[Wikimedia-l] OFFICE actions and WMF image tagging

Nathan nawrich at gmail.com
Tue Jul 3 18:08:05 UTC 2012

I love it when people send e-mails to the public list, and purposefully
refrain from actually discussing the actual events at issue. You have to
read 3/4ths of the e-mail to get an idea that it's about someone being
blocked, but you still don't know why, when, or by whom.

Following the yellow brick road, however, leads you to discover that this
is about a global ban of user Beta_M, performed by the WMF as an office
action seemingly in March of this year. Phillipe, Maggie Dennis, Jimbo and
Sue have all weighed in on the issue, saying that they are unable to
disclose specifics for this case but that the decision was made by Sue in
consultation with the WMF general counsel.

So, can you say what it is about this that made you bring it up now, in

On Tue, Jul 3, 2012 at 1:52 PM, Theo10011 <de10011 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi
> I would like to bring up an issue with office actions that was brought up
> elsewhere. There has been an issue on commons with User:Saibo tagging
> images from WMF staff. He disagreed with a particular office action taken
> by WMF staff. He gives an explanation with relevant diffs here[1]. The
> issue is rather complicated, and the specifics of it seem to be in secret.
> And that is mostly the problem here. He asked for an explanation is several
> places, but so far, the response from Philippe, and the rest of the staff
> has been that office actions are not explained - that is the crux of the
> entire offered explanation.
> Office actions have historically been used to blank or delete pages, the
> current listed policy on Meta and commons[3][4] make no mention of Global
> bans or blocking a user locally, or even globally. I have not known for
> office actions to extend to users and global bans, the last I know was a
> discussion going on with Steven on Meta about this. This might be its first
> usage. The proposed policy[5] and open RfC[6], have not concluded yet. The
> RfC received comments just today. Is that proposed policy already being
> used on commons?
> Office actions, have been limited to blanking pages, though sometimes
> contentious, they have been exercised with caution. It is a different
> ball-game when it goes from just blanking a page, to instantly blocking a
> user globally, and giving no explanation to community members who have
> known that user for years. if it is stretched to banning a 2 year old user
> with no explanation beyond, "OFFICE ACTION" it is going to do more than
> just raise eyebrows. I understand the specifics of the issue here, but
> banning users with absolutely no explanation can not be this widely
> accepted.
> Regards
> Theo
> [1]http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Saibo/WMF
> [2]
> http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Philippe_(WMF)#Why_did_you_block_a_user_without_a_reason.3F
> [3]http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Office_actions
> [4]http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Commons:Office_actions
> [5]http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Global_bans
> [6]http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Request_for_comment/Global_bans
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