At the very least, the page needs to be re-designed to explain better why this isn't a fork. - brenneman {L} 06:30, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Well I'm not sure what would count as 'official', but there was a fair amount of consensus for the name change of this page (formally Vandalism in Progress). The main discussion happened above, with notes notifying of the possible change placed on all related pages (they didn't attract much attention). The reason for the change was that VIP was becoming less about 'vandalism in progress' as simple vandalism should be reported to AIV. On the other hand ANI should be for situations that need multiple admins to review and discuss. This page fits somewhere in between, for dealing with those reports that are too complicated for AIV (they get removed from there with no action), but doesn't need discussion. In that respect reports like the one currently on RFI for Robertsteadman are probably misplaced, as this page shouldn't have all that discussion attached to a report. For a counter example, on first glance it looks like the RmB report below that one is just the sort of thing this page routinely deals with. It would be great if more admins could watch and act reports here though, so it might be work a post on the AN to see if others are interested in doing some work over here. Improvements (or suggestions for improvements) to the page guidelines are always welcome! Petros471 08:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC)


I think we should all be on the lookout during April Fools Day. I know many websites like Maddox's site do April Fools day stunts. And wikipedia is self-editing, so that's something. DyslexicEditor 00:03, 1 April 2006 (UTC)


Can someone explain this ? Just visiting. Martial Law 00:11, 11 April 2006 (UTC) :)

Getting the ip address

Uh how do you obtain the ip address of a user (who has violated the 3RR , vandalized)?--Jondel 12:03, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

If they are an unregistered user, then their IP address will be displayed. For registered users, you must request a Checkuser to determine what IP used for a username. ^demon[yell at me] /16:34, 25 May 2006 (UTC)


Began online harrassment on Kurdish People Discussion Page on May 23 at 20:44 UTC IP number Using foul language and obscenities in Persian.

Suggested reporting format change

To help with the backlog, can we reformat the way in which new requests are reported? I believe a third-level header (====) with the name of the person reported would greatly help to organize the page. --ZsinjTalk 16:31, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

The reason I originally didn't encourage a system like this was to try end stop the reports getting too long. The description should be brief, not a long conversation/argument as sometimes appears here. If you think it'd help though we can give it a go. Petros471 18:56, 16 August 2006 (UTC)
As the "investigations" usually seem to become "cases," it seems only appropriate, espically when we have as many reports (and reports per day) as we do. --ZsinjTalk 23:35, 26 August 2006 (UTC)
As a lot of the reports now do seem to have more discussion attached to them, subheaders will make them more manageable. I've updated the reporting instructions at the top of the sections. Petros471 21:57, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

E (Mathematical constant)

(also posted to Konstable's discussion page) Konstable: Yes, user RandomP does discuss his reasons for wanting my paragraph out, but his reasons are vague, they do not point to any specific way to fix the paragraph (other than to obfuscate it into something so condensed and mathematically obtuse that most Wikipedia readers will not know what it means), and while he is discussing he is also immediately deleting the paragraph every time it reappears, despite any tweaks made in an attempt to address his concerns. This is looking to me like an inherent weakness in Wikipedia: Any user can block any content for any period of time as long as he is willing to "discuss" his reasons for doing so, whether or not they make any sense. This has already happened to me in the pi page; I wound up moving my content to my own webpage: --DarelRex 12:46, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Can someone explain this to me...

I've done all the investigating on my user page and the evidence is clearly laid out there. It took a while for me to figure it out, but hopefully all the work I've done makes the connection between a registered user and two IP addresses that have made some serious edits and have also vandalised articles obvious to the jury. Anyhow, since an investigation was required on my part to figure everything out do I post the information here? -- Sapphire 04:04, 21 October 2006 (UTC)

If you want an administrator to do something about it, you should post a link to it here. You may also be interested in Wikipedia:Requests for checkuser. —Centrxtalk • 04:16, 21 October 2006 (UTC)


My user (Kelvin Williams) has been hacked into recently, now I have no access or control of this user. I noticed I could not access this user at about (GMT 10:30+) 6:24, 9th of November 2006. I have a feeling that it is somebody from my University doing it as a joke. Could you please, please look into this and if possible get my user back. Please try to understand Kelvin Williams II 08:15, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

If there is a way to independently verify that you are that user, then you would need to get in contact with the developers. Otherwise, there is nothing that can be done. —Centrxtalk • 01:17, 17 November 2006 (UTC)
If you set up an email address, you can have the account mail you a new password. Rich Farmbrough, 17:45, 26 October 2010 (UTC).

To other admins

My participation at this board has dropped off in the last ten days, partly due to the Joan of Arc vandal and partly because three of the cases I've handled here have gone into arbitration. I expect my participation here to remain somewhat diminished while these are ongoing. DurovaCharge! 05:08, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Define better

I suggested on Wikipedia talk:Requests for investigation/Help that we should provide a clearer definition of complex vandalism on that page. Since I got no response, I figured I'd copy the message here in hopes that more folks would see it. We could also just link to a page that explains complex vandalism. delldot | talk 05:41, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Not enough attention paid here

I might myself consider bringing this to mfd, had WP:PAIN not just undergone the same. Vandals can go months (!) on here with no response, and anything an administrator should look at is hopelessly out of date. This happened to me a while back, when I posted (had I known of WP:AN/I, I would have posted there, and surely gotten a response). Thoughts? I mean, again, I think this page is not overtly helpful, as few admins patrol it. -Patstuarttalk|edits 23:57, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Don't count on a response from AN/I. I had to throw a massive eppy and embarrass myself before I could get a block on my pet vandal, and now that he's shifted his IP address I still haven't been able to get the new one blocked for 24 hours. It's soul-destroying to have your last 200 edits be nothing but dealing with one vandal and have what seems like no support. Vashti 22:18, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
I had problems with another user who always entered a copyvio-version in an article. Each day I looked if I had to revert it again to the warning. After several weeks I had enough and decided to report him. It was a shock to see this page. I knew immediately why nobody before me decided to report the guy. Nothing seems to happen at least for days. In the German Wiki requests for investigation are handled much faster. 24 hours after the last entry to a request it gets archived. But usually it takes much less than an hour for something to happen (even at night). Before I first tried to report someone here I was really annoyed when it took them longer than the one hour but now I know different. -- CecilK 03:36, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree this page requires more attention. I will speak to some admins about putting more resources here. Newyorkbrad 03:39, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Months is an exaggeration. I don't think there's a single entry older than a month that has not been followed up on. Also, there is a necessity for this or similar page. WP:PAIN was deleted for philosophical reasons, not inactivity. —Centrxtalk • 22:18, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Agreed that not enough attention is paid. I've been waiting for 10 days, which is actually quite a long time. It gives vandals a free rein in such a period. A real weakness in WIkipedia. Logoistic 23:42, 19 January 2007 (UTC)