Last modified: 2011-03-13 18:06:28 UTC

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Bug 7648 - Page blanking warning, to aid with legal issues and vandalism.
Page blanking warning, to aid with legal issues and vandalism.
Product: Wikimedia
Classification: Unclassified
Site requests (Other open bugs)
PC Windows XP
: Lowest enhancement with 2 votes (vote)
: ---
Assigned To: Nobody - You can work on this!
Depends on:
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2006-10-20 19:50 UTC by tjstrf (Tristan Severs)
Modified: 2011-03-13 18:06 UTC (History)
1 user (show)

See Also:
Web browser: ---
Mobile Platform: ---
Assignee Huggle Beta Tester: ---


Description tjstrf (Tristan Severs) 2006-10-20 19:50:38 UTC

We should have a prompt which comes up if a user attempts to blank an article, similar to the 
prompt for blank edit summaries. It could link to the applicable guideline on page blanking, 
vandalism, inform the user that blanking does not delete a page, and tell them what the proper 
venues for discussion would be.


En Wikipedia has recently been attempting to crack down on vandalism and unsourced negative 
information in biography articles about living people, especially information which may 
constitute libel. A problem which has emerged an occasional but significant number of times is 
new users who, upon discovering negative information in a biography article, blank that article, 
presumably in an attempt to delete the page.

This causes problems because article blanking is considered unacceptable according to Wikipedia's 
policies, and is further a very common form of vandalism. However, reverting these edits can open 
the reverting editor to legal action in the case that he accidently reintroduced libel into the 

Because of this concern, I propose that a warning message be given to anyone who attempts to 
submit a page-blanking edit, similar to that which is optionally triggered when entering a blank 
edit summary. This message could state that page blanking does not erase the page in question and 
is a form of vandalism, and suggesting instead that if they believe the page should not exist, 
they should use the Wikipedia:Deletion process, discuss with other editors on the talk page, or 
visit the Biographies of living people noticeboard. 

This message would inform any good-faith blankers of proper methods for dealing with content 
issues on a page, and save innocent vandal-hunters from acidentally committing libel. It would 
also make page-blank vandalism less convenient for vandals as a whole.
Comment 1 Jesse (Pathoschild) 2007-11-17 21:56:45 UTC
This can easily be done with JavaScript; see
[[Wikipedia:WikiProject User scripts/Requests]] to request someone write one for you. If there is consensus, it can then be implemented in
[[MediaWiki:Common.js]] on the English Wikipedia.

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