Pages, titles, and language that may glamorize vandalism by turning it into a game between vandals and "vandal fighters" are strongly discouraged.
Vandalism on wikis can be encouraged unintentionally or accidentally by giving unnecessary recognition to certain vandals or their actions. Similarly, glorifying the act of "anti-vandalism" can have an equally inflammatory effect.
While reverting vandalism is a necessary and constant process on most active public wikis, it is not a game of "cops and robbers" and should not be regarded or described as such. Using titles and language such as "vandal fighter" or "anti-vandal" on one's user page can encourage vindictive and retaliatory behavior on the part of passing vandals in search of a target.
Hypothetically speaking, which user's page would a vandal rather attack: one whose comments are value-neutral (and hence, a boring target), or one whose language contains such phrases as "Watch out, vandals!" or "Counter-Vandal Expert?"
Thus, ironically enough, in glamorizing the act of counter-vandalism we create an incentive for vandalism itself.
When dealing with vandals or reverting their vandalism, do so quietly, efficiently, and without fanfare. Avoid the temptation to loudly congratulate oneself or others in their vandalism-correcting efforts. When possible, do not bestow anti-vandalism barnstars or similar accolades upon others unless extremely well deserved. A well-decorated "vandal fighter" is an easy and inviting mark for a vandal or troll.
Language, Attitudes, and Behaviors to Avoid
- Avoid the use of militaristic or law enforcement language and attitudes when dealing with vandalism. Calling oneself an "agent," a "vandal fighter," or a "warrior" is counter-productive, as it will encourage vandals to respond in kind. Likewise, mimicking the names and structures of real life military, paramilitary, espionage, or government organizations creates a needless and self-destructive game out of vandalism and counter-vandalism.
- Do not add personal remarks or taunts to the user pages of blocked vandals or their sockpuppets. Doing so not only gives them unwarranted attention for their efforts, but also strengthens their resolve to fight back.
- Do not impersonate administrators or staff, or otherwise claim, imply, or purport to have powers or authority that you do not have.
- Resist the urge to bully or harass new users, whose non-constructive edits to the site might be the result of ignorance or innocent experimentation, rather than malice. Doing so creates an unwelcome environment to new Wikians, and breeds the sort of resentment among them that may push them toward vandalism. Assume good faith.
- Remember that the primary purpose of this wiki is to edit, contribute, and enhance Halopedia. Never allow the "fight" against vandalism to take precedence over meaningful and positive contribution to the contents of this wiki.
- An occasionally cited counter-argument to the policy of de-glamorization is the converse: if we take away the "fun" of reverting and combatting vandalism, then we will take away the incentive for people to do it, and eventually we will run out of people to revert vandalism effectively. When keeping in mind a proposal such as WP:GAME, we must decide for ourselves where the greater good lies. Does de-glamorization cause more attrition in vandal-reverters than it does in vandals? Or vice versa?
- This proposal asserts (and is predicated upon) the notion that more vandals are lost to de-glamorization than vandal-fighters. The vandal, by nature, seeks attention and infamy for his actions. He stands more to lose when vandalism and counter-vandalism are made mundane than the counter-vandal does.
- Education Center for Vandalism
- Deny recognition
- Cleaning up vandalism
- Don't be a hero
- On assuming good faith
- Edit war
- Don't stuff beans up your nose
- Staying cool when the editing gets hot