Wikipedia talk:Blocking policy

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RfC about WP:NOTHERE[edit]

The following discussion is an archived record of a request for comment. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this discussion. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
I have read the previous 2 discussions and the RFC. The consensus is that WP:NOTHERE is a valid reason for blocking and should be included and used. The majority opinion is that it is widely used and the community has accepted it as a valid reason used in various places like ANI and the blocks of many admins. The minority opinion is that it is not a policy but an essay, and that blocks should be based on policy not an essay. The majority addresses this concern by saying that a specific policy is not required and that while it will have to be defended, admins are allowed to place the reason for blocking in their own words, and that NOTHERE is based on policies just as an admin's words bust be. As a side note, many have suggested that NOTHERE be improved and brought up to a possible guideline/policy. Since it is widely accepted by the community it may be a good plan to follow so that everyone ends up happy. AlbinoFerret 21:27, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

Whether WP:NOTHERE must be included among the suggested rationales in the policy. I hate to be such a stubborn person, but I genuinely believe that the matter of policy change should not be in the hands of 2-3 a handful of regulars, even if they are 90% right. See also the discussion in #Not here not policy. Staszek Lem (talk) 21:20, 2 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Maybe your method of counting differs from mine, but what I see in the above discussion is 2-3 people who want it removed, and 7-8 who say it should stay. I'm also not sure why you chose to hide the discussion you just opened and start anew one on the exact same subject. Beeblebrox (talk) 21:25, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Sorry, my 2-3 was an exaggeration. I should have been less flippant here. And btw I want it fixed, not removed; that's why I hid the previous thread, because I was convinced I was wrong. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:33, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Not sure if anyone was proposing a policy change? It's just a matter of justifying usage of a particular block summary. The block summary is a text field that I can write anything in, the policy doesn't restrict what I can put in there to certain phrases or wording. All of the bullets at WP:NOTHERE if persistent will eventually lead to a block. Whether you want to use NOTHERE or some other block summary I believe is the subject of the debate MusikAnimal talk 21:35, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Agree with MusikAnimal. This is not a policy change. --NeilN talk to me 21:38, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
    • It is the suggested change of the text of the policy. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:45, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • note to Beeblebrox, I did un-collapse/un-hide since your original comment. Staszek, new people coming in via the RfC should be able to see on first blush the discussion that led to this. — Ched :  ?  21:53, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
    • And I collapsed it back, because the "first blush" is mentioned in the RFC statement, and my suggestion was purely technical issue I was convinced to be invalid. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:45, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
      • And I uncollapsed it again. It contains relevant discussion as some of us feel this RFC is also based on an invalid assumption. --NeilN talk to me 13:39, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I tend to think that people are overlooking the form of this page, and that adding a whole new section for this rationale, with a rather strange short description linking to an essay, looks a bit, well, weird. That is all. -- zzuuzz (talk) 21:58, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that's really the issue here. How it is presented could probably be done better. However, what is being proposed here is not just that it not be mentioned on the policy page, but that it be removed entirely from the drop-down list of block reasons and that it be disallowed as a block rationale entirely. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:25, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Well we know the part about policy and practice. But really this addition seems to look out of place and totally lack information; it probably should be presented better. -- zzuuzz (talk) 22:29, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose We don't actually block folks for things they don't do, we block them for things they do. Consider "Mary & Slater-4eva," created 2007. Clearly "not here" to build an encyclopedia [1], yet no one going to block them. If the fact that some admins have been using the wrong blocking reason is important to folks, it can be removed from the applicable interfaces, and we can go trout them if they say "NOTHERE." NE Ent 22:13, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
Um...uh.. what? Let's start with the fact that your weird, out-of-the-blue example predates the creation of the NOTHERE page. So there's that. And not being here to build an encyclopedia is determination based on the user's actions, or what they have done. Because they have done things that indicate their purpose here is not to build and maintain an encylopedia. This is just a nonsense argument, backed up by a nonsense example. Beeblebrox (talk) 22:18, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
"determination based on the user's actions" -- so why is it so difficult to simply describe those actions when blocking? NE Ent 22:59, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Didn't we just have this discussion? Seemed to be a clear outcome to me. I don't think that closing the previous discussion and starting another is going to give you a different answer.
To be clear I still support the inclusion of WP:NOTHERE in the list of common block reasons. This isn't new policy, this is a description of existing practices. The reason this is not new policy is because there is no requirement that a reason be listed in this policy to be actionable. HighInBC 22:21, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
re: "Didn't we just have this discussion?" Please read my rationale of the RfC. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:33, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment I see some people say "This is not a policy change". If you want to split hairs then please notice that this RfC is abut a non-trivial change of the text of the policy. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:30, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose until the page WP:NOTHERE promoted to the status of the guideline. I cannot accept the fact the admins base their actions on an essay which contains some questionable advice. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:42, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • If I didn't understand how Wikipedia works (or should I say doesn't work?), I would ask why are we going in circles here? Seems like the same editors are repeating the same arguments and the same "votes". Doesn't it wear you out (down?)? Can we block Staszek Lem for WP:IDHT? The answer per some editors is no because that's not something Staszek Lem did but something they didn't do. You can go back to your interminable discussion now.--Bbb23 (talk) 22:55, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Please read and understand what the purpose of the RfC is. And the frivolous request of block by a admin, no less(!), is a perfect illustration why the blocking policy must be thoughtful by many. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:06, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
      • P.S. Since you are admin, let me remind you that RfC is specifically to handle cases when "the same editors are repeating the same arguments". Staszek Lem (talk) 23:14, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Policy is supposed to be descriptive, not prescriptive. The practice is that NOTHERE is used as a block rationale a lot, which makes that rationale policy with a small "p". The whole point of a wiki format is that things are fluid, they change over time, and we don't need to waste our time ratifying every minor change in practice. This RfC is a total waste of time, and the question is a non-issue (I use the rationale frequently for trolls, for example). But since we're here: Wikipedia is an encyclopaedia; our purpose as Wikipedians is to write and maintain it. Anything else should go somewhere else, and anyone whose edits don't contribute to that aim should be shown the door. That doesn't mean we have to be arseholes about it, but if somebody shows no interest in anything other than promoting their company/recording grandad's war stories/using Wikipedia as a webhost/re-fighting ancient wars/pushing a nationalist POV/etc etc, and we can't get them to stop voluntarily, they should be blocked and "NOTHERE" is as good an explanation for such a block as anything. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 23:05, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
    • There is a long-standing tradition in wikipedia that if something based on a commonly accepted essay becomes a widespread practice, then it should be promoted a policy or guideline. A major purpose of such promotion is cleanup of some careless language. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:09, 2 November 2015 (UTC)
  • There is no such tradition. There is a long standing tradition of editing policy based on simple discussions(like we have already had above) without all the need for official RFCs and closures. When most people agree with something we call it a consensus and move on. HighInBC 00:42, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Well, I had an exactly opposite different experience, during promotion of WP:NGEO. There was a small minority which blocked the promotion of the essay. But unlike y'all here we neither suggest to block the opposite side, nor arrogantly dismiss them as nuisance, neither we push a fake "consensus" down their throats. There were at least 3 iterations of discussions, until a real consensus was reached. May be a cabal does not need RfC, but I do. I strongly suggest you to review the whole process of dispute resolution. Wikipedia is written by thousands of editors, therefore there is something inherently wrong when policies are edited by a handful of regulars. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:02, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Well if you want to insist on a whole official process then you can try. But I doubt it is going to change people's mind. Policy is descriptive, always has been and WP:NOTHERE is a common reason for blocking. HighInBC 02:49, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I am afraid you are misunderstanding my intentions. I am not about changing people's minds. I am about changing the policy when the practice changes. Y'all say WP:NOTHERE is a common reason. Now I say "therefore it is time to promote it to guideline and then update the policy." And alternative is to continue sloppy "business as usual" until the first scandal. (I admit I went a bit overFormalBoard with the suggestion to temporarily delist it from list of reasons, but I quickly withdrew the suggestion.) Staszek Lem (talk) 03:19, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It is a list of common block reasons, not a list of all acceptable block reasons. The essay can remain an essay and still be a common reason for blocking. There is nothing in policy that says every block must be based on a policy or guideline, we can act on the wisdom in an essay. HighInBC 02:10, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  • This RfC is not about common or acceptable block reasons. And the whole point is that the wisdom of the essay is questionable. An admin can write his own essay and cite it as a reason of his block, and it will be perfectly acceptable. But this admin cannot add this essay as recommended into the blocking policy without broad consensus. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:30, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  • What do you mean this RfC is not about common or acceptable block reasons?? Surely this is the discussion you referred to in this revert. The revert was under the section "Common rationales for blocks". Your own words describe this as an RfC to determine "whether WP:NOTHERE must be included among the suggested rationales in the policy". This RfC is exactly about a common acceptable block reason. HighInBC 05:15, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
    • See my prev reply. An admin may block and put the reason "See [my_essay]". It is perfectly acceptable. What is not acceptable is to put [my essay] in the policy. This RfC is not whether HOTHERE is acceptable reason, it is about putting it into the policy. There are zillions of essays of advice, many of them are sound and commonly cited, like WP:DEADHORSE, but we don't put all them in the policies. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:57, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  • A WP admin once said of me on the Wikien mailing list that I "wasn't here to build an encyclopedia." I think I had 10 Featured Articles at the time and was feverishly working on several others. Therefore, I have a problem with WP admins labeling other editors with that phrase, although perhaps it's good to allow them to use it as a blocking rationale, because it makes it easier to identify the WP admins who are tremendous jackasses and can't be trusted. Cla68 (talk) 00:34, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Socking is covered under "Dishonest and gaming behaviors". Why link to WP:SOCK when blocking when you have NOTHERE? We should add WP:CV to that same section, of course. Why use WP:NPA as a rationale when you can just link the same essay for "repeated hostile aggressiveness" in the "Treating editing as a battleground" section? Everything's there in one neat little package. In fact: why not incorporate all the things that can get one blocked for into the essay and just link to it every time? Let's simplify the process of using block rationales, not complicate it!. Doc talk 10:25, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
    • You seem to be unwilling or unable to grasp the distinctions. For example, if most or all of an editor's extended activity involves picking fights or name calling then indef block WP:NOTHERE. If an editor with productive contributions goes off the rails then temp block WP:NPA. --NeilN talk to me 13:29, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
      • So for an indefinite block the essay should be used for the blocking rationale, and for a temporary block the policy should be linked for the blocking rationale. Makes sense. Are there any other essays besides this one and WP:VOA that should used when blocking over policies and guidelines? Right at WP:ESSAY it states: "Essays have no official status, and do not speak for the Wikipedia community as they may be created without approval." Is this correct? If it is, isn't it a bit confusing to block using a rationale from any essay? Doc talk 14:06, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support WP:NOTHERE as a legitimate, policy-based block reason. I have no idea why this is controversial. It's 100% appropriate for cases where users violate more than one community norm, for example, edit warring to repeatedly insert antisemitic material into articles about the Holocaust; sneaky vandalism while making personal attacks on editors who revert the vandalism; forum talk on article talk pages while repeatedly adding unsourced content to the articles; inciting discord by making trifling complaints at ANI, supported by obvious meat puppets from 4chan; using multiple IP addresses and proxies in the Ukraine to push an agenda that Nikola Tesla was Croatian, not Serbian. WP:NOTHERE closely aligns with our core purpose expressed in WP:NOT: "Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia and, as a means to that end, an online community of individuals interested in building and using a high-quality encyclopedia in a spirit of mutual respect." If a user's participation in the project is observed to be substantially contrary to that purpose, then they are WP:NOTHERE to work with others to build an encyclopedia and should be blocked.- MrX 13:57, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It may be based in policy, but it is not policy. Doc talk 14:06, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • If we were a strict bureaucracy then perhaps that distinction would matter. We're not and it doesn't.- MrX 14:15, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Again, "Essays have no official status, and do not speak for the Wikipedia community" per ESSAY. We shouldn't block using essays if this is true. Hey: change it to allow NOTHERE to be used! Doc talk 14:21, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Something that is cited as frequently as WP:NOTHERE clearly has community consensus. Per ESSAY: "Policies and guidelines can not cover all circumstances, consequently many essays serve as interpretations or commentary of perceived community norms for specific topics and situations." - MrX 14:44, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • There's not one thing in NOTHERE that isn't covered elsewhere (and officially) by whatever policy or guideline it was gleaned from. NOTHERE simply doesn't enjoy the same community consensus as a policy or guideline precisely because it is an essay. I can't imagine why any essay should be linked in favor of the policies and guidelines that are, by definition, considered to be far more accepted as being community consensus. Doc talk 16:47, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  1. I echo the comments from more than one editor above about unnecessarily repeating the discussion. "The matter of policy change should not be in the hands of 2-3 a handful of regulars" could well be seen as an attempt at forum shopping: "I wanted to get my way by having a discussion among the few editors who turn up to this page to discuss the matter, but when I realised that I wasn't going to get my way by that method, I decided to move the goal posts and try to get my way by a different method."
  2. Some of the arguments against use of "not here to contribute to the encyclopaedia" make little or no sense. Here are a few examples: (1) "We don't actually block folks for things they don't do, we block them for things they do." That is empty sophistry: obviously the way we come to the conclusion that an editor is not here to contribute to the encyclopaedia is that we observe them doing things other than contributing to the encyclopaedia. (2) Editors keep on harping on about the status of WP:NOTHERE as "not a policy". However, arguing that something should not be accepted because it isn't a policy is nonsense for at least two reasons. Firstly, many thing we do are not policies, and trying to turn Wikipedia into some sort of bureaucracy, where nothing can be done unless sanctioned by a written policy, is not helpful. Secondly, if there is consensus that the current practice is acceptable, then it can be added to the blocking POLICY if editors want every acceptable practice to be sanctioned by a policy. Arguing that we should not add it to a policy because it isn't policy is pure nonsense. (And, for the benefit of anyone who is unaware of the relevant history, this string of discussions was started because of editors wishing to add it to the blocking policy.) (3) "I cannot accept the fact the admins base their actions on an essay which contains some questionable advice". When did any administrator "base their actions on" that page? As far as I am concerned, I block people because it is clear that their editing does more harm than good to the project: if the particular manner in which that manifests itself indicate that they are here for some purpose other than contributing to the encyclopaedia, then it seems to me reasonable to say so; that does not mean that I am "basing" the decision to block on the existence of that page. If the page didn't exist, I would still be blocking the editor.
  3. I have already said the following (albeit not in the same words) in the first discussion about this, above, and I find it unconstructive that a second and a third discussion on the same question have been started, but to avoid any risk that anyone assessing this third discussion may overlook what was said in the first one, I shall say it again: Blocking an editor because he or she is substantially here for reasons other than to contribute to the encyclopaedia is reasonable. When an editor is blocked for that reason, it is reasonable for the administrator to state that it is for that reason. Trying to forbid administrators from doing so is ridiculous. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 16:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • You say "If the page didn't exist, I would still be blocking the editor". Let's pretend for a second that the page really didn't exist. You'd be blocking the editor for... what reason? It can't just be "clearly not being here to build an encyclopedia", obviously. There would have to be some concrete reason in a policy or a guideline that you could point to, every time, to justify the block. The BURO card does not play because policies are always going to trump essays. And admins should ideally base their decisions on policies over essays. Doc talk 17:19, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
@Doc9871: You say "It can't just be 'clearly not being here to build an encyclopedia', obviously." Why is that obvious? It isn't remotely obvious to me. And I thought I had already made the following clear, but evidently I hadn't, so I'll try once again. I have never in my time as a Wikipedia editor "based" any decision on an "essay". That does not, however, mean that it is never helpful to refer to an idea which has been expressed in an "essay" to help explain the reason for my decision. Got it now? The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 19:28, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
Okay, let's try to hash out this hypothetical scenario again. You no longer have the option of linking to NOTHERE because it doesn't exist. Get it? So now you have to link (once again) to an actual policy or guideline when blocking... instead of the NOTHERE essay. Because it doesn't exist in the hypothetical situation, remember? Bear with me. So it's "obvious" that you can't use "not here to build an encyclopedia" as a blocking rationale in that scenario. There is always something more appropriate to link to that is far more important than this essay when blocking. Understand? Doc talk 06:12, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
@JamesBWatson: You are and experienced admin, and you probably no longer need extra teaching what to do. However from time to time a freshman admin comes blocking left and right based on their understanding of what is right. Therefore if WP:NOTHERE is going to be endorsed by policy, we better clean it up from dubious observations and sloppy advice before the endorsement or ASAP after. But after that it is only natural to promote it to the guideline status. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:59, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
All right, now you have made a concrete assertion ("from time to time a freshman admin comes blocking left and right based on their understanding of what is right"). I assume you're referring to dubious blocks. Please back up this assertion with concrete examples. --NeilN talk to me 03:48, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Aren't we into wikilawyering here? Are you seriously implying that we never had dubious blocks by inexperienced admins? Staszek Lem (talk) 18:57, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
No, because once again, you make an assertion without proof. You stated up above that NOTHERE is prone to abuse but don't provide any examples of that abuse. Now you say from time to time (implying it is a somewhat regular occurrence) a freshman admin comes blocking left and right (implying rapid, willy-nilly blocks) based on their understanding of what is right (implying that WP:NOTHERE is a culprit in this situation). Provide proof. And really, this whole exercise seems like wikilaywering on your part. The status quo is fine and is working. --NeilN talk to me 19:09, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  • re shouting: "Trying to forbid administrators from doing so is ridiculous" - straw man argument. Nobody can forbid admins to do what they see fit broadly understanding the good of wikipedia. We are discussion here whether and how to expand the existing policy, so that "what they see fit" to involve less personal decision and more commonly accepted practice. —  Preceding unsigned comment added by Staszek Lem (talkcontribs) 18:54, 3 November 2015‎
It's not a "straw man argument". Of course the editors who are plugging this know they can't actually "forbid" administrators from doing it, but their intention is to put administrators off doing so. I am way past thinking it worth spending time making sure that my wording are absolutely literal in every detail in this pointlessly-prolonged disruptive discussion. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 19:28, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • One more point, which I have mentioned before, but which perhaps could do with emphasising. It seems to me that in these discussions at least two related but different questions are being confused together:
  1. Should "not being here to contribute to the encyclopaedia" be accepted as a reason for blocking?
  2. Should linking to the section of the page Wikipedia:Here to build an encyclopedia headed Wikipedia:Here to build an encyclopedia#Clearly not being here to build an encyclopedia (commonly abbreviated as WP:NOTHERE) be regarded as a good explanation of why an editor has been blocked?
  • As I trust I have made clear by now, in my opinion the answer to the first question is "yes", if not "yes". However, my answer to the second is "Hmm. Weeeell ... not ideal." I ask anyone posting here from now on to be careful to distinguish between these tow questions. Some of the arguments above seem to me to be arguments against linking to WP:NOTHERE, but expressed in such a way as to suggest that their authors think that they are arguments against using "not here to contribute to the encyclopaedia" as a block reason, which is not at all the same thing. The editor who uses the pseudonym "JamesBWatson" (talk) 20:20, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
    • No, there are more than two:
  1. Is "not being here to contribute to the encyclopaedia" a reason for blocking? (of course not)
  2. If an admin makes a proper block, e.g. for WP:DE, but uses a "wrong" reason, e.g. WP:NOTHERE, does anyone actually care (probably not), or should the faux pas be ignored per not bureaucracy? (of course). More: It's kind of like the janitor's in the office where I work -- I just care they empty the trash and sweep the floor, don't really care how they do it, and if I started going around and saying "You're not emptying that trash can the right way!" that'd be seriously lame, right?
  3. Should we invent a new bogus policy by linking a policy page to an essay? (nope) NE Ent 23:15, 3 November 2015 (UTC)
  • No, there are more than three. Now, please take a look at the very top: According to RfC rules (AFAIU), the question was posted exactly about the contested edit of the policy. Despite the venom in my address from some, my purpose was to keep the discussion focused. While it is good that someone again brought our attention that the question is in fact a multipronged issue, the basic issue IMO remains single: if we are to add a new bullet or section in a policy, it cannot remain vague. (Vague issues of policy belong to WP:COMMONSENSE & WP:IAR.) IMO we agree that the phrase "not here to build encyclopedia" is but a shortcut, a tad longer than "WP:NOTHERE", to describe a frolicking behavior with a number of petty violations which, when taken alone each seem insufficient for block. And the real definition of this must be in the appropriate guideline. Such a guideline is a must. Otherwise one can block 80% of editors in Israel-Palestine topics: An admin can say "you are here for pushing Jewish agenda and nothing else", while the person is genuinely convinced he is doing a Good Thing by fixing wikipedia from the recent European surge of anti-Semitism slowly trickling into wikipedia. Therefore, for the purpose of analysis you can split my question (and answers) into as many subcurrents as convenient, the question remains single: whether WP:NOTHERE be officially listed in the policy, and all ramifications mentioned should be viewed as arguments pro and contra. When we collect all opinions, we can decide whether the item is salvageable. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:26, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support idea because it reflects reality/precedent, but I agree that we really should be discussing promoting the existing essay to guideline status. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 17:46, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Simultaneously Support and Oppose for the same reason. WP:NOTHERE is a perfectly valid reason to block someone; it's a subset of general disruptive behavior. It's merely an explanation of the kind of disruptive behavior we're blocking someone for. Per WP:CREEP, WP:IAR, it is neither desirable nor even possible to list, ahead of time, every single way a person may be disruptive. So, yes, we should still block people who disrupt Wikipedia. No, we don't need to modify the instructions to list every way they can do it. --Jayron32 17:58, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Your phrase "a subset of general disruptive behavior" gives me an idea of a compromise solution: do not add WP:NOTHERE as a separate section, 'simply expand the section Wikipedia:Blocking policy#Disruption with the phrase, some like:
      "Editors with predominantly disruptive behavior which is not clearly described by one of the major types listed above are commonly blocked with the 'not here to build an encyclopedia' rationale", i.e., the advice is to apply this rationale only in gray area cases, based on admin's WP:DUCK judgement. Staszek Lem (talk) 19:13, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
      • First, if it's a gray area, admins shouldn't be blocking. Second, WP:NOTHERE can be determined by community consensus as well, not only admins. --NeilN talk to me 19:28, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
        • I used the term "gray area" in an attempt of extra explanation of my suggestion to distinguish behavior which is not directly covered by the listed disruption types. And yes, AFAIU admins have rights to and do block in this "gray area", per WP:COMMON & WP:DUCK. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:30, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
        • If and when WP:NOTHERE will be formally approved by community consensus, it will be elevated to the status of a guideline and it will no longer be in the "gray area" of policies. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:30, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
        I don't think you understand. Right now, an editor can be determined WP:NOTHERE per community consensus and an admin will block accordingly. There is no "gray area". --NeilN talk to me 20:44, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
        You right, sorry. I was thinking about text of WP:NOTHERE, while you were speaking about its usage. Yes, the community can decide to apply block or ban, but this happens exactly when there is a "gray area" so that an admin is not feeling sure to block right away. Otherwise just post somewhere at WP:AN and done with the abuser without distracting the community. Staszek Lem (talk) 20:59, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

This discussion could be the poster child for why more people don't particpate in policy discussions.... Beeblebrox (talk) 21:16, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Please explain what is wrong with this discussion and suggest how it can be improved. IMO compared to some other places this one is a rather civilized exchange of arguments. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:06, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support, seems like basic common sense that policy pages should reflect current typical practice. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 16:21, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
  • The "Common rationales for blocks" section goes out of its way to emphasize that it's describing what actually happens (as policies should), rather than what should happen (as most policies attempt to). Claiming that WP:NOTHERE is not a commonly-given reason for blocking amounts to a lie of omission. —Cryptic 16:34, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
  • re: "claiming that <...> amounts to lie of omission" - Red herring, personal insult, or failure of logical capacity; take your pick. Comparative example: WP:NGEO we used in AfD for years before it took 2 more years and 3 iterations to promote it to the status of guideline. I expect that a blocking policy is a much more serious issue to expand its content without serious deliberation. Opposite example: "sorry I was running late" was never a valid way to dodge a ticket despite its extreme commonness. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:32, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
I find it ironinc that you would use that example to rebut someone else's supposedly shoddy logic. Beeblebrox (talk) 20:40, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
And I find it extremely weird that some people don't see the difference between "being in common use" and "recommended by policy". Staszek Lem (talk) 22:51, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
I am at a loss as to why you can't get that policy is descriptive and not prescriptive. Why the section heading "Common rationales for blocks" does not seem to indicate to you that it is a list block reasons "being in common use" is beyond me. You seem to be under the impression that a list of common block reasons is a recommended list of reasons to block. It is exactly what it claims to be, a list of block reasons as you say "being in common use". Cryptic's reasoning was not a red herring, certainly not an insult and not failing in logic at all. NGEO is hardly relevant here. HighInBC 00:12, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
"descriptive and not prescriptive" is a legalese I fail to grasp in this context. What I know is that if something gets into a policy, it becomes an almost unbeatable argument in a dispute. And I don't want that this argument to be based on an essay not scrutinized by the community. NGEO was an example of an exactly similar situation: there was informal "business as usual" until it was decided to clean the act and make it into a decent guideline, and as such formally include into WP:NOTABILITY. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:49, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. This is already regular and largely accepted practice anyway. Gamaliel (talk) 20:04, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per user:NE Ent. John Vandenberg (chat) 22:11, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support WP:NOTHERE as a legitimate, policy-based block reason. Hawkeye7 (talk) 02:43, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose until the page WP:NOTHERE is promoted to guideline status. I agreesympathize with Staszek Lem and NE Ent. Block people only for reasons they are here, not for reasons why they aren't. This blocking rationale, especially when used to block users from their own talk page, is infringing on their rights. Block editors because they are here to commit vandalism. Block them because they are here to harass people. Block them because they are wheel-warring. Don't block them for this weasel-reason, because you think your real reason (often "I don't like your POV") won't fly with other admins and the community. – Wbm1058 (talk) 18:19, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • "won't fly with other admins and the community" - reports and results at AIV and ANI say otherwise. And I'm still waiting for examples of abusive NOTHERE blocks. --NeilN talk to me 18:33, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    The admin's block-tool drop-down lists 19 possible legitimate reasons for blocking before finally listing this as possible reason #20 at the end. For the benefit of non-administrators, what's in the drop-down is specified on the page MediaWiki:Ipbreason-dropdown. Is there a way to filter the block log to show only "reason 20" blocks? I don't see the reason "per community consensus at (discussion page)" or similar, is community consensus (by !voting) a legitimate reason for a block? Curious, as this is an area I haven't spent much time in. Wbm1058 (talk) 19:11, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I see that there is a parallel discussion at MediaWiki talk:Ipbreason-dropdown § WP:NOTHERE. – Wbm1058 (talk) 19:21, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I also see that "not here" was added to the drop-down at 11:46, 13 August 2013. Was this a bold edit? I see no discussion on MediaWiki talk:Ipbreason-dropdown prior to the addition. Indeed, no edits to that page at all between 5 August 2013‎–17 January 2014‎. Discussion only started there on July 25, 2014 (at the link I provided above). Wbm1058 (talk) 20:14, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I also observe that {{Uw-nothereblock}} was created on 15 June 2014. Wbm1058 (talk) 21:11, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • More observations: The drop-down also has an "Other" option, which when used allows the administrator to enter in any free-form reason they want to the block log's block summary – so admins are not limited to the reasons in MediaWiki:Ipbreason-dropdown (these are really just for convenience to save typing, a way to standardize the block log's summaries, and perhaps as a "crib sheet" to the most commonly used reasons supported by policy and guidelines). I note that the policy simply gives a list of "common rationales" for blocks, and only specifies a limited set of reasons for which blocking may not be used. So the blocking policy does not prohibit blocking for the reasons given in WP:NOTHERE. For that reason I've struck part of my original opinion.
It appears that JamesBWatson's implementation was bold. It was implemented shortly after he removed several links to deleted pages, and first used to block 1kdhar (9 deleted edits) within minutes of implementation. A reasonable notice was left on User talk:1kdhar. I guess my only quibble with this is that I'd rather see something like "Narrow self interest and/or promotion" and/or "Focusing on Wikipedia as a social networking site" left in the block-log summary. If we could replace the "not here" rationale with these other reasons, which are already included by consensus in the information page, then I think that might satisfy most of the opposition here. Now, if anyone thinks editors shouldn't be blocked for social networking, then that needs to be spelled out in the "When blocking may not be used" section of the policy. You might want to tell Lila Tretikov about community attitudes towards social networking because she seems to want to get people using Facebook to discuss Wikipedia to come over here for their discussions. – Wbm1058 (talk) 23:35, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. The discussion that won't die.--Bbb23 (talk) 18:35, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    Sorry, I'm late to the party here, so it will take me some time to catch up. I'm here due to the mention in Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2015-11-11/Discussion report. – Wbm1058 (talk) 21:15, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support WP:NOTHERE is very useful both as a summary of opinion at a noticeboard like ANI and as a block reason. It highlights that the purpose of Wikipedia is to develop the encyclopedia based on the policies and guidelines outlined at WP:5P, and it is often the kindest way to farewell someone who may be trying but who makes contributions that indicate they are unlikely to help. Some editors are timesinks and net negatives without being blatantly disruptive, and there is no need to waste more time deciding exactly why they are being blocked. They can always appeal and explain how they will contribute. Johnuniq (talk) 21:36, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • EXAMPLE OF ABUSE You wanted examples? Right here you have.
    • 23:18, 15 November 2015 Kudpung (talk | contribs) blocked Lembrazza (talk · contribs) with an expiry time of indefinite (account creation blocked) (Clearly not here to contribute to the encyclopedia)
    From what I see Lembrazza wanted to add a more detailed categories, such as Category:Science fiction adventure films. As I see he is met with strong oposition. Eventually he got very pissed off : "Fucking godddamn, if there can be sci-fi action, sci-fi horror, sci-fi thriller why there can't fucking be sci-fi adventure?" If you skip f-words, his point is an my uneducated glance is quite reasonable. Now, how the F* he is "not here to build encyclopedia"? Look at his F*ng contributions since 2013. IMO it is a blatant abuse of admins power to whack an infinite NOTHERE block without any cooldown blocks of a long-time contributor. And don't tell me Lembrazza was abusive, disruptive, blabla. Of course he went amok after so much stonewalling. But saying that he is NOTHERE is bullshit. My immediate first thought was to request a reblock, but just as immediately I realized that this user is watched by strong-arm-block aficionados. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:42, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    • The above seems to conflate quantity with quality. What is needed are people who work collaboratively to build the encyclopedia—not enthusiasts who edit war (within an hour: 1 + 2 + 3) to add a category which gets ten delete votes and no keep at CfD. The issue was at ANI for five days, and no one opposed the close, and I don't think anyone has requested an unblock. Johnuniq (talk) 23:29, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • Your comment is a perfect illustration of the issue. If he is edit warring, we have a very good guideline for block. The block as it was made was power muscle flexing, to swat a fly with a sledgehammer. Yes we need people who edit collaboratively. But this comes from two sides. the user was suggesting a perfctly valid Category:Science fiction adventure films. Where the hell is your collaboration in this respect? Y are talking about quanitity vs quality. Was he edit warring for all these years? Where are the warning messages? Staszek Lem (talk) 23:46, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
      • I'm with Staszek here. Clearly, for his last three edits, this editor should have been blocked for incivility. But a perma-block? How would that fly if a "content creator" were perma-blocked for such an outburst. An appropriate cool-down block is all that was needed here. Wbm1058 (talk) 00:25, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
        • No one cares about the mini edit war I mentioned—that's just an illustration of a bigger issue. A total of 53 edits have been made to User talk:Lembrazza. Two of those were by Lembrazza, and each was to blank the page. Lembrazza did not contribute to the ANI discussion I linked in my last comment, and according to the report at ANI the issue has been ongoing. I am not concerned by the frustration shown in the last three edits—everyone can flame-out occasionally. What would you recommend for a case like this where several good editors get frustrated by having their time wasted cleaning up, and the editor will not communicate? NOTHERE is an acknowledgement of the fact that not everyone is a good fit for how things operate here, and it is kinder than describing someone as disruptive or incompetent. Johnuniq (talk) 02:57, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
          • Sorry, disagreed about the 'kinder' part. Is someone is dusruptive, block so. If someone is incompetent, request sources. If someone refuses to discuss and continues doing whatever they were doing, only in different pages, this is a disruption of WP:IDONTHEAR type. Just as vandalism in wikipedia has a very specific meaning (but the term is misused quite often), IMO WPNOTHERE is prone to a frivolous "layman" interpretation. Staszek Lem (talk)
          • Yes I looked at their talk page. I have no issue with blocking that editor. My two concerns are: (1) The duration of the block. An indefinite for their first and only block? C'mon, you just don't do that to an editor with this long a history. (2) The block-log rationale should have more specifically described the blocking editor's reasoning. Wbm1058 (talk) 12:15, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Don't get sidetracked by this particular case; the problem was not that NOTHERE is an unacceptable rationale, it's that it doesn't apply in this particular case. Any rationale can be misused; that doesn't mean the rationale should never be used. I've changed it to making personal attacks and disruption. --Floquenbeam (talk) 03:21, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      • No sidetracking. Someone insistently challenged to provide an example: " And I'm still waiting for examples of abusive NOTHERE blocks". Otherwise, they say, what's the fuss. Yes, any rationale may be misused. Th point is that a rationale based on a sloppy essay is prone to be misused. Staszek Lem (talk) 03:43, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
        • I asked for examples. Note the plural. As in, show it is habitually misused and don't build your case on one incident. --NeilN talk to me 14:52, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
          • In the last 5,000 blocks (~ the past 5 days) I find about 29 "not here" blocks. There are indeed a number of different admins making them, so it is clearly a de facto accepted practice. Some specify additional reason(s), which is good. Jabberwock2112 just made six edits to WP:ANI and the supplemental reason was all edits to ANI, none to articles. I don't think there should be a prohibition on anonymous whistle-blower posts to ANI as conceivably some could be very constructive. So, I don't necessarily disagree that block, but the block summary should have been "only here to make disruptive ANI edits". Note that their first edit advocated a ban with the rationale "clearly a case of WP NOTHERE"... Wbm1058 (talk) 16:57, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
          • Iam txiii was here to promote a not-notable 16-year-old American social media personality, socialite, and actor, and the log summary could have said that, rather than using the canned "clearly not here to contribute" meme. – Wbm1058 (talk) 17:13, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
          • Deezqwertynuts should have been blocked for vandalism rather than "not here". – Wbm1058 (talk) 17:25, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
            One thing to note is for blocks like these that are clearly not questionable, it's safe to say they are "not here to contribute" so a more informative block summary (if you want to consider it that) is not really necessary. Sometimes we just want to block and move on to more patrolling. You can argue NOTHERE isn't the most fitting, but it's certainly not inaccurate. The second example had made potentially constructive edits, rendering "vandalism-only account" as a no-go, and "vandalism" while appropriate does not imply an indefinite duration, where NOTHERE does. MusikAnimal talk 17:31, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
            To clarify on my last point, Twinkle presets NOTHERE as indefinite, where if you chose Vandalism you'd have to select indefinite. This is trivial as we're only saving a few seconds of our time, but again the user clearly is not here to contribute, without question, so who cares? MusikAnimal talk 17:36, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
            What MusikAnimal said. Plus, I don't know why the specificity of NOTHERE blocks is being questioned when disruptive editing blocks are even more vague. --NeilN talk to me 17:38, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
            <sigh> For 22nd time: the rationale is not questioned. The authority of admin to use any rationale is not questioned. The right of an admin to make a mistake is not questioned. The text of the essay is questioned as unfit for a policy. Wikipedia:Disruptive editing is a guideline, which means it passeda rigorous scrutiny (I sincerely hope) and several major rewrites. WPNOTHERE is an essay 85% of single author (and 17 vandals :-). Staszek Lem (talk) 18:55, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
            A block "per NOTHERE" is essentially equivalent to a block "per WP:BP", as (I presume) nothing in the policy specifically is counter to anything in § Clearly not being here to build an encyclopedia. It's equivalent to a speedy deletion "per WP:CSD" (without specifying any specific CSD criteria). We don't really need to elevate the entire information page to guideline, just § Clearly not being here to build an encyclopedia, as that's all that could conceivably be used as a rationale for blocking – or perhaps only some of the ten elements in that section. If they were labeled NH1 through NH10, then the codes could be used as shorthand for the rationales, similar to speedy criteria G1 through G13. Wbm1058 (talk) 21:28, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
            • Yes, it is a reasonable option: (A) include a brief section about NOTHERE into the policy after the text is negotiated by the community; (B) retarget redirect to it; (C) Add the essay 'WP:HERE' into the "See also" section, same as we do with other essays we consider reasoable. Staszek Lem (talk) 18:18, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: Per MrX, NOTHERE is: '…a legitimate, policy-based block reason' (emphasis mine). NOTHERE is not a policy anymore than any other freely formulated apropriate blocking rationale. As per HJ Mitchell: they should be blocked and "NOTHERE" is as good an explanation for such a block as anything. JamesBWatson also sums it up perfectly with his boldend statement. We should guard against the bureaucracy of trying to include every possible action and infraction in those templated lists - Twinkle is already in such a confusing mess that very often even a hand written rationale is significantly quicker. What we have to undestand is that NOTHERE provides an essay which avoids having to paste its text or something similar into a block log where a reference to NOTHERE will suffice. A user whose editing patern is, or has clearly become, one that is no longer concerned with adding content, maintaining content or other aspect of the site, and is being used henceforth for inciviity, attacking other users, or posting strings of expletives, is IMHO, not or no longer on Wikipedia in the best interests of the project and should be shown the door.
If an admin opens that door and boots the user through it, it is not an abuse of sysop power, and any minor technical errors in doing so should be easily addressed without acrimony. Yesterday in an attempt to derail an Arbcom election, a candidate was accused of grave admin abuse by using NOTHERE as a possibly slightly inaccurate rationale. However, when a user is on a disruptive spree, s/he has to be stopped quickly and to that end any block rationale from a drop-down of choices is reasonable provided the actual block is appropriate, which in this case it was. It's really very bad faith to accuse an admin of abuse and demand he relinquish his tools for such a minor error when just genuinely carrying out the tasks the community gave him the trust to do and where he has no other history of impropriety. To project such a negative opinion loudly into other Wikipedia spaces and discussions is itself rather poor form. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 04:16, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Kudpung What you say does seem a bit unfair to the Arbcom candidate. Can you give the diff which links to this poor form demand that the candidate relinquish his/her tools for using NOTHERE as a rationale? --Epipelagic (talk) 05:41, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Or are you going to ignore my question as is your usual practice, because you just made this up as an excuse for more bluster? The block you refer to appears to be your own, and is discussed above as the prime example under the heading "EXAMPLE OF ABUSE". The block is also mentioned in a question concerning your bid to become an aribtrator. It was mentioned there as a current example of the haughty attitude you have towards content editors. But no one asked you to resign because of the block... you dreamed that up all by yourself. --Epipelagic (talk) 06:33, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • This long comment by Kudpung is IMO a yet another reason why we need a clear policy here. The argument "one that is no longer concerned with adding content, maintaining content or other aspect of the site, and is being used henceforth for inciviity, attacking other users, or posting strings of expletives" is dubious in the part "no longer" How long the "no longer" should be? What was the reason of incivility? Was the person provoked that he could not do anything else but vent their frustration? Real people are not machines. Occasional outbursts happen. You do have to block them. Explain the real reason: disruption is intolerable; disagreements must be resolved in civilized way. But don't tell them they are basically a useless piece of shit and kick out forever. Kudpung is entitled to his strong opinion about disruptors and the ways he handles them, but I strongly object that his POV on NOTHERE be part of the policy. Staszek Lem (talk) 17:59, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
It's a great example of how off-base an interpretation of what being "here" actually is.
Here's another example: a user quite popular with some of the editors here was blocked with the NOTHERE rationale[2]. It met resistance and was emphatically overturned[3] This editor continues to edit... so I guess they are "here" after all! The absurd notion that admins will somehow intrinsically just "know" who is HERE and NOTHERE when blocking is once again proven to be nonsense. Checks and balances, people!!!
This RfC truly needs major site-wide advertising before it should be closed per WP:CONLIMITED. This relatively quite small group of admins who basically just "like" this sloppy essay rationale when blocking should not be allowed to override the position of the many other admins and users here through numbers and ivotes. Doc talk 02:57, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
It's the equivalent of speedy deletion per Wikipedia:NOTENCYCLOPEDIC criteria. Follow that link to see what the community thinks about that (it's on the page "Wikipedia:Arguments to avoid in deletion discussions"). Wbm1058 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 04:16, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
One can't use any essay as a speedy deletion rationale according to #14. Using an essay as a blocking rationale should be okay though. Doc talk 09:26, 19 November 2015 (UTC)
It should also be pointed out that we don't use the WP:COMPETENCE essay when blocking, though it is often cited. I see little difference between that essay and HERE when it comes to blocking rationales. Neither are sufficient. Doc talk 22:15, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
What the hell are you talking about? Would have? Facepalm3.svg Facepalm! Doc talk 08:32, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: Lest there be any misundrstanding in anything I have sad here. I woud like 2 things t e perfectlylear: I have not voted one wayor the other in this discussion, and at no time have I even suggested that it should become policy, neither have I said it shoukldn't. Concurring with severa other editors/admins whom I have mentioned, I have expanded on how it may be or often is used, and that its used is in now way a gross abuse of admin tool even if it fall shirt 9of f100% accuracy as a blocking rationale My block in the cited example was not overturned and I do believe that none of my 770 blocks in my history as an admin ever have been. Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 12:17, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
    • "I woud like 2 things t e perfectlylear:" - couldn't be clearer! ;) BTW, is 770 blocks in 4 years a record, does anyone know? Leaky Caldron 12:30, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose the inclusion of NOTHERE as a criterion. I've actually seen someone indeffed out-of-process by an admin for this, and it was wrong. NOTHERE is something that ANI/AN/AE/ArbCom can consider among other factors in deciding whether to community-ban or ArbCom-ban someone, but it's not a "I'm an admin and I'm going to block you on this basis" criterion. It's much, much too subjective.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  20:48, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Strong support making this a guideline. Some influential people claim it is not. They need to be shown otherwise. Without this as a guideline, some people will wikilawyer their way out of everything. It is the single most important rule here. If you're not here to make an encyclopedia, why are you here? DreamGuy (talk) 15:30, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support making NOTHERE a guideline and making it a reason to block. If admins start abusing it ("She was just reading articles! NOTHERE!" "Edited User page before an article edit! NOTHERE!") then the guideline can be rewritten or removed, but I trust its use would be in line with other general guidelines but would apply the general principles of blocking without wikilawyering. -- Michael Scott Cuthbert (talk) 21:10, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Support – As one who has sent many new accounts to AIV, this essay/criterion sums everything up nicely. When a new user makes their five edits (sometimes so sad to see us have to wait even that long sometimes) and they are clearly not even interested in making a constructive contribution, this non-policy covers all aspects of their abusive edits. There is a significant difference between those that make good-faith or test edits, or have a poor understanding of how to improve an article and those that are just here to cause trouble, repeatedly attempting to communicate with their friends across the hall, and downright blatant vandalizers. That said, the policy should not be used on established users where more formal and exact commentary would be more appropriate in case they wish to appeal.--☾Loriendrew☽ (ring-ring) 22:38, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
No comments in two weeks, and it has been over 30 days since first proposed. Are we up for an evaluation and closing?--☾Loriendrew☽ (ring-ring) 00:21, 15 December 2015 (UTC)

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

Unblock conditions[edit]

For some time admins have been working in a limbo state where they are unblocking with conditions on further editing but don't have a policy basis to support them (see, for example, Worm's unblock of Kumioko and some resultant discussion). This will be even more important now that the Arbitration Committee has handed block and ban appeals back to the community to deal with. I propose that the following be added as a section under §Unblocking, I've based it on what I have observed of current practice:

===Conditional unblock===

Administrators may, with the agreement of the blocked user, impose unblock conditions when unblocking an editor if the administrator is not comfortable that a complete unblock would be in the best interests of the project. Unblock conditions should be designed to prevent the behaviour which lead to the block occurring again (such as a page ban to prevent further edit warring).

  • Any unblock conditions will expire at a time agreed to by the blocked user and administrator but must not exceed the original block expiry.
  • Unblock conditions may include page or topic bans, revert restrictions and single account restrictions.
  • If editors breach unblock conditions they may be blocked or further restricted, but the block imposed must not exceed the original block expiry. This does not prevent an administrator imposing other sanctions (such as a new block) if there is fresh misconduct, which breaches other policies and guidelines, not just the unblock conditions.
  • Unblock conditions may be appealed in the same way as a block (to the unblocking administrator, uninvolved administrators or to AN).
  • Unblock conditions should be recorded on the user's talk page (in a notice which should not be removed while the conditions are active), linked to in the unblock reason and may be noted at Wikipedia:Editing restrictions#Final warnings / Unblock conditions.

Before I start an RfC, any opinions (and suggested improvement) would be very much appreciated. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 23:55, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Personal opinions:
    • IMO the language "with the agreement of the blocked use" is too mellow. The message must be clear that there is no wiggle space for negotiation. Something like "Administrators may offer the user a chance to be unblocked subject to a specified conditions met."
      I don't see a problem with allowing negotiation at the unblocking admin's discretion. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:59, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      I don't see either, but this should not be a privilege cast in the policy. Admins are usually busy. I don't want a situation when a system-gamer starts negotiation, becomes rejected, files an appeal, etc., wasting everybody's time. Staszek Lem (talk) 03:21, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      But that's what happens now. If I say that I won't unblock you unless you agree to a topic ban, you can disagree and hope another admin comes along and change their mind. The point of unblocking is to bring people back into the community. Admins should therefore use their discretion to discuss it with the blocked user, however there's nothing in the proposal which requires them to negotiate. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:29, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
    • The same about "expiration time": why negotiate?
      Consider an indef block for edit warring, if the unblocking admin is happy that a PBAN for 6 months or indef will do the job then why stop them from making that decision? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:59, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      Yes, but why negotiate the expiration time with the blocked user? Staszek Lem (talk) 03:21, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      As I said above they don't have to negotiate, but why restrict an admin to only imposing a restriction for the same length as the block? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:29, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
    • The part about "uncomfortable" is IMO redundant.
      Where is that? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:59, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      Sorry you wrote "not comfortable". IMO it is self-evident and just extra verbosity. Staszek Lem (talk) 03:21, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      My main purpose for including that was so that it doesn't become the norm to impose them anyway, if you're comfortable without them then don't bother, and I think that needs to be in policy. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:29, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
    • The same "but not exceeed": redundant: when block expires there is nothing to unblock, right?
      See the point from Beeblebrox below, the unblock condition should only last as long the block they've appealed. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:59, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      Sorry, my logical blunder. Staszek Lem (talk) 03:24, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
    • "Must not exceed" must be conditional: "unless grave violations blabla"; otherwise wikilawyers would want "block him for the remaining 10 hours and only then block him for a week". Also, what if a week block is exceeded by 30 minutes? I.e., if kept, make this statement reasonably approximate.
      What about changing it from must not exceed the original expiry to must not exceed the original duration (for example if unblocked from a one month block, they can be reblocked for another month. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:59, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      Sorry, I was not clear. I was speaking about the case when the offender not only violates the parole (eg topic ban), but while doing so commits another violation (e.g, gross incivility). Just wonderning whether an extra clarification needed here. Staszek Lem (talk) 03:21, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      I've added a bit. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:29, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
    • 'Unblock conditions may be appealed' - Redundant. Same as my first notice: no extra legalese room for negotiationismus. Only after you are cond-unblocked and behave, you may try and convince the admin to expand your privilege. But then no extra formalities would be necessary: you may edit any noiticeboards (unless forbidden, but that would mean you were really bad, so you better sit mum). Staszek Lem (talk) 02:48, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      I don't believe that denying someone's right to appeal (for example if blocking admin says they won't remove the condition) is the 'right' thing to do or that the community will accept it. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:59, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      Isn't it what is called "admin shopping"? Appeal until a "soft-hearted" admin pops up? There is a generic right to appeal the block. If the offender wants they may plead their case within the existing framework, no need for extra rule. Staszek Lem (talk) 03:21, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
      What about just "to the unblocking administrator or to AN"? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:29, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you for opening this discussion, which I do think we should be having (unlike some other discussions on this page) However, I forsee problems with the first two points:
  • Sometimes, someone is blocked for repeated disruptive behavior, let's say edit warring. Edit warring blocks are often quite short, one or two days. So the admin considering unblocking could suggest a 1RR restriction, but only for two days? Why even bother?
  • On the second point, who will be deciding what is proportional? Sounds like a mess waiting to happen. As the restrictions would be voluntary and the user has the right of appeal later on this seems unecessary. Beeblebrox (talk) 02:45, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
I've removed the bit about proportionality, thanks. If it's repeated misbehaviour then the blocks would be getting longer and longer as well so any unblock conditions would also be able to be longer. In the past the community has been very hesitant to give admins powers to impose restrictions on their own authority so I tried to make this reflect that. Consider this, a user is blocked twice for edit warring (second block for a week) and the reviewing admin will only unblock if they agree to an indef 1RR or ban from the article. If there is a longer term issue with the user being involved in edit warring then it would need to go ANI for a community imposed restriction outside of a normal block length. Hope may thinking makes sense. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:52, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
Callanecc, what's normal block length? It is not unusual for admins to indef a repeat edit warrior whose editing history doesn't warrant a temporary block or going to ANI. --NeilN talk to me 21:55, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
That's a normal block length. My point was that this proposal does not and should not allow a single admin to impose a long-term or indef restriction after a short block (eg second block for a week). Instead the appeal (if no one wants to unblock without a long-term restriction) should go to ANI so that more than a single admin can decide what's needed. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:29, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • "If editors breach unblock conditions they may be blocked or further restricted, but the block imposed must not exceed the original block expiry." Not enamored with this. For example, if an editor is blocked for a week for BLP violations, is unblocked on the condition they won't touch the article, why can't I block for a month if they then go ahead and commit the same BLP violation? --NeilN talk to me 14:44, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
    In that instance there discretionary sanctions which can be used, and they can be blocked for the BLP vio not just the unblock conditions. The reason I limited it to the original block length is that when a similar proposal went to the community (a while ago, don't remember specifics) there was a definitive no to allowing single admins to impose long-term restrictions on users. I'm hoping that the community will allow it in response to a block of the same length. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:29, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with Neil. I also think, as Beeblebrox implied, that the unblock conditions should be able to exceed the original block expiration. Even if there are no conditions, say an editor breaches 3RR and is blocked for 48 hours. The block expires, and in they shortly restore their version of the article at issue. As far as I'm concerned, I can block them and for longer without any "agreement".--Bbb23 (talk) 22:56, 17 November 2015 (UTC)
    Yes you could because that's for something more than just breaching their unblock conditions. Just as with discretionary sanctions you can add new sanctions on top of an already existing sanction is there is fresh misconduct. I've added a bit to clarify that. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:29, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
  • There are only really a handful of admins that handle the majority of unblock requests. It's often a lengthy process because the majority of unblock requests, the editor either fails to understand the unblock process (because they haven't read the relevant policies) or fall into WP:IDHT. They are after all (but not always) the most problematic and disruptive editors on the project. When an unblock is finally granted, very often the unblocking admin needs to check in on that editor at routine intervals. It's almost like being their case worker. I'm not saying this is the optimal solution, but it's what ends up happening. Admins need to be able to review the circumstances around a block and implement conditions whereby, hopefully, the reason for the initial block is not repeated. I think there could be an expiration time set for conditions, but it would be as open as up to one year. Sometimes admins have to deal with repeat offenders who have 3-6 previous blocks. Also, indefinite blocks would cause the additional problem of an editor having indefinite conditions set upon them. I don't think we should worry about the blocks that are one or two weeks long. If a set of conditions seem unreasonable or the editor is unwilling to agree to them, they can simply wait out the block. We really need to address long term conditions. They need to be able to be implemented and the edit needs to be free of them at a certain point. Lastly, I'm not crazy about the appeal process. We're going to run into WP:ADMINSHOP which we already experience at Category:Requests for unblock. I think if an editor doesn't like the conditions at the time of their request, they should be able to request (up to one time) for another uninvolved admin to review their unblock request. If, for some reason, we end up having the appeal process, it's going to need to be clear that whoever grants the appeal and relieves the editor of their conditions or reduces them, then must adopt the editor. The reason being is that blocking and unblocking admins are often called back to comment on repeat offenders as they're familiar with the "case". Mkdwtalk 18:01, 20 November 2015 (UTC)

Version 2[edit]

===Conditional unblock===

Administrators may, with the agreement of the blocked user, impose conditions when unblocking. Unblock conditions are designed to prevent the behaviour which lead to the block occurring again (such as a page ban to prevent further edit warring).

  • If the blocked user does not wish to agree with proposed unblock conditions they may post another block appeal.
  • Administrators have discretion to set the expiry of unblock conditions, however:
    • Blocks which were set to expire after one year or less are to have unblock conditions expire after no more than a year,
    • Blocks with an expiry of more than a year (including indefinite) may have unblock conditions applied up to indefinitely.
  • Unblock conditions may include page bans, topic bans, bans from interacting with another editor, revert restrictions, single account restrictions and other restrictions at the discretion of the unblocking administrator.
  • If editors breach unblock conditions, or engage in fresh misconduct, they may be blocked or further restricted.
  • After they have accepted and the user unblocked, unblock conditions may be appealed to the unblocking administrator or to AN.
  • Unblock conditions should be recorded on the user's talk page (in a notice which should not be removed while the conditions are active), linked to in the unblock reason and may be noted at Wikipedia:Editing restrictions#Final warnings / Unblock conditions.
  • @Staszek Lem, Beeblebrox, NeilN, Bbb23, and Mkdw: How does this look? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 10:40, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I'll be brave and go first. Substantively, I'm good with this version. I'd tinker with some of the wording, but that can be left to the end if there's a consensus for the change. Thanks, Callanecc.--Bbb23 (talk) 14:34, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • We should mention interaction bans as an example of an unblock condition. I think there's still going to be opposition regarding the appeal process. I would go so far as to suggest that simply another unblock request should be submitted if they don't like the unblock conditions proposed the first time so another admin, familiar with the unblock process, will review and possibly offer a different set of conditions. We usually see multiple unblock requests anyway, so this appeal process will simply undergo that work plus new work at AN. The fundamental problem I've seen is that most people who request an unblock don't believe their unblock was justified in the first place. WP:AN might not work for technical reasons because they'll have to "agree" to the unblock conditions to get unblocked, and only then will be able to edit WP:AN. Mkdwtalk 16:52, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm good with this. Mkdw's sugestions aren't bad either. Beeblebrox (talk) 19:34, 23 November 2015 (UTC).
  • With respect to Mkdw's last point, we've unblocked users for the sole purpose of defending or appealing in another forum. I don't see why the user should be in a Catch-22 over this. As to adding an interaction ban, I have no strong objection to doing it, but the "may include" language is intended to be non-exhaustive. The more examples we give the less likely it will be interpreted that way.--Bbb23 (talk) 20:16, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
I've specified IBANs, primarily to limit it to one-way bans. I've also added language about not acceptin unblock conditions as that was my intention. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 21:40, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • IMO the is duplication:
    1. "If the blocked user does not wish to agree with proposed unblock conditions they may post another block appeal."
    2. "*Unblock conditions may be appealed to the unblocking administrator or to AN."
  • Other than that I support the idea to put this version into policy and proceed with its improvements from that. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:09, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I think the idea is that the first point is they can post another unblock request, whereas the second point is after they agree to the unblock conditions, they can later ask them to be lifted.--Bbb23 (talk) 00:11, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • @Bbb23: Looks like there's enough consensus here to take this to an RfC, what were the wording changes you mention above? Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 10:25, 14 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Reworded:
===Conditional unblock===

Administrators may, with the agreement of the blocked user, impose conditions when unblocking. Unblock conditions are designed to prevent recurrence of the behaviour that lead to the block (such as a page ban to prevent further edit warring).

  • If the blocked user does not agree to the unblock conditions, they may post another block appeal.
  • Administrators have discretion to set the expiry of unblock conditions, provided that:
    • The unblock conditions of blocks that expire after one year or less shall expire after no more than a year,
    • The unblock conditions of blocks that expire after more than a year (including indefinite) may expire up to indefinitely.
  • Unblock conditions may include page bans, topic bans, interaction bans, revert restrictions, single account restrictions and other restrictions at the discretion of the unblocking administrator.
  • If editors breach the unblock conditions or engage in fresh misconduct, they may be blocked or further restricted.
  • After the blocked user has accepted the conditions and been unblocked, the conditions may be appealed only to the unblocking administrator or to AN.
  • Unblock conditions shall be recorded on the user's talk page (in a notice that may not be removed while the conditions are active), linked to in the unblock reason on the user's block log, and may be noted at Wikipedia:Editing restrictions#Final warnings / Unblock conditions.

--Bbb23 (talk) 15:19, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

A technical point: Archive-bots and tools archive discussions. Users should not be held accountable if the notice was applied to the user's talk page in a way that an archive-bot would archive it or if another editor (perhaps innocently, perhaps with mischief in mind) modified the notice in a way that an archive-bot later archived it. I recommend adding a footnote to the last condition to alert administrators to place the notice in a way that it won't be archived, such as putting it at the top of the page in a section of its own, without a "signature" line. davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 15:26, 21 December 2015 (UTC)

RfC: Add section regarding unblock conditions[edit]

I'm closing this early because the consensus is clear to include the proposed text into the policy. I am going to add it. The last sentence is being discussed sepratelly in the subsection below (#Regarding a centralized recording), so that may be changed in the near future. Vanjagenije (talk) 00:22, 7 February 2016 (UTC)

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

===Conditional unblock===

Administrators may, with the agreement of the blocked user, impose conditions when unblocking. Unblock conditions are designed to prevent recurrence of the behaviour that led to the block (such as a page ban to prevent further edit warring).

  • If the blocked user does not agree to the unblock conditions, they may post another block appeal.
  • Administrators have discretion to set the expiry of unblock conditions, provided that:
    • The unblock conditions of blocks that expire after one year or less shall expire after no more than a year,
    • The unblock conditions of blocks that expire after more than a year (including indefinite) may expire up to and including indefinitely.
  • Unblock conditions may include page bans, topic bans, interaction bans, revert restrictions, single account restrictions and other restrictions at the discretion of the unblocking administrator.
  • If editors breach the unblock conditions or engage in fresh misconduct, they may be blocked or further restricted.
  • After the blocked user has accepted the conditions and been unblocked, the conditions may be appealed only to the unblocking administrator or to AN.
  • The user shall be notified of unblock conditions on their talk page when they are unblocked and a diff/permalink of this notification added to the unblock reason. The conditions will also be recorded at Wikipedia:Editing restrictions#Final warnings / Unblock conditions.
  • Unblock conditions shall be recorded on the user's talk page (in a notice that may not be removed while the conditions are active), linked to in the unblock reason on the user's block log, and may be noted at Wikipedia:Editing restrictions#Final warnings / Unblock conditions.

For some time admins have been working in a limbo state where they are unblocking with conditions on further editing but don't have a policy basis to support them. This will be even more important now that the Arbitration Committee has handed block and ban appeals back to the community to deal with (note I'm proposing this as a community member not as an arb). I propose that the following be added as a section under the Unblocking section, the wording proposed has been discussed above so that is probably useful reading for interested people.Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 07:37, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

Also pinging those who were previously involved in the discussion: @Staszek Lem, Beeblebrox, NeilN, Bbb23, Mkdw, and Davidwr:. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 07:37, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support as proposer and per discussion in sections above. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 07:37, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support - This seems to be a form of parole, as it were. Having a similar system here allows for a blocked editor to "return to society," and provides the entire community with clear language regarding the process. — Jkudlick • t • c • s 09:18, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • @Callanecc: I still support the proposal with the change in language. — Jkudlick • t • c • s 01:53, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
  • may expire up to indefinitely is not very good English — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 13:02, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Suggestions?--Bbb23 (talk) 14:44, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • How about:
  • The unblock conditions of blocks that expire after one year or less shall expire after a length of time to be determined by the unblocking administrator, up to and including one year.
  • The unblock conditions of blocks that expire after more than a year (including indefinite) shall expire after a length of time to be determined by the unblocking administrator, up to and including indefinitely.
— Jkudlick • t • c • s 05:48, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
How about something simpler like "Unblocking conditions remain in effect for the duration agreed upon by the user, or until an appeal gains consensus." We can block for any duration, I see no reason to have special restriction on the duration conditional unblocks. HighInBC 19:29, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
Because then you have a situation where you can be blocked for a week and be given an broad topic ban which never expires and which you can only appeal to the unblocking admin or AN. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:07, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
First of all nobody is required to agree to anything. Secondly any user always seek an appeal through the community. If an admin can block for a week they could have done something else also, which would have the same community to appeal to. I don't see the difference. HighInBC 01:37, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Everything was outlined in the previous discussion so these changes seem to be a practical framework. Mkdwtalk 14:36, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • "Unblock conditions shall be recorded on the user's talk page (in a notice that may not be removed while the conditions are active)" - does removal here include archiving? i.e. is this a notice that has to stay on their main talk page at all times, or simply one that should stay in its place on the talk page and subsequently in that page's archives? Sam Walton (talk) 14:36, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • In my view it can't be archived.--Bbb23 (talk) 14:44, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I don't see the purpose of the notice if it can be archived. The whole point is so that other editors are aware of the situation if an issue arises. It would mirror the notices put on pages with ArbCom sanctions. Mkdwtalk 15:35, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I believe any such notice would be placed in the top section of the editor's talk page so that it would not be auto-archived by a bot. This means that any archiving of the notice would have to be done manually, which would intentionally violate the conditions of the unblocking. — Jkudlick • t • c • s 05:51, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support based on previous discussion.--Bbb23 (talk) 14:44, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support - improved during the discussion significantly. Staszek Lem (talk) 23:34, 18 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support I don't see a reason against it. It seems to follow all policies that matter and the previous discussion points towards this being logical. Feel free to go against me. Will2022 (talk) 14:22, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment I don't agree with the requirement that unblock conditions must be displayed on user talk pages for as long as they are active, as that strikes me as a badge of shame. I understand the need for administrators to be informed of sanctions, but we have no precedent of requiring them to be declared on user talk pages. I don't see a compelling reason to begin that now. As mentioned in the proposal, Wikipedia:Editing restrictions already exists as a central location for noting editing restrictions, and administrators should link to the restriction in the unblock reason. That should be enough. Mz7 (talk) 22:01, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support The best policy additions do nothing more than document and existing best practice, and that is the case here. This addition describes what we do now and will serve to explain this to users without really changing how we do things. HighInBC 22:04, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
However I don't think we should force them to carry a notice on their talk page, it could be seen like a scarlet letter. It is really up to the unblocking admin to keep track of such things. HighInBC 22:04, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Qualified support - the unblock conditions need to be prominently visible to any administrator (such as on a central page or in the block log) and it is okay for them to be visible to everyone, but they need not be on the user's page or talk page ("scarlet letter" etc.). davidwr/(talk)/(contribs) 22:44, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support As something that is already done in practice anyway. This allows admins to give blocked users a second chance, and gives the blocked user a chance to prove they can behave. As to recording it, an initial tag or other written notice and a note in the log when unblocking seem sufficient, we don't require users editing under ArbCom or community imposed topic or interaction bans to keep a notice on their page, this is pretty much the same thing. Beeblebrox (talk) 04:22, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support but without the non-removal message. The message should be placed, and the diff/permalink for that edit can be added to the unblock log for reference. — xaosflux Talk 04:31, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support all but the expiry clause - the restrictions should expire no later than the block is set to expire, regardless of the year cutoff mentioned there. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 16:45, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Reasonable representation of what already happens informally. Practice should precede policy. And it does here. --Jayron32 16:54, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support as per previous arguments. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:59, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment - Support as modified. Robert McClenon (talk) 00:08, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I'm tempted to support, but I'd rather ditch the "notice may not be removed" part. Even ArbCom unban conditions and sanctions aren't required to be kept on the talk page for the length of the conditions; the longest I've ever seen it is "notice may not be removed or archived for one month" or similar. Point of sanctions is not to punish but to prevent; I'm not quite seeing why unblock condition sanctions should have a constant punish-style requirement to keep the notice up where no other sanction requires that. Potentially as a middle ground, the administrator imposing the sanction could, at their discretion, condition the unblock on keeping the notice up for a period of time, just like any other condition? Kevin (aka L235 · t · c) 05:23, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Conditional support. Yes, this is what already happens in practice, except for the user not being allowed to remove the notice. That doesn't happen, and it shouldn't be introduced either, per several comments above. I suggest the last point in the proposal be replaced by a requirement that the unblocking admin record it at Wikipedia:Editing restrictions#Final warnings / Unblock conditions. That they do record it, as opposed to the current proposal that they may. It would be nice to have a link to the editing restrictions page pop up for the admin in the context of unblocking; I still remember what a time I had of it finding the right page in February 2015, when I wanted to record the precise conditions for unblocking Ratel. Bishonen | talk 14:26, 22 January 2016 (UTC).
Bish: we can do that at MediaWiki:Unblockiptext. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:08, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
@Callanecc: Given the concerns, would you be willing to strike this part of the proposal? Mz7 (talk) 19:10, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
I've made a change to remove the requirement that it be kept on the user's talk page and modified the bit about the central page so that they need to be recorded there. Pinging people who have commented so they can decide if they still want to support. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:02, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
@Jkudlick, Sam Walton, Will2022, Mz7, HighInBC, Xaosflux, and Od Mishehu: @Jayron32, Robert McClenon, L235, Bishonen, Staszek Lem, Beeblebrox, and Bbb23: @Mkdw, Davidwr, and Callanecc (alt): Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 00:02, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
I don't know if I will oppose with the language struck. I have to think about it. But I do oppose not having it on the Talk page. I've never been much concerned about "badge of fame". When an editor is sanctioned, they are sanctioned, and there's nothing wrong with making that clear. We are doing the user a favor by unblocking them with conditions. I don't see why our lives can't be made easier with the unblock conditions remaining on the talk page until the conditions expire. We could hide them with a title if that helps any for those who don't want them there. Not everyone looks at the block log, and this tells not only administrators but other editors that the user has certain restrictions.--Bbb23 (talk) 00:53, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
I would like to counter-propose wording that instructs admins to mention that unblock conditions were set at the time of the unblock and possibly even a link to WP:EDR. Mkdwtalk 00:05, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
Main reason to have a diff/permalink that I can think of is that it makes it a lot easier to find them than have to search through the list at EDR which will get longer, and some will be removed. It provides a log of them, if you like, rather than them disappearing into the page history of the user's talk page and EDR. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Callanecc (talkcontribs)
Diff works too in unblock comments as well. Mkdwtalk 00:27, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Given the change. Sam Walton (talk) 00:04, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support – The required talk-page declaration was my only reservation. Once again, I do understand the need for admins to be informed, but we have never required sanctioned editors to so publicly advertise their sanctions before, and lacking evidence that there is a problem with current practice, I don't see a compelling reason to change it. This is also about editor retention. When we unblock, we want to welcome the user back so that they may hopefully make helpful contributions; forcing them to state their sanctions feels like we're shaming the user. Allowing them to {{hat}} or otherwise hide the notice may be an acceptable compromise on this, but once again, that is not how editing restrictions have been handled in the past. Mz7 (talk) 01:40, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support — though on a remotely related note, Wikipedia:Editing_restrictions is getting a little large (already over 200k) and is probably only going to keep growing, particularly due to indefinite expiries on the restrictions. It might be an idea to start discussing the idea of splitting it into subpages by-user like SPI, and then we can either decide to delete or archive the page if/when a restriction expires. Using templates, this could also stick restrictions in categories (e.g., by arb case, unblock restrictions, etc) and also automatically flag for expiry. This would also allow for easier/less bulky automated checks by-script (e.g., shown to admins in popups), if we're looking for less "badge of shame" ways of hinting at an editing restriction. --slakrtalk / 06:16, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Editing restrictions is also substantially out-of-date (e.g. a number of banned editors are still listed, which seems rather pointless (or they should have their own subsection...)) – I wonder if the Arbcom clerks(?) should be assigned the task of going through and updating that... --IJBall (contribstalk) 03:49, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support – in principle. There will probably be more arguments about the actual text of the policy, but it basically puts into policy what we have already been doing. --Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 00:32, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support A good idea. Clarifies things for all involved. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 16:19, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support, entirely sensible. Stifle (talk) 17:02, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support, Appears to be more appropriate wording. Rubbish computer (HALP!: I dropped the bass?) 13:47, 29 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support in principle, especially since this has already been done in practice, but the wording could use some work. The restrictions should be recorded centrally (since people can manage their talk pages at will, there should be some record they can't remove that way), and the general practice has been that the restriction may last no longer than the block would have. I have, for example, in the past unblocked people who were blocked for 3RR on condition that they not edit the article in question until the block would normally have expired, but I wouldn't ever see it as reasonable to impose a year's restriction for lifting a 24 hour block. Seraphimblade Talk to me 16:44, 30 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Support as proposed with logging at Wikipedia:Editing restrictions#Final warnings / Unblock conditions. I've created the shortcut WP:ER/UC for easy access to that section. It is good to codify existing practice, as it ensures consistency in enforcement. RGloucester 20:39, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

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

Regarding a centralized recording[edit]

I think there is a very clear agreement above that we should codify our current best practices. I would like to avoid changing our best practices without discussion though.

I have no objection to a centralized location to record these things, but I don't think it should be mandatory. I think that a simple agreement between two people should be enforceable without special logging. While not all circumstances would call for it I can see the benefit of a centralized location in some situations. HighInBC 01:35, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

The benefit of central logging is that other admins are able to know about it and then enforce it (including, for example, the unblocking admin having a wikibreak) whereas if it disappears into a talk page archive or just in a block log then it might (will?) be missed. I don't check the block log of every editor before taking action on an article, but I do generally do a quick text search at EDR in case they're listed. Callanecc (talkcontribslogs) 02:21, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
Not logging or recording it makes it a personal sanction, not a community or project sanction. Aside from other admins having it to make further administrative actions, it also allows others to review it and be open. When it's not then it's subject to abuse. Mkdwtalk 05:26, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
I don't see the harm in logging them centrally. My initial concern is that it is just one more step, but I suppose it acts as a check/balance for the admin as well to have better visibility. I am coming around to the idea. HighInBC 01:34, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
I think documenting the condition is important, but having a centralized page is not necessary - it is easy enough for this to be on the impacted users talk page, with a link to the diff in the unblock log. — xaosflux Talk 02:47, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Just thinking outside the box here – is there a way to code a template or Lua module so that only editors with sysop, bureaucrat, or arbitrator bits would be able to see it? If so, that could be a way to place the notice on an editor's talk page without being a "scarlet letter," as it were. — Jkudlick • t • c • s 14:21, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
There does exist a CSS class <span class="sysop-show"> that can be used to make stuff display to administrators only. However, non-admins can still see the text by looking at the edit page or through an user CSS that displays the content in question.Jo-Jo Eumerus (talk, contributions) 15:03, 25 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I think a centralized logging procedure is a good idea. There needs to be some way to record the terms of the unblock so violations can be enforced by anyone. When the restrictions have expired, the name can be purged from the log. --Jayron32 17:05, 26 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Here's an other option: We decide that all restricted users will have a subpage called User:XXX/restrictions (or something like that); this also means that if the user gets renamed, the restriction list is moved with the user name. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 22:01, 31 January 2016 (UTC)

Removing own user talk page off the bat?[edit]

editing of the user's talk page should be disabled only in the case of continued abuse of the talk page

(emphasis added)

A coupla years back Coffee (talk · contribs) blocked Juzumaru (talk · contribs) indefinitely and removed their talk page access right off the bat. I never clarified it with Coffee, but I'm pretty sure the reason for this was that virtually all of the disruption that led to the block was taking place on the user's talk page already, so blocking them and not removing their talk page access would have been pointless. Some months later this was brought up in an ANI discussion of Coffee being too quick to block, and when I pointed out that Juzumaru's pre-block disruption was on his own talk page the point was dropped. Another admin pointed out that It is normal to deny talk page access to trolls, because they are trolls; surely there are times when we don't need to wait until after a block to see that someone is a troll.

But under a strict interpretation of the current wording it seems that this is still not recommended.

Should it be? It seems really counter-intuitive that admins should be discouraged from removing talk page access in cases where abuse has already been taking place on the user's talk page; should a "troll" clarification be added?

Hijiri 88 (やや) 01:20, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Given that we now have WP:UTRS I can't see why we shouldn't be clearer on when to block access to usertalk. Coffee // have a cup // beans // 01:31, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
I think it should probably not be encouraged specifically in the policy because "troll" is hard to define and will be abused, but any seasoned admin (I like my Coffee with a hint of nutmeg) will understand that proactive talk-page revocation is well within the bounds of IAR. The WordsmithTalk to me 01:43, 4 June 2016 (UTC)
I should note that should a "troll" clarification be added was a late and not well-thought-out addition to the above post. I really would prefer changing

editing of the user's talk page should be disabled only in the case of continued abuse of the talk page


editing of the user's talk page should be disabled only in cases of continued abuse of the talk page, or where a user's abuse of their own talk page was a contributing factor in the initial block

or something to that effect. I agree that "troll" could and would be misused.
Hijiri 88 (やや) 02:08, 4 June 2016 (UTC)


In reading through the blocking policy to quote elsewhere, I noticed the "Confidential evidence" section, which states "If a user needs to be blocked based on information that will not be made available to all administrators, that information should be sent to the Arbitration Committee or a Checkuser or oversighter for action. These editors are qualified to handle non-public evidence, and they operate under strict controls. The community has rejected the idea of individual administrators acting on evidence that cannot be peer-reviewed." This would seem to directly contradict the 2010 Arbitration Committee statement on checkuser blocks, which was revisited recently in the discussion surrounding oversight blocks. GorillaWarfare (talk) 01:30, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

What seem to be the contradiction? (I am asking because the Arbcom statement is long; I made some guesses, but what was your issue exactly and what is your suggestion about the remedy?) Staszek Lem (talk) 21:28, 6 July 2016 (UTC)