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Wireless Networks Thread, Wikipedia - Unconstructive Edits in Technical; Hello All, Checking Wikipedia for something today, saw a notice that we had a new private message waiting. Wikipedia lets ...
  1. #1

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Wikipedia - Unconstructive Edits

    Hello All,

    Checking Wikipedia for something today, saw a notice that we had a new private message waiting. Wikipedia lets you "anonymously" edit pages using just your IP address as a username. As we have a single connection with a router on, it just sees the one IP address for all our computers in the school.

    So, the message said that a user at our IP address had made unconstructive edits to a couple of entries:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    at least one of your recent edits, such as the one you made to Polonium, did not appear to be constructive and has been automatically reverted by ClueBot. Polonium was changed by 217.43.122.156 (u) (t) making a minor change adding "!!!" on 2008-06-30T13:22:28+00:00.
    and:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Barium was changed by 217.43.122.156 (u) (t) making a minor change adding "!!!" on 2008-06-30T13:25:17+00:00.
    Several options:

    - Our children messing around. Very restrained of them to put "!!!" when they have the whole lexicon of modern slang to choose from.

    - A genuine edit (uh, is there some chemical notation that requires multiple exclamation marks?). Surprising as I didn't think any of the teachers / pupils here knew that Wikipedia could be edited. Would a teacher actually think "!!!" is proper punctuation?

    - DDoS virus of some sort on our machines trying to flood Wikipedia with pointless edits.

    Anyone seen similar behaviour before?

    --
    David Hicks

  2. #2

    Domino's Avatar
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    FOund this before, and also a google block that required entering a captcha before you could search

    I put it down to kids really

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    Diello's Avatar
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    We have a chronic problem here, as all Kent RBC traffic goes out via 2 IPs, we've effectively banned from doing any edits here, because other schools have just posted constant abusive edits.

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    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Yeap, I would point directly at the students for this one, One of my primary school sites is actually blocked from editing as some student helpfully decided to delete the content of several articles.

    I know of no chemical notation that is !!! and a bot is unlikely as the damage is completely reversible so the payoff is non-existent.

    I think that you can request that the IP be put on a polite block list which will add a little message saying that stuff cannot be edited without registering an account as it is a school ip. My old university had that set up when I was there.

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    Usually if you log in to wikipedia you can edit the documents then. I had the same thing 18 months ago. Here is the response i recieved:

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia mod
    Hi, blocks should not affect viewing capabilities. If you received the block message when trying to view a page it would mean no such page exists yet.

    However, this IP address has been blocked since January. The most recent vandalism is from January. Furthermore, the IP address is registered to the [council grid for learning] (so perhaps not to your particular school, although I am unsure of that).

    To avoid the block, simply create an account. A full list of contributions from this IP address can be found here: User contributions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Thank you for contacting unblock-en-l.

  6. #6

    SYNACK's Avatar
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    Ask the administrators to add preferably an anonblock to block anonymous edits or if you want a more suvere warning displayed to the students ask for a schoolblock

    Template:Anonblock - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Template:Schoolblock - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  7. Thanks to SYNACK from:

    dhicks (2nd July 2008)

  8. #7


    tom_newton's Avatar
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    If you have your own IP it is fairly trivial to block "regular users" (ie students) from making edits using URL filtering. That could stop you getting blocked, if it is a problem.

    Should also be able to track the numpty who caused the block (and say "What are the !!! about, eh?")

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    It's the kind of edit someone might to just to see if it works - they're not trying to be destructive, just want to see what happens when you press save.

  10. #9

    dhicks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SYNACK View Post
    Ask the administrators to add preferably an anonblock to block anonymous edits or if you want a more suvere warning displayed to the students ask for a schoolblock
    Ah, perfect, thanks.

    --
    David Hicks

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