Patrolling is the term used to describe when individual users are reviewing edits to check for inappropriate edits. This is performed in order to quickly undo undesirable edits, like spam and vandalism.
After reviewing a change, people can mark changes as having been "patrolled", which allows other people to skip that change and review another change. This allows people to coordinate their patrolling activity, such that all edits get checked at least once, but with less wasted effort (multiple people checking the same edit).
What to doEdit
Patrolling primarily consists of a four step process:
- Identify "bad" or "needy" edits
- Patrollers efficiently identify problematic edits. A bad edit is an edit that for one reason or another may need to be entirely removed. A needy edit requires maintenance or improvement in some manner.
- Mark, remove or improve the edit
- Needy edits should be changed immediately. Bad edits should be deleted. All other edits can be marked as patrolled.
- Warn the editor
- In the cases of deliberate vandalism or an evident lack of knowledge on Wikipedia procedure, offending editors should be warned on their talk pages. While this is an optional step, it should be a regular part of a patroller's duties, as it minimizes conflict, educates new editors and alerts administrators of repeat offenders.
- Check the user's other contributions
- You will often find more edits with similar problems. As a patroller, you may want to fix those as well.
Look for newcomer tests, but do not bite the newcomers. Revert their experiments and leave a messages on their user talk page.
Look out for vandalism, and revert it. It is often worthwhile to check the page history after reverting to make sure you have removed all the vandalism. Also, check the user contributions of the vandal – you will often find more malicious edits. If the vandal will not stop, list them at Wikidata:Administrators' noticeboard. Ensure that the user has been warned thoroughly before posting a notice on Wikidata:Administrators' noticeboard and has had time to read the warnings and still ignore them. If a user has not been sufficiently warned, or has only vandalized a couple of times an administrator may archive the notice without action.
Look for non-notable items. If an item does not meet the notability policy report it to Wikidata:Requests for deletions. Check the editing history: Sometimes unnotable items may be left as a result of incomplete merge; in this case, complete the merge.