blank page

A blank page is usually a sign of vandalism. It is quite common for ignorant people who have not learned how to wiki well to blank a page that they wish did not exist, and also to blank important pages such as the Main_Page. A legitimate edit will not leave a blank page, usually, but rather a note that it was a bad page name or is no longer relevant, or else a redirect or other simple convention to disambiguate several pages.

Leaving a page blank is very misleading as the page name will remain in the recent changes log and lists of pages, and any person of any awareness will be able to find the page history. Some clumsy or stupid individuals may believe that the page is somehow less credible because it is blanked at any given time, but the opposite is almost certainly true. Even some incompetent communications officers of minor political parties have been known to do this.

In one recent incident a draft press release was blanked. It was replaced with a notice by a senior editor that the release was premature, with instructions for handling such releases, e.g. with disclaimers as in other political wikis. Then this notice was itself vandalized by blanking, leaving the page name in the recent changes and implying that the page had in fact contained a final press release. This was the case when a senior editor moved the page the next day (the only time it was possible to verify that such a release hadn't actually occurred on the previous day, thus making the page name itself an announcement of a non-event).

In open politics itself we don't speculate on the identity of anonymous trolls, but when they are acting in deliberate bad faith and making pages more misleading not less, we do tend to ask if they are seeking power or in the employ of any person who is seeking power. If so, their right of privacy is much less, and they have no right to disappear? unless they disappear also from politics itself. Page blanking is harmless when it happens once or twice, and is easily undone. But if it happens more than a half dozen times or more than one person from a given political party's official inner circle are involved, we will investigate and publish what we discover.

A vandalbot may blank many pages at once, but is easily undone by software.

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