I’d really like to get into the mind of vandals.

Tonight I was poking around Wikipedia and noticed that someone had just vandalized one of the pages. I reverted it (super-easy!), and then did what all good denizens of Wikipedia should do: I looked at the guy’s changes. He’d vandalized several other articles, all basically stating, “I’m going to keep vandalizing until you ban me.” (He got banned about 3 minutes later.)

It’s incredibly easy to revert vandalism. Do they not realize how easy it is to undo what they do? (Some guy at work one night wrote in Sharpie all over the bathroom. I was so disappointed that he wasn’t there to see that it took us about three seconds to completely remove it.)

But why do they do that? It’s Saturday night. I feel kind of pathetic for happening to poke around Wikipedia. But it’s not as pathetic as pointlessly vandalizing Wikipedia articles. In fact, of all the pathetic things I’ve done, none have been as pathetic as that. What makes these people tick? Do they like the attention? Do they take delight in it?

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