Help:Simple guide to vandalism cleanup

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Welcome to Wikipedia! This page will teach you how to easily fix vandalism that you may come across while browsing.

What is vandalism?[edit]

Vandalism is editing deliberately intended to obstruct the project's purpose of building a free encyclopedia. Examples include adding irrelevant obscenities or jokes, illegitimately blanking pages, and inserting obvious nonsense. Not all bad edits are vandalism. If an edit is misguided but made in good faith, you can try undoing it once, but you should use the dispute resolution process if it restored. Most vandalism is obvious, so don't be afraid to fix it.

How to revert it[edit]

  1. Go to the page's edit history.
    Wiki history tab.png
    On desktop displays, this can be found at the top right of the page, next to the search bar.
    On mobile devices, this is represented by the OOjs UI icon history.svg icon at the top of the page.
  2. Adjust the circular radio buttons at the left and click on Compare selected revisions until you identify the edit(s) that introduced the vandalism.
  3. Click the (undo) link at the top right, in the "revision as of" lineundo.
  4. Scroll to the edit summary box and add "reverting vandalism" or something similar to the automatic summary.
  5. Click Show preview to make sure your edit removes the vandalism as intended.
  6. Click Publish changes, and pat yourself on the back!

If you are unable to revert the vandalism because of subsequent edits, you can fix it manually. Here's how:

Manual reverting:
  1. Click on the page's edit tab.
    WikiEditor-edit tab-en.png
    On desktop displays, this can be found at the top right of the page, next to the search bar.
    On mobile devices, this is represented by the OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg icon at the top of the page.
  2. Find the vandalism and correct it.
  3. Scroll to the edit summary box and add "reverting vandalism" or something similar to the automatic summary.
  4. Click Show preview to make sure your edit removes the vandalism as intended.
  5. Click Publish changes, and pat yourself on the back!

Alternative: Call attention to it[edit]

It is better to fix vandalism yourself, but if you're not comfortable doing so, it's alright to just let others know about it:

If the page is high-traffic:
  1. Go to the page's associated talk page.
    Wiki discussion tab.png
    On desktop displays, this can be found at the top left of the page.
    by clicking on the tab just below the title.
  2. Click on New section.Click on Add discussion.
  3. Enter a heading and concisely describe the vandalism you noticed.
  4. Sign your post with four tildes (~~~~) at the end.
  5. Click Publish changes.
If the page is not high-traffic:
  1. Click here to submit a request to the Help desk.
  2. Replace PAGENAME with the page where you noticed the vandalism, keeping the double brackets ([[ ]]).
  3. Replace BRIEFLY DESCRIBE THE VANDALISM HERE with a concise description of the vandalism.
  4. Click Publish changes.

Further steps[edit]

  • Warn the vandal: It is good practice (although not strictly necessary) to give the vandal a warning on their personal talk page after you revert them.
  • Report chronic vandalism to administrators: If the vandal persists after receiving a level-4 warning on their talk page (which tells them that they may be blocked the next time they vandalize), you should report them to the administrator intervention against vandalism noticeboard.
  • Find more vandalism to fix: If this was satisfying, you can help identify and revert vandalism with the WikiLoop DoubleCheck tool, which presents a feed of edits flagged by an algorithm.