Help:Simple guide to vandalism cleanup
This help page is a how-to guide.
It details processes or procedures of some aspect(s) of Wikipedia's norms and practices. It is not one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, and may reflect varying levels of consensus and vetting.
Welcome to Wikipedia! This page will teach you how to easily fix vandalism that you may come across while browsing the site.
What is vandalism?
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 plausibly made in good faith, you can try undoing it once, but you should use the dispute resolution process if it is restored. Most vandalism is obvious, so don't be afraid to fix it.
How to revert it
- Go to the page's edit history. On mobile devices, this is represented by the icon at the top of the page.
- Adjust the circular radio buttons at the left and click on Compare selected revisions until you identify the edit(s) that introduced the vandalism.
- Click the (undo) link at the top right, in the "revision as of" lineGo back to the edit history and click undo.
- Scroll to the edit summary box and add "reverting vandalism" or something similar to the automatic summary.
- Click Show preview to make sure your edit removes the vandalism as intended.
- 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:
Alternative: Call attention to it
It is better to fix vandalism yourself, but if you're not comfortable editing an article directly, it's alright to just let others know about it:
If the page is high-traffic:
If the page is not high-traffic:
- 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.