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What is Patrolling?

Patrolling refers to the process of more experienced Editors checking up on pages which have recently been added to the Wiki.
  • By using the Special Page, "Recent Changes," (from the column on the left) and clicking "Hide patrolled" you will get a list of recently added and edited articles.
  • Also, on the "Recent Changes" page, articles in need of patrolling are marked with a red exclamation mark (!).
  • Or you can add the following to a page of your own
* [ Patrolling]
Giving you one-click access to that list of pages to patrol:


N - This edit created a new page (also see list of new pages)
m - This is a minor edit
b -This edit was performed by a bot
! - This edit has not yet been patrolled
(±123) - The page size changed by this number of bytes

What to do

  • Visit the page of an unpatrolled edit and read it.
  • Go to the article's history and compare the two most recent versions. If everything is in order, you can click the [Mark as patrolled] button on the right.
  • One of the principal "catches" in patrolling is finding those new users who have simply created spam accounts -- userids where they promptly inserted a bunch of off-site links in one or more articles... typically ads to commercial sites of one kind or another. Those pages get marked, deleted and the accounts blocked.
  • If you "Edit" the page, it will take "your level" and mark the page accordingly. However, if you start to edit the page and cancel, it will clear the flag, requiring you to go back to the "Recent changes" page and then revisit that page to mark it patrolled.
  • Each "edit" will produce its own "page to be patrolled," therefore there may be multiple, seemingly identical pages to patrol.
  • If a page has been "redirected" and you find no "[Mark as patrolled]" link -- follow the redirect. That will be the page needing to be patrolled.
  • Pages which are to be deleted (typically spam pages) need to be Marked as patrolled BEFORE they are deleted!.
  • If you find any issues, use one of the Article Management Tags to mark the article if appropriate, and post a comment on the new editor's Talk page describing what you found as well as on the "Discussion page" for that article. (Don't forget to sign your comment with "~~~~")
Note that the Article Management Tags will also place the article in one of the sub-categories of Category:Things to do for other editors to examine and update.

Spam Removal and Spammer Account Block

Those pages get marked, deleted and the accounts blocked.

  • Mark the spam as patrolled if there are no problems.
Look in the page for the link: "[Mark this page as patrolled]," and click on it.
The "Mark as patrolled" link only appears "on the page." That is to say -- When patrolling from the "Recent Changes" page:
  • For "New" pages -- those marked with "N!" -- click on the actual page link, then look near the bottom of the page.
When you click on the "diff" of a "N" New page, nothing happens. Click on the link to the page and look for the "[Mark as patrolled]" link at the bottom of the text.
  • For "Modified" pages -- those marked simply with "!" or "m" click on the "diff" button.
When you click on the "diff" of a "m" modified page, you will be shown a "history" view of changes and at the top, under the Revision History information on the right side, you will find the "[Mark as patrolled]" link.
  • Delete the spam page contents and then delete the spam page. Make sure even the delete summary notes for the deleted page do not reference or include the spam links. Completely remove all traces of spam from every part of the pages.
  • Block the spammers account by using the link that appears during the page deletion (near the users name) or use the Special:Block page. Remember to remove any spammed links or data from the account block summary notes and remarks. You can use the "Reason:" drop down menu to describe why the user was blocked.

Who should do this?

  • Anyone who has been promoted to Ninja status or beyond.
  • Any editor who feels comfortable enough with the content they are patrolling. There is no need to verify the exact details of every edit. If you see mistakes when patrolling, that is a good chance to correct them, but if an update looks reasonable, it is fine to assume that the edits were made in good faith.

Why do this?

Recognition of new talent

  • New editors can be discovered and greeted (by placing the {{Welcome}} template on their Talk page) and a User page created for them in Category:Users. This can be done by anyone of Ninja status or above.
  • It is more desirable to give compliments, pointers and tips to people as they start, rather than wait until someone else notices a problem by chance after that person has been doing something for months.
  • "Patrolling" generates insight for "promotions"

General considerations for promotions

  • Consider other editor's rules of thumb
  • User-level editors are able to post external links, but they need to pass the CAPTCHA in order to do so; getting promoted to Ninja allows bypassing this check, which is why we tell people to request a promotion if they're having trouble with CAPTCHA.
  • Note that CAPTCHA runs against a "blacklist" originated with MediaWiki and augmented locally.
Promotion to Ninja
  • Anyone with a couple of valid edits is eligible for promotion to Ninja.
  • Anyone having issues with CAPTCHA is eligible for promotion
Promotion to Editor
  • Once Ninja editors have been around for a while and have been promoted to Editor, their edits are automatically marked "patrolled," but until then it basically serves as a way to make sure that changes made by new editors are actually valid changes and not vandalism.
  • People with high-quality contributions (to the point where they don't need to be monitored) can be Editors.
  • Promote anyone to editor once they've showed up in the top 30 list and have been around for more than a month.
(While the promotion may be "automatic" -- the "Process of Promoting" is manual.)

Promotion to Admin

  • admins+: quality edits, longer tenure or they revamp something (even if feathers are ruffled), are all good reasons to be promoted here. Feel free to promote or send User: Lotroadmin a message if you think someone should be an admin.