[Foundation-l] Global ban - poetlister?

Phil Nash phnash at blueyonder.co.uk
Sat Jun 4 23:59:45 UTC 2011

George Herbert wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 3:00 PM, phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>> On Sat, Jun 4, 2011 at 8:30 AM, David Gerard <dgerard at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>>> On 4 June 2011 15:42, MZMcBride <z at mzmcbride.com> wrote:
>>>> I think it's a fairly dangerous precedent to have the Wikimedia
>>>> Foundation involved in making individual decisions about who can
>>>> and can't edit.
>>> They certainly can determine who can and can't use the servers they
>>> are custodians of.
>> Frankly, it's not just a question of who has the power to press the
>> BANNED button; who at the WMF do you think should or has time to sit
>> around and review the actions of every cross-project problematic user
>> in every language and decide? We do need to have some sort of clear
>> mechanism to make and review complaints, and there's simply not those
>> processes (yet) on a global level. As both a community member and
>> someone who needs to worry about WMF resources, I want to see a
>> distributed and scalable process for this sort of thing, one that
>> involves, serves, and is transparent to the community. If having WMF
>> office actions to do global (b)locks is helpful or necessary,
>> especially for these few totally bad actors, fine; but I don't
>> personally see that as the starting point for a sustainable system.
>> Do you?
>> However, as Sue stated earlier in this thread, the WMF is concerned
>> about this issue, wants to help, and I think further ideas about the
>> areas in which the WMF could help would be super, especially in
>> conjunction with community efforts.
>> -- phoebe
> These are all good questions, and I think that it's healthy to be
> careful about this.
> With that said, we ban (block) people by the unfortunate hundreds a
> day on en.wikipedia, ban (community ban) them once every few weeks,
> ban (arbcom ban) once every few months.  We ban (BANNINATE- Poetlister
> grade) less than once a year.
> I would be appalled if anyone tried to escalate any of the "normal"
> bans we do to the Foundation for global action.  But in the very rare
> special cases...

There seems to be a confusion here between a block and a ban. Knowing the 
difference used to be (if it is not still) an important question on an RfA. 
Blocks are commonplace, for very many more reasons than bans occur, simply 
because a ban is directed towards either gross and continued behaviour, 
which may be laid at the door of an individual person, whereas blocks are 
temporary and do not necessarily prevent an editor creating a new account, 
even if a single editor is identifiable. SUL has arguably made editors' 
actions more visible across WMF projects, but to be honest, any savvy vandal 
would be well able to evade scrutiny.

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