Wikipedia talk:User pages/Archive 8

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Possible limit to user pages?

There is a long description of not having unrelated pages in the user page. Why not just limit the size of it? Maybe to certain number of bytes or bytes of text and number of pictures? Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 15:14, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

If I had to give a number, how about 35kb (the size of a long article) and/or 30 photos. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 15:16, 9 August 2010 (UTC)

What would this solve, exactly? People can easily circumvent this, for example, by just creating subpages and then transclude them onto their main userpage. Additionally, they may put 30 very large photos, or 100 very small ones. Imposing arbitrary limits such as the ones proposed above will just cause more trouble, IMO. Airplaneman 04:25, 10 August 2010 (UTC)

Nope - any precise such formulation of rules will benefit little, and potentially harm much (many articles being worked on in userspace are over 35K in length by themselves). (BTW, long articles are frequently on the order of 200K in length) Collect (talk) 14:07, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Simplifying the section "copies of pages"

WP:UP has two short sections titled "Copies of other pages" and "Pages that look like articles" that contain redundant text. Would anyone object to refactoring them as follows:

Current Refactored
Copies of other pages

While userpages and subpages can be used as a development ground for generating new content, this space is not intended to indefinitely archive your preferred version of disputed or previously deleted content or indefinitely archive permanent content that is meant to be part of the encyclopedia. Wikipedia is not a free web host and private copies of pages that are being used solely for long-term archival purposes may be subject to deletion.

Pages that look like articles

Similarly, pages kept in userspace should not be designed to functionally substitute for articles or Wikipedia space pages. If you find that your user subpage has become as useful as a normal article or project page, consider moving it into the appropriate namespace or merging it with other similar pages already existing there. One should never create links from a mainspace article to any userpage, nor should a userspace essay be used as the primary documentation for any Wikipedia policy, guideline, practice, or concept. The {{userspace draft}} template is helpful for articles that are being worked on userspace.

Pages that look like articles, copy pages, and project pages

Userspace is not a free web host and should not be used to indefinitely host pages that look like articles, old revisions, or deleted content, or your preferred version of disputed content. An exception is made for potentially valid articles and content while under development or in active use (the template {{userspace draft}} can be added to the top of the page to identify them as such). When a userspace page reaches a point where it can be included as an article consider moving it into mainspace or using its content appropriately in other relevant articles. Private copies of pages that are being used solely for long-term archival purposes may be subject to deletion.

Userspace is also not a substitute for project space (Wikipedia:...), nor should a userspace page be used as primary documentation for any Wikipedia policy, guideline, practice, or established concept. If your user page related to the project becomes widely used or linked in project space, or has functional use similar to a project page, consider moving it into project space or merging it with other similar pages already existing there.

This creates two clean paragraphs, one about articles, archived copy articles, and article lookalikes, and the other about project space. Removed snips:

  • "One should never create links from a mainspace article to any userpage" (already covered in #Userspace and mainspace)
  • "...or indefinitely archive permanent content that is meant to be part of the encyclopedia" (unclear, may mean "old history revisions". If not then whatever it might cover is probably already covered in the section #Excessive unrelated content)

FT2 (Talk | email) 09:14, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Good, but I see a problem (btw, your recent changes have been a big improvement). Quite a lot of one-off editors make a user page, or possibly a subpage, that is essentially a promotion of some organization or person. I have seen some blatant cases speedy deleted (I think G11), while others have been deleted after MfD, and others still linger on. There needs to be a clear part of WP:UP which prohibits a userpage/subpage that looks like an article to a naive reader. That is important because user pages can be displayed as search hits by Google, and readers unfamiliar with Wikipedia could easily think that the promotional gumph they are reading is an "approved" article. The original wording, particularly its "Pages that look like articles" heading, sort-of rules out such promotional pages, but the new wording gives no help to anyone arguing for the removal of a puffpiece at MfD. I have to go now (but will return); meanwhile the key point is that a user page should provide information relevant to the user as an editor, with optional personal information as an extra. A user page, or subpage, should not appear to describe a person or organization in the same way that might be done in an article. That concept is a bit hard to pin down, so it is better to simply say that a user page, or subpage, should not look like an article, except for draft articles under active development. Johnuniq (talk) 11:22, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Good point. I've rewritten that first paragraph to make that point more clearly.
Version you commented on and updated version, for the record
Version you commented on Updated version
Articles, project pages, and copies of pages

Userspace is not a free web host and is not intended to indefinitely archive your preferred version of disputed or deleted content, old versions of articles, or content of no value to the project. Private copies of pages that are being used solely for long-term archival purposes may be subject to deletion. When a userspace page reaches a point where it can be included as an article consider moving it into mainspace or using its content appropriately in other relevant articles. The {{userspace draft}} template is helpful for articles being developed in userspace.

Pages that look like articles, copy pages, and project pages

Userspace is not a free web host and should not be used to indefinitely host pages that look like articles, old or deleted content, or your preferred version of disputed content. An exception is made for potentially valid articles and content while under development or in active use. (The template {{userspace draft}} can be added to the top of the page which identifies them as such). When a userspace page reaches a point where it can be included as an article consider moving it into mainspace or using its content appropriately in other relevant articles. Private copies of pages that are being used solely for long-term archival purposes may be subject to deletion.

FT2 (Talk | email) 13:24, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I think the proposal under "Refactored" is good. I did a minor tweak to a bracketed phrase; I am happy either way, and please just restore your text if you prefer it, without any need to discuss. Johnuniq (talk) 01:45, 12 August 2010 (UTC)
9 days on, updated including above by User:Johnuniq. Minor copyedits - moved a sentence for flow, and slightly copyedited the sentence An exception is made... to soften it and ensure valid reasonable content is more clearly unaffected. (diff)   FT2 (Talk | email) 05:33, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Sound files

Hello, i was wondering if anyone knows if having a sound file on userpages is ok or not? I am considering adding something to my page that is already on wikipedia and used within an article. Just thought id check if there are any rules on that sort of thing. Thanks. There is at present nothing on the page saying if such things are allowed or not, perhaps a mention of such content would be useful. BritishWatcher (talk) 09:39, 16 August 2010 (UTC)

Is the media free? If so, should be ok. –xenotalk 16:30, 19 August 2010 (UTC)
  • I wouldn't expect it to be a problem if in good faith. FT2 (Talk | email) 04:28, 20 August 2010 (UTC)

Proposal based on above discussions

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
Proposed wording gained sufficient support to be implemented. SilkTork 22 August 2010

Above we have several discussions on the theme of "content that is not really suitable for user space and should be less contentious to quickly remove", covering:

  • Advocacy and encouragement of vandalism, harassment, privacy breach etc;
  • Disruption of Mediawiki interface
  • Explicit sexual material (with possible caveats, for example that it should not catch a range of sexual matters commonly accepted such as simple sexuality or belief userboxes)

Not all of these are completed discussions but a trend appears to be visible that it would be beneficial if certain narrowly defined kinds of content should be easier to remove (without overly damaging the traditional leeway of userspace for genuine editors). I've thought about this and propose the following idea:

Current wording Proposed wording

Statements of violence

Statements that advocate or condone acts of violence against any person(s) or group(s) are not allowed on user pages. This includes the mention or implication of violent acts – for example, murder or rape. It does not, however, include mere statements of support for controversial groups or regimes that some may interpret as an encouragement of violence.


Advocacy or support of grossly improper behaviors with no project benefit

Statements or pages that seem to advocate, encourage or condone the following behaviors:

  • Vandalism, copyright violation, edit warring, harassment, privacy breach, defamation, and acts of violence (includes the mention or implication of violent acts but not mere statements of support for controversial groups or regimes that some may interpret as an encouragement of violence).

These may be removed, redacted or collapsed by any user (or deleted) to avoid the appearance of acceptability. To preserve traditional leeway over userspace, other kinds of material should be handled as described below unless otherwise agreed by consensus.

Simulated MediaWiki interfaces Simulation and disruption of the MediaWiki interface


CSS and other formatting codes that disrupt the Wikimedia interface, for example by preventing important links or controls from being easily seen or used, or making text unreadable (other than by way of commenting out), may be removed or remedied by any user. Text, images, and non-disruptive formatting should be left as intact as possible. Users of such code should be aware of and consider disruption to other skins or layouts (diffs and old revisions).

Images Images


Content clearly intended as sexually provocative (images and in some cases text) or to cause distress and shock that appears to have little or no project benefit or using Wikipedia only as a web host or personal pages or for advocacy, may be removed by any user (or deleted), subject to appeal at deletion review. Context should be taken into account. Simple personal disclosures of a non-sexually provocative nature on sexually-related matters (such as LGBT userboxes and relationship status) are unaffected.

Thoughts? FT2 (Talk | email) 02:17, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Like you say, the proposed wording should work fine with that MFD (and it makes a good "edge case" test). Of the 3 pages user:Cyde cites:
How the community decided these pages at MFD   (Extended content)
  • One was deleted at MFD for having "not a shred of encyclopedic value";
  • One containing a gallery of nudes (including a high proportion of classical nude paintings) and no specific sexually provocative selection or commentary was MFD'ed twice with "no consensus" then around January 2007 switched from a gallery to a list of image links after which it was snowball kept in 2008 (since deleted but by user request);
  • One was moved to a separate gallery which was "dedicated to my work on wikipedia and many other users, it is dedicated to no censorship on Wikipedia" [1] and was deleted at MFD - but this was for a different reason - free image problems and distraction/effort to the community of managing the gallery issues.
  • Cyde's page itself is clearly a gallery of imagery chosen to showcase extremes of media we keep by a committed contributor rather than to provoke sexually, but was MFD'ed twice, the first MFD was a keep (MFD comment: "The community generally (and quite properly, IMHO) accords those who contribute copiously to the project broader latitude as regards that for which such contributors might employ userspace, and inasmuch as the content comprised by the page is not substantially unrelated to Wikipedia") and the second MFD was flawed being based on fair use which wasn't an issue.
So it looks like the proposed wording catches this balance nicely. Pure sexual provocative imagery with no project benefit, vs. galleries with project benefit and especially by copious contributors, does seems to be the dividing line for the community. Perhaps a minor copyedit or footnote (sample below) to clarify the common dividing line, but that's fine tuning it.
Sample footnote: The community has taken many nude and sexual galleries to MFD. As a guide, those created by known and respected contributors, which exist purely to showcase our work and WP:NOT#CENSORED and are not designed as sexual provocation often seem to be kept. Those which use Wikipedia as personal webspace, are excessively focused upon sexual material, aim at "pushing the edge" on freedom to use userspace, or make a point, rather than project benefit, especially by editors with a lesser record of positive contribution and cases where non-free imagery is an problem, tend to be deleted.
FT2 (Talk | email) 10:11, 24 July 2010 (UTC)
Good, but the question of "humor" needs to be tackled: "I'm not encouraging vandalism, it's a joke!". I would like something along the lines of Material that portrays these issues as of little importance (for example, by proposing vandalism for humor) will generally be regarded as condoning the behavior, and may also be removed. Johnuniq (talk) 02:15, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. It's probably enough to handle this by footnote, either the wording you suggest or a variant on the theme. If needed just two extra words in the main text covers all of it: "... or normalizing". FT2 (Talk | email) 03:09, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Either of those sounds good, although I'd really like both. Johnuniq (talk) 07:26, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
Both added, and extra care taken to reflect this point. If it still isn't sufficient, go fix it! FT2 (Talk | email) 09:03, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, works well. Ironholds (talk) 17:22, 27 July 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment We should be careful lest people seek out material to object to as "intended" to be provocative. Nor do I feel that userspace should be required to "benefit" the encyclopedia in any direct manner - it is there so editors can get a feel for the thinking and background of other editors. Collect (talk) 17:59, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support. I particularly like the extended explanations covering "why" things like simulation of the MediaWiki interface is discouraged. It's a question that gets asked frequently when editors ask others to take them down, and not everybody knows the answer when asked. I like the other explanations with regard to images, and agree with the proposed wording. PeterSymonds (talk) 09:57, 6 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Question Should we be more specific, banning the use of images which show human genitalia or female nipples or the human anus? By defining what is forbidden, there will be no gray area. A skimpy bathing suit my be shocking to a Muslim but not shocking at all at a French beach. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 23:05, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support seems descriptive of how the community generally feels about such topics. Killiondude (talk) 18:13, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support, reasonable clarifications. --SarekOfVulcan (talk) 19:33, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
Seems to be agreed - added [2]. FT2 (Talk | email) 09:01, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Support - better than what is there now. Airplaneman 15:38, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Late support :P fetch·comms 16:11, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Weak oppose per the warning on this very page: "Again, these are examples. Please don't suggest others, as this may only encourage some users to try it out." We simply can't list every sort of disruptive behavior that occurs on Wikipedia, and attempting to do so might give trolls more ideas to use to their advantage. We already have enough on an ever-expanding list. What good will come out of adding these prohibitions to UP#NOT? This page is only a guideline, not a policy, and only serves to discourage such events from happening, rather than restrict them outright. Here we're "encourag[ing] some users to try it out." which is the opposite of what is supposed to happen. I think it's better to use common sense, politely notify the user on his/her talkpage, and if the user doesn't comply, seek dispute resolution or other means of gaining consensus. And if the user has been gone for a long time, we can just remove the unseemly material. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 16:31, 11 August 2010 (UTC)
    In general you are correct, but too much wasted time occurs when attempting what you suggest for the particular cases mentioned here. Because of the vagueness of the old version of WP:UP, people would claim at WP:MFD that (for example) a "vandalize me" user subpage should be retained because other people do it, and it's not ruled out by WP:UP. In practice, many such MFD discussions have resulted in a deletion, and the rewrite here is an attempt to describe fairly common and desirable procedures. Johnuniq (talk) 01:10, 12 August 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

* Special appended comment

The apparent consensus seen at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Cyde/Weird pictures (2nd nomination) was emphatically altered at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Cyde/Weird pictures (3rd nomination), in the light of the above discussion and associated changes to WP:UP. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 11:18, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect sentence

Unless they meet the criteria for speedy deletion (copyright violations, attack pages, unambiguous promotion, no other significant contributor, etc) or you are permanently leaving Wikipedia, it is unlikely that your main user page or user talk page will actually be deleted. However they can be blanked which has the same effect (...)

From "Wikipedia:User_pages#Deleting_your_user_page_or_user_talk_page" (bolded by me)

That frase (bolded) should be corrected. To delete a page doesn't have the 'same effect' that to blank a page. For example, a blanked page still has its history available for everyone and if a deletion supported by our rules is really needed (and not just blanking) would be incorrect just to blank it and wouldn't have the same effect. That is why the pages are redacted or deleted; because it doesn't have the same effect. I'm sure that the most readers to this page already know what I am saying, but it can be confusing to new users.” TeLeŞ (PT @ L C G) 00:17, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

Userspace Vandalism Sandboxes

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
No consensus to change wording or to allow vandalism sandboxes. SilkTork *Tea time 22:49, 9 October 2010 (UTC)

There has been a recent batch of MfDs using WP:User pages#Advocacy or support of grossly improper behaviors with no project benefit to justify the deletion of userspace "vandalism sandboxes". For those unfamiliar with these pages, they are often linked from user page or user talk editnotices with a message similar to "If you were going to vandalize this page, go mess around here instead."

Reviewing the discussion still present on this page above that adopted the verbiage currently in the "advocacy" section, it doesn't appear to me that anyone involved had this kind of thing in mind when drafting this section. Encouraging "vandalism" of a sandbox isn't encouraging real vandalism; a sandbox can't be vandalized. I suggest a moratorium on deletion of these sorts of pages until we have a consensus to delete them. Gigs (talk) 15:07, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Yes, the distinction needs to be properly defined. Sandboxes are exempt under the normal rules; the idea is to encourage somebody to vandalise in a place where it doesn't matter, rather than in the article space/working Wikipedia space/whatever. I'd support any change in the current wording to reflect this. PeterSymonds (talk) 18:35, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps: Sandboxes set aside for the purpose of allowing users to "vandalize" them, but which do not in any way encourage actual vandalism of any Wikipedia pages in any space thereof, are not "vandalism sandboxes' for the purpose of this guideline. ? By using the power of definition, we reduce any misuse of the term as an argument for deletion. Collect (talk) 18:53, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
The guideline is not being misapplied. The discussion at Wikipedia talk:User pages/Archive 7#Vandalspaces, particularly here, led to the current wording. I would be opposed to a change in wording that permits sandboxes that endorse vandalism in the userspace. Cunard (talk) 19:20, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
It would depend on what exactly is in the sandbox really, if it is filled with racist crap it ought to be deleted, if it`s just a load of bollocks then no harm really. It really depends on what`s in it mark nutley (talk) 19:21, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Vandalism pages damage Wikipedia's reputation; from Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:King of Hearts/Notepad/Vandalism on Wheels!: "an IP, while removing vandalism [on User:King of Hearts/Notepad/Vandalism on Wheels!] , wrote in an edit summary, "Removed NPOV spam, obsessively promoting TROLL as vandalism as opposed to spam, comedy, etc. Are you a wikipedia administrator?"

The potential for BLP violations on such a page is great. In Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Blood reaper/Vandalism page, the page had homophobic slurs and copyrighted content that had remained there for months if not years. There is no need to let pages that allow gratuitously offensive content to remain on Wikipedia.

Because vandalism pages are rarely, if ever, maintained by their creators, they should be deleted to prevent libelous content buried beneath pages of vandalism from remaining there. Cunard (talk) 19:29, 27 September 2010 (UTC)

Vandalboxes waste the time of vandal patrollers who must read the page's rules to see if the vandalism should be reverted. This time could be better spent reverting actual vandalism in Wikipedia articles. The page does not help prevent vandalism because vandals are going to vandalize the mainspace or the user's userpage regardless of pages such as this. Vandals/trolls derive more pleasure in vandalizing pages in the mainspace when such actions are forbidden. Permitting such pages to remain on Wikipedia fosters the attitude that vandalism is acceptable on Wikipedia. I believe that that is unacceptable. Cunard (talk) 19:29, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
AFAIK, consensus a few months ago was to disallow vandalspaces, broadly construed, in any part of Wikipedia. Regular sandboxes are of course open to editing by any user, but specific "vandalize here" spaces are discouraged by the community. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 21:15, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Where was that discussion? Gigs (talk) 21:41, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia talk:User pages/Archive 7#Vandalspaces. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 22:36, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
The only consensus I glean from that is that libel and copyright violations should be deleted on sight, no matter where they are located, and definitely not a consensus to delete vendalboxes wholesale. The unfortunate thing seems to be that the closure of that discussion references the above "consolidated" proposal, and the proposal doesn't really seem to address or resolve the issue of vandalism sandboxes in any way that would justify their deletion, or even provide any explicit guidance on them. It definitely doesn't seem to indicate consensus for "great purge" against them. Gigs (talk) 22:58, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree. Collect (talk) 23:32, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
The proposal that gained consensus is here. Cunard (talk) 00:11, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Your consensus is 4 editors, one of whom is you? Gigs (talk) 03:50, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Five editors. There was unanimous consensus for that proposal. Cunard (talk) 05:00, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Five out of 20,000 isn't unanimous. Gigs (talk) 14:54, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
The same could be said of any policy/guideline discussion on Wikipedia, such as this one, since not all 20,000 editors will contribute to one discussion. I wrote that there was unanimous consensus among the five editors who participated in that RfC for the current wording, not the entire project. Cunard (talk) 22:11, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
Point of information - this had already been discussed at two separate discussions, not just one, and endorsed at both. The original discussion noted above was at #Another proposal (2), and gained unanimous support as stated. A second consolidated proposal was then discussed at #Proposal based on above discussions which included the same wording, and also gained all supports and no opposes to the wording (one "weak oppose" was due to WP:BEANS rather than any stated objection to the principle [3]). FT2 (Talk | email) 09:10, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
The problem is that the consolidated proposal says nothing about vandal sandboxes. Several editors that supported the consolidated proposal have written against the deletion of vandal sandboxes here. If the consolidated proposal was meant to address vandal sandboxes, then something got lost in the process, because it didn't. Gigs (talk) 15:46, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
A "sandbox" is a page where people can test editing. A "vandal sandbox" is not a place for testing edits but a page where people are invited to post "vandalism". The consensus addressed material specifically implying that vandalism had any place on Wikipedia, in userspace or anywhere else. The "sandbox" aspect (invitation to post) is fine, the invitation to post "vandalism" in it, isn't. The consensus on vandalspaces, and on removing implications of vandalism having any place on-wiki (for fun or otherwise) both reached the same conclusion on invitations to post vandalism - not okay. (At least one comment specifically noted that "it's just a joke!" was not really an acceptable justification for it either [4]). Hope this clarifies, or at least explains my understanding of the consensus line on it. FT2 (Talk | email) 16:32, 29 September 2010 (UTC)

This all seems rather silly to me. These pages are not detrimental to the project, and I fail to see what is to be gained through their deletion. What is detrimental to the project is otherwise useful editors spending their time finding these pages, proposing them for deletion, writing essays, arguing over deletion, having RfCs, and otherwise wasting valuable time that could be spent doing something in article space. They are user subpages that attempt to keep vandalism off of normal user pages. I see no justification for all of this wasted time and energy trying to eliminate them. Jim Miller See me | Touch me 00:18, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Someone put a notice on my user talk page. Vandalism boxes may not help the Wikipedia project but then user pages don't help much, especially the user boxes. What I suggested, but met great opposition, is that everyone should make all potential conflicts of interest known, possibly on their user pages. Transparency is better than secrecy. I am guilty myself. I admire Nokian tires even though I do not work for them, own shares, or have them myself. Just envy. Suomi Finland 2009 (talk) 00:36, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

  • A userspace page saying "vandalize here" tells vandals that there is a certain acceptance of vandalism, even a form of respect because some Wikipedia editors feel that vandalism is sufficiently funny to dedicate pages in its honor. The suggestion that vandalspace pages have a purpose is incorrect because vandals will not even see such pages, let alone use them in lieu of damaging an article. The best procedure for handling vandalism is revert, block, ignore because vandalism thrives on attention: denying that atttention is the best response. No page on Wikipedia should contain WP:BLP or WP:CIVIL or WP:NOTMYSPACE violations – that consideration also rules out having a "my vandalism page". Johnuniq (talk) 01:37, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Vandalism is well known problematic activity to the project. Vandalism of sandboxes is not vandalism. Possibly, this misuse of the word in relation to a proper use of sandboxes should be discouraged. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:10, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • (Disclosure: I was asked to comment here as proposer of the wording at WP:User pages).
    The wording which was added, included incitement to vandalise, including invitations such as "if you were going to vandalise page A, please vandalise page B instead". There were several reasons that came up in the discussion, including a community perception that inviting people to vandalise one page encouraged a perception of vandalism being acceptable generally, it did not deter people from vandalising other pages, it created a "shrine to vandalism", and it was not what Wikipedia is for. Along with certain other behaviors (harassment, attacks, privacy breach) the consensus was that vandalism has no place on Wikipedia, whether or not by invitation or for "fun".

    That said the target is vandalism, promotion of vandalism, and perception that vandalism has a place on Wikipedia - the impression that "vandalism (or creative vandalism) has some place on wiki". If a user wants to set up a routine sandbox and invite others to try editing in it, that's very different from inviting users to play at vandalism on wiki. FT2 (Talk | email) 11:16, 28 September 2010 (UTC)

Agree with this comment, by FT2 (talk · contribs). -- Cirt (talk) 16:34, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
I also agree. Dougweller (talk) 08:33, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • The whole point of vandalism is to be malicious, not to follow instructions and "Vandalize here instead". Vandalspaces are a useless waste of time, but it's also a waste of time to discuss them or going around deleting all of them. -- œ 17:58, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Sandboxes are meant to provide a certain amount of freedom ("You can write practically anything you want", says Template:Uw-joke1), so general non-attack vand. should be allowed as good faith edits. Do such sandboxes actually attract vandals? It seems to go against the theory of Reactance. Guoguo12--Talk--  01:20, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • The WP:BEANS phenomenon probably has a greater effect on potential vandals than we might think. AGK 22:25, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • These vandalspaces should be allowed, IMO, as long as they are created in good faith (i.e. to keep vandalism off your main userpage; making a vandalspace saying in big bold letters at the top to use this for outing would absolutely not be good faith). Access Denied [FATAL ERROR] 04:35, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
No evidence whatsoever that inviting people to vandalize a page of your choice stops people vandalizing a main userpage. Genuine vandals are not so considerate. Someone who would have genuinely vandalized a users' main page anyway is unlikely to switch their efforts to a more convenient page on request. What it probably does is encourage encourage the idea that "vandalism" has a place on the wiki and encourage people to think of Wikipedia as somewhere for clever vandalism and gaming - which is very undesirable. FT2 (Talk | email) 06:38, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
And I agree with this comment also. Any invitations to vandalise anywhere are unnecessary and something we should discourage. The possibility of the responses to the invitation being BLP violations, copyvio, etc are another reason to discourage and even delete such pages. Dougweller (talk) 08:33, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Seems to me that the only legitimate place to send instruction-following vandals (to the degree they exist) is to a page that is regularly returned to a non-vandalized condition by a bot, as the main sandboxes are. The idea that someone could post content that is libelous, threatening, copyrighted, or otherwise illegal to an area which no one supervises or reverts is just asking for trouble. If there's a bot running to clean it regularly (i.e. at least a few times a day), fine, let the page stay. If not, then the MfDs are perfectly appropriate and should continue. Just my 2¢. 28bytes (talk) 02:36, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
    • Every user subpage is vulnerable to unsupervised posting of bad stuff. I don't see that as a very compelling argument here. Gigs (talk) 18:52, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. Most user subpages are set up for specific purposes by the user concerned, to cover user drafts, archives, specific project and community related content, and the like. If those subpages are posted for other purposes, the user would notice the edits as inappropriate and remove them and probably take steps to deter the posts because they would disrupt the purpose for which the page was created. I don't think you can argue that the vulnerability to BLP or other inappropriate posts on a subpage inviting "vandalism" is comparable to the vulnerability of a subpage containing a talk page archive or draft proposal or article. That argument just doesn't work.
The bottom line is that Wikipedia is a zero tolerance zone for vandalism, including encouragement of vandalism and posts suggesting vandalism has a place on the site. Sandboxes are fine. Space to test markup is fine. Appropriate and proportionate humor is fine. Posts implying vandalism is fun, acceptable, a game, or something to be creative about, are not. FT2 (Talk | email) 20:06, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
My point is that no one supervises or reverts most user subpages. If the sole argument is that not many people are watching these pages, then the same is true of pretty much all userspace. That's why I don't find that specific argument very compelling. I don't want to see a slippery slope here where we start blowing away tons of userspace just because it's poorly watched, and I doubt many other people do either. Gigs (talk) 15:08, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Chuck 'em. There is no evidence whatsoever that such pages deter vandals. What fun is it to deface something nobody cares about anyway? These pages serve no legitimate purpose, and may give vandals the idea to go vandalize a page someone does actually care about. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:18, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't see much of a point for sandboxes anyway, and I'm opposed to the existence of vandalism sandboxes. I think that sandboxes don't serve much of a purpose, except for maybe performing test edits- and clearly vandalism sandboxes don't fall into this category. I don't think that vandalism sandboxes decrease the level of "real" vandalism in any way. What would a vandal rather do, since he normally comes with the intention of harming a Wikipedia page where it would be visible to other people? Would he edit a sandbox that is meant for him to vandalize- a sandbox nobody would ever look at? Or would he vandalize a page that he knows someone might see, which would lead to his goal being fulfilled? I hope everyone would agree with me that almost every vandal would pick the latter option. Normally, if someone wants to vandalize a user page or a user talk page, it's because the user has done an action that the vandal disagrees with- most commonly reverting the vandal's vandalism. When given the option to vandalize a special sandbox set aside for him, the vandal would almost definitely ignore him, since he came with the goal of harming the user. --Slon02 (talk) 01:47, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
  • useless: vandalism subpages are useless, and would only increase the amount of vandalism by encouraging it, and wasting the recent changes patroller's time. Graeme Bartlett (talk) 06:36, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I believe that vandalspaces should be disallowed. I don't really see any real benefit to having such pages around. If a vandal has a grudge against a particular recent changes patroller, it is probable that the vandal will attempt to damage the patroller's main userpage or user talk page even if a vandalspace has been set up. Also, my biggest concern with dedicated vandalism sandboxes is that they could potentially be viewed as invitations for grossly degrading, offensive, or insulting material about living people. --SoCalSuperEagle (talk) 08:13, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Delete them all:
  1. Flooding recent changes unnecessarily
  2. Possible BLP problems
  3. Encourages vandalism
  4. Doesn't stop vandalism
  5. No advantages

--The Evil IP address (talk) 08:09, 6 October 2010 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Deliberate misinformation on user pages

Is there a case for adding to the section What may I not have in my user pages? deliberate misinformation, at least about Wikipedia-related issues? I have in mind a couple of incidents. In one of them an editor copied and pasted barnstars to their own user page from others. Frankly, if someone feels the need to pretend that they have been given barnstars when they haven't that is their problem, and at the time my attitude was that there was nothing to be done about it. However, someone else pointed out that the misrepresentation went further than that, because the copy-pasted versions included signatures, so they were misrepresenting the views and actions of other Wikipedians. Would you be happy if some disruptive and unconstructive editor gave other people to believe that you approved of their actions, and had complimented them? Even if you wouldn't object to being misrepresented in this waye, I think that others would have the right to do so. The second incident was, I think, more serious. An editor who was not an administrator was pretending to be one. He used edit summaries (and talk page comments too if I remember correctly) which claimed that edits he was making were administrative actions, evidently with the intention of making them seem more authoritative, in an apparent attempt to intimidate others into not challenging his actions. When his claim to be an admin was challenged he pointed out that he was listed at Category:Wikipedia administrators. Anyone who knows how the system works will realise that all this proved was that he had put a template on his user page falsely claiming to be an admin, but many people don't know that, and would be fooled by his dishonesty. My own view is that such lies are obviously unacceptable, and that we shouldn't need a written rule saying so, but unfortunately there are always wikilawyers around who use "there is no written policy or guideline forbidding this" to oppose common sense actions such as removing the lies and, if they are repeated after warnings, eventually blocking the disruptive editor. For that reason I would like to add a simple brief note saying that factually incorrect claims are not acceptable on user pages. Any comments? JamesBWatson (talk) 12:48, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

Deliberate misinformation sounds rather vague. How can you tell if information, misinformation, or the lack thereof, in userspace is deliberate? How do you know whether someone is lying intentionally or unintentionally, and that they did not know what they were talking about, and that you challenged them, especially on their own talkpage? The barnstar incident sounds like something minor that no one would know and that if found out could be taken to MfD, but it seems the admin falsehood is more serious. In any case, I believe it's better to just try the best to use common sense, and remove the category, rather than delving into WP:CREEP and, if included on WP:UP, WP:BEANS. If it is the case that someone was pretending to be an administrator, talk to him/her, and if he/she doesn't comply, just ask him/her to leave. It does not seem necessary to just add to an ever-growing list of "things you should not do" that already violated WP:BEANS as much as possible. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 23:33, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I see the problem raised by JamesBWatson, and would generally favor some appropriate language to rule out such nonsense. However, I'm inclined to agree with the contrary WP:BEANS argument. Also, the problem of defining "deliberate", or wording some alternative, is not easy to overcome. I think an editor who pretends to be an admin is going to cause trouble, and they would find some way to put nonsense on their user page regardless of the guideline. I cannot see a clean way of responding to such misinformation, but feel that it is not acceptable to leave a false claim of being an admin. Also, it is definitely not acceptable to misuse the words or signature of another editor, by copying a barnstar from another user page. Perhaps WP:TALKNO could be invoked to remove comments/signature that an editor put on some other page ("Do not misrepresent other people")? Johnuniq (talk) 02:11, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
I like the wording "Impersonating an administrator". Sounds more authoritative. And I agree that something like this should be added. -- œ 19:23, 25 September 2010 (UTC)
Currently, I seem to recall that it is not a violation of policy to put things like "This page has been vandalized 48204 times" on a userpage, no matter how patently false, but anyone would remove something that denotes a false claim of ability (i.e., stating that the user has a userright they do not have, etc.). I think that applying IAR and discussing the issue with the user is more appropriate than having some specific rule listed here, because any user who insists on keeping an admin topicon on their page even after it has been removed as incorrect, will be blocked for disruptive editing. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 21:12, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
Agree with Fetchcomms. To keep the guideline simple I would be inclined to rely on the general wording: "The Wikipedia community is generally tolerant and offers fairly wide latitude in applying these guidelines... But at the same time, if user page activity becomes disruptive to the community or gets in the way of the task of building an encyclopedia, it must be modified to prevent disruption." I would classify hosting misleading information as likely to disrupt or get in the way. But if extra wording were needed, keep it simple and non-specific (WP:BEANS) and simply add "information likely to mislead other editors". FT2 (Talk | email) 23:43, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Talk pages

I propose that we add "relevent and important disscussion" to the list of things people can't remove from their talk pages. Some users seem to be abusing the ability to remove comments from one's own page. Mr. Anon515 02:12, 28 August 2010 (UTC)

That won't happen because the terms cannot be defined. What is relevant and important to one person may be superfluous to another. Also, it is the actual article editing that matters. Johnuniq (talk) 04:13, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
One could easily define it. Warnings, whether templated or freetext, should stay on talkpages for e.g. two weeks.→ ROUX  09:05, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
The removal of a warning can reasonably be taken as an implicit "read and understood". The diff of the removal makes good evidence if escalation is required. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:37, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
You could define it as anything that's not a personal attack or spam, and something that's on topic. Mr. Anon515 02:57, 29 August 2010 (UTC)
  1. At one time there was a principal that one could not remove warnings from one's own user page. It didn't work. People did remove them, and teh resulting edit wars, reports to admin notice boards, endless arguments, etc etc were a aste of everybody's time. The issue was discussed at great length and it was decided to allow such removal. Although there are problems with the present arrangement, I have not the slightest doubt that it is by far the lesser evil.
  2. What would you think if someone put a completely unjustified warning message on your user talk page (whether maliciously or in error) and you were obliged to leave it there? I know that i would not accept such a situation. Perhaps you are thinking "that wouldn't apply, because we would have a let out clause for such unjustified warnings". If so, how do you define what can be removed and what can't? Where do you suggest carrying on the endless arguments when editor A removes a warning because they consider it unjustified, but editor B disagrees? Do we make reports to admin noticeboards? Or set up a whole new forum for dealing with just this problem? We will find that admins cannot keep up with the backlog, and an inordinate amount of their time is diverted from other work to dealing with these disputes. Am I being too pessimistic, imagining problems that would not really arise? No: problems such as these did arise when the rules were different, and they would again if we reintroduced some such rule. The whole thing wasted far more time than it was worth. JamesBWatson (talk 12:26, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
  3. No, you're not being too pessimistic, JamesBWatson, your scenario is perfectly realistic or even optimistic. It would be wikilawyer heaven meets how-many-angels-can-dance-on-the-point-of-a-pin heaven; a heartbreaking waste of competent and good-faith editors' efforts to produce an encyclopedia. Bishonen | talk 01:50, 13 October 2010 (UTC).

Linking to the design center

The Wikipedia:User page design center is delightful, and I think it's a great first link for people to follow after seeing this page. I've added it to the header as one of the main "see also's". Every new user should visit that design center at least once, and it's a particularly warm introduction to being a user. SJ+ 01:43, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Agreed, it's inviting. And unique with its graphical front page layout. -- œ 13:59, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

PROD in userspace

I see in the above RfC suggestions that Prod be used on old userspace drafts. I was under the impression that prod was not allowed in anything other than article space. If that's the case, maybe that's an issue that we need to revisit, since prod seems appropriate for inactive userspace drafts. Gigs (talk) 17:50, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I've been deprodding about 1/week times someone PRODs something in userspace. As far as I'm concerned, there's no reason to expand PROD any further. If it's really a contested issue, then MfD is appropriate. If not, then asking a user to {{db-u1}} it should suffice. Jclemens (talk) 17:53, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
An inactive user will not respond to a request to U1. Do we really needs to have MfDs like this one? What is the logic behind not using Prod in userspace? Gigs (talk) 21:23, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
It's the way it's always been, as far as I know; I don't know the original logic. I don't necessarily mind a streamlined process to remove things in userspace of terminally inactive users, but if that content is usable, it should at the very least be subject to centralized review and discussion. Again, promotional junk and POV is not the same as userified content, and we shouldn't find a solution to the former that ignores the needs and concerns of the latter. Jclemens (talk) 21:43, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
PROD was certainly active in userspace throughout the whole of 2007 (see this). My last userspace PROD was May 2008. It was a great way of getting rid of the crap (no comment on the discussion above). I have no idea why it was stopped - probably misused too much. There's some discussion at Wikipedia_talk:Proposed_deletion/Archive_7#Prodding_user_pages and other archives. -- zzuuzz (talk) 22:06, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
We could probably expand WP:CSD#G6 or WP:CSD#G8 to deal with these issues. -- œ 00:08, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Are you expecting the deleting admin to check the activity level of the user? If you can find some programmatic way to do that with the template (e.g., if the CSD template is applied, it evaluates whether the parent username has been active in the past (insert agreed upon time, perhaps a year), and displays differing messages based on whether the appropriate time has elapsed or not, I would be less opposed to the idea, but right now my gut says that it's not a good idea. Jclemens (talk) 14:48, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── The last discussion on PROD in userspace was in 2008. I think our standards at MfD have changed vastly since then. I initially became involved more heavily with MfD when my request to delete an obviously promotional autobiography that was formatted like an encyclopedia article was closed "Keep". We've come a long way since then. I think consensus has changed. Gigs (talk) 16:05, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

FYI, previous discussion regarding consensus/opposition to this idea, hence the userprodtemplate removal. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 01:06, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Right, from 2008. Like I said, a lot has changed since then about the general consensus on whether crap in userspace really "does no harm" or not. I did a survey in January 2009 of the kinds of pages that were kept at MfD User:Gigs/Kept_in_userspace_Jan_2009. It might be enlightening to compare how such nominations might be treated if they were brought up today. Gigs (talk) 14:00, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Note that I have gone through and blanked a lot of the pages that were "Kept" on my list, so make sure you look at the version that was actually nominated. Gigs (talk) 14:02, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Pure wiki deletion (blanking) is often a better solution. Is there any reason not to just blank such pages? What's the expected harm from these pages? Lots of regular users aren't around every week, and expecting them to notice a process that runs to completion in a week is a bit unfriendly. It's easy for very active editors and policymakers to forget that the bulk of editors who we consider "active" may only edit 5-10 times a month, often skipping weeks at a time. SJ+ 01:41, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
As long as prod can be restored upon request (lacking clear policy issues), it's not really much different from blanking. I guess the only benefit would be that an admin would have to at least glance at the page before restoring it, eliminating the most clearly policy violating pages. Gigs (talk) 00:40, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

This will help me in my new account. thnx for the helpful page:). Dude1118: Go Tigers!!! (talk) 22:48, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

NOINDEX situations unclear

(Partially copied from a user talk page discussion)

bfizz...I don't think you are reading the noindex guideline the same way that I am. I'm parsing it like this: "A number of important matters may not be removed by the user ... added to user pages and subpages under this guideline (except with agreement or by consensus)". In other words, noindex should be used on user pages, but isn't needed on user talk pages. tedder (talk) 00:54, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

(end copied material)

(Note: the section he was quoting from was WP:REMOVED)

The WP:User pages#On others' user pages section states (emphasis mine):
I assume this statement and its accompanying paragraphs are the "under this guideline" that your quote is referring to. However, in the case we were discussing, no one really seemed "concerned".
To Wikipedians generally: I would appreciate clarification of when and why NOINDEX might be used. Personally, I see little benefit unless it is an extreme case, but in that case, page deletion is usually the better solution. It would be nice to see at least an essay or some tips at WP:NOINDEX. Please discuss. ...comments? ~BFizz 04:17, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

He is reading it correctly. All talk pages (including the user talk namespace) are already NOINDEXed so the tag doesn't have any effect at all on them. User pages and subpages are by default spidered. The guideline is saying that if {{noindex}} is added to a userpage or subpage by an administrator in an administrative role due to potential content and WP:UP concerns, then the user should not remove the tag without discussion/consensus. The actual text it's discussing is in the section WP:UP#On others' user pages and explains it more fully.
Most people are not Wikipedia editors. 99.5% of site visits are from people who use us as a source but don't edit. The difference between a wiki (content) page and a userspace page is completely unknown at a guess to 999 out of 1000 people and the tag at the top, like most disclaimers, is probably not read or appreciated by a vast majority too. User pages are therefore a risk issue - they can be used to present material online under Wikipedia's banner which the user can then defend as being reasonable to include on his userpage, or a draft article, etc. These kinds of discussions and pages are widely known.
User pages are to aid a user in their role in the community. Their primary purpose is internal not external. A user page is not something one creates in order to have a shortcut to a high google ranking, nor to spread unchecked and perhaps unsuitable information under a credible site's name. There is no "right to have your userpage spidered" and the ability to kill spidering by major search engines in cases of concern has great advantages (see the discussion of this at the time).
  • It has zero impact on legitimate wiki-related use of a user page
  • It kills all widely used external ends of a user page without harming legitimate internal uses in any way
  • It means we don't have to choose between keep and delete as the sole options
  • It's a good compromise for borderline/questionable material
  • It can fairly be applied to any content in userspace from the newest newcomer to the most experienced admin without disrupting their legitimate endeavors or forcibly demanding they change the content on their pages
  • Even if deletion may be needed, it prevents potentially harmful spidering by major search engines while the discussion takes place, reducing pressure to delete "Out of process" or take excessive/premature steps.
  • It means we don't have to argue it each time, and in many cases both deletion and extra bureaucratic burden might be avoided where otherwise it might be seen as necessary (by users who favor stricter control or are concerned about its external effect).
  • It allows us to address possibly unsuitable content by newcomers with much less chance of BITing them compared to speedy deletion, where it's not clear if they are ignorant of our norms or promotionally motivated.
I tend to use it when I come across a user page that raises definite concerns that its aim is to be promotional, or when spidering of the content under Wikipedia's banner would be a problem; when it's a definite concern under WP:UP#NOT but perhaps borderline; when it would not be a problem except for concerns about external spidering under our banner; when it's not clear whether the user is acting to promote or in good faith and I want to assume good faith and minimize any confrontational aspect; when I want a compromise that I can legitimately stand behind a statement that it does no harm to their legitimate wiki endeavors; when I want to ensure spidering related issues are not an ongoing concern during the MFD process for material that should be removed but required MFD to do so.
FT2 (Talk | email) 12:17, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree with the logic behind noindexing user subpages. I don't agree with the current wording that gives an administrator some kind of special authority to make a binding change. If an administrator marks a page noindex unilaterally, then that's a normal editing action that can be reverted by any other editor. Administrators just don't have that kind of extra authority that the section is currently implying. I'll take a whack at updating the guideline. Gigs (talk) 19:41, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

I simply changed "Administrators" to "Editors". I reviewed the discussion of March 5th and 15th 2010 and there was no consensus to give administrators special authority there. FT2 suggested it late in the process, but it was never particularly discussed. It was slipped into the guideline later on. Gigs (talk) 19:55, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
Why should anyone have the right to remove noindex? How would that benefit Wikipedia? Dougweller (talk) 07:05, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
There is a lot of good project resource stuff located in userspace. External search engines are better than the internal search function. If you think your userspace stuff is useful to others, for the project, then you should be able to choose to have it indexed (additionally by the engines that respect the flag). The right? The counter-question comes first. Why should anyone, even any group, have the right to decide what another editor may not do, without even considered a possible special case. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:31, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
@Gigs - the reason was to prevent users in dispute using "noindex" as a means to provoke or attack other users whose user page views they disagree with, whom they want to make "look bad" (it happens), or to start index/noindex edit wars.
@SmokeyJoe - you're mistaken. The internal search engine is quite a lot more powerful than external ones. Quick examples - it can handle all the logical combinations Google can (and/or/parentheses); it can search in page titles; it can handle parameters an order of magnitude more sophisticated (user-specified words with variable endings and similar spellings) and searches Google cannot (specific namespaces, pages in specific categories). It's also completely unaffected by NOINDEX whereas Google is unable to be used on any talk page and a large part of projectspace.
FT2 (Talk | email) 04:42, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Also we know that readers will not always distinguish between articles in article space and what looks like an article in userspace. Dougweller (talk) 08:51, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
FT2, this is interesting news to me. Where can I read more. Logical combinations!? How can I search just page titles? The only clever use I've been using to to restrict searches to a particular namespace. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:07, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
WP:SEARCH, which I recently updated following the above thread. FT2 (Talk | email) 22:10, 26 October 2010 (UTC)

Block notices and BLANKING

  • Users are requested to comment on whether the list of things at the WP:BLANKING section that cannot be removed should include block notices until after the expiration of the block. This follows an issue raised on my talk page and discussed here concerning the fact that, whilst it is generally held that block notifications should remain in place for the duration of the block, this is not actually set out in policy. Consensus is sought on whether to allow users to remove block notices from their talk pages at any time, or if they should remain in place until the block expires. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 19:24, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow Removal I think unless an editor is going to appeal the block they ought to be allowed to remove the block notice, for some it would be a badge of shame, especially if the block is quite a long one. I can see no reason for an editor to not remove it if they wish to mark nutley (talk) 19:29, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal - I thoroughly support users being able to remove block notices after they return from their block. However, other editors need to know the user is blocked and may not be able to respond other than on their user talk page. Discussions on article talk pages may have been cut short, and it's only reasonable that those left hanging be able to see the reason. Yworo (talk) 20:07, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal per Yworo above puts it well. -- œ 20:35, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
  • This topic comes up every few months it seems. Here's most recent I could find: Wikipedia talk:User pages/Archive 7#WP:REMOVED - should current blocks be in the list? Obviously consensus can change; I'm merely linking previous discussion, not staking a position of precedent. DMacks (talk) 20:51, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal Yworo's thoughts are mine exactly. It is important from a practical viewpoint, as otherwise collaboration-in-progress may be interupted, or people may try to launch new efforts without realising the user they're waiting for the arrival of is blocked. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 21:11, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal to make things clear. If you get blocked, it's your fault. Complaining about shame is ridiculous. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 21:09, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal and I really have nothing to add to the above supporting rationales. Jclemens (talk) 21:10, 27 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow NativeForeigner Talk/Contribs 01:52, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I see no compelling reason to change the long-standing rule, per my comments in the discussion linked by DMacks above. Yworo's rationale is diluted by the fact that an interface note is displayed on actively blocked users' contributions page, and while editing their user or user talk page. –xenotalk 15:06, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal - Per OlEnglish (talk · contribs). -- Cirt (talk) 16:34, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal per plain old common sense. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 18:55, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow removal. I don't really care - popups says "blocked" without even clicking the talk page. And if I don't care I see no point in further limitations of anyone's rights. East of Borschov 20:24, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • And I suppose you wish to make it mandatory for all users to use popups? This is site-wide, remember. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 20:28, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Incorrect. Limitations are mandatory. Taxes are mandatory. Liberties are not, and cannot be. Rights may be given or taken away, but cannot be made mandatory. East of Borschov 05:46, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • You haven't addressed my point: 'because I happen to use something that says anyway' is not really an appropriate argument. You may be eroding how others perceive the strenght of your rights comments by including them alongside that. Blood Red Sandman (Talk) (Contribs) 06:41, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • There are no "rights" on Wikipedia. AGK 22:15, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I think I have to agree with Xeno here. If a blocked user wants to blank, then that's fine, provided they're not blanking recent declined unblock requests or not selectively blanking for disruptive purposes such as to alter others' messages; administrators need to see that when considering subsequent unblock requests. One can easily see when clicking a user's contribution history whether or not a user is blocked, and that I feel is sufficient. –MuZemike 20:37, 28 September 2010 (UTC)
  • A block notice is to inform a user they are blocked. If the user acknowledges the block notice and removes it, I am wondering how that impacts on the rest of the community. The block is visible when trying to edit the user's talkpage or looking at the user's contributions, so an editor curious as to what the blocked user was doing (or not doing) would easily find out they were blocked. If a blocked user removes the notice and another editor restores it "because that's the rule", a disquieting dispute could arise. Unless someone can explain the advantage to the community of fighting to restore a removed block notice, then I am in favour of continuing to allow removal. SilkTork *YES! 00:28, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal Other users (especially new users that may have been attacked if the user was blocked for harassment) need to be able to easily see that an user is currently blocked. Of course, they are free to remove it if they are unblocked(or block expires). Netalarmtalk 02:19, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Agree with Xeno. By long-standing tradition, removal of messages from a user's own talk page is viewed as acknowledgement that it was read. If the blocked editor wants to remove the notice, who cares? As Xeno indicated, this proposal would gain us little, but would instead open the door to a ton of potential revert wars that just waste everyone's time. As has been said before when WP:BLANKING was discussed at WP:VPP, edit warring with a user in their own user space is the height of futility. — Kralizec! (talk) 03:35, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • disallow removal commonsense seems to keep it there till block is over The Resident Anthropologist (talk) 04:19, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal - While I do think I see both sides of this, i think a notice of some kind noting that the person is currently blocked should be present for the duration of the block. We template and blank socks that are blocked, how is this that much different? Should timed blocks be treated differently than indefinite blocks, perma-blocks, or bans, or whatever else, in this regard? We live by notices here. And a notice on a user's user page and/or talk page that the user is currently blocked (and restricted to only editing their talk page, or even restricted from that) would seem to merely be helpful information. - jc37 05:11, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    The interface shows an irremovable notice on the contributions screen and whilst editing the user or user talk page. –xenotalk 15:49, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    Should be a notice when just looking at the page. Technically, anyone "could" go look to see if the user is blocked, but not everyone is going to check that (I can't remember the last time I checked if someone was blocked, before dropping a note on their talk page. I think the answer is likely: Unless I went there wondering if they were blocked, or if I noticed some sort of notice on their talk page already, I don't believe I ever have. And with WP:AGF, I would doubt others would either.) And that aside, there definitely should be a notice when/if the user has been blocked from editing even their talk page (whether for disruption or whatever) so that anyone would know right away that they would not get a response. All that said, is there something here that you think I'm missing? - jc37 14:47, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
    Those just seem like good arguments for the magicword needed for an interface note requested in bugzilla:25380. –xenotalk 15:43, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal as per Yworo. Dayewalker (talk) 05:54, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal as per Yworo. He said basically what I was thinking and then some before I even came here to comment. [|Retro00064|☎talk|✍contribs|] 06:00, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow per NativeForeigner. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 09:50, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    • That was a one-word vote you're referring to. -- zzuuzz (talk) 15:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't see any advantage to blocking or locking talk pages of editors who are already blocked and aren't spewing abuse. It's only going to generate aggravation, more blocks, and lame edit wars. Current and past blocks are incredibly easy to identify without visiting talk pages. -- zzuuzz (talk) 15:53, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal. Users interacting with an editor who is blocked simply must know that the block exists. AGK 22:11, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    And the interface note is insufficient how? –xenotalk 22:14, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    That thing that appears on their contributions page? It hardly covers everything. What of those who are waiting for the blocked user's input on another page? What of users collaborating with the user on the article, and awaiting their contributions? What of… countless other scenarios. Most of us would only realise that a user is blocked if there is a block template on their talk page. Although if we could fix the interface so that the notice was displayed at the top of their talk page, we wouldn't have to disallow block template removal (which I am guessing would be met with a talk page protection, which ought to be avoided wherever possible). AGK 22:23, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    Now there's an idea. My main concern about this proposal is the one explained by SilkTork above. A user, finding themselves blocked, may simply want to remove the block notice (the virtual equivalent of tearing up a parking ticket in front of a meter maid) and then go away and cool off for a while. If we disallow removal, then no doubt edit-wars will result over the template. And while the blocked user edit wars with those who are poking them, they may find their talk page access revoked, or their block length increased. If some issue is so precious that a user require a reply from the user who happens to be blocked, they can edit their talk page (and the interface note will be displayed -it's not just displayed on special:Contributions). But I like your suggestion, I wonder how hard it would be to implement? –xenotalk 22:27, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    If you're actually concerned about the input from a user, do you really need a block notice on their page? You aren't likely to either leave them a note on their talk page, or check their contributions to see if they've been active recently? You'll just be checking out their talk page randomly to see if it has a block notice instead? --OnoremDil 15:34, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I would oppose this change, it offends the general liberty to do with your talk page what you wish. I see two themes of interest: the first is my own response when I see someone I've blocked remove the notice: "What, remove my notice? I, me, mine? Do you not understand my heavenly power to cast shame upon you? And with my bat still warm too..." - this kind of thinking needs to be curbed at source, i.e. right in my own mind; Secondly, the aspect of informing other editors that this one is no longer able to participate. That's semi-legitimate but we don't have sleep-sensors here either and that interferes with at least one-third of timely responses. Using the interface or making a direct TP query will quickly discern why any particular editor is not responding in the case of blocks. There can be many reasons why someone ceases to participate, why flag up this one in particular? If they've been blocked, it's often precisely because they were acting problematically and that should be apparent - no need for the scarlet letter. There are some grey areas though: an interface message would be great; when the editor is barred from even their own talk, this should be messaged; and high-rotation DHCP address pools are likely best treated with a notice for whomsoever next encounters the IP address. I'll still take a liberal position on this - I already know you're blocked, others can discover this easily enough if they're so motivated. Franamax (talk) 23:15, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
  • And getting all meta here, which may trample my previous points: to my knowledge, the Geneva Conventions governing the law of war prohibit parading or public display of prisoners. Contrast this with the rather shameful practice in many countries (including, shamefully, my own) of the "perp walk" where accused persons are specially brought out in handcuffs for public display as they walk to a car or building. I'm not really claiming any moral equivalency here but I do see the parallel. Blocks are usually announced with the cool graphical block template, which I use reluctantly only because it has links for appeals. That template is a definite stamp placed on an account and serves only to advertise to the public. The blocked user knows they are blocked and so does the blocking admin (and any other reasonably knowledgeable editor). Blocks on en:wiki are made without definitive proof, at admin discretion - in essence, an unlawful combatant has been detained. So this seems to come down to a fairly simple choice. Do we, the English Wikipedia, wish to parade our prisoners before the public? Yes or no. Franamax (talk) 23:38, 29 September 2010 (UTC)
    To follow your line of thought, there is a difference between being accused, and receiving a resolution based on assessment of guilt. So I don't think the analogy applies here. - jc37 17:51, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
It's a very shaky analogy. Blocked users are not "prisoners" in any way. They are not locked in, they are kicked out. Just as a grocery store may post a list of persons who have bounced a check or a bar may have an "86 'ed list" taped on the cash register or whatever, we post a simple notice explaining the block and the reasons for it. It's not a parade in any way, we don't post the list of newly blocked users on the main page or anything, you have to either watching their talk page or monitoring Category:Blocked users to even be aware of it. Beeblebrox (talk) 00:14, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
Using bad analogies after pointing out bad analogies? Grocery stores tape a list to the register. They don't staple a scarlet letter on the forehead of the bad check writer (though they might if they could...) The list on the register is for the benefit of the store...not so random people can see that someone specific has been bad and they should watch out for them. If that was the purpose, why not just tape the list on the door of the store? --OnoremDil 16:00, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
I guess they do things a little differently where I live. I've been in lots of places that post the list of bad check writers, or even the bad checks themselves, in such a way that you end up looking right at them while you wait in line. It is most certainly done so that others will see it. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:49, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Fair enough. I'm not saying they're hidden from view, just that they aren't prominently posted. Might be a regional thing. I still fail to see the specific need for forcing a block notice on a talk page. Why exactly does it need to be there? What's the advantage? --OnoremDil 16:54, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
As I noted below, I don't actually think it does. leaving declined unblock requests up makes sense but it is super easy to check someone's log and see why they have been blocked. I just didn't like the whole "prisoner" comparison, as it is not a case of being imprisoned and paraded around in cuffs, just a polite notice telling you why you are not welcome to edit. Beeblebrox (talk) 16:58, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
My intended analogy was not to being a prisoner, but to the common fact that a paraded prisoner has no choice in the matter and a blocked editor similarly would have no choice in the matter. We allow wide latitude for personal autonomy here, this must be balanced against what disclosure is essential and must be preserved. For instance, a {{anonblock}} or {{schoolblock}} notice or sockpuppetry notice convey important information, as do declined unblock requests - but these are limiting cases. I fail to see here why this information is so important, and why a graphical block notice simply must be maintained as is. If the reviewing editor is concerned about the edit history, they will check contributions and know there is a block in place. If they are about to leave a user talk message, they will also see the block notice. So I'm unclear as to the purpose of maintaining the notice, unless it is just there for the casual reader, which is the basis for my opposition. If the editor is blocked, they are not causing ongoing disruption - so why would anyone care? Franamax (talk) 21:32, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow Removal per Yworo, and IMO, common sense. Acather96 (talk) 16:58, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Adjust interface to put "This account is currently blocked." to be displayed at the bottom of blocked-users' talk-pages (I assume MediaWiki:Anontalkpagetext, and whatever equivalent for registered accounts). That way readers and potential commenters see it (rather than only in page-edit mode) and it's not removeable (we don't have to have another venue for revert-warring and bad feelings from newbies who don't know all our policies and guidelines). The "blocked" status is a wikimedia system function, so an indicator of that status seems like it should be handled at the same level. It's not the same as the block-notice itself (that's a part of discussion with editor, alerting (with "new messages" orange box too) to status and other details of the block. DMacks (talk) 17:38, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
    Though this should probably be a separate proposal, I like the idea of it. And what the wording should be, and what links should be available in it, could be determined through the normal way (WP:CON, WP:BOLD). - jc37 17:51, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
    Just as an FYI, this would probably require developer intervention to implement. –xenotalk 19:19, 30 September 2010 (UTC)
  • Yawn I don't see any serious impact either way. Users are disallowed from removing declined unblock requests, so this would be in keeping with that policy section, but it's not really a big deal either way since when you edit their talk page you will see that they are blocked. Beeblebrox (talk) 01:14, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow Delete Blocked users should not have the right to remove block notices, in fact no one (except perhaps for admins) should be able to remove a block notice while the block is active. It has uses. Sven Manguard Talk 01:42, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal. I've seen a blocked user edit their page to claim they were only retiring, and that it was their decision to leave. Let them edit their talk page if they wish, but their user page should be nothing but the blocked notice. Or can you make it so they can edit their talk page, but not remove the block notice? If they are already blocked, they have nothing to loose by trying. Also, can you stop them from editing their talk page after they are caught removing it, to keep them from doing it again? Dream Focus 04:03, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow removal for the same reasons I mentioned the last time this proposal was discussed. Looks like it's too late for this one though. Oh well...congrats on getting your worthless badge of shame established. Have fun with those edit wars and extended blocks. --OnoremDil 04:22, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow removal since the main reason is to inform the person who is blocked, it is quite easy to see that they are blocked, so others do not need to see the notice as reinforcement. If the user becomes troublesome on their talk page, that avenue can be restricted too. The main prupose here is to prevent damage to the encyclopedia remember! Graeme Bartlett (talk) 06:33, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow removal per Xeno and Kralizec! I've never had a problem with this and I've seen plenty of users get blocked in mid-discussion with me. —UncleDouggie (talk) 05:23, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal, or implement a notice somewhere more visible (not just when another party tries to edit the user's talkpage). I appreciate xeno's comments but have more affinity for AGK's response: I believe it should be possible for anybody looking at the user's talkpage to know if there's a block. bobrayner (talk) 15:24, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
    So if an interface note were shown, you would be sympathetic to allowing removal? –xenotalk 16:59, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
    Yes; as long as a note were visible on the talkpage proper. Needn't be a big bold bitey template, imho, as long as it's visible to anybody who happens upon the user's talkpage without necessarily editing it. Reading through some of the other !votes, I think a note like this may assuage the concerns of many other folk currently saying "disallow removal", but I can't speak for them. bobrayner (talk) 20:16, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow removal, but (as suggested) consider a notice for the benefit of others which is visible when looking at the user/user talk page, and not merely when editing it. Rd232 talk 15:39, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow removal - Anyone reviewing the block will check the block log, not just the current version of the page; a blocked user is incapable of tampering with that. Even if we disallow it, there's almost nothing to prevent a user from doing it anyway, or modifying the block reasin and asking for an {{unblock}} based on the modified reason. So an admin should always check the block log anyway. The message is for the user, not for the public, anyway. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 13:41, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal - Endless hand-holding and coddling for useless vandals already consumes far too much editor time already. Vandals and trolls don't yank their block notices to "avoid shame", they do it to avoid scrutiny from people not savvy to blocklogs so they can keep vandalizing longer. This is a basic fact to anybody who's ever done more than 10 minutes on recent changes. Furthermore, there are no "rights" on Wikipedia. If you think having to see a little picture of a box violates your basic human dignity, you can always try following basic editing rules and not getting blocked. The rest of us seem to manage fine. Or else just exercise your right to leave. Seriously, is this what people get outraged about these days? Bravo Foxtrot (talk) 04:56, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
    What about non-vandals? What about an established user who does want to exercise their right to leave and wants to replace their user talk page (containing the block notice) with {{retired}}? Should they be reverted? –xenotalk 15:09, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
    In that situation, the block notice could stay, in addition to the "retired" notice. And when the block is over, the block notice is removed, and the retired notice remains. - jc37 17:36, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
    And if they're blocked indefinitely? Still stays? –xenotalk 17:45, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
That has always been the problem, we tend to allow a user who previously was contributing positively the fiction of "retiring" when they are in fact blocked. I don't think a blocked user is really retiring, as that implies it was entirely voluntary, but again I don't think we should have a rule that would just lead to more edit warring with blocked users. On the other hand, if they really are leaving and not coming back, why should they care what it says on their user page? Beeblebrox (talk) 18:43, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal Until after the block, people have the right to know about the block. Yousou (report) 15:04, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal During the duration of a user's block the bock notice (and any non-successful appeals) should remain so that the administration can review the behavior leading to the block (and any justifications thereof). Once the block is expired or appealed successfully the user is free to remove the block at their discretion (but personally I'd prefer to see it remaining for historical purposes). If the user is indefiniteley blocked they are free to announce their retirement, but they should not get the opportunity to whitewash the slate to set up a "un-retirement" in the future with a clean slate. Hasteur (talk) 20:34, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow removal. The notice is likely to get removed in any case by newbies, less knowledgeable users, and disruptive users. Who is going to patrol for this crime? (Shall we institute a special category of admins, the Scarlet Letter Cop Patrol?) A rule would in other words tend to mainly affect the meek and obedient. Admins surely know to check the page history, or the block log, for blocks, without needing a visible brand of shame on the page. . Od Mishehu makes a very good point above, too: "The message is for the user, not for the public." A block is not the village stocks. Bishonen | talk 21:06, 7 October 2010 (UTC).
  • Converseley, when you've settled up with a store that you wrote bad checks for or settle up with the bar, they take your name off "The List". The user serves their block, and at the end they are hopefully wiser about the situation. I'd argue that "the meek and obedient" would see the notice and take it to heart. What we're really discussing is those users who consider themselves wikiPro and have a reputation to protect. If they didn't want to be blocked they would have stopped before the block got applied (Unless it was an immed block). The user is free to appeal if they contest the block and short circut the block duration, but for the most part there's a sequence of steps that administrators have to take before the user can be blocked. A block is not a punishment, it's a suspension of privilages in regards to the site. Hasteur (talk) 13:35, 8 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal. Blocked users should not have the right to remove block notices. When the block expires, then - and only then, they should be able to remove it. Limongi (talk) 22:59, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow removal. The block notice isn't a badge of shame, the goal of a user talk page is for that user to see messages. If they remove it, they've obviously seen it. Unblock requests should stay up until the block is over, so that the history of unblock requests can be seen by a reviewing admin. tedder (talk) 23:11, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow removal unless specifically imposed as punishment. Those advising this to be used as a scarlet letter are reacting to a general view of the blocked user as a miscreant who needs to be punished. Well, if you're going to punish in this way, say so. Some editors will be blocked, banned, not even allowed to edit their own talk page. Others may be blocked but allowed to edit talk pages. This is simply a third class, those blocked and not allowed to remove the block notice. Maybe some here even want a fourth class, where the user has to keep up the notice that he was blocked for X and other users can report him to such-and-such if he gets uppity. I would suggest that such "scarlet letter" uses not be imposed often, and that the wording of the notice saying not to remove it be very clear about what is to be retained (just the template, template and associated discussion?) and about the exact date and time when it can be removed, so as to avoid unnecessary trouble. Wnt (talk) 21:11, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal. Per above. Makes life convenient for the rest of us. -FASTILY (TALK) 02:56, 14 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal. Other editors and admins need to know if a user is blocked without having to dig for it. Kaldari (talk) 00:54, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal per the two above--Talktome(Intelati) 02:15, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal Not convinced by the allow removal arguments, and i never understood why it was allowed in the first place. Headbomb {talk / contribs / physics / books} 01:32, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow Removal. Just to check, I went to Category:Blocked users and tried to edit the talk pages of various blocked users and blocked IPs. In each case, I get a red box right at the top stating that the account is currently blocked, by whom, for how long, and why. It is the same red box that shows up in a blockee's contribs list. To me, this is sufficient to notify me that a user I may be attempting to communicate with has been blocked. So what additional purpose does the block notice serve, if we assume that removal of a message means that the message has been read? If a user wants to remove the notice, they should be allowed to do so; blocks are not supposed to be punitive. ArakunemTalk 16:39, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Not a strong opinion but probably slightly favour Disallow removal for the purposes of informing others rather than having them have to dig around for the info. Casliber (talk · contribs) 11:23, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow removal. As users can usually edit their talk pages when blocked, a block is irrelevant to users who may post a message for the blocked user there, as the blocked user can respond and mention the block if relevant. In the unusual situation that a user cannot edit his or her talk page, well, they can't remove the block notice anyway. I agree that the primary purpose of the user talk page is to communicate with the user to whom it belongs, not to notify other users of that particular user's blocks. --Bsherr (talk) 16:39, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Disallow removal: In most cases the IP or account removing the block wants to keep the fact that they are blocked hidden (also removing actioned unblock requests at the same time) and/or replaces the block notice with vandalism. There really is no legitimate reason why a user would want to remove a block notice for an active block; the only purpose would be obfuscation. —Jeremy (v^_^v PC/SP is a show-trial!) 21:23, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Allow removal. I came here expecting to say "disallow", read the arguments, and had my mind changed. I don't think people should remove the notices, bit its not worth having a rule over, it's instruction creep. It's their talk page, and its not worth edit warring over, bearing in mind that there are other signs that appear (editing the talk page etc.) that show that the user is blocked. Also, don't these things have a big red X and stuff? No wonder they want to delete it. I would definitely encourage and allow the user to, instead of deleting it, edit the notice (by copying in and editing the template code) to change the graphic to a flower, a skull-and-crossbones, or something else fun. This would show more saviore faire than simply deleting it. Herostratus (talk) 06:57, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

What an utterly pointless and misconceived proposal. Longstanding custom is that removal of a block notice from a page means that the user got the message. Block notices are intended for information only, not as badges of shame. and the information about the block is permanently stored in the block log which is publicly visible. --TS 16:02, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

The key difference with this proposal is the "... until after the expiration of the block" bit. Meaning it's for our sake, not the blocked user's. -- œ 15:07, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

"In a nutshell" too wordy?

Could use a trim.. -- œ 13:59, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Better? FT2 (Talk | email) 23:21, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes thank you. :) œ 16:33, 2 November 2010 (UTC)

Set time threshold for deletion of userspace drafts as FAKEARTICLES?

Okay, I'm suggesting this because lots of abandoned userspace drafts are being MfD'ed off as FAKEARTICLEs, some as recent of ferbuary. I suggest that we create a time threshold (I don't know. A year? 18 months?) so I'm requesting outside input. Access Denied [FATAL ERROR] 17:14, 10 October 2010 (UTC)

  • I've suggested in the past having a bot to PROD user subpages at least of long-term inactive users. A hard time limit against active user wish is more difficult - probably MFD is best for that. But some form of cleanup, giving reasonable notice to users, might be helpful. But it's not necessarily worth the effort. Alternatively, older subpages could at least be NOINDEXed by bot. Rd232 talk 17:26, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't think a strict limit is the best idea. I have some drafts that haven't been touched since last December, but the content and links are still useful to me when I find time to work on the page. The issue is with users who stop editing altogether, and I would use a general guideline of one year would suffice when MfDing such pages, but there will always be exceptions. If the page is well-sourced and ready, then why not just move it to the mainspace for a retired user? If it is not sourced, then it should probably be deleted. /ƒETCHCOMMS/ 19:16, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
    • I agree with Fetchcomms here, although I'd like to add that editors can and do return to Wikipedia after a long absence, and I'm not sure that deleting properly NOINDEXed and {{userspace draft}}-tagged pages while they're away benefits the project. 28bytes (talk) 19:59, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  • There are several obvious reasons not to do this - unnecessary removal of work-in-progress; annoyance of volunteer editors; waste of time and effort in witch-hunting. Is there supposed to be a benefit from this activity? Note also that it is our policy that Wikipedia is not a bureaucracy. Colonel Warden (talk) 20:19, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  • We should NOINDEX every page in userspace, not just abandoned draft articles, although I realize we don't necessarily have a consensus for that. But I tend to agree with Col. Warden here. My concern is that some editors may attempt to delete drafts far too soon, as was attempted at Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/User:Dwkob/example/indect -- where a draft was nominated as "abandoned" only 9 days after the editor's last edit to it. If there is a consensus that we need to delete abandoned draft articles in userspace after some time, I would say that such articles should not be considered abandoned until at least a year has gone by from the editor's last edit -- I don't mean their last edit to the draft, I mean their last edit to Wikipedia. Unless the person has been away from Wikipedia altogether for a full year, don't delete such drafts as abandoned. --Metropolitan90 (talk) 20:34, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Agreed. Though I would set 6 months as an absolute minimum before any MfD which does not violate any stronger policies. (such as BLP, etc.) Collect (talk) 21:02, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I don't think any sort of set in stone minimum period is a good idea, mainly because I think its better to allow more flexibility. The key, I think, lies in the language of WP:FAKEARTICLE. To quote:

    Private copies of pages that are being used solely for long-term archival purposes may be subject to deletion. Short term hosting of potentially valid articles and other reasonable content under development or in active use is usually acceptable (the template {{userspace draft}} can be added to the top of the page to identify these).

The key is separating which copies are, indeed, archival, and which are not. Another key piece of language here is the term "under development or in active use" (emphasis added). This seems to say, to me anyway, that a page that is under development will not necessarily be under active use. Let's remember here that our editors are volunteers: people giving of their free time to write this encyclopedia. Article development can be a long process. Given the tool we have in the noindex magicword (which {{userspace draft}} helpfully places on pages) I think we ought to err in favor of the editor when deciding cases like this.--Fyre2387 (talkcontribs) 22:15, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
  • It depends. If the user has made few other edits to WP, then deletion should come earlier (these pages are more likely to be for long term archival purposes or indefinite storage of deleted content). Four months should be long enough. For established editors, the timespan should be measured in years as they are much more likely to return. MER-C 01:36, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
I think the answer really depends on several questions and common-sense discriminators:
1) Active or inactive user? Active users get more leeway, and should be notified of any perceived problems before any sort of MfD process is undertaken.
2) {{noindex}} is appropriate if there's a dispute about whether the article is really valid or whether it's inappropriate.
3) Borderline promotional articles and userspace "Drafts" that seem to get a lot of hits should receive more scrutiny than other userspace content.
Upshot is it should be a no-brainer to delete a "userified" promotional article on an inactive SPA, while deleting the de facto incubation work of current editors should require a very steep threshold. Jclemens (talk) 05:09, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  • A month, minimum, to six months at the outset. Even for things actively worked on I think a year is generous. Keeping old userspace drafts around become problematic because they use templates/categories/boxes, and bots try and maintain them, and then by accident or misunderstanding they become defacto articles again until someone, a real person, pays attention and removes the templates/categories/etc. This kind of maintenance is a waste of time, a waste of time for our current' volunteers based on some half-baked notion that former volunteers are going to return and work on it again. The other fairly major concern I see when I casually browse MFD every few weeks. One of the primary problems seems to be previously deleted content that is being kept around with some excuse about re-working it but it's been kept in an archived state for years. This is a HELLA LAME excuse, almost always from the losing end of a deletion argument and I usually voice to delete it without consideration. That material should be tossed. If content has been deleted and someone wants to re-work it, it should be done in the incubator not userspace - as should almost all WP:REFUND undeletions. SchmuckyTheCat (talk)
  • Could we please stop trying to come up with specific rules for every conceivable situation that has ever occurred more than once on Wikipedia? Sometimes it may be appropriate to keep an article in such a state for a while and sometimes it may not. MFD works just fine for separating one from the other. Beeblebrox (talk) 05:59, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  • One year sounds more than reasonable. :) -- Cirt (talk) 11:24, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I am sensitive to concerns of instruction creep, however, I think it would be helpful to warn users that, after six months, if subpages that look like drafts or article copies have not been edited, they are liable to be proposed for deletion. An excellent question has been raised, and I know there will be some pushback on any hard and set rules. Kansan (talk) 17:19, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Six months to a year. Less if BLP, six months if promotional, leeway can be granted if topic doesn't have much to do with living people or is spammy. Abductive (reasoning) 21:12, 11 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Six months seems like a pretty reasonable rule of thumb for a standard everyday article with nothing special about it. It's hard to claim something is being actively improved if it hasn't been substantially worked on in a whole half a year. Things that violate other rules, BLPs, spam, fake articles, and so on should be dealt with whenever they're discovered, with no arbitrary time limit, though the best solution of all is to not let unacceptable content make its way into userspace to begin with. Andrew Lenahan - Starblind 00:20, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Why not just give +6 month old fake article the ol' courtesy blank? It saves lots of hassle and accomplishes the same goal, which is to prevent people from thinking that these are real articles.--GrapedApe (talk) 02:21, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I agree with GrapedApe that blanking is often a better solution. If the user isn't active and the page seems harmless otherwise, I just blank it. For active users I ask them about it, or just leave it be. I try to reserve MFD for more serious concerns such as dicey BLP drafts, promotional content, or attempts to preserve a favored version in an editorial dispute. If it does come to MFD, then six months is a reasonable minimum for inactive users, but I don't see a need to have that spelled out in a guideline. --RL0919 (talk) 02:34, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment If a time limit is suggested, can users be recommended to consider INCUBATing the article if it could be a basis for good content rather than deleting it? Even if nobody wants to take up an abandoned half-article now, perhaps if incubated someone will in future. It seems a poor idea to lose potentially valuable but abandoned content just because nobody right now wants to pick it up. At the same time we probably should clean up long-standing abandoned articles as well. Incubator for those with some potential might be a good recommendation. FT2 (Talk | email) 03:38, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment 2 A draft in the userspace of an active established editor should be checked with them first. For example I have a year-old draft article in my userspace. Eventually I'll come back to it. It's harmless left unblanked, and has a reference already, though I'd have no objection if someone wanted to noindex or tag it until moved to mainspace. FT2 (Talk | email) 03:43, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Agree entirely with FT2. I likewise have a year-old draft in my userspace, and I imagine so do plenty of others. Unless there are libel or spam concerns, this would just be deleting for the sake of deleting. – iridescent 16:05, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Do dusty draft articles in userspace pose any threat to wikipedia? In order to justify action there must surely be advantages larger than the disadvantages (which include annoying editors who have draft content that they'll finish Any Day Now, No I Really Mean It This Year). What would be gained by deleting a userspace draft that does not violate any other policy? bobrayner (talk) 23:05, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • If had to I would set a time limit to at least 1 year, but I think User:Jclemens in his post above puts it the most logically, and I agree that it depends on various factors. -- œ 23:55, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
  • There is no need for a rule. This should be treated on a case by case basis through MFD or PROD or heck, talking to the editor in question. I oppose any hard rule on this subject. --Falcorian (talk) 02:33, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Suggestion How about wording like this:
Draft articles that have apparently been abandoned for a long time (user has not edited for 6 months to a year or more is recommended) may be brought to "stub" standard or better and moved to mainspace, moved to the incubator for someone else to take over, or if unlikely to be usable, deleted. If deleted, notify the user that it will be undeleted or the text emailed on request. Drafts by established and active users should usually be left as the user may return to them. Apparent problems in abandoned articles may be courteously addressed by any user.
FT2 (Talk | email) 13:17, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • As a workaround, editors can be instructed not to use userspace for developing content. Instead, they can post their drafts to WP:Sandbox, reserving only a link from their user page. Or if there's a risk that someone will delete the Sandbox again, they could do the same to their main user page, then revert back. That way, they will be allowed to go back and view or update the material any time they like, however many years in the future, without it being ruled off-limits to all but administrators. Unless I suppose you RevDel it for being too useful. (Is this sarcasm? We'll see...) Wnt (talk) 21:01, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
  • I'm surprised nobody until FT2 mentioned it – what about a period of non-editing (say, 6 months), and then send to the WP:INCUBATOR? –MuZemike 22:10, 14 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Good idea. I think we should be using the incubator much more than we do. In fact, I'm not entirely sure why that isn't the default, with userfication being done rarely if at all. People can always save an article off-Wiki, after all. Dougweller (talk) 07:03, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment I think some of the comments above, while well-considered and useful (I like the incubator idea), are kind of missing the central point of the RFC: when does a userspace draft become abandoned? Whether it's blanked or deleted or moved somewhere (incubator, article space, what have you), what's being asked for is some kind of idea about when that action should take place. I think the general consensus that's developed for userspace material is that it's mostly offlimits to editing by others (unless invited) - a kind of border case against ownership of articles that allows the user to hack and slash a draft to their heart's content in peace before moving it to mainspace and having it subjected to the scrutiny of others. I think what's being asked for (and what I would have liked when I was more active in MFD) is some kind of rule of thumb as to when - if ever - other users have a reasonable cause to start messing with stuff in someone else's userspace. When does "draft" become "abandoned draft"? Never? Matt Deres (talk) 12:16, 16 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Why not blank it not delete it? Unless somebody can give me a conclusive answer to this I'd be very hesitant to support any deletion time limit at all. Blanking will pull it from search engines and stop the casual reader falling upon it, but would allow later editors to resurrect a good draft much more easily. TheGrappler (talk) 20:28, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Blank stale userspace drafts. If they have merit, more them to the incubator. There is no need for the bureaucracy of MfD debates and administrator actions over every old draft. Blanking allows the user to return at and take it up again without fuss, while hiding it very effectively. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:20, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • While opposing pointless bureaucracy, I think some guidance on when a draft becomes stale should be given. Such guidance should make a clear distinction between the work of established editors (particularly those who have written significant article content) and the promotional fake articles that frequently appear in userspace. See this search and {{spamsearch}} for examples of dubious pages (lots of these pages are fine, but there are also many blatant spams, and many have been deleted). Johnuniq (talk) 23:12, 18 October 2010 (UTC)
  • One advantage of mere blanking is that it can be left to individual editor's discretion as to when a draft is stale or promotional. If blanking is reverted, then bring it to MfD where the community can decide, the from the records a descriptive guideline can be written. Writing a guidline cold is how we would prefer not to work. I could suggest that a draft is stale if there have been no edits in the last two months, and less than 10 in the last 6 months. I could suggest that a draft is promotional if it evokes interest in something that could raise money, or if it contains external links to promotional websites. But it is not until it is practice do we see how it works in practice. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:48, 19 October 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment:This topic has been approached many times and it is one of those issues where consensus seems to change daily. Several years ago the consensus was that anything in userspace was immune, outside of a blatant copvio or something as serious. I am in full support of a time limit, but keep in mind I feel it will need to be adopted across the board.
By way of examples, at Userfication of deleted content it says content inappropriate for the mainspace should not be kept indefinitely in user space... and than links to Wikipedia:Subpages#Disallowed_uses, section 3 which says Using subpages for permanent content that is meant to be part of the encyclopedia.. And, of course what we are discussing, at Pages that look like articles, copy pages, project pages, which also used the word "indefinitely" and Private copies of pages that are being used solely for long-term archival purposes may be subject to deletion. There is also Incubation vs. userfication which says Articles that have been in the incubator for some time... and What incubation is not which says A means of preserving sub-standard content on Wikipedia indefinitely... So all of this, really, is to define words and phrases such as "indefinitely", "some time", "permanent content" and "long-term archival purposes". And if a change to the wording here apply everywhere? In which case it would seem to become more of a "where does it go" type of thing - in other words does "usefication" have a different definition of "indefinitely"? Does an article that sits in the Article Incubator have yet another "indefinitely" definition? Is "long-term archival purposes" longer than "some time"? And what about "permanent content"? Is that the same as "long-term archival purposes"?
My opinion is that unless there is a constant it allows for too many interpretations of each term, at each location. In the past six months was a good medium, but based on some recent deletion discussions less than 24 hours seemed to be a good time for new users who some felt were only there to spam, while in other discussions one year seemed to be too short for an established users. Sorry to seem a bit wishy washy on this issue but IMO, the only way is to do this right is to make the changes universal. I think there needs to be a distinction also made between a draft article (or userfied article) that has sat, untouched for well over one year verses one that has been worked on by several editors of the course of one year. And than, to further clarify, the scope/substance of the edits made. Sometimes a history is looked at and editors comment that the page has been, or is being edited, therefore it should not be deleted, when the fact is looking *at* the actually edits shows bot edits, a minor spelling change, an updated link, removal of/addition of a category and so on. Soundvisions1 (talk) 03:14, 19 October 2010 (UTC)

Arbitrary break

In the attempt to gain some consensus following the discussion, how would people feel about this approach:

-- Abandoned draft articles --
Draft articles should not be deleted merely for being abandoned. Apparently abandoned drafts may be brought to "stub" standard or better and moved to mainspace, moved to the incubator if they appear to have potential material for other users, or blanked if unlikely to have project value. The decision whether a draft article is abandoned requires good faith and sensitivity - a non-editing user may return to Wikipedia after many months, and active established users often have long term userspace drafts that they may return to years later.
For these reasons users should not consider an article abandoned without good cause, should ask and wait a reasonable time if in doubt, and should leave a note such as {{new template}} to explain that any drafts they have moved or blanked are still readily accessible. Apparent problems in abandoned articles may be courteously addressed by any user.

FT2 (Talk | email) 12:59, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

  • Support. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 20:01, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • This is completely out of line with current practice and consensus, which is to delete abandoned drafts, eventually. Our policy is not supposed to dictate our practice in this way. It's wagging the dog. Gigs (talk) 14:14, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Guideline talk pages (UP isn't policy) are also where we figure out improvements to how we operate. Is there a good reason why a user who thinks a draft (that doesn't seem to have major problems like BLP) is abandoned, wouldn't want to do what is suggested?
Ie, if they can see it's likely to be valid, mainspace it, if it could be a valid start for someone else then move to incubator, otherwise blank in case the user comes back? You're right, we don't necessarily do this at the moment, but can you think of a situation where this wouldn't be sensible treatment? FT2 (Talk | email) 16:51, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
There are good reasons.
  • They are often promotional or vanity in nature.
  • They often don't stand a chance in hell of meeting notability.
  • They were often deleted once at AfD already. Keeping them in userspace forever makes userspace into our local "deletionpedia". It subverts the consensus of the community.
  • On that same note, never hitting mainspace means never having to even try to meet notability.
  • There is pretty much no one watching them. Vandalism could live there for years.
  • If we no-index them, then the user might easily remove that, and no one will notice.
  • If we wouldn't let people have a page about themselves, their company, their band, here under NOTWEBHOST, why would we give them a pass if they make it look like an article?
None of these things in isolation is necessarily a reason to delete. A draft about a marginally notable rare type of giraffe under the account of someone who edits biology articles... we can keep that nearly forever in userspace, and we usually would. But the vast majority of stuff that is actually getting deleted falls into the categories that I listed above. Could we write a nuanced policy that encompasses all that I just said? Maybe. But I'm not seeing a problem that needs us to be that prescriptive about it. I especially don't see a need to create a requirement that all possible alternatives have been exhausted before nominating something for deletion, or to require pure wiki deletion of some 13 year old's myspace-band fake article. Gigs (talk) 23:43, 22 October 2010 (UTC)
Good points. Yes we probably can. The aim of the above wasn't to make it harder, but to suggest that when we do have decent drafts, don't delete them if we can use them, and consider users may come back to them. Promotional, vanity, and unusable drafts should go. Uncertain ones it's less clear. My thinking was that blanking is less aggressive if in doubt or if the user returns, and if there was a concern we'd probably have deleted the page anyway. But your point about having to watch for unblanking or long term dud pages is a good one. In all we're probably fairly close in how we see it.
In lay-terms can we word something that says: Don't trash genuinely decent stuff if avoidable, try to find a home for it. Don't trash stuff being worked on or by active established users, without checking. But abandoned promotional and unusable stuff can go (albeit with a note to the user), and if in doubt you can always blank apparently abandoned pages. ? FT2 (Talk | email) 02:43, 23 October 2010 (UTC)
Taking your and Gigs comments together, the above draft probably doesn't emphasize that aspect enough. Is this better?:
-- Abandoned draft articles (v2) --
Potentially useful content in abandoned pages may be brought to "stub" standard or better and moved to mainspace, to projectspace, or to the incubator for other users to consider improving. Abandoned pages with no actual use to the project may be blanked, or deleted under usual deletion processes. Apparent problems in abandoned articles may be addressed by any user.
The decision as to whether a draft article is abandoned requires good faith and sensitivity - a non-editing user may return to Wikipedia after many months, and active established users often have long term userspace drafts that they may return to years later. For these reasons users should not consider an article abandoned without good cause, should ask and wait a reasonable time if in doubt, and should leave a note such as {{new template}} to explain that any drafts they have moved or blanked are still readily accessible.
FT2 (Talk | email) 11:04, 24 October 2010 (UTC)
That still seems like a high bar. The thing is, I don't think we generally delete drafts that are good potential articles, under current policies. I don't see it happening at MfD, and I do frequent there pretty often. I hate to say this since it's cliche, but does this proposal address an actual problem? Do we really need to make it harder to delete stuff from userspace? Gigs (talk) 00:35, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not aware of it being a problem. But one person alone isn't consensus. If there's a recurrent issue, maybe there are enough people who think there's a problem to make it worth looking closely or to try and find a stance that people can agree on. The main question seems to be providing guidance on sensible ways to assess when a page is "abandoned", and to suggest people consider saving actually valid material. I haven't seen anyone suggesting deletion be made any harder - are you sure that aspect isn't a misunderstanding? Maybe one of those who feels there is a problem could comment. FT2 (Talk | email) 02:34, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Verbiage like "no useful content" and "good cause" seem to be establishing a higher bar than we currently have. Your proposal makes the assumption that the userspace drafts people want to delete could be valid encyclopedia articles... experience proves otherwise. The vast majority are vanity or promotional pages. We don't need any more red tape like asking the author of the vanity article whether they might come back some day to finish their promotional article so that it can be moved to mainspace and then be deleted promptly at AfD. Gigs (talk) 03:14, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
Deleting a vanity/promotional page serves the purpose of preventing people from using Wikipedia as a webhost. However, if such pages are only deleted after a year, Google and other search engines will still index them and allow them to be found easily. Pages that contain the draft, article wizard, etc. templates add NOINDEX to prevent that from happening. Should we have a bot tag all userspace drafts as such? Netalarmtalk 03:59, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
@Netalarm - Hard to get a bot to recognize a "userspace draft" from any other kind of userspace page if not already tagged, and those already tagged (as you say) aren't an issue for spidering. A past proposal to noindex all of user pages and subpages was tried and did get some support, but faltered at that time.
@Gigs - I don't see any harm in saying "if a userspace draft is useful you can do XYZ" or suggesting leaving a note for the user in case they return to explain what's happened. If the article was that big a problem it would be removed or noindexed anyway, abandoned or not. Even if most aren't useful, it would be difficult to say categorically that none (or only a tiny number) will be. Logically if users are encouraged to develop new drafts in userspace, then I'd be surprised to find that if we took a look at all userspace drafts we'd find none of value, nothing on any topic that might be notable. Suggesting that if usable we use it or let others build on it, seems commonsense, provided we also make clear that if unusable or promotional we can remove it. FT2 (Talk | email) 09:43, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
I think you misunderstand. I'm not saying most userspace drafts aren't useful. I'm saying the vast majority of them that people want to delete are crap. That's why I don't really see a need to give guidance. Like you said, it's commonsense. Why give people who want to promote themselves or their bands something to wikilawyer about? Gigs (talk) 13:26, 25 October 2010 (UTC)
So in a way, are you saying the issue is (to paraphrase) that we need to explicitly permit deletion of abandoned drafts, but we don't really need to mention checking them for validity or mention other options such as the incubator, because admins considering an abandoned draft probably won't be trying to delete one that's got useful content?
If so, I'm not sure whether I agree. Most admins would not think of the incubator for example, or of blanking, in cases where those might be a better choice (if drawn to their attention as options), and mentioning these does not weaken the statement "they can be deleted if they don't have project value" which is what you're after (I think). FT2 (Talk | email) 00:41, 26 October 2010 (UTC)
Value is very subjective. Anyway, "Handling inappropriate content" already includes a mention of blanking. If you want to give updating that section a go, then you can give it a try, but we might have to go back and forth a little on the wording. We can always revert to the stable version if we come to an impasse. Try not to make any major change in practice, but we might be able to improve what it says there in order to cover more situations. Gigs (talk) 18:58, 27 October 2010 (UTC)
Blanking seems fine to me, as that is the solution du jure for article problems, evidently. I firmly oppose any plan to send untended userspace drafts to the incubator. the last thing that process needs is unwanted crap articles nominated automatically with no interested editor. Protonk (talk) 00:14, 5 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I'd support a more aggressive attitude to unattended articles - but blanking should be the norm (deletion should only be used if there is misleading or libellous information in the article history which it is deemed important to expunge). In fact I'd even go so far as to encourage best practice among editors working on something in userspace, should be to leave a blank revision up if they are not going to be actively working on it (so their last edit for the day should be a blanking), and then they can restart editing the next time they come round to it at the penultimate, pre-blanking revision. If that was encouraged as best practice, then it wouldn't be regarded as so discourteous to blank such a page even if it had been only been left up a few days. Deleting is pointless, the incubator probably isn't a suitable place for abandoned drafts, and blanking does everything we need (other editors can easily have a look at the working version - before the last blanking - but casual readers won't see it and it won't generate false search results). This strikes me as win-win. TheGrappler (talk) 16:47, 6 November 2010 (UTC)
  • I've indicated in the past I'm in favour of a more aggressive policy on articles in userspace. I was involved in a MfD about a year and a half ago in which an OR fakearticle is being maintained in an inactive user's userspace indefinitely. The user cam back just long enough to swear they would eventually work on it again and didn't understand everyone's OR concerns, and the "article" has been updated sporadically but it is a flawed premise and will never be ready for userspace, even nearly two years after being created. Per WP:NOT we're not web hosting, and there should be guidelines for what can and cannot be kept in userspace. My feeling is that such cases are abusing userspace by using it as a workaround to avoid AfD. Users should be allowed to draft articles in userspace. Two years later, though, we should take a long hard look if the "article" is still not ready to go live. Redfarmer (talk) 10:58, 7 November 2010 (UTC)