About PCs Wiki:Banning policy

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A ban is a formal prohibition from editing all About PCs Wiki pages that can be applied to accounts by using a user group called "banned users" and adding it to the username. Bans can be imposed for a specified duration or an indefinite duration.

Bans are a possible outcome of dispute resolution. They may be imposed by a consensus of the community or by administrators. A ban is always a site ban (prohibiting all reading and editing on the wiki by the banned account).

Bans are different from blocks, which are used by administrators to technically prevent a user account or IP address from editing the About PCs Wiki. Blocks are used chiefly to deal with immediate problems such as vandalism, disruptive editing or edit warring. A ban, on the other hand, does not technically prevent editing; but it technically prevents using the site; the user will see a error message saying that they are banned from this wiki and will be redirected to a random website. The "back" button in the browser does not work to go back to this website.

Admins: How to ban users[edit | hide | hide all]

  1. Use the page Special:UserRights and enter the username of the user that will be banned.
  2. Add the "banned_users" user right to the account and an expiry time of the banned_users group or do not enter an expire time so it will be a "indefinite ban".
  3. Enter a reason
  4. Click "save user groups" for the account.
  5. Notiy the user that the user is banned (optional)

Authority to ban[edit | hide]

The decision to ban an editor can be made by the following groups or persons:

  1. The About PCs Wiki community can impose a ban by consensus.
  2. Administrators can impose a ban

Community bans and restrictions[edit | hide]

The community may reach a consensus to impose various types of sanctions on editors:

  • In some cases the community may review a block or an editor's unblock request and reach a consensus of uninvolved editors to endorse the block as a community sanction.
  • Editors who are indefinitely blocked by community consensus, or remain indefinitely blocked after due consideration by the community, are considered "banned by the About PCs Wiki community".

Community sanctions may be discussed on the About PCs Wiki:Administrators' noticeboard. Discussions may be organized via a template to distinguish comments by involved and uninvolved editors, and to allow the subject editor to post a response. Sanction discussions must be kept open for at least 3 days before any sanction is implemented to allow time for comments from a broad selection of community members. The discussion must be kept open for 72 hours except in cases where there is limited opposition and the outcome is obvious after 24 hours.

Duration of bans[edit | hide]

Bans are not intended as a short-term measure. Sometimes a ban may be for a fixed period of some months. More often no period is specified, because the ban is a decision that the editor may not edit or participate in the specified matters on this site.

Review and reversal of bans[edit | hide]

Banned editors should not create a new account to file an appeal or to post in a discussion. This would be considered sock-puppetry and the new account will be blocked indefinitely. They should be seen to comply with their ban, which will gain a more favorable opinion. Appeals and comments related to an existing ban should be submitted as described below.}}

Appeals of bans imposed by the community[edit | hide]

Bans imposed by the community may be appealed to the community.

  • Editors who cannot edit any page except their talk page may:
    • Post an appeal {{unblock}} template or comment there, by email or other off-site means and ask for it to be reposted to the appropriate discussion board. This is a voluntary act and should not be abused or used to excess.
  • In some cases, a banned editor may be unblocked for the purpose of filing an appeal. In such cases, editing of any unrelated page or other matter is grounds for immediate re-blocking.

Evasion and enforcement[edit | hide]

About PCs Wiki's approach to enforcing bans balances a number of competing concerns:

  • Maximizing the quality of the encyclopedia.
  • Avoiding inconvenience or aggravation to any victims of mistaken identity.
  • Maximizing the number of editors who can edit About PCs Wiki.
  • Avoiding conflict within the community over banned editors.
  • Dissuading or preventing banned editors from editing About PCs Wiki or the relevant area of the ban.

As a result, enforcement has a number of aspects. While all editors are expected to respect the enforcement of policies by not undermining or sabotaging them, no editor is personally obligated to help enforce any ban.

Bans apply to all editing, good or bad[edit | hide]

Editors are site-banned as a last resort, usually for extreme or very persistent problems that have not been resolved by lesser sanctions and that often resulted in considerable disruption or stress to other editors. A ban is not merely a request to avoid editing "unless they behave". The measure of a ban is that even if the editor were to make good edits, permitting them to edit in those areas is perceived to pose enough risk of disruption, issues, or harm, that they may not edit at all, even if the edits seem good

A number of site-banned editors have used "good editing" (such as anti-vandalism edits) tactically, to try and game the banning system, "prove" they cannot be banned, or force editors into the paradox of either allowing banned editing or removing good content. Even if such editors make only good edits, they will be rebanned for evasion.

On very rare occasions, a limited exception may be requested; for example, to participate in a particular discussion.

If there is any doubt whether a limited ban prohibits any specific edit, the banned editor should assume that it does, unless whoever imposed the ban expressly clarifies that it does not. If clarification is not sought before making the edit, the banned editor assumes the risk that an administrator takes a broader view of the scope of the ban and enforces it with a block or other sanction.

Blocks[edit | hide]

In the case of project-wide bans, the primary account of any banned editor may be entirely blocked for the duration of the ban. Partial bans may be backed up by partial blocks, but note that the scope of a ban is defined by its wording and not by the presence of partial blocks. Users that violate the terms of a partial ban may be site-wide blocked to enforce the ban.

If the banned editor creates sock puppet accounts to evade the ban, these usually will be blocked as well. When evasion is a problem, the IP address of a banned editor who edits from a static IP address may also be blocked for the duration of the ban. If a banned editor evades the ban from a range of addresses, short-term IP blocks may be used.

Reset of ban following evasion[edit | hide]

It is customary for the "ban timer" to be reset or extended if a banned editor attempts to edit in spite of the ban. No formal consideration is typically necessary. For example, if someone is banned for ten months, but on the sixth month attempts to evade the ban, then the ban timer may be reset from "four months remaining" to "ten months remaining", so if the editor does not subsequently evade the ban again, their eventual total duration would be 16 months. Repeated evasion may lead to a longer or more serious sanction.

An editor who has been banned or has had their account blocked, and tries to evade this by creating a new account, is known as a reincarnation of the old account. Obvious reincarnations are easily dealt with—the account is blocked and contributions are reverted or deleted, as discussed above. See sock puppet for policy on dealing with unclear cases.

Edits by and on behalf of banned editors [edit | hide]

User pages[edit | hide]

Banned editors' user and user talk pages should be updated with a notice of the ban, linking to any applicable discussion or decision-making pages. The purpose of this notice is to announce the ban to editors encountering the banned editor's edits. Indefinitely site-banned editors may be restricted from editing their user talk page or using email.

Further enforcement measures[edit | hide]

Serious, ongoing ban evasion is sometimes dealt with by technical means or by making an abuse complaint with the operator of the network from which the edits originate.

Difference between bans and blocks[edit | hide]

The standard distinction is that a ban is a social decision about the right to edit; a block is a technically imposed enforcement setting.

The Mediawiki software allows the ability to block editing of individual pages, known as a 'partial block', and sometimes this is used as a means of enforcing a specific set of ban conditions. However, bans such as topic bans or interaction bans still require human judgement to enforce and assess, and the presence or not of a partial block in furtherance of a topic ban or interaction ban should not be seen as a limitation on the scope of such a ban, which is defined by the wording of the ban and not of the presence or not of partial blocks. Editors who are banned from specific pages or topics must immediately cease editing these pages or topics. If they do not, then a block will be used to enforce the ban. Such a block will necessarily prevent their editing of the entire site, but they are not banned from the site and remain members of the community.

An editor who is "sitebanned" (which may sometimes be described as a "full ban") has been completely ejected from the wiki. For the duration of their ban, their edits are subject to reversion, although personal attacks towards them remain unacceptable.

Difference between bans and blocks
Category Blocked
(including "indefinite blocks")
Access to own talk page? Usually allowed unless abused No, except for some appeals
Imposing of block/ban May be imposed by any uninvolved admin May be imposed by the community or administrators; users may also be banned for repeated block evasion
Appeal and removal of block/ban May be lifted by any uninvolved admin, except CheckUser/oversight blocks Bans imposed by community consensus or for repeated block evasion may be lifted by community discussion

Effects of being banned[edit | hide]

When a banned user visit this site using the banned account, they will see a "You are banned from this wiki!" dialog box pop up, and will be shortly redirected to somewhere else, because the banned user should not visit the site. (This can be bypassed by disabling JavaScript in your browser or using a non-JavaScript browser) to allow using the site, but with javascript disabled, and most pages requires JavaScript to work.

  • Editing pages is harder with a banned account and javascript disabled, because no editing tools will be available, not even the editing toolbar, you will only get a textarea dialog without editing tools.
  • NO JavaScript tools will be available.

See also[edit | hide]