This is a draft page -- some thoughts towards a guideline for how to deal with newbies. This is meant to deal with situations where we might block someone for a first edit, or revert a first edit.

These guidelines should apply to every active contributor on the wiki, whether you're an admin or not.

Basic principles

  • Nobody said collaborative writing was easy. More people = more problems, but opening up the wiki for anyone to edit is how you write 20,000+ pages about the Muppets in four years. More people = exponentially more information.
  • Every new contributor is a potential new friend, and we should treat them that way as much as possible. With some exceptions, we should assume that everyone who edits the wiki is trying to help.
  • We're frustrated by the returning vandals, and want to get rid of them as efficiently as possible. We don't want to "give people chances" when we know who they are, and they're just wasting our time and energy.
  • The biggest reason that people don't contribute to wikis is that they're afraid they'll mess something up or make a mistake. Everyone who actually clicks the edit button for the first time is taking a leap of faith.
  • Having your first edit reverted is a disappointment. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth and makes you not want to make a second edit.
  • People who contribute for the first time don't know our rules and formats, and we shouldn't expect them to. If they stick around, we can teach them how things work.


  • Returning vandal -- Someone we've seen before, an obsessive kid who keeps doing the same dumb things over and over.
  • Immediate block, and revert all edits. If you have check user, check their IP address. If someone's used the same IP address for multiple accounts, we can block the IP address. (If you're not an admin: revert all edits, and let an admin know.)
  • New vandal -- Someone we haven't seen before. Does something obviously terrible, like fill the page with curses.
  • Immediate block, and revert all edits.
  • New helpless mistake -- Does something pretty bad, like blank a page or screw up headings, which could be vandalism or could be a helpless newbie mistake.
  • Revert. Leave a message on their talk page telling them that you reverted the edit, and asking if you can help them figure out how to edit the wiki. If they don't respond and do it again: block.
  • New bad fact -- Adds a sentence that isn't true, or unsourced. This might be an honest mistake, or it might be testing the boundaries of what happens when you add the wrong thing. (Unfortunately, it's often hard to tell the difference.)
  • Revert. Act as if they meant well, even if you're not sure whether they did or not. Leave a message telling them that you reverted their edit, and explaining that we need to source facts so that we have the most accurate information. Invite them to ask you if they have questions. If they don't respond and do it again: block.
  • New guidelines mistake -- Makes an edit that violates one of our guidelines or formats.
  • Ditto as above.

Question: Does anyone have Checkuser privileges besides Danny and Scott? Can we give other admins Checkuser? (Danny will check with the Wikia community team.)