Wikivoyage:User ban nominations

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User bans are put into practical effect by using a Mediawiki software feature to block edits to any page (except pages in that banned user's user talk namespace) by the banned user.

Add nominations for user blocks to the list below, but please do so only after reviewing Project:How to handle unwanted edits. After a nomination has been made, the nominator is responsible for ensuring that appropriate notice is given on the allegedly delinquent User's Talk page of the nomination made here.

In general the preferred way of handling problem users is through the use of soft security. In the case of automated spam attacks the Project:Spam filter can also be a valuable tool for stopping unwanted edits.

For a history of older nominations see Project:User ban nominations/Archive.


  • This user started by (not proposing, just) changing the districtification of Lima without the least discussion (SHOUTING that we're all wrong and he is right, and after some edit warring "ohh, I'm so sorry for the inconvenients"). After that, he almost made a serious mess on our breadcrumb structure, trying to change "Nazca" to "Nasca", "Cuzco" to "Cusco", "Havana" to "La Habana" ("ohh, I'm so sorry, I didn't know about the English spellings"). When the Lima edit warring resumed, he was blocked. On my opinion, he means well, but his attitude and lack of English writing skills present a serious obstacle for him to contribute on English Wikivoyage. I hope this timeout may serve him good meditating time. Ibaman (talk) 18:16, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
    • For the record it appears that one of the first things he did (besides edits to Lima and Peru) over at Spanish Wikivoyage was an edit war over whether or not one needs a passport for visiting the Falkland Islands... He seems to be at it again Hobbitschuster (talk) 18:43, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Checked. So, the guy is more interested on building a reputation of troublemaker (and a not very smart or well-informed one, it seems) than on writing reliable travel guides. I told you, guys, how this pickle reminds me of Frank/Alice/Telstra. Ibaman (talk) 19:07, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
  • The contribution history of this user speaks for itself. Edit warring, doing major changes to article structures (Central America/North America, Cuzco/Cusco, Havana etc.) without asking first, attitude towards policies and other Wikivoyagers (and their work — articles, spellings, article structures haven't come about by accident) comparable to that of a teenage shoplifter. This user needs to understand and accept that this is a collaborative project and not a personal website; at the moment it looks like he/she doesn't do that. ϒpsilon (talk) 19:14, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
  • This was the conclusion that I was really hoping we would avoid. I personally had the impression that they were a 'bull in a china shop' rather than a deliberate troublemaker, but irrespective of motivation the edits seemed to be doing us more harm than good. I'm hoping future contributions will be more modest until they are familiar with the community processes. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:17, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I propose removing Turbo8000's autoconfirmed status in order to make future bans less likely : Wikivoyage_talk:Autoconfirmed_users#Remove_automatic_autocomfirmed_status_for_users_who_make_consistently_bad.2Fincorrect_edits.3F --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:20, 19 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment User bans are a big deal, so when a user is being banned for something other than obvious vandalism or spamming it is very, very important that the ban nomination provides sufficient details as to why the user is being banned. That includes diffs demonstrating the problem behavior, and a reference to whatever policy was violated justifying a ban (thanks Hobbitschuster for adding a diff in your comments). I haven't been online a lot in the past couple of days so I don't know what escalated this particular situation from "difficult user" to "banned user", but the nomination should make that clear (honestly, this nominations reads like a rant and does not reflect well on our admins). Based solely on this nomination my opinion would be to oppose a ban, but I am assuming that something has happened to escalate the situation and will defer to those who have been more actively watching things. That said, I'm concerned that bans aren't being taken as seriously as they should be - that's not to say that they shouldn't be used, but the potential for abuse becomes too great if we allow them to be used without requiring proper justification. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:55, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I think a 3-day block is reasonable. This user has repeatedly edit-warred over largescale changes like the district structure of Lima and largely ignored a series of posts to his/her user talk page, as shown more by the fact of the repeated posts than the typed reaction to them on that page. If you look at Talk:Lima and Talk:Spanish phrasebook, you'll get some of the flavor of the user's comments, and plenty of discussion (in the former) of the user's repeated changes without waiting for a consensus. You also may want to look at the edit history of the Lima article, which is one of the places where edit warring and unilateral large-scale changes have taken place. this history is another relevant one. Basically, the problems so far in Turbo8000's behavior consist of: (1) edit warring and making large substantive changes to articles without first attaining a consensus (including but by no means limited to unilateral spelling changes); (2) using insulting language toward other users. Turbo8000 is a very active user, and I hope that from now on, s/he will work collaboratively and help improve the site, but we probably needed at least a day if not more to decide what to do about the largescale unilateral changes s/he had made without the risk of more edit warring (in addition to the fact that people were getting tired of taking abuse from this user, which can come at any moment). Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:17, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
    • I do agree that the justification of a user ban should have been more detailed. Additionally the past week showed that simply protecting the Lima pages were sufficient to get Turbo8000 to talk, so that course of action would have been preferable before the ban. (perhaps with future problem contributors as well)
    • I will personally keep trying to work with this user with the aim of avoiding such bans in future. Although I didn't support the ban, I would say the community as a whole has actually made a strong effort to try and accommodate Turbo8000 whereas in the past a faster ban may have taken place. Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:35, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
The problem with protecting a page for x number of days is that disrupts other people's (i.e. those who are not admins) work too. A ban only disrupts the person banned. --ThunderingTyphoons! (talk) 11:00, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the correct order of operations 1) propose the ban, then 2) get consensus for the ban, and then 3) implement the ban? Powers (talk) 18:41, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
  • As the editor who started this topic, I ought to testify about it. As I blocked the guy (he's already declared himself to be a man), Ikan Kekek proposed that I explain it here. If the community were to ask me, I really hope that his conscience kicks in, and that he can learn to use a sandbox and to bring himself to dialog with us fellow editors. Ibaman (talk) 18:51, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
Ibaman, I'm sorry to say that you're not describing my words precisely. Powers is correct. I said something similar, though more gently, as anyone can see at the beginning of User talk:Ibaman#Length of block:
Hello, my friend. Do I understand correctly that User:Turbo8000's first block is 1 week long? Isn't the first block supposed to be no longer than 3 days and agreed upon or at least explained at Wikivoyage:User ban nominations?
Given that you had already set the block (initially for 1 week), I didn't want to insist that you rescind the entire block in order to wait for consensus, but the correct procedure, as previously established, is in fact to get consensus for the ban before executing it (unless it's for obvious spambots and vandalism-only accounts). It would have been more appropriate for you to block him for 24 hours for edit warring and being disruptive and proposed a 3-day ban during that period. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:28, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
  • I apologize for the hasty actions. I got really annoyed with Turbo's actions and incivility. I'm aware that I overreacted. Should I lift his block right now? Ibaman (talk) 19:33, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
  • * You were trying to do the right thing Ibaman, and I appreciate you helping in what was a difficult situation. I would say let the (3 day) ban stand for now, and we follow the defined procedures if this happens again (which of course we hope it will not) Andrewssi2 (talk) 19:53, 20 January 2016 (UTC)
I have changed my mind. Turbo8000 is continuing his edit war on MediaWiki by changing the Lima district map to his own. Bans are to be taken seriously, but this is now where we find ourselves.
It is apparent they have no desire to work with us, but instead to undermine the community at every possible chance. Seriously Talk:Lima tells us all we need to know.
I would ask that we extend this ban by 1 more week. Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:14, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
In addition to extending his ban, would anyone who's also an administrator at Commons consider blocking his privileges there as well? Should we ask stewards for a global block on him? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:25, 21 January 2016 (UTC)
That would be a bit hasty. The Commons rule that one should not simply replace contested information but upload a new file may not have been known to him. He hasn't done anything on Commons to justify a block. Powers (talk) 01:38, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
I didn't claim that he violated Commons policy (otherwise I would have contested this there). He uploaded that file specifically to change Wikivoyage content on Lima. Admittedly we rarely if ever need to look at this aspect of edit warring, but the impact on Wikivoyage is the same. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:49, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
Meanwhile, though, if he did violate a Commons rule, it would be good if he were informed of that and requested not to do so again. Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:56, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

Turbo8000 - second try[edit]

I don't believe that I got enough consensus for an extended ban and the existing ban is set to expire soon, so in the spirit of "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst" I would propose:

1) Leave a message on Turbo8000 talk page explaining (again) that edit warring is not good, and to discuss any changes on the Peru/Lima talk pages

2) Any attempt to edit war again will be met with a 1 week ban

Any objections? Andrewssi2 (talk) 08:33, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

No objection from me, but I think it should also be explained that that also extends to not substituting images or other information on Commons or Wikidata for images or other content that is currently used on Wikivoyage, including maps. Such actions are also disruptive to Wikivoyage and grounds for another, longer suspension. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:36, 22 January 2016 (UTC)
No objection from me either. Ibaman (talk) 10:56, 22 January 2016 (UTC)

New problems from User:Turbo8000[edit]

He's at it again! And here's a warning that if he does this kind of thing once more, he'll be suspended for a week. He can't be allowed to continue edit warring and making unilateral spelling changes to city names. Do I have any objection to enforcing a 1-week ban if he continues this kind of behavior? I hope not, but if you object, now's the time to explain why. Ikan Kekek (talk) 19:58, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

Frankly, I think there's an argument for this being a VOA, which earn indefinite bans. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:00, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
What does "VOA" stand for? To me, that's "Voice of America". Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:23, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
I am guessing "vandalism only account", though I am not sure as there are too damn many TLAs around the www; not all of them from the USA, though Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:27, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
We are dealing with someone who is both very young and doesn't yet have advanced English comprehension skills. They are vandalising due to inexperience rather than by motivation to be a vandal.
I'd support a 1 week ban on any further edit warring. Not indefinite at this time. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:33, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
TLAs? Anyway, no, I wouldn't agree that this is a vandalism-only account, and wouldn't support an indefinite ban. This is a person with particular points of view who takes part in various substantive discussions. I don't think that's how someone with a vandalism-only account behaves. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:35, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
Being a travel site, VOA of course means Visa On Arrival :). Seriously, though, I think it would be good if someone reasonably proficient in Spanish could have a discussion with this user. No objection to a week-long ban. ϒpsilon (talk) 20:42, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
"Vandalism-only account" is the acronym, yes. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:50, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
No, I did not change the spelling, I added the word Cusco. Is there a problem is I add a word with the CORRECT spelling? Turbo8000 21:17, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
Everyone can see that you changed the spelling from Cuzco to Cusco, and regardless of what you consider "correct", yes it is a problem for you to change the spellings of place names without having first convinced a consensus on Wikivoyage to agree with you. And it's not like we haven't discussed this before, extensively. I realize English is not your first language, but is it really possible you didn't understand this yet? If so, I trust that you do now and won't do this again. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:00, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
User:Turbo8000 : You are aware of this specific point because you were in the discussion here : Talk:Cuzco#Name . Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:41, 23 January 2016 (UTC)
I think our only active user in Category:User es-4 or Category:User es-N is User:Simon Peter Hughes. Powers (talk) 19:35, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
A new edit war here. I have blocked for one week as per the discussion above. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:16, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
By the way, that wasn't the only new edit war. See the history of Lima, specifically [ these unilateral changes to the spelling of Cuzco, but also another edit which was not damaging but wasn't really explained (how was it a "fix"?) and could fairly be interpreted as further edit warring. Ikan Kekek (talk) 23:45, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for detailing that. We did let that one slide out of a desire (I guess) to give them every possible chance. Despite the angry reaction to the ban I'm still willing to try and work with them. Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:51, 24 January 2016 (UTC)
Concur with a ban. Just found a change from Havana to Le Havana on the Quito page, and a random insert of Lima on the El Salvador page.TomNativeNewYorker (talk) 11:13, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
Please link the edits in question, so that we can see when they were done. If they were done before the previous block, they will not trigger a new block. However, if they are new, it's important for us to look at them. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:33, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
OK, this edit is from 17 January. Thank you for reverting it, but it will not trigger a new block. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:35, 6 February 2016 (UTC)
This one is also from 17 January. Ikan Kekek (talk) 12:36, 6 February 2016 (UTC)

2016-03-04 incident[edit]

I took the liberty of indefbanning this user due to the following extremely problematic diff at Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress. Of course this user had been on our radar screen for some time due to his consensus-defying edits to various articles related to Peru, but in the above edit the user 1) promised in no uncertain terms to continue his campaign of spelling changes for as long as the bans we gave him were of finite duration, which arguably makes him an "obvious vandal" per Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits#User ban (2nd bullet point from the top), and more germane to the ban rationale, 2) he referred to various Wikivoyage editors collectively by an ethnic slur, which inarguably violates the same bullet point as the foregoing.

Apologies for taking unilateral action here, but the fact that we were willing to pussyfoot around with this user for so long a time is an extremely dismaying development, which strongly implies that we've learned little or nothing from our experiences with the sockpuppeteer in charge of the Alice/Frank/118.93nzp/Ttcf accounts.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:08, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

Sometimes we need to "pussyfoot" because it is unfair to expect new contributors to understand our policies and processes right away. It would be fair to say however that the attempts to reach out to this individual have run out, and there is no profit in more attempts given this latest incident. I just feel sorry for Spanish Wikivoyage that have to deal with him now. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 20:32, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Granted, but I would hope most of us here are savvy enough to distinguish between honest newbie mistakes and bad intentions. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:37, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't see any bad intentions here beyond a complete refusal to consider other points of view (and the insult, of course). Turbo's intentions were to improve the travel guide, and he made several productive edits to that end. It's a shame he doesn't understand how collaboration works, but I refuse to be chastised for giving a productive editor a chance to prove he can change the way he interacts with the community. Powers (talk) 20:46, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree, and I also find it a problematic development that an admin who has a rather firm opinion on userbans unilaterally overrules other admins when they choose to put an escalated but not indefinite ban in place. It's perfectly acceptable to start a user ban nomination when you don't agree, and some good arguments can be made in this case, but it should have been a nomination. Regardless of your interpretation of our ban policy, that page also states: If there is any doubt as to whether a nomination is needed before blocking a user, admins should err on the side of caution and add a nomination to the Project:user ban nominations page. The fact that you're overruling at least two of your colleagues should give you some doubt about the need for a quick discussion, imho. JuliasTravels (talk) 21:01, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
As a non-Admin, I'm not sure I should comment here, but I see him as a well-intentioned, passionate, immature person. Actually, he didn't say he would continue his activities after a finite ban: he said he would leave forever. I would have preferred to see how a 2-week ban played itself out. The term gringo is not, AFAIK, an ethnic slur, especially in Peru: giving him the benefit of the doubt, I would translate gringos ignorantes as "ignorant foreigners." And that certainty that he is right and we are wrong is the crux of his problems with en-Wikivoyage. Peter Chastain (talk) 21:02, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it is a terrible insult, but "gringo" is an ethnic slur no matter how you translate it. It is used often in a very light hearted manner, which you could argue was the intent here. Andrewssi2 (talk) 21:17, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Call it a problematic development all you want, JuliasTravels, but this isn't the first time, nor am I the only admin, who has handled a userban in this way. The deficiencies in policy combined with the unrealistic approach of some admins to the issue of problem editors has made unilateral action a practical necessity in some cases. (And in that vein, regarding Powers' comments above: I don't know nor do I care which particular editor or editors advocated for Turbo to be given the benefit of the doubt, so if you feel personally attacked, please don't. My comments were regarding the attitude of the community as a whole, which leave the impression that we don't take vandalism, incivility, and violations of consensus seriously, which was also the cause of the Alice/Frank/118/Ttcf issue.) The solution to the problem of frustrated admins (again, not only me) taking unilateral action on userbans and only notifying this page after the fact, is to bring policy in line with reality.
Regarding overruling two colleagues, mine was the first action taken against Turbo since the edit I cited in my original post was made (note that he placed his edit above Ibaman's previous edit, out of chronological order). Regarding "my interpretation of policy" and "if there is any doubt", I don't know how much more clear-cut you can get. Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits says "An obvious vandal is someone who is clearly here to edit maliciously", and I don't know how else you can interpret "And I'll still do it" other than as a clear statement of intention to edit maliciously. Again, if policy were as it should have been we would have already indefbanned Turbo for his previous transgressions, but regarding these new ones which I highlighted in my original post - particularly the ethnic slur, about which I disagree with Andrewssi2 as it was clearly not made in a lighthearted way - even the current, relatively toothless policy speaks very clearly, with little or no room for "doubt".
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 21:19, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

Just to give my two cents, in my experience "gringo" is hardly ever intended to be an insult all by itself. It sure does have ethnic connotations (roughly "Western foreigner, American"), but many terms in Latin America do. Maybe he was unaware that the approach towards flippant or (depending on context) offensive terms that are based on ethnicity or physical appearance is very difficult in the Anglosphere from the Spanish speaking world. For instance "Chino" is a more or less "normal" term for any person of "Asian" appearance regardless of ancestry or nationality. Whether it is perceived as offensive by those it is applied to, I don't know, but it is hardly ever meant as offensive. Anyway, he should have been treading with caution which he didn't. He should have been well aware off the reaction he would get to the Nasca/Nazca business and he still proceeded. This merits a penalty (if only for the extreme stupidity which it displays), but I am not sure an indefban is the way forward. On the other hand, I find it hard to believe this user would ever cease being a headache... Hobbitschuster (talk) 21:45, 4 March 2016 (UTC)

IMO, this incident highlights a weakness of the en-Wikivoyage administrative process, compared to Wikipedia. There, a graduated series of warnings is given, and an editor who gets to level 4 can be blocked by any Admin. Here, we have decided to dispense with warning templates (on the theory of not "rewarding" vandals with feedback, IIRC). It would be unthinkable for a site as big as WP to hold discussions on uncontroversial blocks, and as WV grows, that might eventually be the case here. That said, the purpose of a WP block is to preserve the integrity of the site and keep peace within the community, not punishment or redress. I suspect that at WP, this editor would have been given at most a short vacation. Peter Chastain (talk) 23:27, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
Wikivoyage tends to regard incivility as a far more serious offense than Wikipedia does (which, given phenomena like this, is likely a very good thing). In my reading, the reason for the intensity of the reaction against Turbo (by myself and others) is not so much the problem edits themselves but the combative and defiant tone he took when advised of how to do things differently.
It's inevitable that newbies will make mistakes, but the other side of the coin is that until they're more comfortable with how Wikivoyage works in terms of consensus and other things, they have to be willing to learn and to take constructive criticism. The vast majority of newbies have no problem doing this, and in my opinion, it's rather insulting to those new editors who behave civilly and contribute constructively for us to let off one who doesn't with little more than a slap on the wrist.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:37, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict)Let me just add at this point that I think uncivil behavior breeds uncivil behavior and if allowed to proliferate can do much more harm to a wiki than simple vandalism. Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:44, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict, response to Peter Chastain) There was an effort made to put in exactly the sort of process you've described (Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits#Escalating user blocks), but for whatever reason it hasn't really caught on; it would be extremely helpful if people could review that process. We definitely need to improve our handling of these types of situations - on the one hand, we lose good editors when they get overly frustrated by having to work with users who aren't willing to collaborate. On the other hand, we need to ensure that appropriate steps are followed when working with well-intentioned but difficult users. No one should ever see a user block applied and wonder whether it was applied inappropriately. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:42, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
I honestly don't know why this is controversial. I pointed to two clauses in Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits#User ban regarding grounds for immediate indefbans (i.e. superseding the escalating user blocks scheme), both of which very clearly applied to Turbo. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 23:44, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
There is disagreement that the two clauses you've cited "very clearly" applied in this case. I disagree that the user's edits were malicious and that the use of "gringo" was meant as an ethnic slur. That said, I think Turbo has received sufficient warning and explanation of why his edits were problematic that a further block was probably warranted; my concern is mainly ensuring that we are following a process that makes it clear why a block is applied, and that we don't have to argue about whether someone is misinterpreting site guidelines by applying a block. -- Ryan • (talk) • 23:50, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
I just found this edit of his, which clearly indicates bad faith, no matter how you spin it... Hobbitschuster (talk) 23:51, 4 March 2016 (UTC)
I don't buy the arguments against "gringo" as ethnic slur - Wikipedia regards it as one - but even if we were to take that as true, it at least qualifies as name-calling, which is a demonstration of bad faith and incivility, and also ought to take care of the equally incredulous argument that the user is "well-intentioned but immature". -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:05, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

(indent reset) (edit conflict) I think "bull in a China shop" is not an unfair characterization of his behavior. What of this is intentional I don't know. But it is kind of hard to assume the best of intentions with what he has done. It almost appears as if he wants to get banned. Hobbitschuster (talk) 00:14, 5 March 2016 (UTC)

Having read all of the above, It looks like the decision to ban, and the diffs provided offer adequate reason to block, without ewven taking the gringo item into account. Any editor on any wiki project that offers edit war without any apology as given by the diff from Hobbitschuster needs to be shown the door. JarrahTree (talk) 00:22, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
To be clear, I don't object to the indef ban. I object to the characterization that the initial non-indefinite block constituted "pussyfooting". The application of an immediate indefinite block must be reserved for truly vandalism-only accounts. Powers (talk) 21:27, 5 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree. Once the user in question showed clearly that he would not moderate his behavior, I don't think we continued bending over backwards for him much. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:37, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
It could have been handled with less controversy had we followed Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits, where a warning and then 3-month ban would have been sufficient to get to where we are now. I sympathise with the position of not dealing with obvious time wasters, and I'll raise a question on that policy page. Andrewssi2 (talk) 01:28, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
Just for the record; I'm also not objecting to the ban itself. I just think it should have been a nomination. JuliasTravels (talk) 11:35, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
I'm confused about the comments that imply that I didn't follow the procedure laid out in Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits. I did, and to the letter. Policy states that there are certain circumstances under which users can be indefinitely banned without being nominated on this page (though, as a courtesy, I did mention his indefban here after it had already been put into effect). Two of those circumstances are the use of racial slurs - of which "gringo" is one - and in the case of obvious vandals. This leads into my response to Powers' comment, which begins with the fact that I don't subscribe to his excessively narrow definition of "vandalism". It's not just things like adding curse words to articles, or saying "User X was here" or "Destination Y sucks" or whatnot. Whenever a user makes an edit that is either intentionally disruptive, or that he knows the community at large considers disruptive, vandalism has occurred. Turbo probably thought he was improving the site by changing the spelling of Nazca and Cuzco, but he also defied numerous talk page messages advising him as to why we don't do that here, therefore it is considered vandalism regardless of what his intentions vis-à-vis the spelling changes may have been. It works along the same principles as the anonymous Telstra user, who probably thought the naked bullet points and Wikipedia copypasta he was adding were helpful, but whom we nevertheless called a vandal because he ignored the messages we left on his talk page. Powers says "the application of an immediate indefinite block must be reserved for truly vandalism-only accounts", and viewed in the above light Turbo's does indeed look very much like a vandalism-only account - most of his edits have either been instances of the above-described vandalism or of abusive messages on his own and others' talk pages.
That all being the case, I still do find myself frustrated by the constrictions of our current policy on userbans. I apologize if some users felt personally attacked, but I stand by much of what I said. The frustration comes from the time we wasted going through the motions with Turbo when any idiot could have known what the end result would be. It's naive to think that things like "soft security" or weak-tea 3-day userbans are going to make users who come in with a combative and defiant attitude like Turbo's suddenly change into constructive contributors as if flipping a lightswitch. Human psychology doesn't work that way. That's a big part of why I strongly reject any implications that I acted too swiftly or without consultation in banning Turbo. If I were of the mind to abuse the sysop tools in dealing with Turbo, I would have done it a long, long time ago. Instead, and despite my disagreement with policy, I waited until there was a smoking gun. Two of them, in fact.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:14, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
The statements above concern me as I think they push the limits of what the user ban policy was meant to cover. Turbo is most definitely not an "obvious vandal" under the definition in the user ban policy, which was meant to apply only in cases where there can be absolutely zero doubt that the user is here for reasons other than writing a travel guide.
As stated previously, this user has been given multiple warnings and a further block was likely warranted, so my concern is less with the block than the fact that the process used to justify it strikes me as being a red flag that either our policies on this matter are being misinterpreted or misapplied and thus are in need to fixing. As to the point that these processes are frustrating, I think had we more closely followed the process laid out in Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits#Escalating user blocks then it would have been far less frustrating for all involved; I hope people will begin using that process with difficult users in the future, or else suggest ways to make that process work better. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:46, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
I agree. It's important to make the distinction between malicious vandalism-only accounts (which the ban policy singles out as not needing a nomination) and unwanted / vandalizing edits. "Are they obviously here for reasons other than writing a travel guide?" seems a good question to ask, in that respect. No-one is suggesting that the Nazca/Nasca edits weren't unwanted. And yes, repeatedly making those edits against community consensus is a form of vandalism. Despite the frustrating nature of those edits however, they don't justify an indefinite ban without a nomination. In fact, this kind of unwanted edits is explicitly mentioned in our escalation blocks-policy, together with "repeated edit warring" and "repeated attacks on or harassment of other editors". The fact that some of Turbo's edits were of those categories is not a smoking gun to justify a unilateral indefinite ban: they are the smoking gun for escalating blocks. Considering the number of useful edits and the fact that several editors expressed a wish to try and work with him before, I don't think it's reasonable to suggest we're dealing with a vandalism-only account. We're all in agreement that a continuation of this behaviour would have resulted in a ban, but unless you count "gringo" as obvious and malicious racial slur (and from the comments we can at least conclude that several editors find that a stretch), policy simply called for the escalating blocks - followed by a ban. There's no point in discussing the intended meaning of "gringo" now, no-one is talking about abuse of sysop tools and no-one has even suggested that the ban should be reverted. However, as user bans without nomination should only be used in uncontroversial cases, I hope we can simply follow the escalating user blocks-procedure for such cases, in the future. Would the result have been different for this particular user? Probably not. That policy is there for good reasons though, and should protect us from jumping the gun in cases where the outcome is harder to predict. JuliasTravels (talk) 22:16, 6 March 2016 (UTC)
That's two people now who have claimed that use of a racial slur is grounds for an immediate indef-ban. That is not supported by the text of the policy; please explain how you come to this conclusion. Powers (talk) 22:19, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
No, you're right; it's not mentioned in policy. It just seemed common sense to me that in case of truly malicious racial slur (I can imagine a few really unacceptable remarks), we probably wouldn't be having this discussion. It doesn't imply that any use of racial slur is grounds for an immediate indef-ban. In case of doubt, there should always be a nomination. JuliasTravels (talk) 20:30, 9 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Adding my two cents on this discussion, as I was the one who hit the Block button both times on this guy: the issues that really mattered to me were his absolute inability and unwillingness to engage in constructive dialog ("it's hard to explain these things to a foreigner!") and the uncivil attitude: saying "there will be edit war, yes!" equals saying "I'm here to vandalize only!", period. Racial slurs are of minor importance here, really. Ibaman (talk) 22:57, 8 March 2016 (UTC)
    I don't understand why every form of unwanted edit is labeled "vandalism". Powers (talk) 02:58, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Lieutenant, we're talking about a user who has literally, in print, declared edit war on Wikivoyage, to enforce "his" preferred breadcrumb structure and districtification of his home city. How could I in my heart find it tolerable?? Ibaman (talk) 03:35, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

[unindent] Quote by User:AndreCarrotflower:

It's naive to think that things like "soft security" or weak-tea 3-day userbans are going to make users who come in with a combative and defiant attitude like Turbo's suddenly change into constructive contributors as if flipping a lightswitch. Human psychology doesn't work that way.

So, under what circumstances do you think we should apply our procedure of blocks of increasing length, or do you think we should throw it out, in favor of any admin unilaterally permabanning a problem user at any point and then merely notifying everyone after the fact? I've said before: I won't miss this user, but I don't feel that you've completely explained your views, nor the policy and practical implications of them.

By the way, I'm not sure "Gringo" is necessarily always a slur, but "stupid Gringo" is. Ikan Kekek (talk) 08:30, 10 March 2016 (UTC)

  • Ikan, let me start by saying I really admire your literary, conversational and diplomatic skills, it's a privilege editing alongside such a gifted and humane person. I should say this more often. I admit, and regret, having overlooked, and not followed to the letter, our very complete and unambigous guidelines in Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits. Had I done that, much headache would have been spared. Having said that, I stand by my view that a user who willingly declares himself to be at edit war is automatically revealing his/her intentions in Wikivoyage as "malicious only" - let's give the much abused word "vandalism" a break, but at the same time, not stop calling a spade a spade. Ibaman (talk) 11:45, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for your kind words, Ibaman. I really don't disagree with your point, but I still think my question merits an answer. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:46, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Didn't I answer? I'm confortable and in total agreement with the procedure of blocks of increasing length, don't find any fault in it, am sorry to not have followed it in the heat of this moment, will study the guidelines more often and do my best not to make this mistake again. Ibaman (talk) 11:54, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Fair enough, you answered, and I appreciate that, but I'd like to know what Andre's answer is. Ikan Kekek (talk) 11:57, 10 March 2016 (UTC)
Ikan - To answer your question, I think the escalating user blocks scheme is fine for most garden-variety vandals, but I think we as a community need to take a more realistic view of the prospects of users like Turbo ever reforming into constructive contributors, and act accordingly. This is something that's played itself out several times on this site, and sown discord and misgivings among our community each time. For example, it seems that individual editors' fear of being a buzzkill often impels them to let problematic conduct slide or to look at cases like Turbo with rose-colored glasses, when in reality, many times the short-term unpleasantness of playing police(wo)man or banning a user who is clearly not interested in reforming is outweighed by the longer-term benefits that come with such a problem being solved. Or, we get bogged down in hair-splitting semantics like Powers' comments above which seek to circumscribe an excessively fine-grained definition of "vandalism", when a more sensible tack to take would be that bad faith is bad faith, and there's really very little differentiating to be done in terms of how to deal with what Powers considers a vandal versus some other category of problem editor.
As to the other half of the question: let's remember that the goal of the escalating user blocks procedure is to reform problem editors. That's fine and dandy in some cases, but a waste of time when the problem editor clearly has no interest in changing his ways. Being honest with ourselves, in Turbo's case, I don't think any of us would have allowed for a realistic possibility of any outcome other than what did in fact happen. To say "I know an unreformable problem editor when I see one" would be true, but that of course does not translate into good written policy here at Wikivoyage. Obviously we need something quantifiable. I don't know what that is, and thus don't have a concrete answer to this part of your question, but clearly there's a breakdown somewhere in the current procedure. If we do know an unreformable problem editor when we see one, there must be a defined reason or set of reasons why that is, and IMO that's a perfect starting point on which to base further refinements to our userban policy.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 00:21, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
I appreciate the answer, but under what imaginable circumstances would the escalating user blocks procedure inspire a problematic user to reform? Has that ever happened? Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:04, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
If you read the third-from-the-bottom paragraph of Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits#Escalating user blocks, the fact that the object of the blocks is to reform problem editors is made very explicit. I don't know of any cases where it's actually succeeded at that goal (though I haven't been especially active on the userban scene lately), and I see escalating user blocks as a compromise where all sides had to hold their nose a little bit rather than anything approaching an ideal solution, but it was a compromise that we had to struggle hard and wade through a lot of rancor to forge. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 14:52, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
Does anyone have any examples of anyone who was blocked for a week or longer and then reformed? If the blocks of increasing length are really designed to induce a problematic user to give up and stop posting, I think that's a bit pointless. Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:01, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
The escalating block process demonstrates to problem users the seriousness of their actions, but also provides a check on admins. As the above discussion shows, we don't always agree on the appropriate action to take with a difficult user, so the escalating block process ensures that admins can't unilaterally impose an indefinite ban, and that instead there is a process in place where multiple admins must justify escalating blocks based on a shared opinion that the user's continued editing is causing harm. If the suggestion is that problem users should just be indefinitely blocked at the first sign of trouble, I would oppose that as far too authoritarian for a site based on decision-making by consensus. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:54, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
No, not the first sign of trouble. My suggestion is that if someone has already been blocked for a day, then 3 days and then a week, at the first sign of trouble, perhaps a permaban should be triggered. The reason I am reconsidering my previous thoughts on this is User:AndreCarrotflower's remarks about human psychology.
What I'm not sure makes sense is to sometimes follow the procedures laid out in the escalating block process and other times, for someone to permaban the user and only notify everyone later. The correct procedure, it seems to me, would be to escalate the period of the block and then nominate the user for a permaban and have a discussion about it. "Waste of time" it may be, but if the justification is not blindingly obvious, the discussion should be held. Ikan Kekek (talk) 16:02, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
  • Just for the record, we had an enthusiastic and problematic user of this kind on Portuguese WT (before the fork), who gave Texugo and me lots of work. He wanted his home city, Goiânia, to be the most complete and highlighted article in the whole shabang, and loved to insert fluffy, touty adjectives in every possible available space. It took a while to translate the necessary MoS pages to Portuguese for him to read; after that, he became really well-behaved and collaborative. I wish Turbo could have steered himself likewise; more than twice, I thought it possible. Unfortunately that was not the case. Ibaman (talk) 16:58, 11 March 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for letting us know about him. By the way, had he been blocked for a week or more at any point? Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:49, 11 March 2016 (UTC)