Originally Posted by Lute Skywatcher
One often needs to report such editors to the Wikipedia Admins
for punishment to be issued. Found that out after one persistent vandal had received multiple warnings but was never blocked from editing. Now I know where to report vandals
and suspected socks
ETA: if you spot a vandal, you can issue a warning on their talk page yourself. Start at level 1 and and progress if they don't get the message; if their behavior continues after level 4, report that vandal.
If the vandalism continues after the editor is unblocked? Report 'em again! They'll be re-blocked for a longer duration. Here's one for six months
and one for a year
So for Wikipedia to remain reliable, the experts not only know about their field, they have to be expert at negotiating the arcane processes of reporting troublemakers, and be prepared to persist for months while the same user gets repeatedly investigated and warned and banned and investigated and warned. There's no simple and obvious way to actually report someone and have the admins take a look at it like the "report" button on this message board.
The dispute resolution process is frankly one of Wikipedia's biggest flaws. There are Admins/Mods, so the project isn't truly open slather,. But exactly how the Admins function, what they are supposed to do and even the rules are incredibly complex and difficult to negotiate. Wikipedia experts know the rules comprehensively and can post cute little hotlinks to every single obscure policy and standard. Experts in actual subjects on Wikipedia don't, and so end up having no chance of comng out ahead in disputes.
I remember back when I first started posting to Wikipedia, I got into a dispute with someone who reverted my edits. I read the rules, which say that you can revert something twice in a day. I did so an reported the other poster when they made three reverts. We were then both
suspended for a couple of days. When i queried the suspension, I was told by another admin, not the one who suspended me, that although the main rule was two reverts, that was just a guideline and it was considered against the rules to revert even twice. On later occasions I reported the other poster after two reverts, and not a damn thing happened. No reply form the admins, and teh vandals kept reverting.
This is precisely the type of crap that I have seen several times drive off expert contributors. There is a labyrinth of rules that nobody who hasn't spent years learning the gazillion pages could ever hope to comprehend. There is no feedback from the admins, no way to discuss a decision and no hard and fast rules.
Needless to say, actual experts have better things to do with their time, and Wikipedia ends up being overwhelmed by people whose primary expertise in in gaming Wikipedia.