Forum:VSTF

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Note: This topic has been unedited for 620 days. It is considered archived - the discussion is over. Do not add to unless it really needs a response.

I don't know if you are aware of Wikia's VSTF. It's a volunteer group that have rights on all wikis (other than this one) to let them help with spam and vandalism. They aren't allowed to get involved in local disputes and community issues, but if they see simple vandalism or spamming they can revert it and ban the vandals. They also have access to advanced tools, including checkuser, global IRC feeds and the ability to set bans that affect all Wikis.

They haven't been active on this wiki so far, partly because the separate user database means they need to be set up separately here, partly because they haven't been needed, and partly because you are a grumpy lot and I didn't want them shouted at. Actually, mostly because you are a grumpy lot (but you know I love you anyway). But it might be useful to ask them to look in here, and give them the rights needed to act if there is an emergency. Is that something you think would help?

Their wiki is here, and I'd just need to check they have accounts here and give them the VSTF right - which can be temporary or perminant. Let me know what you think -- sannse@Wikia (talk) 20:11, January 17, 2013 (UTC)

They'd have to be strong of stomach and not easily shocked (seriously, we'd mess with their heads and what happens if they started to write and found their inner satiric demons?). I'd say this is a great idea, maybe one or two at first so we can lure them into the crazy, but I would draw the line at checkuser and banning established users. Can we try one or two and see if they can handle this site without becoming one of us? Thanks for the offer. I'll go edit HowTo:Commit Suicide now, we'll going to have to feature the damn thing. Aleister let our people go
We have four guys who occasionally patrol the site; three recently discussed on my talk page the proper use of the Patrolled flag (also see my Forum:Reminder: Clear "Patrolled" flag), and we are generally able to repel anything except a huge attack like that of last weekend. Today has not been done since this morning EST, but every change by I.P.Anon in the four preceding days has either been approved or reverted. Whereas at this point in the life of the wiki, the arrival of new people not known to us who are reverting changes overnight might induce a paranoid reaction, and rightly so. Spıke ¬ 20:22 17-Jan-13
While on the subject of paranoia regarding policing of the site: A small trickle of IP addresses are perma-banned every day by Lyrithya's Abuse Filter, generally reporting that "something matched something," and I don't believe anyone remains who knows what the hell this really means. Spıke ¬ 04:25 18-Jan-13
They are creating pages with the following title setup: /Forum:<blah> or /Talk:<blah> etc. A bunch of spambots ere spamming stuff under titles with that rule so Lyrithya made it so that non-autoconfirmed users that did that would be automatically blocked. I encourage anyone (as I believe it is a public filter?) to check this to make sure only IPs creating pages with that rule are being picked up. ~Sir Frosty (Talk to me!) Icons-flag-au 06:00, January 18, 2013 (UTC)
I don't think it's working right, given it didn't do anything about this. Where's the autobahn?                               Puppy's talk page06:57 18 Jan
It only blocks for filter 18, I triggered filter 17 which only is logged. Different filters have different courses of action. ~Sir Frosty (Talk to me!) Icons-flag-au 07:04, January 18, 2013 (UTC)
I don't care! He might be an ED troll! Block him! BLOCK HIM!                               Puppy's talk page07:42 18 Jan
I did have an account on Wikipedia as Romartus but can't remember the password. Would I need to create an account on wikia to talk to people on the Wikia site? --LaurelsRomArtus*Imperator ITRA (Orate) ® 09:34, January 18, 2013 (UTC)
On a serious note, not really. They task force really is just an extension to our current user base but with a little more authority. They are de facto admins in regards to the authorisations they have, but they are less involved in the community aspect - with the exception of looking for specific vandalism issues. (I did look at this seriously a while ago.) My concern is that what would be considered vandalism on, say Alpha One, would actually be welcomed here. At the time I looked at it there wasn't a big need for them here - we eventually got an Antipodean admin. Given the only Antipodean active admin candidate now would be me (who has been largely inactive, and has some opposition in some quarters), Frosty (who is an admin, but whose focus is now divided), and Joe90210 (who I haven't seen around for a while), I can see the advantage in bringing VSTF on board. Given we are a fairly unique Wikia based wiki, however, I'm not 100% sure it'd be the best idea. While I applaud their intentions, I think that if we try to… er… customise their expertise to our rather unique methods, that may dissuade them from continuing, or worse cause them to put their activities ahead of the communities normal run of things.
As an example - Frosty's talk page was being trolled the other day. Rather than an immediate revert I allowed the trolling to remain as Frosty may have preferred a right of reply. If someone had reverted, Frosty would then have been forced to revert the reversion to reply to an earlier revision. Effectively restoring vandalism.
In my case I welcome trolls to my talk page. They don't bother me in the slightest, and it means that their focus is on something I'm able to keep an easy track of. And most regular users here kept track of my talk page. When my talk page was - temporarily - locked to auto-confirmed plus, this removed the capacity to regulate some regular spammers we had. Including one I had deliberately baited so that he'd announce his presence by saying hello to me.
And Al has proudly mentioned he has a half feature that he shares with a spammer-vandal. If we'd cut it out sooner we would have lost a good feature.
In some ways we police this site in a counter-intuitive manner. I'd hate to see that ethos be lost or ignored by policing in a more conventional method. But if we have difficulty maintaining the site given the recent drop in numbers, then it may be a smarter way forward.
TL;DR: I have no idea if VSTF is good or bad for us.                               Puppy's talk page01:38 18 Jan
Puppy sums it up pretty well - that's another of the reasons that they aren't already enabled here - that this place is pretty unique and stuff considered vandalism on other wikis isn't on this one. Aleister: they specifically aren't allowed to get involved with regular user stuff - they are for spam and simple vandalism only.
One other possibility is that we ask them to look out for large scale vandalism only. So an edit on a page or two is ignored, moving 20 pages isn't. Or we could just wait and see if they are needed in the future. They are a resource available to you, temporarily or permanently, so just keep it in mind.
TL;DR: whatever. -- sannse@Wikia (talk) 20:50, January 18, 2013 (UTC)
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