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Memory Alpha  AboutPolicies and guidelines → Vandalism
Memory Alpha
This page describes one of Memory Alpha's policies and guidelines.
Please read through the policy below to familiarize yourself with our common practices and rules.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or complaints, please post them on the talk page.

Vandalism is the conspicuous defacement or destruction of a structure, a symbol, or information against the will of the owner/governing entity. In the context of an online community project, it is a usually deliberate attempt to damage the usefulness of content for other viewers.

Assuming good faith

Don't confuse vandalism with bad editing, poor styling, and other bold edits.

In general, an edit that seems like deliberate vandalism is often just a clumsy attempt at editing by someone who is new to wikis, simply didn't know the community's rules, or someone who didn't know how else to propose a change in how things are done on the wiki. In those cases, you can explain to that bad editor what they could do better, where they could go to discuss their ideas, and why certain things are just not allowed on your community, even if they're okay elsewhere. That way, a user who first seems like a vandal can turn into a useful editor and member of the community. Unless you can clearly see that someone had bad intentions, always assume they just didn't know better and offer your help!

However, when an editor's assumed good faith becomes a continuous hindrance to the point that it is counterproductive to the project's goal, it may ultimately be deemed as vandalism.

Dealing with vandalism

For the general population, dealing with vandalism is simple and straightforward – if you find a page that has been vandalized, all you have to do is perform the following steps:

  1. Revert the page to the last unvandalized version.

And that's it! It's that simple!

The administrators have the ability to block vandals. See Bans and blocks for more details.

Vandalism in progress

Two anti-vandalism extensions are used often on Fandom:

  • ProtectSite locks down the ability of specific user groups from being able to do basic actions, such as editing or creating pages or uploading images, for up to 12 hours. If a community is facing a surge of vandalism, the SOAP or Fandom Staff can enable ProtectSite to prevent new, unregistered, or even non-sysop users from being able to do those particular things.
  • The other extension is AbuseFilter, which allows skilled coders to block the submission of edits if certain conditions are met, for example if a particular rude or inappropriate word is included in the new text. Further automated features throttle editing and page blanking defense.

See also

  • Vandalism at Wikipedia for information concerning types of vandalism and other informative details