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Refer to this discussion.


Here are some suggestions for finding problematic tropers and reporting them to Ask The Tropers (ATT), if necessary. These are meant to discourage tropers from cluttering the ATT with unnecessary commentary and non-issues, and make the job of moderators easier as well.

Note: We can't and won't enforce these as guidelines, this page is here only to help make reports more concise and clear.

    General tips 
  • Rule-breaking is not arguable, either it happened or it didn't. If you're reporting rule-breaking, it doesn't matter which version is "more correct". Address and resolve the problem, then continue editing.
    • If you're making a post because you consider a non-rule-breaking edit problematic, just improve it. There are better places to resolve small disputes than ATT, like in Private Messages (PMs) and forums. Consider ATT as the last measure taken.
  • Don't comment in a report unless it either involves you, or you can append and/or elaborate on the report. Off-topic comments or discussions of a troper's personality without new evidence of a problem are called Popcorning and will annoy the mods.
    • Getting angry, bringing up your own or someone else's personal flaws, and/or poor grammar are clear signs that you can't keep up a constructive conversation, and you will likely be asked to take a break from ATT.
    • Don't threaten other tropers with a ban or ask to ban specific tropers. This is referred to as mini-modding - bans are for mods to decide, no jurors are needed.
    • If the problem troper goes haywire and starts vandalizing or throwing insults, don't engage with them. It's better (and easier) to keep an eye on their edits and do a cleanup after they've been dealt with, rather than having everyone jump into an Edit War against one non-disarmed problem troper.
  • Don't PM the mods unless it's really urgent. Mods monitor the ATT and their forums of choice regularly when they get online, they will respond to reports (if needed) eventually. If the query didn't get any development in over a day and the issue still persists, make a "Bump" comment to bring it to the top of the ATT.
    • Don't comment on reports that have already been resolved recently (this is referred to as gravedancing for recent reports, and necromancy for older reports). If a similar issue with the same problem troper appears, make a new report and link the old one as a reference.
    • Don't ask to lock the query unless it's clearly escalating into a Flame War. If the issue is resolved, it should be obvious by looking at the report thread - just let the query get buried in the queue.
  • In ATT, Single-Issue Wonk refers to tropers who have a noticeable pattern to their edits, like mass-editing pages involving a specific topic. "Agenda-Based Troper" is a variant where a troper ignores the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment and thinks their opinion on a controversial topic is more valuable than what the pages currently have. Do not talk to these kinds of tropers, as they clearly show a certain intent to not follow the site's customs.

Quick tools:

  • To address a troper in a post: Tropers/{{TroperUsername}}. If you are posting in a forum, @Tropers/{{TroperUsername}} (Paging) creates a PM for them to check the post they are mentioned in. Know that paging does not work in ATT queries due to a bug.
    • Note that certain usernames that begin with a number or have an underscore cannot be linked properly. This is due to a bug caused by TV Tropes not recognizing those characters as valid username digits, which breaks the linking functionality, leading to dead links. If the troper you want to report has a username like that (ex: 5Troper_Username), check their profile by clicking on their username, or request assistance from a mod in citing their editing and posting history. You'll know if the username is bugged if the troper's profile page has the following header highlighted in red text: "Sorry, the groupname and title must start with a letter and cannot contain special characters."
  • To link a troper's edit history: [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/el.php?findfor=TroperUsername TroperUsername's Edit History]].
  • To link specific edits: from the page's History tab, navigate to the edit and copy the link from the timestamp at the top-right corner of the post. Note that if the edit is not recent, using the link won't show it, as it is hidden by the Show All button. If so, append "&more=t" after the page name, e.g. [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Administrivia.TropesNeedingTRS&more=t#edit30413004]].
  • To look up a troper's forum activity: [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/forum_troper_posts.php?fortroper=TroperUsername]] (can be useful to check if they have been invited to Edit banned/Suspended - would like to edit again before).
  • To link a forum post: Copy the link from the timestamp to the right of the post, or click on it and copy the URL, e.g. [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=13327578050A72722200&page=3#comment-54]]
  • To look up troper's page discussion activity: [[https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/comment_activity.php?t=TroperUsername]]
  • Main dispute forums: Image Picking (IP), Is This An Example?, Get Help With English Here. Some specific tropes (especially YMMV) are moderated by designated cleanup threads.
  • The list of policy pages: Administrivia.
  • To contact a specific moderator: Know the Staff.


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    Reporting edit warring 
Main article: Edit War

What counts?

  • If a troper makes an edit, another troper reverts the edit, and the original troper makes the same edit again. (Troper A -> Troper B -> Troper A).
  • If the edit of the first troper was repeated by a third troper, it's technically not an Edit War, but consider talking to all parties involved to settle the dispute.
  • If both tropers have repeated their edits, they are both Edit Warring.
  • Removing someone's edit without an edit reason is not an Edit War yet. If you feel your edit was wrongly removed, PM the troper who removed it and await their response before doing anything else. If you still feel unsatisfied, ask in an appropriate forum.
  • If the edit was revised by the original troper (depending on how much has changed) and the problem with their previous edit still remains, it may still count as an Edit War.

Steps to take:

  • Name the new ATT query something along the lines of Edit War: page name. If you're not sure if it's an edit war, title it Possible Edit War: page name.
  • Include links to the edits of all of the tropers involved.
  • Add any information that could be useful, like if a troper's made similar edits on other pages or any correspondence you two had.
  • PM the troper by clicking the "Send Message" in the History page near their edit or at the troper's profile page. Invite them to a talk in the query involving them. In some rare instances, they really weren't paying attention to the edit history and "considered it strange" that their example had disappeared. Situations like those are the only ones where Edit Warring is pardoned; most other reasons will result in a ban.

    Reporting ban evaders 
Main article: What to Do If You Are Suspended

What counts?

  • A troper's edits being very similar to the edits of a troper who has been brought up in ATT before and was suspended. They may have registered under a new username to continue editing (Sockpuppeting). Even if they haven't broken any rules under their new account, tropers under a suspension are not allowed to edit at all.
  • A suspended troper directly asking someone else to edit or message on their behalf. Per forum rules, this is not allowed either, including outside of the forums. Tropers who are edit-banned (but not forum-banned) and are using the appropriate forums to suggest edits are not violating the rules.

Steps to take:

  • Check the forum and edit activities for both of the suspicious tropers. If the "new" account was inactive until the "old" one got suspended, it's likely a sockpuppet. On the other hand, if both accounts have been around for a while, then the accounts are either coincidentally similar or cooperating together.
  • Do not message any suspected ban evaders, and do not ask them any questions.
  • Make the ATT query with the title like "Possible Ban Evader". Compare the edits between two tropers, and also add any information you find relevant.
  • If the similarities are glaringly obvious, then no further discussion is required. Just wait for the mod to perform the IP address check and make a decision.
  • If the mod can't say anything decisive after the IP address check, message the second troper with an invite to the ATT, so they can comment on why they have edits similar to the suspended troper's edits. If the correlation is not confirmed or there are other problems with their edits, they can be addressed in private or in another query.
  • If the mod suspends the "new" troper, ask on the Ban Evader Reversion Thread for the sockpuppet's edits to be undone. To reiterate, edits by ban evaders are reverted on principle, regardless if there are other issues with them. The edits can be re-added after the discussion with the thread, if necessary.

    Reporting image violation 
Main article: How to Pick a Good Image

What counts?

  • Replacing an existing image without the approval of the IP ("Changed w/o discussion"), especially when the previous image already has the IP comment (check the page source). The Mod replaces images themselves when the replacement thread is closed.
  • Replacing a low quality image with the HD version of the same image is usually not considered a violation, but it would be for the best to ask Artifacts R Us beforehand.
  • Adding, without a discussion, an image to a page that doesn't have one is not considered a violation, with the following exceptions:

Steps to take:

  • Bring up the page that has a problematic image on the IP, preferably also mentioning who made the change and what have they've changed, if the image was replaced. This is not considered an ATT problem, unless the troper systematically replaces images or adds bad images.
  • Check the edit history of the troper who put a problematic image, they may have done so elsewhere as well.
  • Wait for the mod to pull the images when they notice them, if necessary.

    Reporting vandalism 
Main article: Wiki Vandal, Flame War, Locked Pages

What counts?

Steps to take:

  • Use the "Report Page" button at the side bar, or bring the page up in ATT while linking the relevant edits.
  • Don't message tropers who deliberately harm pages.
  • Check the edit histories of the guilty parties for any other problems.
  • If the page keeps attracting "heat", ask the Locked Pages thread to freeze the page, as it could be getting the attention because of a trending topic.
  • Ask the Complaining Cleanup thread if there's anything else that should be removed.

    Reporting rudeness 
Main article: TV Tropes Customs

What counts?

  • Private Messages, edit reasons, forum posts, and/or discussion posts that are insulting, overly snarky, or too personal. Note that, for edit reasons in particular, conversing in the edit reasons is not allowed by either side.

Steps to take:

  • Ask the troper to stop and ask why they're doing it. If they apologize and don't do it again, then it's up to you to decide whether or not they need to be reported in ATT. If they continue to act rude, stop interacting with them.
  • As per forum rules, sharing the contents of any Private Message is not allowed. If you are reporting a rude PM, summarize what they're saying, do not directly quote them. The mods have a tool to see the messages of any troper, they can check them if necessary.
  • When bringing up the offending troper in ATT, summarize in a couple of words how rude their messages are and what actions preceded them.
  • Create the query as "private". Since it's a problem between two tropers, no peanut gallery is necessary.
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    Reporting poor editing style 
Main articles: Text-Formatting Rules, How to Write an Example, Conversation in the Main Page, Example Indentation in Trope Lists, Images in Wiki Pages, First-Person Writing, Thread Mode, Word Cruft, Zero-Context Example, Complaining About Shows You Don't Like.

What counts?

  • Editing that doesn't follow the site's standard practices. Read each article for the specifics.

Steps to take:

  • Improve or remove the edits that clearly don't follow the rules, then use "Send Message" button from the page's History with the appropriate notifier type.
  • Depending on the troper's reaction, the Edit War or Rudeness procedures may kick in.
  • After a few hours, check their edit history. If they still show no understanding of how to edit the pages, make the ATT query with problematic edits and send a message to the troper asking them to join it. You may explain further how to write examples until the mods arrive.
  • Collaborate with the appropriate cleanup threads if there's too much to fix.

    Reporting plagiarism 
Main article: About Images and Copyright

What counts?

  • Page descriptions and examples that are copied verbatim from other sites, even if it's from the troper's own fanfic webpage.
    • Translations are a grey area, but if the troper can work with another language, they should be more than capable of rephrasing the text.
  • Refer to Reporting Images case for copyrighted photos and comics that are used without permission.

Steps to take:

  • Comment out the copied text and put the URL of the page where it's from as the edit reason.
  • Sent the Plagiarism notifier to the troper who added it and ask them to rephrase it in their own words.
  • If they can't or won't do it, ask the Copypaste cleanup about what should be done with the text and with the troper.

    Reporting poor grammar 
Main article: Tips on Grammar

What counts?

Steps to take:

  • Improve the edit if necessary, then send the Grammar notifier from the page's History by explaining why the spelling is wrong and also ask them to consult with the Get Help With English Here thread. The Edit War / Rudeness routine may kick in, depending on their response.
  • Check up on them after a while. If they continue to edit with improper English, they're just creating more mess to clean up. Make the ATT query with a title like "Poor Grammar: Tropername" and bring up the edits. Ask the troper in a PM to come to the thread, in case they wish to respond.
  • Wait for the mod. They will likely restrict their editing access until they pass a few tests in the mentioned thread.

    Reporting Trope Launch Pad violations 
Main article: TLP Guidelines

What counts?

  • Stub trope drafts (lacking description or examples).
  • Troper not working with their own draft's discussions and suggestions.
  • Rogue Launching.

Steps to take:

  • Making a bad first draft is something expected. Politely bring up anything you can think of to improve the draft. Get the attention of the TLP workstation thread for additional help.
  • Know that it is completely acceptable to use TLP to draft a work page. Work Pages Are a Free Launch does not mean "if a TLP draft is a Work page, it should be launched/bombed right away". Let the troper read the New Work Page Workshop thread and cooperate with them if you can.
  • If a trope is launched (it's visible on the main page or at recent launches) when there were some lingering problems, or it's launched by someone who is not the draft's current owner, bring the page to the TLP Crash Course thread for it to be sent back.
  • When a troper makes multiple "concept" drafts and doesn't work on them further, they only clutter the TLP queue. They and their drafts should be brought to the ATT for a talk.

    Replying to typically non-ATT questions 
Main articles: Welcome to TV Tropes, What Goes Where on the Wiki, What Goes Where On The Forums, Trope Finder, You Know That Show, Query Bugs, This Is a Wiki, Is This An Example?, Work Pages Are a Free Launch.

What counts?

  • Questions in the ATT like "Is that correct?", "Where can I find?" or "Does anyone know?".

Steps to take:

  • Don't be rude or snarky, everyone has been a newbie at some point.
  • Post a link to the appropriate place for these questions.
  • Don't answer the question if you can't come up with an answer right away.
  • Encourage the troper to read the relevant Administrivia pages if you think their knowledge is lacking, and tell them to elaborate their questions in the future if they weren't clear.
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