Page semi-protected

Wikipedia:Appealing a block

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Wikipedia:APPEAL)
Jump to: navigation, search
"WP:AAB" redirects here. For the Article Alert Bot, see Wikipedia:Article alerts.

During day to day operations Wikipedia administrators routinely block accounts and IP ranges, to reduce or prevent vandalism and other serious inappropriate behavior. This page explains to blocked users why they may have been blocked and how to request an unblock.

Why was I blocked?

  • You may be an innocent victim of collateral damage, where you are accidentally affected by a block of some other user.
  • Alternatively, your account or IP may have been blocked because it appears to have been responsible for (or connected to) a serious breach of Wikipedia's policies.

If your account was blocked by mistake, it will be reactivated very quickly, as soon as you let an administrator know of the problem. Otherwise, there is a rapid appeal process which obtains quick review by other independent administrators, and brief discussion of the matter. One aim of blocking in some cases, is to ensure the user learns from the incident, and that the issues don't happen again.

Common questions

  1. What is a block?
    Click 'show' to view

    A block prevents a user or IP range from editing Wikipedia. (They can still read it). Blocks are used to protect Wikipedia from possible improper use, or other activity that may breach editorial policies. Once blocks are over, they become history unless problems recur. Blocks can apply to a user account, an IP, or a range of IPs. Automated features also identify usage which apparently should be blocked; this can be quickly rectified if incorrect.

  2. I don't understand why I was blocked.
    Click 'show' to view

    You may have breached a behavior rule without knowing it. The block notice contains the reason why an administrator has blocked you from editing, usually as a link to a policy or guideline; read it carefully and try to understand how your behavior did not follow it. A block is not intended as punishment; it's meant to prevent you from making disruptive edits, either in good faith or as vandalism. If you can show that you won't make those again, the block should be lifted.

    If you don't understand some detail of the policy, you can ask the administrators that blocked you any clarification about their actions, and they're expected to answer them. Don't do such requests within the unblock request, though, as it should be used only when you already understand the reasons for the block.

  3. Should I create a new account to appeal?
    Click 'show' to view

    No. That is considered evasion. You get a lot of marks on Wikipedia for being honest and not "playing games". You'll do far better to appeal under your usual account (and take the block if that's what is decided) than to be banned for evasion.

    Wikipedia has users who were blocked for days or months, accepted it, and were welcomed back and "made good" as respected editors shortly afterwards. Once a block is over, it's over.

    If blocked you can usually appeal on your talk page, which is only blocked if abused. If you cannot edit your talk page then you must appeal via the Unblock Ticket Request System or by emailing the Arbitration Committee, see below.

  4. I've never done anything wrong and I was blocked! Please advise.
    Click 'show' to view

    Do you use an ISP or web accelerator that involves shared IPs? Common examples include Comcast, StarHub, schools, and colleges. If so, you may have been affected by collateral damage.

    In such cases, you should request an account to be created for you so that you can edit despite the block, which only affects users who are not logged in.

  5. I did something a bit wrong, but how do I get unblocked now?
    Click 'show' to view

    All blocks can be reviewed by, and discussed with, a different administrator who is not involved, if requested.

    One common requirement for unblocking is simply "do you understand that what you did was inappropriate for this site, and confirm that you won't do it again".

    In the case of shorter blocks, especially for good cause, the usual answer is to wait quietly until the block ends, then you may continue editing, putting it in the past - but learning from it. A repeat of a previous block is often longer than the first one, so it is important to learn from blocks - in a way blocks are intended to guide a user when words don't seem sufficient.

  6. It says I've been "indefinitely" blocked. What does that mean and how do I get unblocked?
    Click 'show' to view
    Note that "indefinite" does not necessarily mean "long" or "infinite". It means "however long is needed for the user to address the issue".
    This can be minutes, hours - or indeed the user may never do so.

    An indefinite block means the blocking administrator did not set a time limit on the block. The user needs to discuss the matter with an administrator before any unblock. It could be because the owner needs to confirm things are okay (and nothing's wrong). Or it could be due to some problem needing attention or the user needing to understand some behavior was inappropriate.

    Typical examples are where the account owner must be contacted (e.g. suspected 'hacking' of their account), and users whose behavior was severely inappropriate (e.g. threats, "outings", repeated vandalism or edit warring, repeated failure to listen, etc.). Wikipedia is an encyclopedia community so behaviors like these are not acceptable. For some issues, a user may need to stop, learn our site norms, and confirm they will not repeat the behavior (or will edit in accordance with certain conditions), before an unblock can take place.

  7. It says I've been "autoblocked" because of another person whom I don't even know!
    Click 'show' to view

    See Wikipedia:Autoblock for an explanation. If you use a shared ISP (namely Comcast, StarHub, schools, colleges, etc.), you may be affected by collateral damage from other users who have edited disruptively. An administrator will sort this out as soon as it's drawn to their awareness – please follow the instructions under the "Autoblocked?" section on your block page, or alternatively here.

  8. I want to edit Wikipedia, but I keep getting blocked because of others on the same network as me!
    Click 'show' to view

    If you are an unregistered user, it's recommended that you create an account. Shared IP addresses such as school and company networks or proxy servers are frequently blocked for vandalism which often affects many innocent editors on the same network. However, registered users in good standing can request existing blocks on their IP address be "softened" to only affect anonymous editors on their network so that they may continue contributing. See also Wikipedia:Why create an account?.

    Note: If your IP address is blocked, you may need to create your account at home, on another computer, phone or tablet using a different connection, or (in rare cases) in another country. You can also request that an account be created for you.
    Note: Many rotating IP addresses of ISPs practising shared IP addresses are blocked as being "proxies" or "zombies" because of the large number of different users sharing the IP. On these computers, logged-in users will be automatically blocked immediately. If you encounter such a case, please follow the unblocking request steps or consult a CheckUser or administrator.

Requesting to be unblocked

Instructions for requesting an unblock will be placed on your talk page or in the block explanation. A quick way to see these and test if you are still blocked, is to click here which tries to edit the Sandbox. If you are allowed to edit the sandbox then your block has already expired or been lifted and nothing more needs doing. If the block is still active you can resume editing when unblocked, or you can request a review of the block if you believe it is unfair or that you have put right whatever was the problem. The preferred way to appeal a block is to use the {{unblock}} template, but you can also contact the blocking administrator via email to request unblocking or alternatively submit a request to the Unblock Ticket Request System.

Further information: Guide to Appealing Blocks
Useful links for helping blocked users:   Message seen by blocked users: MediaWiki:Blockedtext   Requests for unblocking: Category:Requests for unblock

What happens next

When you appeal, other editors – most of whom probably have no involvement in the matter – will review your editing history, which has been logged, as well as the reason for the block and the history leading up to it. Editors may leave comments on your talk page regarding your appeal.

Usually, if it's a clear cut case, any uninvolved (independent) administrator will make a decision. The blocking administrator may be consulted for their comments on your request (this is a common courtesy). The process can take minutes or a few hours; for major discussions sometimes it can take until the next day.

Administrators will strongly avoid blocking and unblocking fights which would be a serious breach of administrator policy. For this reason, blocks will not usually be allowed to become a source of conflict; rather, consensus will be sought, by means of a fair and objective examination of the matter and of any policies alleged to have been breached.

Routes to unblock

Blocks can be reversed with the agreement by the blocking admin, an override by other admins in the case that the block was clearly unjustifiable, or (in very rare cases) on appeal to the Arbitration Committee.

Types of appeal

In all cases, unblock requests should be submitted on your user talk page. Generally speaking, unblock requests will be one of the following two types:

  1. Requests for unblock in the event of a case of mistaken identity, misunderstanding, or other irregularity;
  2. Appeals for clemency, in which the appellant acknowledges the conduct that led to their block and requests a second chance.

If the appeal is of the first type, you should use the unblock template on your talk page or visit the unblock requests system (UTRS). If the appeal is of the second type, you should use the unblock template on your talk page, and only use UTRS if you cannot edit your talk page.

Direct appeal

Appeals will usually take place on your user talk page; use the unblock template on your talk page to initiate this process:

  • If there is agreement that you may have been blocked unfairly, you may be directly unblocked (if the block was clearly and obviously a mistake), but this is very rare unless there genuinely were no prospective grounds for the block. Usually the blocking admin's judgement is respected if there is any question of doubt.
  • You may be unblocked if the blocking admin changes their mind or can't be reached, and an unblock is considered reasonable.
  • When you are unblocked, you may then follow the dispute resolution process if you believe that you were treated unfairly.
  • If an unblocking needs discussion, reaching a consensus usually takes several days.

Other methods of appeal

In highly unusual cases, you may wish to utilize the dispute resolution process while you are still blocked. To do so, you may contact other Wikipedians by e-mail, or by editing your talk page (which you can usually do even if blocked).

If one of the following apply, you can appeal to the Arbitration Committee by email:

  • The block is an Oversight block or CheckUser block
  • The reasons for the block or information related to your appeal is unsuitable for public discussion
  • You have been blocked or banned by the Arbitration Committee or by an Arbitration Enforcement decision.

Abuse of the unblocking process

A usual block prevents users from editing all pages except their user talk page, in order to have a chance for appeal, and so that they are not shut out completely and are able to participate at least to some degree in Wikipedia, while the block is active.

Upon a request to seek arbitration, editing access may be restored to a limited number of other pages (such as those connected with their appeal) pending the formal decision, so that the matter (and any evidence, facts, mitigating circumstances, or corrections) can be presented as well.

A minority of editors who are blocked use these privileges poorly, for personal attack or to play games and make a point. Inevitably the response to such actions is simple – editing access is blocked in its entirety and without further discussion, whereas if the user had been responsible and reasonable, an entirely different result might well have happened.

Wikipedia blocks are usually warnings only, and once over and learned from, unless repeated, they are in the past. Wikipedia and its administrators and arbitration committee have a real wish for everyone who is capable of acting responsibly to be able to enjoy editing.

Users who are blocked are asked to use this as a chance to reflect, an opportunity to show their understanding and ability to act responsibly, and a period of time to let the matter pass and be learned from.

See also