Wikipedia:Don't lower the boom just yet
Don't lower the boom just yet.
It may be tempting to lower the boom and impose sanctions on an editor who commits an annoying infraction of the rules, but stop a moment and think.
Is this a pattern of behavior, or an isolated incident? Could it be a good faith mistake?
Is this single incident sufficiently important that it's worth driving away a potentially valuable contributor?
If this editor has been admonished in the past, are they making a good faith attempt to improve?
Overall character and behavior patterns become evident over time.
For individual incidents, it may be best to provide appropriate indications that things are not going well, provide examples of better ways to behave, and see if course corrections are possible.
Suddenly deciding to let loose, and watch a heavy nautical spar, that large, heavy piece of piece of wood or metal, land right on the head of a member of the crew, can be pretty drastic. In many cases, it isn't called for, and is actually a variation of waiting in ambush. Due process is far preferable to waiting until a hapless crew member is standing under the boom, and then dropping it without warning.
Sometimes, administering sanctions with a light hand, combined with ongoing monitoring and coaching, can be more effective than coming down hard, like a ton of bricks ... but that is another metaphor.