Could it be useful to add here (or as a separate page for a new people anti-pattern) a brief explanation of what a vandal is? Although is more common in wikipedia and other open wikis, it can maybe give advice about how to face vandalism, in terms of an (usually) anonymous and deliberate attempt to damage content. What do you think?
Posted by Enric Senabre Hidalgo at Mar 28, 2007 04:08
I think that's a very good idea - I'm leaning toward a new anti-pattern since in my opinion a Vandal can be much more malicious than a troll. I could imagine someone trolling to be annoying, or because they don't understand how to behave in a wiki community, but I think a vandal has much more deliberate negative intent. What do you think?
Posted by Stewart Mader at Mar 30, 2007 13:07
As a negative or (at least) not constructive behavior, I agree with you, since it could be even worst than trolling. In wikipedia vandalism is defined as “any addition, removal, or change of content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia”.
Sorry for referring again to them (I know not all wikis are wikipedia! / I like the first part but I don't like the terms “compromising the integrity of”, maybe it could be defined as a “deliberate attempt to disturb or spoil the collaborative work done on a wiki”, or something similar…
Posted by Enric Senabre Hidalgo at Mar 30, 2007 17:45
Enric, I don't think it's bad to refer to wikipedia on this. They have been at this for many years and have hammered out a lot of these issues. Wiki adoption wouldn't be close to where it is without them.
Posted by Alexa Thomas at Apr 19, 2007 10:42
I think it might be useful to mention the type of Troll that I've encountered most – the person who rolls back changes on pages they've originated or added to simply because they can't stand being edited. Or they're editing for style instead of content. They might make the argument that a post is “rambling” or “irrelevant,” and roll back the entire version to one they originally created.
I've encountered these people in non-wiki situations as well (working as an editor at a newspaper) … sometimes people have a natural defensiveness to being edited, and they turn into a Troll on wikis without meaning to. Could we help the trolls realize the distinction between editing for style (usually destructive), versus focusing on editing for content, which can be helpful.
What do you think? Does this deserve a mention?
Posted by Laura at Nov 04, 2007 15:50
Absolutely - this is a great example of the kind of troll you're more likely to encounter in an organization's wiki than in Wikipedia. I think it would be great if you add a mention to the page.
Posted by Stewart Mader at Nov 07, 2007 19:06