WikiIndex:Blocking and banning policy

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The WikiIndex blocking and banning policy is as follows. In the wikisphere, the words 'block' and 'ban' are used interchangeably; a block being a technical means of enforcing a ban.

Procedure

Spambots can be blocked indefinitely and immediately, without warning. In all other cases, a warning should be issued before implementing a block. Obvious vandal-only accounts, whose activity consists only of, e.g., inserting gibberish characters, blanking pages without explanation, etc., can be blocked as well, although a warning should be issued first. IP address blocks should be of limited duration. Block summaries should always state the reason for a block.

Issuing and overturning warnings

If a user has made a mix of good and bad contributions, then instead of blocking them immediately, a warning should be issued. Warnings are only binding if issued by a sysop. If the user disagrees with the warning, then he can (1) ask the sysop who gave the warning, and/or another sysop(s) (or at Category talk:Active administrators of this wiki), to retract the warning and allow themselves to continue the behavior that they consider acceptable; and/or (2) take his case to the WikiIndex:Community portal and ask the community to overturn the warning. The community portal thread should be closed after one week.

A decision by the community should be able to override any decision reached by one sysop. The decision at the community portal must, however, be based on evidence of misconduct (i.e. diffs or log entries). If no such evidence is presented, then any sysop may overturn the community decision, regardless of community consensus.

Blocking

If a user acts in defiance of a warning that has not been retracted or overturned, then any sysop can either issue a final warning, or block the user. The decision on whether to warn or block, and on how long to block, should be based on the severity of the pattern of disruption that the user was demonstrating. If another sysop disagrees with the block, or feels its duration is too long, that sysop should raise their concern with one of the WikiIndex:Bureaucrats, to request an unblock or reduce the duration.

If another sysop disagrees with this unblock or reduction of duration, they are not to unilaterally reblock or increase the duration, unless the user has engaged in new misbehavior for which they have been properly warned. A thread should instead be opened at the community portal to discuss the matter, and a reblock or increase of block duration may only be increased with community consensus. However, whilst WikiIndex are happy to allow our entire community to be part of the decision making process, the community must remain mindful not to undermine the respect of the sysops and bureaucrats.

Autoblock

An autoblock is an automatic block of an IP address. Autoblocks are the result of an attempt to edit from an IP address or account recently used by a blocked account.

Each time a user edits, the IP address from which the edit was made is logged with the account being used (this log is accessible only by a small number of trusted users, called check users). If someone logs into a account that is blocked and attempts to edit, the IP from which they are trying to edit is being 'autoblocked', (if the autoblock flag was not removed while blocking that account) to hamper their attempts to evade the block by back-falling to editing anonymously or by using a sockpuppet account. If anybody then attempts to edit from the autoblocked IP while being logged into their unblocked account, that account is being autoblocked as well, and consequently - like above - any other IPs from which they attempt to edit logged in thereafter. Other logged in users who happen to use those blocked IPs will also get their accounts blocked automatically, unless they enjoy specific user rights that disallow their account being autoblocked, and so on. Therefore, it is possible for some users who have done nothing blockworthy to be caught in this cascade of autoblocks. If you are an admin blocking an account, carefully consider if there is need to leave the autoblock flag remaining.

In short: if you are autoblocked, don't panic, simply request an unblock and an admin will review the situation.

Assessing blame

In determining how disruptive a user has been, the user should not be blamed for other users' disproportionate reactions to their behavior, such as taking great offense to a slight infraction of the rules of civility.

User's right to defend themselves against accusations

It is usually frowned upon to block a user from editing their own talk page, or emailing; unless they have demonstrated clear abuse of those particular channels, against which they have been properly warned. However, many wikis are unable 'ring-fence' user talk pages from blocking action, therefore, a disruptive user needs to be aware of such limitations. Also, if there is a community portal discussion concerning a blocked user, they must be afforded an opportunity to defend themselves at that discussion, with the understanding that they are not allowed to edit the remainder of the wiki. Angering other trusted community users with one's civil rebuttals of their arguments will not help their defence.

Informal dispute resolution

Sometimes, users find it helpful to invite the people with whom they have a dispute to talk it over via a private, off-wiki, synchronous communication method such as Internet Relay Chat (IRC), or even private e-mail. This allows the potential for quicker resolution of any misunderstandings, and can help users feel like they are saving face by not publicly acquiescing to someone else's demands. Participation in this sort of informal dialog is strictly optional, however.

Maximum penalties

The maximum duration of any block is one year. However, shorter blocks would normally be considered in the first instances. Should the blocked user attempt to evade the block for any other good reason apart from mediation, any wilful evasion, especially when used to cause further disruption to the wiki community, will be considered strong grounds for further extending the block.

See also