Forum for Wiki Vandal

Are personal insults on home pages a form of vandalism? [#1145]

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xela: Are personal insults on home pages a form of vandalism? (2007-09-16 02:08) [#3889]

Once in a while, an unsigned comment will appear on a user's home page to the effect that that user is an idiot (usually expressed less kindly). I've been regarding such comments as vandalism, and removing them. Is that the right thing to do?

(Example: recent edits to jyem and glue.)

PeterHB: Personal insults (2007-09-16 03:32) [#3890]


As far as I am concerned, you are correct. Self directed insults by the owner of the page directed at themselves would seem okay to me, but that doesn't happen. I think you are doing the right thing cleaning out anonymous insults. If the home page owner wants them, he can copy them out of diff history and add them using his logged on account.

reply Yes, on Wikipedia (2007-09-16 04:01) [#3891]

Bob McGuigan: They are considered vandalism on Wikipedia if they are put on the user page itself and not on the talk page. Of course anyone can remove them.

DrStraw: ((no subject)) (2007-09-16 04:13) [#3892]

It may be totally inappropriate, but I do not consider it vandalism. To me vandalism is totally trashing a page.

It seems to me that a better comment to the page in question would have been to add a comment such as "inappropriate comment removed". Or better still, moved the inappropriate comment to the discussion subpage. Totally removing someone's opinions seems wrong. I agree that the comments added to glue's page were misplaced, but I do not consider them to be wrong, so they should not have just been deleted.

Bill: Re: ((no subject)) (2007-09-16 08:34) [#3893]

Well, unsigned opinion is fair game, in my book. It is not presented as opinion, and need not be treated as such. For instance, altering it would not misrepresent anyone, because nobody is saying that it's their opinion.

DrStraw: Re: ((no subject)) (2007-09-16 13:46) [#3894]

I'm not saying it should not have been deleted. I am merely saying that calling it vandalism is inappropriate. Call is "unsigned, biased, unproven statement" by all means, just not vandalism.

xela: Linguistics and pragmatics (2007-09-16 14:49) [#3895]

The reason why I called it vandalism is that I checked the edit history for the pages concerned, saw that this had happened before, and it had been called vandalism before.

To me, the definition of vandalism doesn't require something to be "totally trashed". If someone were to spraypaint a rude comment on the side of a house, I would consider it vandalism, even though the house isn't by any means trashed. Putting rude comments into someone's home page seems like the virtual equivalent of the same thing (although much easier to repair).

But, linguistic quibbles aside, what I wanted to know is whether it's OK to simply delete such comments. The consensus seems to be yes.

reply ((no subject)) (2007-09-16 20:07) [#3896]

I don't think it is ok because it was no clear insult, just an opinion. The deletion should be done by the owner of the homepage.

reply ((no subject)) (2007-09-16 22:02) [#3897]

Bob McGuigan: It would be possible to argue that any insult is merely a statement of opinion. Whether something is insulting probably depends on the target of the comment, but in this case the remark was implicitly negatively critical and was posted on a home page rather than a discussion page or a page on a general relevant topic. As for deletion, on a wiki anyone can edit anything so someone other than the "owner" of the page can delete the remark. If you argue that editting of someone else's home page is frowned upon, that's generally true unless there is an invitation, so the person (anonymous) who posted the remark in question was guilty of an etiquette breach.

DrStraw: Ironic (2007-09-17 23:17) [#3898]

It is quite ironic that the edit which triggered this discusssion, and which was stated to be an insult, is actually the opinion of a significant percentage of all people with whom I have discussed the matter over the past several months. However, as others have stated, that does not mean that it is acceptable on SL or that anyone has a right to add it to the user's home page.

X Re: Ironic (2007-09-17 22:57) [#3899]

I have to agree with you. I don't know "glue" but maybe this is just the truth about her. I do know another KGS admin for which the same statement is very true and I don't think that expressing this opinion is an insult.

Hicham: ((no subject)) (2007-09-17 23:13) [#3900]

It does not belong on SL. It only creates troubles. I can possibly imagine this on a discussion page about KGS or KGS admins, but on a homepage it is just disrespectfull and not conductive for the general ambiance here. If every one does this for people they dislike, there will be no end to the flame wars.

The question if this createsvandalism is a sophistry (is this english?).

Dieter: a break (2007-09-18 01:06) [#3901]

There are those who do and those who stand by and comment. Give people a break (but maybe don't give them too much power). Cheers.

Unkx80: Homepage as private space (2007-09-18 08:42) [#3902]

I normally treat a homepage as the private space of the user. Unless the user invite comments on his homepage, usually I don't.

Somehow, I feel that comments, when stated properly, can be added to the homepage, or better still, its talk page. But not insults, especially unsigned ones.

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