Contents 1 General test 2 SPA tagging 2.1 Decision-making tags 2.2 Who not to tag (SPA tagging guidelines) 3 Handling and advice 3.1 If you are in a discussion with someone who edits as a single-purpose account 3.2 If you are working a single-purpose account 3.3 Other considerations 4 Further information if you have been linked to this page 5 See also 6 Notes


General test[edit] The general test for an SPA is: A user who appears to have an apparent focus on a narrow set of matters or purposes, creating a legitimate reason for users to question whether their editing and comments appear to be: neutral; reasonably free of promotion, advocacy and personal agendas; aware of project norms; not having improper uses of an account; and aimed at building an encyclopedia. Evidence that the user seems to be editing appropriately and collaboratively to add knowledge in a niche area may suggest the user is likely to be an editor with a preferred focus. By contrast, evidence that a user is also editing to add promotional, advocative, or non-neutral approaches, or has a personal or emotional interest in the area of focus, possibly with limited interest in pure editing for its own sake, is more likely to suggest that the kinds of concerns described in the introduction may apply to the user.


SPA tagging[edit] Decision-making tags[edit] In communal decision-making, single-purpose accounts suspected of astroturfing or vote stacking will sometimes have a tag added after their name (producing a note that the editor "has made few or no other edits outside this topic"), as an aid to those discussing or closing the debate. These tags are not an official Wikipedia policy, and may be heeded or not based upon your judgment and discretion. If you are tagged as an SPA, please do not take this as an attack on your editing. Some users just find it easier to discuss issues when it is clear what the new editors are doing. The format of the tag is: {{subst:spa|username}}  add this after the user's signature (do not replace the signature) {{subst:spa|username|UTC timestamp}}  use this if the user did not add a signature Before adding such a tag make sure you are doing so with good reason. Please consult the general test and the "who not to tag" section below, in deciding whether the editor is actually an SPA. Please keep in mind that the tag may be taken as an insult or an accusation—use with consideration. Who not to tag (SPA tagging guidelines)[edit] Shortcut WP:SPATG The following is a list of common misuses of the single-purpose account tag. You should under no circumstance consider anything that falls into the below categories as evidence for warranting an SPA tag. Editing time line: the timeline of a user’s edits should not be considered when using single-purpose account tags. One must look at the editor’s complete edit history, not just recent edits. Examples of non-SPAs include Users with a diversified edit history that become inactive for an extended period and later re-establish themselves with single subject edits. Note that a time gap in edit history may be evidence that the person was referred to Wikipedia by an outside source, but it isn't evidence that the person is an SPA. An established editor focusing on a single topic is not an SPA. Once an editor is well established with a large, diversified edit history, he or she can focus on single subjects for extended periods of time without being labeled an SPA. Editing only within a single broad topic: When identifying single-purpose accounts, it is important to consider what counts as a diverse group of edits. For example, subjects like spiders, nutrition, baseball, and geometry are diversified topics within themselves. If a user only edits within a broad topic, this does not mean the user is an SPA. Note also that some very broad but specialized academic topics can seem narrow to editors without a knowledge of the field. Lack of a user page or signature: While many single-purpose accounts do not have user pages, this is not a reason for identifying a person as an SPA. Some established users who edit articles on a variety of subjects do not have user pages. In addition, even the most experienced editors occasionally forget to sign their comments. A subject outside of SPA area: An editor can be an SPA within a given subject, but if they make edits on an unrelated page, the tag should not be used for these edits. The tag should only be used on the pages that relate to the single-purpose account's "single purpose." Frequency of edits: A user should not be tagged as an SPA just because they only have a handful of edits. While all users with one edit are by definition an SPA, users with as few as 3 or 4 edits are not necessarily SPAs if those edits are in a diverse set of topics and do not appear to be promoting a "single purpose."


Handling and advice[edit] If you are in a discussion with someone who edits as a single-purpose account[edit] If you are in a discussion with someone who edits as a single-purpose account Communal standards such as don't bite the newcomers apply to all users. Be courteous. Focus on the subject matter, not the person. If they are given fair treatment, they may also become more involved over time. If they are participating in an Articles for deletion discussion, then consider adding a {{Afd-welcome}} message to their talk page. Only tag users as SPAs if they actually fit the tagging guidelines, above, even if the tagging guidelines are followed, only use the tag if it actually serves a constructive purpose in the context that it is being used. If you are a newcomer or editing as a single-purpose account Good policy-based editing will gain rapid respect. Ask others for help as you learn. The same policies apply to you as to everyone else, although your reputation and your evidence will inevitably be taken into account in discussions by some experienced editors. If you are working a single-purpose account[edit] If you create a single-purpose account, do not pick a username related to the topic you are editing. Adopting such a username might lead some editors to assume you harbor a conflict of interest, causing unnecessary drama.[1][2] If you wish to continue working as a SPA, capitalize on the strengths of that role, particularly with regard to sources. Be willing to buy or borrow books and articles on your chosen subject. Search thoroughly for information on-line. Make notes reminding you from where your information comes, carefully check its reliability and neutrality. Reproduce it in the form of citations. The community's main concern is that edits by single-purpose accounts stand at odds with Wikipedia's neutrality and advocacy policies. Indeed, in some cases, there may be clear conflicts of interest. Care in these areas will be seen as a sign of good editorship. Other considerations[edit] While a new user without an edit history who immediately performs tasks that seemingly require a post-beginner level of editing skills (such as editing non-mainspace pages, uploading images, or participating in a discussion) may be an illegitimate sock puppet, it remains possible that a new user’s contributions are alternatively the product of a disinterested third party with previous wiki editing experience wishing to improve the Wikipedia project or it may even be that tasks like editing non-mainspace pages, uploading images or participating in a discussion are nowhere near as difficult as you might think and don't actually require extensive experience or a degree in wikiology. For this reason, statements regarding motives should be avoided in almost all circumstances. The term should be used descriptively and should not be read pejoratively unless a disruptive agenda is clearly established. Users should be informed of relevant policies and content guidelines in a civil and courteous manner, especially if a tag will be applied to their comment. New users acting in good faith often edit topics in which they have a general interest. Such accounts warrant particularly gentle scrutiny before accusing them of any breach of official policies and content guidelines. Indeed, some new users may be unaware that editing a single topic, and in the process adding their own views, may lead to some editors giving less weight to their ideas in article discussions. It may be helpful to cite the official policies regarding sock puppets and meat puppets for guidance on such matters, especially if new users have joined Wikipedia specifically to participate in a debate, or if they have joined at the request of another user who wants help in discussions on a particular article. One can only form opinions of editors as a result of their actions. Over time, they may diversify their contributions. Users who continue to work within a narrow range of articles may find it difficult to build credibility in community discussions, although extended improvement to a specific section of Wikipedia should not disadvantage an expert opinion. As with all Wikipedia articles, users need to cite the relevant verifiably published evidence from reliable sources to support their point of view. Inevitably, some experienced editors might not agree with cited interpretations during content discussions. Please do not be discouraged by such editors. Eventually, they will respect you, especially if you remember that you are not personally a source, and your focus, even expertise, is best directed toward finding and citing independent reliable sources for the articles you edit.


Further information if you have been linked to this page[edit] If you are new to Wikipedia or if you are unfamiliar with Wikipedia's editing criteria, please read very carefully the following policy and information pages: Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not—what is acceptable or unacceptable use. Wikipedia:Five pillars—the editing foundations of Wikipedia. Wikipedia:Neutral point of view—the core policy that informs how pages are to be approached. Wikipedia:Sock puppetry—the core policy covering both users with multiple accounts, and multiple users working together on one "viewpoint" in a debate. Wikipedia:No personal attacks—some new users may find the single-purpose account label to be insulting. Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers—new members will become new contributors soon enough if they are willing to learn about Wikipedia culture, so welcoming new users does more good than labeling them as new.


See also[edit] Internet sock puppet m:Role account Wikipedia:Conflict of interest Wikipedia:Griefing Wikipedia:Signs of sock puppetry Wikipedia:Sleeper accounts Wikipedia:Tag team {{spa}} – template to tag contributions by a single-purpose account


Notes[edit] ^ "User talk:Virgin United - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2014-01-08.  ^ "User:Young Trigg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". En.wikipedia.org. Retrieved 2014-01-08.  v t e Sock puppetry Guidance Legitimate uses Inappropriate uses Meat puppetry Canvassing Username policy Clean start Single-purpose account Sleeper accounts Outing Signs Motivations List of signs Duck test An obvious sock is obvious Don't be quick to assume that someone is a sockpuppet Lurkers Investigations Triggers Administrators instructions Requests for checkuser CheckUser criteria Consequences Block Ban v t e Wikipedia accounts and governance Unregistered (IP) users Why create an account? Create an account Request an account IPs are human too IP addresses are not people IP hopper Registered users New account Logging in Reset passwords Username policy Changing username Usernames for administrator attention Unified login or SUL Alternate account Account security Password strength requirements User account security Personal security practices Two-factor authentication Simple 2FA 2FA for AWB Committed identity On privacy, confidentiality and discretion Compromised accounts Blocks, global locks, bans, sanctions Blocking policy FAQ Admins guide Tools Autoblock Appealing a block Guide to appealing blocks UTRS Unblock Ticket Request System Blocking IP addresses Range blocks IPv6 Open proxies Global locks Banning policy ArbCom appeals Sanctions Personal sanctions General sanctions Discretionary sanctions and Log Essay Long-term abuse Standard offer Related to accounts Sock puppetry Single-purpose account Sleeper account Vandalism-only account Wikibreak Enforcer Retiring Courtesy vanishing Clean start Quiet return User groups and global user groups Requests for permissions Admin instructions Admin guide Account creator PERM Autopatrolled PERM AutoWikiBrowser PERM Confirmed PERM Extended confirmed PERM Edit filter helper File mover PERM Mass message sender PERM New page reviewer PERM Page mover PERM Pending changes reviewer PERM Rollback PERM Template editor PERM IP-block-exempt Requests Courses access Requests Bot accounts Requests Global rights policy OTRS Volunteer Response Team Advanced user groups Administrators RfA Bureaucrats RfB Edit filter manager Requests CheckUser and Oversight Requests Founder Committees and related Arbitration Committee Mediation Committee Bot approvals group Functionaries Clerks Governance Administration FAQ Formal organization Editorial oversight and control Quality control Wikimedia Foundation Board Founder's seat Meta-Wiki Leadership opportunities WikiProjects Elections Policies and guidelines Unbundling administrators' powers Petitions Noticeboards Consensus Dispute resolution Reforms Retrieved from "https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Single-purpose_account&oldid=811572401" Categories: Wikipedia essaysWikipedia cultureWikipedia vandalism essaysWikipedia sock puppetryWikipedia neutrality essays


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