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Battlestar Wiki:Blocking policy

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BSG WIKI Policy.png This page is an official policy of Battlestar Wiki.
This policy is considered by the community and its leadership to be the status quo of Battlestar Wiki and is not to be countermanded or ignored, though changes to it can be discussed on the appropriate talk page. This policy was implemented on 2006 October 25.
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This is a derivative work from Wikipedia:Blocking policy, which is permissible under the GNU FDL license. All related edits will be released under this same license.
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Blocking is how a chiefs prevents a user or IP address/range from editing Battlestar Wiki.

Blocks are used to prevent damage or disruption to Battlestar Wiki. They should not be used as a punitive measure.

Block duration varies (usually 24 hours at present), and a block may be lifted if the editor agrees to stop the damaging behavior. If you disagree with a block, start by discussing it with the blocking chiefs. (See Appealing a block).

All users may request blocks at Chiefs' noticeboard or other venues listed below. Include credible evidence of blockable offenses. Chiefs are never obliged to place a block. Chiefs and senior chiefs may themselves be blocked, with resulting effects on their other powers.

Contents

When to block

These are the most common reasons for a block. As blocks are for protecting Battlestar Wiki and its editors from harm, this list is not complete, and a block reason not being on this list is not automatic reason for unblocking. If blocking for a reason not listed, be sure to note it on BW:AN for sanity-checking.

Protection

A user may be blocked when necessary to protect the rights, property or safety of the Battlestar Wiki, its users or the public. Examples include (but are not limited to):

Personal attacks that place users in danger

Blocks may be imposed where threats have been made or actions performed (including actions outside the Battlestar Wiki site) that expose Battlestar Wiki editors to political, religious, or other persecution by government, their employer, or anyone else. Blocks of any length of time, including indefinite, may be applied.

Users who post what they believe are the personal details of other users without their consent may be blocked for any length of time, including indefinitely, depending on the severity of the incident, and whether the blocking chiefs the incident was isolated or is likely to be repeated. This applies whether the personal details are accurate or not.

Disruption

A user may be blocked when their conduct severely disrupts the project — their conduct is inconsistent with a civil, collegial atmosphere and interferes with the process of editors working together harmoniously to create an encyclopedia.

Disagreements over content or policy are not disruption, but rather part of the normal functioning of Battlestar Wiki and should be handled through dispute resolution procedures. Blocks for disruption should only be placed when a user is in some way making it difficult for others to contribute to Battlestar Wiki.

Chiefs may block IP addresses or usernames that disrupt the normal functioning of Battlestar Wiki, or pose a sufficiently severe threat to it. Examples include (but are not limited to):

Blocks for gross incivility are controversial; "cool-down" blocks are very controversial. Consider whether a 1-hour block will result in 2 months' drama. (See Battlestar Wiki:Edit war)

Obvious cranks and users who aggressively and repeatedly violate fundamental policies may be blocked if there is a consensus among uninvolved users that it is necessary. Such persons should be dealt with kindly and patiently, but should be prevented from wreaking havoc over the period of weeks or months it would take to process an obvious Arbitration request. Remember to note the case on BW:AN. Be kind.

Bans

Main article: Battlestar Wiki:Banning policy

Banned users are typically blocked from editing all or parts of Battlestar Wiki.

Evasion of blocks

A blocked user cannot edit any pages other than his/her own talk page. An chiefs may restart the block of a user who intentionally evades a block, and may extend the original block if the user commits further blockable acts. Accounts and IPs used in evading a block may also be blocked.

Edits made by blocked users while blocked may be reverted. (Many chiefs revert all edits from blocked users and re-make the good edits under their own names, to avoid confusing other chiefs who may be monitoring the same users.)

Effects of being blocked

Blocked users and IP addresses can still see all Battlestar Wiki pages, but the "Edit this page" link brings up a "User is blocked" page with the reason behind the block (as entered by the blocking chiefs) and how to request unblocking. Links and template includes all work as normal in the "reason" section. Blocked users are also prevented from moving pages or uploading files.

When a blocked user attempts to edit, their IP is "autoblocked", so that the user may not make the same edit anonymously or under a different username. Autoblocks expire after 24 hours — when a username is blocked indefinitely, their IP will be automatically unblocked 24 hours after he or she last attempted to edit a page.

For chiefs, being blocked also restricts their ability to use rollback, to delete and undelete pages, and to protect and unprotect pages. They can still add and remove blocks, and bureaucrats can still make someone a chief.

Accidental blocks

Users with dynamic IPs will occasionally find that they have been blocked accidentally, because their IP or range was previously used by a vandal or hard-banned user. These blocks may disappear if IP change can be forced. If that is not possible, the block should be reported to the blocking chiefs and/or the nearest friendly chief via email — see the list of chiefs for some likely candidates.

Chiefs can often let the accidentally-blocked editor through by undoing only the autoblocking of the IP. (Don't forget to let the blocking chiefs know of the collateral damage.)

Users who act so as to impersonate a previously banned user, to impersonate a known vandal, or to pretend to be engaging in vandalism, are also likely to be blocked. To avoid this problem, don't do this. Edit so as to demonstrate your trustworthiness, not to put up a façade of untrustworthiness.

When blocking may not be used

Blocking to gain an advantage in a content dispute is strictly prohibited. Chiefs must not block editors with whom they are currently engaged in a content dispute. If in doubt, report the problem to other chiefs to act on. (You may be wrong!)

Caution should be exercised before blocking users who may be acting in good faith.

Instructions to chiefs

How to block

Go to Special pages and then the "Block a user/IP address" link. This goes to Special:Blockip. Special:Blockip is also accessible via the [block] link that appears next to each non-logged in user on recent changes.

The "reason" that the chiefs fills in will be displayed to the blocked user when he attempts to edit, as well as appearing in the block log and the block list. If it is not for an obvious reason, or if more than one line is needed to explain the block, the chiefs may record the block at BW:AN.

Users should be notified of blocks on their talk pages. That way, other editors will be aware that the user is blocked, and will not expect responses to talk page comments.

Options for IP blocks

Block anonymous users only prevents anonymous users from the target IP address from editing, but allows registered users to edit. Prevent account creation prevents new accounts from being registered from the target IP address. These options have no effect on username blocks.

In some cases, an IP may be shared by chiefs who want to be notified before blocks are placed on them (so that they may finish any chiefs work). As such, you may want to check the IP's user page or talk page and select "block anonymous users only".

Guide to blocking times

The block time can be selected from the menu, or entered in the GNU standard format. Alternatively, a block may be "indefinite" or "infinite", meaning the block is permanent, until a chief explicitly unblocks the account.

If no expiry time is entered, an error message will be displayed.

The times below are convention, based on protection of Battlestar Wiki rather than punishment of the offender. They are guidelines — if you have done something clearly blockable, demanding the blocking chiefs's head for giving you 31 hours instead of 24 is unlikely to be taken seriously.

A block for disruption on a dynamic IP is usually up to 24 hours. Static IPs and logged-in users: start at 24 hours, increase gradually if it starts again. Blocks less than 24 hours, often known as cool-down blocks, are more likely to be controversial the shorter they are. Indefinite blocks should not be used against isolated incidents of disruption from IP addresses, nor at first against user accounts that make a mixture of disruptive and useful edits.

Some types of disruption have more established guidelines:

  • Vandalism — Blocks should not be used against isolated incidents of vandalism. Dynamic IPs: up to 24 hours. AOL IPs and range blocks: about 15 minutes, then 1-3 hours, and 24 at most, to avoid collateral damage. Static IPs and logged-in users: start at 24 hours, increase gradually if it starts again; persistent violators may be blocked indefinitely, but use discretion.
  • Excessive reverting (BW:EW) — Generally 24 hours. It is helpful to leave a notice of the block on the user's talk page.
  • Inappropriate Usernames (BW:UP) — If malicious (e.g. impersonation of another user), indefinitely blocked at sight; IP address should be left autoblocked. If not (e.g. name of a celebrity), consider warning a user before blocking.
  • Abusive Sockpuppets — New accounts may be blocked for any length of time or permanently; sockpuppets for violating policy should be blocked permanently.
  • Public accounts — These should be blocked with a block message pointing out that public accounts are not needed.
  • Bots — Bots are supposed to be blocked at sight if they do anything they're not cleared for at BW:BOT, or if broken somehow. Initial blocks should last 24 hours, which should be sufficient time to allow the operator of the bot to respond to a talk page message.
  • Personal attacks which place users in danger — Chiefs applying such sanctions should confidentially notify Joe Beaudoin Jr..

Range blocks

These are sometimes used when a problem user responds to several IP blocks by changing IP address. They will affect at least some legitimate users, so should only be used when the disruptive behavior is frequent and severe enough to make other methods ineffective. Use careful judgment and make them as brief as possible.

You need some knowledge of how networks and IP numbering work, and of binary arithmetic. If you don't, many other chiefs do—ask on the Chiefs' noticeboard. See Range blocks.

Unblocking

Special:Ipblocklist contains a list of all currently blocked users and IPs. Chiefs will see a link to (unblock) next to each user. After clicking this, you should type in the reason that you are unblocking the user and then click the Unblock this address button.

Chiefs are technically able to unblock themselves by following this procedure but should absolutely not do so unless they were autoblocked as a result of a block on some other user (or bot) that they share an IP with. Otherwise, if an chiefs feels they were not blocked for a valid reason, they should contact the blocking chiefs, another chiefs, or the mailing list and ask to be unblocked. Self-unblocking without convincingly good reason has resulted in several users losing their chief privileges.

If you disagree with a block

If you disagree with a block placed by another chiefs, do not unblock without first attempting to contact the blocking chiefs and discussing the matter. If the blocking chiefs is unavailable for comment a discussion on the Chiefs' noticeboard is recommended. Blocked users commonly e-mail several chiefs claiming to be the victims of injustice, and because it is not always obvious from the blocked user's contributions what the problem was, it is a matter of courtesy and common sense to consult the blocking chief if they are available.

Exceptions to this would be where an unambiguous error has been made (not a judgment call) and the blocking chiefs is not online: for example, if a user was blocked for 3RR, but there were clearly only three reverts. If the blocking chiefs is not available, you should notify the blocking chief on his or her talk page and possibly a note to the Chiefs' noticeboard.

Controversial blocks

Blocks may be damaging when consensus proves elusive. Examples include:

  • blocks of logged-in users with a substantial history of valid contributions, regardless of the reason for the block
  • blocks that, while possibly wise, lack policy basis.
  • short term or cool-down blocks, e.g. if a user is angry about something controversial, blocking that user will rarely cool him down

Once you are convinced that a block is warranted, the recommended procedure for controversial blocks is:

  1. Check the facts with care.
  2. Reread appropriate parts of the blocking policy.
  3. Contact other chiefs to sanity-check your reasoning, preferably on the Chiefs' noticeboard.
  4. After receiving feedback, place the block, wording the "reason" message with care and without jargon, and include a link to the user page of the user being blocked.
  5. Place a notice of the block on the talk page of the affected user, with additional rationale, outlining the facts and the part of the blocking policy you feel applies.
  6. Stay around to discuss the block with other Galactipedians.
  7. If an act or acts of disruption do not warrant a 24-hour block, consider a warning or posting to the Chiefs' noticeboard before issuing a short term block. (Someone may well block them longer than you would have!)
  8. If in doubt, don't block.

Block wars, in which a user is repeatedly blocked and unblocked, are extremely harmful. They frustrate and disappoint seasoned Galactipedians and encourage further bad behavior from the blocked user. If you disagree with a block, discuss the matter with the blocking chiefs and others, and try to reach a consensus, rather than unblocking — the blocking chief is likely to know more about the background of the situation than you do.



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