User:Marianian/Server-Level Ban

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A hard ban is a type of hard block which prevents an IP address from viewing any content of Wikipedia. When a hard banned IP address attempts to access a Wikipedia page, Wikipedia will not show the actual content and may return either a HTTP 403 error (techincally 403.6 - IP address rejected), or a basic login page where account creation is disabled.

There are two types of a hard ban:

  • Server-level: when an IP address attempts to access a Wikipedia page, the site returns an HTTP 403 error instead of showing the actual content;
  • Login-only: when an IP address attempts to access a Wikipedia page, the site returns a basic login page where account creation is disabled: once logged in as an unbanned user, editing and viewing privileges are enabled;

The rationale behind this policy is that:

  • Some community-banned users have continued to violate bans imposed against them, to a point in which they are considered to be no longer welcome by the Wikipedia community.
  • Some IP addresses were solely used for the vandalism of Wikipedia.
  • Some IP addresses were used for denial-of-service attacks;

Unlike a ban or a community ban, a hard ban is basically a hard block plus the revocation of viewing privileges, so care must be taken all times when considering using this method because IP addresses that are subject to such bans may be unable to view or edit Wikipedia. Assumptions should not be made that the IP address that was used by an indefinitely blocked user belongs to them, or that an IP address used in a DoS attack will continue to be used for such purpose. Many IP addresses may be shared, dynamic, or those used by people who attempt to bypass Internet filtering such as the Great Firewall of China. An indefinite block as a result of a request does not provide sufficient justification for a hard ban unless it is strictly requested.

Challenges to Server-level blocking[edit]

There are limitations to the principle of server-level blocking. One challenge is the prevention of collateral damage to legitimate editors.


A hard ban should be only used in exceptional circumstances, mainly against IP address which are used solely for vandalism. This does not always mean IP addresses used by community-banned users, as these may be shared.

An IP address may qualify for a hard ban only if:


Although requests for this type of ban should be used sparingly, Anyone, preferably with involvement with the relevant case(s) are welcome to file a request for a server-level ban against an IP address. It should then be endorsed by at least two users before proceeding. Administrators may also choose to make an offer for a server-level ban if an indefinite block is a result of a decision of the Arbitration Committee or Jimmy Wales.

The request of a server-level ban should be based on a template below and posted below, with the following details:

  • The IP address to be banned at server-level.
  • Either:
Evidence that the IP address has been indefinitely blocked at server level for being solely use for abuse,
Evidence that the IP address has been used solely by a community-banned user or its sock puppets.
  • Other rationale to support a server-level ban against that IP address (optional).

A notice of the request should then be posted to the RfC, the Administrators' noticeboard, the Proposals Village pump and the talk page of the IP address concerned.



Requests for server-level bans[edit]

Open requests[edit]

Requests for appeal[edit]

Open requests[edit]

Possible Alternatives to server-level bans[edit]

If a user is banned by the Wikipedia community then it is likely that they should also be banned from viewing and copying the source of the page. This is to strengthen the principle that the invitation to edit pages do not apply to banned users, implying that this should also include view and source. However, banned users are always invited to view pages at the very least.