How to React to Vandalism on wikiHow

If you've come across vandalism as a new member of Recent Changes (RC) patrol, but you're trying to work out what messages to send in response, try following some easy steps:


  1. 1
    Rollback the edit. Before you can track down the culprit, you need to undo any damage done to a wikiHow article. Rollback the edit if possible before taking further steps.
  2. 2
    Check the user's contributions list. You can access a user's contributions by going to Special:Contributions/Username. You can also click on the 'History' tab and check through their recent edits. If you notice a string of dodgy-looking edits, there's more reason to classify it as vandalism.
  3. 3
    Look closely at the edit. If the edit is a nonsensical string of characters, then the edit is quite likely to be a test, unless their history suggests this has been done often.
  4. 4
    Decide if the article should be deleted. If a large section of the article has been blanked, this is not necessarily clinching proof of vandal intent, but if they have done this repeatedly, it becomes a likely hypothesis. Sometimes a new user, however, may mistakenly do this to a page, so in this event, it's best to start off with sending the message {{blank}}.
  5. 5
    Check for profanity. If a page or part of a page has been replaced by profanity, it's a fairly good indicator that the editor responsible is not merely testing. In this case, it may merit sending a {{test}} message. Reserve {{warning}} for when you're convinced they're vandalizing the page.
  6. 6
    Read the comments. Sometimes a user will place a negative comment on a page. Although this is not likely to be vandalism, it may be worth sending a friendly message to encourage them to be more temperate with their comments. Comments like 'I hate this page' or some such may merit this. Profane comments may merit a {{profane}} type message. Uncivil comments may instead merit a {{mean}} type message.
  7. 7
    Watch out for advertisements. Sometimes people upload advertisements onto wikiHow, or create advertising articles. Send them an {{nfd|adv}} or {{commercial}} message and nominate any new page they create for deletion. Usually, advertisers will back down after a careful and friendly warning.


  • Always keep a clear mind when checking out bad edits. It's very easy to get wound up by vandals, but this can blind you to their real intentions. Sometimes a friendly tip or hint is all that's needed to resolve the situation.
  • Don't be hurt by any retaliatory comments in response to rolling back vandalism. Everybody in RC Patrol gets them from time to time, and they only make your case easier to make should you feel it necessary to nominate them for a block. Most importantly, don't leave a mean comment in response!
  • Never antagonise someone just because they're repeatedly editing something badly. It's a bad example and may make them more likely to do it again.
  • Do not attempt to warn trolls. Trolls will lap up your warnings, as these are precisely what they want. In the event of a suspected troll, contact an administrator for advice and support.
  • Only submit names on the administrator notice board if you have proof the person is a repeated and determined vandal.


  • Remember that this is only a guide for beginners. For more detailed instructions, you should contact an administrator.
  • Remember to be friendly when giving warnings, or a well-meaning tester may become offended and actually take to vandalism as a response.
  • If you're still not sure of what to do after reading this article, contact an administrator or take a break from RC patrol. It's important to be clear on how to do the job. You're representing wikiHow!

Article Info

Categories: Articles in Need of Screenshots | Patrolling | WikiHow User's Manual