More on Vandalism – When to Put the Brakes On

While catching vandals and blocking them in the act is thrilling, we as Supervisors need to be very careful. IPs are often shared by many folks and are not restricted to a single household. Shared IPs are common among schools, libraries and businesses, and are especially common with AOL users. All AOL users share a very small group of IPs. Blocking one vandal from AOL could mean blocking thousands of legitimate contributors.

Here’s a way to ensure that you are only keeping the bad guys out:

Before blocking an IP, use the free tool located at Who.is, CQCounter or Openrbl to determine who might be associated with the address. Be on the lookout for NameServers that end in .edu, .gov, .org and .us. And always check to make sure that an IP is not listed on the “white list” of shared addresses located at:

What IP addresses should WikiAnswers supervisors be cautious about blocking?

If you suspect that an IP is shared DO NOT block the address. If the vandal is a registered user, block their User Name and then unblock the associated IP address at http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Special:Ipblocklist. Cumbersome at the moment, we are indeed working on a system to stem the tide of vandalism – without the risk of blocking the good guys! Stay tuned as this great new system unfolds…

(A big thanks to Brave3 (Matthew) for collaborating with me on this article… You’re the best, B3!)

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