Administrators • Voting Center
Manual of Style
Blocking is the means by which an administrator prevents a user account or IP address from editing this wiki, used to prevent damage by dealing with vandalism and enforcing policies. Block duration may vary, depending on the severity and longevity of vandalism, but in most instances a block can be lifted if the editor agrees to stop the damaging behavior. Blocked users may not participate in a community discussion or voting until the block is lifted.
Because of the dynamic nature of IPs, and the related risk of collateral damage, most blocks should be in the range of 24 hours to 1 month, with exceptions noted below.
When considering blocking, it is important to remember the axiom "Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity," as article blanking may be just a well-meant attempt to expand the encyclopedia. Always assume good faith, but remember that the rules apply to everyone equally.
Grounds for blocking include:
- Vandalism, defined as any bad-faith edit made with the intent to lower the quality of the wiki or disrupt the functioning of the community. In most cases, users should be warned once to twice prior to blocking. The extent of the block should range from a week to a month in low severity cases.
- Spam: posting irrelevant spam links in articles, or creating articles which are entirely spam is grounds for a single warning prior to a ban if the violator continues.
- Page move vandalism, to change a page's name in bad faith or without the permission of the author, is grounds for a single warning prior to an indefinite ban.
- Users who disrupt the wiki (be it via changing other people's comments, making misleading edits, or harassing and insulting other users) may also be blocked. This may also include starting or participating in a "war", a massive argument on a talk page or blog that involves insults and bad-faith comments. However, if the "war" was started by a comment without bad intentions, for example, to say "I like Furno better than the Stormer", only the participants will be punished, with a warning. Cursing of any form, censored or not, is also not allowed, and is to be punished with one warning prior to a lengthy ban.
- Copyright violations: Users who continually post copyrighted material despite being warned should be blocked so as to prevent further violations.
- Users attacking other editors personally (in regards to anything) should be given one warning prior to a cool-off ban. The length of the ban is dependent on the severity of personal attacks.
- The posting of personal information regarding other people is unacceptable, and will be enforced with blocks. Users doing so should be warned, and blocked if they continue.
- Abuse of the media upload system. Users should be given at least one warning before being blocked.
- Sockpuppetry: Use of multiple accounts to have multiple vanity userpages, influence votes, or evade blocks will all result in infinite blocks being handed out to the duplicate account and a 1-week ban along with a warning to be dealt to the offender. However, to, say, use a duplicate account for the purposes of an April Fools Joke is acceptable, so long as that account is not used for bad intentions, such as the aforementioned. The Administration must be made aware of all sock-puppet accounts.
Users can also request that they are blocked themselves, for whatever amount of time and reason, though this should not count negatively towards their reputation, due to the fact that the block was not due to a policy violation. This is also not considered an abuse of power by an admin, since the block was requested. In this case, the blocked user should be able to still edit their talk page to request they be unblocked if needed, after which they are to be unblocked.
Administrators have the right to block anyone if it is evident that the person they are blocking is disrupting the community or making destructive edits to the wiki. However, an admin may unblock the user if they feel the block was unjustified. Administrators must give a reason for blocking users and that reason must be evident in the blocked user's edits. It is suggested that the administrator consult with another admin before blocking a user, although it is not necessary. Users can suggest that a user is banned if they see a reason for it, and the admins will make a final decision whether to ban the user or not. If an administrator bans someone without justified reason, it will be counted as an abuse of power and users may petition the admin for demotion.
Empty articles, stub pages, plagiarized articles, or articles in need of wikification that cannot be repaired may be quickly deleted by administrators. All others should be discussed on Category talk:Candidates for deletion or in that article's talk page until the community reaches a consensus. If an article that does not meet the requirements of the Manual of Style, it should be given the deletion template and/or (depending on the state of the article) the plagiarized template, stub template, adoption template, or the Wikify template. Most articles marked with these templates will be given a set time period before the staff delete it, giving the creator time to adapt it to the wiki's layout. Failure to do this in the designated time slot will result in the article's deletion. For more information on the handling of these articles, see Content Guidelines.
The deletion template or any others should NOT be removed unless the article has been improved or a decision has been reached.
Administrators may only delete a page that does not follow the content guidelines, Manual of Style, or Layout Guide. Deleting a page without reason is considered an abuse of power. Likewise, users should not nominate a page for deletion without a given reason. The exception to these rules is if a user should request that his or her pages be deleted, in which case it is perfectly acceptable.
A fully protected page is one which can only be edited by sysops. Pages which are fully protected can only be edited or moved by sysops. They may be protected for reasons including but not limited to the following:
- Pages in the MediaWiki namespace are protected by default, as vandalism of some messages would be extremely disruptive and a few messages can cause the software to stop working if they are changed.
- Protecting the Main Page from vandalism.
- Maintaining the integrity of the copyright and license pages.
- Protecting certain "system administration" pages such as the Policy pages.
- Enforcing a "cool down" period to stop an edit war. In such cases, protection is not an endorsement of the current version and any changes to be made should be discussed on the article's talk page. Protection should be lifted once it is safe.
- Protecting a page that has been a recent target of persistent vandalism. Protection should be lifted once it is safe.
- Preventing changes to a page while investigating a possible bug.
Pages which are semi-protected may be fully protected from being moved but not protected from editing, or protected from editing by unregistered or recently-registered users. Reasons for semi-protection include:
- Preventing the addition of vandalism from anonymous users.
- Preventing anonymous or potential sock puppet votes (as in the Voting Center).