Commons:Counter Vandalism Unit

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Shortcut: COM:CVU

Live watch[edit]


  • Watch real-time in #cvn-commons webchat
  • Click on a link, this bring you to a diff-view
  • Revert or Rollback the edit if needed, either way [mark as patrolled] it.
  • In case of vandalism add the IP/Username to blacklist: CVNBot14 bl add x="hours" r=reason (See also Bot Commands)
You need Voice to use commands in the channel. You can ask the channel ops for this flag.

See also: CVN / Bots on Meta-Wiki


See RTRC help
Example of what RTRC looks like

This tool enables you to monitor the recent changes in real-time. You can activate the Gadget RTRC in your preferences.

Anonymous edits[edit]

"COM:ANON" redirects here. For copyright rules related to anonymous works, see Commons:Anonymous works.

Quest for help + Foreign languages[edit]

If you come across someone asking a question and you can't help and/or it’s in a language you don't speak. Here’s a few things you can do:

  • Is the question inappropriate for this place ? Tell the user on their talkpage about the Help desk. If you can be of help, move the message to the user’s talkpage instead and answer directly.
  • Is the question appropriate for this place, put the {{Helpme}} template above the message.
    Optionally if you're able to distinguish the language, put the wiki lettercode in the first parameter (i.e. if it’s in French: {{helpme|fr}}). That way it will be categorised in the User needing help structure and won't go lost for unknown amount of time.

Misplaced comments[edit]

Often anonymous users place requests on the subject page rather than the talk page. For example questions about a certain photograph on the File-page. In order to fix this, edit the File page and the accompanying File-talk page. Copy the text, sign it with {{Unsigned}} or {{Unsigned2}} from one to another, and give it a heading. Then directly below the heading indicate that the source (since the page history will show you as author) is the File page. Do so with the {{Moved from}} template. You can use a handy code like {{Moved from|{{subst:SUBJECTPAGENAME}}|[[User:{{subst:REVISIONUSER}}]]}} to automatically fill in the parameters with the full pagename of the subject page that the talk page belongs to, and subst your username with REVISIONUSER.

The edit would look like this:

== Request ==
{{Moved from|{{subst:SUBJECTPAGENAME}}|[[User:{{subst:REVISIONUSER}}]]}}
''The text comment pasted here'' {{unsigned2|18:45, 3 August 2010|}}

When the message isn't specifically addressed to the uploader/author, but is more general (but is related to this file) – you may want to use {{Helpme}} as well (and fill in the language when possible) so that it doesn't get lost on this File-talk page forever. You can see an example with this comment that was moved to the talk page


After you noticed a user did something wrong, don't forget to message the user about it. The user might improve their behavior after reading a friendly notice.

A new user, unless it is a shared IP or known the user should be Welcomed. You can do this by creating the user’s talk page and add {{Welcome}} ~~~~.

After a rollback you can select and copy the name of the page. You can then open the user-talk page and/or the Contributions page.

From the contributions you can usually judge if it’s a new user or not. Also from here (in the toolbox on the bottom) you can open Luxo’s “Global contribs” (or:"Cross wiki contributions"). On the global contributions page try to look for the project the user is most active on and/or a major-wiki on which the user has a talk-page. There one checks if the IP is a Shared IP, such as a school. en.wikipedia for example: {{SharedIP}}. Such a template can then be copied over here.

If the user didn't commit a pure vandalistic edit, start with a simple {{subst:test|Pagename}}. Any further bad edits can the be followed by placing {{subst:test2|Pagename}}/{{subst:test3|Pagename}}.

When a user persists to be vandalistic, join #wikimedia-commons webchat (if you haven't done so already) and say !admin@commons followed by who and why the user should be blocked.

Also, when you found a {{SharedIP}} or {{SharedIPEDU}} on another project’s talk-page, you might want to copy that to here for completion as well.


Sometimes an educational institution has multiple IP-addresses, in this case (once you know the range) create a talkpage for that and include it on the other (existing) talk-pages. You can use {{subst:sedu}} on the range-talkpage and {{include}} that onto the others.

An example is on User talk: There is a {{SharedIPEDU}}, a list of related IP-addresses. And any of those that have contributions (generally, don't create talkpages just because they are in the range. Check the ‘contribs’-links)

Any of the related IPs with contributions then have {{User talk:}} on them to include the central talkpage. Leave any {{Test}} or {{Blocked}} messages on the range-page. If appropriate request a block for the range at once.


The following are known bigger ranges of schools which can be messaged with a {{SharedIPEDU}} directly without any additional check needed:

  • (Belgium, also evening schools)
  • (Belgium, also evening schools)
  • (The Netherlands)
  • (The Netherlands)
  • (The Netherlands)
  • (The Netherlands)


Several providers are solely or almost completely dedicated to connecting companies and/or educational institutions to the internet. If you find these names in the WHOIS you can safely assume the IP is a SharedIP. Be sure to check cross-wiki/global contributions as well to maybe find a block on another wiki which has identified the school and/or the range, which you can then copy into {{SharedIP}} or {{SharedIPEDU}} on the users’ Commons talkpage.

Copyright violations[edit]

If you find copyright violation when patrolling, please report them (COM:DR, COM:CSD). See Commons:How to detect copyright violations

Good users[edit]

  • Anonymous contributors that have a clean record and are good users (other than filling our checklists with good edits) can be asked to register by using {{subst:register|YourNickname}} ~~~~.
  • Please request the autopatrol-flag for trusted registered users at Commons:Requests for rights.

Administrator’s assistance[edit]

If you need Administrator’s assistance, please ask at:


RTRC — Real-Time Recent Changes[edit]

See also: RTRC on Meta.

Just activate the Gadget RTRC in your preferences.

Hiding user creation / uploads from watchlist[edit]

If you have your Preferences set to automatically Watch everything you do, you might have noticed that it works backwards as well and log entries show up even if a later edit to it is by you (and “Hide my edits” is on), so you might want to hide user creation and uploads from your Watchlist because of watching a user-talkpage and/or file-page respectively to keep it clean.

Note: These scripts assume an English interface, if you have another language setting these will not work

To hide upload log-entries from your Watchlist, just activate “Hide the upload log from the watchlist” in your preferences.

To hide user creation log-entries from your Watchlist, add the following to your Special:MyPage/vector.js :


Extend Recent changes options[edit]

This script adds the following filters to the Recent changes options:

Add the following to your Special:MyPage/vector.js :


Snippets for your edit-toolbar[edit]

Research shows that adding {{Test}} and {{Welcome}} takes an average 621 ms typing time for an experienced user. Beat that with a click!

Some examples of scripts to add buttons to your editing toolbar are at Commons:Counter Vandalism Unit/scripts. Feel free to use the ones that you like or customize them to your need.

Open multiple links in tabs at once[edit]

For Mozilla Firefox there is an extension allowing you to select multiple links and open them in tabs. This is a nifty tool for selecting the (diff) -links in a RecentChanges-overview.

Finding previously deleted files[edit]

If you suspect socket puppetry or recreation of previously deleted content, COM:SHA1 is the tool of choice.

Abuse filters[edit]

There are several abuse filters that capture vandalism and test edits. There may be false positives in some of the filters.

See Special:AbuseFilter for all (included non CVU related) filters on commons.


There are also tags for keeping track of vandalism. There may also be false positives.

Misc Tools[edit]


If a page should be immediately deleted but you're not an administrator then paste the {{Speedy}} template with a valid speedy-deleted reason as parameter, such as:

  • {{speedy|no useful content}}
  • {{speedy|out of [[COM:SCOPE|project scope]]}}
  • {{speedy|deadend redirect}}
See also Category:Message templates for user-talk page messages

When a user empties a page they created themselves not so long ago you can also {{Speedy}} that. The user most likely isn't familiar yet with how things work on Commons and blanked the page in the assumption it will be gone.

If a non-recently created Category-page is being blanked, please check the user’s contributions to see if there is an alternative category. Use {{Category redirect}} instead of a deletion when appropriate.


Award / Barnstar
{{Commons:Counter Vandalism Unit/Star}}

Counter Vandalism Barnstar
Counter Vandalism Award

Many thanks for your contributions related to the Counter Vandalism Unit. For that I hereby give you, Counter Vandalism Unit this Award !


{{Commons:Counter Vandalism Unit/Award}}

Counter Vandalism Award
Counter Vandalism Award

Many thanks for your contributions related to the Counter Vandalism Unit. For that I hereby give you, Counter Vandalism Unit this Award !


This user is a member of the
Counter Vandalism Unit.