Forum:Blocking consistency

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This thread was archived on 26 July 2009 by Azaz129.

The user block policy guidelines are rather vague and each administrator seems to have their own criteria for blocks and block lengths. While discretion should be allowed to a certain extent, discretion should stop at a certain point. For example, most IPs vandalize once and then never edit again. If they're blocked they probably won't even know it. I will admit that I have had a habit of blocking IPs for inserting false or deceptive information after one incident too so I'm not pointing any fingers or saying that anyone was wrong. I'm just saying that we need more consistency.

The following is my idea of a more specific block policy. You will notice that I have not included everything in the current block policy because I don't think that everything needs to be changed. These are merely additions.

Isolated incidents — Blocks should generally not be used for isolated incidents of vandalism. For example, one or two edits to change the price of the Exchange:Bronze dagger page to 100,000 or adding "poop!!" to an article does not constitute a block. If the vandalism continues then a block may be issued, but be sure to warn the user or IP after each incident before resorting to a block. Two to three warnings is the general amount needed before a block.

Inappropriate content/blanking pages — Language that could easily offend someone or disrupt the wiki can be classed as a more serious offense and result in an immediate block. Blanking pages or large portions of pages may also result in an immediate block.

Intimidating behavior/harassment (personal attacks) — If a user or IP is continually harassing others then a block may be issued. Be sure to warn the user beforehand so they know what they are doing is wrong.

Warnings/Notifications — No matter what the incident is, be sure to warn the user or IP in question so they know what they are doing is wrong. If you are blocking them then be sure to let them know as well on their talk page.

Editing user pages — Block the user and notify them on their talk page.

3-revert rule — Block those involved in the incident for 12 hours and notify them on their talk page (this is mentioned at RS:3RR but not on the user block policy page).


Block lengths

  • Isolated incidents should generally result in a 1-3 day block depending on the severity of the case. Be sure to issue warnings before resorting to a block.
  • Inappropriate content/blanking pages should also result in a 1-3 block unless the incident or incidents are more serious in which case a longer block might be necessary.
  • Intimidating behavior/harassment (personal attacks) should result in a block that is appropriate for the severity of the case. Minor incidents should result in a 1-3 day block, but you will need to use your discretion depending on the severity.
  • Editing user pages should result in a 1-3 day block unless the incident or incidents are more serious, in which case you will need to use your discretion.
  • Block times should increase as users or IPs continue to vandalize. For example, if a user or IP is blocked for 3 days and they continue to vandalize, the time may be increased to 1 week, followed by 2 weeks, 1 month, 3 months, etc.

You will notice that many of the suggestions I have made are similar to block times that we use now, but I rarely ever see warnings or block notifications and block times seem to vary from administrator to administrator.

This is merely an effort to establish more consistency when it comes to blocks and warnings.

Andrew talk 17:32, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

It does vary between admins, and I can't really see a problem with that. I'm quite heavy handed, giving 3 days, 1 month and 1 year for 1st, 2nd and 3rd offences. Warnings are just feeding the trolls as far as I'm concerned. At the other end of the spectrum, Sir Revan only blocks in the most extreme of cases, which is fine too. I don't think we need a set of rules on block lengths, if you really disagree with the length of a block given by another admin, you can always reblock them. Administrator Hurston (T # C) 17:38, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

That's the point, though. We need consistency. It can start confuse people when one person is issuing blocks for something while another person is issuing warnings for the same thing. Andrew talk 18:11, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
While consistency is never a negative, I don't like the idea of making fixed time frames that could unnecessarily constrain admins from taking what they feel is the appropriate action.-- 18:17, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
It wasn't meant to be exact fixed time frames. Those were more along the lines of loose guidelines that were a little more clear. I see what you mean, though. Andrew talk 19:18, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
I love consistency, but using ip's as an example for changing the block policy is a bad idea. These people come to the site only to vandalize once or a couple of times and then never come back. And on the chance they do come back after a couple of days, they will be unblocked and ready to vandalize some more. Change the policy so that it reflects actual registered users, but keep on banning those ip's that just cause problems. Cap and goggles.pngTEbuddy 19:16, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

I disagree with Azaz. I don't really think it's a great idea to let admins go about blocks as they please and make their own blocking rules, we're not a cabal. People are getting punished more severely than others for the same thing, which isn't really "right." (I'll avoid the obvious reference to RS:AEAE, kind of stereotypical here). Tech is right, though, the IPs tend to be a totally different story than those who care to register. -Byte_Master bytesig2.png bytesig3.png 21:18, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

I really think AEAE stops applying after some has been proven to be a vandal. If the sentance is deemed unfair, it will be change with due process. Now that's a throwing weapon!Doucher4000******r4000I'll eat you! 21:49, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Still, all users should be punished the same way for the same misbehaviour. That said, it makes more sense to deal a fair punishment in the first place rather than going back and fixing it later. In construction, this would roughly equate to saying "measure twice, cut once." It's just smarter, more efficient, and saves people from having to go back and fix a mistake that may have cut a little too deep to totally repair. -Byte_Master bytesig2.png bytesig3.png 22:11, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

I have talked to vandals in RL (sadly, a few of my sons' friends)and in game. Most of those one time IP Vandal edits are bored kids who do not realize how easily we see what they have done. I give warnings first because the wiki is an ever changing group and I hope that just one or two of today's vandals might become the best contributors next month. It has happened before. That being said, that is how I deal with minor vandalism. If someone goes off with a lot of swearing or racism then they need to be immediately stopped. I like to weigh the "harm" of the edit before I take the next step. (The Army Primary leadership development course taught me a lot that is applicable here). Another are I don't like seeing blocks for is blanking part of a page. It is too easy to do so accidentally and then a RL event stops you from fixing it. Or maybe they don't even realize what they did because they are totally unfamiliar with how to edit. Yes, I realize this is most unlikely to be true in 90 percent of the cases. But maybe it is for the other 10, and how can you tell which was accident vs which was intentional? Or maybe they thought the info was useless garbage and they don't know to use the edit summaries. Again, that only holds true for one or two edits, after that they have established that they are causing harm. But does every sysop look at the deleted paragraph and consider that maybe in shouldn't have been in the article to begin with? So maybe it was indeed a Good faith edit. And let's now shift for a moment to people creating main space articles about their characters because they do not realize it belongs on a user page. So we delete it and don't tell them why. They make it again, most likely confused as to why it got deleted because no one posted a message on their talk page. Now they get a message telling them to stop vandalizing. If that is not complete insanity then I am at a loss. TELL THEM what to do. Stop assuming they have a clue. Educate them, and some will remain and be real editors. I am thinking of the long term growth and development of the wiki, not just how it does today. And that has guided my methods for a long time now. --Degenret01 23:14, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree with everything said in Degen's paragraph above. -Byte_Master bytesig2.png bytesig3.png 23:56, 5 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree also agree. My first couple of blocks did not follow this per say, but I do agree with him and have been taking more time to issue warnings and information rather then don't assume GF and block. Nicely put. 00:44, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Quite frankly, I think all for-sure vandalism (not good faith edits) should result in a 3-day block, even if it's an isolated incident from a well respected user or if it's just the only edit from an IP address. 3 revert rule should be like a 12 hour block as it's not usually vandalism, but it is a dispute nonetheless. Although warnings are good, I don't think they should always be used. There's no reason to warn a user if they purposely vandalize a page. They should be blocked for a small amount of time (a day to three days) and have a warning posted on their talk page, too. Future incidents don't deserve warning, IMO. All users should be treated the same way for anything or RS:AEAE is a double standard. I agree about user page edits and personal attacks. But then again, maybe my opinion doesn't matter here. I'm not an admin so I don't block people. 20px‎ Kudos 2 U Talk! Edit count! Contribs! 00:55, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

RS:AEAE does not (in my opinion) apply to vandals, as they are vandals not editors. I don't think we should be worrying about being fair to vandals. Is it fair that they are trying to ruin the wiki for the rest of us? It also opens the possibility for RS:GTS when an admin gives a somewhat harsher block for a particularly nasty vandal attack, and the vandal can complain that they are not being treated fairly according to the block policy. As to 'isolated incidents' not requiring a block, I completely disagree. It's all about the children pushing the boundaries to see what they can get away with. If they do get away with it, they will come back for more. This wiki really doesn't need fair treatment of vandals. Administrator Hurston (T # C) 13:29, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

I don't want to claim that I am consistent, but I do keep somewhat of a general guideline for myself:
For example:
  • Changing a GE price from 134 coins to 1340 or maybe even 2000 will usually result in a rollback, maybe a warning.
  • Changing the GE price from 12345 to 12000000 and adding false alch values, removing a paragraph from an article or changing the info box to incorret monster name, 100% drops, etc will result in a 1 day block.
  • Changing ge price from 123 to 50000000000000000000, blanking the exchange page, blanking a page, adding profanity, blatantly changing things like drops to stupid or obviously incorrect items (eg - Dragon platebody x 15, sara hilt, d claws on drops from a goblin) will result in a 3-day block, or depending on how much they vandalised the page, or made multiple revisions, showing they were clearly there to vandalise, up to a week.
  • Adding any of the "more severe" swear words such as cu--, ANY racist remarks or cracks at sexual orientations, blanking huge articles and replacing it with fu--, multiple page blankings or a short vandalism spree will typically result in a 1-2 week block.
    • Second offences, depending on the severity of the first and second, will typically get a 2-week block, while some have got a month in some severe cases.
    • Third offences are usually 3 months
    • I've only done a few fourth offenders, but they were 6 months.
In a nutshell, people who blatantly vandalise get 3 days or more, where somebody who makes a vanity edit or minor vandalism gets under 3 days or just a rollback. While I'm not 100% consistent, I generally try to stay even. Karlis (talk) (contribs) 13:51, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Support - I support a consistency on blocking as I have seen people block IPs for changing the price from 1000 to 10000 and others just give them a warning. It is very confusing as I typically report that type of thing and sometimes they get blocked and other times I am told to assume good faith. So it would help users determine what should be reported and what should result in a warning. My proudest achievement Juliusc01Talk Click here if you think this wiki is obsessed with bunniesN W A  F T W 16:07, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

comment - I agree with hurston, no fair treatment for those obviously just trying to ruin everyone else's time. What do any of you think the difference is between the vandal that inserts only "poop" into a price box and the vandal that blanks a page or two? Nothing, one is just trying not to get caught. They both have the same intentions and the same motivation, do disrupt us. If a vandal comes in once a week to see what his previous vandalism did and find that he is no longer disallowed because he was only blocked for two days, what do you think they will do? Keep giving them as harsh of blocks as will keep them from vandalizing in the future. Cap and goggles.pngTEbuddy 18:50, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Sometimes I think we (myself included) judge too quickly. At a quick glance, this might look like someone who is messing around. Might not necessarily be vandalism, but would likely be reverted. However, give them a second chance and we can see that it was an honest mistake. Obviously inserting "poop" or my personal favourite "penis lawl" into an article is vandalism, but some things are borderline, in which I think we need to simply talk to the person first. I also notice this where exchange prices involve many zeros. At first glance, can you tell the difference between 120000000 and 1200000000? It can be confusing, and they might not have realized they forgot/added an extra digit. I don't think we can blanket vandals, as most are a case-by-case thing. Guidelines are possible, but no concrete rules. Karlis (talk) (contribs) 18:57, 6 April 2009 (UTC)
I tend to agree. I find the GE pages (a target for vandals) are sometime just mis-informed or people who do not know how to edit.I think that there is no "real" solution in coming up with a perfect time frame for each case. This needs to be looked at on a case by case instance ‎Easter egg.pngAtlandy 19:11, 6 April 2009 (UTC)


Vandals should be dealt with as vandals. The hardest thing here is whether Someone is a vandal or an inexperienced editor. That said, here’s my view:

  • Things like changing Prices from 134 to 3456 or something are not to be considered any sort of Vandalism. Always remember to Assume Good Faith. These should be just rollbacked. Warn the editor if this continues. They may have a false source or something. One or two such edits are not Vandalism.
  • Changing 134 to 134000000000 Should be the same thing, except the editor should be warned on second – third such edit.
  • Any editor using any profanity/racism/sexism etc. is to be blocked for 1-2 weeks, on sigh, no warning, depending on the nature of the vandalism. There is no need to go soft on such obvious vandals.
  • Anything worse than that is to be given a month block.
  • Any re-occurring Vandals are perm blocked on sight.

Just my opinion on the matter. Now that's a throwing weapon!Doucher4000******r4000I'll eat you! 23:38, 6 April 2009 (UTC)


I want to support d4k's reminder that before any block, we should be always Assuming Good Faith. Lots of people can make a mistake trying to imporve the wiki. Everyone here has made a mistake on this wiki, I know I have. That's what warnings are for, to teach people how to use this wiki. If a new user is treated politely when this happens, they just might turn around, learn how to help better, and become a regular and valued editor. Obvious vandalism can be banned, but still, these users might just turn around and become positive editors too. Who knows? Don't assume someone's going to be a troll. I definitely think we should put in place some guidelines. These don't have to be hard and fast, obviously good judgement should prevail. But guidelines will just get everyone on the same page, so that blocks don't differ drastically between different admins. Air rune.png Tollerach hates SoF Fire rune.png 06:38, 7 April 2009 (UTC)


Comment - IMO applying a stringent code for block lengths and the like is unnecessarily bureaucratic (not a reference to our 'crats). Sysops are made Sysops because the community trusts their judgement. While I don't support Sysops flying solo and handing out 1 year blocks for first offences, I do believe that we should let them make their own call. My own rule of thumb when it comes to dealing with blocks is if it was obviously a malicious edit it deserves a short block, but if the edit could have been made by accident/inexperience a warning is in order.

The one thing that I think should be looked into is communicating with the people we block. While I acknowledge that the majority of vandals will never return to the Wiki, I think it is important to leave some message on their talk page. This serves the dual purpose of letting them know what they have done and the consequences that have ensued, and also visibly (as they will then have a talk page) flagging that user as a vandal for future reference. I find it only takes a few seconds to add a few templates to a vandal's talk page.

{{Block}}{{No Vandal}} ~~~~

Dechaineux Talk 07:43, 7 April 2009 (UTC)