User:Atsme/Blocking policy proposal

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The purpose of this page is to:

  1. identify problematic areas with the blocking policy - real or perceived,
  2. establish a strategy for correction,
  3. prepare a proposal for potential changes, including expunging the log when mistakes are made, or after time served, or after a set duration of good behavior
  4. initiate an RfC for community input to either adopt or reject, and also to discuss the proposed changes.

Questionable and/or wrongful blocks[edit]

Please feel free to add others that clearly fall in this category:

  1. 21:26, December 27, 2017 Oshwah (talk | contribs) unblocked Tony1 (talk | contribs) (User clarified their statement, and was not a legal threat. Unblocking.)
  2. 20:57, December 27, 2017 Oshwah (talk | contribs) blocked Tony1 (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of indefinite (account creation blocked) (Making legal threats)
    (See: User_talk:Tony1#December 2017 and User_talk:Tony1#Admin collusion has been undermining their status for years).
  3. 11:56, March 22, 2011 John Vandenberg (talk | contribs) unblocked Tony1 (talk | contribs) (concerns about legal threats resolved)
  4. 04:23, March 22, 2011 Elen of the Roads (talk | contribs) blocked Tony1 (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of indefinite (account creation blocked) (Making legal threats: see Wikipedia:Administrators'_noticeboard/Incidents&oldid=420117294#Gross_incivility.2C_threats_of_off-wiki_harassment.2C_and_personal_attacks_by_Tony1)
  5. 16:40, 1 February 2018 Coffee (talk | contribs) unblocked Davey2116 (talk | contribs) (CU cleared user - apologies for the confusion)
  6. 03:57, 1 February 2018 Coffee (talk | contribs) blocked Davey2116 (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of indefinite (account creation blocked) (Sock puppetry)
  7. 15:14, September 13, 2011 Beetstra (talk | contribs) unblocked Atsme (talk | contribs) (OK, not copied from email replies, available on-wiki)
  8. 03:54, September 13, 2011 Beetstra (talk | contribs) blocked Atsme (talk | contribs) with an expiration time of indefinite (account creation blocked) (Posting personal information)


Atsme section[edit]

I propose the following (and please consider the block log may have more of a detrimental effect on editors who are not protected by anonymity):

  1. Immediate Redaction/expunging of a block error/wrongful block immediately after as soon as it’s confirmed as such;
  2. Qualify offenses using established guidelines, and correlate time served with time to expunge the block from the public record;
  3. Sort offenses into levels - example: parking ticket, moving violation, vehicular homicide - each with a specific block duration;
  4. Standardize block summaries according to the respective levels. Example: Level 1 block 32 hrs, Level 2 block 1 week, etc.

- - - - -

Examples to support the primary reason this proposal needs careful consideration:

Adding this recent diff as it further supports my proposal and want to log it, but I'm not taking sides or making any judgements as to what actually occured. Atsme📞📧 18:44, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

One more that "the public block log sticks around, while the discussions around it get archived and are hard to find." 22:54, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Here's another: "...slandered me with your comment that I had a long block log when I have not had a block in nearly ten years." To reiterate, I'm not taking sides or making any judgements as to what actually occured in the case - I'm simply using it for the block log argument here. Atsme📞📧 17:27, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

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Food for thought: are we throwing stones while living in a glass house? Does anyone have a right to be forgotten, and if not, don't you find that rather odd considering WP's stance on anonymity? Do we really want to judge another's entire WP career based on 1, 2 or even 5 flare-ups over the course of 5 to 10 years? What about the instances of questionable blocks resulting from POV railroad, a misinterpretation of events, bias or human error? Atsme📞📧 22:00, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

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  • Note: This effort is not just about wrongful blocks - it's about the block log in general. Blocks that remain on the block log of a GF editor for an error that represents a brief moment in time should not remain on the public log forever as it negatively influences that editor's ability to edit and/or earn certain user rights. If a block occurs because an admin made a bad judgment call, is biased against an editor (real or perceived), was the result of a misinterpretation or misunderstanding of actual circumstances, the blocked editor is forced to live with that disparaging block log forever - regardless of the circumstances. There are no guarantees with regards to how others will interpret the blocks or what impression they will have about that editor as a result. It creates fertile ground for preconceived notions and wrong impressions which can negatively effect how an editor is treated and how well they will be accepted into the community. There needs to be a time limit on how long a block should remain on the public log. Atsme📞📧 22:04, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

So tell me...What is your immediate reaction when you click on "blocks" in the following example?

User links:Atsme (talk • contribs • CentralAuth • global • count • blocks)

Step into the shoes of an opposition editor, or busy admin who is charged with evaluating an editor's request for certain user rights. How will you judge that editor after you read a block log with block summaries like " expiration time of indefinite (account creation blocked) (Posting personal information)", edit warring, and "Persistent disruption" which shows up twice? How could it not be seen as condemnation? Are you getting paid enough to take the time to read the actual events that led to those blocks? Remember, first impressions count. Atsme📞📧 04:33, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Above paragraphs were modified 07:17, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Wbm1058, Tryptofish - After reviewing what I first wrote in my comment section, I tightened it up a bit. The context is the same, hopefully with a bit more clarity and less rambling. Atsme📞📧 08:14, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

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Wbm1058, to further clarify - immediately after it's proven to be a wrongful block which I mistakenly presumed was a given. Of course there will be a process to determine whether or not it was wrongful. The other block redactions I'm proposing are based on a timeframe; i.e., after time served. Not all blocks are "wrongful" but all blocks are detramental further clarification: if they remain indefinitely on the log after a year+ of no further incidents.15:46, 2 January 2018 (UTC) I am not convinced that keeping them on a public log serves any good purpose for the user or the community. It's wrongful "branding". I know of no one who appreciates having each and every one of their parking tickets, speeding violations or accidents kept on their driving record for life - there's a price to pay, you pay it once and have it removed. And let's not make this only about me, please. I'm sure there are many others in the wider community who feel the same and/or who have similar issues. The point here is editor retention and fairness. Atsme📞📧 14:55, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Wbm1058, no actually, it's about the section on Tony's TP that I linked above. Tony's case was the trigger that drew attention to a much bigger problem. After reviewing his block log, you'll see that he was blocked twice for the same issue - WP:NLT which needs some serious modifications itself - both blocks were made in error/unwarranted in my opinion. Regarding the first block, I took the time to read the discussions 2 months prior to the block - at most, it was a toothless perceived threat, and that's stretching it. The attention should have been on the issue of plagerism instead. I remain cautiously optimistic that the majority of our admins actually do devote the time necessary to do the research but WP:tl;dr comes to mind, as do the block logs and 1st hand experiences that support caution & the need for policy modifications. My approach here is basically what I stated on Tony's TP: to expunge/redact block logs.

- - - - -

The discussion that follows after that diff is quite interesting, including this suggestion by Euryalus which was the catalyst for my proposal of guidelines and levels. A few other admins weighed-in with thoughtful comments, which reinforces why they were elected for such an important responsibility. I'm waiting for input from Tony1, The Rambling Man, and a few other editors, such as Montanabw who is really good at wording RfCs & proposals. It may be appropriate to create a new Proposal page for the proposal only, and tweak it as our strategy develops. I've also thought about taking it to WP:Village Pump (policy) as a survey for wider community input before the final draft.

I'm not quite convinced that Wikipedia:Revision_deletion#2 isn't already applicable as a supporting argument to redact the public record considering our editors are BLPs who are basically subjected to judgement calls and instant decisions by admins who are already under a great deal of pressure and time constraints. WP:Blocking policy states: Blocks are used to prevent damage or disruption to Wikipedia, not to punish users (see Purpose and goals below). Any user may report disruption and ask administrators to consider blocking a disruptive account or IP address (see Requesting blocks). I consider it punishment when block logs remain for the life of the editor with the exception of major offenses, such as those resulting in a site ban.

Also noting policy:
Blocks should not be used: retaliation against users; disparage other users; punishment against users;
...where there is no current conduct issue of concern.

The above speaks volumes as to perception. Is not the prevalent perception that it is punishment, especially when misinterpretation of events is a factor? We're dealing with "human factors and judgement calls", which further supports why the block log should be redacted after time served (with the exceptions I previously mentioned), and guidelines and levels established for consistency. Atsme📞📧 18:05, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

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Tryptofish - see this diff and advise as to what you think it means wherein NYBrad states: "For many years, block logs could not be edited (the best one could do to remove a bad block was to write "that was a bad block" in the unblock summary, or in a subsequent pro forma one-second block). (This was a huge problem in a major incident that a few of the longest-timers here will remember from 2006, which is where I came in.) changed a couple of years ago but I didn't realize it until recently." Atsme📞📧 23:02, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

- - - - -

I also see no need to complicate matters at the dramah boards or focus entirely on wrongful blocks, the latter of which will typically play-out in a similar manner to what we witnessed on Tony's TP but with one major exception: after Oshwah recognized his mistake and apologized, he was unable to redact the block from Tony's log, and that is what we hope to change along with adding an auto-redaction of blocks on the public log for time served/good behavior. Auto-redact isn't a difficult, software-based automated task, rather it can be established as something as simple as a calendar-style reminder that generates an automated notice on AN every so often for an admin to review a specific editor's block log (or list of editors). The notice can be triggered on a certain date from a specific page by adding a simple reminder command at the time of the block. Once the notice appears, an admin simply confirms that the log(s) remained block-free for a set period of time since the last block. Please keep in mind that we also have DS logs, AE logs, ArbCom logs and topic ban logs that show the multiple layers of protection against disruption which should remain for the duration of the ban. Unfortunately, sometimes the latter comes at the cost of GF editors who, inadvertently or otherwise, got sucked into the fray of tendentious editing, especially considering we're editing in an environment that, by its very nature of anonymity, encourages BRD, IAR, bullying, incivility, COI editing, advocacies, trolls and socks. A GF editor deserves ample warning, some TP discussion and benefit of the doubt rather than being judged under the influence of preconceived notions caused by a marred or controversial block log. I'll add that while WP:ROPE may appear to be a good strategy, it can just as easily defeat its intended purpose in catching bad faith editors - bycatch is often the result as with range blocks. Human nature may also turn such a strategy into "stalking the opposition" which has led to Wikipedia:POV_railroad. Atsme📞📧 21:50, 3 January 2018 (UTC)     - - - - -

Trypt - good news about the automated process - see this response at VP tech under the section head Is it possible....

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Jps - we are actually in the process of thoughtful consideration. Part I of this proposal focuses on modifying policy so that a blocking admin can remove/redact their own block errors after admitting a mistake was made (no harm-no foul). Part 2 will focus on redacting low-level and questionable blocks from the logs of qualifying GF editors. For example, qualifications may include a minimum of 5 yrs. tenure, 10,000+ edits, fewer than 5 blocks which may include up to 2 questionable blocks &/or up to 3 lower level blocks, while excluding sock activity, block evasion, arbcom decisions, and various other high level blocks.

I have no doubt there will be editor requests when/if the proposal passes but it shouldn't inundate our admins unless they've made quite a few block errors and questionable blocks. In fact, I see this proposal as a net positive with regards to blocking activity in general. The log review process is not intended to re-litigate past blocks, rather it will focus on a time-served redaction based on an expired amount of time between the last block and the redaction review. I see no reason why qualifying GF editors whose last block occurred at least 2 years ago should not be given the opportunity to have a 3 admin panel review a questionable block on their block log. After all, as editors we have to live with our block logs, or I should say "rap sheet", which are based on human factors, judgment calls and other variables I've mentioned above. Atsme📞📧 17:45, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

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David E. & Beeblebrox, thank you for your input. The irony of your blocks made me laugh because I knew they were not intentional blocks imposed to prevent you from editing. You were spared the humiliation that comes with a questionable block or block error that forces you to either prove your innocence, or admit to/apologize for something you didn't do in order to get unblocked. Block logs for non-admins present a much different obstacle for editors to overcome, especially for veteran GF editors whose RL identity is known. Admins don't have to worry about being an RfA candidate some day knowing the old block log will prevent that from ever happening, and they don't have to request add-on user rights that only an admin can grant but may not because of the old block log. Granted, a messy block log pales in comparison to an admin having to deal with unwarranted insults & criticism by bad actors, hacked user pages, ID theft, harassment, etc. - but being an admin is by choice and what they have to deal with is part of the reason the wider community holds admins in high regard, and probably why most expect you to be \S/. On the other hand, a block error and/or questionable block are not by choice; rather, they are an imposition that comes with a lifetime log that serves to handicap and disparage GF editors in ways I've already mentioned. I may be in the minority here, but I truly believe that what is being proposed is worthy of close consideration. Atsme📞📧 03:50, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

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Another thought: why not replace the words "block" and "topic ban" with something along the line of "time-out"...seems appropriate for when we act like children and need a time-out. Atsme📞📧 17:21, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

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Epipelagic, what can or cannot happen appears to be dependent on a variety of circumstances. It's how a person approaches his/her personal circumstances that makes the difference. What I do know from life's experiences is that if one keeps thinking they can't - they won't. The following is an interesting read. Atsme📞📧 00:20, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

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Well Tryptofish, it's discouraging in many ways but isn't it a predictable outcome considering our Utopian community; i.e., the extinction of individuality for the "greater good"? Vandalism blocks serve the greater good; however, it's the inappropriate blocks and time served blocks that are the focus of this proposal. In the interim, anonymity continues...vandalism continues...paid editing continues...advocacies continue...and volunteers continue working for those who are getting paid, some of whom are paid to keep WP available for volunteers to work for free, despite the occasional block from time to time. ^_^ Atsme📞📧 01:24, 21 February 2018 (UTC)

Wbm1058 section[edit]

I would keep it simple. "Any administrator, upon determining that they blocked a user in error, and reversed that block within 24 hours, may, at their discretion, RevisionDelete both the block and its removal from the block logs. Such revision deletions may be reviewed by other administrators who, at their discretion may restore visibility if they feel that the block was justifiable. Once restored once, a block should not be RevisionDeleted a second time. except by the Arbitration Committee. There is no time limit on the redaction; all blocks lifted within 24 hours are eligible for redaction at any time.

- - - - -

Trying to define "levels" complicates this too much. The main criteria is that the block is quickly recognized to be a mistake... 24 hours at most, and I would support limiting it to 12 hours or less if needed to get to consensus. Perhaps a second RfC for redaction based on "time served" later down the line. Packaging both together decreases the chances of passing either one. wbm1058 (talk) 20:37, 1 January 2018 (UTC)

@Tryptofish: All three example #Questionable and/or wrongful blocks were undone within 12 hours. Whether the block is an "error", "mistake" or "bad" block is not important. The admin just needs to agree that it was without merit within the time limit. Keeping a 24 hour maximum time limit is intended to minimize the level of "admins being bombarded". If the discussion goes on for more than a day, then there is no consensus for a "speedy" redaction. Those cases should be taken to ArbCom. Presumably the blocking admin will communicate within 24 hours, and while they should have communicated before the block, as long as they communicate and redact within a day it should be treated as "no harm, no foul"... by both the blocking and blocked parties. – wbm1058 (talk) 02:02, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Atsme, I'm going to stop you right with your step 1: Immediate redaction/expunging of a block error/wrongful block; "Immediate" implies that this is so cut-and-dried, so obvious and boilerplate that a bot could be programmed to do it. Define for me the algorithm for determining that a block is an error or wrongful. Looking at your own block log, your 13 September 2011 block qualifies under my proposal as it was reversed in less than 12 hours. Your 2014 and 2015 blocks would not qualify. If you expand the scope of this to define "levels" in an attempt to clear your entire block record, the odds against passing a proposal increase significantly. Again I suggest focusing on my less-radical proposal which has a much better change of acceptance in my opinion. If that passes, and then if the community feels positive about its implementation over time, then there may be a chance, certainly better odds, for further incremental steps in the direction you want to go. Best first to get a precedent set for any sort of redaction of erroneous or "wrongful" blocks. – wbm1058 (talk) 13:02, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Not trying to make this just about any particular editor, just referencing So tell me...What is your immediate reaction when you click on "blocks" in the following example? above. Don't you think that at least removing one of your blocks will be better than taking an all-or-nothing approach? Re: Of course there will be a process to determine whether or not it was wrongful. it will be hard to pass your remedies without defining that process. A new noticeboard? Involve the Arbitration Committee? It just opens this up to stall with a lengthy "no consensus" debate. Many editors rely on block logs when evaluating requests for administration, so while I generally agree with you to some extent, this looks like a potentially controversial debate to me... I was hoping for something more speedy to potentially clear the most recent incident; a partial clearing of your record might be a byproduct of that. We should review the Wikipedia talk:Revision deletion archives to see whether any of this ground has been covered before. – wbm1058 (talk) 15:20, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
I didn't have to look far. Wikipedia talk:Revision deletion/Archive 1 § "Blocks declared invalid by the Arbitration Committee"
  • Absolutely not.
  • Block log clean up is a disaster waiting to happen honestly. I imagine much drama spilt over this, and it makes it more difficult to track admin behavioral patterns.
You'll need a strategy for overcoming these objections. Sorry, I don't have any easy answers here. Hence my suggestion for a "speedy redaction" criteria that at least has a chance for consensus. wbm1058 (talk) 15:37, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • If you want to explore the concept of a time limit on the retention of valid blocks of a "parking ticket" nature; e.g. all "parking" blocks are rev-deleted after some specified time if there are no subsequent blocks, that's a concept worth exploring, but that does nothing to address speedy rev-deletion of invalid blocks, which is what I thought was the initial goal of this. wbm1058 (talk) 16:00, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
    Right, If the community no longer supports the log redaction policy it should change it, but really this should happen in a way that can be consistently applied, and not via creative reinterpretation of one section of the existing rules. I think my proposal does that, just in a more limited way than what you want. Trying to justify these based on criteria #2 (Grossly insulting, degrading, or offensive material) would in my opinion be just such a creative interpretation. Now, rather than the "no harm, no foul" I'm suggesting, you want to pin blame on the Admin and "boomerang" them for a Grossly insulting, degrading, or offensive block. Surely that's a nonstarter. wbm1058 (talk) 20:10, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • What is the difference between a "clear-cut mistake" and a "bad block"? My proposal should cover both if the blocking admin agrees that it was a "bad/mistake" and any watching admins concur with that. Heavy lifting to be deferred would be any proposal calling for a discussion to gain consensus on whether a particular block was a "bad/mistake". I see the point about no basis for ArbCom involvement – I could further simplify my proposal to remove "except by the Arbitration Committee." The blocking admin may make a bold redaction of their own block within 24 hours. Any admin who disagrees with that, and thinks the block should stay in the public record, may revert the redaction. If they do, end of story. Policy after that remains as it currently is, and the block stays in the logs. I intend the simple term "error" to be my synonym for "bad/mistake". I'd avoid using the term "bad" as that sounds judgmental. Remember the intent is that these are no harm, no foul redactions. – wbm1058 (talk) 22:45, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • While I'm placing a 24-hour limit on the block reversions, there is no time limit on the redaction. So a five-year-old block can still be redacted, if the block was lifted within 24 hours of when it was placed. Just to be clear on that. wbm1058 (talk) 22:54, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Sigh.
    • A) It's up to the block-issuing admin whether they think the block the issued was justified; it makes no sense at all that someone could second-guess that. B( This would be directly against WP:WHEELWAR policy.
    • The block in question would be sent to a specific noticeboard for review (or AN if there turned out to be not many requests). Community consensus would determine if the block was in egregious error. The request should stay open for a minimum period (say, 48 hours) to make sure decisions aren't pressured and independent editors have time to comment.
The second point is a suggestion from someone who doesn't even support their own suggestion. Their proposal is a prescription for more dramaboard overload, and they oppose it because they think more dramaboard overload is a bad thing.
The initial, "bold" admin action is the revision deletion of the "erroneous/mistaken/bad/ill-considered/whatever" block by the editor who made the block and reversed their own block. They can't wheel-war with themselves. They have been convinced that their block, which they undid within 24 hours, should not remain in the public log so that ordinary editors can see it. The whole point of my proposal is to avoid discussion which shines further lights on a matter that the blocked editor just wants to quietly go away. An admin who disagreed, and reverted the bold decision to revision-delete that short-term block, would not be wheel-warring, but they would be putting their reputation on the line by preventing the revision deletion (which is currently unsupported by policy) and implicitly "calling for discussion" of the matter. Wheel-warring only starts if the blocking admin revision-deletes their block a second time. A more complicated proposal, which in my opinion has less chance of passing, would include specifications for how this "called for discussion" would proceed. My initial and simple proposal says, once the "bold" rev-del is reverted, game over, and everything operates as it does now, under current policy, which says "the block log cannot be redacted". Effectively, my proposal says that "block logs can only be redacted by de facto unanimous consent of all administrators". My belief is that a substantial portion of these cases will get such unanimous consent. If not, well at least some other admin will have gone on record saying that, no, "O", your block of "T" really was a good block, even though you don't think so anymore. Let a few of those cases shake out, and then see if a new further review process for block redactions is needed. – wbm1058 (talk) 14:16, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Those of us wrongly blocked should have the same remedy available to us, no matter how long ago the hot poker was inserted. Again, my proposal sets no limit on how long ago the hot poker was inserted; the only limit is that the hot poker must have remained inserted for less than 24 hours. 2-day blocks will remain not-redactable. If it took two days to recongize the "mistake", then it wasn't clearly obviously a mistake. wbm1058 (talk) 14:35, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Are you sure you've thought this through? I would appeal basically every block I have in my log and I know others would do the same. I anticipate that it would overwhelm the system.
Exactly. All the "more ambitious proposals" will have this hurdle to overcome.
My KISS proposal can deal with this.
  • There is only one avenue of appeal: the administrator who placed the block, and removed it within 24 hours of its placement.
  • By the way, if a block was undone within 24 hours by a different administrator, that's still not retractable.
  • If the block was set to expire within 24 hours or less, and allowed to expire on its own, that's still not retractable.
  • If you harass the blocking admin too much with your appeals, they could block you for harassment.

Any other shots at my proposal – reasons why it might cause problems? wbm1058 (talk) 15:59, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Tryptofish's section[edit]

Thanks Atsme for starting this. I agree with Wbm1058 about keeping proposals simple. I like Wbm's suggested language for a straightforward revision to either the blocking policy or the revdel policy.

Such a proposal would address flat-out mistakes admitted by the blocking admin. But we should also consider situations where the blocking admin is either slow or reluctant to admit a mistake. A lot of the time, it will be other users who consider the block to be a mistaken one, and the discussion will likely go on for more than 24 hours. Also, there are "bad blocks" that, technically, were not mistakes. And these are tougher nuts to crack, but they really are important for the kinds of problems that led to this discussion.

I previously made a related (unsuccessful) proposal here: [1]. Two lessons learned are that (1) it becomes massively more difficult when we need WMF to make software changes, and (2) a predictable objection will always be "if we do this, admins will be bombarded by every blocked user wanting to have their block redacted, even when it was a valid block".

What I'm thinking is that it would be good to better codify a point that came out repeatedly in Tony1's case: the value in having the admin communicate with the potentially blockable editor before actually making the block, to clear up any possible misunderstandings. And that becomes especially important with editors who are established and respected community members. Although I understand the criticism that we should not allow experienced editors to get away with things that would get a newbie or an IP blocked, I really do think that the problem is one of blocking experienced editors who have not made a practice of being disruptive. This would be a matter of strengthening existing policy instead of making new policy. I'm not ready to propose wording for it, but I think it's worth discussion. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:29, 2 January 2018 (UTC)

Just fyi, I'm watchlisting here, so no need to ping me. (And I'm beginning to have second thoughts about arranging this discussion by user sections instead of just threading the discussion.)
Anyway, there's a lot to respond to, so I'm going to do this in somewhat arbitrary order. Atsme, I've very much liked the concept of your idea for removing log entries after various periods of time the way traffic violations are handled. That is, I like the concept very much. But I cannot see how to implement it except by way of a software modification, because it needs to happen automatically. (I think manual requests are a recipe for drama board overload.) And that means getting the WMF on board. Which means it probably won't happen. Wbm is right that the existing RevDel policy doesn't get us there. And I'm certain that there will never be consensus for defining levels of blocks, so why bother.
I see a lot of discussion about obviously mistaken blocks versus more broadly defined bad blocks. I'd split the baby as follows. I agree with Wbm that we need a simple proposal for clear-cut mistakes, and that the simpler the proposal, the more likely it is to get consensus. I also agree with Atsme that we need to address the bigger issue of bad blocks. We can do both, as they are not mutually exclusive. Do the simple RfC about mistaken blocks first, then move on to the heavier lifting.
I'm not basing my opinions here solely on any block examples listed above. I'm looking at all kinds of things that I've witnessed. Although I don't want to make this about me, and I don't want to relitigate anything from the past, anyone who is interested in seeing an example of a block of an experienced editor leading to a shitstorm can skim through User talk:Tryptofish/Archive 27#Block and following, and following. And Wbm, please note that going to ArbCom would not have worked in that instance. Besides ArbCom doesn't like to feel like they are going beyond what the community has put into policy, as they have been saying repeatedly at Tony1's talk page. So this is why I think we should consider ways to strengthen existing policy, as I said above. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:43, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
Atsme, I saw Brad say that, and I'll admit to being confused (as a non-admin). Perhaps it's technically feasible, but admins feel that current policy does not permit them to actually use that feature. If that's the case, then Wbm's idea would solve it.
Wbm, I'd actually put the phrase about ArbCom back in. My point was not so much that they can never do it, but that they cannot be the sole venue for it. I think your clarification about the time limit is very good, thanks. And when you ask me about the difference between "clean-cut" and "bad", I can reply only slightly tongue-in-cheek that the former is where the blocking admin recognized the mistake within 24 hours and wants to correct it, whereas the latter is where the blocking admin does not do that but there is consensus (some sort of consensus – this is something that needs to be figured out and made specific) that the block was an error. I wouldn't necessarily use the word "bad" in a proposal, and was just using it here in discussion. But I do think there is a longstanding use of the phrase "bad block" in, for example, block reviews. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:57, 2 January 2018 (UTC)
I've read the 3 new editor comment sections, as well as Wbm's response (starting with "Sigh") to them. I want to make clearer something I said before: we should recognize that we are potentially discussing two separate proposals here:
  1. A simple (as in WP:KISS) proposal that would be comparatively easy to get adopted: a procedure for admins who, themselves, recognize that they made an error, and there's really no reason to doubt that it was an error, to fix the block log. Wbm's idea is a very good one for that, and I support it. It doesn't address the things that other editors are commenting on, but it's not intended to! That's what point 2 is for:
  2. A more ambitious proposal (or two) to address the more deep-rooted problems that we have, the kind that SMcCandlish correctly says will take more than 24 hours to resolve. We can do more than one thing here! So far, I'm seeing two potentially workable ideas:
a. I suggested earlier that we should consider adding something to WP:BLOCK that more strongly instructs admins to communicate with the user who might be blocked, before going ahead with the block, when the situation is non-urgent and the user is someone who has a track record of being a non-disruptive community member.
b. I like the approach that Euryalus suggests, subject of course to some fleshing out (especially with respect to addressing the potential "drama" issues). In response to Euryalus, I think the worries about transparency are largely without merit, because I'm not seeing anything that needs to be transparent. But I like the idea of treating "block review" similarly to how we currently treat WP:Deletion review. That's an existing model that has community buy-in and can be built upon.
But let's not get stuck on feeling that we have to address everything in a single proposal. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:58, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Atsme: even the reminders etc. that you describe will require software. Feel free to ask at Village Pump Technical about what it would entail – that's something we would have to do anyway before proposing it in an RfC. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:56, 3 January 2018 (UTC)
Here's the good news: Atsme, it hadn't occurred to me to do it via bot, but that sounds very possible technically to me. Thanks. But, everyone, here's the other side of the situation: We've gotten a bunch of new comments from editors who raise basic conceptual objections to any sort of block log revision beyond maybe just a correction of error in the way that Wbm's proposal would do (and I think the criticisms are not about that proposal). It's incredibly difficult to get consensus for any kind of major policy change, and block log appeal, review, and revision is something that elicits very strong reactions. If we were to have a major RfC about that, the objections lodged here are just the tip of the iceberg. Count me out for that. I don't want to formulate a proposal only to have it fail (been there, done that).
I believe that we should pursue Wbm's idea, and pursue a wording change to WP:BLOCK calling for more discussion before non-urgent blocking. Anything more is going to be a waste of time. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:00, 4 January 2018 (UTC)
  • Atsme just commented on Right to be forgotten, and it's something I've been thinking about too in the context of the discussion here. In my personal opinion, it's an excellent reason why block logs should be cleared after some period of time, and I would even go so far as to say that editors who oppose block log revision on principle are self-righteously deciding for others that those others should be denied that right. That said, I recognize that I'm just saying it and nothing more. It's not going to move community consensus at this time. Maybe in the future. (Yes, I already know about WP:Clean start.) --Tryptofish (talk) 23:06, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
  • I've been observing that numerous editors have been commenting that keeping questionable blocks in logs can help identify bad blocking behavior by the blocking admin. It strikes me as a bit odd that this kind of evidence-keeping should be made the province of the blocked editor, as opposed to being recorded in some sort of log of the administrator. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:36, 8 January 2018 (UTC)
  • At User talk:nagualdesign#Blocked for continued problems of conduct, there is an example of something that happened today, that very much fits into the discussion here. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:59, 19 January 2018 (UTC)

I've gotten tired of waiting for things to change. I just made an edit at WP:BLOCK, along the lines of what I labeled 2a just above. I hope that concerned editors will watch there, and be prepared to discuss any pushback that my edit gets. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:33, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

  • Editors who care about these issues may find it worthwhile to look in at discussions at WT:BLOCK and WT:NLT. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:18, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Link: WP:LAZYLAZY, potentially relevant to what could happen when proposals are made. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:56, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

As an FYI to interested editors, I saw this notice at WT:BLOCK: [2]. It leads to some centralized discussions at meta about potential improvements to the software for blocking: [3] and [4]. It looks like they have already decided to prioritize some ideas that are pretty much unrelated to what is being discussed here, and it doesn't sound like they are still seeking new ideas at this time. I also found that they gave a relatively low rank to this idea: [5], that comes the closest to the ideas we discuss here. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:56, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

Atsme, I intend it more as an FYI than as a message of discouragement. Maybe realism is more the way I see it than discouragement. But it's always a good thing to have as much relevant information as possible. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:20, 21 February 2018 (UTC)

SMcCandlish section[edit]

Agreed that keeping it simpler would be better. However, "Such revision deletions may be reviewed by other administrators who, at their discretion may restore visibility if they feel that the block was justifiable" isn't workable because: A) It's up to the block-issuing admin whether they think the block the issued was justified; it makes no sense at all that someone could second-guess that. B) This would be directly against WP:WHEELWAR policy.

My main concern is that the 24-hour idea is insufficient. Those of us wrongly blocked should have the same remedy available to us, no matter how long ago the hot poker was inserted. The remedy should be appled to any block either rescinded as a mistake by the blocker, or overturned as wrong by WP:AN, WP:ArbCom, or any other applicable process (though not for blocks lifted because they were no longer thought necessary). For example, my only block (which I did not appeal immediately beause I was too angry for my blood-pressure level) was retroactively vacated by WP:AN, and should simply be expunged. I've had people use it against me as a weapon/threat for years, and this isn't right. I am very not alone in this experience.
 — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  03:04, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

I"ll echo what Montanabw said, below: "The criminal justice system does this routinely, it shouldn't be rocket science."  — SMcCandlish ¢ >ʌⱷ҅ʌ<  05:21, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

Montanabw section[edit]

Just popping by for a moment. I am generally favorable of having a more consistent "rule of law" approach to Wikipedia and I do think there is definitely a place for some redaction of block logs under certain circumstances where there is not apt to be a pattern of future repeats. I think that it can be set up so that perhaps there is some automation, but also that logs can be reviewed, at least upon request, and a consistent policy applied. One thing that has been a frequent complaint is that "Wikipedia never forgives and never forgets." While there isn't a thing any of us can or should do about that stupid thing we said on a talkpage 10 years ago, I do think that block logs are a small enough chunk to bite off here. I'm not going to comment much on the proposals as presented at the moment because the discussion has already gotten tl;dr, but I am supportive of the general principle that logs could first be hidden from the general users, then, over time, hidden from all but people with the most advanced permissions. Obviously, a bad actor (admin who makes bad blocks or the poorly behaving user) could have the block log restored for review and such. I can think of an example where one user seems to hold it together for about a year at a time, and I don't know if it's seasonal affective disorder or what, but seems to go off about the same time each year. So yes, I think that logs can be useful for detecting patterns, but I also think that someone with an otherwise clean record should have a chance to clear their name if either they were subject to a bad block by a "rouge admin" or even if they just had one hell of a brain fart once, perhaps while Editing under the influence. The criminal justice system does this routinely, it shouldn't be rocket science. Montanabw(talk) 04:29, 3 January 2018 (UTC)

Euryalus' section[edit]

I don't actually support block log redaction (relevant policy is here) for reasons of both transparency and dramaboard overload. But seemed like a good idea to suggest something anyway.

If the community does go down the road of block log redactions, it should organise a formal process akin to DRV:

  1. The block in question would be sent to a specific noticeboard for review (or AN if there turned out to be not many requests). Community consensus would determine if the block was in egregious error. The request should stay open for a minimum period (say, 48 hours) to make sure decisions aren't pressured and independent editors have time to comment.
  2. Obviously frivolous or repeat requests could be speedy-closed. Community bans and Arbcomblocks cannot be redacted. CU/OS blocks cannot be redacted, as the block record is potentially important in future proceedings.
  3. Consensus would be determined like any other discussion. If consensus supports redaction, the redacting admin would link to the discussion in the (rev-deleted) edit summary, so there's a paper trail if required - for example, if evidence is required that a particular admin is making many egregiously bad blocks, or the redaction is later challenged). The redacting admin doesn't need to be the blocking admin - this would be an independent review of their actions.
  4. One Un-redaction would be possible via the same process, but an immediate request for unredaction would likely be refused (just like an immediate AfD for an article that just survived one).
  5. There's no need for a special re-redaction power for Arbcom. However the policy should note that nothing within it interferes with the appropriate use of oversight, for example regarding matters like BLP violations, death threats, identifying information of minors, etc. I can't imagine an example of a block log containing oversightable material, but just in case.

Whatever policy is chosen, it then needs to be consistently applied, and not IAR'ed. The overuse of IAR creates the perception of unequal treatment, along with precedents that make the policy challenging to navigate. Think AfD and DRV, which are rarely IAR'ed or subjected to claims of favouritism, compared with blocking and unblocking which are.

The above is just a suggestion, and other views welcome. And again, I don't think personally block log redaction is a good idea: it makes the edit record more opaque for non-admins (admins will still see the redacted material); it advantages long-term editors over others, and it comes with a high drama quotient. But regardless this, and speaking obviously from a place of bureauratic tedium, if it does get propsoed, let's do it through a consistent, documented approach, so its easy to use and available to all. -- Euryalus (talk) 12:15, 3 January 2018 (UTC)


Are you sure you've thought this through? I would appeal basically every block I have in my log and I know others would do the same. I anticipate that it would overwhelm the system.

Wikipedia suffers from the battleground mentality. Anyone who has been involved in remotely controversial editing at this site is likely to have been blocked, some many times. Many of these blocks are questionable, and not more than a few are acknowledged to be bad by certain groups of people. Relitigating the blocks after the fact will have the effect of dredging up old battles and reigniting drama. That is not necessarily a reason to nix the idea, but as a new proposal it is going to be quite the headache when it first gets going.

jps (talk) 13:35, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Carrite's section[edit]

I support the WBM proposal above, which is carefully defined and limited, but not a broad system where any special insider can challenge anything. Maintaining integrity of the block logs is important. I believe that any new Block Log Redaction Policy should start from a fixed date, say June 1, 2018, and that nothing preceding that start date should be eligible to be litigated again, per JPS's observation above. I don't object to a method to remove egregious wrong blocks, but anything that tampers with the historical record of even arguably wrong blocks (see: Tony1 incident at the top) is more dangerous than beneficial and will oppose that. Carrite (talk) 16:57, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Eric Corbett's section[edit]

I'm against any hiding or removal of blocks in anyone's block log, as I think that would give blocks a moral legitimacy I simply don't think they have. Montanabw makes a legalistic comparison, but you simply can't compare a conviction for shoplifting to a sanction applied unilaterally by one individual for calling someone a sycophant on a web site, for instance. So leave the block logs as they are, and let whoever is interested see the self-righteous lunacy that underpins Wikipedia. Eric Corbett 18:39, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Volunteer Marek's section[edit]

I think the first proposal is a no-brainer, although it should be the admin who levied the block that is the one to remove it. Second proposal needs work - the "correlate" part. I would just drop blocks from log after x number of years. I don't think I like 3 and 4.Volunteer Marek (talk) 19:31, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

David Eppstein's section[edit]

I have an unambiguously mistaken block in my log (blocking admin clicked the wrong button trying to block a troll on my talk page) and I don't care. I think this is a non-issue and that trying to erase past history creates more problems than it solves. —David Eppstein (talk) 19:50, 4 January 2018 (UTC)

Beeblebrox’s section[edit]

(FYI, just in case anyone was not aware, this page has been linked to by an external website)

I also have an obviously erroneous block in my log. I don’t see it as a stain on my reputation, but rather as an indication of poor judgement on behalf of my fellow admin who blocked me. I also blocked a previously never-blocked user completely by accident once. It was very emberassing, but they were only blocked for a few minutes because I realized my error and unblocked them, noting that the block was a simple error and should be disregarded.

So, we already have mechanisms in place for correcting block logs in a fully transparent manner that can be viewed by everyone. I don’t see a compelling reason to change that. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:19, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

Much of the resolution of my block was conducted privately through email and since I'm not the exception to every rule, I'm pretty sure that occurs with others. Not so transparent. Best Regards, Barbara (WVS)   13:58, 5 January 2018 (UTC)
an unblock discussion may have taken place by email, but the actual block log, which is the subject under discussion, is visible to all. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:45, 5 January 2018 (UTC)

Barbara (WVS)'s section[edit]

I was blocked in 2015 for four days, changed my behavior and continued adding content and improvements to the encyclopedia. The block will be there forever, right? A few days ago, I asked for a third opinion regarding the removal of a large amount of content and rude behavior. There are pages and pages of discussion now, if you printed them out, rehashing and embellishing of my block from three years ago rather than addressing the removal of content. It was a diversion from the issue of removing the content and it worked.

The block continues to be discussed-see the latest talk page post I received. In 2015, the blocking administrator conversed with me at length by email and admitted that the block was probably an error agreed that my activities were 'ok' but that I should work towards placating those offended (and 'creeped out). I volunteered to write up my own guidelines to address the activities for which I was blocked. He read them, told me that they were good to go, I posted them. Those offended agreed with the guidelines. I'm pretty sure that anyone with an interest in the matter thought the administrator wrote the guidelines for me. I'm not asking for a declaration of guilty/non-guilty. I have been ignoring discussions of my block for the past two years because I didn't see rehashing the incident productive. I 'm pretty sure I will never be granted any additional user rights. You can get a shoplifting prosecution expunged, but instead I can go to the craft store, buy a binder and fill it with memorabilia from all the continuous trips down memory lane.

If the issue is a period of time will pass and records of the block disappear, I'm all for that. Thanks (if you read this). Best Regards, ~~~~

L3X1's section[edit]

I agree very much with David Eppstein. Bad blocks are noted in the block log, and thus can't negatively influence viewers. The only need for a clear block log I can think of is to please various Adminscoring counters, which don't matter because no one consults them when at RFA. IMO disappearing bad blocks only makes it harder to track down those blocks, the admins involved, and the incidents which may have spawned them. Thanks, L3X1 Happy2018! (distænt write) 02:27, 8 January 2018 (UTC)

RexxS' suggestions[edit]

I think that there are at least two inter-related issues with blog logs:

  1. the persistence of mistaken or wrongly applied blocks;
  2. the iniquity of having a record of blocks that follow the editor forever.

With respect to the first, I would suggest a review mechanism similar to DRV:

  • In the first instance, a wrongfully blocked editor may request the blocking admin to rev-del the block. Admin policy should place a duty on admins to consider favourably such requests made in good faith.
  • If that is declined (presumably for good reason), then they may make a request to a "Block Review Noticeboard" who will make a determination. Optionally: establish a Block Review Committee, made up of equal numbers of admins and non-admins, which will make a determination.

With respect to the second, by analogy to criminal convictions:

  • Non-current blocks for all but "the most serious offences" should become 'spent' after 5 years. They may be rev-deleted by any admin on request from an editor in good standing. Optionally: automatically rev-deleted after 5 years.
  • "The most serious offences" can be defined as needed, but I suggest that such blocks might perhaps include: blocks in pursuance of community bans, blocks of long-term abusers, office-applied blocks.

Note that both overturned and spent blocks would still be visible to admins. It could be argued that the most egregious of wrong blocks could be sent to OS for oversight.

One of the consequences of the first measure would be a record of the number of overturned blocks made by each admin, with those that went against the admin at review attracting far more opprobrium than those that the admin voluntarily rev-deleted. No doubt someone would create league tables of the bad blockers, and consistent poor performance might even attract a motion for de-sysopping at ArbCom. It might give some of our more trigger-happy admins pause for thought before pressing the block button – a rare opportunity for checks and balances that we currently do not have.

I believe that this would generate a lot of work early on, which would hopefully reduce to a trickle over time. One mechanism for reducing the potential workload would be to make the review mechanism initially only available to "tenured editors" (perhaps 2 years and 10,000 edits?). Novel as it may seem, it would have the effect of granting some extra privilege to our regular contributors. Some may say, "Not before time".

--RexxS (talk) 01:34, 12 January 2018 (UTC)

Epipelagic's section[edit]

It's astonishing to see that forlorn attempts at reform are STILL being attempted by a handful of contributors.

No meaningful reform can occur until the needed core reforms occur. The needed core reforms are... (a) the retirement of the longstanding legacy admins and the replacement of the absurd appointment "for life" of admins by a term of say three or four years. They can reapply if they want another term. (b) most current admins have little experience with what it takes to contribute non-trivial content to Wikipedia. It is entirely inappropriate that they should be given the right to jerk around and block the users who do that work. Instead, a special board, elected by competent content contributors, should take over the disciplining and sanctioning of the actual content contributors.

We all know neither of those core reforms will happen. This is because ... (a) any moves in those directions are always voted down because as a power block, the admins, admin wannabes and the other social networking busybodies who frequent the drama boards easily determine any voting and election outcomes that affect their self-interest (b) many admins, including the hundreds who were inducted as school children, experience a degree of power over competent people that they will never achieve in "real life", and there is no way that they are going to loosen their grasp on that power. (c) Jimbo Wales, who might at one time have had the ability to bring about real reform, has shown repeatedly that he either doesn't understand or doesn't care about the core difficulties faced by content builders.

It is a TOTAL waste of time pursuing reform. It cannot happen. Long-term content contributors just need to try and avoid admin boards, and when they cannot, they need to roll over and let the admins have their way. There is no way, long-term, to be a serious contributor on Wikipedia and at the same time retain a degree of dignity (unless you also become an admin). Contributors who think otherwise are either deluded or haven't been here long enough to see how it works. Tony has simply had enough and chose the only option open to him so he can regain a measure of dignity. – Epipelagic (talk) 02:32, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

Jytdog section[edit]

I don't agree that having a block in one's log is somehow terrible. There is sometimes too much focus on the "social" aspects of editing in a community, where people are busying themselves gathering shiny things to display to other users and want to gather privileges for the prestige of it, and it seems to me that this whole thing, of trying to avoid "non-shiny" things, is in that same vein. This has nothing to do with building an encyclopedia, or with the editing community as something that exists solely to build an encyclopedia. Jytdog (talk) 22:36, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

A note on Food for thought: are we throwing stones while living in a glass house? Does anyone have a right to be forgotten, and if not, don't you find that rather odd considering WP's stance on anonymity?.
WP protects the 'privacy of editors' real world identity, if they choose to keep it private. We look for and indeed require editors who stick around to establish a stable identity via a single account and its history (and clearly disclose any legitimate alts, etc). (this is why we have a sockpuppet policy, and why the username policy is one username, one person) That record is essential to the long term functioning of a community in which people can choose to be pseudonymous. It is probably the key way that we remain accountable to one another. WP:EDITORACCT doesn't exist, but this is what it is about.)
So no, there is no "right to be forgotten" - pretty much the only the "rights" anybody has here are the privacy right mentioned above (which is part of a right not to be harassed), and the right to leave. "Rights" is generally an inappropriate paradigm to apply to editing privileges in Wikipedia.
As I said in my earlier comment, some people get overly caught up in the (inevitable) social aspects of editing in a community. Which is what this appears to be about, to me. Jytdog (talk) 15:21, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

WereSpielChequers section[edit]

Some years ago for various bizarre reasons three of us did some work on the thousand most active editors, more specifically the 300 of them at that time that had at some point been blocked. The second most common reason, accounting for roughly 100 of them was accidental blocks by others that were swiftly reversed with a clear apology in the block log. So this is something that happens, I'm not sure from various comments whether these blocks need redacting, as I think they say more about the blocking admin than the blockee, but I'd be happy with a change to the logs so that it disappeared from the blocked person's block log and just remained on the admins' logs so that we could see they issued x blocks of which y they promptly undid as mistakes. Where I think we have far more serious a problem is where the block was disputed and removed after a contentious ANI thread. Those are the blocks that I suspect people are less likely to want on their log and this doesn't really deal with them because the blocking and unblocking admins may differ. More broadly I'm there with the idea that some things should lapse as time served, perhaps ceasing to be visible other than to admins. Afterall if we block someone for sockpuppetry and they come back ten years later who is going to go back that far? Though I would like to keep a group of "life means Life" blocks for things like paedophilia advocacy and harassment.

For the moment a practical reform that we might be able to get consensus for is to deal with the ludicrous situation where edit warring is treated more harshly than vandalism. One possibility is to agree that two years of unblocked activity after an edit warring block expires that block is wiped from your blocklog. Though I'd prefer a solution such as User:WereSpielChequers/Edit Warring

There is also the issue of IP blocking - we have millions of IP addresses blocked many of which we should unblock. I have started drafting something at User:WereSpielChequers/IP and OS blocks that would give us a more targeted IP blocking with fewer false positives.

I appreciate that the most contentious aspects of blocking at this precise moment are not the ones that I'm suggesting we reform. But reforming IP and edit warring blocks would be something we could perhaps discuss more dispassionately at the moment, and if we succeeded in reforming those areas perhaps we could then turn to more difficult areas of reform. ϢereSpielChequers 12:25, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

rtc's section[edit]

I am an adherent to Larry's original NPOV policy. The current policy is much more radical than the original one; not actually that much in letter or spirit, but in practice. Often science is given far too much weight, and humanities far too little. My experience is that holding such a view leads to instant holstility and attempts to block me or get me blocked. My blocks pile up and even blocks from over 10 years ago are used to justify further blocks and making them longer each time.

The op-ed at Wikipedia:Wikipedia_Signpost/2018-02-05/Op-ed nicely summarizes the basic issues. The block log is all that matters. It's your badge. Everything else is basically ignored. At least on, which is strongly influenced by US zero tolerance culture. The principle that blocks should not be punitive is clearly nonexistant in reality. cares much less about such things in my experience.

I therefore think that the block log should be erased after some time, perhaps one year for your average 3RR violation or personal attack in the heat of the moment. Completely. Not available anymore in public, not to administrators, not to oversight, not to the foundation. I think that this is mandated pretty clearly by the GDPR and its right to be forgotten, and it is also common sense. A block for such a miniscule violation that old cannot be relevant anymore. Of course for more severe violations a more extensive retention period might be justified. The retention period should be roughly proportional to the length of the block.

I am strongly against hiding the block log from the public while letting administrators access it. That makes administrator decisions intransparent since they are based on secret evidence, which drastically decreases their accountability. If an administrator were claiming to have based his decision on the secret evidence there's no way for others to judge whether the decision was right, except if they are also administrators, and it is well known that those are far less critical about each other's actions than the common user is.

It is clearly not against the rules to stop using an account and start a new one from time to time. This comes with a lot of benefits. You start with a fresh block log. You won't be judged by your past blocks. I never did such account switching and it should not be necessary to do this to have those benefits. Long-term account use should be encouraged, not discouraged.

I disagree with the prevailing view that a Wikipedia user in the end has no real rights other than the right to leave and fork, and all other rights are not true rights, but voluntary acts of grace without any prejudice. Block logs are personal data according to the GDPR. The GDPR applies for every personal data of every European user, even if said data is kept by US entities and even if it is pseudonymous. It is based on the idea that privacy is a human right of the person whose data is being stored, in contrast to the prevailing view that personal data is private property of the entity that collected it. There is a right to be forgotten (and, by consequence, to be forgiven). I don't read the GDPR primarly as a law (and Wikipedia certainly is not above the law) but as a good and humane idea. Let's forgive each other our sins on Wikipedia. --rtc (talk) 20:58, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

Tarage's section[edit]

I too have a block that I'd love to get removed, but it's more complicated than simply asking the blocker to remove it: They are on record still supporting said block. In this case I'd love for there to be a way to put forward a block to be reviewed for expunging, because I feel that the editor who unblocked me made it clear they did not think the block was a valid one. --Tarage (talk) 00:04, 3 July 2018 (UTC)

EEng's section[edit]

I've been blocked many times by the project's foolest fools and tinniest tin badges, and I'm not embarrassed about it. In the summertime I open my block log to tourists and earn a good deal of extra cash that way. (The big money's in the gift shop -- what margins!) EEng 10:46, 6 July 2018 (UTC)

Legacypac's section[edit]

As a very good faith editor I've been blocked inapproriately. I dona lot of backend work and have a very good understanding of policy but these blocks guarantee I can't pass an RFA. In one case a group of ofher admins initiated the unblock and overrode the block within hours but my blog log still remains. On the flip side the Admins that make bad blocks suffer no consequences or lost opportunities. There is no log of their bad blocks. Only if a serious pattern emerges and we can get past all the efforts to shut down discussion and dismiss things as errors would such activity be addressed. Legacypac (talk) 20:42, 27 February 2019 (UTC)

Guy Macon's section[edit]

I like where this is going, but I have a problem with the 24 hour idea. I think it should be 72 hours. It is reasonably common for an admin to issue a block, log off of Wikipedia, and go away for the weekend. And it sometimes takes more that 24 hours for reasonable people to gather evidence and complete a nuanced discussion. Why the hurry? --Guy Macon (talk) 23:07, 27 February 2019 (UTC)