[WikiEN-l] No more blocking people for who they *are*?

Delirium delirium at hackish.org
Wed Feb 8 00:06:43 UTC 2006

charles matthews wrote:

> "Steve Bennett" wrote
>> Could we agree
> not to ever again block people for what they are?
> Easy to say that in the context that Wikipedia is not under siege, and 
> has its reputation pretty much intact.  What about the guy who arrives 
> in the middle of an election and annouces "I'm being funded to remove 
> all your bias on candidates' pages"?

I don't see why that would require preemptive banning.  If he makes 
problematic edits, they can be reverted; if he starts ignoring usual 
community standards, e.g. by refusal to discuss on talk pages or 
excessive reverts, he can be banned.

There are cases where preemptive banning makes some sense, mainly 
obvious reincarnations of banned users and malicious bot-created 
accounts.  In the latter, this is mainly because the potential damage a 
botnet can inflict in a short amount of time is quite large, so waiting 
around and cleaning up afterwards is an unappealing option.

In a case like the one you described, though, the potential damage to 
Wikipedia's reputation from being too ban-happy far outweighs the 
relatively minor inconvenience of waiting a bit to see if banning is 
really necessary.  The clean-up there would consist of reverting a 
handful of pages.


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