Anti-vandal tools

New vandalism-fighting tools released

There were multiple new developments in the fight against mass vandalism this week. In response to the well-known Willy on Wheels vandal and the Love Virus vandal (who has been identified as MARMOT, a user banned by the Arbitration Committee), several tools and methods were created, all designed to combat the vandalism.

A screenshot of recent changes. A new user log is circled in red, and Lupin's pop-up box is seen highlighted in red.

The first development was the creation of a new user log (see related story), which enables Wikipedians to monitor account creations and registrations, and then subsequently block all vandals. Another development was implemented days before the user creation log; Curps programmed a bot that would automatically block any user who attempted a certain number of page moves per minute.

This bot was designed to stop Willy on Wheels automated page moving. While the bot faced controversy, mainly because it did not undergo the official bot registration process, others argued that it was an emergency, and that it called for drastic action. The bot proved effective as well, blocking several Willy on Wheels accounts soon after they started moving pages at a fast rate. However, the bot was also responsible for blocking at least one legitimate user who was reverting page moves. As a response, the bot's minimum page move per minute level to block was raised.

Also, Lupin began promoting his navigation popups, which can be added to a user's monobook. The pop-ups allow a user to hover the mouse over a link and produce a pop-up, with the opening paragraphs of the article or user page, and also have tools, such as move, watch, block, and protect. Thus, the pop-ups make blocking, protecting, and other maintenance functions easier to perform. The pop-ups can easily be installed and can be customized, leading to their growing popularity. Nichalp stated, "Nice tool... Wikipedia will never be the same again." Scimitar reflected Nichalp's comments, calling the tool "awesome". However, there were some initial bugs reported, though most of them were cleared up immediately.

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