[Foundation-l] Global ban - poetlister?

Sue Gardner sgardner at wikimedia.org
Fri Jun 3 18:02:41 UTC 2011

On 3 June 2011 10:38, Scott MacDonald <doc.wikipedia at ntlworld.com> wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: foundation-l-bounces at lists.wikimedia.org [mailto:foundation-l-
>> bounces at lists.wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Sue Gardner
>> Sent: 03 June 2011 18:11
>> To: Wikimedia Foundation Mailing List
>> Subject: Re: [Foundation-l] Global ban - poetlister?
>> On 3 June 2011 10:00, Risker <risker.wp at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > I too would like to see the development of a process for global
>> banning of
>> > users who have created serious problems on either the global or the
>> > multiple-project level.
>> Is there something the Foundation could do to support that happening?
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> Sue,
> The first thing you could do is simply decree that the user known as
> poetlister is not welcome on any project controlled by the Foundation. This
> would be a precedent, but one in fairly unique circumstances (I'm sure
> Newyorkbrad is a better place to update you on them that I am. But I have no
> doubt you'll agree the need for a ban.)
> Then, if people don't like the precedent of a decree, charge the communities
> to develop an agreeable mechanism with appropriate checks and balances, to
> handle any future cases - with the caveat that there must be some provision
> that can global ban people such as this.
> Scott

Responding to Scott, and also MZMcBride earlier... I don't think the
Wikimedia Foundation could successfully make decrees to permanently
ban editors from all projects. It might be the right solution in some
cases, and many editors might welcome it, but it's not our appropriate
role and lots of editors would oppose it on principle for that reason.
And it doesn't scale. So whether or not it's the right thing to do, it
wouldn't work.

Having said that, the current situation seems pretty bad to me. I'm
not talking specifically about Poetlister, who I don't know much
about, but I've certainly seen a number of situations in which a bad
actor is banned from one wiki and reinvents himself on a smaller wiki
and continues to cause problems (as well as other variations on that
theme). IMO this is a known vulnerability of the small wikis.

But it's complicated, right. Because the small wikis obviously are
autonomous. And yet, all the wikis are interdependent, and their
choices affect each other.

I am wondering if the Wikimedia Foundation could facilitate or support
some kind of multiple-wiki convening (virtual or F2F) to help editors
share information and work towards policy on this. And yes, there is
also the technical piece of work that MZMcBride mentioned.


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