Template talk:Block

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I strongly suspect that there is no opposition to using this template in appropriate cases, so the experimental tag should be removed. --61.29.8.41 23:23, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Why not attempt to confirm your suspicion and determine whether there is consensus to use this template (not whether there is "no opposition"; that's not the same thing), as is the usual procedure? Powers (talk) 19:07, 26 January 2014 (UTC)
I could take it or leave it, but it's been sitting here over a year, so I do wish we would decide to either scrap the whole idea and delete it or else remove the tag and make it official. Texugo (talk) 17:03, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
We might as well keep this around - it isn't meant for use in mainspace, and while we don't really use lengthy blocks for anything but spambots, in the rare case where a long block is applied to a non-spambot account it can be useful to have a standard notification when an account has been blocked for a lengthy period. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:22, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
Our usual practice is to establish a consensus for a template to continue to exist, not to just "keep [them] around" because someone might someday find a good use for it. Powers (talk) 18:27, 6 February 2014 (UTC)
I'm in support of keeping this template around for reasons previously stated. No one has explicitly said they are opposed to keeping it, so is there opposition? If so let's put it on VFD and make a decision one way or the other, and if not let's remove the experimental tag. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:11, 25 February 2014 (UTC)
I don't think it's necessary and the principle of denying recognition to vandals suggests it may be counterproductive. I would not support creating it if someone was proposing it anew. Powers (talk) 15:16, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't use it for vandal-only accounts, but rather for the cases where we have formally banned the user. --Rschen7754 19:37, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
I placed this template at the top of User talk:Normsdale yesterday before realizing it was still experimental. I think it is a useful indicator to anyone planning to leave a talk page message that the user in question has engaged in bad faith behavior and been blocked as a result. I think it is only useful in cases where there might be confusion, as with this user who made some contributions of questionable value before engaging in page move vandalism. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:51, 26 February 2014 (UTC)
I guess I assumed such users would have a talk page message that explained the reason for their banning, but I can see where a notice at the top of the page could be helpful. On the other hand, it could be a bit of a scarlet letter. Powers (talk) 01:14, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

VfD

  • Keep. This template has been flagged experimental since July 2013 and discussion at Template talk:Block has been inconclusive, so listing here to gain some closure one way or another. The template is useful to provide a standardized message on accounts that have been permanently blocked, and is commonly used on other wikis. It would not need to be used for every vandalism-only account, but does provide value when the account has made non-vandalism edits, such as User talk:Normsdale. On a tangentially related note, the original discussion about flagging templates as "experimental" was primarily motivated by a desire to keep templates from being used to implement undiscussed policy changes, mainspace changes, and to prevent duplicate templates from being created, and this template does none of those things. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:07, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Keep, but I don't understand the idea of nominating something for deletion if you want it kept. It would seem to me, the place to discuss removing the experimental tag is at the talk page of the template. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:23, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
    As noted above there has been ongoing discussion at Template talk:Block that has been inconclusive. Requesting additional feedback via Wikivoyage:Requests for comment had no effect. If there is another suggestion for actually gaining some closure (deletion or removal of the experimental tag) I'd be happy to do so, but otherwise it seems like VFD is the only remaining option. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:32, 2 March 2014 (UTC)
I see. There's one person who's demurring. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:48, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
  • Delete I'm not in agreement with the standard scarlet letter practice carried over by Wikipedia culture. First, there's the block log, second there's the message from the header of Special:Contributions, and third attempts to communicate with the user via the edit button produces an already fairly large banner at the top saying the user is blocked. I think that those methods give enough indication as to whether someone is blocked or not. If you must keep track of blocked accounts on Wikivoyage, there's always Special:BlockList, or you can create a category called "Wikivoyage blocked accounts" and just categorize the userpages of said users accordingly.
    • On Template talk:Block there were some suggestions it be used for something other than vandalism or spam - for example in cases of bans. Per Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits#User ban, I'm not really comfortable with the idea of socially banning a user from Wikivoyage; it's like how in Wikipedia you're extremely afraid of offending the user next to you filing some frivolous RFC/U request or running off to ANI at the slightest perception of incivility. Wikivoyage's lax atmosphere let us have freer reign to what we say and do. And bans are only supposed to be used as a last resort anyway. Surely, if bans are so rare, if we were to actually formally ban a user, would it not be more appropriate to write out a notice yourself on the user's userpage pointing to the ban discussion, the reason for the ban, and so forth? The template is unnecessarily impersonal and offensive to the person so banned, and the large red X is quite intimidating to other users seeing it.
    • To be clear, I am not against using blocks, I am against using bans. Because next thing you know, we'll have to setup some sort of Arbitration Committee or other Wikipedia-esque bureaucracy in case people want to appeal such things... TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 01:22, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
  • TeleComNasSprVen makes a good point; the fact that the user is blocked is clearly displayed when editing the talk page, so what additional purpose does the template achieve? Powers (talk) 13:26, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, that is a good point. I'd like to see it addressed. Ikan Kekek (talk) 13:39, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
It is very rare that an account that has made good contributions is permanently blocked, and will most likely only occur with some of the more creative trolls, in which cases people will invariably see the user's contributions in an article history at some point and follow-up. I don't think we should force those users to edit the user talk page or read through several sections on the talk page to figure out what's going on - when I am looking at contributions on Wikipedia I will often look at a user's talk page but would probably never start to edit that page, but luckily there is usually a template at the top of the talk page that provides a quick indication that the account was used for malicious editing and thus clears up any confusion immediately. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:56, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
But if you're not intending to leave the user a message (by editing the talk page), why does it matter if the user is blocked or not? And why are you at the user's talk page at all if you aren't going to either edit the page or "read through several sections"? I'm just trying to figure out what the use case is here. Powers (talk) 19:12, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
This is a side note, but whether intentional or not it is very frustrating that there are so many discussions lately where someone essentially says "this is something that I think is a good idea or find useful" and that position does not seem to be taken at face value, or seems to be opposed for reasons that are not stated. Contributing here should be fun, and these endless, open-ended discussions about fairly trivial issues where something is opposed just enough to leave the discussion inconclusive, and that opposition seems to come from individuals who don't actually seem to have strong feelings on the matter, are most definitely not fun. I don't mean to single out LtPowers since this is a response to his comment, but I really think we need to try harder to not say "no" so often, particularly with respect to minor matters, and to work harder to propose compromises in cases where opposition really is warranted.
To get back to the subject at hand, if I am patrolling or looking at edit history and see something questionable, I'm going to investigate to understand better. That usually entails going to a talk page to see if others have had positive/negative interactions with a user. An unambiguous "block" notice at the top of the talk page for someone who would not otherwise be immediately identified as a malicious editor saves me time - I can unequivocally state that such a notice would be helpful to me. Other advantages of this template have been cited, but the informational value is why I added it to User talk:Normsdale and why I strongly believe it would be useful in similar future situations. To the point about it being a "scarlet letter", I am not concerned whether or not it might be embarrassing for someone to have such a note on their talk page if they tried to disguise obviously malicious edits by also making non-malicious edits. However, this template isn't important enough to spend hours and hours debating, so if people don't want this template used for some reason, or don't believe that I'm being genuine when I say that I would find it useful, let's get rid of it rather than engaging in yet another endless circular debate. -- Ryan • (talk) • 19:53, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Don't worry though, I don't mean to be demeaning here, but compared to Wikivoyage, Wikipedia has had lots of years debating (perhaps uselessly) over the legitimacy of this template and "scarlet letter" practices, so the arguments hashed out here have really been nothing new. I can definitely understand and accept the potential usefulness some may see for this template - which is after all what kept its counterpart on Wikipedia all these years - but I don't think the potential benefits are worth keeping the template. I believe it is a contributor to some of the claustrophobic social atmosphere on Wikipedia, where everyone is looking over your shoulder and ready to accuse you of all manner of evil things if you step out of line with the rest of the majority. (Not just a reply to Ryan, btw.)TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 20:14, 3 March 2014 (UTC)
Ryan, I'm certainly not opposed to this template, but I think more explanation is needed for why you'd be looking at the talk page of an indefinitely blocked user, and I can indeed think of such a scenario, which elaborates on what you posted above: Suppose you found a questionable edit and then saw that the editor's talk page showed they are banned for vandalism: that could tip you toward reverting or deleting such an edit. I think that establishes the potential usefulness of this template. And since it won't be used except in extreme cases, I am having trouble understanding why we should be concerned about embarrassing, say, vandals. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:01, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I should point out that I haven't actually taken a strong position one way or the other on the specific topic of this template. I'm asking questions because I want to know if there's something I'm missing. I see the usefulness, though it seems like a bit of an edge case, and I'd be curious if there's any way to mitigate the badge of honor / scarlet letter issues. There's also the issue of needing some sort of guidelines on when to use this template and when not to, perhaps at Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits. Powers (talk) 01:22, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
  1. For obvious vandalism and/or spam we can always apply Wikipedia:Deny recognition: revert, block on sight, and simply ignore them, no template necessary.
  2. However, as proposed above and on the talkpage of the template, it's going to be used only in extreme cases, presumably those cases which are not obvious vandalism, such as banned contributors. I've outlined my reasons against bans in general above, but more importantly problematic contributors who were banned for issues other than vandalism or spam often have a chance to come back into the community. Instead of having them resent the community for the rest of their stay here, we should try to extend our patience enough to channel their efforts into more productive means, should they decide to return. Since these are rare cases, a simple statement at the top of their userpage linking to the ban discussion and reasons for ban should prove sufficient, the impersonalized and rarely used template rendered quite superfluous. TeleComNasSprVen (talk) 03:56, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Result: Kept. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:29, 19 March 2014 (UTC)