Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy/Archive 23

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Archive 22 Archive 23 Archive 24

Contents

Throwing other users' block logs in their faces?

This has been happening to me quite a bit. Most of my block log is based on technicalities (reporting mutual IBAN-violations in an inappropriate manner, reverting IBAN-violations myself when I should have emailed someone else to do it, accidentally editing under an account that I had logged into for email access when I was only supposed to be editing under another declared/legitimate alternate account, etc.) so it's water off a duck's back for me, but it still seems like somewhat dickish behaviour that should be formally discouraged, and it doesn't seem to be. Am I missing something? Hijiri 88 (やや) 22:34, 25 November 2016 (UTC)

I think you've got a point here. A user's previous blocks should only be brought up if they are relevant to the situation at hand, i.e. "I see you've been blocked for this exact same thing before so you already knew better". Bringing it up in a content dispute or some other unrelated discussion is a needless distraction and not very polite. Beeblebrox (talk) 18:55, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
True but I wouldn't change the policy to reflect that.--Bbb23 (talk) 19:09, 26 November 2016 (UTC)
I think a version of this is already part of the civility policy... "...to repeatedly bring up past incivility after an individual has changed their approach, or to treat constructive criticism as an attack, are in themselves potentially disruptive, and may result in warnings or even blocks if repeated" Lourdes 05:24, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Huh. I hadn't thought about that. I don't usually like to throw other users' incivility in their faces during content disputes, and in non-content-related disputes if block logs come up it usually either gets ignored bites the uncivil user back. But I guess you have a point. No need to edit this page if it's already (essentially) covered in another policy. Hijiri 88 (やや) 14:10, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
(ec) To play devil's advocate for a moment here, and without doing (or inviting) a deep dive into your history, you'd probably draw more sympathy if your attitude towards your history didn't come across as Sure, I got blocked lots of times, but the stuff I did wasn't ever really bad, and it wasn't ever really my fault. Nearly all Wikipedia editors manage to go their entire careers without getting blocked even once, without getting their conduct reviewed and sanctioned at AN/I even once (let alone multiple times), without even once being sanctioned by ArbCom, and without requiring even one topic ban or interaction ban. When an editor has a long history of battleground behavior and a tendency to minimize both the severity of that behavior and his own responsibility for it, it's the sort of thing that really can broadly affect the way other editors interact with him.
Whether you realize or acknowledge it or not, you did dig yourself a substantial reputational hole with your past conduct. Your best approach is to edit in a way that doesn't reflect your previous bad behavior, and to not engage with editors who bring up stuff that isn't relevant to whatever matter is at hand. Focus on being a good editor yourself, and let your actions speak for themselves. Rebuilding goodwill with the community doesn't happen overnight, and there are always going to be a few people who won't let past stuff go. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 15:10, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
Technically, that has nothing to do with my post here. I wanted clarification as to the appropriateness of digging through other users' block logs in general. Most of the users who have done this to me recently made their very first edit after my most recent block was removed, so my prior reputation should be irrelevant (they only know about because they engaged in a form of hounding). I know the background of my block log, as do several other users (including a number of the blocking admins), but it shouldn't be my responsibility to have to explain this to people constantly (especially when the still-active IBANs, which should have been one-way from the get-go, are still in place). The people who, as you say, "won't let past stuff go" weren't even involved in that past stuff, so while your devil's advocacy is appreciated it doesn't really change the fact that the behaviour is uncivil and inappropriate. Hijiri 88 (やや) 10:57, 1 December 2016 (UTC)

Are block-evading edits within closed AfDs protected edits?

ALREADY ASKED AND ANSWERED
Please stop beating this dead horse. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:42, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

{{Rfc|policy|tech}} At Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Wiki93, I placed a WP:BLOCKEVASION revert using strikethrough font on the nomination, and was reverted.  I have been ordered by an administrator to not re-revert.  Does an administrator's close protect a block-evading editor's edit?  Unscintillating (talk) 01:38, 9 December 2016 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Prescription?

Shouldn't there be some prescription time limits for the actions the user is blocked for? I assumed that there is a reasonable / common sense time limit like one or two weeks. Otherwise, an administrator can block you whenever they want, for some edits you made months or years ago. And that's plain blackmail or simply plain revenge: "If you say something I don't like, I'll block you for something you did a long time ago". It happened to me recently - I got blocked on Romanian Wikipedia, for an article I've created almost an year ago. The other users and administators knew very well about it, and, after almost one year, out of the sudden, I got blocked for creating that article, and the article was quickly deleted - and that happened 11 minutes after answering to another admin who was visibly irritated about me (on a completely distinct topic) - so it's impossible for me not to suspect revenge. I don't want to bring a Romanian drama on English Wikipedia, but being the first and the biggest Wikipedia, I wish to understand how rules work here. I'll just give two examples I know:

  • In the legal systems, there is a period of prescription - the time limit within which a lawsuit (and it's subsequent punishment) must be brought
  • In Romania, journalism ethics and standards ask for controversial data about persons to be released in maximum two weeks after being acquired. That regulation is probably designed in order to prevent blackmail.

 Ark25  (talk) 14:24, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

There's not going to be a fixed time limit, since admins apply common sense. However, what you describe isn't generally going to happen here. It's discussed throughout this policy, particularly in the Purpose and goals section. -- zzuuzz (talk) 15:07, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
Ark25, Having lived and worked around the world in very different ciultures and societies, I would venture to say that comparing one Wikipedia with another is like comparing apples and oranges. Considering the size of en.Wiki and the amount of work the admins do here, actual errors of judgement or breaches of behaviour by admins are very rare. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 06:16, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Block evasion in closed AfD

Regarding Hobit's edit here, why this ultra-specific advice on this policy page? And if "there is consensus", can someone link to that discussion? If blocked editors are tinkering with closed AfDs that should absolutely be reverted. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 11:31, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

It relates to the discussion above, and this thread. It is not the blocked editors modifying closed AfDs, but other editors modifying blocked users' comments in closed AfDs. The change does seem over-specific, and perhaps claims too much consensus, but we might benefit from a sentence explaining that comments which have been responded to don't always have to be struck or removed. -- zzuuzz (talk) 11:43, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
I'm certainly happy with a different turn of phrase. But we had a user who followed written policy here and got slammed for it. Given it _was_ a pretty strong consensus that we don't want people modifying closed AfDs like that, seems like it's worth noting. And given that a non-trivial percent of blocked users tend to involve deletion discussions to some extent, it seems like it's not overly specific advice. Hobit (talk) 14:13, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
As far as I'm concerned, the right wording has been nailed with this change. -- zzuuzz (talk) 09:28, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, that looks as though it's got it. However I think an IAR situation arises here where a sockpuppet creates an AFD and the page is subsequently deleted because the sockpuppet was the only commentator, then iff the page is restored, there ought to be a notation in the closed AFD that it was overturned because the nominator was a sockpuppet. Or, perhaps the AFD page should be deleted, but then the deletion log is broken. Idk. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:44, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
  • The core issue here was not the editing of closed AfDs, but a case of a block-abusing nominator who was the only contributor to a closed AfD.  Given the above RfC, I resolved this problem with the policy-edit that block-abusing edits in closed AfDs are protected edits.  With the revert of my edit, this problem is not resolved.  Unscintillating (talk) 01:15, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
    • Unscintillating, there is nothing about protected edits. Just that people concluded that striking those edits was not productive (which is contrary to this policy as it was written). I think the text I added addressed that issue. If you disagree, feel free to revert, but I'd advise against adding your language back in. Hobit (talk) 04:30, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
      • The discussion at AN was entitled "‎Administrator protection for block-abusing edits?".  The above RfC is entitled, "Are block-evading edits within closed AfDs protected edits?".  Unscintillating (talk) 00:48, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
        • I'm saying that you are the only one who thinks the phrase "protected edits" applies. You titled both of those discussions. Hobit (talk) 01:06, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
          • The G5 was requested before any edits were made to the closed discussion at Wiki93.  Thus the issue of editing of closed AfDs IMO has been an ersatz discussion.  So it is not that I agree or disagree with your edit, IMO it does not resolve the core issue(s).  Unscintillating (talk) 03:23, 15 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Unscintilating, you really, really need to just let it go and find something else to do with your time. WP:POINT editing of policy is not acceptable. Beeblebrox (talk) 05:58, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
    • Agreed, but I also have a problem with people being on his case for following policy... Hobit (talk) 23:26, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
  • I agree with updating policy to reflect consensus and current practice. Hopefully this will stop the accusatory rhetoric of "undermining" and "sabotage" and "protecting sockpuppets". Reyk YO! 07:16, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
  • The editors in favor of undermining and sabotage of the encyclopedia don't seem to have the political strength to change policy.  As for "protecting sockpuppets", I made the edit to do just that as per the close of the above RfC, but that edit is now reverted.  Unscintillating (talk) 00:48, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, this is exactly the accusatory language I was talking about. Thank you for making my point for me. Reyk YO! 13:04, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
I have to say, Unscintilaing, you seem rather out of control at the moment. Wikipedia isn't life or death, it's just some words on the internet. Making a big deal out of this and refusing to back down isn't getting you anywhere, or at least not anywhere good. Sometimes you don't get your way, sometimes consensus isn't what you think it will be, and sometimes the rules aren't perfect. Life is like that, and it's important to know how to pick your battles. This wasn't one that is worth all the anguish you seem to be feeling over it. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:28, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
You can't have it both ways, Beeblebrox.  You are saying that I am "refusing to back down" even though I accepted your close of the above RfC verbatim; while at the same time, you have declared my verbatim acceptance of your close as a WP:POINT edit.  The later has the meaning that you think that editors don't really believe that your close was intended to be a conclusion to the discussion of the question stated. 

Given that no one has restored my edit, the current meaning in the policy is that block-abusing edits in a closed AfD are not protected edits.  Unscintillating (talk) 16:04, 17 December 2016 (UTC)

Suggest: Restrict indefinite blocks to ArbCom

WP:SNOW CLOSE
Completely unworkable, unrealistic proposal which is drawing absolutely no support. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:30, 22 December 2016 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

An indefinite block is the most severe punishment on Wikipedia. As such, it should only be given out after slow, careful deliberation. This is based on the democratic principal of Blackstone's formulation, "It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer". As an innocent victim, who received an indefinite block with absolutely no warning, accusation, or ability to provide a defense, there seems to be some weaknesses in the process of giving out indefinite blocks and there must be other innocents like me that have fallen victim. Is it possible for us to come up with a policy that continues to protect the integrity of the project as well as being more humane?Sthubbar (talk) 00:00, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

An absolutely untenable suggestion. Putting aside all the times that an indefinite block is warranted by policy, the burden on ArbCom would be intolerable.--Bbb23 (talk) 00:03, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
It's not the "most severe punishment on Wikipedia", it's just a block with no expiry date. Blocks are not meant as punishments at all. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 00:11, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

@Bbb23:, ok, then how about some rules like: An indefinite block may only be instituted after the following has occured:

  • A notice is posted on the user's talk page for at least 1 month
  • 3 administrator unanimously agree to the block
  • The user is allowed at least 2 weeks to make their case to the 3 deciding admins

Note: A time limited block may be placed on the account during the 1 month talk page notice and deliberation phase. So this would mean that if after 1 month there is no response from the user and 3 admins agree then the indefinite block can be imposed. Thoughts?Sthubbar (talk) 00:17, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

(edit conflict) You are an inexperienced editor (475 edits) who believes that Wikipedia should be run like a criminal court. When you were indefinitely blocked (by me), as I recall, you saw everything in terms of innocent and guilty, due process, etc. That is not the way Wikipedia works. To change it would require a complete restructuring of the way Wikipedia is administered. Administrators have to be able to indefinitely block editors unilaterally when the situation calls for it. It's their job. The blocked editor can request an unblock and other administrators will evaluate it, but to have to seek agreement from three other administrators before blocking is absurd. Although your block for socking was overturned by ArbCom (hence, your original suggestion because all of this is person, frankly), socks are routinely blocked without notice and within the confines of policy. Honestly, you're wasting everyone's time, and you would do far better to go edit some articles.--Bbb23 (talk) 00:26, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
FYI, this isn't much of a change from the current situation besides requiring the talk page notice. In my case, the biggest offense was the fact that I was given no warning or ability to present a defense. There already were admins discussing in the background about my block, so that part of the policy is already going on.Sthubbar (talk) 00:19, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
No, requiring all of that bureaucracy would, at minimum, severely hamstring our anti-vandalism and anti-sockpuppetry efforts. ​—DoRD (talk)​ 00:24, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
WP:DROPTHESTICK. Your anonymous account was prevented from editing on a private website. That's it, that's all. Don't grossly cheapen the experiences of innocent people who were incorrectly sent to jail by suggesting your block is somehow similar. --NeilN talk to me 00:25, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Many good points made. Ok, let's start again. How much trouble would it be to:
  1. Issue a 3 month block for suspected socks
  2. Post a message to the suspected sock's talk page giving them the opportunity to respond
  3. Decide after 3 months whether to extend the block to indefinite

?Sthubbar (talk) 00:38, 20 December 2016 (UTC)

Why add an additional bureaucratic step? Unless talk page access is removed, these editors can respond appropriately. The vast majority of these situations are resolved within 72 hours. --NeilN talk to me 00:53, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
@NeilN:, to allow the accused a chance to provide a defense before issuing an indefinite block. As it stands now, indefinite blocks are freely given without any attempt to hear from the accused.Sthubbar (talk) 00:59, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Your change... doesn't change that in any meaningful way. The editor can respond, no matter if the block is indefinite or not. --NeilN talk to me 01:07, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
@NeilN:, there is a huge difference between defending against an accusation and trying to change a mind. Human psychology works hard to rationalize and defend decisions. In my case, I'm sure that Bbb23 is a nice, rational, conscientious administrator. Once he had placed the indefinite block on my account, he had no interest in hearing any defense from my side. His brain had determined I was guilty and anything I said were lies from a sock puppet. I suspect, if instead the policy reinforced the "innocent until proven guilty" mindset and his thinking was "I suspect that sthubbar is a sockpuppet, and let me at least hear the defense from this suspect" the situation would have proceeded much differently. So to repeat, the testimony of a suspect is completely different from the testimony of a convict, and by the current rules, we are creating too many convicts and the ignoring human nature and thinking the admins will be able to independently listen to the testimony of these convicts.Sthubbar (talk) 01:17, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
@Sthubbar: And again, your proposal changes nothing (and assumes facts about Bbb23 not in evidence). Blocked for three months -> you get your chance to respond. Blocked indefinitely -> you get your chance to respond. In both cases the decision has been made that you are "guilty". And we're not going to let blocks against socks simply expire if there's no response. --NeilN talk to me 02:02, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
  • Just a point of fact - there are about 250 indefinite blocks made every day. Almost none of them are undone or even contested. Risker (talk) 02:06, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
@Risker:, thank you for this information that I did not know.
@NeilN:, I am attempting to point out that it does change something. To put it bluntly, if someone says "Let's get this guilty SOB in here and give them a fair trial." We can be pretty sure the trial is not fair. As it stands now, the policy is "Determine guilt first, then allow the innocent to defend themselves." I seem unable to show how that is the current policy and how it is absolutely the opposite of "Innocent until proven guilty." My attempt is to make the most pursuasive case that "Innocent until proven guilty" is in the best spirit of Wikipedia and a key component of it is to allow the accused to provide a defense before conviction. Once a conviction is determined, then no defense is possible, only an appeal and there is a world of difference between appeal and defense.Sthubbar (talk) 02:36, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not a court of law - nobody is being "convicted" of anything here. Blocks are used to prevent harm to the project, not to punish or determine guilt. And, as above, please stop equating being prevented from editing a private website with being incarcerated - the two are nothing at all alike. ​—DoRD (talk)​ 03:31, 20 December 2016 (UTC)
@DoRD:, thank you for the reminder. Are there lessons from the legal system that can help Wikipedia? Is Blackstone's formulation applicable or is the protection of Wikipedia more important than worrying about incorrectly blocking accounts without warning?Sthubbar (talk) 00:16, 22 December 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

WP:INDEF changes

Blocked sock of Lake of Milk
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

Currently, the text reads "Indefinite does not mean infinite". However, in practice it does. Looking at the unblock history, people who are indefinitely blocked are generally never unblocked. This means infinite.

I proposed to change this to reflect real life behavior. Since indefinite is not suppose to be infinite, it should parallel the practice of the Arbitration Committee, which is one year. Furthermore, it is not very fair to harm minors who might be indefinitely blocked.

The proposed new text would be "Indefinite does not mean infinite. Therefore, all indefinite blocks would expire after 1 year if requested by the user. After unblock, the user should be extremely careful not to edit in a way that would result in blocking again."

This change could be very persuasive to good behaviour. The current situation is:

  • indefinitely blocked
  • anger and continued fighting with Wikipedia
  • alternate: keep begging, no mercy, continued indefinite block
  • anger and maybe even vandalism for years

The revised situation would be:

  • 2017 blocked indefinitely (which would be for one year)
  • 1/1/2018 unblocked if requested
  • if bad behaviour, blocked indefinitely again, which would be 2018-2019
  • if reformed, good user results

Lakeshook (talk) 20:03, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

No, we're not letting blocks simply expire if there's no explicit commitment to change. That goes triple for repeat offenders. Also, see Wikipedia_talk:Blocking_policy#Suggest:_Restrict_indefinite_blocks_to_ArbCom --NeilN talk to me 20:32, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Must have misunderstood. A year block is one year. An indefinite block would be forever except if requested by the blocked user after one year. The default is now to ignore the user or say no. The new default would be to unblock with everyone knowing that bad behaviour would result in a block much, much sooner than a new user. Lakeshook (talk) 20:52, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Incorporating NeilN's idea, it could be that indefinite blocks would end after one year if requested by the affected user after a year and "an explicit commitment to change". Right now, there is no language allowing administrators to unblock even if there is an explicit commitment to change so administrators don't do it. A year is mentioned only for discussion. A month is too short. 5 years is too long. Lakeshook (talk) 20:55, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Remember that many arbcom sanctions can be appealed after one year and do not expire automatically. We're never going to let certain editors back (well, not without a mass revolt) no matter how much they appeal. The same thing goes for indef blocked users. We need to believe in what they're saying and not just take it at face value. --NeilN talk to me 21:04, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Editors do sometimes appeal after one year, or even more, and often get unblocked if they recognise previous problems and undertake not to repeat them. Admins have authority under Wikipedia:Blocking_policy#Unblocking to do that. WP:OFFER is also often employed. -- zzuuzz (talk) 21:09, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
Good comment, zzuuzz! Risker says on this page, higher section that is tinted purple, that users are not unblocked generally. Incorporating zzuuzz and NeilN's comments, the WP:OFFER could be incorporated here, not just exist as an essay. Lakeshook (talk) 21:22, 14 February 2017 (UTC)
To put Risker's comment in some context, "Almost none of them are undone or even contested" ... almost none recognise previous problems and undertake not to repeat them. To put it another way, of those who wish to continue editing, most would repeat the same behaviour that got them blocked in the first place. -- zzuuzz (talk) 21:49, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Modified proposal (incorporating all users comments, including NeilN and zzuuzz)

existing version

  • An indefinite block is a block that does not have a definite (or fixed) duration. Indefinite blocks are usually applied when there is significant disruption or threats of disruption, or major breaches of policy.

new version

  • An indefinite block is a block that does not have a definite (or fixed) duration. Indefinite blocks are usually applied when there is significant disruption or threats of disruption, or major breaches of policy. The WP:OFFER applies to this policy. if there is an explicit commitment to change.

Lakeshook (talk) 21:25, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

That... doesn't really mean anything or cause any existing process to change. --NeilN talk to me 21:28, 14 February 2017 (UTC)

Restricted users

I think the editors who were blocked forever should be allowed at least once to create another user subjected to very limited restrictions. Like for example, to create a restricted user that is only allowed to change categories, and maximum 50 edits per day - and nothing else.

I was recently blocked on Romanian Wikipedia - forever, for saving two articles from deletion. The admin who decided that my edits were useful (he decided to preserve the articles) is one of the admins who decided I should be blocked forever - specifically for the edits I've made to save the articles. In case that I ever return (from another IP), my edits must be reverted, even if they are useful - and those who will replicate my useful modifications "must assume the responsibility for that". This is quite an unreal situation but anyways, even if I'm the worst editor, I can still do useful edits by doing minor modifications: re-categorizations, disambiguation notes and fix misspellings. I'm not asking for anything more than that - not even the right to participate to discussions or to edit my own user page. Keep the ban, but accept minor and useful edits.

Blocking is not a punishment, I don't need any chance to "rehabilitate" - there are plenty of encyclopedias around. I'm not going to come back, hidden, from another IP, because I don't have the stomach for that. I'm just offering my honest, inoffensive and 100% useful help. And I can imagine that I'm not the only one in this kind of situation. IMO, refusing such offers is really not helping to build Wikipedia.

Of course ArbCom can't solve the conflicts on every single Wikipedia. But on the other hand, ArbCom/Wikimedia can ask all the communities to accept such restricted users, and to provide evidence if they block such restricted users. In the end, the Romanian Wikipedia doesn't belong to the admins who decide to block someone forever, for useful actions certified by themselves, who are determined to revert useful edits and to intimidate those who think about replicating such reverted useful edits. IMO, communities must learn to solve their own problems but in the same time, Wikimedia should also watch it's own interests - which is to develop the encyclopedia.

In the beginning, such restricted users can be allowed to only change categories. After one month, allow them to add disambiguation notes. After another month, allow them to add misspellings. And so on. —  Ark25  (talk) 01:01, 23 December 2016 (UTC)

You do realize that the English Wikipedia has no influence whatsoever over policy on any other Wikimedia project, right? If you want to propose a global policy like this, you would need to do so at the Meta-wiki]. Beeblebrox (talk) 05:37, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
This is not just for me. I'm quite sure there are other people who are blocked that would be interested to help with minor edits that are completely safe and useful. This is probably the most discussed page about blocking so I thought it's a good place to make such a suggestion. —  Ark25  (talk) 10:38, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
I haven't analyzed your situation, but I am a cynical person and know how such discussions will roll. Blocks are used as deterrent and your proposal would weaken that. Second, it's a bit like hammering at the front door after you have been thrown out of a house - the response is unlikely to be positive. Finally, a lot of blocks happen because of editors who have an incorrect idea as to which edits are "constructive" and which aren't and thus make bad edits. Or are timesinks that consume other people's time and energy to clean up after. I am not saying yours is necessarily a bad idea but I'd be very surprised if it was accepted. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 10:37, 24 December 2016 (UTC)
Blocks are supposed to be a deterrent against disruption, not against people. I think there should be a complete distinction between the two and the blocks should not involve any personal feelings. For simple edits like correcting misspellings, typos, disambiguation notes, categories - it's extremely easy to decide if they are constructive or not. I've made thousands or maybe tens of thousands of edits of re-categorizations, created categories and hundreds of disambiguation pages, even here at English Wikipedia - there were never any complains about them. It's impossible to argue about the usefulness of correcting misspellings, so it can't be a time sink.
Those admins openly declare that they are ready to revert useful edits (i.e. disruption, WP:POINT, personal feelings), they block people for edits made years ago and for edits they certify themselves as constructive, they can't agree that you can have your own opinion, therefore I think your cynicism should not be based only on who has the power to block others - because I'm afraid it's not me the one that has an incorrect idea about developing the project. Romanian Communists also had consensus between themselves that the rest of the people can not have the right to complain against abuses, and that those who do not obey are supposed to be silenced. Abuses can happen, especially in smaller communities - I can't believe there are no abuses in any Wikipedia community. My situation is probably a good candidate for a case study. Implementing restricted users would make sure that the editors have the opportunity to contribute with at least a minimum, limiting the damages made by the admins who are inclined to abuse. —  Ark25  (talk) 03:32, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, and someone will have to check every edit of yours to see if it complies with the restriction. Nobody is going to apply AGF without any kind of checking. So it's still a time and energy sink. Deflecting blame is a common tactic by problem users/admins and it seems to me from reading over cases that most complaints about abuse of admin tools are bogus (typically, because the action in question is perfectly legit apart from someone disagreeing with it). So yes, I don't think you'll convince a lot of people. Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 09:35, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

──────────── They seem to have plenty of time available, since they still check all my edits on English Wikipedia, and also my edits on Wikia. And it doesn't look like they are going to stop anytime soon (they want to defend their permanent ban decision). I can't believe abuses never happen, and therefore deflecting blame is not an indication of guilt. In general, vandalism is easily detected by the community, so it won't take much effort to check the restricted users - and they will be blocked the first time they don't respect the restriction, without any discussion. Still it's a time sink? Fine, then put a limit - maximum five edits per day.

As a regular editor, Bulă is a disaster. But in the same time, Bulă is an excellent corrector of misspellings. As restricted users, those who act in good faith can have an opportunity to do something useful, and they should also be able to advance (add the right to add categories, the right to add disambiguation notes, etc).

To me, it's not a good idea to avoid the question: "Do abuses happen (especially in smaller communities)?" If the answer is yes, then Restricted users is a good way to limit the damage of abuses and it is also an opportunity for the blocked users to prove that they are actually capable to act in good faith and to help building the project.

If I'm not going to convince anyone then what can I say? Too bad, so sad. Refusing clean and constructive edits doesn't look like a good idea to me. —  Ark25  (talk) 22:17, 25 December 2016 (UTC)

  • I can see no benefit, none, to giving automatic second chances to every single blocked user. We already do somethin like this in the form of conditional unblocks and topic bans, but they are done on a case-by-case basis. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:55, 25 December 2016 (UTC)
I wasn't suggesting automatic second chances. Editors should get a restricted user at request. Most of the people acting without good faith wouldn't ask for this, since it can't help them to continue disruptions. And they would also find it humiliating to apply for a Restricted user. Therefore only a small number of editors would apply for this.
Topic bans are wonderful and they are similar with my request, but they are useless in case of blocks made as a result of abuses or exaggerated penalties.
I'm an excellent corrector of misspellings and also as a re-categorization editor. Refusing to allow me to help with this minimum is a complete nonsense, from my point of view. I can only imagine that I'm not the only one in this situation since judgement errors can exist. Sorry for arguing. —  Ark25  (talk) 02:09, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

Template:Request denied nominated at RfD

Anyone using {{Request denied}} as a shortcut to {{Unblock reviewed}} is welcome to comment at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2016 December 22#Template:Request denied. – Uanfala (talk) 00:45, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

Should blocking policy also count the other way around?

WITHDRAWN
Beeblebrox (talk) 22:15, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

The section reads "As a result, should a bot operator be blocked, any bot attributed to them may also be blocked for the same duration as that of the blocked editor." I wonder: Should we add:

"As a result, should a bot account be blocked, any other account attributed to the bot owner may also be blocked for the same duration as that of the blocked bot."?

-- Magioladitis (talk) 00:08, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

I would oppose this for two reasons. First, a genuine technical error may require a bot to be blocked, but shouldn't result in the operator being blocked. Second, knowing that they'll have to block an operator if they want to stop a malfunctioning bot would have a massive chilling effect on blocking a malfunctioning bot, and that block is something we'd want to be made ASAP. ~ Rob13Talk 00:18, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose - If a bot is malfunctioning, it may well need the bot operator to correct the fault. --David Biddulph (talk) 00:27, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are many reasons to block just a bot, and comparatively few reasons to block both bot and owner. Primefac (talk) 00:28, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Comment So since the problem may be technical and located to single piece of software, what is the reason that we emphasise the fact that any other bot may be blocked? -- Magioladitis (talk) 01:55, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
    In your quoted section above, it doesn't say that at all. It says if the operator (person) is blocked, then all of their bots may also be blocked - it doesn't say anything about if one of their bots is blocked their other bots should also be blocked. — xaosflux Talk 03:57, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Oppose And this could snowball as well, if someone operates multiple bots and one needs to be blocked - then what, block the operator - then look a blocked operator go block all their other bots too - oh that one bot is a shared operator bot, better block that other operator too. No, just no. Blocks are meant to prevent disruption - in the event the editor is also being disruptive then they can get blocked on that merit as needed. — xaosflux Talk 03:55, 23 February 2017 (UTC)
  • Withdrawn while I still believe that nowadays no block is needed to prevent bot disruption in a large amount of cases. -- Magioladitis (talk) 08:03, 23 February 2017 (UTC)

Btw, I never suggested that the policy should change. I just asked if the wording is clear. -- Magioladitis (talk) 14:12, 23 February 2017 (UTC)


The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

How do I request that a block log be deleted?

I cannot find any information on how to request that a block log be deleted? To whom and where do I make my request? —አቤል ዳዊት?(Janweh64) (talk) 20:16, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

@Janweh64: Block logs cannot be deleted. If you're concerned about your accidental block, don't worry about it. They happen --NeilN talk to me 20:28, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
NeilN, I cannot shake the feeling this was a deliberate attempt to publicly record a warning. It has tarnished my otherwise perfect record in logs. The apology is half-hearted Error, meant to warn. This is sad.—አቤል ዳዊት?(Janweh64) (talk) 20:41, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
It very likely wasn't. When admins use the Twinkle tool, it's possible to both warn and block using it. It would be very easy to hit the wrong one. Regardless, the admin who blocked you clearly noted that the block was in error, so anyone looking at the block log will clearly see that the block was not intended to be made. Also, JzG is a pretty honest and blunt guy. If he thought you needed to be blocked, he wouldn't have hesitated to say so. He's said and done exactly that many times before. Seraphimblade Talk to me 20:48, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
You'll also note it didn't stop me from granting your request for rollback just now. I saw it, and I saw the correction. It is technically possible to redact the actual content of a log entry, but in practice it isn't done. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:54, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
And I can also say form personal experience that accidental blocks do just happen sometimes. I've done it at least twice that I can recall. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:56, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps redacting it should be the usual practice. It is "humiliating." It maybe be nothing to the likes of you. But my relatively short public log is almost empty except for that. It stands out. Not everyone is as fair as Beeblebrox. There is no benefit to maintaining this entry except for the unwarranted punitive action. Even assuming good intentions, the possible negative repercussions are still there. I have made no efforts to hide my paid editing. It is the first thing you see when you open my user page. Is there a reason "it isn't done"? If there is not, why not redact it? I can understand not doing it in every case. But when the request has been made, why not? In the end you still have not answered the question of who has this power? Can any admin redact logs? Why is this information hidden? I have only come here after a week of looking for this info.—አቤል ዳዊት?(Janweh64) (talk) 22:14, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Keep in mind that if this were done, it would hide an administrative error. Pretty sure that's a big part of the reason we don't do it. We wouldn't want to open the door to admins redacting every mistake they make. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:22, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

(edit conflict) Nevermind, I found the reason. Forget everything—አቤል ዳዊት?(Janweh64) (talk) 22:24, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
Any complaints against creating a few shortcuts: WP:delete log, WP:delete public log, WP:log redaction and WP:public log redaction to this section.—አቤል ዳዊት?(Janweh64) (talk) 22:34, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
@Janweh64: Which section? This talk page section? If you mean the "Log redaction" section you cited above, go ahead. Note you must create the redirects at Wikipedia:Delete log etc. The WP takes you to Wikipedia automatically; it's a virtual namespace. ~ Rob13Talk 22:42, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
@BU Rob13: Yes to "Log redaction" section. Yes I will do it from Wikipedia namespace and not WP. I don't quite get the difference but I will be careful.—አቤል ዳዊት?(Janweh64) (talk) 22:48, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
It's a difference in how content is stored on the servers. There are certain designated "namespaces" which are stored differently. For instance, Wikipedia: pages are one namespace, and search results don't include them unless you start the search with Wikipedia:. WP: pages would just go in the regular article namespace, as WP: isn't a real namespace. As a kind of hack-y fix because it's easier to type WP: than Wikipedia: every time, WP: is set up such that when you search for the page WP:Test, it will automatically send you to Wikipedia:Test (without the existence of an actual redirect). ~ Rob13Talk 22:51, 3 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree that there should be a shortcut redirect, but let's not make a whole pile of them. One or two is sufficient. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:59, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

───────────────────────── How about just WP:delete log and WP:log redaction—አቤል ዳዊት?(Janweh64) (talk) 23:03, 3 March 2017 (UTC)

Proposed clarifying change here and at banning policy

Please see Wikipedia_talk:Banning_policy#Proposed_clarifying_change_here_and_to_blocking_policy Jytdog (talk) 17:45, 7 May 2017 (UTC)

Discussion pretty much petered out. Implemented as noted here. Jytdog (talk) 22:20, 18 May 2017 (UTC)


Use of blocking threats - let's be nice

I recently created an article that in the opinion of another editor was a breach of copyright. Perhaps it was ... but I had a good reason in my own mind and felt it was fair use ... which is a separate point. Point is I did it in good faith, please take my word for it. Then one day I got this message, threatening blocking:

  • Copyright problem icon Your addition to xxxyyyxxx has been removed, as it appears to have added copyrighted material to Wikipedia without evidence of permission from the copyright holder. If you are the copyright holder, please read Wikipedia:Donating copyrighted materials for more information on uploading your material to Wikipedia. For legal reasons, Wikipedia cannot accept copyrighted material, including text or images from print publications or from other websites, without an appropriate and verifiable license. All such contributions will be deleted. You may use external websites or publications as a source of information, but not as a source of content, such as sentences or images—you must write using your own words. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. — User:somexxxuseryyy🍁 (talk) 19:54, 12 June 2017 (UTC)

It felt unpleasant. If someone can give some thought to how we can be a bit more pleasant to each other would be good.Supcmd (talk) 22:28, 20 June 2017 (UTC)

Yeah, that is not a threat, it is a notice. The privilege of editing comes with responsibilities and obligations. Respecting copyright is one of the most serious obligations. We pretty swiftly remove privileges (block, and eventually indefinitely block) people who don't take that seriously. It is not a thing to play with. If you are ever in doubt, please ask before you add potentially copyright-violating content to WP. (This is actually one of our greatest vulnerabilities. People can add copyright-violating content to WP and people think that because they have that freedom, they can take risks. This is not the case.) I am sorry you found it unpleasant, but please take the notice seriously. Jytdog (talk) 22:43, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
I take your point. On the slight chance that there was no breach or even in the case of a genuine error, I just feel there are nicer ways of getting a message across ... I really think as great as Wikipedia is it could be greater if editors were not slapped with notices as their only interaction with the community. If we were nice to each other so much more would be possible. Yes there are destructive elements in the world, but in my experience the greater ill is that we tar everyone with the same brush. Alas I feel I am fighting a losing battle... so I will bow out :). Thankyou for your time. Issue resolved.Supcmd (talk) 22:18, 22 June 2017 (UTC)

Recording in the block log

Wikipedia:Blocking policy#Recording in the block log states:

Very short blocks may be used to record, for example, an apology or acknowledgement of mistake in the block log in the event of a wrongful or accidental block, if the original block has expired.

My question is: Who may create such records (and when is it appropriate) - Only the blocking administrator? An administrator closing a related an/i thread where the community didn't support the block? Another administrator who disagrees with the block? Or perhaps all or some of the above? — Godsy (TALKCONT) 19:59, 26 June 2017 (UTC)

I would think that this would almost always be the blocking administrator, and surely "an apology or acknowledgement of mistake" would have to come from the person who made the mistake. However, we don't have a rule about this, and I don't think it would help to have one, as there may be rare occasions when it is reasonable for an administrator other than the one who placed the block to do this, and I don't see any benefit in restricting the ability to do so on such rare occasions. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 20:45, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

Should I add "Terms of Use violations" to the blocking rationale?

The terms of use states that the access to Wikipedia can be terminated by blocking. Should I add that? Ups and Downs () 23:23, 21 August 2017 (UTC)

Should we include advice to block an IPv6 range, not a single address?

It's pretty pointless to block a single IPv6 address and I think that our blocking policy should point this out and give advice or a link to advice how to block the appropriate range. Comments? Doug Weller talk 13:53, 9 September 2017 (UTC)

I agree that it is pointless. /64 should be the default for IPv6. (Phabricator tasks of interest: RFC: IPv6 contributions and talk pages, Should block IPv6 addresses at /64 instead of /128, and Have one aggregated talk page for ipv6 /64.) — JJMC89(T·C) 18:40, 9 September 2017 (UTC)
Support IPv6 connections will be using /64 subnets for the reasons I've given here: [1]. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 17:17, 10 September 2017 (UTC)
Advice for determining and blocking the correct addresses belongs at WP:IPB, where it is already linked but could probably be expanded. We certainly shouldn't be using policy to stipulate a correct range prefix, as they do vary. -- zzuuzz (talk) 17:34, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

How to Block edits

I dont get it what is the is examples of blocking edits? — Preceding unsigned comment added by AJ Pachano (talkcontribs) 23:53, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 26 November 2017

Luis3737 (talk) 12:33, 26 November 2017 (UTC)


pleases need help as i try to make sure i have full protection still comfuse do to the fact that i iahve been dealing whit this nigthmare ofsomeone haking all my account and device for 8 plus mounths need help pleases

If you're having technical problem with login or session with your account, you can post your problem at Village pump/technical page. –Ammarpad (talk) 13:49, 26 November 2017 (UTC)

Invitation to Blocking tools consultation

Hello all,

The Wikimedia Foundation's Anti-Harassment Tools team is inviting all Wikimedians to discuss new blocking tools and improvements to existing blocking tools in December 2017 for development work in early 2018.

Other ways that you can help

  • Spread the word that the consultation is happening; this is an important discussion for making decisions about improving the blocking tools.
  • If you know of current or previous discussions about blocking tools that happened on your wiki, share the links.

If you have questions you can contact me on wiki or send an email to the Anti-Harassment Tools team.

For the Anti-Harassment Tools team, SPoore (WMF), Community Advocate, Community health initiative SPoore (WMF), Community Advocate, Community health initiative (talk) 22:25, 13 December 2017 (UTC)

Question

If you block an ip address, does that also mean you can't use an account? 69.18.241.212 (talk) 22:53, 21 January 2018 (UTC)

You shouldn't be editing disruptively as an IP to shield your registered account. Blocks apply to the person, regardless of whether they're using an IP or account. --NeilN talk to me 23:01, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure if that answered my question. 69.18.241.212 (talk) 23:16, 21 January 2018 (UTC)
To answer your question, if the IP address you are using is currently subjected to a block, then you can not create an account while using any computer that uses that blocked IP. You can, however, still log into an account while the IP is blocked. But, if you were the reason why that IP was blocked in the first place, and you return to your Wikipedia account to resume inappropriate editing behavior, it is not difficult for other editors to notice similarities in edit histories and react appropriately.--Mr Fink (talk) 01:02, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
A little off subject here, but I wondered if it was you. You're that same guy from earlier. 69.18.241.212 (talk) 03:52, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

Return

Can a person who is globally locked for long term abuse ever return to Wikipedia without having to open up old wounds? For example, a 13 year old spent his time as a vandal, has many globally locked accounts, and vandlaized Wikipedia. Now, he is 23 and is more mature and constructive. He wants to now edit Wikipedia as a respectful user not as a vandal. However, he does not wish to go back to his old accounts and unblock. In other words, he wants to clean start but does not want to live a lie. What can he do? 2600:1:F15A:E5FB:E40B:3A21:5F3F:1EA2 (talk) 16:48, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

Two options, appeal the global locks to the stewards or don't return to any of the Wikimedia projects. Only editors who have no active sanctions against them are allowed to have a clean start. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 22:44, 22 Ja1nuary 2018 (UTC)
But what if he has changed and does not wish to open up old wounds? As I said, he vandlalized when he was immature, naughty, and young, but is now a mature, responsible, and constructive. He regrets his vandalisms and wants to be constructive but does not wish to go back to his ild accounts. This means that he then has only four choices:

A. Get the global blocks lifted B. Create a new account and edit while technically breaking the rules C. Never returning to edit a Wikimedia project again D. Hope Wikimedia makes some new rules to allow him to return without opening old wounds.

Is this then the case 2600:1:F15A:E5FB:E40B:3A21:5F3F:1EA2 (talk) 02:33, 23 January 2018 (UTC)

NEVERUNBLOCK

To unblock one's own account (unless the block was placed on their own account), or to unblock one's own account when the block was imposed by another administrator.

I don't understand the first part. Obviously you mustn't unblock yourself when someone else blocks you. Is this basically just saying "don't unblock yourself unless you're the blocking admin", or is it more complex than that? And if it is just saying that, why not reword it to To unblock one's own account, except in the case of self-imposed blocks? Nyttend (talk) 23:13, 22 January 2018 (UTC)

This change was made a few months ago here, by @Oshwah: (pinging him in case there was a reason for the new wording I don't see). I agree the current wording is repetitive and unclear. Your wording is clearer and simpler than both the current wording and the old wording too. --Floquenbeam (talk) 23:19, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the ping. My wording changes were an attempt to clarify what that policy meant (not to unblock yourself if another administrator has blocked you). If you think it still needs improvement, by all means - have at it! I'm happy to see that these policy pages are getting some attention; I've been fixing bad wording on them for some time now :-) ~Oshwah~(talk) (contribs) 15:03, 25 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree, I'm happy with it being changed to your proposed wording. It means the same thing and is clearer. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 23:24, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
Ageed, the current wording is clunky and repetitive. Beeblebrox (talk) 23:25, 22 January 2018 (UTC)
As all three of you were fine with this change, and as Oshwah has edited since the ping without commenting here, I've changed it to my suggested text. Nyttend (talk) 12:15, 24 January 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Nyttend's phrasing since it is succinct. ​—DoRD (talk)​ 15:16, 25 January 2018 (UTC)

Contradiction with Clean Start policy

My reading of this current policy is that it conflicts with very longstanding policy at Wikipedia:Clean start. Specifically block history. Under the cleanstart policy you may not make a clean start if you have an active block, so you could return after a block expires, then stop using your account and start a new one with a clean blocklog. But this policy talks of making entries in the block log to record that the previous account had been blocked in the past. ϢereSpielChequers 23:50, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Well, that would work if one's RL ID had not been outed or if a newbie was simply not aware of the need for anonymity on WP. Most newbies have no clue about the perils of RL identity exposure on WP - which should not be, but it is. Atsme📞📧 00:05, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I think that's an interesting point, so thanks for bringing it up. That probably does need some rewording to make things consistent between policies. (And there certainly is also a related issue about whether there might come a time when, within the same account, old block information becomes stale.) --Tryptofish (talk) 00:19, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I went and compared the two policy pages. The clean start policy makes a big deal of the fact that someone who is not under active sanctions can simply make a clean start without needing to ask anyone for permission. Here, in contrast, there is not only the language about the Checkuser block log entries, but the specification that the Checkuser is to be contacted by "the administrator who has been requested to make the deletion". There is nothing about such an administrator or such a deletion at the clean start policy, insofar as I can tell. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:28, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
The contradiction between the two policies goes back many years, though this policy seems to have got a little corrupted since 2009. anyone object if we bring this policy into line with cleanstart? ϢereSpielChequers 00:49, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Not me. (But please note that numerous people here seem to want an RfC before changing anything that they consider to be major.) --Tryptofish (talk) 01:04, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
^^^What Trypt said.^^^ Atsme📞📧 02:16, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
We can leave this thread a few days for such people to chip in. I'm minded to change that bit of the policy to "new declared accounts". This is the scenario where someone isn't exercising "clean start" as they don't hide that their new account is the same user, but they have lost the password to their old account, which just happened to have a non trivial block log. Or their Clean start goes awry as people realise who they are. Creating some entries in that unblemished new block log so that in any future incident an admin looking at their block log would see that they have previously been blocked in the last few years would make sense, and perhaps was the original intent. ϢereSpielChequers 09:21, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
If you post a draft version of the changed text here in talk, that might be useful to do first. Also, it might be useful to look back through the talk page archives at both policies, and see whether there was a reason for the divergence. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:52, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
@WereSpielChequers: Given how much this talk page has quieted down, I think that it would be just fine for you to go ahead and make the changes. It no longer sounds like editors are demanding discussion first, and no one has objected here in this talk thread. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:02, 19 February 2018 (UTC)

Help the Anti--Harassment Tools team pick 2 Blocking tools to build

Hello everybody! Over the past weeks the Community health initiative team took a look at at all 58 suggestions that came out of the discussion about making improvements to blocking tools. Now join the discussion to select 2 to build from the shortlist. For the Anti-Harassment Tools team, SPoore (WMF), Community Advocate, Community health initiative (talk) 18:11, 20 February 2018 (UTC)

Blocking with no warning

I don’t necessarily disagree with this edit, but I wonder if we shouldn’t clarify that in the case of blatant violations of the username policy, we block as a first resort, urgent issue or not. In most cases such as WP:ORGNAME violations a soft block is issued with a notice that encourages the user to simply start a new account with a new name and try again, along with advice about promotional editing. Only in edge cases where the there is no really obvious violation do we generally discuss first, moving on to WP:RFC/UWP:RFC/N if the discussion doesn’t go anywhere. This is the most common type of block at UAA, happening probably a few dozen times a day. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:06, 30 January 2018 (UTC)

Aside from the fact that anyone moving on to WP:RFC/U is likely to be very lonely, I've got no problem with clarifying some details about that. My only concern is that the big-picture message not be lost. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:18, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Just noting the correction from RfC/U to RfC/N. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:41, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Maybe add a sentence mentioning username blocks? Yes, an unwarned and undiscussed block for behavioral matters is irregular (aside from blatant vandalism, it's only rarely [if ever] a good idea), but we ought not make it seem like a UAA block is wrong if it's not preceded by a warning or discussion. Nyttend (talk) 04:30, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
I disagree with the edit as non-urgent blocks are frequently issued without communication in the AE area. If an editor violates a topic ban then there is no requirement for further communication. The wording is also open to gaming. For example, if an editor immediately reverts after a 3RR block expires, they are often blocked again without warning. The editor can then always say they had no intention of reverting again if reverted and thus the block was avoidable. The addition, as it stands, makes it almost necessary for blocking admins to have a crystal ball. --NeilN talk to me 04:45, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
Do we really block for a first-time violation of an arbitration enforcement action? Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Discretionary sanctions says that editors may not be blocked without warning, for example. Yes, the warning may have happened long ago, or in the case of the revert immediately following a block expiration, the user's just come off a "warning" for the issue, but obviously these example users are aware of the situation. UAA blocks are different: the block message may be the user's first-ever encounter with another Wikipedia editor. Nyttend (talk) 04:59, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
The sentence, "When a potential block is not an urgent matter, administrators are expected to communicate with the user first, and to ascertain whether or not a block is really necessary" may allow all kinds of wikilawyering to go on. For example, in the case of a broken community or AE topic ban, another round may occur of the editor disputing the topic ban or if a block is really necessary. I get why this paragraph was added and can think of three recent blocks that could have been avoided if the advice had been followed. But we need to balance "hey overeager admin, first warn the established editor, who might be having a bad moment, to stop/retract and only block if not listened to" with "no blocked editor, you don't get to argue that the admin acted improperly making a routine block because they couldn't divine your future actions". --NeilN talk to me 14:25, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
I personally have no strong feelings either way about the username issue, and I appreciate NeilN's point about making sure that this doesn't get gamed. Please let me suggest that someone propose some potential wording to address these points, and I'll be happy to discuss it once there is something concrete to work with. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:56, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
As a starting point, perhaps we should change the middle sentence:
When a potential block is not an urgent matter, administrators are expected to communicate with the user first, and to ascertain whether or not a block is really necessary.
to:
When a potential block is not an urgent matter, administrators are expected to ascertain whether or not a block is really necessary. In some but not all situations, this entails communicating with the user first, to evaluate the user's intentions and sincerity, and the likelihood of continued disruption.
I think that removing the "expected to communicate" part of the first of those two sentences addresses a significant part of what NeilN is talking about, although I'm less sure of the wording of that second sentence. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:24, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
That's a bit better. Colloquially speaking, we want (I think) something that says, "Are you sure you understand the situation and are assessing the situation calmly and rationally before deciding a block is needed?" --NeilN talk to me 21:08, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
I think it's a matter of getting to specific language that can actually be put on the policy page. Obviously, we don't want to litigate calm or rationality, per se. And, going back to what you said earlier, I actually don't see it in terms of crystal ball thinking, in that it's not a question of the administrator needing to have any special insight into what a user is going to claim later on that they were going to do. It's OK for the administrator to act on what is actually visible, but it's also the administrator's responsibility to make sure that they have "seen enough" instead of acting upon insufficient information. If "a bit better" isn't good enough, I really need you or others to suggest specific alternatives. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:20, 30 January 2018 (UTC)
"Some but not all" sounds awkward; "not all" generally means that it's an exception to the general rule. I'd prefer "many but not all", both because it's more normal English, and because most of the time, there should be communication, whether it be templated warnings or a more extended conversation. But aside from that, I like Tryptofish's suggestion. Meanwhile, as long as we don't make it sound as if discussion be mandatory, "likelihood of continued disruption" will cover username issues — if your username is disruptive, you're 100% guaranteed to disrupt the history of every page you edit, aside from anything else. That's no reason to "punish" people who unwittingly violate our standards, but it's easily sufficient to give an unwarned {{uw-ublock}} and suggest that they pick a better username. Nyttend (talk) 00:08, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, that's very helpful. I agree with you about "some but not all", and it felt wrong to me when I wrote it. Actually, I think "but not all" is implicit and not needed if we say either "some" or "many". I think it's also important that the paragraph that immediately follows the proposed text begins: However, warnings are not a prerequisite for blocking. That's a pretty strong rebuttal to any user who tries to game the language by complaining that no one discussed the block with them first, for those situations where discussion is not needed. So I think that: In many situations, this entails communicating with the user first, to evaluate the user's intentions and sincerity, and the likelihood of continued disruption is the way to go. Unless there are objections, I'd like to go with that. --Tryptofish (talk) 17:50, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
Unless there is an objection, I'm going to go ahead with the edit pretty soon. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:43, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
Seems reasonable. I'd prefer "many" over "some but not all", personally. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:52, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
The real answer is to add a new function "forced rename" and to use this for all softblocks for username violations. ϢereSpielChequers 00:24, 31 January 2018 (UTC)
Support what Tryptofish recommended: In many situations, this entails communicating with the user first, to evaluate the user's intentions and sincerity, and the likelihood of continued disruption. Atsme📞📧 23:26, 1 February 2018 (UTC)
  • It sounds like there is no objection to implementing this, so I'm going to do it now. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:35, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
  • Only just saw the change to the block policy come up on my watchlist. Whether intentional or not, this is a major change to a longstanding policy and needs to be the result of a widely advertised RfC. Due to, in part, to how broad the change is and possible ways of gaming it. Consider "avoidable", user get's blocked for an blatantly obvious TBAN violation, admin doesn't see how they could have thought it was an okay edit and blocks without discussing it first. Then the user appeals saying that the admin's conduct was improper because they didn't talk before blocking, and if they had the blocked user would have reverted their edit. This appeal process could be used for almost any block where the admin doesn't engage in lengthy discussion. In addition it's also an easy way to game a block as once the admin has talked to the editor in question for a day or two about it, and the user still doesn't get it (but hasn't made any other edits, so the admin decides to block I can see claims of punitive vs preventative being used to criticise the block. It is also in opposition to community general sanctions and ArbCom resolutions which explicitly allow blocks without warning. While I agree with the intent, there needs to be a lot more discussion about how the paragraph is worded to avoid gaming and wikilawyering. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 06:42, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
    • @Callanecc: I do hope that you understand that I left this for discussion for a long time, and specifically gave more time for anyone to raise objections if they wanted to. And those discussions were presumably on your watchlist too. It gets a little frustrating when users essentially veto something that multiple editors had discussed carefully, in the spirit of no change without unanimous consent. And bluntly, I believe that this is what you did. Do you realize that you reverted this: [2]? You seriously think that was a "major change"? Now that said, I get it that you just noticed it, and that you would like to have more discussion in order to make sure that nothing can be gamed. I think a demand for an RfC is excessive, unless there are very specific issues that need resolution.
    • Let me now address the specific things that you said. I would be happy to discuss alternative wording in place of "avoidable". Any specific suggestions? I don't think that the language conflicts with community or ArbCom special sanctions, because it makes clear that this is not "always", but "in many cases", and is immediately followed by "However, (note that) warnings are not a prerequisite for blocking." If you would like, I see no problem with changing "in many cases" back to "in some cases", although most editors in the discussion previously said that they preferred "many". In addition, how about changing "When a potential block is not an urgent matter..." to "When a potential block is not an urgent matter or required by existing sanctions..."? I would also see some value in adding wording along the lines of making it clear that blocking admins are allowed to decide how much prior discussion is enough, just so long as such language does not immunize them from accountability. I think those changes would address the specific issues that you raised. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:06, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
User:Tryptofish, as far as I can tell, the discussion opened on Jan 29. Your comment above is from Feb 3. This is a "long time" with regard to changing a policy? It took months to change the harassment policy, and this is way more serious than that. Jytdog (talk) 22:40, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
OK. I referred to "long time" on Feb. 3, and now is Feb. 6. During that time, the editor I addressed that to, and I, have long since worked it out. And I was only referring to time during which I was asking whether anyone had an objection. And during the interval, a consensus emerged for having an RfC before changing anything here. Congratulations on your work on the harassment policy. I also spent a couple of months developing some changes to the harassment policy before they were embraced by the community. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:58, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I was talking about your work on that policy and expressing surprise that you would think three-four days was anything like a "long time". I am starting to wonder if your account has been hijacked or something. I don't recognize the person writing under it.Jytdog (talk) 23:20, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Well, thanks, I guess. It's definitely still me. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:10, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

Reboot

OK, then, I want to go back and look carefully at the changes that got reverted this second time, and see what is reasonable and to suggest improvements for things that can be fixed. Three edits were reverted:

  1. [3]. This was reverted. I don't see anything wrong with reinstating it.
  2. [4]. I see this as a simple statement of fact, and nothing different than the existing WP:ADMINACCT.
  3. [5]. This is where I think the concerns about gaming really are. That's quite reasonable. I'll suggest this revision to try to address those concerns, and I'm receptive to further crafting of the language, as opposed to automatic reverting.
Reverted language:
The Wikipedia community recognizes that there are times when blocks must be imposed urgently in order to prevent further disruption, but also that there are circumstances when this is not the case. When a potential block is not an urgent matter, administrators are expected to ascertain whether or not a block is really necessary. In many situations, this entails communicating with the user first, to evaluate the user's intentions and sincerity, and the likelihood of continued disruption. An administrator who issues a non-urgent block without making a good faith attempt to determine the editor's intentions may be considered to have acted improperly if it subsequently turns out that the block was avoidable.
Revised:
The Wikipedia community recognizes that there are times when blocks must be imposed urgently in order to prevent further disruption, but also that there are circumstances when this is not the case. When a potential block is not an urgent matter or required by existing sanctions, administrators are expected to ascertain whether or not a block is really necessary. In some situations, this entails communicating with the user first, to evaluate the user's intentions and sincerity, and the likelihood of continued disruption, although administrators are entitled to determine when the discussion has gone on long enough. An administrator who issues a non-urgent block without making a good faith attempt to determine the editor's intentions may be considered to have acted improperly if they cannot adequately justify the block later.

Does that help? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:56, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

  • @Tryptofish: I've added back #1 & #2 from your list as that's not what I had intended to revert. Sorry about that. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 22:44, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I actually think that the wording in the first one is okay with some changes. "Urgently/Urgent" to something else which is less strict so that there's a lower bar, there are few times on Wikipedia where something is urgent but blocking early is likely the best course of action (remembering that admins don't have magical hindsight when clicking the button). "In many situations" to "In some situations". I'd recommend dropping the final sentence as I just don't see what it's trying to achieve which has either already been said in the paragraph, or is in WP:ADMINACCT. That's subject of course to consensus in support. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 22:54, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for fixing the first and second points. This sort of thing is always best dealt with through discussion. I don't much care whether we say "in many situations" or "in some situations". It's fine with me either way, and I'm not sure from your comment which one you prefer. As for the last sentence, you will see that I changed it from "avoidable" per your earlier comment. I would say that it is consistent with ADMINACCT, but that it really is necessary to say it in this context. One option to consider is whether we could agree to add the material without the last sentence, and then put the last sentence up to a community RfC – but I'm very sure that the community would endorse the sentence. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:35, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
The whole thing needs to go to an RfC, it does (significantly) change how administrators are expected to act with regard to the blocking tool. Probably doesn't matter re some vs many. I don't like the repetition of policy on different pages, reason being that it creates very easy opportunities for one part to be obsolete and then to, hence, compete with each other. For example, ADMINACCT is changed, but this one stays the same and we have two policies on the same thing which say different things. I just don't see how the last sentence adds anything to what's already there and required in WP:ADMIN. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:33, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Depending on what other editors do or do not say, I might indeed open an RfC, or I might just drop this whole thing and walk away from it. And I don't really think it's as big a change as you say it is, and you are the only person so far to ask for an RfC. But before considering an RfC, I feel that it's very important to thoroughly discuss and polish up the language that would be proposed. There's no point in submitting an incomplete draft in an RfC. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:37, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
I'm not an admin but I'd also like to see an RfC for this kind of change. Essentially requiring admins to determine an editor's intentions before blocking them is a new step in the process and one that is very gameable. I'm guessing that this language is coming from that notorious NLT block? If so, it might be better to look at adding language specific to that situation (ie highly experienced long-term editors making what could be interpreted as a legal threat... Or possibly just how to approach blocking long-term highly experienced editors (although I think that the latter would be better served by an essay than a policy change)) rather than this gameable language. Whatever the situation, a change to the policy that adds a new step in how blocking is applied should, IMHO, go through an RfC. Ca2james (talk) 04:28, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
OK, I hear you on that. I do not feel ready, in the context of the recent comments in this discussion, to regard what I have proposed as a fully-crafted proposal any more. So I feel that it needs more work before formulating an RfC. But I agree now that an RfC should precede any change of this sort to the policy page. I'm thinking about working on it some more, and putting some notes at the Village Pump to get more eyes here. If there is a strong local consensus against any change, then I'll just drop it, or look for completely different approaches. If we get to where there is a local consensus that the proposal is ready for prime time, then I'll call an RfC. OK?
You also noted the option of making a proposal at WT:NLT. I already have. (And I feel a little like editors at each talk page are telling me to go to the other talk page.) --Tryptofish (talk) 22:02, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Actually, thinking about your concern about multiple policy pages, another option is to abandon this here and instead add something like it at WP:ADMIN. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:40, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Regarding here or at WP:ADMIN. If the intention is that it applies only to blocking then it should be here, if it's something which should apply to every admin tool (not sure how that would work) WP:ADMIN is the best place. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 01:20, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
I figured I would offer that, in case you liked the idea, but that's fine. As I see it, my concern here is blocks, specifically. Where you commented earlier about the potential problem if one policy changes and then another policy needs to be changed too, I think that's surmountable, given the number of eyes we have on these things: just make sure that the two policy pages are not at cross-purposes and fix any contradictions. It's really not that hard. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:02, 4 February 2018 (UTC)

Reason for changes

What current admin behavior are we trying to change here? --NeilN talk to me 18:27, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Bad blocks that cause avoidable drama. Do I need to spell it out in more detail? --Tryptofish (talk) 18:30, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Then, sorry, I can't support any language that will cause more drama for good blocks when it's unlikely admins handing out these bad blocks will consider policy subtleties. --NeilN talk to me 18:37, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Then, sorry, that's not good enough. If we're going to play word games, I'm changing my answer to: "Bad blocks, period." Admins who hand out bad blocks may indeed not consider what policy actually says, that's true. But if policy actually spells out why the bad block was bad, then those admins will be more unambiguously accountable for their actions. And that's a good thing. As for causing trouble for good admins who make good blocks, please understand that I'm on your side. Really. That's why I'm very happy to discuss how to correct problems in the wording, so that the wording will be difficult to game. I've been receptive to that all along, and I continue to be. The solution to that is not to object to any change, no matter what. It's to actively engage in discussion about how to craft the wording. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:37, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
After thinking about that more, it occurs to me that there are also situations in which good admins make bad blocks. In those situations, making the policy clearer to them would help, because those are the admins who would pay attention to policy "subtleties". --Tryptofish (talk) 23:41, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
As I've alluded to above, it's hard to formally write out the basic thinking process every admin should be using. This wording basically negates our WP:3RR policy. An edit warring block is always avoidable by simply fully protecting the page. --NeilN talk to me 21:43, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Regarding the latest proposed revision, I am always prepared to defend a block as being the "best solution" rather than being "necessary". --NeilN talk to me 22:20, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
As you can see, I already changed the language from "avoidable" which I think fixes any inconsistency with 3RR. I think "best solution" instead of or in addition to "necessary" is a very good idea, that I would be happy to use. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:38, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

And I have a question of my own. Are some admins simply too uncomfortable with anything that holds admins accountable? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:39, 3 February 2018 (UTC)

Since you're so quick to presume any disagreement with you is the result of bad faith and a desire to conceal misconduct, I can't imagine why someone would have concerns about how a policy change you propose might have harmful consequences.
I notice that you still haven't spelled anything out "in detail". You're just offering up a vague rant. What's broken (specific examples as well as generalizations, please!) and what's the outcome you want (what does "accountable" mean, in context)? Are you trying to cobble together some magic words you can invoke to bring about desysoppings? Or what? You're the one playing word games. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:27, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
Admins are already accountable as the policy lists what is expected: "Blocking is a serious matter. The community expects that blocks will be made with good reasons only, based upon reviewable evidence and reasonable judgment, and that all factors that support a block are subject to independent peer review if requested." If you want to add a statement about how going against these expectations can lead to a desysopping then propose some wording. --NeilN talk to me 21:35, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree with NeilN. Honestly, I think extra wording about desysopping would be redundant in this policy, as it's already laid out in (and entirely within the scope of) WP:ADMINACCT. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:45, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
NeilN, I posed that second question suspecting that it would hit a nerve, and I think that it did. But it's natural that admins (or at least some admins) will be very sensitive to anything that would expose them to more criticism, although it's something the community really is concerned about. The solution is not to refuse any change whatsoever, but to find, through dialog, how best to reconcile what different people want. I know that in the most recent disagreements around the project, that relate to what we are discussing here, another editor has been saying some nasty things directed at you. Please don't lump me in with that other editor.
TenOfAllTrades, I'll let other editors evaluate what you said about me. But "Tryptofish made the edits" is most definitely not a valid reason to revert, or even to be concerned. And the proposed language says nothing about desysopping. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:50, 3 February 2018 (UTC)
To clarify...for those admins who are not already aware, there was a bit of disruption toward the end of last year that carried forward into the New Year like a negative checkbook balance. With the best intentions, Tryptofish began a discussion here hoping to resolve (with a little tweaking and clarification of policy) what may be causing some of the hair-trigger responses (primarily by new admins) that have taken a toll on editor retention. For those of you who are not aware, I created User:Atsme/Blocking policy proposal which is a rough draft proposal primarily for feedback and discussion, and from there created User:Atsme/Block log proposals in an effort to perfect a simple but productive proposal that we can take to VP for wider community input. I was also asked by The Sign Post to write an article about the recent events that caused such a stir, which I did, but I generalized rather than naming any names. We all realize and very much appreciate the work our elected admins do, are burdened with day-to-day, and the stress they are under - this isn't about restricting an admin's ability to do their job. It's about clarifying the ambiguities in the policy that contribute to the bad blocks. The tweaks Tryptofish effected after discussion on this TP was a step in the right direction of achieving our final goal - to make human dignity a priority in our blocking policy, and in the way we treat and communicate with each other. Atsme📞📧 01:55, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for "with the best of intentions". I appreciate that. Let me please clarify that the block to which you refer was certainly a catalyst for bringing me here, but as I just said at another policy page talk page, I would almost never make a proposal to change a policy based on a single one-off. There were actually multiple controversial blocks around that time, a pattern more than any single impetus. Also, as someone who has been actively participating at the discussions in your user space, it looks to me, based on the reactions here, that what you are contemplating will get even more pushback than the comparably modest proposal I've made here.
There is something else that I feel compelled to say after thinking about it overnight. Those who know me know that I have a pretty high tolerance for insults directed at me by other users, and that I generally shake them off and try to find a middle ground. But the comments just above that were directed at me yesterday went over the line for me. I see no reason why I should have to put up with that. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:15, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tryptofish: "another editor has been saying some nasty things directed at you" - I honestly have no idea who you're talking about here. And, given I've criticized the actions of other admins recently and not so recently, it would be hypocritical of me to shut down avenues which could be used by editors to criticize my actions. But I'd like it to be justifiable criticism as in "you misread the situation" or "you completely overreacted" or "that was in no way the best solution" and here's why and not, "I don't like you blocked me/my ally". --NeilN talk to me 04:02, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks, understood. What I was obliquely referring to was another editor saying that both you and Oshwah should be desysopped. Of course, I don't think that you would actually confuse the two of us, but I could imagine that it would have offended you and that you would then have come here feeling more sensitive about editors telling an admin that they don't like a block. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:15, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
Oh that. Nah, that was the usual day-to-day stuff. --NeilN talk to me 16:50, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. I guess that's why they pay you the big bucks. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:49, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
@Tryptofish: no comment on the proposal. But have you any objections to crafting a RfC on the issue? Blocking policy is arguably the most sensitive area of WP policy, and when you encounter substantial opposition it is probably the way to go. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 13:28, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
No objections! Please see my reply to Ca2james who raised the same point above. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:15, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
As an aside to the main topic of discussion here, I've noticed that some editors apparently do not know what a "rant" is, so for your benefit, I've created WP:LAZYLAZY, which really is a rant. You're welcome. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:35, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
  • fwiw i do not support this change nor do i support this slightly better version. Many blocks arise at ANI for example, and the blocking admin is simply taking action on someone very obviously NOTHERE or is implementing community consensus. I also don't agree with the apparent impetus for the proposal, 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. I'll comment at the original proposal as well. But admins are already plenty accountable. Jytdog (talk) 22:33, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
I've always felt that editors should be reasonably kind to one another. But if the community would rather that the environment be dog-eat-dog (no pun intended on your username), then, whatever. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:42, 4 February 2018 (UTC)
In my experience admins are reasonably kind - if somebody is clearly new and trying then lots of folks (including admins) try to help.
What bothers me in the proposal, is that it is bending over backwards to accommodate the feelings of some editorskiss the asses of long term editors with difficult histories (i am in that bucket, but want wiki-lips no where near my wiki-ass) while ignoring issues that are common with people who are obviously nothere. Check out WorthMedia; I tried to talk with them; they were half-assed talking with me but at the same aggressively (and badly) editing to promote their apparent client; i filed at ANI to have them blocked and it was swiftly done. Should the admin have wasted yet more time there? I don't think so, but that is what the original language would have required and even the 2nd version urges.
Again I don't view this proposal as being about "being kind" but rather hamstringing admins in order to accommodate editors with overly delicate egos. I deserved all of my blocks and have learned from them. I am well aware that I am at zero tolerance for OUTING and if I fuck up again I fully expect to be indefinitely blocked with no appeal possible. I made that bed.
Looking at the "poster child" case here - Tony1 has a well established history of being harsh (even more than me) and demonstrating some truly ick behavior. All the way back to 2008 (eg this ANI thread.) Look at his talk page from 2011 at the section just below this one, called I see your accusation and raise you a "WTF?" (sorry, with that punctuation the normal url linking doesn't work) and the sections below that, and the accompanying ANI, which were about his actions as the apparently-tyrannical "director"( ?) of the former Featured Sounds wikiproject, and about some claim he was making to "intellectual property" around how to collaborate with outside institutions to get sounds, and making actual legal threats about enforcing those claims. (this is truly wtf behavior to me) The Wikipedia:Featured sounds project died shortly after all that crap happened.
About the stuff that happened in late December that led to the NLT block (ANI). He actually wrote, in an interpersonally messy content dispute with another experienced editor, This is going to end badly—for you. I will take action elsewhere if you persist. ....Then it becomes a legal issue. That last sentence was truly bad judgement for him to write, in that specific context. This was no "outrageously bad block" that should be expunged, and especially not for him - an experienced editor with a history of exactly these kinds of problems. (His "clarification" -- "Legal issue" meaning I'll take him to ANI, you idiot. is frankly clueless and without self-insight. If I would have been paying attention to ANI at that time I would have opposed unblocking on the basis of that statement, especially as it was left unredacted on the talk page.)
I have not overlapped in editing with Tony1 but my understanding is he that he has done a lot of great work that has earned him the kind of tolerance he has been given. But his "bed" of bad behavior is very well defined after ten years of it, and he seems barely aware of how dirty that bed is.
I just have no sympathy for the impulse behind this whole thread. If you don't want to be blocked, ever, then don't do the kinds of things that draw them down - be very clean, always. And if you fuck up, well hey, you are human.
I honestly don't understand where you are coming from on this, Trypto. Jytdog (talk) 20:46, 5 February 2018 (UTC) (redact Jytdog (talk) 23:44, 5 February 2018 (UTC))
I really don't want to re-litigate something that happened to someone other than me. removed --Tryptofish (talk) 21:12, 5 February 2018 (UTC) I redacted part of what I wrote. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:10, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
That is open to many interpretations, many of them unpleasant. So I will just note that I read it and am not certain what you wanted to communicate. Jytdog (talk) 21:39, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
As I said above, I'm interested in treating editors kindly, unless they are acting unkindly towards others. That's where I'm coming from, but you don't have to agree with me. So please don't describe me as kissing ass, or talk negatively about a poster child who isn't here to reply to you. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:40, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
I redacted the ass kissing thing and apologize for insulting you. With regard to Tony1, they are not blocked or banned as far as I know. They flounce-quit as far as I can see.
I still have no sympathy with this, and actually have antipathy for it. I hear you about kindness, but kindness is not why we are here. We are here to build an encyclopedia. CIVIL is really a floor for behavior -- don't do stuff that creates hurt and friction and gets in the way of getting work done. And WP:HA is also a kind of negative right, about what should not happen. Trying to say that admin actions are not legit if they are not kind... is just upside down.
People's reputations here are actually made by their long term behavior, not by any single incident over which they were blocked or not. It is obvious to everyone when past events (including blocks) are used in a clumsy way to attack someone and the attacker is the one who looks bad in everyone's eyes (e.g. here). Block logs are sometimes important evidence of a pattern of misbehavior. It is clear when they are cited that way. Jytdog (talk) 23:44, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. Please let me repeat something that I have already said multiple times: this is not specifically about any one editor. I would almost never make a policy proposal based on a single event. Tony1 was the catalyst for my efforts here, but not the sole reason; rather, I am reacting to what I see as a pattern, which I will try to explain better below. Now, I hope we can move on. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:46, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I have read your writing of that. Yep. I look forward to reading the better explanation. Jytdog (talk) 18:51, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

I know that some editors have been asking, quite reasonably in fact, for some evidence in support of the kinds of things being proposed here. If anyone really wants, I can list some examples of blocks of various users. (I hesitate because I just don't like discussing other users by name in a potentially negative context.) But it occurs to me to point something out from the block that was the "catalyst" for these discussions, since that block has already gotten a lot of discussion here. And it's not what the blocked user or anyone on his "side" said. It's what the blocking admin himself said, retrospectively: [6]. Please note: "I do agree with the feedback left by others that the situation would have been much better handled if I had messaged you and asked for clarification regarding the statement first instead of blocking your account until the clarification was received. If I could turn back time, this is what I would have done instead - it makes much more sense and it's the better (and right) thing to do... I should have messaged you for clarification first, and not have blocked your account before hearing anything back from you. It's unfortunate and shouldn't have happened." That is exactly what the discussion here is about. And in my opinion, this is from a "good" administrator who is normally very conscientious and attentive to nuances of policy. Adding something like this will mean that responsible administrators will have it in mind, even if it wasn't foremost in mind in the past. That's one example why, if we can word it the right way, it would be a positive and not a negative to make a revision to this policy. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:09, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

I tend to find that the situation with Tony1 is complex, but yes, it would have been better of clarification was sought before the block was acted on. Without giving too many details as I also don;t wish to single out an individual admin, as another case I recall late last year when a new editor was indefinitely blocked without warning for undisclosed paid editing. The problem was that the user had made a total of four edits, three of which incorporated attempts to disclose that they were paid. When asked, the blocking admin argued that they could now learn the proper way to disclose after being blocked. The editor posted two requests for unblock, both of which stated that the editor would not engage in paid editing. Both were declined, and talk page access was removed after the second request.
In this case there was no warning, no attempt to discuss the issue, no urgency, no suggestion of block evasion, and it went straight to indef. - Bilby (talk) 01:00, 8 February 2018 (UTC)
About the example that I cited, I think everyone agrees that it was complex (well, maybe not everyone). But for me, what is noteworthy is that whatever "side" anyone comes down on, that was the considered opinion of the blocking admin. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:11, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

A more minimalist approach

I've been thinking hard about the objections that have been raised. I'm wondering whether it would be seen as helpful to, instead, take a more minimalist approach and omit anything about "acting improperly". In the section WP:BEFOREBLOCK, instead of inserting a new paragraph, it occurs to me to just add a smaller amount of text to the second paragraph (with the proposed addition shown here in green):

However, warnings are not a prerequisite for blocking. In general, administrators should ensure that users who are acting in good faith are aware of policies and are given reasonable opportunity to adjust their behavior before blocking, making sure that any block, if needed, can be justified as the best solution. On the other hand, users acting in bad faith, whose main or only use is forbidden activity (sockpuppetry, vandalism, and so on), do not require any warning and may be blocked immediately.

All that does is to emphasize best practices, within a context where it is very relevant, and I used the words "best solution" based on NeilN's earlier comment. What are editors' thoughts about that? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:04, 5 February 2018 (UTC)

"best" is a very difficult word. In the real world, the phrase "best efforts" in contracts are springboards for endless litigation. I see the same with regard to this and people throwing out all kinds of speculation about what would really be "best". Admins do have to justify contentious blocks already. This would create a vague and very high bar. A "good" solution or "reasonable" solution(or just leave off "as an X solution" and retain "making sure that any block, if needed, can be justified." would be workable and would match existing practice.Jytdog (talk) 20:50, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
I had gone from "necessary" to "best solution" based on the discussion above. But I'm open to alternatives depending on what other editors say. I really do think that conscientious admins try to find the best solution and not just a good one, and that we ought to discourage blocks when there is a better alternative. How about "the best available solution"? --Tryptofish (talk) 22:48, 5 February 2018 (UTC)
For reasons that Jytdog has already addressed, either wording is inviting endless wikilawyering and abuse—both "necessary" and "best solution" presume an overly-exhaustive investigation at best, and a degree of clairvoyance at worst. They presume, implausibly, that it's even possible in all circumstances to make an absolute determination of an ideal process and outcome.
However, warnings are not a prerequisite for blocking. In general, administrators should ensure that users who are acting in good faith are aware of policies and are given reasonable opportunity to adjust their behavior before blocking, making sure that any block, if needed, can be justified as a reasonable solution. On the other hand, users acting in bad faith, whose main or only use is forbidden activity (sockpuppetry, vandalism, and so on), do not require any warning and may be blocked immediately.
We expect admins to act as reasonable people, not to achieve perfection. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 00:05, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
This is a problem, and while I prefer a more explicit statement of the need for communication before blocking, at least a restatement of the necessity of being able to justify the block is something. It doesn't seem particularly onerous to insist that when admins use one of the most powerful tools they have in their kit, that we can justify the use as reasonable - although to be honest, I prefer the original wording of "best solution". Is it that hard to expect an admin to say "I believe that a block was the best action available in this situation because..."? If you want gaming, any action can be claimed as reasonable - surely we should expect admins to try and act in the best manner they can. - Bilby (talk) 01:58, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Ambiguity is not the best solution and neither is a potentially biased perspective which is rare but does occur and begs the question, who benefits most from the best solution when considering editor retention is the best solution for the project? Of course tenured editors in good standing want to be able to work in a collegial environment with limited disruption, not unlike what admins want and expect. Problems arise when the best solution often places too much emphasis on the symptoms (resulting behavior) rather than treating the actual disease (content). Unfortunately, we have far fewer defenders of NPOV than we have POV warriors, the latter of whom control consensus while we pretend local consensus and an RfC is not a vote. Guess which editor is targeted and eventually railroaded into getting blocked or TB - some refer to it as "rope". Advocacies have learned how to game the system and their most productive "asset" is a like-minded admin who is willing to choose a block or TB as the best solution. The actual cause of the disruption is rarely considered when it should be the determining factor. Another best solution has been to impose 1RR/consensus DS which quickly stops disruption but almost always works in favor of the POV warriors that control/own the article. Who benefits from that action? Certainly not the project because the result is typically an article that is noncompliant with one or all of our core content policies - so in cases where an editor is actually adhering to policy in a dispute with POV warriors, they may be confronted with an admin who is seeking the best solution and end-up getting blocked. Yes, that happens and it happens more often than it should. A simple review of the most disruptive political articles will prove what I'm saying is true. In fact, quite a few admins will recuse themselves from any involvement in political articles which also speaks volumes. Atsme📞📧 15:34, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I am very uncomfortable with the "best solution" wording, and would see it as an invitation to wikilawyering and endless debate. If (arguendo) we allow that any action might be claimed as "reasonable", we also encounter the much larger and deeper problem that no action is provably "best". If it's not a perfect block, it's not allowed—and that's not where we want this policy to go.
Incidentally, I would expect that – like in most applications of Wikipedia policy – 'reasonableness' would be evaluated by the community, against our accepted policies, guidelines, and practices. A bald claim of reasonableness unsupported by evidence or reasoning would not be sufficient in evaluating a block, any more than we would accept "because I said so" as a meaningful argument in any other discussion. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 16:00, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks everyone, I think that these comments have been productive. I'm thinking that there is not going to be a satisfactory way to base this on anything like "necessary", "best", or "reasonable". Maybe a better approach is to frame it in terms of what the administrator should be trying to find out, as opposed to what the administrator can justify. I've been struggling to articulate exactly what I'm trying to get at with these proposals, so that we are not talking past one another. So let me point to two earlier comments here by someone else: [7] and [8]. I think the concepts of "hey overeager admin, first warn the established editor, who might be having a bad moment, to stop/retract and only block if not listened to" and "Are you sure you understand the situation and are assessing the situation calmly and rationally before deciding a block is needed?" are what I want to put into policy language, and I hope that we all do agree that we want admins to perform it that way, but also that there have been incidents in which they really have not. So I'm looking for a way to change that green-color font passage into what the admin should be taking into consideration as part of the process described in that sentence. The existing language of "In general, administrators should ensure that users who are acting in good faith are aware of policies and are given reasonable opportunity to adjust their behavior before blocking" is what the administrator should do, should communicate, but there is also the important aspect of what the administrator should consider, based upon what response they get. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:05, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I agree, Tryptofish...Atsme📞📧 22:16, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Thanks. The difficult part is putting that into words that are appropriate for policy. I would very much appreciate suggestions, but here is one example that I could think of, not sure that's it's the best way to say it:
However, warnings are not a prerequisite for blocking. In general, administrators should ensure that users who are acting in good faith are aware of policies and are given reasonable opportunity to adjust their behavior before blocking, and should also make use of that time to carefully evaluate the situation. On the other hand, users acting in bad faith, whose main or only use is forbidden activity (sockpuppetry, vandalism, and so on), do not require any warning and may be blocked immediately.
As I said, I would welcome other, better suggestions. I can predict that someone may say that it's something so obvious that it need not be spelled out, and I fear that it's so watered down that it loses the point, but in light of the discussion here, that's what I came up with as of now. Again, please make suggestions, as opposed to just objecting. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:26, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Although, on the positive side, it occurs to me that it makes an appropriate symmetry with "immediately" in the next sentence. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:29, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't agree that bad blocks are so common that these changes are needed. I would be interested in seeing data showing that there is a "pattern" that needs addressing. Jytdog (talk) 22:38, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) If there are less than 10 bad blocks a year that result in losing 1 to 3 productive editors, it could well be termed as "not so common" and I agree with your use of the term; however, commonality doesn't eliminate the fact that it's detrimental to editor retention. I imagine the majority of editors already know they are dispensable - which is great for morale, right? SMirC-medium.svg If those in positions of authority think there is a never-ending supply of quality editors, well...I consider it downright arrogance, especially when the cost to fix the problem is negligible; i.e., a slight modification in the wording of policy. Editors who freely invest years of their time and energy to help build this encyclopedia deserve to be treated with some level of human dignity. If that isn't a "common" belief, then it is the opposite of incentive, which is detrimental to the project overall. Atsme📞📧 23:06, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
Flip it. The way you are trying to tie up admins, the many many swift blocks that NOTHERE fuckwits get, would not happen, leaving them free to rampage around our content and torment good faith editors.... If that were to happen editors will leave this site in droves. With the way things are now, if people like Tony1 flounce-quit, even after they get unblocked, so be it.
Your rhetoric about "human dignity" and "right to be forgotten" has nothing to do with the work of building an encyclopedia. Jytdog (talk) 23:29, 6 February 2018 (UTC)
I don't think "evaluat[ing] the situation" would tie anyone up. But I take it as good news that the initial reaction to the latest revision is more like it going too far than like it not going far enough. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:14, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
In my opinion, we are still in the brainstorming stage. (Originally, I thought that this would be noncontroversial, but obviously I was spectacularly wrong.) Once things get more polished, I think there is consensus here that there needs to be an RfC before making any changes to the policy. As I said, for now, please make suggestions on wording, as opposed to just objecting. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:51, 6 February 2018 (UTC)

Of the three wordings "making sure that any block, if needed, can be justified as a reasonable solution." is least contentious to me, but I'd still suggest it is a redundant addition. Any admin action has to pass the test of being a reasonable use of the tools, so this wording adds nothing. It slightly lengthens a policy without adding anything to the meaning, and that isn't helpful. I'm not convinced that it would have any effect on the number of incorrect blocks per year (in theory such an addition can't make any situation better, but may not measurably make it worse). There are several things that could reduce the number of "bad blocks":

  • Get consensus that a particular type of block is bad and change policy so as to stop issuing such blocks. So if we could agree that edit warring blocks are bad unless there is at least one warning, changing that policy would reduce the number of blocks that some people consider bad.
  • Identify the sort of admins who make "bad blocks" and retrain or restrict them
  • Upbundle "block vested contributor" to crats, C/Us or arbs. Over 99% of blocks are uncontentious, if we look at the last 4.8 million blocks I doubt that 48,000 have been contentious, it may not even be 4,800 - that would be one per day since records began in Dec 2004. Upbundling the blocking of any account that has been extended confirmed wouldn't put a huge burden on the crats, but it would give pause for thought before blocking or unblocking of any of our vested contributors

Of course all of these options are contentious, difficult or both. But sometimes it is better to try to do something difficult problem than to do something easy but ineffective. ϢereSpielChequers 00:33, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

My feeling is that reducing this to "make sure you carefully evaluate the situation" removes any real value from the change, as it seems to be stating the obvious. Personally, I think we are making too many blocks without communicating with the user, but to fix this we need something stronger than this minimalist approach. - Bilby (talk) 00:39, 7 February 2018 (UTC)

arbitrary section break

Yes, I think that Bilby is right that the "evaluate" version is too watered down, and also that we really are making too many blocks without communicating with the user. In a sense, then, the solution is to communicate more with users (the ones who are acting in good faith, per the existing language, not the not-here ones). And WSC is likewise right that there's no point in adding something that is too watered down. Looking at WSC's points, what seems to me to be the most promising approach is to identify blocks of experienced editors whose track records indicate that they are not normally trouble-makers, as the kind of blocks where this policy page should say something. And I don't see it as forbidding such blocks – just imagine the complaints about how editors who are part of the supposed clique can get away with things a newbie would be blocked for. Instead, I see those as the kind of blocks where we should most say "hey overeager admin, first warn the established editor, who might be having a bad moment, to stop/retract and only block if not listened to" (using that earlier quote). (So I guess the kind of administrator is the overeager type, but obviously that's not something we can define for policy.)
So I'll toss out another possible approach, again keeping in mind that this is just brainstorming:
However, warnings are not a prerequisite for blocking. In general, administrators should ensure that users who are acting in good faith are aware of policies and are given reasonable opportunity to adjust their behavior before blocking, and it may be particularly desirable to communicate first with users who have actively edited for a long time without creating disruption. On the other hand, users acting in bad faith, whose main or only use is forbidden activity (sockpuppetry, vandalism, and so on), do not require any warning and may be blocked immediately.
--Tryptofish (talk) 01:02, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
The problem with telling admins to cut more slack for uncontentious long term editors is that by implication you are telling them that once someone has built up a block log they can be given less slack than other regulars. That would be contentious, especially to those who think that some admins are block happy vandal fighters who are unqualified to mediate frank exchanges of views by experienced content creators. Not saying what side of that perennial discussion I currently take, but that is is a perennial because it divides us. ϢereSpielChequers 10:01, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Just as an aside, I'm actually quite concerned about the "not here" blocks, as that is something very open to abuse. I wouldn't want to see them removed from needing effective communication with the user - they come down to guessing the editor's intent, and that's not an easy thing to do, especially without talking to the editor. I am worried that the different perspectives on this issue could stymie progress, so perhaps your process will help. However, I will add that I'm just as concerned about new editors being blocked without warning or sufficient chance to respond as I am about the same happening to established editors. - User:Bilby (User talk:Bilby) 01:50, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I would be more specific. In recent years some people have started blocking editors for repeatedly adding unsourced content - shifting us more towards a policy of verified rather than verifiable. Now I've no problem with blocking an editor whose unsourced content turns out to be incorrect, and I might support changing the policy so as to require sources for all new info. But we shouldn't apply a policy more harshly than it is written. If we were to move from verifiable to verified we should start by changing the interface and the policies accordingly and announce the new policy. ϢereSpielChequers 10:01, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
I disagree; blocks may well be needed for the persistent addition of unsourced content; but they should only be made if the user is unwilling to communicate, or are unable to understand or abide by the rules despite them being explained. It leads in to the area of disruptive editing, as it is tendentious, and so is supported by the rules. Obviously efforts should be made to communicate with the user first first, but if this fails then user could become a net-negative and lead to large amounts of clean-up being needed if unchecked. --Jules (Mrjulesd) 13:13, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
It seems to me that blocks over adding unsourced material are really a separate issue, and should be handled in a separate discussion. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:56, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
Getting back to what WSC said in reply to me, those are good points. I agree that it would be a mistake to draw a distinction between new and long-term users, or between long-term users with and without previous blocks. But on the other hand, let's recognize that "vested contributors" (itself a contentious phrase) really are what we are talking about here. Trying to figure out how to fix that problem without either watering it down too much or making it too restrictive, it occurs to me to take a very simple approach:
However, warnings are not a prerequisite for blocking. In general, administrators should ensure that users who are acting in good faith are aware of policies and are given reasonable opportunity to adjust their behavior before blocking, and it may be particularly desirable to communicate first with such users before blocking. On the other hand, users acting in bad faith, whose main or only use is forbidden activity (sockpuppetry, vandalism, and so on), do not require any warning and may be blocked immediately.
That way, we would (1) add something that it does not already spell out, namely the usefulness but not a requirement for communication beyond notification of policies, which is the thing that has been lacking in the blocks that have been seen as presenting problems, and (2) using the distinction that has already been on the policy page for a long time as the distinction that is made. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:10, 7 February 2018 (UTC)
As always, comments are welcome. Thanks. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:13, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
This is the best version so far! It allows admins to determine whether an editor is acting in good faith and whether they are aware of the policy before blocking, but doesn't say anything which could be used to wikilawyer a way out of a block by saying that the admin didn't discuss it with me before blocking. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 22:19, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

I have to admit, I'm somewhat surprised by the tack this discussion has taken. It seemsthat the intent is moving towards the protection of vested contributors from sanctions.
In general, administrators need to make sure they know who they're dealing with (in the "Don't you know who I am?!" sense) before they issue a block. Editors who have a reputation and seniority deserve consideration not due less important editors, and admins will be punished for blocking them.
I would have expected contributors with extensive experience to:
  1. Recognize when they're in a situation or working on an article more contentious that usual;
  2. Be aware of sanctions in effect on articles that they edit;
  3. Understand that general editing restrictions like discretionary sanctions and revert limits apply to everyone, regardless of experience;
  4. Avoid conduct that might trigger enforcement of such restrictions in all their editing, simply as a matter of good editing practice;
  5. Accept that they might get blocked if their editing is too hot, or if they jump into a contentious area without due caution;
  6. Acknowledge their error if they do get blocked;
  7. Request and reasonably expect a fairly rapid subsequent unblock if they commit to avoid the problematic behavior or problem area in the future.
If a contributor with extensive experience can't handle those things, it's not up to us to coddle them. It's still not clear to me why the sky falls if an experienced editor manages to inadvertently, incautiously, or recklessly trip over an editing restriction. If one block is sufficient to drive such an individual into a terminal flounce or a self-immolating quest for vengeance, then frankly they weren't going to stick with Wikipedia much longer anyway.
At this point, I do have to ask exactly what situations we're trying to (re)write this policy to deal with. What's the bug we're hoping to fix? Is this a once-a-day, once-a-month, or once-a-year issue? Examples and real number, please! TenOfAllTrades(talk) 21:03, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
TenOfAllTrades, it was the admin who didn't follow protocol before blocking, (which he eloquently apologized for doing in a way many of us respect and won't soon forget), so it's difficult for me to keep mentioning it. I wish it was a "once-a-year issue", but even it that were true, it's the editor who got blocked that has to live with a tarnished block log for eternity. The proposal is simply to clarify and put a little more emphasis on the procedure admins should follow - it is not a reprimand, or punitive, or anything else...it is simply clarification. (Sidebar note: I continue to use your brilliant explanation to me about RS...it's the gift that keeps on giving.) Atsme📞📧 22:18, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Thanks for asking. (I'm not sure whom, if anyone, you are quoting in the boxed part, but that's certainly not something that I would agree with.) I do not intend this to have anything to do with the numbered points that you listed, nor am I concerned with protecting one group of editors more than another. Instead, I think that it's good to protect the project from misunderstandings between administrators and the users they might block, and, in so doing, protect the project from time-wasting dramas. But of course, if it also prevents any hurt feelings, that would be a good thing too, unless anyone thinks that hurt feelings are a good thing. For your convenience, I'll copy to here some comments that were made in this talk very recently:
I know that some editors have been asking, quite reasonably in fact, for some evidence in support of the kinds of things being proposed here. If anyone really wants, I can list some examples of blocks of various users. (I hesitate because I just don't like discussing other users by name in a potentially negative context.) But it occurs to me to point something out from the block that was the "catalyst" for these discussions, since that block has already gotten a lot of discussion here. And it's not what the blocked user or anyone on his "side" said. It's what the blocking admin himself said, retrospectively: [9]. Please note: "I do agree with the feedback left by others that the situation would have been much better handled if I had messaged you and asked for clarification regarding the statement first instead of blocking your account until the clarification was received. If I could turn back time, this is what I would have done instead - it makes much more sense and it's the better (and right) thing to do... I should have messaged you for clarification first, and not have blocked your account before hearing anything back from you. It's unfortunate and shouldn't have happened." That is exactly what the discussion here is about. And in my opinion, this is from a "good" administrator who is normally very conscientious and attentive to nuances of policy. Adding something like this will mean that responsible administrators will have it in mind, even if it wasn't foremost in mind in the past. That's one example why, if we can word it the right way, it would be a positive and not a negative to make a revision to this policy. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:09, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

I tend to find that the situation with Tony1 is complex, but yes, it would have been better of clarification was sought before the block was acted on. Without giving too many details as I also don;t wish to single out an individual admin, as another case I recall late last year when a new editor was indefinitely blocked without warning for undisclosed paid editing. The problem was that the user had made a total of four edits, three of which incorporated attempts to disclose that they were paid. When asked, the blocking admin argued that they could now learn the proper way to disclose after being blocked. The editor posted two requests for unblock, both of which stated that the editor would not engage in paid editing. Both were declined, and talk page access was removed after the second request.

In this case there was no warning, no attempt to discuss the issue, no urgency, no suggestion of block evasion, and it went straight to indef. - Bilby (talk) 01:00, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

About the example that I cited, I think everyone agrees that it was complex (well, maybe not everyone). But for me, what is noteworthy is that whatever "side" anyone comes down on, that was the considered opinion of the blocking admin. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:11, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

You asked about frequency. It's something that happens several times a year, at a minimum. I'm not aware of any place where a log of such events is kept (other than maybe here). Above, I've given you a very specific example of why this revision would be a positive thing to do – and that's in the opinion of a very clueful blocking admin, not just me. I also said why I feel uncomfortable naming names, but it sounds like you really want more examples. For an old one, there is me (described at User talk:Tryptofish/Archive 27). For a very recent one, in addition to the one above, there were elements of it in the recent block of nagualdesign. And if you look at the block logs of EEng and Eric Corbett, you will see other examples. I'm sure there are more that are apparent to active administrators.
This, again, is not about protecting anyone who does not need protection, nor about coddling them. Instead, it's about decreasing the likelihood of mistakes. I don't mean mistakes by bad admins who pay no attention to policy. I don't mean mistakes by good admins who already communicate properly. I do mean mistakes by good admins who, in spite of being good admins, end up making mistakes that they come to regret (see example above). Also, it's not about making anything mandatory for administrators, because it doesn't. And importantly, it does not add any new demand on administrators beyond what policy already says. But it does add something beyond what this policy says: communication beyond notification of policies.
And, for further convenience, here again is the latest version of the proposed change (in green):
However, warnings are not a prerequisite for blocking. In general, administrators should ensure that users who are acting in good faith are aware of policies and are given reasonable opportunity to adjust their behavior before blocking, and it may be particularly desirable to communicate first with such users before blocking. On the other hand, users acting in bad faith, whose main or only use is forbidden activity (sockpuppetry, vandalism, and so on), do not require any warning and may be blocked immediately.
--Tryptofish (talk) 22:26, 9 February 2018 (UTC)
PS: under this proposed change, a so-called "vested contributor" who does not accept responsibility for a policy violation that they committed would still get blocked. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:50, 9 February 2018 (UTC)

Any ideas about better ways to word it? --Tryptofish (talk) 17:54, 12 February 2018 (UTC)


Obviously, the discussion here has quieted down. As a result, I'm not sure what other editors would like to do at this point, so I'm asking. I'm pretty sure that the most recent wording for a proposal is as good as it's going to get, so I see it as ready to move to the next step. The question is whether that next step should be an RfC, or whether the edit could just be made without objections. My personal opinion, frankly, is that the most recent wording is so benign that an RfC would be excessive, almost to the point of being ridiculous. But I'll defer to what other editors want, so I'm asking. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:15, 16 February 2018 (UTC)

Again, I'm really asking about that. I respect what editors said about an RfC for earlier versions of what is proposed here, but I cannot tell whether editors no longer feel strongly about that, for the current version, or whether it is something like this. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:46, 21 February 2018 (UTC)
Absent any comments to the contrary, I've made the edit. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:53, 27 February 2018 (UTC)

RFC that may be of interest

See Wikipedia talk:Banning policy#Proxying for blocked users? Beeblebrox (talk) 20:49, 31 March 2018 (UTC)

Prevent abusive Power

Before people get block from edit we also review the behavior the user and/or admin who reported or took action before a user making sure is not some vendetta or ego. More likely prevent users from completing the edits by interminably causing edit conflict...(Basically restricting them voice their reasoning)

This rule should make little harder to block users from edit. Wikipedia Foundation staff shall intervene to improve blocking policy to make harder to block users from edit.

🥇BUSriderSFUser (talkcontribs) 23:09, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

Edit to NEVERUNBLOCK

I have added the following text to NEVERUNBLOCK:

The community may choose to allow a block to be reviewed in the normal way, by consulting with the closing/blocking administrator, rather than requiring a formal appeal to the community. If there is consensus to allow this it shall be noted in the closing statement and block log. [10]

This is to explicitly make provision for situations where the community thinks an editor needs an indefinite block i.e. they need to show they understand and will not repeat problematic behavior, but there is no need or desire to require a full community review before unblocking. This is needed because otherwise editors will be less likely to impose a de facto CBAN even if a normal indefinite block would be an appropriate measure.

I specified that this option for administrator only review must be explicitly noted in the closing statement and/or the block log because last year's RfC changed the default to requiring community review. In these cases the unblocking admin should consult with the closing/blocking admin who, of course, may still punt the matter to AN for review.

I also made a change to Blocking:Block log to rationalize it with the change to NEVERUNBLOCK [11]. Jbh Talk 18:24, 25 May 2018 (UTC) Last edited: 18:39, 25 May 2018 (UTC)

First designs for Special:Block with Granular blocks

The Anti-Harassment Tools team enlisted the assistance of Alex Hollender, a User Experience designer at Wikimedia Foundation to create wireframe designs of the Special:Block with the Granular block feature included. Our first wireframes are based on the discussions on the Granular block talk page, Wishlist proposal, and Phabricator to date.

Because the Special:Block page is already at its limits with its current layout and we would like to propose a new organized layout for Special:Block. This will make it easier to add the granular blocking (page, category, namespace, etc) and whatever is to come in the future. All of the same functionality is available on this new layout, but in a more organized, step-by-step process.

Take a look at the wireframe and leave us your feedback. For the Anti-Harassment Tools team, SPoore (WMF), Trust & Safety, Community health initiative (talk) 19:10, 31 May 2018 (UTC)

Adding block message

Should I add the block message on the page? It has been added on the autoblock page. C2216 (talk) 10:34, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

I am not clear what you are referring to, so you need to give a bit more explanation. Should you add what block message to what page? The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 11:15, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

@JamesBWatson:

The following message:

You are currently unable to edit Wikipedia.

You are still able to view pages, but you are not currently able to edit, move, or create them.

Editing from $7 has been blocked (disabled) by $1 for the following reason(s):
$2

This block has been set to expire: $6.

Even if blocked, you will usually still be able to edit your user talk page and email other editors and administrators.

Other useful links: Blocking policy · Username policy ·   Appealing blocks: policy and guide

If the block notice is unclear, or it does not appear to relate to your actions, please ask for assistance as described at Help:I have been blocked.

All that I'm saying is that should we add that on the page itself? Because the autoblock shows the message that a user sees when they are autoblocked. So because the autoblock page has that message I was thinking of putting the above message on this page that a user sees when they are blocked? C2216 (talk) 13:08, 12 April 2018 (UTC)

Absolutely not. Putting that message at the top of the page would not serve any useful purpose whatever, would be a distraction, and might well confuse editors, particularly new editors, who would see a prominent message in big red letters telling them they couldn't edit. The other one that you mention is not comparable at all, for several reasons, including the fact that it does not make statements that are not true (such as that the person reading it can't edit), and that it does provide information which might be useful to some people looking at the page. I am also not convinced that it is a notice that is seen by autoblocked editors: it certainly isn't what I saw a few minutes ago when I tested what happened when I was affected by an autoblock. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 20:12, 12 April 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, just seeing it on this talk page gave me a momentary "WTF?" adrenalin spurt! If it's illustrated anywhere, it should be in a collapse box. I did that with the one above, lest anyone have an unexpected heart attack. Heh. (Someone else already made the same edit at WP:Autoblock.)  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:28, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

Unblocking will almost never be acceptable

As I noted at Wikipedia talk:Banning policy/Archive 8, the final bullet is imprecise:

When the block is explicitly enforcing an active Arbitration remedy and there is no ArbCom authorization or "a clear, substantial, and active consensus of uninvolved editors at a community discussion noticeboard (such as WP:AN or WP:ANI)" (Arbcom motion).

We're basically saying "A and B or C". I think this means "A and (B or C)", i.e. enforcing remedy, and we have neither authorization nor consensus, but it could be interpreted as "(A and B) or C", i.e. enforcing remedy and there's no authorization [someone's questioning whether this is a proper use of the authorization], or there's a consensus. We ought to clarify this one way or the other. If it's supposed to be "A and (B or C)", we could say there is neither ArbCom authorization nor "A clear..., while if it's supposed to be "(A and B) or C", we could say authorization, or there is a... This is a simple wording fix, so I'd happily make it if I were certain what was meant, but I don't want to make a tweak and find that I changed the page away from the intended meaning. Nyttend (talk) 23:27, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Just copy the language at Wikipedia:Arbitration_Committee/Discretionary_sanctions#Modifications_by_administrators. That’s the actual policy in this regard. Considering that All enforcement actions are presumed valid and proper, so the provisions relating to modifying or overturning sanctions apply, until an appeal is successful. point A (no ArbCom authorization) of the current wording doesn’t mean much because every admin is going to claim their actions were authorized by the committee and are therefore presumed valid.
The easiest solution would be to modify it to say something like Arbitration enforcement blocks unless a successful appeal using the special appeal provisions has been made. Clear, concise, accurate, and no need to get into linguistic analysis. TonyBallioni (talk) 13:15, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
I don't think it's as imprecise as Nyttend necessarily but I agree with Tony. Suggest "When the block is explicitly enforcing an active Arbitration remedy. Arbitration enforcement blocks may be appealed using the special appeal provisions." This covers "almost never acceptable" as well as the conditions by which it is acceptable. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 13:35, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Went ahead and boldly implemented your language. TonyBallioni (talk) 00:55, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

The disproportionality and one-sidedness principles?

Aren't these two issues covered at one or another of these pages about sanctions of various kinds? I know I saw it once, but I'm having trouble relocating it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  12:26, 2 June 2018 (UTC)

Anyone, anyone?  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  06:47, 21 June 2018 (UTC)

Conditional unblock tweak

I've removed the bit about logging conditional unblocks at WP:ER (see previous discussion at Callanecc's talk with him and Bishonen.) Anyone is free to play with the wording, but we rarely ever log these at ER (most admins don't know that section exists), and the logical place to do this is in the unblock log, which is the practice that most admins currently follow. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:57, 17 June 2018 (UTC)

Some of the narration at "Conditional unblock" section is nonsensical or, if there is a reasonable meaning behind it, incomprehensible to me at least. What on earth is intended to be meant by:
"*Administrators have discretion to set the expiry of unblock conditions, provided that:
    • The unblock conditions of blocks that expire after one year or less will expire after no more than a year,
    • The unblock conditions of blocks that expire after more than a year (including indefinite) may expire up to and including indefinitely."
AFAICT there is no information content in that. --Doncram (talk) 00:09, 30 June 2018 (UTC)
You can't impose an unblock condition that lasts longer than a year unless it was for a block of more than a year. —Cryptic 08:54, 30 June 2018 (UTC)

unblocking guidance

This just came up in a discussion, and I think perhaps a slight tweak to the wording of WP:EXPLAINBLOCK is needed. The case under discussion was a user who had never been blocked before and received no guidance from the blocking admin on how to appeal. When I criticized this another admin mentioned that EXPLAINBLOCK doesn’t mandate or even encourage using a standard template. And that is basically true, it mentions them but that’s it.

What I’m thinking of is not any kind of hard-and-fast rule but rather having this policy reflect established best practices, as policies are supposed to do, and I believe that generally it is expected that whether a template is used or not, when someone is blocked for the first time they should at least be informed that appeals are a thing. It would’t have to be the full explanation in the standard templates, a link to WP:GAB to let them know they have the right of appeal would do it. Thoughts? Beeblebrox (talk) 02:46, 9 June 2018 (UTC)

I am not a big user of talk page templates, but I am a big user of block log templates. I suppose that probably has something to do with mainly blocking IP addresses and other non-regular users. There are some cases where either type of template may help. However every time the blocked user tries to edit, which IMO is more relevant than a talk page message, they get to see the block message MediaWiki:Blockedtext, which to put it mildly is quite unmissable. That would be the place to emphasise any advice IMO. The page actually used to be more helpful than it is today[12] but it still contains the relevant links. -- zzuuzz (talk) 05:01, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Have to admit I forgot about that, you never see it if you aren’t blocked. Beeblebrox (talk) 17:55, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
I have been "blocked" (ie: the IP I'm using, usually in a public building, has been collateral range blocked and I haven't logged in yet) a few times. IIRC, you only get the MediaWiki:Blockedtext message if you actually try and edit. Aside from the message, it's analogous to a non-admin editing a full-protected page, with "View source" in place of "Edit". So putting a block message on their talk page is actually helpful, as it spells out the problem and appeals process. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 18:34, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

Grants:IdeaLab

I would just like to bring to everyone's attention that I have created a new idea on Wikimedia and I would appreciate if you shared some feedback. Here is the link - [13]. If you disagree with the idea, don't hesitate to tell me why. J.A.R.N.Y.🗣 20:11, 23 July 2018 (UTC)

Can / should

The lead currently says, "Administrators can "unblock" a user when they feel the block is unwarranted or no longer appropriate.. Should this not read, "Administrators should "unblock" a user when they feel the block is unwarranted or no longer appropriate. The current language, to me, implies an admin can point to this policy and say "yeah, the block is stale, I'll unblock you when I get round to it. Patience." No, if the block is unambiguously no longer applicable, it should be lifted ASAP, in my view. Ritchie333 (talk) (cont) 18:29, 11 July 2018 (UTC)

@Ritchie333: I agree that an unambiguously unwarranted block should be removed. This might not be the same as one specific administrator's "feeling", though: It might be necessary to change more than just the word "can". ~ ToBeFree (talk) 15:34, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Personal attack happen in the past

Hello. Is there a rule about how many days after something happen, an administator can block a user? For example, if a personal attack happen a month ago, do an administator have the right to block the user today? Xaris333 (talk) 11:02, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

Blocks are preventative not punitive, so the real question is whether an admin might need to block for a personal attack in the future. -- zzuuzz (talk) 11:05, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

RfC: Blocked editors and their talk pages

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the debate may be found at the bottom of the discussion.

Should the following be adopted in regards to blocked users editing their talk pages?

Wikipedia:Blocking policy (WP:OPTIONS)
Current text
  • Prevent this user from editing their own talk page while blocked, if checked, will prevent the blocked user from editing their own talk page (including the ability to create unblock requests) during the duration of their block. This option is not checked by default, and typically should not be checked; editing of the user's talk page should be disabled only in the case of continued abuse of their user talk page. The protection policy has further details in cases where other users are repeatedly causing disruption to the user talk pages of blocked users.
Proposed text #1 (All blocked editors)
  • Prevent this user from editing their own talk page while blocked, if checked, will prevent the blocked user from editing their own talk page (including the ability to create unblock requests) during the duration of their block. This option is not checked by default, and typically should not be checked; editing of the user's talk page should be disabled only in the case of continued abuse of their user talk page, including any blocked user editing their talk page for anything other than a block appeal. The protection policy has further details in cases where other users are repeatedly causing disruption to the user talk pages of blocked users.
Proposed text #2 (Indefinitely blocked editors)
  • Prevent this user from editing their own talk page while blocked, if checked, will prevent the blocked user from editing their own talk page (including the ability to create unblock requests) during the duration of their block. This option is not checked by default, and typically should not be checked; editing of the user's talk page should be disabled only in the case of continued abuse of their user talk page, including any indefinitely blocked user editing their talk page for anything other than a block appeal. The protection policy has further details in cases where other users are repeatedly causing disruption to the user talk pages of blocked users.

The difference between the two is that Proposed text #1 is for all blocked users, while Proposed text #2 is for all indefinitely blocked users.

This proposal stems from the lengthy and divisive discussion at ANI. Please read through that discussion before commenting or voting here. Additionally, please comment on whether you support one version, both versions and the order you support them, or oppose to proposal entirely. Nihlus 16:02, 4 September 2018 (UTC)

Support

Oppose

  1. I oppose all proposals which contains a prohibition against "editing their talk page for anything other than a block appeal". -- zzuuzz (talk) 16:07, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  2. I oppose both proposals above. Blocked editors should be able to edit their talk pages with constructive ideas for improving the encyclopedia. This can serve several purposes - if they have a short-term block it can serve as a to do list for when the block expires. If they have a longer term block they can use this to compile a case for what they would do that would be constructive if they were unblocked. If other editors wish to implement these suggestions those editors should also take responsibility for them. Talk page access should only be revoked if the person is being disruptive. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 16:14, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
    I don't plan on responding to most comments, but I want to clear up some confusion. Both options allow the user to edit their talk page for anything that would lead to an unblock appeal, including compiling a case for what they would do that would be constructive if they were unblocked. Nihlus 16:20, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  3. Oppose both - after reading that...interesting... ANI thread, I remain strongly of the viewpoint that @Opabinia regalis:'s comment is most accurate: "you realize that what happened here is that someone hurried over to ANI yelling "help, help! this guy is improving the encyclopedia in an unauthorized manner! somebody stop him!". This is exactly correct - blocking TPA should only be done if and when edits made that are disruptive to the community occur there. Blocks are supposed to not be punitive. Thus, making Talk Page blocks can only be justified in cases where doing so is specifically needed to further protect the community. Nosebagbear (talk) 16:19, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  4. Oppose both as written - Do we have something already in text about using the talk page unreasonably during a block? Some things that come to mind are; the the person is complaining about the ANI process, the person is using the page as a forum, and/or the like. - Knowledgekid87 (talk) 16:24, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  5. Oppose both, per all of the above. SarahSV (talk) 16:27, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  6. Oppose per WP:CREEP. What constitutes abuse of a talk page while blocked should be left up to admin discretion. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:30, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  7. Oppose both per WP:CREEP, and because I think there can be good reasons to allow the use of the talk page when strictly they are not requesting an unblock. I don't see the need to remove talk page usage except in cases of clear disruption. --Jayron32 17:26, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  8. Oppose both. Policy is sometimes intentionally ambiguous to allow for discretion. Each blocked editor situation needs to be assessed differently. Alex Shih (talk) 17:43, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  9. Per zzuuzz. I oppose both of these proposals, and any other follow-up proposals that try to prohibit disruption-free discussion on a blocked user's talk page unrelated to unblock requests. -Floquenbeam (talk) 19:23, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  10. Oppose both, but especially the "any blocked editor" one - I left notes on my talkpage one time when I was blocked, and created the article when I came back. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 20:11, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  11. Oppose Explanations of inteface text should reflect current policy, not determine it. Unless WP:PROXYING is also changed to remove the exception for when "changes are either verifiable or productive", this entire discussion is premature. --Ahecht (TALK
    PAGE
    ) 20:22, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  12. Oppose Firstly, Ahecht is exactly right, this change needs to be presented with the necessary changes to all relevant policies. Secondly, "continued abuse of their user talk page, including any indefinitely blocked user editing their talk page for anything other than a block appeal" would define abuse as any edit of the talk page that isn't an appeal. This is a patently absurd definition of abuse. I think the current definition of abuse on the talk page is clear: it's any edit the user makes to the talk page that contravenes current policy. If the consensus is to make this the new policy instead, it should say "editing of the user's talk page should be disabled if the user edits their talk page for anything other than a block appeal". Leave the concept of abuse out entirely. But thirdly, I think this is a lousy policy idea to begin with. As reflected at ANI, this is a solution in search of a problem. --Bsherr (talk) 23:54, 4 September 2018 (UTC)'
  13. Yeah, I also think the proposed language might be going beyond what we needed to clarify at ANI. Perhaps we should start a discussion specifically about whether it is considered abuse of the talk page for a blocked editor to request that certain edits be made, particularly if those edits are uncontroversial improvements. There may be an inclination to just defer this judgment to "admin discretion", but reading over the ANI, it seems that enough admins disagree on the issue that some formal guidance on this might not be such a bad idea. Mz7 (talk) 04:33, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
  14. Oppose - let's imagine a user who has been blocked for, say, persistent violation of the rules concerning automated editing without using a bot account. Let's imagine that the same user is experienced in constructing templates that perform a useful function. The proposal would prevent the blocked user responding to questions left on their talk page about how a template might be constructed or improved. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 07:25, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
  15. Oppose (Summoned by bot) TPA revocation needs to be the exception not the rule. The incident incident as pointed out above was not a problem. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 04:38, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
  16. Oppose (Summoned by bot). Unconstructive, bordering on vindictive. Defines talk page abuse far too broadly. Does not help to build the encyclopedia. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 05:18, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
  17. Oppose Blocked users remain part of the community so should be able to edit their talk page. The wording could probably be clarified to make it more consistent with the banning policy. That is, talk page access for banned users only allowed for the purpose of unban requests and not allowed if the ban can only be appealed off-wiki. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 12:51, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
  18. Oppose While the talkpage of a blocked user probably should be used solely for appeals, a blanket requirement for this is overly restrictive. TPA revocation should continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Yunshui  12:54, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
  19. Oppose per everybody above. I think we all know what the forecast is for this proposal. . . SemiHypercube 20:32, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
  20. Oppose both. The ANI thread demonstrates what could go wrong if this change were to be adopted. It ended up disallowing a blocked user from making constructive suggestions. There are also other use cases of an editor's talk page, such as as to-do list, replying to other editors' messages, and so on. If anything we should restrict the ability of admins to block TPA so that the incident do not repeat in the future. HaEr48 (talk) 22:07, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
  21. Oppose both. Talk page access should only be revoked in the case of personal attacks or other very disruptive behaviour. For the rest, blocked users are welcome to make suggestions or otherwise engage with other editors on their talk pages. Bradv 23:16, 6 September 2018 (UTC)
  22. Oppose both - Current text is fine. Beyond My Ken (talk) 03:36, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  23. Oppose both-Unnecessary instruction-creep and an effort at substitution of common-sense by more policies.If somebody has some moral opposition to productive edit-suggestion(s) or miscellaneous non-disruptive discourses by blocked users, please try to change WP:PROXYING first.Not the other way round.And (+1) to wot Nosebagbear and Acquillion said; this looks like an attempt at legitimizing the punitive aspects of a block, in contrary to the principle that they are always preventative.WBGconverse 04:54, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
    Winged Blades of Godric, I'll mention this for about the fifth time since I've seen this come up again and again. WP:PROXYING makes no mention of the avenue by which someone can request an edit to be made. It does not give any form of "right" for an editor to edit their talk page while blocked nor does it even mention anything to do with talk pages. Edits can be requested vial email, IRC, IRL, or any other method. Saying that an edit requested by a banned user is not inherently bad does not mean they have free reign to request such edits on their talk page. I would like to see that discussion that states that, because I don't believe your interpretation is based on anything. (Additionally, the block would obviously be used to prevent further misuse of their talk page, so I am unsure as to why you trying to imply that I would like to contravene current policy.) Nihlus 11:31, 7 September 2018 (UTC)
  24. Oppose. Even if we wanted to outlaw editing by proxy, prohibiting users to answer non-block related queries on their talk page is wrong. —Kusma (t·c) 11:01, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

Discussion

  • TPA Revoking Review - this discussion has made me think. The blocked editor's who TPA-revocation kicked this all off, was rather lucky that the revocation was contested. Given that all but email access (which can really only be used for "complete" block appeals) if an admin does exercise their authority (whether under their full discretion, as I generally prefer, or a stricter set of guidelines, it becomes very difficult for anyone blocked to challenge it. Now obviously this has some benefits: encourages those still with TPA to be even more careful, we don't want to deal with an extra step in blocking TPA, but also can end up with unfair expansions, depending on the admin's (rather subconscious) viewpoint.
I was wondering if anyone had some thoughts on resolving this, or do we need to accept a necessary problem? Nosebagbear (talk) 16:37, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
  • So the difference from the existing text to prop #1 is the insertion of , including any blocked user editing their talk page for anything other than a block appeal and the only difference from prop #1 to prop #2 is the insertion of the word indefinitely? You could have made that clear, instead of making us laborously compare them. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:00, 4 September 2018 (UTC)
    Redrose64, you mean the line that is right under them that states: The difference between the two is that Proposed text #1 is for all blocked users, while Proposed text #2 is for all indefinitely blocked users. That one? Nihlus 04:40, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
    That describes who they apply to. It doesn't call out the actual changes to the policy text. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 07:17, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
  • I wasn't involved in the discussion that prompted this, but this suggestion seems to go far beyond the concerns that prompted it. The specific issue in the WP:ANI discussion in question is about people using their talk page to request specific edits while blocked; whereas this would ban all edits except those related to being unblocked. If the question is whether banned users should be able to use their talk page in an attempt to effectively edit by proxy, I feel that the suggestion needs to make that question unambiguous (and the failure to focus on that is why this seems to be heading towards a WP:SNOW failure, since without that clarification and focus it appears pointlessly draconian.) Also, the part of the text specifically under discussion here is probably not the place to make this change - I would suggest starting with WP:EVASION instead, with a specific proposal that blocked users who try to use their talk page to request or direct edits should have access revoked. Making the purpose of a policy clear in the policy itself is important, since that helps determine how it's enforced and interpreted. --Aquillion (talk) 02:49, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
  • This proposal has of course been mooted before. One such discussion is Wikipedia_talk:Blocking_policy/Archive_19#Minor_user_page_clarification. In my mind this is one of the main features of a ban - if you want to enforce a lack of TPA, get a ban in place. -- zzuuzz (talk) 06:19, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
  • Withdrawn per WP:SNOW. I had something longer typed up, but it's not worth the effort at this point. I am aware that a lack of nuance is an issue here, which is clearly my fault; however, I would hope that the community takes this policy to task as there are clearly many interpretations of it running around. Despite the lack of support above, there was clear support in the ANI discussion. Additionally, if you want to leave it up to admins, don't go try overturning what they do saying it was done incorrectly without taking a look at the underlying issues as to why it was done incorrectly. Admins should feel supported by policies, not confused. Nihlus 11:51, 7 September 2018 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Following BRD: re text “definite or indefinite”

In the lead, the meaning of text that reads “blocks can be for either a definite or indefinite time” is a little bit hard to follow. The text flows nicely because the words pair well. However while we “indefinitely block” people we do not “definitely block” them - those two words conventionally carry different meanings. Can we change it to “for either a fixed or indefinite time”? Other words which would suffice in terms of clarity are temporary/indefinite and so on. Many thanks, I know it’s just one word - but it keeps sticking in my head. Edaham (talk) 01:39, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Edaham, we do block for a definite time, which is what the sentence is saying. Nihlus 01:51, 14 September 2018 (UTC)
I see, my brain is wired to confuse the word definite with its synonym, “certain”. I’ll rewire it.Edaham (talk) 03:00, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Editor restriction logging discussion

There is a discussion at Wikipedia talk:Editing restrictions regarding the logging of restrictions imposed as an unblocking condition, as well as formal logging of editor warnings. Administrators and editors are invited to participate in the discusson. Thanks. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 16:38, 14 September 2018 (UTC)

Unblockself

The developers have just tweaked MediaWiki to remove the ability of an administrative account to unblock itself, and with that in mind I've tweaked the policy slightly. Any objections? Nyttend (talk) 02:44, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

I guess that with recent cases (like this) it will mean that a compromised account will be brought to a full stop rather than "ah, but I have admin rights so I'll simply unblock myself". --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 10:52, 27 November 2018 (UTC)
This was done without community input and in defiance of an ongoing RfC. The "historically" link should point to the "announcement" at AN, probably. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 10:56, 27 November 2018 (UTC)

Seeking comment on WMF funding request for blocking research

Hello, I am Lane Rasberry user:bluerasberry. I am employed as Wikimedian in Residence at the Data Science Institute at the University of Virginia. I coordinate projects at English Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.

I am writing to request comments and feedback on a request I have for US$5000 Wikimedia Foundation funding to coordinate machine learning research on Wikimedia blocks on English Wikipedia and elsewhere in Wikimedia projects. Please comment on meta at

I expect in the future that other researchers will do similar analysis and prediction to rank Wikimedia blocks, just as the WMF has their experiments with the mw:ORES. I appreciate anything anyone has to say about my funding request in itself or as a model and precedent for similar research in this space. Thanks. Blue Rasberry (talk) 17:19, 28 December 2018 (UTC)

Small change to "Edits by and on behalf of blocked editors"

I would like to make a small change for clarity to the following sentence, from:

"Anyone is free to revert any edits made in violation of a block, without giving any further reason and without regard to the three-revert rule."

to add "directly by a blocked user", so:

"Anyone is free to revert any edits made directly by a blocked user, in violation of a block, without giving any further reason and without regard to the three-revert rule."

The reason is that a policy that gives permission to break 3RR should be explicit and clear. The subsection is entitled "Edits by and on behalf of blocked editors", and since the above is the first sentence following the title, I interpreted it as meaning that "Anyone is free to revert any edits made by or on behalf of blocked editors in violation of a block, without giving any further reason and without regard to the three-revert rule." However, after some disagreement from other editors, and reading it again, it seems that it's only meant to apply to edits made directly by a blocked user, and that edits made by another editor on behalf of a blocked user are covered in the following paragraph. For the latter then, a reason must be given for a revert, and 3RR does apply, as with any normal edit. I thought I should double-check that this is in fact the intended meaning, before I made the change. If it's correct, I will also update the corresponding text at WP:BANREVERT. Thanks... --IamNotU (talk) 14:50, 20 December 2018 (UTC)

Since nobody responded after a week, I made this edit [14], but it was reverted by someone who complained that it hadn't been discussed. So, anyone care to discuss?

Again, the point is not to change anything in the policy, but to be more explicit, that the three-revert rule can only be disregarded when reverting edits made directly by a blocked editor (i.e., a sock puppet), but not after such an edit is reinstated by a non-blocked independent editor who takes responsibility for it.

I added the text shown in italic:

Anyone is free to revert any edits made by a blocked user in violation of a block...

Editors who for independent reasons subsequently reinstate edits originally made by a blocked editor take complete responsibility for the content, and the three-revert rule applies as usual.

The "for independent reasons" comes from the preceding paragraph about proxy editing, which distinguishes an independent editor from one who isn't, on that basis. The latter (a "meatpuppet") is also subject to the block. So, if an independent editor reinstates a sock's edit, the three-revert rule then applies again. It's "as usual", because there are other things that may modify the applicability of it.

Comments? --IamNotU (talk) 00:15, 29 December 2018 (UTC)

  • Not required. Lourdes 10:47, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment. Well, at least one reasonably intelligent native English speaker required it, because they were edit warring, as it's not that difficult to misread it as meaning "any edits" from a sockpuppet can be reverted without regard to 3RR, even if reinstated by other editors. That reading is also not completely out of line with WP:BMB, which says that banned users may not edit at all, even if the edits seem good. So another editor's reinstatement "because it was useful" would seem to be in violation of the ban/block. Apparently that's not the intended meaning. Is there a simpler way, without adding too much creep, to make it more obvious that another editor's reinstatement becomes subject to 3RR? --IamNotU (talk) 14:23, 29 December 2018 (UTC)
Agree with Lourdes. We don't need this. An edit not made by a blocked editor is simply not a violation of a block (proxy editing is a separate issue and is already covered). And the "for independent reasons" addition is not correct.. I have restored blocked editors' reverted edits for exactly the same reasons that they were originally made, Mass reverts of socks' edits sometimes catch perfectly valid edits. Why would we ask for an independent reason to restore a typographical correction, for example? Meters (talk) 00:41, 30 December 2018 (UTC)
You're right that an edit not made by a blocked editor is simply not a violation of a block. The problem is Theseus's paradox. If an edit made by a blocked editor is removed, and someone puts it back, one could interpret it as still being the same edit, reinstated. I suppose it should be obvious that it's actually a different edit with the same content - but it wasn't obvious to me. It resulted in people getting angry and swearing at me, which was rather unpleasant and could have been avoided with a few well-placed words of clarification. What about just this:
Editors who independently reinstate edits originally made by a blocked editor take complete responsibility for the content, and the three-revert rule subsequently applies.
I had added "for independent reasons" to distinguish it from meatpuppetry, as that's how it's defined in the section above about proxies. A meatpuppet doesn't have independent reasons. In the case of restoring a typographical correction, the independent reason is "because it's correct", as opposed to "because puppetmaster123 told me to". --IamNotU (talk) 00:18, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
You apparently misinterpreted things, but there does not seem to be any support for changing this. Meters (talk) 20:54, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

RfC: blocking the admin who blocked you

CONSENSUS TO ADD:
There is consensus to add the proposed text to the blocking policy. The majority of editors supported the addition, and argued that it is necessary to clarify when it would be (in)appropriate for an administrator to block another administrator who blocked them. A minority of editors asserted that the addition constitutes instruction creep, as retaliatory blocks are already prohibited in the "Blocks should not be punitive" section. — Newslinger talk 05:23, 28 January 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

As unblockself is now gone but sysops now have the ability to block the admin that blocked them instead, I think it makes sense to update the blocking policy to include language making this clear that it is only to be done in exceptional circumstances such as a compromise and never for the purpose of extending a dispute or getting revenge on the other party: namely since it’s functionally replaces unblockself, it should be viewed through policy as such. Therefore I am proposing the following be added to the blocking policy:

Administrators who are blocked have the technical ability to block the administrator who blocked their own account. This ability should only be used in exceptional circumstances, such as account compromises, where there is a clear and immediate need. Use of the block tool to further a dispute or retaliate against the original blocking administrator is not allowed.

TonyBallioni (talk) 07:34, 21 December 2018 (UTC)

  • Support as proposer. TonyBallioni (talk) 07:34, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - implementation of this will resolve a security concern with the current unblockself removal. -- Ajraddatz (talk) 07:41, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support, at least in principle, per TB. To be honest I think "exceptional circumstances" is a bit woolly; we could simply leave it at "when an administrator account has been obviously compromised", or try to formally define "when an admin account has gone off the rails". Vanamonde (talk) 07:57, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
    • I was trying to leave it open enough that if there is some reason other than a compromise where it may be reasonable, we could trust reasonable people acting in good faith to use their judgement. Something like my going crazy and running a script to block everyone on the project. Basically have this be similar to the NEVERUNBLOCK wording which envisions there may be times when you can in fact do some of those things, it’s just very rare. In practice, this would all but be prohibited except in matters involving site security/admin going absolutely off the rails. TonyBallioni (talk) 08:06, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Common sense till now; probably required to be placed explicitly here, given the propensity of increasing admin vs. admin cases that have been noticed recently. As Vanamonde says, wording could be probably improved; usage of words like "getting revenge" also sounds quite Van Damme. Lourdes 07:59, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
    • Yeah, I agree on the last point. It’s what you get when you’re writing late. Switched to “retaliate against” which captures the idea and sounds better. Early enough in the RfC and no actual change in meaning/intent so I don’t think anyone will mind. TonyBallioni (talk) 08:19, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - Per nom and the comments above; makes good sense. Beyond My Ken (talk) 08:13, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - append not allowed <- and might lead to sanctions for misuse of administrative tools. --QEDK () 08:35, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support per TonyBallioni.This should be added to WP:WHEEL.Pharaoh of the Wizards (talk) 08:56, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support as a clearly sensible codification of what this technical change was and was not intended for. Mz7 (talk) 09:13, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support -- It looks perfectly reasonable to me. -- Dolotta (talk) 10:35, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support -- for sure. Will prevent any confusion. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 11:10, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Looks good, and good idea to codify it here I suppose. If I had my complete druthers, I'd suggest two changes. The first is to emphasize that it should be uncontroversial and any other sysop would do the same, e.g. ...be used in exceptional and wholly uncontroversial circumstances, such as account compromises, where there is a clear and immediate need and any other administrator would do the same. Secondly, I'd suggest making it stronger in the end, substituting "never" for "not" and perhaps making clear it is misuse and/or abuse, e.g. ...against the original blocking administrator is not abuse of the tool and never allowed. Gets a bit wordy, I suppose. ~ Amory (utc) 11:11, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support. Similar to BMK I'd append "and may lead to sanctions." (or similar) at the end but I wouldn't replace "is not allowed" (but I'd have phrased it "is prohibited"). I am happy with it as it stands though. Thryduulf (talk) 11:14, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
You were probably referring to me, I agree with the point made. --QEDK () 12:32, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
Agree completely here. That is better wording. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:34, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
Regarding the wording - to address the instruction creep concerns, the last sentence could also just be, "Use of the block tool for other purposes is never allowed and may lead to sanctions." Mz7 (talk) 19:16, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support as it makes sense to explain the capability and when it should be used. The follow up would be to request an unblock if the the original block was invalidly done. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 11:29, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • This is instruction creep. Too many words for an event that never happens and that anybody who is an admin would know not to do. This is grounds for immediate loss of admin access obviously. So are 100 other scenarios that we don’t need to enumerate specifically. Jehochman Talk 12:58, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I'm on the same page as Jehochman above. The question should not be "should this be policy?", but, "is this not already covered by policy?". I tend to think it is - the policy says very clearly near the very top, "Blocks should not be used: in retaliation against users;". Then we should be asking whether this suggested policy addresses an existing problem. I don't think there is one, even if you include the previous status quo where an unblocked admin might have been tempted. There's also various other aspects of this policy which say to me, no need for any such addition. -- zzuuzz (talk) 13:18, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
    • Its the same as with self-unblocking was in the past: this is needed as a bright line. Even if there are various aspects of the policy that already cover it (I’m not entirely sure there are to the degree it needs to be covered) there is also a lot of value in establishing bright lines in itself. TonyBallioni (talk) 14:34, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support weakly, I don't see this as really necessary but I don't see anything wrong with it either. For one thing, admins should already know that blocking someone who has just blocked you is a speedy path to Arbcom and having your mop smashed over your head into little tiny pieces. On the other hand, a vandal compromising admin accounts and mass-blocking everyone is not going to give a shit that we made this clarification to policy. If this was suggested as a technical restriction I would be 100% opposed, but if we're just saying "don't do that" then that's fine. Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 15:08, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
Just adding a general comment: I'm not changing my vote, but the more we make our policies into exhaustive lists of every possible behaviour that is forbidden, the more people will have a justification to say "well you didn't say I couldn't do this obviously disruptive thing". Ivanvector (Talk/Edits) 17:19, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
Wait, there are possible good reasons for us not having firm rules??? Crazynas t 19:03, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose Vindictive blocking is already covered by policy. Blocking a compromised account is already covered by policy. This policy is therefore not needed on WP:NOTBURO grounds as it "solves" a hypothetical that is already addressed in the same way by existing policy. If this RfC does not gain consensus, it can still be used to show consensus that vindictive blocking of someone who blocked you was not supported by the community and ARBCOM can deal with it appropriately. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 16:15, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
    I think prohibiting “vindictive blocking” is actually a lower standard than the current proposal, which says “never block when blocked unless the stars have aligned”. Think about how many disruptive actions on Wikipedia were originally intended to be good-faith, not intended to be vindictive in any way. Similar to how “don’t unblock yourself” was like a cardinal rule of being an administrator, I think this is the new cardinal rule we need to establish in order to update the blocking policy for the post-unblockself era. Mz7 (talk) 18:46, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support reluctantly. I don't think this is strictly necessary and should be already covered, but with the number of people that will wikilaywer everything to death, we might as well make it explicit. (I do like Amory's suggestions though) Natureium (talk) 16:53, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Blocking someone who blocked you is already a violation of being an involved admin, and it still is even in the case of blocking a rogue administrator. I would prefer instead of saying the ability can be used in exceptional circumstances, state that this scenario falls under the ignore all rules policy of blocking to prevent harm in spite of breaking the involved policy (strike previous statement; I think I prefer just reinforcing the involved policy). A block-in-kind will result in a community review at some point, and comes with potential peril if you've misinterpreted the circumstances. I suggest something like the following under the "When blocking may not be used" section, in the "Conflicts and involvement" subsection:
    When administrators are blocked, they are involved parties with respect to the event that triggered the block, and must not block other involved parties, such as the administrator who blocked them.
  • isaacl (talk) 17:15, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • I prefer not to go into exceptional circumstances; ignore all rules already covers it. Given the rarity, I think bringing it up here would weaken the statement against blocks-in-kind. isaacl (talk) 17:22, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
I’d oppose that. We need a bright line here, and I don’t think that’s strong enough. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:20, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
My proposal is actually more bright-line than yours: it says administrators must not block the administrator who blocked them, and makes no reference to exceptional circumstances. Not blocking to further disputes is already covered in the current subsection. isaacl (talk) 17:25, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
I actually disagree. Exceptional circumstances is a higher standard than the exceptions INVOLVED. The reason that something is needed here is to avoid the ArbCom case where someone claims an exception to INVOLVED or that there isn’t a pattern of behavior. Despite what is claimed by those opposing, there is nothing in policy that would guarantee a desysop currently. My proposed wording (plus some additions suggested above that seem to have support) does that. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:32, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand: my proposal explicitly says if an administrator blocks you, you must not block them, or any other party involved in the triggering event. How is this a lower standard than saying if an administrator blocks you, you should only block them under exceptional circumstances, which opens the door for a block-in-kind? This situation is so rare that there isn't a need to worry about guarantees; a discussion is going to happen anyway, and the justification for the block-in-kind will be examined closely. isaacl (talk) 17:40, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
Because it relies on INVOLVED, which has the big loophole of “any admin would do it”. Exceptional is above that. It doesn’t need a discussion then or review: it needs a policy basis for ArbCom to act decisively without creating policy on their own. This is what we had i.r.t. self-unblocking. TonyBallioni (talk) 17:44, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
I don't see this as a big practical issue, but the proposal can be modified to be more blunt then:
When administrators are blocked, they must not in turn block the administrator who blocked them. Additionally, they must not block any other parties involved with the event that triggered the block.
I think retaliation against other parties should also be designated as off limits. isaacl (talk) 17:50, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
They already can't block anyone else. Natureium (talk) 17:54, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
If another admin unblocks them, the admin is now an involved party and should not block other involved parties. Recall the most common situation where this will happen is with editing disputes, not the admin-gone-amok scenario. isaacl (talk) 17:56, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose - pointless instruction creep for a situation that is fully covered in existing policy, WP:NOPUNISH: "Blocks should not be used: 1. in retaliation against users;" Simple and straight to point.--Staberinde (talk) 18:33, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose I appreciate the intent but we don't need a new rule here, as others have stated this is already basically covered. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:31, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support I can see this sort of thing popping up when an INVOLVED administrator steps out of bounds and blocks another INVOLVED administrator, who then decides that in reality both sides are at fault and blocks the original administrator. While both are already breaking INVOLVED, I see no problem with reinforcing the notion that this shouldn't happen. I agree with TonyBallioni that mentioning the 'exceptional circumstances' is necessary, as a flat ban on blocking the admin who blocked you defeats the entire purpose of being able to block a rogue admin who is damaging the project. I also appreciate the point that IAR is a thing, but our P&G are a bit labyrinthine as they stand, and to me this is a great way to consolidate into a single coherent policy on blocking. We aren't contradicting anything in another P&G that I can see, so in this case I think the clarity is worth the extra wording. CThomas3 (talk) 20:35, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose, already covered by existing policy. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 20:53, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Comment In response to all of the "this is already covered" comments above: this isn't currently covered for these circumstance. I find this particularly frustrating as we just had an ArbCom case where a significant portion of the community thought that someone who unblocked themselves multiple times shouldn't have been desysoped even though that has been for years basically the one thing in policy that guarantees you a desysop. This is an equally big deal, if not bigger, and we should have a clear line in policy establishing this as something that will not be tolerated. If we do not establish a policy on this there will be a divisive ArbCom case in the future without a clear outcome where ArbCom will be asked to make policy rather than to enforce what the community has decided.
    That's not good for anyone, and if this is so obvious and already covered, then there is nothing that not having such a standard set does to harm it. There is literally no downside to having policy on this, and the major upside of avoiding future community disruption. Anyway, I've already spoken too much, but I wanted to address the major objection, which seems not to be with the substance, but with the idea of instruction creep, which simply isn't the case here. TonyBallioni (talk) 21:04, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
    +1. I feel like the same opposing arguments here could have been applied against the "never unblock your own account" rule – you could say that WP:INVOLVED already covers that, but it helped to spell it out as a cardinal rule because it really is that important. It's one of those things where if you don't spell it out, somewhere down the line someone is going to argue that their block was not involved and not vindictive, despite not being in the kind of emergency situation that this technical change was intended to address. Consider the recent arbcom case where an admin unblocked himself – if the blocking policy did not make this action unambiguously inappropriate, I suspect the arbcom case would have been far longer and more contentious than it ended up being. Mz7 (talk) 21:17, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support - Not sure how many admins who were blocked, retained the mop, and counter-blocked we had, but we might as well add this. Nosebagbear (talk) 21:30, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Well yes, the ability to block a fellow administrator should only be used in exceptional circumstances, period. That includes making the initial block as well as any possible "retaliatory" blocks. I'm disappointed at the level of traction this "instruction creep" is getting when the real need for clearer standards on civility were dismissed as "creep" by so many. – wbm1058 (talk) 23:18, 21 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support Admins should not otherwise be allowed to counter-block. SemiHypercube 00:36, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Ambivalent. Not a lot will happen if this passes and not a lot will happen if it doesn't. Also, change the last three words of the first sentence from "their own account" to "them". Moriori (talk) 00:51, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Fix bad wording, and then I can support. When we say should, we're giving strong advice but not making anything mandatory, i.e. the wording gives wiggle room beyond "exceptional circumstances". If we add this, it needs to be "must", because there's absolutely no reason to use this ability in normal situations. However, the in retaliation against users on which others rely has the same problem: blocking in retaliation isn't outright prohibited by anything except common sense. It's a really bad idea to leave room for wikilawyering, and we ought to close this potential loophole by saying "must not" in anything save exceptional circumstances. Nyttend (talk) 04:34, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose the current wording because I would prefer that if we get a block deadlock (A blocks B, B then blocks A) that a moderated explanation of why they felt the need to block the other participant in the deadlock in the same way that we proxy in Blocked users commentary to an AN* discussion for unblocking. Hasteur (talk) 16:48, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support this welcome clarification to policy in light of the recent technical changes to the (un)block tool. Policy should clearly reflect practice and this is a good step in that direction. 28bytes (talk) 17:55, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support but wording should be clearer. Rather than "exceptional circumstances, such as account compromises", just say "account compromises". In fact I would prefer "You must not use this ability unless you are sure that the account which blocked you has been compromised". Undoubtedly there are other exceptional circumstances where this would be appropriate but they are already covered by a policy with higher precedence: WP:IAR. Every user who would block their blocking admin believes themselves to be in an exceptional circumstance. Send them a clear message that they are not. Bilorv(c)(talk) 19:00, 22 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose per Jehochman. Unnecessary. feminist (talk) 16:10, 23 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Reluctant oppose though it can easily be interpreted as a neutral, I just don't think there's much point in being neutral. I don't see this RfC as having a substantial benefit; it's already covered by policy. The only potential positive is preventing wikilawyering, which is legitimate but not persuasive to me personally. Wugapodes [thɑk] [ˈkan.ˌʧɹɪbz] 04:45, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Just popping in to note my amusement on accidentally parsing the proposed addition as meaning that the operator of a compromised account, if blocked, is allowed by policy to in return block the admin that had blocked them. ansh666 07:43, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support This should definitely be recorded formally in the policy, to squash any potential shenanigans later. — AfroThundr (u · t · c) 16:04, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak Oppose Hard cases make bad law (i.e. instruction creep). Crazynas t 19:03, 24 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This specific use case was addressed and settled thirteen years ago in Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Stevertigo. Administrators always have to justify a block; a block that would fall within this use case is so obviously unjustifiable that the additional language is redundant. Given the discussion above, this would also introduce uncertainty about what to do in the rare case where an administrator account is compromised and misbehaves. Mackensen (talk) 16:47, 26 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Support but only for emergencies, as the proposer said above.---Wikaviani (talk) (contribs) 03:20, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Oppose as obvious creep. -- KTC (talk) 22:46, 28 December 2018 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose I can see that this could help preventing compromised accounts from damaging the site, but I'm not convinced that this in needed --DannyS712 (talk) 07:56, 1 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support . I understand the concerns of those who claim it's instruction creep, but I do think we need a bright line here. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 10:16, 1 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support helps clarify the situation; better to state the obvious here than leave it unsaid or worked out in the future during some dispute resolution. I disagree with 'rule creep' as above; whether or not this is written down per se, it will still be followed as a 'rule' either way, because of its obvious nature. --Tom (LT) (talk) 10:50, 1 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support Both the ability and the proposed wording change to the blocking policy. Crouch, Swale (talk) 20:44, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is instruction creep that borders on WP:BEANS territory. Getting into a counter-block war is unambiguous wheel warring. If there is a compromised admin account blocking everyone with a script, it's an emergency situation anyways, so just go grab an arbitrator or a steward. Titoxd(?!?) 23:04, 2 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Comment. As someone who has twice been caught up in IP-range blocks by WP:BUREAUCRATs whose email was closed and who I could therefore not contact, I feel entitled to comment on the substance if not the procedure. I could not even post {{unblock}} on my Talk Page. I only managed to get out of the jam by emailing a senior WP:ADMIN who knows me – twice. His first attempt to get the block lifted failed, his second succeeded (and was worth a Barnstar). What a waste of time and effort!
Second time round, another contact (who I'd also emailed) told me about UTRS. I also found an obscure backwater, and was given the temporary WP:EXEMPT privilege.
Query: How many honest editors have given up on WP because they've been hit by a rangeblock and don't know what to do about it? Solving all that faffing about took me the best part of two working days. Narky Blert (talk) 01:24, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support. Perfectly reasonable. And it's not instruction creep when it's simply giving emphasis to what should already be established common sense. -- œ 08:29, 6 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support - Makes total sense to have this as a clause. WP:BEANS doesn't apply. Kirbanzo (talk) 16:08, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support First of all, the proposed extension explains that blocked administrators have this ability. This is perhaps not immediately known to new administrators or to those who are not yet aware that unblockself is gone. Secondly, in the light of the recent case, it is best to make clear that this option is reserved for exceptional circumstances – even if it is somewhat redundant to the more general blocking policy. --AFBorchert (talk) 09:16, 12 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose If this passes, we would soon see admin block wars, and then that would divert their attention from more important matters, then nothing gets done. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Billster156234781 (talkcontribs) 21:19, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
    • Can you clarify how you believe this proposal will cause block wars, compared with the current situation? isaacl (talk) 21:48, 13 January 2019 (UTC)
  • Support it's better to have a huge line in the sand, than have it unclear. Then, if the problem of revenge blocking came up, this would provide very strong ground to remove admin rights. Dreamy Jazz 🎷 talk to me | my contributions 18:29, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Proposal for a new subsection

Pointy proposal that has devolved into a discussion no good can come from. TonyBallioni (talk) 19:28, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I propose that a new subsection should be added to the "common rationales for blocks" section, which should be as follows.

=== Viewpoint-based blocks ===

Editors who personally hold extreme viewpoints ("extreme" being defined as a viewpoint that differs in major ways from what would constitute NPOV) may be indefinitely blocked for holding such viewpoints, even if their behavior itself is not disruptive. Evidence about an editor's personal viewpoints may rely on the editor's activities outside of Wikipedia, but in order to avoid a breach of privacy, off-wiki evidence about an editor's viewpoints may only be submitted privately to the Arbitration Committee. Blocks placed for this reason will typically remain in place until the blocked editor can demonstrate that they no longer hold the viewpoint that led to their block.

08:39, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

I believe that this addition is necessary in order to create a policy basis for what has already become a de facto accepted practice in the community. Three recent examples of this practice:

  • This essay, which argues that editors who hold racist opinions should be indefinitely blocked on sight even if their behavior complies with policy, has just been moved from userspace into project space after being kept at MFD. (Note that despite its title, this essay endorses viewpoint-based blocks for editors who hold all types of racist opinions, not just neo-Nazism.) While a few editors commenting in the MFD (particularly Tornado Chaser and Nyttend) argued that blocks should only be based on an editor's behavior rather than their opinions, the larger portion felt that viewpoint-based blocks are acceptable.
  • In this arbitration amendment request, ArbCom indicated that a decisive factor in whether or not to lift user:Ferahgo the Assassin's topic ban was whether his personal viewpoint had changed from what its had been at the time when the topic ban was implemented, and thus demanded to know his viewpoint before agreeing to lift the sanction. While this case concerned a topic ban rather than a block, ArbCom's demand was otherwise an example of the same practice.
  • A few days ago, the arbitration committee indefinitely blocked a long-term editor (registered for 12 years, around a thousand edits, no previous blocks) based entirely on the viewpoints that this editor had expressed outside of Wikipedia. I am not sure whether I'm allowed to give this editor's username, because their username and the off-wiki information about them were in a talk page post that's been oversighted. However, the block itself is publicly visible if you know which user it is and look at their block log. The community needs to decide whether blocks with this rationale are within policy, so I think that the best course of action here is to describe the basis for the block without naming the user.

For viewpoint-based blocks to work as a policy, this policy would have to apply to all types of fringe viewpoints, such as creationism (fringe within biology), communism (fringe within economics), or anti-vaccination views (fringe within medicine). I'm personally neutral on whether this proposal is a good idea or not, so my opening this RFC should not be taken as a vote in favor or against. My only strong opinion is that if viewpoint-based actions against editors are going to be accepted by ArbCom and by the community, they require a basis in policy. tickle me 08:39, 25 February 2019 (UTC)

Discussion

  • I'm not convinced. I have no idea which block you're referring to, but it is not a common reason. I see several problems with adopting this into policy, which I won't lay out in detail. We generally take all sorts of extreme (non-NPOV) viewpoints to get a NPOV result. It's also a slippery slope if we're going to block based on the examples you provide. Creationism probably involves most of the world's religious people. I read in the article that something like, "42% of Americans believe that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so". There's also more communists than you might think. If someone thinks they don't want to vaccinate their kids, or they declare themselves to be a Pagan witch or that they've seen ghosts or whatever, from an encyclopaedic viewpoint I couldn't care less. -- zzuuzz (talk) 23:51, 25 February 2019 (UTC)
  • The ideas is noble but is quite farfetched in practice. I would recommend to modify the proposal. THE NEW ImmortalWizard(chat) 13:40, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Waste of time (nothing against you, but this is an effort in waste). Seems that you subscribe to the opposite viewpoint but are proposing this to enforce the opposite. Seen this before. Should be simply archived. Lourdes 16:33, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • Absolutely not, no. It might be considered necessary to exclude some individuals sometimes (I know the San Fran people do it), but a generic "we can block anyone who has a non-standard viewpoint" is anathema to the way Wikipedia should work. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 16:56, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
    Oh, and this needs to be more widely publicized - policy changes like this should not be decided by a small handful of people who happen upon this talk page. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 16:58, 26 February 2019 (UTC)
  • This is a terrible idea. If the community truly believes that it is acceptable to sanction editors for perceived wrongthink, the potential downstream problems with this, and ultimately harm to the encyclopedia, are innumerable. I've brought up some concerns about such things with user:DGG via email when this came up in my appeal—he may find it worthwhile to comment here. -Ferahgo the Assassin (talk)
  • Of course this is totally contrary to the principles of WP. Nonetheless, it can be observed by anyone who observes ANI, that people often do act this way in practice, either to promote a cause or in defense of a deeply held conviction or even just in the heat of debate. We need to not only reject it out of hand here, but reject attempts to shut people out of WP on the basis of their opinions. This can sometimes difficult to differentiate from the situation of individuals who make a nuisance of themselves. One can be a nuisance in continually challenging established consensus, and one can also be as much of a nuisance in supporting consensus against reasonable challenges and refusing to hear objections. DGG ( talk ) 01:33, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I agree with others here that this is a terrible idea. Blocks and sanctions should only come in response to bad behavior here on Wikipedia, not merely for holding opinions that some or even most everyone find unsavory, particularly when those opinions are expressed on venues outside of Wikipedia. Furthermore, the WP:No Nazis essay is a problem. It's essentially a ideologically-motivated manifesto for promoting aggressive, hostile behavior here, penned by a now-banned user who made a career here of advancing his ideological agenda with aggressive, hostile behavior. Perhaps, we should return the essay to his userspace for posterity and out of respect for his sizable contributions to the project outside from his bad behavior. But this essay living in the main project space grants too much credence to these ideas. Jweiss11 (talk) 02:32, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • I could say more in opinion concerning the timing, motivation and background to this and at least one of the justifications. I'll stick with the general theme. This is a BAD idea. Thought Police. The essay should probably be reconsidered for deletion when this RFC fails. Leaky caldron (talk) 13:39, 28 February 2019 (UTC)
  • WTF, the worst proposal iv'e seen It is disturbing that anyone thinks this is a good idea, I am all for sanctions on those who are clearly POV pushing, but we must not act like a certain senator from the 50s. There are 5 main problems with this proposal. 1: The obvious fact that thought police are bad. 2: Someone who edits in a biased manner should be topic banned from the area they are editing biasedly in, not blocked from the whole encyclopedia. 3: This will encourage people to look into the RL identities and off wiki activities of editors they disagree with. 4: Deviation from the mainstream is not the same as inability to put you biases to the side wen editing, a moderate Hillary Clinton supporter who insists on editorializing in favor of Clinton should be sanctioned, but a communist antivaxer who thinks the world is flat but edits in an unbiased policy compliant manner should be allowed to edit. 5: How the hell are we supposed to decide what is too extreme? There are all kinds of political issues where one side is trying to portray the other as extreme, imagine if ANI debated politics when deciding on a block! True story: I recently mentioned in a discussion on my talk page that I am a pro-vax libertarian who opposes mandatory vaccines, and was angrily told by another editor that that made me an antivaxer and "against everything this encyclopedia is about", another editor (who also disagreed with my stance on vaccine laws) then pointed out that anti-mandate and anti-vax are not the same, prompting the first editor to double down and call me "antisocial and very selfish".
Just imagine ANI: "you want to repeal the second amendment, extremist! block!" "no, you're the extremist who thinks everyone need military weapons! we should block you if anyone!". What if ANI started discussion abortion? Is the green new deal too extreme? There is no end the the problems this would cause. Tornado chaser (talk) 02:16, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
  • WP:SNOWBALL - Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems to me the proposer is not seriously proposing this, but is trying to make a point or criticism about some recent situation by making an absurd policy proposal as a kind of straw man. --IamNotU (talk) 13:57, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
    Oh, indeed, it's pure WP:POINTY. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 14:32, 1 March 2019 (UTC)
    @IamNotU and Boing! said Zebedee: What is the point that you think the proposer is making? wbm1058 (talk) 16:16, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
    I read it as a comment on/criticism of a recent ArbCom indef block. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 16:20, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
    I assume you're referring to the third bullet point in Tickle me's proposal statement: "based entirely on the viewpoints that this editor had expressed outside of Wikipedia". Is that Tickle me's opinion, or did the Arbitration Committee actually give that explicit rationale? Can ArbCom block an editor without providing a policy-based rationale for the block? wbm1058 (talk) 16:35, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
    Is that block based on confidential evidence? Did the blocking arbitrator state that rationale? If not, I'm not sure why we're tiptoeing around discussing the details. – wbm1058 (talk) 16:44, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
    It was done entirely in camera, but with a very clear link to another issue (clear for those who saw some material that was subsequently oversighted). If someone wants to challenge it there are ways to do so - a pointy "If you can do it, we all should be able to" proposal is not the way. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 16:52, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
    (edit conflict) In camera... hmm a fancy legal term that simply means "in private". So, I take it that the blocking arbitrator did not claim that it was based on private evidence and did not provide a policy-based rationale. Basically, ArbCom blocked an editor "just because they can". Just theoretically, what would happen if the US Supreme Court simply had a private vote and "declared war" on Russia. How would the president respond? How would Congress respond? How do you think this should be challenged? An appeal to ArbCom? But then they would be deciding an issue in which they were involved. Perhaps an RfC is a better choice. We could ask the bureaucrats to close it. Separation of powers and all that. – wbm1058 (talk) 17:56, 2 March 2019 (UTC)
    To answer those questions as best I can, the block is not a WMF block and no rationale (other than that it's an Arbcom block) was given. (Redacted) I did see the material in question, but it would obviously be wrong of me to disclose it. Boing! said Zebedee (talk) 18:19, 2 March 2019 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Require more specific statistics and justification for anonblock and rangeblock

Further to my lengthy comments on the talk page of Blocking IP addresses, I propose that more specific statistics and justification should be a non-negotiable requirement for blocking of IP ranges. To be documented on this policy page inter alia.

Example: the block at User_talk:1.144.108.0/22 just says it's due to "abuse" — no categorisation of the nature of the abuse, no quantification of the "abuse" or qualitative assessment of the severity of the "abuse", and no (quantitative) estimation of the extent of collateral damage.

Of course, this should be supported by the provision of tools to aid some of the calculations necessary for such quantifications. And the tools need to be maintained, made readily accessible, and documented on pages such as Blocking IP addresses and Administrators' guide/Blocking.

—DIV (1.144.111.80 (talk) 11:23, 1 July 2019 (UTC))

Misdirected or dead link

Under "Collateral damage", "Range Contributions – X!'s tools", which displays a link of https://tools.wmflabs.org/xtools/rangecontribs , actually sends me to https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Help:User_contributions (I have no idea why!) via https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Special:MyLanguage/Help:User_contributions . —DIV (1.144.111.80 (talk) 10:58, 1 July 2019 (UTC))

See Wikipedia:Administrators'_guide/Blocking#Checking_range_contributions. —DIV (1.144.111.80 (talk) 11:56, 1 July 2019 (UTC))

Indefinite blocks of new editors violating WP:COI

I have noticed a pattern of new editors being blocked indefinitely when their first article is promotional in tone. I believe this is harmful and would like to see a move towards lengthy blocks of finite duration:

  1. In many cases, English is not the first language of the person being blocked.
  2. In many cases, they are editing as part of a club or classroom exercise with the twin goals of improving their language skills and improving our coverage of subjects local to their country.
  3. Often they simply do not know any better and choose a subject too close to them, and write an article that reads like a hagiography.
  4. They will respond to the block with either: a cycle of appeals, or abandoning the account and creating a sock.

This all requires a good deal of administrator time and effort to handle. I think we would be better off with shorter blocks, 10 days, 30 days, which can then be lengthened if necessary. This will be at least as effective behaviorally, and will require less effort on the part of the admin community by discouraging socking and allowing block appeals to be more readily closed as "just wait it out." I would like to propose amending the blocking policy to encourage shorter blocks in this situation. At present, the policy is silent on COI blocks, since they were not as serious a problem as vandalism or disruption at the time the blocking policy was drafted. UninvitedCompany 20:32, 24 May 2019 (UTC)

I think this needs to be considered case by case. I think if it's the "standard" situation (new editor puts together a clearly inappropriate/promotional draft or sandbox page,), that does indicate lack of knowledge rather than malice, and I prefer to handle that with a notice or warning rather than a block. In that case, hopefully the "No, you can't do that" gets their attention. On the other hand, there are plenty of cases where the editor either deliberately made ten inconsequential edits to duck the autoconfirmed restriction, or posted exactly or almost exactly the same thing as a previously blocked spammer. In that case, I think more robust and immediate action is called for; in that case they clearly know they're spamming and do not care. Block them for a finite duration, and they will either wait out the block and go right back to it, or they will just create a sock rather than waiting. But I would strongly oppose a blanket prohibition against indef blocks in that case; there are cases where they are entirely justified and necessary. Seraphimblade Talk to me 21:06, 24 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree with all that. I have seen a number of cases where editors are indeffed after their first few edits based on WP:CIR and WP:COI. I'll add some examples here as I come across them. UninvitedCompany 19:15, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
Have a look at Pakinam Ashraf (talk · contribs · deleted contribs · page moves · block user · block log) for an example. Started editing with a poorly chosen username, made a bunch of edits at User:World Youth Forum/sandbox that have since been deleted, asked for a rename, and is still indeffed and going through appeals, which is in accordance with policy as presently written. It is also fairly widespread practice, so I don't want to single out the blocking admin. UninvitedCompany 19:39, 28 May 2019 (UTC)
I agree.
The case of User:Pakinam Ashraf is a good example.
I feel that it's inappropriate to block a user for anything happening in a sandbox. Who's going to be affected by that?
There seems to have been an unsubstantiated assumption that the user was an organiser of the event that they were trying to write about, or were paid by an organiser. (Probably due to the poor initial choice of username,) But the user themself denies it. So if they've now been made familiar with the policy not to write in a 'promotional' fashion, why shouldn't they be allowed to continue contributing about that event. I know nothing about the event, and it doesn't interest me, so I won't be doing it. If that user is keen, then WP should harness it. And the user has supposedly also been 'blocked' from editing about "youth empowerment issues" — not sure how that would be enforced.
By the way, I haven't seen too many of these appeals, but the discourse at User talk:Pakinam Ashraf is actually quite constructive from all parties, so that's something positive. And I take the point made by User:UninvitedCompany that the admin in that case may well have been faithfully following the policies and established practices. Those policies and established practices are being questioned — not the individual admin.
—DIV (1.144.111.80 (talk) 12:28, 1 July 2019 (UTC))
If you spend a few moments on Google, you will quickly find that the user's relationship with the event they were promoting is rather more substantial than they are claiming on their talkpage. This is indeed a good example - of the type of editor that creates a promotional article about their organisation and then studiously avoids admitting their actual relationship when accusations of COI crop up. Yunshui  12:46, 1 July 2019 (UTC)
Point taken. —DIV (1.129.110.191 (talk) 00:13, 10 July 2019 (UTC))