How to be thorough when you patrol Wikipedia for vandalism


Skeptical Software Tools

Wikipedia logoI’ve written several times about patrolling Wikipedia for vandalism. It a great way for new editors to get practice with simple editing tasks. It is also can be a way for skeptics to demonstrate our impartiality.

It’s important to remember that vandalism on Wikipedia, just as in the real world, is often done in sprees. This is important, because it can help you avoid overlooking some instances that might be right under your nose.

Consider a piece of Bigfoot-related nonsense I removed from the Ape Canyon article recently:

Ape Canyon edit

The edit here (at bottom) was by an anonymous user – you can see it is logged to the IP address 50.107.128.28. Looking at the contents of the edit, I found it was a made-up species name (“Gigantopithecus sapiens helena”) for the cryptid apes that were reported at Ape Canyon. But this name is completely fictional, it’s never been assigned by actual scientists. So…

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