Wikipedia:Village stocks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wikipedia's village stocks, found a short distance away from the village pump.

"Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to make an edit and to remove all doubt." –Abraham Lincoln...sort of

It is a truth universally acknowledged that intelligent and otherwise sensible editors and administrators occasionally engage in acts of extreme, mind-boggling stupidity.

Based on the fundamental principle that such blatant disregard of sensibility, however unintended, is best punished by humiliation, the village stocks have been built to identify the wiki-idiots in our midst.

Hall of Shame[edit]

A foolish administrator receives a ritual dunking from gleeful colleagues. Ducks upstream act as marshalling points for specially trained trout waiting to pounce.

AmiDaniel for the Revert the Right Page award[edit]

Who while reverting vandalism to the article Pea with a new editing tool, ended up posting the entire contents of Christianity to the Main Page instead.

Animum for the Lèse Majesté award[edit]

Who was somehow so overly impetuous as to roll back Jimbo; also accidentally blocked ClueBot, who had done nothing wrong.

Bryan Davis for the Melted the World award[edit]

Who managed, on 8 April 2014, while deploying software updates, to take down not only all of Wikipedia but all other Wikimedia wikis as well, causing them all to display only "Unable to open /usr/local/apache/common-local/wikiversions.cdb." (see [1] from about 18:00 to 18:30)

CactiStaccingCrane for the Siege Weapon Safety Fail award[edit]

Who, on 10 November 2022, edited several vital articles pages to use the Trebuchet MS font, because why not? This seemingly innocuous action confused the living heck out of Cewbot, which proceeded to make 6,000 edits incorrectly demoting vital articles from level 4 to level 5. The issue made its way to ANI and to Discord, and a tag team effort between Dudhhr, Tamzin, and K6ka reverted all the erroneous edits. CactiStaccingCrane was subsequently whacked with a wet trout, loaded into a trebuchet, and launched towards the sun.

Dan100 for the Most Understated Use of "OOPS!" as an Edit Summary award[edit]

Who, on 12 December 2005, with a shocking lack of situational awareness, indefinitely blocked WP co-founder and head honcho Jimbo.

east718 and Betacommand for the "It seemed like a good idea at the time..." award[edit]

Who used an unapproved bot to add over 1200 useless revisions to the main page to try to make it undeletable for curious individuals. They failed to hit the necessary 5000-revision mark, but did succeed in taking up lots of time and server resources for no reason.

Ed Poor for the Boldness award[edit]

On 1 August 2005, Ed Poor, one of Wikipedia's most experienced editors, boldly decided to delete the entire VFD deletion process (now known as AfD), which briefly disrupted editing sitewide as the servers tried to keep up. The whole episode is described in the Signpost article "Deletion deletion".

Fuhghettaboutit for the I Broke My Account award[edit]

Who, on 19 July 2017, removed the "ugly" button styling on the edit window but found himself without a save button entirely, rendering his account effectively useless until the edit was reverted by another administrator. Moral of the story: safemode is your friend.

Gmaxwell for the Conference Called award[edit]

Gmaxwell shortly after vandalizing the English Wikipedia under the username
Bad article creation bot.
His vandalism caused harej to accidentally autoblock the entire Wikiconference NYC 2009. English Wikipedia ArbCom member Kirill Lokshin looks on with disapproval.

Who, under the name Bad article creation bot, vandalized the English Wikipedia during Wikiconference NYC 2009 which resulted in Harej inadvertently auto-blocking the entire conference. A reference to this incident is preserved at WP:AUTOBLOCK.

Harej for the Bad Cut-and-Paste award[edit]

Who was deleting orphaned non-free images on 17 September 2006 when he accidentally pasted the title of Superman IV: The Quest for Peace into the deletion reason field. This even rated a mention by Jimbo Wales on his talk page!

Kaldari for the Just Testing award[edit]

Who in 2014, on the pretext of being distracted by a co-worker talking about vector images, elected to replace the {{infobox}} template with one showing only four lines of data, thereby breaking almost 2 million articles. The change was reverted within two minutes, but that was not quick enough to stop {{{data}}} text from appearing all over article infoboxes, or to stop distressed editors from posting at Wikipedia:Village pump (technical) to ask who was responsible.

Magister Mathematicae for the "I missed that day at target practice" award[edit]

While intending on 24 May 2010 to lock and oversight one of a deluge of accounts created to attack The Thing That Should Not Be, steward Magister Mathematicae (formerly Drini) misfired, locking and globally oversighting The Thing's account, which undid every edit he had ever made to every WMF project (well over 140,000). While this was reversed several minutes later, a server-side script had to be concocted to undo the damage on enwiki, because the job queue failed to un-oversight the edits. While over 1000 seconds database lag was caused due to the number of revisions affected, the main detriment was having to expand WP:WRONG to cover "deleting the wrong version". (The wrong version in this case being those edits that weren't supposed to be oversighted, of course...)

Majorly for the Commons Era award[edit]

As a Wikipedia admin moonlighting at Wikimedia Commons, he managed to delete the deletions request page on 30 October 2007.

Master of Puppets for the Town Crier award[edit]

Who, while setting up an edit filter on 4 November 2011, accidentally hit the save button before completing the job. Due to the half-baked filter, anyone trying to edit Wikipedia found themselves rewarded with a stern warning regarding an edit war on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. MoP realized the goof and quickly removed it, but not nearly quickly enough to prevent the issue being raised on ANI. Condemnation to the stocks swiftly followed.

Maxim for the "Doesn't do anything anyway" award[edit]

Who managed, on 3 February 2008, to delete the Main Page, because someone told him it could not be done. He nobly confessed all at AN/I. Moral of the story: Don't delete the main page.

Moriori for the "What does this button do?" award[edit]

Who managed on 2 November 2005 to move the Main Page to Hauturu/Little Barrier Island (what!?), or rather, failed to prevent she-who-must-not-be-named from doing so. Moral of the story: never let others touch your computer if you are logged in to Wikipedia.

Oshwah for the Filter Failure award[edit]

Who, while tweaking Filter 680 on May 1, 2022, to block non-confirmed users from adding the middle-finger emoji (\x{1F595} in PCRE), instead blocked non-confirmed editors from adding the literal characters "X", "{", "1", "F", "5", "9" and "}", thereby blocking the majority of substantive additions by IPs and new users for the next hour. After a flurry of false positive reports, an EFN thread, and discussions on Discord, Firefly made the crucial change of \X to \x. Oshwah followed in the footsteps of several other members of the Hall of Shame. The moral of the story? Capitalization matters. Or maybe just: Regex is confusing.

Reaper Eternal for the "Block ALL the edits" award[edit]

Who, while adjusting an edit filter, misfired, resulting in every edit to Wikipedia being disallowed and echoing Master of Puppets' goof from nine months earlier. Like MoP, the error was quickly fixed, but the matter ended up being raised on both the village pump and ANI. A couple of editors quickly agreed that the whole mess was a natural candidate for the stocks, and Reaper was summarily sentenced.

Scientizzle for the Baby and Bathwater award[edit]

Who succeeded in locking the servers for half an hour on 16 January 2008, by deleting the sandbox, as discussed at AN/I; other editors, thankful for the unexpected wikibreak, offered various Wikitrouts and barnstars. This episode led to restrictions on admins deleting pages with large histories.

SD0001 for the Best Test of an Automated Tool award[edit]

Who on 25 March 2015 managed to delete all links to the Sandbox with Twinkle while testing the tool, making hundreds of useless edits. It broke edit filters and templates and made its way to ANI.

SQL for the Time-Traveling Block Breaker award[edit]

Original screenshot of SQL's "Time-traveling Block Breaker" block as it originally appeared in Oshwah's block log, and before the issue was subsequently fixed.

Who on April 23, 2016 went to jokingly block Oshwah for a quick 3.14159265359 seconds. However, instead of a quick block, he managed to set the block to expire on 06:36, 18 January 1975 (screenshot). To make things stranger, Oshwah had an entirely different block expiry of 11:36, 10 May 2021, leading to a Wikimedia bug ticket being filed.

Steven Walling for the I'm the Scapegoat of the WMF award[edit]

On August 2, 2012, a WMF staff member "accidentally told the network to refuse traffic from the entire world, and the network did as it was told". Apparently, "someone was trying to block a specific IP and well, blocked the world". Oliver Keyes and Erik Möller elected to throw Steven under the bus, stating that Steven has been declared the cause of all problems and that Steven definitely did it. (According to Steven himself, the actual culprit was Asher Feldman and some other staffers, but no one seems to care...)

Trappist the monk for the Citation Needed award[edit]

Argh! It's all in blood red! ARGH!

Who on 1 August 2022 while making a fix to the Module:Citation/CS1/Configuration broke all CS1 citations on Wikipedia, which for several minutes were replaced in their entirety by walls of Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1 at line 1392: bad argument #1 to 'pairs' (table expected, got nil)., "Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Date_validation at line 946: attempt to index field 'inv_local_long' (a nil value).", among others.

Veinor and MBisanz for the "You said it wouldn't work!" award[edit]

Saying he had heard of a recent anti-vandal update that would prevent moving the Administrators' noticeboard, even by admins, MBisanz managed to convince Veinor to try moving the noticeboard. With a momentary memory lapse, the noticeboard was sent to Wikipedia:BWAHAHAHAH [2] on 22 April 2008. In memory of this, Wikipedia:BWAHAHAHAH now links to this very section.


"Fair cop, guv!" declared this admin (who at first claimed to be seeking a lost contact lens) as the darbies snapped shut. "May others take caution from my ignominious, if temporary, disgrace."

Any editor perpetrating an act of extreme but logical stupidity can be nominated for this page, if the act or result is outrageous or amusing, but it is advisable to get their agreement, to avoid unnecessary and inappropriate distress.

Please note this is NOT a pillory. Its purpose is to amuse, and in essence is a type of cautionary tale, warning us all of the pitfalls waiting to lure us all in (not unlike Wikipedia:Lamest edit wars). It should never be offensive or accusatory, and anyone posted is free to remove themselves at any time.

Admins deliberately performing reckless acts to win admission to the page and gain the coveted Stocks "barn star" will be subjected to damnatio memoriae, among other measures.

Sentences can be confirmed by posting Template:Stocks on the recipient's talk page. Consider also using the following barnstar for serious Wiki-breaking offences:

The Destroyer of the Wiki Barnstar

See also[edit]