Forum:Revised blocking policy and warning system?

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This thread was archived on 17 April 2010 by Calebchiam.

After a few months of infrequent counter-vandalism here, I have noticed that this wiki lacks a good warning system, and blocking policy. This wiki does have four warnings, but vandals very rarely get all four warnings. Instead, admins block vandals as they see fit. Now, while the wiki would survive like this, and it will, it would be a lot more professional to have an established warning and blocking policy, as well as warning templates that inform vandals what they have done wrong.

Many people do not realize this, but many cases of vandalism are actually test edits. People come on the wiki, see the edit this page link, click it and do something that they find funny or silly. Politely telling these people that it is wrong can help to prevent vandalism as well as blocking.

For the warning system, I believe that we should use a three warning system. After each case of vandalism, or each unproductive edit, the user in question should recieve a warning. After three, they should be reported and blocked according to the new policy, if there is to be one.

As for a new set of templates, and a new policy, I have a few examples to show. I was a major party in the making of Brickipedia's warning templates, which can be found [[w:c:lego:Category:Warning templates|here]]. As for the policy, I created [[w:c:farmville:Project:Blocking policy|one on FarmVille wiki]] which could provide at least a general idea of what it could look like.

As Wikia's most active wiki, I think that a revised blocking policy and warning system will help in the professional feel of this wiki. Thanks for reading, and please voice your opinion below. If you see any spelling/grammar mistakes above, please fix them :). Also, please realize that my links to other wikis was not intended as an advertisement, but simply as an example of a possible design. Thanks again, Ajraddatz Talk 01:54, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Comments

Support - Something definitly needs to be done. I have been thinking about creating a YG thread like this for ages but always conveince myself not to since chances are that this will become a 50kb monster of a debate. There is absoutly no unity in blocking between admins, with the blocking policy currently giving no direction leaving nearly everything up to the admin's discression. I know some that always give 2 warnings and others that will block without a warning if it is obvious vandalism. If the policy is created to actually regulate blocking, there would have to be some discression where admins can increase the block time/decrease warnings to account for sever vandalism so you wouldn't feel obliged to give warnings after someone uploads porn. (I have seen it happen twice...) Total support. Unicorn horn dust.png Evil Yanks talk 02:08, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose I understand what you want, but that would make life harder for us admins. We shouldn't have to warn someone before blocking, and I would hope that all admins already realize the difference between vandalism and a test edit. Why should I have to warn someone who vandalises? In most cases a warning doesn't do anything to stop real vandals anyway, and those that make a test edit stop whether or not we give a notice. :You SZNPBucket detail.pngrwojy 02:11, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

You don't understand, although not many people do. Any vandalism could be a tes edit, even swearing. Also, consider that not everyone who edits is as experienced in wiki-land as you are, people sometimes make mistakes. Even blanking a page can be a mistake, I've know users who have accidentally blanked pages. The system that I am recommending would give these people a chance. Ajraddatz Talk 02:16, February 14, 2010 (UTC)
That is completely not true Rwojy. I reckon that less then 25% of people that I warn would continue to vandalise afterwards. According to my edit report I have warned about 350 users, adding times that wouldn't show up on there (warning user accounts and writing a unique warning) it would probably be over 400 warned. Even after warning 400 users, I only have 99 blocks total. Those 99 blocks also include times when I have blocked users that have been reported to RS:CVU, so that number should be lower. I think that 25% is a big overestimate... Unicorn horn dust.png Evil Yanks talk 02:27, February 14, 2010 (UTC)
Speaking of blanking pages, I remember once when someone blanked a page only to put something like "omg sorry i deleted the page" back in. Dragon medium helm! Whaddaya know?Chiafriend12Better than rune!Loon is best buttlord 06:49, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I forgot to mention something. I think that it would also be a good idea to reduce the amount of warnings for extreme vandalism. Swearing or removing all content would only consitute two warnings, and then a block, for example. Ajraddatz Talk 02:12, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Rwojy said: "In most cases a warning doesn't do anything to stop real vandals anyway". Well what about the cases that are not? They would have an unfair block and we may lose a potentially good editor. I know of a lot of people who I warned and never made another unconstructive edit. It's those small cases where we should worry about. And because you stopped warning, you may have blocked 95% of people who would stop or maybe 5% we can't tell unless we try. scoot4.pngscooties 02:16, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - I don't think that the system needs revising. When it looks like a test edit, sysops use the template that tells users to test in the sandbox. When it's blatant vandalism, they often do get a warning, but only one - which I think is appropriate. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL Talk - Contribs 03:07, February 14, 2010 (UTC) 

Oppose - Per TLUL. Construction-icon.png Matt is Me / Harmonising / Lvl 3 skils3 Talk Cooking cape (t).png 03:10, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per TLUL as well Twig Talk 772kZGs.png 03:12, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per TLUL.  Ranged-icon.png Zap0i TalkRune scimitar.png  03:16, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Support some sort of revision - After reading RS:BLOCK I didn't see any guidelines on when to warn someone as opposed to outright block someone. In fact, there appears to be no reference to the warning templates on that page whatsoever. That to me leaves the "policy" (or lack thereof) open to huge misinterpretation. We should discuss how warnings are to be used before blocking. Right now there seems to be no guidelines. That strikes me as bad. Air rune.png Tollerach hates SoF Fire rune.png 05:28, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Support some sort of revision - Per Tollerach. We need to have SOME SORT of guideline whether it be we 1 warn before ban always, 3 warns before ban, or no warns at all in certain circumstances. We just need a more defined one, even though I don't agree with everything said above, it raises a good point. scoot4.pngscooties 05:49, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per tLUL Swiz Talk Review Me 11:07, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Strong support for revision - I really disagree when admins block on someone's first offense.... Come off it, we all make mistakes. That is like giving someone 1 chance and they stuff it up, they're gone. I could compare it to not allowing IPs to edit altogether. I am strongly for warning vandals first, unless it is blatant. Although I disagree with Ajraddatz' example of giving 2 or 3 warnings, as I think 1, or 2 at the most suffices. 3 if someone only made a mistake, when we assume good faith. I notice many normal users take any chance possible to report to the CVU about vandalism. I think a policy should be put in to recommend reporting after 2 or 3 offences. If you look at a lot of the vandals' contribs, they only have 1 or 2 edits anyway. Most of the time it is because they lose interest, or decide to help rather than destroy. Sometimes because some admins decide to block on the first minor offence.... Strong support of a revision of RS:BLOCK, including about reporting vandals and blocking/warning them. Cheers, Chicken7 >talk 12:20, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per TLul. Ruud (talk)(Suggest me naems) 16:21, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Rwojy. Anyone with the power to block has passed an RfA, which means that the community trusts his or her judgement. I have faith in the admins that they can tell the difference between a test edit and vandalism. Since we already have warning templates as well as notifications for test edits, that should suffice. Obvious vandals should be blocked right away before they have a chance to vandalize further. --Liquidhelium 16:26, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per TLUL. I'm aware that many cases of vandalism are test edits, and I consider this before blocking someone. I'm sure that all admins do the same. However, assuming that there is an admin (hope this isn't true) who always blocks and never gives warnings... the policy has nothing to with that. It's the admin's problem. I also disagree with the "three warnings before a block" proposal. That's far too many in my opinion.  Tien  17:22, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Support some kind of revision - Right now, if someone vandalises, one admin might block them immediately, while another might give them a warning for the same behaviour. This makes the current anti-vandalism inconsistent, because some vandals get blocked for something, while other do not get blocked for something worse. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 18:15, February 14, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose The problem with warning is your feeding the rolls. I disagree entirely that most of these edits are tests. I personally roll with the idea that if it could be an oops, or not offensive, warn them. But recognizing the obvious fail trolls just feeds their egos, you recognized them. My message "blocked vandal" is more to others to see what action was taken against a vandal than it is a message to the vandal itself. Also, we would run into situations that require a different block approach. Such as when a new update comes out the vandals attack en-masse, and I am definitely blocking more and for longer at that time. When each is making 5 vandal edits a minute we don't have time to go through warning after warning to 8 or 9 and make sure they each were warned enough before we stop them. And I really hate protecting that page, their are plenty of good IP contributers.--Degenret01 00:30, February 15, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose Yes, some vandals may not know what they're doing. Others may want attention so they replace the Guthix page with several dozen f-bombs in one sentence. Regardless, they do the crime, they do the time. It's like involuntary manslaughter. You may not have meant it, but you still go to prison. (In this case, the vandal may not realize they are destroying years of work, but still get blocked anyway) — Enigma 01:32, February 15, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - @ Enigma, very nice explanation. Also in comparison, when it's obvious vandalism, the vandal is often blocked for a longer period of time.  Ranged-icon.png Zap0i TalkRune scimitar.png  02:41, February 15, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I saw a lot of people say above that "During ... time, I ban more" or "When I see ... I give an instant ban, no warning". Well that is exactly why we need to revise the blocking policy. We have to have some sort of rules for those situations. scoot4.pngscooties 02:48, February 15, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - I think they get plenty of warnings most of the time. It's pretty obvious when something is vandalizing, or it should be to most people. Some people may make some mistakes, but I think most admins realize that and don't just randomly ban people. I think it is fine now. --HaloTalk 04:25, February 16, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I remember years ago we used to give warnings before blocking vandals, and they'd usually stop. Admins used to get told off for blocking before warning! All humans are capable of mistakes and I am very disappointed in the sea of opposes above this comment. A lot of you are saying "it's up to an admin's judgement". Many admins, no one in particular, throw down the banhammer on something as small as removing a letter from a word. Others are saying that "you do the crime, you do the time". I'm sorry, but in my country, you do the crime, you get a damn fair hearing. People need to be told they've done the wrong thing instead of banning them first offense. Some vandals realise they have done the wrong thing and come to. Take a look at this example: [1]. I admit I threw down the banhammer on one offense reported to the CVU, but he apologised. I decided to lift the ban because everyone deserves a second chance. He didn't vandalise again, nor did he edit again. You never know, he may've created an account. That's just 1 example of many. Chicken7 >talk 05:22, February 15, 2010 (UTC)

Hear hear. Dragon medium helm! Whaddaya know?Chiafriend12Better than rune!Loon is best buttlord 05:50, February 15, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - I'd think that there could be a a bit of a clarification og things on the block guildline page but I dont think that you an give a warning before you give a block in all circumstances. I think the admins do a great job with there judgement right now but that procedure could be clarified on the block page. Team6and7 06:01, February 15, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I have another example. When an ip did this (caution explicit language), an admin would have blocked at sight. But when I warned them (seen here) this ip stopped and for all we know they could help in the future (though unlikely, still possible). scoot4.pngscooties 04:08, February 16, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Per Chicken. ~ Fire Surge icon.png Sentry Telos Talk  05:02, February 16, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Another example: this ip was blocked for inserting false info. There was no warning at all and they were banned. The user said they were sorry and most likely had they been warned they would have stopped. scoot4.pngscooties 22:44, February 17, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - My opinion: if a user makes an offensive action, BLOCK! Don't Feed The Trolls! Mark (Talk) • (Contribs) 22:54, February 17, 2010 (UTC)

Assume good faith. Seriously, there are many examples of vandals stopping and actually doing good stuff after they realise what they did wasn't funny, that it was reverted right away and that vandalism is pointless. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 19:38, February 18, 2010 (UTC)
And not every IP who makes a mistake is a troll..... Chicken7 >talk 05:13, February 19, 2010 (UTC)

Comment-The vandalisim that they have done should be reverted and they should be given a warning.HOWEVER I think the warnings should be a lot less maby about 2? because if you have vandalised more than twice it probaly means they are doing it anoyy us.And yes a lot of vandals do just vandalise because they think its funny Evil Bob1 19:41, February 18, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I tend to trust the judgement of the admins on this wiki, and I think they can generally make good decisions on when to warn and when to block. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL Talk - Contribs 00:53, February 19, 2010 (UTC) 

Support-ish I do not think we should change the way things are done, but I just realized we do not have an actual policy against vandalism. I see that there is a section, here RS:CVU#What should be reported, but I think an actual page, and changing the undo screen to make it clearer (it is here). It can help with the many users reporting every edit that looks bad to the cvu, or people giving a template:novandal to everyone that makes a test edit. GZJHHBucket detail.pngrwojy 03:02, February 20, 2010 (UTC)

{{Rfc}} C.ChiamTalk 03:46, April 3, 2010 (UTC)

Removed RfC. C.ChiamTalk 03:46, April 17, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Blocking people is a matter of common sense, if someone adds a pointless "hello" to a page, that isn't a malicious edit, but if someone adds "shahed is dumb" to a page, it is blatantly obvious that is a malicious edit, If a blocking system covers the entire wiki, there will be problems as to what criteria does a specific user fit. We might as well introduce a zero-tolerance system to the vandals. If we just use common sense, most would know that it's overkill to give someone an indef for adding a "hello" in the middle of a section of text Explorer's ring 3.pngBtzkillerv has entered the building! Cape (blue).png 14:50, April 3, 2010 (UTC)

Update to proposal - Since it doesn't seem that a three-warning system is wanted, I would like to propose that all vandals get at least one warning before they are blocked. A zero tolerance system only scares people away from the wiki; people do make mistakes, you know. Ajraddatz Talk 15:04, April 3, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Take a look at this particular vandal whom I temporarily blocked:

  • (cur) (prev) 00:58, February 2, 2010 WikiBetch (Talk | contribs | block) (1,670,879 bytes) (undo)
  • (cur) (prev) 23:50, January 25, 2010 BCubed (Talk | contribs | block) (7,569 bytes) (undo)

1,670,879 bytes. Yes, that user added over one million @s to the article Moneymaking guide. I could hardly even revert the edit because of the huge lag I experienced when I checked to see what the edit was. I warned the user, but then the user attempted to add 300,000 more characters. I blocked the guy after that. Now I ask you all: would you have warned this user for adding a ridiculous amount of spam to an article, or would you have blocked him immediately? I question the possibility that adding over one million @s to an article, which would involve holding down the key for an incredibly long time, could be a mistake.  Tien  15:50, April 3, 2010 (UTC)

Something could have dropped on the keyboard, there could have been a computer error, or the person might have just been testing to see if he really could edit an article. My point is that we can afford to give them a chance. Ajraddatz Talk 15:58, April 3, 2010 (UTC)
I'm aware of RS:AGF, of course, but sometimes we just seem to take it too far.  Tien  16:20, April 3, 2010 (UTC)
We DO give them a chance, often times too many. Most of the sysops here are way too soft in my opinion. After there chance is gone, they get a few days (or weeks) to think about it. It's fine now. HaloTalk 16:22, April 3, 2010 (UTC)
Blocking criterias do allow change, if someone makes a VERY malicious edit, more than a simple insult, in this case a very big section of spam, then I don't think we need to warn them, they know it's wrong, and the fact that they have made a huge section of vandalism singles them out for blocks. Explorer's ring 3.pngBtzkillerv has entered the building! Cape (blue).png 17:35, April 3, 2010 (UTC)
I would have blocked him immediately. It's pretty much denial of service. We should always assume good faith, but sometimes (like in this case) it is ridiculous to assume that it was a mistake. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 20:51, April 3, 2010 (UTC)

Comment I can't agree to 'give a warning or else the block will be overturned'. I believe that an admin can use their own judgement in choosing when to warn, and when to block. Also, I'm thinking about making a proposal for Runescape:Vandalism, so we actually have an official policy about it. SPQFRBucket detail.pngrwojy 18:13, April 3, 2010 (UTC)

Wojwoj is right. The RfA process is intended to select those users who have displayed excellent judgement. The fact that almost alll (if not all) of our active administrators have passed a comprehensive RfA shows that we, as a community, have faith in their judgement. I think that the administrators can handle decided who gets blocked and who doesn't. Many edits are in the gray-zone between obvious vandalism and obvious good-faith, so it's really unfair to overturn an administrator's decision based solely on the number of warnings he/she gave. --LiquidTalk 15:36, April 4, 2010 (UTC)

The only reform I'd like to see is that vandals always get at least one warning before any block. Even if its something like putting a link to some porn site on a page, I'd say they should be warned. kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 15:42, April 4, 2010 (UTC)

That's what I'm proposing. Also, Wikipedia administrators go through a much more tedious request/nomination process than RS wiki admins, and they still need to follow a four-warning/block/warning/longer block system. I'm not suggesting that Wikipedia should be the basis for everything on this wiki, however they do have some good ideas (taking a look through this wiki's policies). Ajraddatz Talk 15:54, April 4, 2010 (UTC)
Oppose: I can tell you that I for one would not follow such a policy. Such an action as putting porn on a page is outright maliciousness and can be assumed to never be in good faith. Warning before blocking in cases of obvious maliciousness simply serves to allow the vandalism to continue for another 10 minutes or however long. Instead, I prefer short bans (escalating to longer on further offenses) with no warning in cases of obvious malicious intent. If they feel they were wrongfully blocked, they can argue against it on their talk page or just edit again in a day or two. If the argument is that we're driving away potential users, I would argue that users whose first act is to insert blatantly offensive material are users we can do without. Endasil (Talk) @  18:25, April 7, 2010 (UTC)

There have been a lot of proposals in the past to add consistency to our block policy, but they are usually shot down since they make administrators go through crippling mandatory actions (there was one proposal to have a point-based system that would have administrators needing to keep a tally of weighted "bad deeds" before administering a block) or they would prevent the use of common sense (or, more likely, we would just ignore the policy at times under RS:UCS). I think we can trust sysop actions, and if you have objections to how or why blocks have been performed, they should be discussed on a case-by-case or sysop-by-sysop basis. Endasil (Talk) @  18:25, April 7, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose Admins were given responsibilities for a reason. We should be trusted members of the community. For us to go through a lengthy process to block the vandal inserting the word penis into articles, is foolish ‎20px‎AtlandyBeer.png 18:28, April 7, 2010 (UTC)

Closed - The blocking policy and warning system will not be revised at this time. C.ChiamTalk 03:46, April 17, 2010 (UTC)