Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy/Archive 6

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Bothering good editors

This probably won't fly on wp-en, but on wp-de apparently it's acceptable to block someone if they're disturbing good editors and keeping them from contributing at their normal rate. Since we are writing an encyclopedia, not creating a community, this makes sense.... if some account appears, contributes no content, and just goes around antagonizing well-meaning editors, right now it is difficult to block them if they know 'the rules' and are careful not to make actual personal attacks, violate 3RR, do anything that fits under disruption, etc.

Why not allow blocking of people who contribute nothing or essentially nothing to articles, but contribute a great deal of argumentative comments? --W.marsh 13:52, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

I'd be wary of doing this due to the potential for abuse. I think the existing ability to block for disruption or community ban for general stupidity covers these problems. Rebecca 03:52, 17 July 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Rebecca on this. It would be very hard to define any clear rules, and users would probably waste more time dealing with arguments than simply reverting bad editors in the existing way.--MichaelMaggs 18:38, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Google Web Accelerator

I was recently getting messages saying I was blocked because somebody was using my IP address for vandalism; I found this wholly unlikely because my IP is static. If I clicked "Edit this page" several times, I'd be allowed to do so. Moreover, the IP address listed was not my own; I used some DNS tools and the IP is used by Google. I found that by disabling Google Web Accelerator, I haven't run into any problems, though it could just be a coincidence. Perhaps this is worth noting somewhere... more official so that other users can benefit from this. If its already been mentioned, then I guess I just didn't look hard enough. --[[User:Douglas Whitaker|Douglas cdgf 04:37, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

I think the correct solution is to use "Don't Accelerate These Sites" feature within GWA and add WP to the list of unaccelerated sites. Obviously GWA will pick up blocked IPs over time so this step will be needed for all WP users who elect to use GWA (until Google figures it out and automatically removes WP from its acceleration list). Crum375 12:45, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
See also Anonymous and open proxies, which implies that GWA is illegal as a way to access WP, since it effectively anonymizes the user's IP. Comments invited. Crum375 22:39, 21 July 2006 (UTC)
I'd have to agree wholeheartedly on this. I was thinking about what the implications were, and allowing GWA didn't seem all that good of an idea. If it is indeed the cases of using GWA, I think this should be made much more public so other users can find out about this. --Douglas Whitaker 22:51, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

The Google Web Accelerator sets the X-Forwarded-For: HTTP header, which indicates the user's original IP address. Is the MediaWiki code not making use of that fact? Obviously you don't always want to trust X-Forwarded-For, since a hooligan could set their own on non-proxied connections. But you do want to trust it for known proxies. --FOo 03:23, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

GWA doesn't proxy POST requests, so it can't be used for vandalism. The problem comes when a blocked user requests an edit page with GET, then the autoblocker will block the proxy. Subsequent requests for edit pages from the same proxy will show a block message. A POST request would work just fine if the user was able to download the form to post. Indeed we do use the XFF header for known proxies, see m:XFF project, but at the moment, we don't have a list of GWA proxies. -- Tim Starling 07:31, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

It's the obvious question, I know, but have we asked them? I'd think the folks at Google wouln't mind telling us, but I suppose I could be mistaken. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 12:15, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

I've just stumbled across this discussion and it explains why I've been getting these random blocks showing a variety of IP addresses for some time (I'm on a static IP address as well). It would be really useful if this information could be posted somewhere more visible than this. Happy to do so if someone could point me in the right direction. Thanks --MichaelMaggs 18:28, 9 August 2006 (UTC)

Block length

I have changed the section which states that the maximum block length for static IPs is one month to say that it is indefinite, as this seems to be the general consensus. I have seen static IPs blocked indefinately on several occasions and Template:IndefblockedIP exists.--Conrad Devonshire Talk 09:10, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Role accounts

Is there something about role accounts somewhere? I cannot find it at the moment; some help would be nice :-) --HappyCamper 16:55, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

There is something about Public accounts, which is not quite the same thing. The authority for role accounts is WP:SOCK which says that role accounts are not officially sanctioned and are likely to be blocked. -- zzuuzz (talk) 18:31, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

Extend the blocking templates to give more information?

Would it be an idea to add more information to the block templates? For example, Template:Test5 currently reads:

You have been temporarily blocked from editing for vandalism of Wikipedia. Please note that page blanking, addition of random text or spam, deliberate misinformation, privacy violations, and repeated and blatant violation of WP:NPOV are considered vandalism. If you wish to make useful contributions, you may come back after the block expires.

This gives no information on when the block expires, with no indications on how to find out, or mention that the user can still edit their talk page, or tell the user which edit they have been blocked because of. Template:Test5-n does some way towards this, by telling the user how long they have been blocked for, but it's still not ideal, or in common use. The rest of the blocked templates are no better. I'm not sure of the best place to ask this, as it's not tied down to a single template. Mike Peel 17:09, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Why not try {{block-reason}}? I love it. --Lord Deskana (talk) 17:15, 6 August 2006 (UTC)
I hadn't seen that template. It's better than the others, but not there yet. It should really link to this page, and preferably note how to contest the block (see Template:Block). Also, I'm more after making this a common thing, something that will be used in the majority of cases, rather than something that the odd admin will do. (Note: I'm not an admin. I can't block people, so don't use these templates myself. I just see a lot of them on my wiki travels.) Mike Peel 17:29, 6 August 2006 (UTC)

Please note that I've also started up a (more in-depth) discussion about this at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Add more compulsory information to the blocking templates?. Mike Peel 22:06, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

I'm in favour of at least an optional duration parameter on all block templates. Guy 10:56, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

policy on the "community ban"

As the policy is currently written, a community ban comes about by:

  1. an editor is blocked ("a user....finds themselves blocked")
  2. there is supposed to be a way of showing that there is "widespread community support for the block" and notice of the block is given at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents
  3. If there is community support for the block then the user is considered banned and is listed at Wikipedia:List of banned users#Banned by the Wikipedia community.

In practice, community bans do not always follow the written policy. Practice now seems to include this path to a community ban:

  1. someone suggests at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents that a ban be imposed on a Wikipedia editor.
  2. If there is consensus at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents for such a ban, then the newly banned editor is listed at Wikipedia:List of banned users#Banned by the Wikipedia community
  3. The banned editor is blocked

This second path to a community ban seems very different than what is in the written policy. I think an effort needs to be made to put it into written policy.

I think an effort should also be made to have a simple way to trace the history of each community ban back through what should be a totally transparent process of establishing community consensus. As things stand, it is difficult to trace back through to the origin of some community bans. For example, User talk:PoolGuy seems to provide an example a decision to ban an editor that was made while the editor was not blocked. In this case, I can find no discussion or notice of the ban/block at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents. Part of the problem in making sense of past community bans is that many banned users edit from multiple accounts.

Another way that practice seems to have diverged from the original intent of the written policy is in terms of judging community consensus. A specific recent example of a community ban is here. In that case, the community ban was suggested at 18:21, 24 July 2006. The community ban was put into effect at about 21:54, 24 July 2006 after one other Wikipedian agreed to the "community" ban. If establishing "widespread community support" for community bans is no longer relevant, then the written policy should state this explicitly. --JWSchmidt 18:33, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Your point is well taken. Community bans should meet the standard of broad community support. I found the posting for the PoolGuy ban on AN at [1]. It appears that one Admin proposed a ban at 05:56, 25 June 2006 (UTC). Only one other Admin stated support just eleven hours later at 14:56, 25 June 2006 (UTC). After that the first Admin imposed the permanent ban within 1 hour and 20 minutes at 16:16, 25 June 2006 (UTC).
You are correct that User:PoolGuy was not blocked at the time and was editing with one account as ArbCom had suggested. PoolGuy was asking for attention to an issue that ArbCom had not addressed. The banning resulted in PoolGuy's issue not being addressed, and as a result of his persistence in seeing the issue addressed he continues to post the issue in numerous places to seek Admin attention with no end in sight.
It appears that this turned into an example of WP:BEANS. By banning PoolGuy the Admins created the situation they were trying to avoid. Addressing the issue brought up would have resolved it, without the need for taxing Admin time managing a banned user, when the banning was rushed without adequate discourse to determine if that was the best option of dealing with the user. This is another great example of users and Admins who do not follow written policy actually creating more issues than they resolve. LikeNow 01:17, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Ahh yes, the PoolGuy example. If I recall, he's vandalized ANI, he has about 100 sockpuppets, spammed dozens of userpages, and harassed those that had to deal with him. I've watched him bug pschemp constantly. I'm not surprised that he's yet to find an admin who really wants to unblock any of his accounts. He was under sanctions by the arbitration commitee, and under probation against disruptive editing of articles. His sockpuppet, GoldToeMarionetee picked up where poolguy left off (rather than peaceful editing) by spamming a couple dozen user talk pages with requests to vote stack. 3 administrators were in favor of a ban, along with the bunches of other ones who've had to block his floods of sockpuppets that probably agree by enforcing said community. There's no reasoning with poolguy, as he's yet to accept the block of a his alternate account who exhibited the same behavior as before with disruptive editing. He got his chance when the arbitration committee gave him a free pass to create a new account and peacefully edit, and blew it with attempt at votestacking immediately with the new account. Kevin_b_er 20:35, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Explanation of general blocking principle

The language used here is taken directly from the Wikimedia Foundation's privacy policy ( These are the same conditions under which CheckUsers may reveal personal identifying information about an editor; it stands to reason that these same conditions are conditions under which blocks are appropriate. Kelly Martin (talk) 03:19, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Support without reservation. The wording seems a little broad if you don't have that context, though. Perhaps a footnote might be in order? ++Lar: t/c 03:22, 14 August 2006 (UTC)
Seems pretty pragmatic, and considering it's in the Privacy Policy, it's actually been ratified by the Board. - Mark 03:31, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

As it is certainly not the most common type of block given out, I've bumped the section down from the top of the list where it previously resided. In addition, I've changed the name from 'General blocking principle', which I think implies it is more all-encompassing than it is in actuality, to 'Legal protection', which seems to more accurately describe its origins (the privacy policy). Feel free to comment and/or revert. ~ PseudoSudo 11:56, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

No, that's entirely wrong. This is a general principle under which many blocks proceed. If you don't understand that, you shouldn't be blocking people, and certainly should not be editing the blocking policy. Kelly Martin (talk) 14:08, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
Then out of complete honestly I admit I am not certain as to its implication. Could you perhaps give an example of its use? ~ PseudoSudo 15:54, 3 September 2006 (UTC)
I've reorganized the blocking policy to help clarify matters. Most of the "laundry list" of reasons given before are really elaborations of three basic reasons for blocking (blocks for disruption, blocks for protective purposes, and blocks pursuant to bans), and I've restructured the lists to reflect this better. I will probably do more refactoring in the future to make this more clear. Kelly Martin (talk) 17:32, 3 September 2006 (UTC)

Execution of policy

THis may seem like a stupid question, but are admins supposed to follow this actual policy as shown on the article page before/when blocking people or are they allowed to interpret it in any way they see fit? --Light current 02:31, 21 August 2006 (UTC)

Non-responding editor?

Hi. I am not good as this whole blocking and banning thing and may be asking a silly question. We have a problem with a new editor who uploads and changes and moves stuff about, but who refuses to respond to questions about his actions on his talk page. What headline is this under? It's not vandalism, but just Refusal To Engage in Communication with Other Editors (RECOE). Most of the dispute resolution suggestions begin by telling us to establish some kind of communication, but that idea seems to require two parties. Please help—a pointer to the relevant subsection of this or a related page will do. Arbor 14:18, 29 August 2006 (UTC)

He must be warned then, if no response, on the next violation, blocked on grounds of disruption etc!--Light current 17:39, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Why do you do this?!

People fix articles and help Wikipedia, but your blocking policy is too strict! Can someone tell me why they block people after helping Wikipedia? 17:10, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

To protect WP from vandalism and disruption. Obviously Admins who block users feel that the users are acting against one ore more of the current policies.--Light current 17:30, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Some people block others for just making simple mistakes. 20:18, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

LIke what?--Light current 20:21, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Do you know on some articles, tht box on the right side? I accidentally removed it once without knowing how to get it back (I was trying to change something else) and they blocked me for it. 21:05, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

You mean the contents box?--Light current 21:33, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
He probably means a taxobox or something similar. Unfortunately, there are people who do that kind of thing deliberately, usually for no reason other than because they think it's fun to break things. We usually do try to warn them first, but if they keep doing it we do block them. If you weren't doing it deliberately and got blocked anyway, I'm sorry. But the block has (obviously) expired by now, so why not just write it off as a learning experience and move on? Just mind you don't do it again and you should be fine. Being blocked from editing Wikipedia for a while isn't the end of the world, you know. —Ilmari Karonen (talk) 22:11, 2 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes. (ahem) Quite right! I know!--Light current 22:31, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I'm talking about the taxobox. I'll try not to remove it. 22:37, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

Happy editing in future!--Light current 22:38, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

OK. 23:10, 2 September 2006 (UTC)

What can i do when admins abuse their power and block me unfairly? 17:30, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

"Cool down" blocks

I have seen this type of block, generally a 1 or 2 hour block with an summary such as "time to cool down", more and more lately. I can't help but think that this is used as a tool to silence civil discussion. The policy already clearly states: "Blocks for disruption should only be placed when a user is in some way making it difficult for others to contribute to Wikipedia." A civil discussion in an appropriate venue will never make it difficult for others to contribute. If a person's argument descends into personal attacks or incivility, thats already covered under policy, but to block someone because they continue to argue a point, or are in the minority, doesn't make sense. What's more it almost certainly will never accomplish its stated goal. I think the policy needs to clearly state that "Cool down" blocks are never acceptable. What does the community think? —Nate Scheffey 22:02, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

I think that, in cases where the user is making personal attacks, ranting or something like that, a "cool down" block does make sense, however a lot of blocks I've seen don't reflect this. If anything, it often serves to inflame the issue even more by agitating the blocked user, and it could easily lead to accusations of admin power abuse if the blocked user is a regular editor, or at the very least the perception in the editor that they'll be blocked again if they continue to argue their point. That's never a good thing and leads to editors who distrust admins. Catbag 22:08, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I completely agree with all of your points. What I am proposing would not affect personal attacks in any way, as that is clearly covered by policy. It would simply prevent all of the negative consequences that you have (correctly) enumerated. —Nate Scheffey 22:15, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree. Feedback is important to WP. If it is silenced by blocks for no reason at all, surely a) important feedback will not get through and b) people are entitled to their opinions (and have a right to express them); how can a person be blocked simply because his/her opinion differs with the rest?
I think cool-down blocks are quite useful, and are preferable to simply declaring "disruption" and letting the chips fall where they may. If they're abused, then the abuser can and will be challenged for their actions. As far as "distrusting admins" is concerned, who cares? As long as we allow anyone to edit -- and I'm not suggesting here that we stop -- then we'll have plenty of people with authority issues who are going distrust admins no matter what we do. Why remove a useful tool? --jpgordon∇∆∇∆ 23:48, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
Can you provide for me an example (hypothetical or otherwise) where a "cool down" block would be necessitated? —Nate Scheffey 00:08, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Can you provide an example where there was a block imposed and the discussion was civil? I know I have used a cool down block at least once. The blockee was not being civil - the block had its effect - it wasn't challenged either by the blcokee or by others who saw it (and noted it), even though I suspect they might not have blocked themselves.--Golden Wattle talk 23:51, 6 September 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I believe this block, this block, and this block were all in reaction to civil discourse, and certainly did not result in their intended goal. I do not think my proposed clarification would prevent blocking for incivility. —Nate Scheffey 00:06, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
Good examples, and those are the kinds of situations where blocking is a really bad idea and is inflammatory. Most of the time, the difference between incivility and tenacity are quite clear. Honestly, 1-3 hour blocks seem rather silly to me; clearly notify the user that they're being incivil and if they continue, block for a longer time. I don't like the idea that blocks should be substitutions for warnings, and I really don't like the idea of admins inadvertently breeding mistrust in users. Thus, I wholeheartedly support putting in this clarification. Catbag 02:15, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
So long as it's clear that blocks for continued incivility and personal attacks are appropriate, that's fine. The best way to cool someone down who isn't violating policy isn't to block that person, but to simply disengage from the conversation. If other people are contributing to the conversation, then it isn't time for the conversation to end. Captainktainer * Talk 00:00, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I hate to comment given it's so soon since my unfortunate situation, but it makes perfect sense. It's a shame we have to codify it. --badlydrawnjeff talk 02:47, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I disagree. I see no reason to codify this. It is not a good to limit admins ability to calm down heated arguments. Someone going on and on about an issue is being disruptive and should be blocked. Putting something like this in place would just give the blocked person a chance to go "Look, it says here I shouldn't be blocked for arguing my point civilly over and over again". I think it's unnecessary and unwise to do this. Let's not give people more "outs" for disruption. They already have far too many. --Woohookitty(meow) 05:19, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I disagree that blocks are an effective way of calming down heated arguments. If an editor is obeying WP:NPA and WP:CIVIL then the discussion should be allowed to continue, no matter how "heated" it may appear to an outside admin. I also would point to User:Captainktainer's comments above as an explanation of preferable ways to deal with heated arguments. Can you give me an example of a situation where an editor arguing a point civily in the correct venue could also be "in some way making it difficult for others to contribute to Wikipedia"? —Nate Scheffey 05:40, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

[De-indent.] The blocks given as examples all seem entirely justified. Metamagician3000 09:59, 7 September 2006 (UTC)

They don't seem that way to everyone. I personally think blocking someone and telling them to "Go outside. Play frisbee. Eat an ice cream cone." because they said "I question your ability to administer," is not entirely justified. And aside from it's righteousness, does it help? Does it make the dialogue better or worse? —Nate Scheffey 22:17, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
We have policies on when to block users, and most of them are fairly unambiguous. Dragging on a discussion is not one of them. If this is in any doubt on WP:BLOCK we should codify it very clearly. And while not technically a block, I find Nandesuka's protection of Jeff's talk page an almost desysoppable abuse of admin powers. Editors have the right to write 1000kB essays on their user pages venting against policies, as long as they don't breach any of the other conduct rules in the process. it's absolutely not any admin's business to stop them or prevent them from "hurting themselves". ~ trialsanderrors 17:15, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
I cannot come out against "cool down" blocks when properly applied. However, too often it's just code for "I don't like what you're saying, so I'm taking away your ability to say it". And yeah, that does far more harm than good. If someone is actually being disruptive, go ahead and block for disruption. The above examples were bad blocks. Friday (talk) 23:51, 7 September 2006 (UTC)
It's a tricky issue. For the most part I detest blocks in general for anyone who isn't clearly trying to damage the encyclopedia (vandalism, copyright violation, active attempts to disrupt with no good intent, et cetera). Generally if a user is arguing for what they honestly think to be right I would prefer not to block them... but sometimes there is no choice (mass edit warring, personal attacks which are getting other users worked up, wholesale disruption, et cetera). Short of that I think gentle warnings, calm discussion and just being helpful when there is little to no reason NOT to produce vastly better results. That said, I must admit to having seen cool down blocks 'work' in the past... but only in the sense of the person going away and actually cooling down despite the block - which they invariably find an unjustified form of censorship (even if it actually isn't).
So on this 'no cool down blocks' idea... add a caveat. If the discussion is really getting so heated that a cool down period is required... block 'em all. :] Probably not a viable option, but it exposes the problem with these blocks. They are almost invariably made by admins against users they disagree with. Which will often be inequitable, and always look that way. I'd like to see the 'do not block those you are in an edit war with' be expanded to 'do not block those you are in a disagreement (of any kind) with'. You suggest saying 'cool down blocks are never acceptable', but '3RR blocks' and some temporary 'vandalism blocks' could be described as 'cool down' blocks. I think what you are going for is that 'blocks of users who have argued something strongly, but not engaged in widespread incivility or personal attacks are never acceptable'... and I think that's implied already, but obviously others read different 'implications'. I think the 'grey area' is when there has been a consensus (though that's subject to interpretation too) and someone continues to argue against it... at some point that does become 'disruption' regardless of the validity of the decision. Overall I think a clarification of 'disruption' is what is needed. If people are able to walk away from the discussion and the user doesn't 'follow' them to restart it elsewhere then it isn't 'disruption'... or it's disruption by both sides. It takes two to argue. --CBD 02:23, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I think you're confusing cause and effect. Getting the editor(s) to cool down is one of the desired effects of a block, but it should never be an acceptable cause. For this we have 3RR, NPA, vandalism, etc., and as long as the arguing editors don't step out of the bounds created by our conduct policies it's not the admins' business to curb the discussion. Our policies mention repeatedly that discussion is the first level of dispute resolution, so any block for contrarian but civil discussion, no matter how long it drags out, goes directly against the text and intent of our policies. ~ trialsanderrors 04:20, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I understand your concern, but I do think there is a point at which it becomes untrue. The blocking policy, rightly, includes the fact that it may be required to block someone for 'disrupting the normal operation of Wikipedia'. If there is a discussion on any page which is used for regular business (AN/I, AfD, VP, et cetera) and someone refuses to let it go after a clear consensus has been achieved... clogs up the page so that it is difficult to get other work done... starts inserting the dispute into other discussions... et cetera, then that is disruption and the user ought to be warned to stop and blocked if they don't. Note, of course, that if users 'on the other side' are still arguing the point too then they are every bit as responsible for the actual disruption and ought to be treated in kind - as I said, it takes two to argue. On the other hand, if the dispute is on a user talk page, a separate discussion page set up for that dispute only, or some other such locale that isn't needed for 'regular business' then I agree that it can't be causing any disruption and users should be able to say their peace until they are done with it... so long as they don't start 'exporting' the dispute to other locales. --CBD 13:42, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
If it's clogging up the works, why not move it to a subpage or into user talk or an RfC? If the person persists in moving the discussion back to the originating page, block him/her for edit warring. Otherwise, maybe that person will get the hint. I just really think that there are alternatives that represent a tiny investment of extra effort by the community, which could have substantial benefits. Captainktainer * Talk 14:10, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
it may be required to block someone for 'disrupting the normal operation of Wikipedia'. I think that's a very sweeping interpretation of that clause, and the reason why we're discussing a less ambiguous statement about "cool-down" blocks. In my interpretation "disrupting normal operation" means removing AfD tags, blanking or vandalizing an article under AfD, changing other editors' votes, sockpuppeteering, reverting AfD decisions, etc. Excessive discussion can be dealt with in other ways, e.g. by moving it from the main to the talk page, as Captainktainer said. ~ trialsanderrors 16:58, 8 September 2006 (UTC)
I don't disagree. Moving the discussion sounds fine to me. --CBD 17:40, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

These concerns are why I clearly stated in the original proposal "a civil discussion in an appropriate venue". I think trialsanderrors and Capt gave good examples of how to deal with situations where a user is disrupting a public area. Also, in the blocks I noted, it was never suggested that the discussion be moved somewhere else. Wouldn't that, a tiny bit of civility, had prevented a lot of drama and ill will? —Nate Scheffey 20:04, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

(undented) To throw my two cents in at this late time, I don't think the "cool-down" blocks are a good idea; they are at best punitive and will almost never solve a problem. If a user is disrupting or edit-warring, fine, these are already explictly blockable offenses. However, there is this phenomenon I have seen a few times where one editor is acting a little rambunctiously, then gets hit with a curt reply of "cool down", "NPA" or "AGF", and this (understandably) angers the other user and typically escalates the conflict. I see potential for abuse here, and I am particularly reminded of that scene in Anger Management where Sandler is making reasonable requests of the flight attendants, and they essentially go all "AGF" on him, which ends up with his being tasered... I have seen the scenario erupt several times that one user is acting in good faith but is being overly brusque, at which time said user is hit on seventeen sides by "AGF"s and the like, the whole scene gets escalated, and someone gets blocked. Much better is, if someone has worded a reasonable statement a bit harshly, to deal with the content of the statement. In any case, it should never be a blockable offense for someone to carry on a impassioned debate as long as they are not disrupting, using personal attacks, etc., even when (or perhaps especially when) a majority which happens to contain an admin disagrees. Discussions can always be archived. -- Deville (Talk) 19:06, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Where an editor is politely asked by an administrator to tone down serious personal attacks and responds with more of the same, especially where the response is completely inappropriate to the request, I think "cool down" blocks are a good idea because here we see clear evidence that the editor isn't thinking clearly and, if he goes for an uninvolved administrator, he's not likely to stop being disruptive.

Where an editor is making very seriously disruptive attacks or accusations, a cool down block may also be merited.

Both of these cases should be treated with care. --Tony Sidaway 04:38, 15 September 2006 (UTC)

If a person is violating WP:NPA, block him for that. Otherwise, move the discussion to the Village Pump or an RfC, or to a relevant talk page. A "cool down block" has too much potential to be used as a codeword for "I don't like what you have to say, so I'm going to keep you from saying it." Captainktainer * Talk 09:00, 15 September 2006 (UTC)
Needless to say, a "cool down" block can only possibly ever come after disruption of some kind. --Tony Sidaway 05:16, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
Which should be something that violates Wikipedia policies and that cannot be better handled by, for instance, moving the discussion to another venue, ignoring the babble, and/or recommending dispute resolution or mediation. Captainktainer * Talk 06:57, 17 September 2006 (UTC)
In that case, wouldn't it be appropriate to block that editor for disruption, directly? I'm not saying that we shouldn't be blocking people with the purpose of having them cool down, all I'm saying is that "editor X is not cool" is such a subjective criterion that it shouldn't the rationale for doing so. The only cases I can envision where such a "cool down" block would be appropriate would be cases where the user has been disruptive or violates WP:NPA or perhaps violates other policies, and is likely to do so again... well, then, just block them under the objective criteria we have now. --- Deville (Talk) 07:33, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

User:Jon Awbrey

User:Jon Awbrey (discussed at User:Jon Awbrey project spam at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents) has been indef blocked/banned due to edits outside article space which have exhausted the community's patience; but he is not listed at Wikipedia:List of banned users. WAS 4.250 00:44, 9 September 2006 (UTC)


A text search for "troll" comes up empty here. This is probably the 2nd most common block reason right after the bad username one. Anomo 13:36, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Try Internet_troll--Light current 20:17, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

He means on the blocking policy page. ~ PseudoSudo 23:08, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Ahh! Thats coz its so hard to define? Anything thats not defined elsewhere is termed 'trolling'--Light current 23:10, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Anomo, the term in the policy is "disruption". Saying a user is a troll (and blocking them for it) is a bad idea firstly because it gives them attention/recognition, which is what they're usually after, and secondly it's an incorrect application of the policy, since blocks are not meant to be directed at people but at their behaviour. People are blocked because of their disruptive conduct, not because they are trolls. --bainer (talk) 02:24, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Well put. I dont like the term trolling. Its not accurate to describe certain sorts of disruption as trolling. Disruption is a better description. (especially when qualified). ie 'You are disrupting WP because.....' NOT 'You are a troll' OR 'You are just trolling'--Light current 03:33, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, its even better to say 'Your (recent) actions are disrupting (to) WP because......' THis would be more factual and less personal and is less likely to be imflammatory I feel.
How come half of the block reasons are "troll" ? Anomo 01:44, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Special:Log/Block googl t 15:38, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Funny! I dont see the term 'troll' in Special:Log/Block. Can you point out where they are?--Light current 21:22, 11 September 2006 (UTC)
Its much much easier to say someone is 'trolling' than to be specific about what theyre doing wrong. This terminology does not help Wikipedia and I think the usage of the term is inflammatory and should be banned from being directed against anyone.--Light current 20:36, 11 September 2006 (UTC)

Info at Wikipedia talk:Appealing a block

There has been suggestions to merge the info at Wikipedia talk:Appealing a block, here. None of that info is policy yet, but we can change that. I'm not particularly interested in blocking policy, so I don't have an opinion either way. Comments on the merge or the info? Fresheneesz 00:54, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

We should merge this as soon as posssible. Codifying current practice is a valid way to create policy. And the two pages deal with the same topic. Some of the contents of Wikipedia:Appealing a block could be under the sub-section of Accidental blocks and the rest of the content could be under a newly created section. --Siva1979Talk to me 03:58, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Dying is not a reason to be blocked

I realise it's a few months since this was added, but there didn't really seem to be consensus for it at Archive 5#Death so I'd like to restart that discussion here. I see no reason to insult someone and their family by blocking them when they die. It's an unnecessary and highly insensitive thing to do and should not be part of this policy. Angela. 12:19, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

I'd support removing it. I don't think it's insulting or insensitive to block someone if they die. But it does seem overkill (pardon the unintentional...) to have it as part of policy. How often are Wikipedians conclusively known to have died? Very rarely. And if they are, how big is the risk that their account is compromised? Very slight. Let's avoid cluttering policy with instructions on how to deal with wacky edge cases. — Matt Crypto 12:56, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I just removed it. It was added out of the blue in the first place and the resulting discussion was inconclusive. --Jeffrey O. Gustafson - Shazaam! - <*> 18:30, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
I would suggest replacing it with a statement that says that if a Wikipedian is known to have died, and is postmortem used for anything other than the standard "Hey, *blank* has died, his family appreciates the outpouring of support from the Wikipedia community, here are a few memorials" or "I'm not dead! I feel happy! I feel happy!" it should then be blocked. Blocking should really be a last resort. Captainktainer * Talk 18:32, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Do we really to spell that out in a policy document? I just don't think it's worth it. — Matt Crypto 18:58, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Simplified blocking policy

moved from "Cool down" blocks above

I've been watching the discussion on "cool down" blocks both here and on AN/ANI. I think "cool down" is being used as a reason because the policy page has grown too large, and restrictive. If blocking someone for "disruption", it's difficult for a block to stand unless the admin cites chapter and verse to support themselves. I've created a sub page at Wikipedia:Blocking_policy/Simplified, with how I think this policy could be drastically simplified. I don't want to waste a lot of Wikipedia space with this sort of this, so I've already prod'd it myself. Anyone interested, I invite to look it over and make changes, leave comments on talk, the usual thing. But, if you don't feel it has legs or any chance of survival at all, just leave the Prod in place and it'll all be gone again before you know it. Thanks. --InkSplotch 14:18, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

I like it. Working on it as a simplified guideline to the 'why' as opposed to the 'what' - reasons why are a lot more memorable, especially if put in a sentence, and if the 'why' is clear then the 'what' is just details that can be looked up. Such pages are (a) much more likely to actually be read by people (b) much less susceptible to wikilawyering. I submit that the blocking policy page will be particularly susceptible to this.
If the 'why' is kept separate from the 'what', it should be reasonably easy to refactor the present blocking policy page into this format without losing any important detail.
One thing to keep in mind here: changing this page won't automatically change how people behave. Expecting this will lead to disappointment, and probably the sort of reversion that has 'wtf' as the edit summary - David Gerard 10:47, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Public relations

Users whose behavior poses serious public relations problems for Wikipedia may be blocked. Advocacy of criminal behavior is one basis for this type of block, including advocacy of criminalized sexual practices, particularly pedophilia. Such blocks may be indefinite, in the nature of a community ban.

I have added this. I believe it is existing policy, based on Jimbo's comments regarding the matter. Fred Bauder 13:45, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I don't think this was about throughtcrime at all (it was removed for that reason), but maybe clarification is in order. This sounds like an office action to me- should there be language urging people to use caution when blocking for such a reason? Friday (talk) 16:50, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Yes, I think so. A block of this nature has great potential for igniting a wheel war. And has potential to generate negative publicity itself. Possibly there should be a requirement that they be run by Jimbo or Brad or even done by them as Office actions. Fred Bauder 17:26, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I strongly object to this. First, in various places in the world, things like oral sex and homosexuality are criminalized sexual practices. What Fred Bauder means here is "pedophilia". Second, he added this for a reason: see User:Rookiee. Looking at that situation, in effect this addition means that people attracted to children can be blocked if they admit to it or if they say that they support its legalisation. With this clause, an editor can be blocked for nothing more than stating their biases on a userpage, provided that certain hysterical websites think that those biases reflect badly on Wikipedia (see [2]). It is unethical to ban editors for stating their biases -- that is, for what they think rather than what they have done. — Matt Crypto 16:51, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
In the case referenced the user is a pedophilia activist. Fred Bauder 17:26, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
This is coupled with another policy addition: [3]: "Wikipedia is not an appropriate place to advertise your desire for kinky sex (or straight sex). User pages which move beyond broad expressions of sexual preference are unacceptable. This is particularly true for sexual practices which are illegal or repulsive to the general public such as pedophilia." — Matt Crypto 17:01, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Such statements are irrelevant to the project, and given that they could potentially cause problems, I don't see a problem with saying stuch statements should not be made. Friday (talk) 17:03, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
It depends: it's not clear what statements would be prohibited. People should be allowed to state and discuss their biases. I'm very concerned that the sole intent of this is to prevent people from saying that they are pedophiles. We want people to be able to declare their biases, particularly if they're here to edit in that area. — Matt Crypto 17:12, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
For example, what about this user's page? User:Atomaton. He's kinky, and he goes into detail on his userpage. — Matt Crypto 17:17, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
There's a difference between objectively and academically discussing a matter, or objectively stating one's biases in relation to a matter, on the one hand, and advocating something on the other hand. --bainer (talk) 17:03, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
Sure, I agree, but this is an example of the sort of page that Fred intends to catch under this: [4]. Is that advocacy? I don't think so. — Matt Crypto 17:07, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I would support blocking people who admit that they have molested children, are currently molesting children, are thinking about molesting children in real life or if they advocate pedophilia. Wikipedia is not completely neutral and should not be. Otherwise we would have to talk about murder, child abuse, pedophilia and genocide as if they are legitimate, neutral actions. It is wrong to have sex with children and that's it. It is not comparable to being gay. I do not think that a hundred years from now that people will accept pedophilia and think that we were intolerant of pedophiles. That is not to say that it is okay to mistreat pedophiles, just that what they do is wrong.
As for admitting that they are a pedophile without acting upon it, I am not sure. I would strongly suggest that they keep it to themselves and their therapists, if they have one, as long as they are able to control themselves. However, I am leaning towards banning them if they admit it because of the public relations damage. Giving pedophiles the right to be "out" and to edit Wikipedia is not worth the risk to the project, and it is not Wikipedia's place to counter the hysteria surrounding pedophilia. Perhaps a warning for people to not reveal their pedophile status or joke about being a pedophile because they risk being banned would be appropriate. I suggest that bestiality be treated in the same manner, as it is almost as universally condemned as pedophilia and is also wrong because of the harm to the animals, physically and/or emotionally. I think that it would be better if people did not reveal other sexual information either, such as being straight, bisexual, gay, transsexual or into sadomasochism, bondage or cross-dressing, but I doubt that that would happen. That information is not helpful in the building of the encyclopedia. If the person just says that they have knowledge (not just personal) about these topics, that would be somewhat useful. It is bizarre to me that people to discuss their sexuality on their user page, and I think Wikipedia would be classier and taken more seriously without that information. You would never find it on the profiles of other encyclopedias' writers or editors or any other respectable publication I can think of. Wikipedia user pages should not be treated as a blog or social networking site. -- Kjkolb 18:42, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I think you're getting too broad here - would you ban Peter Singer from contributing? I can accept that people shouldn't use their userpages for relating illegal acts they have done or are planning on doing. But it seems to me that the net is being cast too wide - we shouldn't block people for stating their biases, even if those biases are that the age of consent should be lowered, or some such. Haukur 23:02, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
I want to take this away from pedophilia for a second to give some context. Would Wikipedia start banning users who admit to smoking marijuana on their userpage? How about advocate for the legalization of it? While gay marriage is not "illegal" (is it?), could someone then be banned for advocating that since its counter to the law (law says they can't)? While I agree that Wikipedia and user pages are not places to advocate for your person opinions as they are not "homepages", you are almost removing what alot of people are in support of from being talked about as anyone can take a comment like "legalize pot" and state the person is breaknig the rules by advocating it. I have no opinion on that user in aprticular, but the idea should not be placed into apolicy and should instead be handled case by case to prevent abuse and censorship. Yes I know this is not a free speech forum, but why drive away people when in reality its not hurting the encyclopedia in most cases. Sorry for the book. --NuclearUmpf 12:55, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Singer is a lot different than someone who says that they have sex with animals. He says that it is unnatural, but that there is nothing wrong with it as long as the animal is not harmed. I do not think that it is possible to shield the animal from all harm, especially with certainty, as most animals are unable to tell us what they are feeling (some apes can communicate with humans). Small animals are often killed during intercourse and large animals may not be compatible with humans sexually and may also be mentally harmed.
Anyway, my main reason for banning non-practicing pedophiles is the public relations problem of them contributing to the encyclopedia and even being a person of authority, such as an admin, bureaucrat or steward (someone could keep it a secret until they are promoted). If they are practicing pedophiles, there is also the problem of using Wikipedia to molest or harass children. As I mentioned before, I would include zoophiles, but let's ignore that for now. The vast majority of people are not ready to accept pedophilia as right or normal, so whether it is wrong or not is not the only factor. If it could damage the encyclopedia by revealing it, it should not be revealed. For other paraphilias, like transsexualism, sadomasochism, necrophilia, bondage or cross-dressing, and orientations, like heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality, I think it is best to not mention it because it has nothing to do with building an encyclopedia. For example, being heterosexual does not make you an authority on heterosexuality. More importantly, admitting that you practice a sexual activity that is highly controversial can be disruptive to Wikipedia's goal of building an encyclopedia, depending on people's opinions and in some cases biases. In fairness and because it also does not help in building an encyclopedia, I do not think sexual practices considered normal should be mentioned, either. However, mentioning these things would not lead to banning. They would just be a breach of etiquette. Disruptive advocacy, whether "normal" or not, like putting inappropriate things in articles or talk pages might lead to banning however.
As for banning pot users/advocates, that is very different. People do not have the same outrage for pot smoking as they do about pedophilia and it does not intrinsically involve child abuse ("intrinsically" because children can be harmed by women smoking when pregnant or being around pot smokers, and they can harm children by spending needed funds on pot, neglecting their children because of the fatigue and apathy that it causes and setting a bad example). We would not ban people for advocating something that is illegal in at least one country in the world. We would ban them for advocating something when it is disruptive to building an encyclopedia by its nature, like pedophilia, or by the method of advocacy. We probably do not need a specific rule for this. Something like, "Users may be banned if they cause disruption through the advocacy of any position, belief or activity when the disruption is foreseeable to any reasonable person or when the user has been asked to stop. Advocacy may be disruptive by the nature of the thing being advocated and by the method of advocacy." I might be able to come up with something better later. -- Kjkolb 14:10, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
I think we are agreeing here in principle, that the act is wrong, however make a general policy/rule that supporting or advocating an illegal act is grounds for punishment/blocking/banning etc. Since you too see the problem with it extending to things such as "pot smokers" etc. This would also actually extend to graffiti artists and anyone advocating or supporting software piracy further. So a case by case situation seems best compared to a general rule. The one you made up seems very porous, if I see pot smoking as offensive then anyone advocating it can be banned, it basically leaves the door wide open and the claimant simply has to say "I'm offended" --NuclearUmpf 14:57, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Regarding User:Cquest and his edits of Brownstone (group)

(also known as I don't know what to do about this case, he keep removing parts from the article on Brownstone (group), and I've told him that if he feels that there should be separate article for the information he keeps removing. His general attitude towards the woman in question - Nicole Gilbert - is "MAKE A SEPERATE PAGE FOR NICCI FOR HER INFO!!!!!"/"Make a seperate page for Nicci to speak on her", but obviously he's got something against the woman in question, as he claimed: "who cares what nicci does now" and "i dont care about a seperate showing for nicci". I think if we follow logical reasoning it is the person who wants something removed from an article who has to make the new, separate entry on Wikipedia as other editors are most likely not going to be watching that article 24/7 and as time goes by many other edits to the article might have been done, making it more difficult to discover what has been removed from the article.

Basically I'm in need of some input from other editors on this issue as it is on the verge of becoming an editing war (if it hasn't already become one), and I feel already uneasy enough about reverting and rewriting his edits all the time. Thanks. Oh, and if this isn't the place to discuss this kind of issues please tell me where I can do to so. - chsf 13:59, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

I rolled back his latest revert and made a redlink for Nicole Gilbert. I think we should suggest to him that he work on that independent article. Fred Bauder 14:14, 20 September 2006 (UTC)
This is the wrong place. Please take this to Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents. You should not block this person yourself as you seem quite involved and heated. Fred Bauder 14:21, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

i'm confused about test5-n template

OK, the user has got a test4-n template, he's done it again, i subst:test5-n, which tells the user he's blocked, but I'm not an admin. So, is he blocked or not, and if not, why does it say he is and why am I putting this template on his talk page? thanks Gzuckier 19:52, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

ps, how does the [[:{{{1}}}]] thing in the template work; can i substitute the page name in there without having to save the ssubst:template and reedit? and what does the [[: in front of the pagename mean, rather than just [[? thanks again Gzuckier 19:53, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Disruptive editing, per se

Obvious cranks and users who aggressively and repeatedly violate fundamental policies may be blocked if there is a consensus among uninvolved users that it is necessary. Such persons should be dealt with kindly and patiently, but should be prevented from wreaking havoc over the period of weeks or months it would take to process an obviously righteous Arbitration request.

This guideline has been under discussion for some time. I think it is sound. Waiting for months for the Arbitration process to handle matters which ought to be handled at the community level is wasteful of everyone's time and energy. Fred Bauder 13:05, 24 September 2006 (UTC)

This is pretty much what community blocks are for. Basically, if not one of a thousand admins will unblock you, you just might in fact be batshit insane. The refactored blocking policy covers this - David Gerard 14:11, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Not really, you left it out. Fred Bauder 18:08, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Ah, buh. I'll check again - David Gerard 12:29, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I've put it in just about your words after the bit about cool-down edits - David Gerard 14:45, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Refactored blocking policy

See Wikipedia:Blocking policy/Simplified. Key points are:

  • Clearer statements
  • Blocking is all about admin judgement anyway - to be effective, this page should guide that
  • Should be just about the same as now in effects, but with less bolt-holes for rules lawyers

I'm trying to work to what I've outlined at Process essay#Process_hardened_to_policy - this is process that is important and needs to be nailed down, but the really hard bits need to be few and important, and Taylorising everything is actually counterproductive.

Are there any important bits of the present text that are missing? Can the clearer version be cut'n'pasted over the current page bit by bit? Is it actually complete garbage? Opinions please - David Gerard 14:11, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

The bot bit needs clarifiying. Even if the thing has been aproved if it appears to be causeing trouble it needs to be blocked first and questions asked later. you may wish to mention Wikipedia:Sensitive IP addresses to keep some of the comcom members happy.Geni 14:27, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Bot bit mentioned; sensitive IP bit mentioned up top (I couldn't see a more appropriate place, and I certainly wasn't aware of it) - David Gerard 16:23, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Overall I like this much better than the current page. One discordant element is that 'disruption' is treated as a class of blockable offenses including vandalism, usernames, bots, et cetera in section 1.2... but listed separately from those issues in section 5.2. Obviously there are many other forms of disruption so maybe that's intentional, but it doesn't 'line up' neatly. I should note that this doesn't include 'incivility' or 'personal attacks' amongst the specifically listed types of disruption... I tend to think those are heavily over-used (when there is no real impairment of anyone's ability to contribute), but they are the most frequently cited reasons for 'disruption' and 'cooling off' blocks so it is going to be an issue if people keep getting blocked for them on a daily basis and there is nothing specific in the policy on it. I might also move 'biographies of living persons' from the 'disruption' section up to 'protection' because the goal there is more to protect Wikipedia than stop something which is preventing users from contributing. Anyway, minor issues. Thumbs up from me regardless of these. --CBD 11:28, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
Oh yes, that's good stuff. Want to make that civility one a descriptive note? "These blocks are controversial." OTOH they're not actually that controversial in practice if someone's being a real dick ... - David Gerard 12:31, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I think my views on incivility blocks are well outside the mainstream (I'd say that except in extreme cases, BigDaddy777 comes to mind, they often do more harm than good) so I'd probably not be the best choice for putting in the phrasing on that issue. Just wanted to note that it needed something. Your idea of wording about them possibly being controversial, due to differing views on when such behaviour becomes significantly disruptive, seems fine. --CBD 13:47, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree that this is a simpler, more streamlined, and more straightforward page than the one we have now. I commend all. However, I would love it if there were some way to deal with the "cool-down" block problem that I noted above. Is there some simple and elegant solution we could apply to disencourage 3 hour blocks that result in 2 months of drama, or is that just wishful thinking on my part? —Nate Scheffey 13:08, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I think a big question is, how do we deal with it? I think the short term blocks (under 12 hrs) are more contested simply because they criteria for them is so low...what one admin sees as a 15 min offense another might not see an offense at all. Whereas when an admin levies a 24 hour block, the offense is usually much more serious and more self-explanitory. So, do we suggest that under 12 hr blocks be discouraged as they're more likely to be contraversial? Or do we suggest that blocks under 12 hrs not be overturned except in extreme circumstances, as that is likely to result in contraversy? --InkSplotch 14:27, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
'"Cool-down" blocks are likely to result in controversy. You need to judge whether a 1-hour block will result in 2 months' drama.' - David Gerard 14:29, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I just refactored section 5.2 to reflect the layout of 1.2, and I even added a bit on cool-down blocks. I'll look over the whole thing again to see if we need to reinforce that elsewhere. Oh, and I even looked up "controversial" so I spelled it right. --InkSplotch 14:46, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

I've finally remembered to note the planned rewrite on the project page itself. *ahem* So we should get more useful input. In particular, it's still too damned long and still needs much simpler writing, but without losing detail - David Gerard 20:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Blocking talk pages

Nandesuka has taken it upon himself to ban further discussion on the publicgirluk discussion page, moreover he jumped at absolutely civil comments I had made elsewhere on the issue within seconds calling them trolling, threatening to ban me, and removing questions I left on the talk pages of other admins of his own accord. I see above that this is not the first time he has blocked a usertalk page, and he seems to be trying to censor discussion where he pleases. Checking the admin histories I found that he has dished out more indefinite bans than almost any admin on WP. My question is does admin have the right to block usertalks simply at a point where he is disinclined to the existence of further discussion? Secondly, does admin have the right to delete questions left on third-party usertalks? Thirdly, is there no system of monitoring the frequency of indefinite blocks admins give to ward against the trigger happy? I am new here, and I find this kind of behaviour very disturbing and hazardous, I never would have thought Wikipedia was that kind of place. Please comment before he deletes this message grendelsmother 09:15, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Well, it's still here 36 hours later ... Do you have the edits? - David Gerard 20:44, 27 September 2006 (UTC)
Because CBD has since unblocked it. grendelsmother 06:29, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Policy in a nutshell

I've added (what I think is) a decent 'policy in a nutshell' summary to the top of the page. If anyone has a problem with it feel free to remove or reword. Cynical 21:28, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Hah! I didn't notice that was missing. Reworded a bit simpler - David Gerard 07:05, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I've made it "Editors can be blocked for a time by an administrator to protect Wikipedia and its editors from harm." I thought the second sentence could be dropped as the fact that the time varies is implicit in it being to protect Wikipedia and its editors from harm - David Gerard 07:12, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Living people on user pages

Following a disagreement [5] and relying on some emails available from User:Tyrenius, I think we need to ammend the section on Biographies of living persons to include user space as well:

Editors who repeatedly insert critical material into the biography of a living person (or its talk page), or into a section about a living person in another article (or its talk page), or on a user page (or its talk page), may be blocked under the disruption provision of this policy...

The addition I propose is highlighted. Any obections? Tom Harrison Talk 12:44, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Hmm, you raise a good point, but since there is some desire to move towards a Simplified Blocking Policy, I worry that this addition might be needlessly specific. The proposed simplified policy currently states editors can be blocked for "Disrupting biographies of living persons." Maybe we could change that to "Repeatedly adding unsourced defamatory information about a living person anywhere on Wikipedia." Would that be acceptable? —Nate Scheffey 14:05, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Actually, now that I look at it, the section in WP:BLP on unsourced negative information already says "This principle also applies to biographical material about living persons found anywhere in Wikipedia." So perhaps just saying editors could be blocked for "Repeatedly violating WP:BLP" would be concise yet sufficient? —Nate Scheffey 14:13, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
How about "Editors who repeatedly insert material critical of a living person anywhere on Wikipedia may be blocked [under the disruption provision of this policy|for violating BLP] if..."? I'm not sure what's meant by specifying 'biographical' material. Tom Harrison Talk 15:06, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I think it is best to keep it in the context of BLP. Critical material is not barred per se. The need for context, proportion, sensitivity, balance and fidelity to substantial sources is paramount. When these are violated, it becomes problematic. "Unsourced negative material" could be amended to include an inappropriate use of a source to disaparage the subject, but I can't think of a neat wording right now. The case which instigated this involved an interpretion of the source, which went further than what was literally stated by the source. This was where the problem arose. Also the use of such material in isolation and out of the context of a balanced article is to be discouraged. One has to imagine the effect on an individual discovering such material through a google search, for example. Tyrenius 16:32, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
It is a bit hard to follow you guys since I don't know the specifics of the case, although I understand discretion is necessary here. I'm having trouble understanding what "an inappropriate use of a source to disparage a subject" means. If it "involved an interpretation of the source" isnt that OR? I still think it would be clearer and more concise to say editors may be blocked for "Repeated violation of WP:BLP" and leave the nitty gritty to the BLP page. Is there a problem with that? —Nate Scheffey 16:54, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
In the case Tyrenius mentions, I was surprised to see BLP applied to a user talk page. Since per Jimbo's email to Tyrenius this is correct, I think this should be addressed somehow. The whole paragraph I recommend is:
Editors who repeatedly insert material critical of a living person anywhere on Wikipedia may be blocked [reason here, either "under the disruption provision of this policy" or "for violating BLP"] if, in the opinion of the blocking admin, the material is unsourced, or incorrectly sourced, and may constitute defamation. Blocks made for this reason are designed to keep the material off the page until it is written and sourced in accordance with the content policies, including WP:BLP, and should therefore be kept short in the first instance. Repeated infractions should attract longer blocks. Warning and block templates may be placed on the user's talk page: {{blp1}}, {{blp2}}, and {{blp3}}. See [either "the section on disruption above" or "BLP"].
We may also need to clarify whether this applies to all living individuals, or only those who have articles in the encyclopedia, or all living individuals except active editors, or something. Tom Harrison Talk 16:47, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • No page is exempt, and it applies to all living individuals, including editors (per WP:NPA). The issue of not attacking people is important. >Radiant< 17:22, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
That's fine with me, but it does seem to imply immediate removal of at least some personal attacks, and blocking for at least some personal attacks. These seem to have been controversial in the past. Tom Harrison Talk 17:37, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
  • Ah, no, not entirely what I meant - the principle is the same but the effect differs. For real-world famous people, negative info is ok only if sourced, and personal info is ok if sourced. Both are to be removed otherwise, and replacing that is often grounds for blocking. For editors, negative info is never really ok, and personal info is never really ok either unless the editor doesn't mind - for reasons of cyberstalking etc. The former is grounds for troutwhacking, the latter can be grounds for an immediate ban for harassment. >Radiant< 17:59, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
See post here. This conversation is split between two pages. It should be focused on one. Tyrenius 18:16, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
It seems to me to be a bad idea to try to mix WP:BLP with WP:NPA. BLP needs to be clear, firm and undisputed. A brief scan of WP:ANI will tell you we still aren't completely sure what constitutes a personal attack. The last thing we need is editors accusing each other of violating WP:BLP for name-calling. —Nate Scheffey 18:36, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
So if someone writes on their talk page that Tom Harrison is a liar, that's a minor spat between editors, but if they write that Tom Harrison is a liar, that's defamation and libel? Tom Harrison Talk 19:26, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Precisely. —Nate Scheffey 19:33, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
I think I disagree with you there. Tom Harrison Talk 19:43, 28 September 2006 (UTC)
Really? You think User:A saying User:B is an idiot is somehow in the same league as changing someone's article to falsely implicate them in a presidential assasination? These things have nothing to do with each other, personal attacks are not libel, and letting editors think BPL applies to them and whatever comments they feel slander them, is insanely dangerous and misguided.—Nate Scheffey 00:11, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Specifically, User A said on his talk page that Steven Jones told a lie. User B said on his talk page that Tom Harrison is a racist. Why does BLP apply to one and not the other? Tom Harrison Talk 00:32, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Because BLP deals with the encyclopedia and NPA deals with the community and never the twain shall meet. I'm all for removing personal attacks, but citing BLP as the reason weakens BLP and confuses the issue. If I think another editor is a semi-literate POV pushing crank, thats quite possibly defamtory, but it could easily be true. Getting to the heart of such matters is difficult and opaque. Citing a reliable source about a notable living person should be clear and unequivocal. Pretending they are the same thing is a bad precedent. —Nate Scheffey 01:03, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

I think the issue here is that:

  1. special cases make for a lumpy and hard-to-follow page, which is really bad for a practical applied policy page
  2. it's bad editorial behaviour, and that's WAY subjective in a lot of cases
  3. if it's malicious behaviour, a new rule just makes more rules lawyers when it's arguably covered already.

I'd suggest that rather than "this is a new stupid thing, shall we add a new rule?" we would do better saying "it's arguably covered, don't mention it by name unless it becomes a popular new stupid thing". Even then, I'm not sure adding an explicit block rule will help much - David Gerard 22:18, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Yes; Disruptive=Blocked is a good simple rule. It is probably better to address BLP at Biographies of Living People. Tom Harrison Talk 00:34, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

Automated, incremental banning system

Sorry if this is a naive question, but can the block durations not be automated and incremental? For example the admin’s job would only be to hit the “block” button, and a first-offence block would then be for 15 minutes, then 1 hour for a second, then 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 6 months, 1 year. This would keep admins from handing out indefinite blocks where they may not be justified, and at the same time they would be policemen rather than judges handing out sentences - a task they can hardly all be wise enough to do judiciously. People would not be written off of the wikipedia project altogether for attracting the wrath of an admin, for finding themselves in a once-off vandalistic mood or getting otherwise carried away. 2) The user would have a sign on their userpage notifying them of the number of times they have been banned and the duration of the next ban, as well as any reference to the fact that they are currently protesting a previous ban. Is this possible? grendelsmother 16:42, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I think the repeat factor, and delay between repeated offenses, is only one of many factors that could influence a block length. While some could be easily automated, others (e.g. that depend on the type of offense) are more discretionary and require 'judgment' that we hope the admin would be able to wisely employ. The bottom line is that blocks are usually much more discretionary than automatic. Crum375 19:05, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I had no intention of the block being automated, but the duration of the block being automated. It would still be up to the admin to block, but for a first offence, say, an unreasonably long, or indefinite block would be impossible. grendelsmother 20:00, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

I, also, was only talking about block duration. The block length does depend on repeated behavior as well as the nature of the offense. Crum375 20:06, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

It goes without saying "Mary I know you live at xxx and I'm coming to kill you if you revert me", or other cases of truly sinister malintent unarguably receive the year-block; being WP what it is however, I think 1) there are very few cases fit for indef. block, and 2) everyone should be allowed several chances. There are people who "play" with (i.e vandalise) WP now and again for years before seeing the real merit of it and "switching over", and it should be easy for them to do so. In the case of 1), Admins are human too, get pissed off and start dishing out unfair blocks, this creates a risky heirarchical system (which, if healthy today, could be heinous tomorrow) and an atmosphere of intimidation that is certainly not what one expects when they start editing. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Grendel's mother (talkcontribs) 20:33, 28 September, 2006

I agree with you that if admins started 'dishing out unfair blocks' on a routine basis it would be unhealthy. This is why we have a fairly tight system for screening admin candidates by the community, and why we allow each block to be reviewed by other admins. This way, even if someone lost his/her cool the offended party would have redress. In my own experience a totally improper block is extremely rare, but if it ever happens it should be easy to correct. I doubt very much that an automaton meting out blocks or even suggesting block durations would help in any way. Crum375 21:31, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Refactored version live on Wednesday if no objection

So far people seem to think the refactored version is a more usable version. Unless there's good reason not to I suggest moving it to the present page on Wednesday, which will be one week since I put the 'change' notice on the current version. So this is a really good time for checking the two say the same things where important - David Gerard 13:28, 2 October 2006 (UTC)


I changed the "don't do it" section to state that any blocking to enforce a vacation is not on. Ok, and not just to make me retroactivly right. It doesn't work, and can serve to muddy the waters if we're using blocks "nicely." - brenneman {L} 06:58, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

New version live now

Just checking for missed cats, etc now. I think all the interlangs are OK - David Gerard 12:27, 5 October 2006 (UTC)

And of course I couldn't resist the chance to rewrite more simply (edits) - please sanity-check - David Gerard 12:44, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Done a copyed. I'm not too happy with the example of "obviously mistaken blocks that can be undone" - as written it encourages gaming the system by revert warring at an "acceptable" level. >Radiant< 22:01, 5 October 2006 (UTC)
Looks fine to me, increases sense level - David Gerard 09:43, 6 October 2006 (UTC)
I love the emphasis on prevention of damage; the clarity of the wording here is the most important change.
When an editor is blocked the first feeling might be that this is punitive, but as a community Wikipedia must always be clear that the block is only ever present to prevent damage. It can be removed once there is a credible undertaking to cease damage. --Tony Sidaway 03:40, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Yeah. Remember that the strong discouragement of undoing another admin's blocks without checking with them was a band-aid on the problem of some admins just not taking other admins seriously, this creating a playground for trolls. 3RR has an explicit "sorry I did wrong I'll be good please unblock" thing where a blocked person can ask any admin handy, but I'm not sure how to mention it here in a way that doesn't look bolted on the side. 'Cos bits bolted on the side, and special cases, and odd exceptions and so forth, weaken a strong guideline. Thankfully we don't have to work it all out by tomorrow or something :-) - David Gerard 11:57, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Has that practise (the posibility of pulling 3RR blocks) been revived again?Geni 12:17, 8 October 2006 (UTC)


The nutshell on this page is (at the moment) kind of pointless because it gives a dicdef of what a block is, as opposed to summarizing the circumstances under which we make blocks. I am not opposed to nutshells per se but neither do I believe there must automatically be a nutshell on every page if it has nothing useful to say. Maybe someone can suggest a better nut, or maybe it should be removed? >Radiant< 13:41, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

While I agree with you that in some of the other policy pages the current nut leaves something to be desired, this specific one seems to me very concise and to the point. For someone new to WP, it very much summarizes the essence of this policy, in a very short and sweet way. Of course one could add verbiage, but IMO we would not gain much while losing the current simplicity. Crum375 16:22, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

"Not physically prevented": this seems a bit funny so I reverted it

Banned users are not physically prevented from editing all or parts of Wikipedia. Bans should not be confused with blocking, a technical mechanism used to prevent an account or IP address from editing Wikipedia. They may be banned by the Arbitration Committee, by Jimbo Wales or by the Wikimedia Board of Trustees.

The prior text said:

Banned users are typically blocked from editing all or parts of Wikipedia. They may be banned by the Arbitration Committee, by Jimbo Wales or by the Wikimedia Board of Trustees.

We could perhaps emend the text to incorporate community bans. However it's quite a needless distinction to say that banned editors aren't "physically" prevented from editing. If they do edit, and are detected, they pretty soon will be prevented from editing, by blocking. Which is what our current version says. And I think adding the other stuff is a good example of Wikipedia:instruction creep.--Tony Sidaway 21:42, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Many Arbitration Committee decisions involve bans that do not include blocks. Wikipedia:Blocking policy makes that very point in saying that in explicitly saying "Bans should not be confused with blocking, a technical mechanism used to prevent an account or IP address from editing Wikipedia." These two policy pages need to use consistent terminology. Gene Nygaard 00:19, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

Username block

Following a discussion over at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)#Acceptable username policy I took a look at the template used for blocking new users whose names are inappropriate (too similar to another user's name, contain improper characters, etc) and it seemed to me that the current template is pretty harsh, and may scare well-meaning new users away. So, I tried to put myself in the shoes of a new user (not so tough, as in many ways I still am one) and redesigned the template to address this issue. My proposed template, along with a copy of the original template, can be seen at User:Badger151/templates. Please stop by and leave your thoughts on that page's talk page. Thanks --Badger151 23:25, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

BLP section

I restored the BLP subsection, in part because I feel it should be emphasized and not included as one sentence in the disruption section, and in part because it's helpful to be able to link clearly to it when issuing BLP warnings; I find that doing so tends to concentrate the mind of the offender. Hope that's okay. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:25, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Self-blocking to enforce Wikiholidays

I decided to revive this old discussion from archive, because I noticed one fact - anybody is able to self-block itself to enforce wikiholidays, even without being sysop.

It is simple:

  1. Create an inappropriate username, something like "I want to destroy wikipedia", "I am king of vandals" or something similarly stupid
  2. Wait for admin to indefinitely block it. It probably won't take very long.
  3. Remember the password. Now every time you want to enforce one day of holidays, log in as that blocked user and try to make an edit somewhere
  4. You're autoblocked for 24 hours
  5. No chance for editing -> you have holidays :)

So, is everybody able technically to do this to enforce wikiholidays, or have I omitted something?

Territory 01:04, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Um, WP:BEANS? More seriously, just because a policy is not perfectly enforceable doesn't mean we shouldn't have it. We would prefer if that sort of behavior not occur either. JoshuaZ 01:07, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Technically, most bans here are unenforcable, IF the banned person won't resume their bad behavior pattern (and they use another IP + username) ... but if he/she make no trouble, it's usually not a problem ... Territory 02:10, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Why should one need to block ones self?. Why not just take a Wikidamnholiday?--Light current 01:26, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Wikipedia is more addictive than crack, apparently. Perhaps we should start a 12-step program for people who need to be blocked to avoid editting for 24 hours :-) --W.marsh 01:32, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Well, it is simpler just to go away, I was just curious whether this is theoretically possible. And theoretically this may be (ab)used to block someone sharing computer with you. (Is your brother editing wikipedia too much? Block him :) Territory 02:10, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
Theoretically you could put this up in a cronjob (or something similar ...) for a bit more permanent (though interruptible) solution :) Territory 02:26, 2 November 2006 (UTC)
In that case thers should be a self blocking request desk where addicts can go to request that they be blocked. 8-)--Light current 01:36, 2 November 2006 (UTC)

Community ban clarification

Right now, the policy states:

"Users may also be banned by community consensus — when a user exhausts the community's patience to the point of being blocked and none of the English Wikipedia's ~1000 admins will unblock.

Community bans must be supported by a strong widespread consensus."

How does this makes sense? If no one will unblock, then there is de facto community consensus. Indeed, it is beyond consensus, beyond a supermajority -- there is community unanimity. (And here "community" is defined as "admins", which is maybe not what was intended.) Can someone clarify this? It's just been raised on AN/I. IronDuke 22:17, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

That might be a fairly recent addition. I certainly can't remember it being there when I last copy edited; it makes no sense. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:30, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
It was added on October 5 as part of a rewrite and must have slipped under the radar. It makes no sense to say that one admin prepared to wheel war means there's no consensus. It used to say:
There have been situations where a user has exhausted the community's patience to the point where he or she finds themselves blocked. Administrators who block in these cases should be sure that there is widespread community support for the block, and should note the block on WP:ANI as part of the review process. With such support, the user is considered banned and must be listed on Wikipedia:List of banned users (under "Community"). Community bans must be supported by a strong consensus and should never be enacted based on agreement between a handful of admins or users.
I suggest we return it to the old text. SlimVirgin (talk) 22:33, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
The older version seems much more sensible. IronDuke 22:51, 6 November 2006 (UTC)
By all means restore the old paragraph if you would like to. If I do it today, Homey will accuse me of "changing policy" to suit myself. SlimVirgin (talk) 23:51, 6 November 2006 (UTC)

Text below moved from AN

I'm thinking that maybe there should be pages to discuss such bans and find out if there's really wide consensus, apart of administrators. A ban is clearly an extreme measure and it should be some way to see if the consensus actually exists for each particular case. --Sugaar 19:40, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Unanimity for community banning?

Given the "community ban" wording on WP:BLOCK re: 1 of 1000, does that not mean that such a deciscion needs to be unanimous or does WP:BLOCK need to be updated to be in accord with Wikipedia:Consensus? (Netscott) 00:08, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

As reflected in today's discussion on ANI, there appears to be substantial uncertainty on this issue. There is also contradictory ArbCom precedent on this issue, compare the Tommstein decision which appears to require unanimity with the St. Christopher decision which appears to require only "consensus." These were both pretty clear-cut cases and I don't know if the ArbCom actually focused on the distinction. Newyorkbrad 00:18, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Newyorkbrad for your helpful response. One thing is clear I think in this User:HOTR discussion is that if one is implementing a community ban then wording needs to reflect that in the block log. Myself I am inclined to go with consensus as opposed to unanimity. Wikipedia works on consensus... why shouldn't a community ban follow the norm? (Netscott) 00:27, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Let me add my thanks, Brad. Let me also say, in re Tommstein, that the principle enumerated there includes the idea that Admin unanimity = community ban, it does not preclude the idea, as in St. Christopher, that the community may ban "when there is consensus in favor of the block." As it stands, the policy is literally incoherent. IronDuke 00:34, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Consensus has never meant unanimity; one recalcitrant individual, or even a very small number of recalcitrant individuals, cannot hold a community hostage. Jayjg (talk) 00:44, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
One might want to add the Saladin applea: Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Saladin1970_appeal#Ban_by_the_community which states: The touchstone of an appropriate "ban by the community" is that there is no administrator who after examining the matter is willing to lift or reduce the ban.
Based on this, there never was nor will there be a community ban as there are to many people opposed to it, including one ArbCom member. -- Kim van der Linde at venus 00:38, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Kim, given that you've left Wikipedia many, many times, and insist you are done with it, why do you continue to involve yourself in conflict here? Jayjg (talk) 00:47, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I am not going near the HOTR situation (too much back-story predating my time here), but as an abstract matter I can see arguments on both sides of this issue. A "community ban" certainly should need to be supported by a very strong consensus - it's obviously not a relatively routine step analogous to deleting an article or not or promoting an admin candidate or not. Whether a strong consensus should mean literally not a single dissenting voice from the corps of 1000 admins is a harder question. I'd welcome the arbitrators' thoughts on this as they are the ones who are going to have the strong-but-not-unanimous-consensus-to-ban situations to deal with. Newyorkbrad 00:42, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
(after edit conflicts) I suppose Kim's citation of Saladin cancels out IronDuke's argument about Tommstein. :) (I'm going to be quiet now; this is getting too much like my day job.) Newyorkbrad 00:42, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
It's certainly one touchstone, but not the only one. Consensus does not mean 100% agreement. Jayjg (talk) 00:47, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Well unless someone other than User:CJCurrie does an unblock... (or he decides to again do so himself via wheel warring) this ban looks to stand. (Netscott) 00:40, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
The community block wording on WP:BLOCK was added on October 5. The older text should be returned. It's clearly absurd to say there's no consensus unless there's 100 per cent unanimity.
Also, we should keep this discussion in one place and not split it off like this. SlimVirgin (talk) 00:43, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
This was more of a meta-discussion relative to the User:HOTR discussion which is why I split it off... in reality it probably should be moved over to Wikipedia_talk:Blocking_policy but this area was "hot" which is why I started here. (Netscott) 00:47, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
(edit conflict) I also think, regardless of the HoTR situation, that it makes no sense to require unanimity for a community ban. The policy, as some are interpreting it, now means that if no admin is willing to unblock, then a user remains blocked. That's just tautology, not policy. A community ban would be when the community (admins and respected editors alike) agree, per consensus, that a user should remain indef blocked. I think we can say the Arbcom has been a bit incoherent on this. If those august members can tolerate a little ribbing, I'll just point out that in the Saladin1970 case, they warn that violators “may be bummed indefinitely.” (I have no doubt they will be ;)) IronDuke 00:57, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
I was about to edit that for vandalism and then realized it was an arbcom case.... lol (Netscott) 01:00, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

The unanimity provision was added to this policy on October 5 and seems to have gone unnoticed. I suggest we restore the previous text until it's discussed further:

"There have been situations where a user has exhausted the community's patience to the point where he or she finds themselves blocked. Administrators who block in these cases should be sure that there is widespread community support for the block, and should note the block on WP:ANI as part of the review process. With such support, the user is considered banned and must be listed on Wikipedia:List of banned users (under "Community"). Community bans must be supported by a strong consensus and should never be enacted based on agreement between a handful of admins or users."

SlimVirgin (talk) 00:55, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I agree... strong consensus is definitely more sensible. (Netscott) 00:57, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I am restoring the pre-October 5 version. If there are those that want this new wording, please discuss. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 01:02, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Now, here's the other side of the story:

Wikipedia:Banning Policy used to indicate that community bans should only be applied when "editors are so odious that not one of the administrators on Wikipedia would ever want to unblock them". This sentence was removed, apparently without debate, as part of a comprehensive edit on 15 August.

Click here for the diffs.

Would anyone object to the original wording being restored? CJCurrie 01:15, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Yes, I strongly object. We saw today how absurd that would be. An editor is banned after strong community consensus to do so (25 admins/editors in support). Then one person who always supports that editor's edits and who knows him in real life unbans. That clearly doesn't undo the community consensus. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:17, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
SlimVirgin, there's been a bit more than one person opposed to the community ban. Still as I said earlier... consensus is how Wikipedia works... why should community banning be any different particularly given a strong consensus? (Netscott) 01:19, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
On another matter, do you consider 25 out of 1,000+ to be "consensus"? CJCurrie 01:27, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Sorry CJCurrie, while I agree with you about not imposing a community ban in HotR's case this argument you're making is a strawman. Obviously not all of the 1000 admins are going to weight in on such decisions. What we're seeing here is a bit of a WP:SNOW arrival at community consensus (which is typically how consensus on Wikipedia is established no?). (Netscott) 01:34, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

I don't know which version CJCurrie is picking out, but I randomly clicked on one from before that (July), and it also said: "There have been situations where a user has exhausted the community's patience to the point where he or she finds themselves blocked. Administrators who block in these cases should be sure that there is community support for the block, and should note the block on WP:ANI as part of the review process. With such support, the user is considered banned and should be listed on Wikipedia:List of banned users (under "Community"). [6]

CJCurrie also tried to change the 3RR policy after Homey was banned under it. It's getting silly. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:22, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Regardless, the previous wording didn't make sense. It was in conflict with itself. There was the 1 of 1000 wording followed by "strong community consensus". One effectively cancels out the other. (Netscott) 01:25, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Exactly. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:28, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Response to SV:

  1. I was referring to the Wikipedia:Banning Policy page, not the Wikipedia:Blocking Policy page. Since we're discussing bans, it seems appropriate.
  2. To be precise, I initiated discussion on changing the 3RR. I seem to recall that quite a few editors raised similar points at around the same time. My proposal was not taken up, but enforcement has generally been more reasonable since those days. (Slim's wording almost implies that I vandalized the 3RR page, which is not the case.)
  3. Lest we forget, I initiated the 3RR discussion after HotR was blocked for correcting Zeq's grammatical errors more than three times in 24 hours. CJCurrie 01:26, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Here's the version from January 2006: "There have been situations where a user has exhausted the community's patience to the point where he or she finds themselves blocked. Administrators who block in these cases should be sure that there is community support for the block, and should note the block on WP:ANI as part of the review process. With such support, the user is considered banned and should be listed on Wikipedia:List of banned users (under "Community")." [7]
CJ, you picked out the only time the policy said what you wanted it to say and you call it "the original wording." These are the games Homey has been playing. Please give it a rest because people see through it and it's just a time and energy drain. If you want to make the two policies consistent, choose this wording, because the unanimity thing is unworkable and unreasonable. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:28, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Folks please forgive my saying so as I'm sure you've both got valid points... but this isn't the place to discuss things other than blocking policy. Thanks. (Netscott) 01:28, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Slim, you're on the wrong page. Banning policy, not blocking. CJCurrie 01:30, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
No, you are on the wrong page. This is the page for discussing the blocking policy. SlimVirgin (talk) 01:31, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
Actually, we're discussing the imposition of a ban. The two pages are meant to be symbiotic on this point, although in practice they plainly haven't been. CJCurrie 01:33, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Come to think of it, does anyone know why "Bans" are being discussed on the Blocking Policy page to begin with? CJCurrie 01:35, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

A ban is just a permanent block.... as we can tell the concept of "community banning" is still evolving. (Netscott) 01:37, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
But we already have a Wikipedia:Banning Policy page. Given how disorganized things often are around here, shouldn't we (i) have a clear separation, or (ii) unite the pages? CJCurrie 01:39, 7 November 2006 (UTC)
What likely needs to be done is for the Blocking policy to reflect a decision period. Where an admin blocks a given account based upon a sort of final need of preventative blocking (say for a period of a week or so) and then from there proceed to seek a permanent community ban. (Netscott) 01:43, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

What needs to be done is not to tweak policy to allow such disregard for Wikipedia as a project as exhibited here. Once we put our friendships, allegiances, and our POVs in a higher priority than the integrity of this project we are screwed. I would argue that that type of wikilawyering is disruption in and of itself. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 02:15, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

A block is the means by which a ban, among other things, is enforced. Therefore, this page discusses when it's okay to block, and it includes bans in that discussion. SlimVirgin (talk) 04:02, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Suggested addition

Please see Wikipedia:No personal attacks/Death threats and its talk page for discussion on that topic (recently moved to that subpage). One suggestion was to make the wording here stronger, and to specifically mention what to do in the case of death threats, as opposed to having a separate page. I'm recording this suggestion here, so that it can be discussed. See also Wikipedia talk:No personal attacks#Suggested addition. Carcharoth 01:34, 16 November 2006 (UTC)

Naconkantari and Anonymous AOL IPs

Apparently, User:Naconkantari, in an attempt at Being Bold, has decided that all anonymous AOL IPs should be blocked, as it is commonly known that AOL IPs are a frequent and severe source of disruptive behavior. Should this be official Wikipedia policy? — Rickyrab | Talk 06:37, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Crystal 128 error.svg This IP address has been blocked because it is believed to be an open proxy on the AOL network. To prevent abuse, editing from these proxies while logged out is currently prohibited. If you wish to edit, please create an account. For more information, please see Wikipedia:Advice to AOL users.
Blocking policy/Archive 6

that's the sort of stuff she's posting on their block notices. I got it from User:Naconkantari/aolproxy. — Rickyrab | Talk 06:42, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

It is Foundation policy that open proxies are banned. Since AOL software can be downloaded for free and used limitlessly to hop across AOLs vast IP ranges, it rather qualifies under this. Anyone who has AOL as his ISP can still access Wikipedia, either by registering a user account or by using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, etc. instead of the AOL browser. —Centrxtalk • 02:38, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
  • It's also under discussion on WP:AN. (Radiant) 14:56, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Anonymous Block Duration?

I had assumed that IP blocking lasted on the order of days, and was going to ask that it be extended to more like months. I was disturbed to find that the policy suggests hourly blocking. That might slow down sprees currently in progress, but it does absolutely nothing about chronic vandals.

Seriously, what is the signal to noise ratio of edits from anonymous IPs? It can't be higher than 10-20%, so why not just nuke them from orbit? -- Frankie

Given how many of the longterm chronic anon vandals are school IPs, giving them a 24 hour block beginning on Friday afternoons probably doesn't result in their ever noticing that they had been blocked. Gzuckier 21:17, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

"User is blocked" message inappropiate

Your IP address has been blocked because it is an open proxy. Please contact your Internet service provider or tech support and inform them of this serious security problem.

That's not a particularly appropiate message for someone using an open proxy, because there's a good chance that the owner of the machine at that address *knows* it's an open proxy (eg: Tor). A message for the users of the open proxy would be advantageous.

I assume it's nigh on impossible to allow their potential edits to be screened pre-submission? 21:38, 22 November 2006 (UTC)

  • No, it is not possible for us to screen edits befoer allowing them. It is possible for us to change the message given. I've added a link to our policy, Wikipedia:No open proxies. (Radiant) 10:45, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

Blocking anonymous edits from London Grid for Learning

Looking at Template:IP LGFL, a significant percentage of the anon edits are vandalism. See for example the block log of the first IP listed. This seems to be a typical example of young unorganized vandals. IMO many of them would not vandalize if they were required to create an account first. The IP addresses are obviously shared between different persons, probably through some kind of public terminals.

While I appreciate the value of encouraging new young contributors, I strongly feel that Wikipedia should not have to deal with that level of vandalism. It wastes our time, and detracts from the goal of being a reliable encyclopedia.

So I would like to block anonymous contributions only from those IP addresses, more or less permanently (for example for 1-2 years at a time). Since this will affect a lot of users, I would like your opinion. Thue | talk 13:20, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Maybe it is enough to block the IP for 6 months? There could be big changes in 1..2 years - the IP could be reassigned, they could change their internet policy, etc. It is not much a chore to reinstate a block once in a six months. Alex Bakharev 04:54, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
    • Please discuss individual blocks on WP:ANI rather than here; this page discusses the blocking policy as a whole. (Radiant) 12:21, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

Deleting a block warning

I added a block warning to someone's talk page, which he consequently deleted. Is he allowed to do that? For a little more detail (this may seem a little childish), we were accusing each other of vandalism (he deleted an comment of mine at the ref desk, which I reverted), after which he gave me an (unofficial) block warning, so I gave him an official one, after which he blocked me and removed my warning (he's an admin, I'm not). I'm not asking for arbitration on the broader subject, though, just if one is allowed to (instantly) remove a block warning from one's own talk page. DirkvdM 12:38, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes, he is allowed to remove a warning from his talk page, and so are you. I don't quite see how people are capable of vandalizing their own talk page (as you claim here), and stating that they may be blocked for doing so sounds rather strange to me. I am unfamiliar with the details as to dispute at the reference desk is about. (Radiant) 12:58, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh, no, it wasn't about that. The mutual accusation of vandalism was about the ref desk. Anyway, I suppose you're right, people can do whatever they want to their own talk page. It just seems a little childish. Ha! I can delete everything he wrote on my talk page! (speaking of childish behaviour :) ). DirkvdM 13:36, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
People cannot do whatever they want on their own talk page, but removing possibly bogus vandalism warnings is appropriate. The only reason for keeping vandalism warnings on the talk page is so the record of past actions is clear. —Centrxtalk • 05:24, 1 December 2006 (UTC)

Should an Admin indefently block a vandal without a warning first?

An admin block a new user, with only 7 edits, all 7 were vandalism, some being vulgar, nothing more (no threats, etc.). Do the rules state there be a warning first?

How about 2 very vulgar vandal edits?

I am not sure. Travb (talk) 16:59, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Yeah, why not? I don't buy that people have a right to warnings... yes it's best to warn first in most cases, but if someone's clearly just here to vandalize, they can be blocked. Of course, admins should always be listening and generally should accept a promise to stop vandalizing, and unblock. --W.marsh 17:07, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
  • As Marsh said. Generally, use your best judgment to determine whether the encyclopedia is best served if the vandal was (1) welcomed and pointed to something constructive, (2) told that we like a joke but not in our articles, (3) warned that if he keeps it up he gets blocked, or (4) blocked outright. (Radiant) 15:15, 4 December 2006 (UTC)


Is it possible (or sane) to block oneself, if one is able? Mathwhiz90601 04:15, 5 December 2006 (UTC)

This says it all! I actually got tied in an autoblock after doing that too, quite embarassing. --Deskana talk 04:16, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
I did it too ... [8] LOL. Hey, it was early in the morning, I wasn't awake yet. Antandrus (talk) 04:19, 5 December 2006 (UTC)
You see I had no excuse. I've been an admin for a while and it was only 9:45pm. I suck :-P --Deskana talk 04:22, 5 December 2006 (UTC)


Hi. I was looking for a wikipedia policy page that describes what a softblock is. But I couldn't find it. Can you still register if a softblock is in place? Or do you have to register at a different ip? I suppose one of the options in this page is a softblock, can somebody add which one it is? Thanks. Sander123 13:13, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I'm not sure where you came across the term "softblock", but to my knowledge it's not in common use on Wikipedia. (Radiant) 14:03, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
I've saw it on the talk page of some vandal ip. Can't find that page now, but I did see it again in this template Template:SharedIP. Sander123 16:08, 6 December 2006 (UTC)
Hi, I've seen it mentioned in Wikipedia:Advice to users using Tor to bypass the Great Firewall, I gather it means blocking an individual IP (that is softblocking the individual IP), which allows logged in users to continue using. Addhoc 14:09, 6 December 2006 (UTC)


Ignore my last two deleted comments here - I accidentally replied to the wrong page. Cyberia23 21:34, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

One-second blocks in order to put a note in the log

To reflect the consensus on this thread on WP:AN, I have added the following passage:

"Very brief blocks, for instance of one second, are sometimes used for the purpose of recording warnings or other negative events in a user's block log. This practice can be seen as humiliating, and is not approved, except for making notes that are in the user's own interest. For instance, when a wrongful block has originally been placed, a one-second block can later be added by the same admin in order to record an apology, or acknowledgement of mistake."

Thoughts? Bishonen | talk 03:50, 9 December 2006 (UTC).

This looks like instruction creep. The paragraph is longer than the much more important points about blocking users with whom the admin is in a content dispute, the link to RfC, and about blocking users who may be acting in good faith. We should not make a massive list of all the many things that one should not block for. —Centrxtalk • 10:19, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
My addition is currently being discussed, and so far approved, here. Input is invited from anybody interested in the issue. Bishonen | talk 10:29, 9 December 2006 (UTC).
You should not discuss that in ANI, but here. ANI is for other purposes (excutive ones, not for policy creation/modification). Whatever pseudo-consensus reached in ANI or any other parallel forum and not in this talk page has no validity. You are just lobbying there. --Sugaar 15:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Re-posting my comment from the noticeboard:

I like it. It reflects current practice, which is what policy ought to do. I might quibble with "is not approved," because it implies a body which could approve it, which is misleading. How about this: "This practice has not found wide acceptance within the community and is discouraged, save when the notes..."--Mackensen (talk) 14:01, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't care whether or not this is instruction creep. It needs to stay. Nice one Bishonen. --Deskana talk--Deskana talk 14:09, 9 December 2006 (UTC)
An excellent addition to the policy page, and one that certainly reflects consensus. Thanks, Bishonen. AnnH 11:13, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
...and it's not allowed (rather than just discouraged), I'd suggest. It's policy which doesn't allow it. Policy should be very clear about things that are not just discouraged (guideline) but explicitly not allowed (policy). --Sugaar 15:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

If it reflects common practice, common practice needs to change. --badlydrawnjeff talk 14:11, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Why? What are you referring to? --Deskana talk 14:15, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Badlyn is right: if common practice is against policy, common practice must change and the people breaching policy admonished. Notice that common practice among some administrators is not consensus, but rather going around it. Admins must be the first ones respecting policy, they must preach with example, specially when they mean to apply it. --Sugaar 15:09, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Policy is descriptive, not prescriptive, and common practice isn't against policy in this case. It would serve you well to read the actual discussion. In this case, policy was silent on the matter in question, and we're altering it to reflect administrative consensus on the matter. Following yours and jeff's line, we ought to continue blocking or not blocking with 1-second blocks, haphazardly, since policy is quiet on the matter. Wait, no, that's daft. Mackensen (talk) 16:44, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree with Mackensen. Policy describes what we do, we do not do what policy describes. --Deskana talk 19:18, 10 December 2006 (UTC)
Policy describes what the community believes we should do, not what we're currently doing. As policy does not allow for such lunacy regarding the block log, people simply should not be doing it. --badlydrawnjeff talk 19:29, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

I didn't say that: I said that policy should expressly forbid it and not allow for blackmarking people at the caprice of sysops without due process. I also said that the discussion should be made here and not at ANI or wherever.

And I totally disagree that practice should mark policy: policy by definition must be what defines practice. If policy is ambiguous, we should make it more precise. Else, it's like saying that WP:VER is meaningless because a lot of wikipedians just don't source their (otherwise possibly correct) edits. No: we have WP:VER and we should try to follow it (or, modify it) but we can't just pretend that common practice just makes policy, when it's the other way around: policy should guide common practice and discussion should make policy.

It's just plainly logical. Of course common practice and common sense will surely influence policy-making discussion but that's not the key point.

What you two are calling for is for total arbitrarity. And sorry: no way! --Sugaar 20:55, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Not at all. First of all, you're comparing two widely different policies. Blocking policy relates only to the actions of administrators taken in support (one hopes) of the project. It has limited application. In this case, it is more process than policy which is being amended, and in such cases policy should reflect what actions the majority of administrators are willing to carry out. That this change enjoys wide support is suggestive. WP:V also enjoys wide support, and describes what contributors do, or at the very least what they expect. Articles which cannot be verified are recognized to be candidates for cleanup if not outright deletion. That people add unverified content is vexing, but such actions are running against the grain. That we don't take stronger action against people undermining the credibility of the encyclopaedia is a testament both to the size of the job and local fascination with rogue administrators (numbering a mere 1000, they're easier to watch). Mackensen (talk) 12:27, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I agree with process being ammended for better. In fact I suggested that the practice should not just be discouraged but plainly forbidden. --Sugaar 15:39, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

As I stated on WP:AN, I think this is a great idea and clearly it needs to be added to the policy page. I fully support its inclusion. AuburnPilottalk 00:10, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

  • Since people are actually doing this, I definitely support adding a line or two to the policy to tell them not to. The block log is not a record of misdemeanors. (Radiant) 15:03, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
My question on the matter is, how often / how much do administrators look at the block log, in judging how to respond to some incident? If the block log is not used as a basis for such decisions then apologies in it are "courtesy only" and could easily go on a talk page. if however a significant number of admins look at the block log to decide on block lengths or handling of cases that newly come to their attention, then a note if a block was admitted to be wrongly applied would seem to have a degree of strong relevance, since without it others would see the block but not see the separate apology (which may have been snowed under or archived since.)
Lastly, they should be rare in any event. If they are it's not a big problem and if not then why? FT2 (Talk | email) 13:33, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

Blocked editor continuing to edit anonymously

User:Srkris was blcoked for one week for consistent violations of WP:CIVIL, WP:COPY, WP:COI, WP:AGF and WP:NPA has been circumventing his block by editing anonymously. I requested a checkuser but was inexplicably declined. I have added more diffs to support my request. However my question to the community is if a blocked user can openly disregard the block this easily and continue his merry way, circumventing 3RR and other guidelines, then what use blocking anyone? How is this a deterrant? I have included the list of vioations here:

Comment: It is not clear why this request was declined. If it is due to lack of diffs, here are some which clearly shows that this user identifies with the blocked editor:
  1. (talk · contribs) [9] - acceptance that he is User:Srkris and is breaking the block
  2. [10] - incivility
  3. [11] - reverting copyvio notices and questioning the validity of WP guidelines. WP:COI
  4. (talk · contribs) [12] - incivlity
  5. [13] - incivility and acceptance that he is user:Srkris
  6. [14] - acceptance that he is user:Srkris
  7. (talk · contribs) [15] - Personal attacks
  8. [16] - disputing blatent copyvio and questioning the validity of WP guidelines.
  9. [17] - reverting copyvio notices
  10. [18] - Incivility
  11. [19] - reverting blatent copyvio notice
  12. [20] - WP:COI violations and the acceptance that he is User:Srkris
  13. [21] - reverting copyvio notice
  14. (talk · contribs) [22] - Personal attacks and vandalising my User page
  15. [23] - Fake warnings in my talk page
  16. [24] - acceptance that he is User:Srkris
  17. (talk · contribs) [25] - Incivility and acceptance that he is User:Srkris
  18. [26], [27], [28],[29] - 3RR violations using anon edits

Parthi talk/contribs 22:28, 10 December 2006 (UTC)

Hi Parthi,the block has been doubled and the IP accounts included. Usually, circumstance such as this are reported at WP:AN/I. Thanks for raising this and all your help with the Carnatic music article, Addhoc 12:09, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

Blocks for gross incivility are controversial

It says under the Disruption section "Blocks for gross incivility are controversial", since when? People are blocked for gross incivility all the time and is not contreversial. Civility is a policy and gross violation of it is clear grounds for blocking. So how did this get in there? Or am I just wrong? HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:06, 13 December 2006 (UTC)

What does "gross" incivility mean? How do you define that?Just H 02:20, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
glaringly noticeable usually because of inexcusable badness or objectionableness from Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary. As in Gross violation of procedure or He told a gross joke. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 02:26, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
People are to be blocked for persistent gross incivility. `'mikka 19:00, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
I see Addhoc has changed it to Blocks for general incivility are controversial, that makes sense. Thanks. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 16:56, 13 December 2006 (UTC)
While I second this modification, I would like to remind you that before blocking I would suggest to issue a warning and give a person a chance to apologize. While wikipedia is not a kindergarten to teach people to behave, people are not robots either. And I have to disagree with this modification without discussion. `'mikka 18:53, 27 December 2006 (UTC)
That would depend on the level of malice involved in the gross incivility. I personally block people who make racist or homophobic attacks for a time and tell them that the temporary block is their warning. If it is an account that has never contributed in good faith then I will block indef.
I wholeheartedly agree though that in the vast majority of cases a stern warning is enough, and in the case of an established editor going way beyond the line I would still open a discussion at WP:AN/I. HighInBC (Need help? Ask me) 19:14, 27 December 2006 (UTC)

Request for community input regarding an RfC pertaining to blocking policy

There doesn't seem to be much input from neutral/outside observers so far, which could hopefully be helpful in sorting out this RfC: Cindery 02:12, 30 December 2006 (UTC)