Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard

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Highly problematic articles by socks of a globally blocked user[change source]

Alec Smithson (talk · contribs) is a globally blocked account who repeatedly still returns to multiple Wikipedias as an IP editing from Northern Italy using multiple IPs, but the majority of them resolve to Telecom Italia and Wind and begin with 79, 82, 87, and 151. He is known for creating hoax articles and articles which may be about real people or places, but which make false assertions about them which are completely unsupported by the references. A blatant example is Antonino Natoli of Patti, who is not a recognized saint at all. It was deleted from the Italian Wikipedia [1] and stubbed on the English one. Compare also his article Carlo Biotti with the properly referenced en:Carlo Biotti. Nothing he writes can be trusted and he often pastes copyright material verbatim into articles. He is particularly obsessed with creating and editing articles related to the Natoli, Polli, and Biotti families and obscure Italian artists. I strongly suggest you go over all his edits as well as those of the IPs he has used here and his known socks here, e.g.

If I find anymore problematic articles, I'll add them here. Voceditenore (talk) 08:40, 11 September 2016 (UTC)

Voceditenore (talk) 08:47, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Thank you very much for this. After checking with En wiki I found both the main biogs you mention to be partly or largely spoof. I replaced them (Carlo Biotti and Antonino Natoli) with the En wiki versions, slightly simplified. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:41, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
  • Hi Macdonald-ross. I suggest you delete Biotti outright. It is utter tosh from beginning to end imported from Alec Smithson's now deleted version of en:Biotti. Ditto Principality of Sperlinga, more nonsense from Smithson's old version on English Wikipedia which has been re-directed to en:Sperlinga. There is no evidence whatsoever that it was a principality. I'm not sure what the policy is here, but at English Wikipedia, we revert all edits from banned users, and in this case it's usually a good idea given the consistent falsehoods, exaggerations, and misrepresentation of sources for topics which are so marginal that it's a complete waste of time fact-checking them. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 13:29, 11 September 2016 (UTC)
  • This user was back yesterday as He created several new articles as well as re-adding tosh to Antonino Natoli of Patti. I have reverted the latter. I strongly suggest you check all his other contributions, including the article creations. You might also want to consider applying semi-protection to all the pages mentioned above and to the ones in Special:Contributions/ He uses dynamic IPs which change constantly. The topics are so obscure, that any IP from Italy editing them will be a sock of globally blocked User:Alec Smithson. Voceditenore (talk) 08:18, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for keeping watch on this user's actions, and have followed your advice.--Peterdownunder (talk) 11:20, 23 September 2016 (UTC)
 Done--Peterdownunder (talk) 12:19, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Peterdownunder. Alas, he has also been busy as Special:Contributions/, whom User:Chenzw has just blocked for 48 hours as another sock of Smithson. However, he created two articles before he was blocked. Philippe de Nanteuil (Natoli)] is complete tosh. See the English WP version of that article, en:Philippe de Nanteuil. One of Smithson's persistent goals has to been to spuriously link the Italian Natoli family to French nobility, although the Nanteuil family are not nobility either. See en:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Lordship of Nanteuil. The same IP also created Giuseppe Natoli today, not a hoax but full of spurious claims. Compare to en:Giuseppe Natoli. Yet another IP, Special:Contributions/, has created De Nanteuil today, again nothing but red links and many of them spurious. Smithson will obviously keep this up here and probably increase his efforts since Simple WP, unlike English WP, still allows article creation by IPs. Do you want me to keep posting here as I find new articles created or edited by Smithson's socks? I imagine it will be very often. Voceditenore (talk) 17:45, 1 October 2016 (UTC)
Please keep posting, our admin team is small, and we appreciate the extra assistance.--Peterdownunder (talk) 05:40, 3 October 2016 (UTC)
Peterdownunder, I'm afraid this IP-hopping nuisance editor may test your resources, then. I removed some stuff at Giambattista Pittoni, most of it added by EthanSanders (blocked on en.wp as a sock of Smithson). Special:Contributions/, who has also edited that page, has contributed to Helena Jurisic; that's a typical Smithson special, with some real fact obscured by acres of unreferenced and unreliable material. I assume that all the other Italian IPs there are Smithson too. I don't know if she meets your notability requirements, but that's probably a page created by a globally-locked editor (I don't know your deletion rules ... ). In case it's of use, there's a list of Smithson's contributions to en.wp here, under the heading "Troublesome editor clean-up". That clean-up has been a marathon, and is not yet complete. Containment has become a lot easier since Voceditenore got involved. Regards, Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 20:11, 7 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the information and assistance.--Peterdownunder (talk) 22:16, 7 October 2016 (UTC)

Leonardo da Vinci[change source]

Hi can you protected page Leonardo da Vinci by exciv vandalism Apipo1907 (talk) 20:51, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Fully protected for one week, because some of the vandalism was from registered users. Full protection shouldn't be a problem because it's not likely that there will be any breaking news about someone who lived 500 years ago. :) --Auntof6 (talk) 21:14, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Regardless of 500 years, what matters is that the page is often vanalized Apipo1907 (talk) 21:22, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

The point I was trying to make is that we don't usually fully protect pages, because that prevents all edits. However, in this case I thought it unlikely that anyone would need to make even a valid edit, so I did the full protection anyway. Other admins: feel free to change that if you see fit. --Auntof6 (talk) 21:41, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

WP:OWN violation by Macdonald-ross at the article Human[change source]

Macdonald-ross reverted all of my valuable edits to the article Human (my edits made the article more correct and more informative),[2] and then he manually restored only some of them.[3] He might have done so by using (and thus abusing) his rollbacking power. I then continued to edit the article. Macdonald-ross then reverted all of my valuable edits to that article yet again, including new contributions that I hadn't made before.[4] That couldn't be a more clear violation of the WP:OWN policy. I therefore recommend that Macdonald-ross be blocked for a few days, both as a short-term preventative measure against WP:OWN violations during those few days, and as a deterrent against making WP:OWN violations in the future. Awqard (talk) 23:40, 5 October 2016 (UTC)

Looking at the edits you made, I see some that were helpful, some that made the article more complex than necessary, some cosmetic changes (for example, adding serial commas), some that should probably be referenced, and some that were ungrammatical. I don't know if those were the same things that Mac saw, but maybe he was sacrificing the good edits because of the not-so-good ones.
There haven't been enough of these edits within any one calendar day to technically qualify as an edit war, but there is at least the spirit of one. Here's what I propose:
  1. Revert the article to the way it was before you made any changes.
  2. Copy the article to a sandbox under your userspace and work on it there.
  3. Ask Mac what specific concerns he has with the changes you make. Discuss those concerns in good faith and work toward agreement. If there are points you can't agree on, ask for another person to look at it.
  4. If you both agree, move the changes to the main article. If not, get another person to look at it.
User:Macdonald-ross and User:Awqard, are you both willing to do that? --Auntof6 (talk) 00:37, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
So in other words, you want to let Macdonald-ross off of the hook for his violation of WP:OWN, and you furthermore want to reward said violation by restoring his OWNed version of the article, and you want to make me jump through hoops to even have a chance of undoing his disruptive editting to the article, and then you [hilariously] ask if that is acceptable to me and Macdonald-ross. Obviously it is very acceptable to Macdonald-ross, and not at all acceptable to me. You already knew our answers to that question before you asked it. Just forget about the whole thing. Awqard (talk) 02:16, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
That is not at all what I had in mind. When I said "Revert the article to the way it was before you made any changes", the "you" was plural, referring to both of you. I meant for the two of you to discuss the areas where you disagree and come to some kind of agreement. The requirement is not to revert more than three times in any one day, but editors can show good faith and discuss things after only one revert. You both participated in a de facto edit war. Macdonald-ross could have better explained his reasons for reverting, and you could have asked for an explanation before redoing your changes. I don't see the two of you as one being right and the other being wrong.
Anyway, that was my suggestion. I was trying to encourage cooperation instead of blocking either of you. Since you don't like it, I'll leave it to other admins to weigh in if they like. --Auntof6 (talk) 02:39, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

I personally would like to know why Mac decided to revert first, then following up with manually restoring those changes. I don't think reverting another well-meaning editor with "prep to edit" is a good reason at all. For that matter, next time such a similar thing happens, will both editors please discuss this issue on either the article's talk page or their respective user talk pages? Such disputes should be escalated to AN only as a last resort.

By the way, administrators are chosen by the community, whom they hold to high standards. Other editors should feel free to weigh in on this matter as well, if they wish to. It wouldn't be right to give the impression that administrators are "defending our own" over here. Chenzw  Talk  03:12, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

You're right, of course. I was thinking that only admins would be able to issue sanctions of the type that Awqard seemed to be looking for. --Auntof6 (talk) 04:59, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Most of the changes made by this editor turned perfectly good English into less good English. In many places he added more words, but the words did not improve the sentences. As a matter of principle, if the text of a page is in generally good shape, changes should improve its comprehensibility or content. Otherwise, we end up with a page which is a patchwork of oddities - death by a thousand edits. Stylistic consistency within a page is a good objective, not a bad objective.
*Changes to the spelling (eg colour to color) and incorrect orthography of scientific names are clear-cut errors or contraventions of guidelines.
*The reason I used "prep to edit" in the edit box is that, out of all the changes, there were some edits which needed to be preserved. It was just an editing technique to achieve that. It is no good an editor complaining that I made unexplained changes when he made unexplained changes in the first place!
*I did not write this page originally, and have no ownership feelings about it. My only motivation is to have our most important pages written as clearly as possible. The editor is wikilawyering [5]. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:18, 6 October 2016 (UTC)
Wikilawyering indeed.--Peterdownunder (talk) 11:01, 6 October 2016 (UTC)

Category:Template sandboxes[change source]

Just put a bunch of pages in Category:Template sandboxes. Most of these look to have been created when the main templates were copied from en and then never touched again. Thinking they can probably be deleted but I wasn't sure if it mattered one way or the other. Thought someone here could take a look and make the call. Thanks! --Tbennert (talk) 08:11, 9 October 2016 (UTC)

I'd love to see these cleaned up periodically, partly because they can clog Special:UnusedTemplates. I think if they're identical to the main template, not used anywhere, and weren't created too recently, they could be deleted. If they don't meet those conditions, then more consideration is needed. However, when I proposed this a while back, there was no interest in keeping on top of these. --Auntof6 (talk) 08:35, 9 October 2016 (UTC)
Once they are created there is no point in deleting them, as deleting them sends the message that they shouldn't be used. While it is a shame they clog up the unused templates page. There really is no point in deleting them. They exist to exist. -DJSasso (talk) 12:39, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
I don't think it sends such a message. If that's an issue, though, they could be deleted with a reason that makes it clear that that isn't the case. --Auntof6 (talk) 17:24, 12 October 2016 (UTC)
Anytime an editor sees something deleted it always sends a message that it wasn't wanted, good message or not. Either way the whole purpose of a sandbox is to sit there and be used when needed which was really my point. -DJSasso (talk) 10:56, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Nelson Mandela[change source]

Can you semi-protected Nelson Mandela for excisv vandalism? Apipo1907 (talk) 14:09, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done at this time. Will definitely keep watch on this page, only 3 seperate IP address in the last 2 days, and only a handful of changes, we usually prefer to have more then that to protect. Vandalism levels, usually rise to such a level that normal editors have a hard time keeping up with the reverts, is when we issue protection. I have Pictogram voting wait.svg Warned user. Since only 1 warning had been issues, and had a couple of cases of vandalism. --Enfcer (talk) 14:50, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Enfcer already  Done by Macdonald-ross. See the protection Log for more information before to trated a request. Apipo1907 (talk) 15:19, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Apipo1907, the protection was done 3 minutes before Enfcer's edit to this page. It is entirely reasonable for someone to have missed the protection during this 3 minute window. Chenzw  Talk  15:41, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

Chenzw that'is good, I understand. Apipo1907 (talk) 15:51, 10 October 2016 (UTC)

@Apipo1907:Thank you Chenzw you are correct. When I looked, and initially declined it was not there. (Also can't believe I forgot to sign my original post here). In fact my additional warning to the user was 1 minute after it was protected. So this is a case where multiple Admins looking at the issue, and coming to 2 different conclusions. Which happens, and is no big deal.-- Enfcer (talk) 01:55, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Bad username[change source]

[6]MBlaze Lightning T 16:48, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

 Done --Chenzw  Talk  17:05, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Page protection request: Elizabeth II[change source]

This article has been vandalized by at least one (maybe more than one) IP recently. May I suggest editing protection to stop vandalism? I only suggest it to be temporary, as it would probably prevent positive contributions as well, which is inconvenient. There is the talk page, but still; 24-72 hours prehaps should be enough? MPD (Talk to me!) 11:21, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

  • No, it's just one IP user who had not even reached vandalism2 on his/her talk page. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:41, 13 October 2016 (UTC)

Vandalism on Disney movies[change source]

I'm not very good at vandalism stuff. Hoping someone can help with what warnings or actions should happen in this case since it's persistent. What I've found is Special:Contributions/2602:30A:2C95:8C0:58E3:79F5:8564:7108 and Special:Contributions/2602:30A:2C95:8C0:CDF2:80E9:F464:C195 so far today. Looks like it may be the same person and might be the same as other 2602: edits from earlier this week. --Tbennert (talk) 00:19, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

And add Special:Contributions/ --Tbennert (talk) 00:19, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
I think it is safe to block on sight with this stuff.--Peterdownunder (talk) 07:49, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
I have blocked for 31 hours, however the IP's have been blocked on enwiki for 6 months. I will do the same if there is further vandalism.--Peterdownunder (talk) 08:02, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

It can be hard to tell what's really vandalism with these. What can we use for an authoritative source? The only places I know to check are IMDB and enwiki, neither of which can be considered reliable. --Auntof6 (talk) 08:20, 16 October 2016 (UTC)

A quick check is sufficient here as these are not cited, I found a few searches could not establish any sources. Just block on sight.--Peterdownunder (talk) 11:17, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
On some of the earlier edits I went to Youtube and watched the credit screen just to be sure enwiki and IMDB weren't wrong. The changes seem to include some of the same people over and over and I checked those actors home pages or fan pages. None of the changes were valid.--Tbennert (talk) 16:58, 16 October 2016 (UTC)
I have now blocked the range that this vandal has been operating from for a period of six months, this matches a similar block on enwiki.--Peterdownunder (talk) 03:31, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
Thanks. --Auntof6 (talk) 05:03, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
Now using another IP range, have blocked some individual addresses, and adding limited page protection. Continue to block on sight without warnings.--Peterdownunder (talk) 11:42, 17 October 2016 (UTC)
Following another round of such nonsense earlier this morning (by Special:Contributions/, I have applied a 6 month range block on Chenzw  Talk  01:05, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Some heavy handed blocking and page protections seemed to have worked for the moment. Please watch the Disney articles for any further similar edits, as I am sure this vandal will find another way in.--Peterdownunder (talk) 22:01, 22 October 2016 (UTC)

School vandalism and copyright violation[change source]

A school IP which has been blocked for vandalism in the past,, created Vincent du Vigneaud as this. They then immediately changed it to a nonsensical verbatim copyright violation by copying a movie script about bees [7]. I turned the article into what it should have been about, a Nobel Prize-winning scientist, [8]. My question is, what is your policy on leaving copyvio in the history? Does it need a revision deletion? Note I've also reverted their vandalism to two more articles today [9] and [10]. Voceditenore (talk) 11:47, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing out the violation, and it has been revision deleted. Please leave a warning message if you delete any further vandalism --Peterdownunder (talk) 11:54, 18 October 2016 (UTC)
I've now left a level 3 warning for the two subsequent articles vandalised. Best, Voceditenore (talk) 12:02, 18 October 2016 (UTC)

Unreferenced BLPs[change source]

There are several subcategories in Category:Unreferenced BLPs that can be deleted. Thanks! --Tbennert (talk) 15:43, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

 Done Thanks for pointing them out! --Auntof6 (talk) 16:08, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

Indefinite protection[change source]

I've noticed quite a few articles getting indefinite protection lately, and it seems to me that many of them don't really need it. Is it time for another review of everything that's indef'd, and maybe a discussion of when and when not to indef? --Auntof6 (talk) 16:54, 25 October 2016 (UTC)

Yeah Indef should be used extremely rarely, like I would be surprised if it happened more than once or twice a year if we were doing it the proper amount. We should see what is indeffed and review. -DJSasso (talk) 17:04, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
Three points: Previous discussion established that our protection was so low-level that it would not inconvenience a regular editor, even if not registered.
Many of the pages indefinitely protected are data pages which change rarely if at all, and require competence to edit properly. Others are sensitive BLPs which are otherwise frequently vandalised.
Many of these pages had been protected before for shorter periods, and re-vandalised as soon as they became available.
The daily workload of vandalised pages and bad new pages is enormous. The arrival of floating IPs, and the effective protection on English wiki is feeding in vandals who are hard to control.
It would make more sense to restrict indefinite protection provided we protected at a higher level, which would have the beneficial effect of inducing some to become registered users.
I am often shocked to see how long a serious piece of vandalism has stayed on our pages. At least some of the time we cannot keep up with the flow of edits meant to damage our pages. There's no point being pious about protection: it is just a good way to keep IP vandals off some important and sensitive pages. Macdonald-ross (talk) 17:38, 25 October 2016 (UTC)
I think we need to consider our approach to page protection, and its relation to the "anyone can edit" principle. At the very least, I personally think that indefinite protections in mainspace must be reviewed regularly, and as the protection policy states, applied only as a last resort (i.e. when enforcement through blocks/rangeblocks have been ineffective). We might not even need a formal review process - other sysops could just look through the list of protected pages from time to time and exercise their own judgment (see Croatian Liberation Movement for an example).
As I previously mentioned on AN, one of the reasons we see vandalism staying on articles for a long time has to do with ChenzwBot's 1RR principle. ChenzwBot's new algorithm is pretty accurate when it comes to picking up vandalism, and the bot's internal logs reveal that, out of 6700 detected edits from May till now, 25% of such detected edits were skipped on purpose to avoid violating 1RR.
By the way, Mac: can you please clarify what you meant by the "higher level" protection? Chenzw  Talk  10:25, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
"Semi-protection of a page stops unregistered editors (IP addresses) and editors with accounts not more than four days old or having less than 10 edits from editing pages". Well, so far as registered editors are concerned, this is scarcely any barrier. It could be raised.
I should make the point that protection of a page does not stop IPs writing on talk pages. Why don't they do that? It is a weakness of this wiki that so many write directly on the page instead of making suggestions on the talk page. Macdonald-ross (talk) 14:19, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
That is sort of the point, semi-protection is meant to be almost no barrier at all. Its only intention is to filter out those who can't even be bothered to take the time to register and do 10 edits and wait 4 days which is probably about 95% of vandals. -DJSasso (talk) 14:30, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
I have assumed we are talking indef full protection, as such there is no higher protection and as such the protection being talked about is not low-level, and it prevents us from following our mandate of anyone can edit when used too often. There are definitely times it is needed, but those are few and far between. Those pages would be the ones that either get vandalized by multiple editors multiple times a day or are templates used on hundreds of pages. The average page that gets vandalized every other day or so should absolutely not be protected indefinitely. -DJSasso (talk) 12:55, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Problematic articles related to the Bodo people[change source]

I stumbled across a poor article Hagramayao Jinahari. It is a notable film, so I cleaned it up and referenced it. However, it is almost certainly the work of an indefinitely blocked editor on English Wikipedia who also edits under IPs beginning with 182.66. The editor was blocked for repeatedly creating very poor (and possibly very wrong) articles, many of them on non-notable subjects or apparent dictionary entries and no references. They are all related to the Bodo people. The editor then resorted to sockpuppetry. See en:Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Jekhai Narzary/Archive. One of the socks is now active here and I'm not quite sure what to do about the following articles which seem very poor and mostly unsavable. Tag for speedy deletion? Redirect?

Voceditenore (talk) 14:03, 26 October 2016 (UTC)

Yes, I looked at three of these with some disquiet. They are basically very poor, but not simple fits into our QD's. The subject-matter was so far from my own experience that I decided not to act. Macdonald-ross (talk) 14:31, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
(talk page stalker) I think we could put Agarbad and Jekhai up at WP:AfD on the grounds of "dicdef" relatively easily.
With respect to the other three pages, in an ideal world, someone would take whatever useful information is in the articles, merge them into Bodo people, and try to build out a reasonable, if short, article. Enwiki has some fairly broad articles on the topic (e.g., en:Bodo people, en:Bodo culture), and at least the first even seems to have a neutral POV. But this is so far from my experience that I, like Mac, could not possibly take it on. So the question is whether you, Voceditenore, could take that on or not.
Alternatively, we could take the three to AfD on grounds of no claim of notability. Since these are not "people, groups, companies, products, services or websites", they do not meet the QD criterion. But they still make no claim of notability, and therefore are subject to deletion after AfD. Thoughts, Mac? StevenJ81 (talk) 16:01, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
I just put Agarbad and Jekhai up for deletion on the grounds of "dicdef". I'm not ready to move on anything else until I hear some further opinions. StevenJ81 (talk) 16:08, 26 October 2016 (UTC)
I agree they should be put up. But something people on this wiki seem to often forget is that WP:DICDEF doesn't just mean a sentence describing a concept, that in fact is allowed by dicdef. What Dicdef disallows is an entry that looks like it would be in a dictionary and is usually just a meaning of a word or phrase. Something the English version of the page has that makes it more clear is "Each article in an encyclopedia is about a person, a people, a concept, a place, an event, a thing etc., whereas a dictionary entry is primarily about a word, an idiom, or a term and its meanings, usage and history. In some cases, a word or phrase itself may be an encyclopedic subject, such as Macedonia (terminology) or truthiness." Agarbad for example is about a concept, its not just a word being described so it isn't really a dicdef. Dicdef is actually meant to prevent wiktionary type articles from being created here instead of there. -DJSasso (talk) 16:17, 26 October 2016 (UTC)