Submissions:2023/Don't feed the trolls

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This submission has been noted and is pending review for WikiConference North America 2023.


Don't feed the trolls


Recent Changes, Equity / Inclusion / Community Health, Governance

Type of session:

Lightning talk


In the wake of COVID-19, college students are experiencing heightened depression and lessened empathy for others.[1] Under the bold assumption that the same applies to not just college students, this has emboldened trolls and vandals to do more extensive damage to communities before they face consequences. How can we tackle this?

This lightning talk will consist of the following short segments exploring recent changes in acts of bad faith:

  1. The quantitative state of vandalism on an account-by-request but open-to-read wiki
    • Very brief explanation of the nature of the wiki
    • Some statistics on vandalism over time
  2. The qualitative state of trolling across multiple wikis
    • Including an example of two wikis being brought to their knees
    • The abuse of policy or the lack thereof and what that means for governance
  3. Exploration of governance strategies to mitigate the new wave of bad faith
    • No second chances, no exceptions
    • Three strikes and you're out


  1. Peifer, Janelle S., and Gita Taasoobshirazi. 2022. "College Students’ Reduced Cognitive Empathy and Increased Anxiety and Depression before and during the COVID-19 Pandemic" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19, no. 18: 11330.

Author name:

Ken Hilton

E-mail address:

Wikimedia username:


Affiliated organization(s):

Scratch Wiki

Estimated time:

5-8 minutes plus questions if applicable

Special requests:

Okay with being livestreamed but not posted in a recording

Have you presented on this topic previously? If yes, where/when?:


Okay to livestream?

Livestreaming is okay

If your submission is not accepted, would you be open to presenting your topic in another part of the program? (e.g. lightning talk or unconference session)