Wikivoyage talk:User ban nominations/Archive 2006-2017

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"Nominations" for blocked scripts?

(WT-en) Andrew pointed out that when I blocked the IP addresses of two bots that were corrupting non-ASCII characters in articles that Project:How to handle unwanted edits also requires that the two IP addresses also be placed on this "nomination" list. Is that really necessary? We already discourage blocks, Special:Ipblocklist shows a list of current blocks, Special:Log/block shows a log of blocks, and an already-applied block of a misbehaving bot isn't a "nomination". It seems like someone who has been approved as an admin can be trusted not to abuse the block functionality, so forcing a listing on this "nomination" page when no discussion is necessary and the block is already logged (twice) in other places seems like unnecessary busy-work. -- (WT-en) Ryan 16:55, 28 August 2006 (EDT)

Agreed. As proposed below, I don't think we need to record temporary IP blocks. The rationale behind user bans, however, should be recorded. (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:16, 21 August 2007 (EDT)

Proposed guidelines

I just realized we don't actually have any guidelines in place for doing user/IP bans. Draft:

IP addresses may be banned temporarily if they are used by spambots making edits at high speed. Temporary IP blocks can be placed by any admin at their own discretion with no discussion required. As most spammers try to add URLs, please first check if the local spam blacklist can be used to trap their edits instead; this makes a block unnecessary and prevents future attacks from different IPs as well.

Users should, generally speaking, not be banned even for making objectionable edits; just revert and try to reason with them. The following, however, warrant an immediate ban:

  • spambot/sustained high-speed vandalism attacks by registered users → temporary ban
  • attempts to impersonate other known users (usernames using I for l, 0 for O, etc) → indefinite ban

Such bans should be recorded below. Proposed user bans for any other reason require nomination and consensus among admins.

Temporary bans should first be for one week. If the attack occurs again, a one month ban can be imposed, and then one year if they really aren't letting up.

Thoughts? (WT-en) Jpatokal 02:14, 21 August 2007 (EDT)

I don't know about the "no more than one week" rule for spambots - I've been going with a one-month block on obvious spambots that have made repeated edits, provided that there is no block on registrations from the IP address. I would agree that the spam blacklist is a preferable way of dealing with spambots, but at the same time I don't see any harm in blocking a hopelessly compromised machine that visits every few days with new patterns - look at the history of Budapest, Seattle or similar articles for the mess such bots can make. Otherwise the remaining items look good to me. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 02:42, 21 August 2007 (EDT)
Should we stipulate a rough number of bad edits that constitute a ban? I think it should be for really high-volume more than repeated vandalism. Mandarmani's are annoying, but not really that hard to keep up with. And what about doing 1 week for the first block, 1 month if it continues after that? – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 03:24, 21 August 2007 (EDT)
Agree with the escalating ban lengths. Most spambots aren't on fixed IPs, and we don't want to cause too much collateral damage by blocking dynamic IPs at random ISPs. (WT-en) Jpatokal 03:48, 21 August 2007 (EDT)
I think the proposed guidelines are proper measures. Just a info, there is another timescale for blocking (→ wts:Manual for administrators#Block) and there is another discussion (→ wts:Talk:Manual for administrators). —The preceding comment was added by (WT-en) tatata (talkcontribs)

It's probably a good idea to continue this discussion over on shared... I think we should get the Admin Manual over there into some sort of shape that most admins across the language versions can live with, and hopefully have a solid policy that is enforced the same on all language versions... – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 02:13, 22 August 2007 (EDT)

"Blocks" and "Bans"

It seems to me, following up on something that Peter wrote in the Pub, that a distinction should be drawn between a "block" and a "ban." A "ban" involves putting someone (or somebot) under a long-term proscription, and our criteria for bans and ban nominations seem entirely appropriate; that is an action that should be taken very rarely, and then, only after careful deliberation. A minutes-long "block" to suspend access to an edit war, that lasts no longer than an edit-war time-out lasts, might be a different matter. (Why, you ask, is it not sufficient simply to protect the page where the edit war is occurring? Because, as recent events have shown, sometimes the edit war then moves to a related page. In these cases the "edit war" can better be described as vandalism, IMO -- but that's a different topic.) The difference is analogous to that between sending an unruly child who's disrupting the classroom to the principal's office for an hour's detention, and expelling the child from school entirely.

Not sure exactly how to proceed here, but as the number of vandals (some of them, for example the current gay-travel troll, incredibly persistent) increases, we may need to look at countermeasures. The "administrator's manual" on Shared recognizes this distinction; do we need specific language here to buy into it? -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 12:51, 1 December 2007 (EST)

And the previous discussion:

User bans against policy

There have been several instances of user bans enacted in the past month or so without so much as a peep on Project:User ban nominations. I humbly submit that administrators re-read Project:How to handle unwanted edits, especially the part relating to user bans, which clearly states that use of this button without going through the process is abuse of administrative privileges (and explains why it's not a very useful tool in any rate). Practice has evolved a bit to allow speedy bans of high-traffic ips clearly operating scripts, but even that really should be hashed out in the policy. The most useful bit of advice in the "How to handle" article is IMHO to "not take yourself or the site too seriously," but I would rank the importance of admins following policy above petty vandalism in the hierarchy of not-too-serious Wikivoyage issues. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:34, 27 November 2007 (EST)

I believe that that policy is intended to address permanent bans, which arise only rarely (e.g. in the case of fraudulently deceptive usernames, which unfortunately have come up a few times already). Howewver, if there is a policy pertaining to short-term "cooling-down" blocks equivalent to transient page protections, I'm not aware of it. Should there be? -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 16:02, 27 November 2007 (EST)
I'd ask you to re-read that section more carefully—it does not mention anything about the length of user bans, just bans in general. Our policy specific to permanent bans has only arisen in the last couple months, while the unwanted edits piece has been in place for longer than I've been around. The ban nominations page itself has relevant commentary on this matter, which is only one of the reasons why I think we shouldn't be ignoring it. The only discussion I'm aware of that discusses short term bans specifically refer to situations where admins cannot keep up—i.e., when a vandal is moving loads of pages using a script or extensively prepared tabbed browsing. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 16:22, 27 November 2007 (EST)
"Where admins cannot keep up" is exactly where we are at the moment. Go back and look through the traffic earlier today. This guy is remarkably destructive, the more so since he's learned to vandalize templates as well -- which has destructive power extending well beyond the vandalism itself. In any event, if you (and others?) are uncomfortable with temporary blocks in this situation, we can forego them, and perhaps that would be best -- although it's going to create extra work. -- (WT-en) Bill-on-the-Hill 17:12, 27 November 2007 (EST)
See, that's why I would prefer we go through the ban nominations page instead. I don't view this fine young fellow as destructive at all. Whatever changes he makes are easily revertable, and he's hardly all over the site. Juvenile vandalism does no damage to an article, since it's twice as easy to undo such changes even for a non-admin. And I don't think blocks save any work, since he can just switch up his ip address. So in my view the blocks really only make a demonstration of frustration on our part, which is precisely the reaction I assume he's aiming for. I don't see any need for "last resorts," why can't we just employ a few slow reverts. If people are concerned that the page history will get messed up, we can just wait until he gets bored and moves on and then delete the article and restore it to a cleaner version.
Sorry to raise such a fuss over this—it's just that the detached and professional way WT editors use soft security with would-be-instigators is one of my favorite things about this site. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 17:50, 27 November 2007 (EST)
Have to concur with Bill here - I've only done one myself, but some of these short-term bans are common sense situations and we can trust the relatively small admin base to apply them properly. (Unlike the decentralized Wikipedia, where cowboy admins are an annoyance.) People like the Myer Center guy and the current homophobe loon are persistent beyond simple juvenile antics and it's a waste of time and focus to keep refreshing 'Recent Changes' and repeatedly reverting them. Even if you think it's desire for attention that drives them, not psychosis, then the knowledge that they're wasting our time by reverting over and over again must certainly be more enjoyable and encouraging to them than whatever frustration they imagine we're feeling over the single click of a button to do a short-term ban. (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 18:56, 27 November 2007 (EST)

(Deindenting) Probably no surprise where OldPine comes down on this. I'm probably the worst offender of IP blocks (albeit short-term) as I was using them to at least cost the offender another click or two. I respect Peter's bringing attention to this and I think I understand the soft security philosophy. I also think some confusion may be caused by the use of the word "ban" in the informational pages he references, when the word "block" is the one we see when we decide to take action. To me, ban implies the permanent blocking of a user. I believe Mr. Jones is correct that we can trust the admins here to use common sense and I'll take Peter's comments as a cue to be sure I'm using mine.

I've done my share of reverting of this latest guy, and I feel I've done it in a detached manner and in a common sense way. But if it's longer periods of time with homophobic messages on the page and fewer quick reverts that's needed, I can live with that. I just have to learn to care less about WT (take it less seriously). That's still hard for me to do. --(WT-en) OldPine 19:41, 27 November 2007 (EST)

The bureaucracy in temp-banning a user is the number one reason why I don't use it, plus there is little to no support for bans of this sort. I'm also perfectly happy to revert a user to their hearts content, but people don't like it when I do that either. I think temp protection during an vandalwar (with as little protection as possible) is the best way to deal with this. -- (WT-en) Colin 21:51, 27 November 2007 (EST)

I'm not an admin and probably shouldn't be weighing in on this but getting upset over vandalism that can be reverted is fruitless. Ignore, revert, and move on is the best policy. It's not that hard to silently revert stuff (even the two step process for a non-admin is fairly trivial) and any reaction is a step backward. Ban em and they'll be back when the ban expires. Ignore them and, sooner or later, they'll go away. It seems to me that a bigger problem (and I'm seeing more of this sort these days) are the vandals who change one word here or there. It could be a couple of days before they get noticed and, by then, its too late to ban them. --(WT-en) Wandering 16:18, 28 November 2007 (EST)

You should be weighing in wherever you'd like. I'm following the discussion and would like to comment a bit later, but can this please be moved to the How to handle unwanted edits discussion page? -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 17:21, 28 November 2007 (EST)


Typically spambots are blocked for a specific length of time in case a real user is ever assigned the same IP address... however, lately a spambot has actually managed to register accounts. In cases where an account is clearly a spambot, does it make sense to permanently block that account? There is no possibility of a real user actually using the account, so I don't see the harm in using a permanent (instead of 3 month) ban. Any disagreement? -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 14:35, 19 December 2008 (EST)

Bump. Did we ever come to a consensus on this (I can't remember). We have a rash of new spambot-created accounts, and I'm tempted to ban them once they give themselves away. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 12:17, 2 July 2010 (EDT)
I'm still in support of this idea, but I don't think it ever got further comment. We also need to update Project:How to handle unwanted edits#User ban to note that permanent blocks for dopplegangers is OK, as outlined on Project:Administrator's handbook#Blocks.2Fbans. I'll take care of making that change. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 12:54, 2 July 2010 (EDT)
Fine with me on all counts. (WT-en) LtPowers 15:54, 2 July 2010 (EDT)
Acount creation is still ongoing but so far none of them started new article. The shear mass will over time become a major issue. I think something is coming up and we wait here until it starts to bite. Can we maybe see who generates these accounts? (WT-en) jan 09:09, 5 July 2010 (EDT)
Today in average 30-40 accounts were created every hour. Beside the fact that names will be short from sometime on, when all of them leave the autoconfirm and the bot starts, then we are in deep trouble... (WT-en) jan 09:12, 5 July 2010 (EDT)
I may be missing something, but I can't imagine what the trouble would be—it shouldn't be any harder to handle than any standard spambot attack, as it would be really obvious, autoconfirmed or not. It's a practical matter to ban an account once it's really clear that it is spambot created, since we can't expect anything productive from it, and the ban will halt unproductive activity. But I don't think there's anything to be afraid of here—our wiki is really set up in such a way where admins can clean things up way faster than spambots can cause problems. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 20:19, 5 July 2010 (EDT)
I've made this change on Project:How to handle unwanted edits#User ban. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 19:27, 17 July 2010 (EDT)


Ok, so I think the ban against EE is not covered within policy. Above, Peter notes that people should be going through the process spelled out by policy and yet we didn't with EE. Why?

It's simple: "Blocks exempt from the nominations process include spambot blocks (which should not be permanent), and temp blocks to halt extremely high-volume vandalism (i.e., move vandalism), in order to create space to clean it up."

EE did not violate any of these and I am borderline on whether the cases of admins blocking him violate admin responsibilities. There must be a discussion on this before! I don't care about the contradictions. Admins and bureaucrats are "not above the law," we too must adhere to the policy and I think we stepped out of line by using a block against EE. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 09:59, 10 January 2009 (EST)

I have a hard time disagreeing with Sapphire. It seems pretty clear-cut. --(WT-en) Jonboy 11:28, 10 January 2009 (EST)
I may not have imposed the temp blocks myself, but definitely don't think they violated our policy and definitely believe that they were carried out in good faith. The particular user under discussion most definitely falls within the bounds of extremely high-volume vandalism, albeit with a slightly different and more veiled face than we've seen in the past. Many many attempts were made to avoid these temp blocks, and I personally would also like to steer back away from them. But let's discuss that calmly without placing blame, and without inflaming a situation unnecessarily.
I think we need to perhaps expand the wording a bit now at the policy page, and make it a bit more specific, since at the moment it clearly allows for interpretation... but I'm gonna take some time to think about some suggestions – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 11:53, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Let me be clear that I bothered the most by the fact that it did not appear on Project:User_ban_nominations. Although I do not have the time to devote to Wikivoyage that I have in the past, I monitor that page's RSS feed. I had no idea that this particular ban had gone into place until Sapphire brought it up. And I think that most bans deserve a forum for discussion. --(WT-en) Jonboy 12:38, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Some of the discussion about this case happened here... and probably wasn't noted at the UB page since it states "short-term temporary bans (one day or less) are exempt from the user ban nominations process"... but again, maybe we need to improve/overhaul the wording of our policy soon – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 12:48, 10 January 2009 (EST)
True, but there's also the Admins handbook that states the above, which I quoted. Interpretation is a problem here because I see there are at least two that disagree with my interpretation that it should not have gone into effect in the manner that it did. Any proposals that we can go from here?
Personally, I believe the waiting period should be reduced before (24 hours) a block goes into effect. But, I also believe there must be at least two admins and none dissenting before a block goes into effect. So, I also think that a block of any user that isn't clearly moving many dozens of pages to new namespaces or running scripts or causing so much destruction should be blocked automatically as is perfectly fine with a user that moves 200 pages in 15 minutes. Thus, IMHO, EE still would not be blocked, because he only reverted Gorilla's deletion of his comments two or three times that day, obviously something that did not constitute vandalism that we couldn't handle.
Before anyone brings up the pattern of history, if there's a pattern of history with a user being disruptive and he only caused minor damage over the past couple days (as I see EE's edit history he made fewer fewer edits in the days prior -- I couldn't find another block, but maybe I over looked it?) then propose the block and a length of time and put it to vote.
Finally, I want a policy to allow an admin (but, not the one to propose the block) to block the user earlier than the 24 hour waiting period if there are at least three in favor and none dissenting and circumstances change that require the block to be instated earlier. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 13:06, 10 January 2009 (EST)

The volume had decreased to what you are now referring to with the last block directly because of the hard line that was taken earlier, you can't only look at the short leash and not what led to it. High volume page move vandalism is on people's radar as a reason to block, and I've argued that we've seen a new type of high volume disruptive editing that IMO is more disruptive and damaging, in that it can produce results that extend far beyond the moment of the last revert, and consumes faaar more energy on the part of those on damage control. However, regarding policy changes....

Rather than moving towards a more bureaucratic system involving so many steps, I think it would be much more worth our time to devise, and much easier to follow, a well defined and specific list of which type of actions will result in which type of block. There are basically two broad categories: Temp user blocks, and permanent bans. I think the last couple months events have now given us a good insight into how to improve our policy.

Permanent bans: I think we're all in agreement, need to be discussed first, with minimal exception such as deceptive username/impersonating an admin. Agree in this case that admin other than nominator and preferably not connected with the incident to impose the ban.

Temp blocks: I believe should be imposed very sparingly, but at an admins' discretion... starting with short bans that last hour(s), and escalating to a day or 3 based on still tbd guidelines. I agree it's probably ideal that an admin other than the one that is currently embroiled in debate/reverts with a user be the one to block, but I'm not decided yet on if I think that should be mandatory for temp blocks, since if our guidelines are well laid out, it would be irrelevant.... any admin would simply refer to said guidelines. Naturally it may take a litle time to perfect these.... I won't start spending energy on devising it though until there's consensus to move forward in that way – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 13:47, 10 January 2009 (EST)

If people do decide to move forward with that, I'd like to suggest a third category, that of "Repeated temp blocks". While I'm not an admin and hence have no experience applying the blocking policy, I would agree that, treated individually, virtually all of the blocks of EE were within policy as it could reasonably be interpreted. However, temp blocking a user again and again can cause other problems similar to what's come up of late, and can also essentially be equivalent to a semi-permanent ban but without any discussion here. (WT-en) JYolkowski 15:44, 10 January 2009 (EST)
I agree that we need more clarity on this issue and reverts (I know, being discussed at another page). I have a slight preference for Cacauate's approach since it's less bureaucratic and I like the idea of having a defined list of actions and consequences. As long as the guidelines are well constructed I think it will make it faster and clearer for admins (we won't have to take the time to discuss each case) and the reasons for blocking more transparent. Although, after a certain number of repeated blocks, I think the next course of action should be put up for discussion. (WT-en) Shaund 23:14, 10 January 2009 (EST)
I still don't have an opinion on temp blocks, but I think JYolkowski is on to something there too. If we allow, no red tape temp blocks, what happens after multiple blocks?
Also, what is the litmus test for justifying a temp block? -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 06:47, 11 January 2009 (EST)

I hope I am allowed to contribute here. Bottom line, I think I agreee with sapphire on ever term pretty much. Sapphire, you brought up excellent points and I believe them. "Difficult users" such as myself I suppose should probably be discussed. I mean, look at how many people are confused/left out of what is going on - if there was discussion prior to a ban, everyone could easily find where everything happened. I also think the bans to myself have gone overboard completely and I think it is just a way for people to get rid of me on this site. That I find rude. There also needs to be discussion I think to the user before the ban, even if that user has been talked to of that 700 times before, just copy and paste or reword or whatever. That way they still have a chance to not disrupt further, or discuss it if they think what they did wasn't wrong and it could maturely be discussed. But for sure, this has gone on too long and too far. I don't mean to be rude in any way, but Cacahuate, you basically encouraged Peter in all of this. I hope my points are valid cause I am getting sick of this. That is all. (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 14:57, 11 January 2009 (EST).

There seems to be a lot of confusion here, all of which could have been avoided painlessly and easily by asking an admin who had performed such a temp block why he did so. The quoted "policy" above (Blocks exempt from the nominations process include spambot blocks (which should not be permanent), and temp blocks to halt extremely high-volume vandalism (i.e., move vandalism), in order to create space to clean it up), which I wrote, is a draft, and has no weight as policy, as is stated at the top of the page. Discretionary temp blocks without going through the nominations process are routine, and sanctioned by policy. I'm quite sure of this, since I updated that policy myself, and no one objected. Using temp blocks for anything other than high volume vandalism or spam is very unorthodox, and not something we have done outside of the one case that generated this discussion. Because of that, we charted a very specific set of practices to be used in this one case, documented here, and elaborated upon (WT-en) here. Again, no objections to date. So to claim that the blocks placed on this user, following this process, "violate admin responsibilities," or place oneself "above the law" is incorrect, offensive, and weakens our community. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 18:36, 11 January 2009 (EST)
@ Sapphire, Shaund & JYowoski: all of those are good points, and things that can and should be incorporated into the guidelines for temp blocks... I'll try to start a draft a bit later and see if we can build a consensus on the issue – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 21:34, 11 January 2009 (EST)
I'm not in agreement that temp blocks without going through nominations are routine and sanctioned by policy. I am in agreement if we say that blocks against spambots and users creating so much havoc are not required to go through nominations. I'd also agree that users with misleading usernames can be blocked too. The only routine that seems to have popped up are 2 hour bans for EE. Which, if we think about it, if it becomes a routine to block a user for 2 hours then we should block said user for far longer, no?

All that aside, I propose the following:

1. That we now require 5 admins in support of a ban (we have 40 admins on the site -- although, maybe some of those should be ) and none opposing. Should an admin oppose the ban, then a general consensus must arise that would justify the ban. (This one can use some work)

2. That before temp bans (if we decide whether, when, and how they can be used) against non-professional vandals and spambots/scripts be instated, a warning is given on the user's talk page.

3. A new page be created to allow for discussion on rescinding a block already put into place. And that the same number of admins would be needed before a block is rescinded.

4. That (and only if we allow temp bans) temp bans proceed in this fashion: 1st ban - 2 hours. 2nd ban - 6 hours. 3rd ban - 12 hours. 4th ban would go to the community, because clearly the user is not willing to discuss anything and needs much further time away. This would all occur over, say, a two week period?

Anyhow, these are just ideas to get us rolling and are meant solely for actual users, not scripts/vandals causing utter havoc. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 11:38, 12 January 2009 (EST)

support. (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 16:52, 12 January 2009 (EST).

User ban reversion

Just a quick comment - I don't have strong feelings on the current matter but I think it would be great if policy could be clarified further on the use of temporary user bans. I am a bit concerned about unilaterally reverting something that another admin has done, however, as it implies that admin was abusing admin privileges, which is a pretty serious accusation and one that doesn't apply here. No one on this site makes it through the admin nomination process without the support of the community, and that implies that we feel that the user understands policies and has been an asset to the site. We may occasionally interpret policies differently, but when there is room for interpretation we need to assume good faith. Here's the current policy:

"Only the most short-term temporary bans (one day or less) are exempt from the user ban nominations process. They are a discretionary tool for administrators in slowing exceptionally high-volume unwanted edits (i.e., move vandalism), to halt the vandalism (however temporarily) to create space to clean it up."

While I dislike user bans, given that policy I think it's inappropriate to unilaterally revert another admin's actions, although it IS appropriate to start a discussion about the matter. No one on Wikivoyage becomes an admin unless they've been a huge asset to the site, and while we may not always agree I do think it's important that we respect one another's judgment and assume good faith. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 14:08, 10 January 2009 (EST)

Agree wholeheartedly. where is the best place to raise such discussions? would a admin noticeboard/lounge be useful? Which could also be used for contributors to quickly get the attn of an online admin? – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 14:20, 10 January 2009 (EST)
My thinking is that talk pages such as this one, Project:How to handle unwanted edits, and the admin's user talk page are probably sufficient - most people have these pages on their watchlists so conversations probably won't be missed, and that way conversations will be available on the talk page for the relevant policies. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 15:39, 10 January 2009 (EST)
My handling of that was less than stellar too. But, there appear to be several slight variations of the policy and they all seem to imply to me that the temp bans are for for slowing exceptionally high-volume destruction. So, until we work out temp blocks I still believe that nominations are required and that two admins in support and none opposing are required. Failing that, IMHO, the ban is not kosher. I've used it in the past, but what's kosher to one sect isn't always kosher to the next. Afterwards, I would say challenges should go to Project:User ban revocation nominations with a similar policy for undoing the block. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 06:57, 11 January 2009 (EST)
P.S. I did mention I was not comfortable with the block and was likely going to rescind it in the emails. Should I have waited more than 4 minutes? Maybe. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 07:24, 11 January 2009 (EST)
My concern is that by reverting a ban you are in essence saying that an admin violated policy, which is an abuse of power. That's a big deal. What happened here is that two admins interpreted policy differently, which means we need to clarify the policy and come to some consensus before undoing an action - had you asked Peter to remove the block I'm sure he would have done it, but instead we now have a situation where it appears that an admin abused his rights. Both you and Peter were acting in good faith - Peter by using his discretion to temporarily halt harmful edits, and you to remove what you felt was an unjustified ban. That said, I think when one admin is overruling another admin without first discussing and gaining consensus then it should be done only for cases where it would be justified to begin discussing revoking admin rights. In this case we simply have different interpretation of policy, and as such we should be clarifying the policy that caused the confusion (which we are), but in the mean time assuming that all parties were acting in good faith and not overruling those actions. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 14:34, 11 January 2009 (EST)
We have an old saying in Danish about "Shooting sparrows with canons" and I think this is what's happening here. The whole deal is product of discussion which took place off site, about how best deal with the situation leading up to this, the result of which, was an agreement between certain admins to revert mistakes/abuses on sight, so that people wouldn't respond to comments that would stray discussions off target, which was the main problem at the time (EE's disruptiveness). This unfortunately ended up with EE resorting to reverts and abuses when his comments where removed, mainly because of a quite startling ability not to read situations properly - and may I point that this was after countless attempts to explain the disruptiveness and consequences, and explaining how EE could contribute without being disruptive (stay away from nominations, policy discussions etc.). The reversions, and subsequent rereversions, lead to edit wars - which in turn lead to temp bans since there was nothing else left to try, in the hope that hard action would make EE stop, and think twice, if such actions lead to a temp block. It didn't, escalating the time of the block didn't help either. But eventually things died down, until they recently exploded again.
My point with this little fairy tale is that the history behind the current situation is so utterly unique, that I can't see this ever happening again, and in reality the problem is lack of communication, more than anything else, so I think, what we should really make policy on is communication, especially between regulars/admins, in situations like this, which is the real cause of the current quagmire. And I'm sad that Peter is taking the fall for a cause of action I personally agreed to. --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 22:47, 11 January 2009 (EST)
Reverting on sight may have seemed to have made sense at the time -- not that I was involved in the discussion leading to that decision -- but quite obviously it backfired, at least in this particular situation. Instead of causing EE to consider his actions and think about why a comment was reverted, the reverts were interpreted as attacks, causing him to engage in edit warring and overall incivil behavior. The situation was escalated instead of defused.
As such, in my opinion, it is well past time to abandon the "revert on sight" methodology for this particular situation, since it seems to have failed so spectacularly. Other avenues must be explored, as I see Colin has done with a formal ban nomination. (I'm not sure that's the right course of action either, for similar reasons, but I could be persuaded.)
-- (WT-en) LtPowers 08:37, 12 January 2009 (EST)

To clarify and make it as public as possible, I don't think Marc or Peter abused their powers and I do not want either to give up their sysop status -- they've been around for a good while and are amazing contributors. Policy is too damned vague -- that's it. Good faith assumed.

But, if we may get back on track, what will be the way for preventing a conflict in the future? I did send an email before I rescinded the block, should I have waited more than four minutes? I don't know, because I'm confident that said blocks should have been discussed under current policy, but if there's a flaw with policy should it be taken out on the user in question -- I thought no. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 10:46, 12 January 2009 (EST)

I'm sorry, is that serious? You're wondering if you should have waited more than four minutes? (WT-en) Gorilla Jones 01:06, 13 January 2009 (EST)
@ LT: If a troll is looking to stir up a community, it doesn't really matter how the community approaches him... his goal will be to find a way to let the nonsense shine through in any way possible. I think very much that reversions of the nonsense edits were a logical next step in avoiding an outright user ban (and may well be an idea to consider before a user ban), but am also happy to not participate in them for now to possibly let more people see what it looks like unleashed, if that's what helps us in building a stronger idea on how to improve policy and deal with future trolls. Though I'll note that we've now come full circle in how to deal with said user, and this original approach also failed spectacularly :)
@ Sapphire: I would say if an admin disagrees with another's actions, ideally wait until you've spoken with that admin before taking further action. If that's not possible, get a third opinion. I don't think there's many cases though were you would actually need to revert an admins edit/block... as someone said earlier, that would be more of a course of action you would be taking if the initial action was egregious enough for you to be considering nominating to desysop an admin for abuse of powers, or suspected his account of being compromised – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 11:09, 12 January 2009 (EST)
In the case of a troll, I agree. I don't object to the intent, but now that it's clear that constant reverting only causes more problems in this case, I think we need to abandon that effort instead of trying to make things worse. (WT-en) LtPowers 13:38, 12 January 2009 (EST)

Sertmann, if you admins actually did talk off site, you should have: Put it on the website here formally. Why?

  • 1) So I know. This would releve the stress and anger and "at each others' throats" this has caused. I have asked certain questions that were never answered and I assume that it was discussed off site.
  • 2) So that everyone else gets it. This would make sure people understand the whole thing of information and there would be less disagreeing arguing.

Does that make sense? (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 16:55, 12 January 2009 (EST).

Offline conversations pertaining to this situation are irrelevant. Anyhow, talking offline isn't a crime -- sometimes it's the easiest and best way to get people involved in discussions. The majority of the discussion will take place online, but if you need to seek advice from someone who can't use the site as regularly as you, then you may need to send an email and ask what he or she thinks, no? -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 17:16, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Well I have asked them and all that jamble. These users are regulars to the site (Peter, caca, stefan) and stuff. I assume these are the ones that talked about it. Anyways, I asked questions, the most common, "Why did you revert my edits?" which are never clearly explained to me so I don't get it and continually ask. I rarely get a response. All I get is it reverted. That is why this should all be communicated here, not on e-mail, instant messaging, chats, texting, or in person. (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 17:54, 12 January 2009 (EST).
Claiming to not understand why reversions were done and why nobody will answer you when you ask questions that have already been answered repeatedly shows that you still aren't making any progress in trying to understand what has been wrong with your approach to this site. If I were you I would consider restoring your user talk page, if only so that you yourself can re-read it a few more times – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 19:03, 12 January 2009 (EST)

Cacahuate, I've read it - multiple times, and some I still don't get. Maybe some stuff was hinted at and I totally didn't get it. Why not just be obvious so I do get it. I am not kidding around. Sometimes Peter or someone would say it's abusive and I ask him to show me policies and I still come up empty handed. I ask him to explain how I am being abusive, I never get a response. Finally, someone else told me that he didn't mean abusive, he meant disruptive and rude. Well, if he said that in the first place, it would have made sense. Abusive? Come on. My comments to his or others talk pages were not abusive. Cacahuate, you can believe what you want. At the end of this whole issue, even if you still don't believe me, I can't help you, I will be the one who knows the truth though - and it's right on that screen. (WT-en) edmontonenthusiast [ee] .T.A.L.K. 11:15, 13 January 2009 (EST).

Fresh start

Okay. There is obviously ambiguity in the policy, because several people (who I believe are all trying to act in the best interest of the community) have different ideas as to what the correct method is.

Going forward, lets make it perfectly clear.

When can an less than 24 hour ban be imposed, where is the policy basis specified, and what documentation needs to be updated.

When can a longer term ban be imposed, where is the policy basis set, and what documentation needs to be updated.

--(WT-en) Inas 19:04, 11 January 2009 (EST)

I'm a bit sad, there is not enough trust between the guys with the buttons that we can't use "at admin's discretion", but it seems we do need some guidelines for the admin handbook:
  • Edit wars - and only when the user in question has a history of resorting to such
  • Personal attacks - and only when a user has been given a fair warning, and reverts/repost postings such after removal.
also please read my post above - --(WT-en) Stefan (sertmann) Talk 22:48, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Consensus on banning

What do we do if there's a general consensus that a user be banned, but another admin or two dissents? -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 10:36, 12 January 2009 (EST)

I don't see why the ban policy shouldn't just rely upon good ole consensus... if 20 editors build a consensus to block there's no reason why 1 dissenting admin should stop that consensus from being implemented, imo – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 11:45, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Not to be a hard-ass about it, but Project:How to handle unwanted edits#User ban is pretty clear: "If the ban gets seconded by two administrators, and no objections from administrators, within 3 days, the ban goes into effect." Perhaps obviously, I support the intent of this rule; I would strongly prefer unanimity when considering a ban of a user, especially one who has produced actual useful content. (WT-en) LtPowers 13:35, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I think we should revisit that now, along with the rest of the policy that we're revisiting. It was written long ago before we were ever near having to put the policy in action, I think we should work out a consensus based on how people feel now. I think unanimity would be nice, of course. But I don't think useful content has much to do with it, especially when heavily outweighed by the negative... sitewide mayhem and burnt out admins aren't a worthy price for a fluffy guide to Edmonton – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 15:55, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I agree. Unanimity would be nice but waiting for unanimity is never going to give us the kind of timely and decisive action that is called for, and all it takes to prevent action is one admin to insist on never banning anyone. (WT-en) Texugo 19:04, 12 January 2009 (EST)
It would be awesome to get some more feedback here, is there anyone else that seriously objects to removing the dissenting admin requirement and relying more on a policy of consensus? – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 16:36, 13 January 2009 (EST)
From a pure logic point of view, if it only takes consensus to change the policy, then consensus should be sufficient within the policy. --(WT-en) Inas 17:12, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I don't think we need to remove anything, just clarify it. "If everybody is unanimous for three days, the ban goes into place" is fine as it is. All we need to specify is that if the discussion is not unanimous, then discussion should continue until a broad consensus is achieved, and that consensus doesn't necessarily mean that everybody supports it. (WT-en) Jpatokal 22:25, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Agree with Jpatokal on this, unless an overwhelming consensus has already formed on the third day. -- (WT-en) Sapphire 07:02, 14 January 2009 (EST)
Agree with Jptokal. But here in rural Ohio, the Amish practice shunning. It works well for them and may be another consideration, since the practice of crucifixion has been somewhat unpopular. (WT-en) 2old 10:31, 14 January 2009 (EST)
That isn't really changing or clarifying anything though, it's still essentially saying that we won't block if there is a dissenting admin, and that we will drag out the discussion further in order to convince them. Agree with what Texugo says above – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 11:30, 14 January 2009 (EST)
Broad consensus doesn't mean total unanimity. I'm fine with, and I meant that to say, that a single not-too-vociferously objecting admin can be overruled if everybody else agrees -- I'm just hesitant to start pulling random percentages or numbers out of a hat. (WT-en) Jpatokal 13:15, 14 January 2009 (EST)

Ok, so discussion would only need to continue if there were a few strong dissenters, and there wasn't a generally broad consensus reached. Still somewhat vague, but I could live with that. T minus 14 hours – (WT-en) cacahuate talk 14:15, 14 January 2009 (EST)

I've altered the policy text to reflect the words suggested by Jani. -- (WT-en) Sapphire(Talk) • 15:37, 14 January 2009 (EST)

I have blocked User: from editing and account creation for 2 hours because I suspect this IP address is creating spam on user talk pages using user accounts. This happened when I welcomed User:Beaverbr and was immediately overwritten by the user's page edit. I am reasonably confident the user either saw my edit or saw the revised page and did not read the guidelines before reposting. If I am wrong to do this, I will remove the blocks. I have also protected the User Talk page for an hour. - (WT-en) Huttite 03:17, 10 February 2009 (EST)

Spambots can be blocked for periods of up to several months without the need for a nomination - I think Project:How to handle unwanted edits has a discussion about this and links to the appropriate policy see Project:Administrator's handbook#Blocks/bans: "Blocks exempt from the nominations process include spambot blocks (which should not be permanent)". -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 10:20, 10 February 2009 (EST)

Blocked vandals

I just noticed on the Special:Ipblocklist that we have a bunch of permanently blocked users that were not put through the process. Granted, I think it's safe to assume that we're not going to see productive edits ever from these accounts, but it is policy to simply handle their edits with reverts, rather than blocks. Since our policy is that non-spambot user bans that have a duration of more than one day must be nominated here, I'll plan to remove these blocks tomorrow. We can certainly have a discussion of whether to broaden our application of permanent blocks to include offensive usernames (especially those connected to cyber-bullying) and page-move vandals, but lets do that before actually applying them. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 03:37, 14 April 2009 (EDT)

I apologize; I think I was confused because Wikipedia makes a distinction between blocks and bans. The policy you linked refers to bans, I had thought a block for usernames that are completely inappropriate would be allowed. I'll start a discussion on Project:How to handle unwanted edits. (WT-en) LtPowers 13:46, 14 April 2009 (EDT)
No worries, that was not at all directed at anyone in particular, several people have been doing this, and I consider it just a "practice creep" that is at odds with how our policies are written currently. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 15:53, 14 April 2009 (EDT)

Blocking spambots

Can anyone point me to the policy that allows blocking spambots for 3 months? (WT-en) LtPowers 13:09, 15 July 2009 (EDT)

Our policies allow discretionary permanent blocks for spambots per Project:Script_policy#Non-compliant_scripts. Our practice has evolved, though, and did so as unapproved scripts became something that the site actually had to contend with. The discussion above on this page recommended temp blocks for spambots, of escalating length. I wouldn't say we had a consensus there as to how long. Three months followed by six months was a practice that evolved. Admins seem to have liked it, since it is now a universal practice. Based on that practice, I wrote it into the administrator manual, which is not a policy, but does sum up common practice (it also contains more than a few personal recommendations, which haven't been universally adopted, e.g., spambot blocks should not prevent account creation).
Our policy on scripts, though, is the real hard policy. Discussions and practice that have followed have shaped how we do things. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 17:13, 15 July 2009 (EDT)
Ah, then my question becomes, how does one know that an edit like this is a script? (WT-en) LtPowers 19:03, 15 July 2009 (EDT)
We can identify them much the same way we identify vandalism or spamming on recentchanges—patterns of behavior, which patrollers get pretty good at recognizing. (An aside, but intelligence agencies do much the same to spot foreign intelligence agency/terrorist/criminal/etc. behavior.) Bots follow set patterns. We've seen this particular pattern for years, coming in high volume, across nearly all language versions, from endless numbers of ips. We've blocked countless of them, and no one has ever created an account or otherwise contacted the site to complain. We can't know with complete certainty what is going on, but I think we have actionable intelligence on this one. --(WT-en) Peter Talk 23:30, 15 July 2009 (EDT)

I don't think we need to have a policy on this. Rather, we should use administrators' experience and discretion. In the present case, I would argue against long blocks, because it is possible that the IPs themselves are innocent. The attacks seem to be coming from many different IPs, which points to a script being spread via HTML email or something. — (WT-en) Ravikiran 03:03, 17 July 2009 (EDT)

Unnominated user bans..

Discussion swept from Project:How to handle unwanted edits

This issue seems to come up a few times, as to what user bans are legitimate and at what times. Currently, the article dances around this issue, but I think we should be more explicit.

My understanding of the current policy is..

  1. If a user/anon is vandalising or exhibiting rampant anti-social behaviour at such a rate that is unreasonable to keep up with the reversions, then a ban up to 24-hours can be applied with no discussion. This is not a punitive action, but one to protect the integrity of the articles when reverting/monitoring changes is taking an excessive amount of time.
  2. If a user/anon is vandalising articles or exhibiting anti social behaviour, they can be nominated for a user ban, which they can be supported or not as the policy describes. Generally speaking they should not be banned during this nomination period, unless they continue to disrupt the running of the site, in which case a ban for up to 3-days can be applied.
  3. The response to an edit-war should normally be short term protection of the page concerned, and the initiation of a discussion on the talk page. If a particular user refuses to join the discussion, and continues to edit-war then this can be considered anti-social behaviour, in line with the policies above.

Is that what other people read from the current policy? If so, any reason why we can't just state it more explicitly? --(WT-en) inas 19:51, 10 May 2010 (EDT)

I think Project:User ban nominations has several discussions on this matter, most notably the "Blocks" and "Bans" discussion. My understanding of current consensus is that when someone is being repeatedly abusive an admin can apply a discretionary block - people (myself included) objected to the "rate that is unreasonable to keep up with" clause for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that with the amount of work required just to patrol edits there didn't seem to be enough good reasons not to allow use of a tool (temp user block) that makes that job easier when someone is being abusive. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 20:17, 10 May 2010 (EDT)
Thanks for the pointer, which led me to my own comment above, asking much the same question as I am asking now.
* How long can a discretionary block for anti-social behaviour run, before a user ban nomination is required?
* Can they be blocked without a warning being given?
* Can they be blocked for longer than 24-hours (rolling periods) without a user ban nomination?
* Can they be blocked for longer than 3 days without the required user ban process?
--(WT-en) inas 23:54, 10 May 2010 (EDT)
If I understand correctly then Project:How to handle unwanted edits#User ban answers your first, third and fourth questions: "Only the most short-term temporary bans (one day or less) are exempt from the user ban nominations process." I think current practice is that a first-time block is usually no more than two hours, and it may be escalated for repeat offenses. As to the second question, I don't think we have any guidelines about warnings, but since discretionary blocks should only be used for obvious cases I don't think a warning is needed - "stop replacing articles with profanity or you will be blocked from editing" isn't likely to have any effect. -- (WT-en) Ryan • (talk) • 00:05, 11 May 2010 (EDT)
Except user blocks are used for touting, edit-warring and a few other things as well. A quick browse through the logs seems to indicate a significant rise in the number of user blocks over time. --(WT-en) inas 23:04, 11 May 2010 (EDT)

Username, IP and email blocked, and talk page locked? How is this user to respond?

Swept in from the pub

this Wikivoyager's ability to respond to any allegations has been completely blocked. what is the precedent or policy behind this? And all in response to the user simply making the WV community aware that there is a predatory Wikivoyage bureaucrat stalking female wiki users? I don't understand what's going on. Can an admin explain please? —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)

I am not an admin but I am the user that proposed that IBobi be banned from Wikivoyage. Because he is currently a bureaucrat (and effective dictator) at the rapidly deteriorating Wikitravel, he already has a powerful and ready made soapbox at if he wishes to complain about anything at Wikivoyage.
Additionally he also knows an email address for many hundreds of Wikivoyage users if he cares to give rational and cogent reasons to any one of the many former editors of Wikitravel now active here why he should not be banned here. I for one, out of a sense of fairness, would feel duty bound to post such reasons received (in my e-mail box) in a new "oppose" subsection to my nomination at Wikivoyage:User_ban_nominations. -- Alice 23:24, 3 December 2012 (UTC)
Thank you Alice, but I was not referring to the account block. I'm asking why the unusual (unique?) step of also blocking email access as well as locking non-admins out of the user's Talk page? Why is that being done & where's the policy justification? And importantly, why is nothing (seemingly?) being done about the Bureaucrat Jpatokal he mentioned as stalking female wiki users? As far as I can tell, the bureaucrat has not denied the behavior, yet nothing is being done about it? Makes me feel unsafe here for the community leaders to ignore such threatening behavior when it's reported to them... —The preceding comment was added by (talkcontribs)
There was no stalking. The IB employee in question posted her first name (which has a fairly unique spelling) and employer on her user page; finding her LinkedIn profile is an utterly trivial matter. That doesn't constitute "stalking" by any stretch of the imagination. Anyway, since you seem to be posting from an Internet Brands IP address, I think we're done here. LtPowers (talk) 00:21, 4 December 2012 (UTC)Reply
First hit on google in fact. And how any of this has any relation to the fact that she is female is your own twisted mind at work. Sertmann (talk) 04:52, 4 December 2012 (UTC)Reply


Hi all, I can simply see through the history of the page and click on the link to see the old discussions, but haven't anyone here thought of making archiving in the same manner as in Wikipedia with that template (w:template:Archives)? It is automated and whenever you add a new archive page as PAGENAME/Archive NUMBER it is displayed next to the other archives. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 07:50, 25 September 2013 (UTC)Reply

What for? We only have one archive page. LtPowers (talk) 14:29, 25 September 2013 (UTC)Reply
In the very near future, you will have more than one, or that one would expand to an extent that it would load with difficulty. The archiving won't only be for that discussion, it can be used anywhere else. The best thing about it is that you would only have to put the template at the top of the main page and whenever you make a new archive page, it would automatically be listed. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 21:13, 25 September 2013 (UTC)Reply
The single archive you see contains ten years' worth of ban discussions. I think we're good for quite a while yet. Why do you think it will expand to an unusable level in "the very near future"? LtPowers (talk) 23:43, 25 September 2013 (UTC)Reply
Discussions always tend to expand overtime. It's the same for Wikipedia. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 11:21, 26 September 2013 (UTC)Reply
Eventually we may need a second archive page, but I think it's still years in the future. And the addition of new pages is thus rare enough that there's no need for an automated process. LtPowers (talk) 15:07, 26 September 2013 (UTC)Reply
Shall we accept the possibility that at some time in the future we may wish to automate archiving, and at that time we will consider the options available? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:52, 26 September 2013 (UTC)Reply
Yeah, I'd also say it's possible in the future but unnecessary right now. Texugo (talk) 19:00, 26 September 2013 (UTC)Reply

What is happening exactly?

Swept in from the pub

It seems like I (and I believe not to be the only one) missed some important processes happening behind the scenes of day to day work at WV. I am relatively new here so forgive me I don't get the whole context. Also some discussions seem to be not well concentrated and are dispersed all over the place, which makes it maybe more difficult to understand the underlying problem. Is the entire issue connected to W. Frank ban nomination or is there more to that (I certainly assume so)?

In any case, I am shocked to see two of our finest editors and administrators leaving without much words of explanation.

  • Is there anything we can do to revert the damage that happened already?
  • What is there to change to stabilize the situation and prevent loosing the best people? We can't really afford that!

--Danapit (talk) 16:25, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Danapit, I am happy that someone has finally raised this topic. It looks like most people care about the strict adherence to policies, but they pay less attention to the fact that prolific contributors leave the project. I don't think I am supposed to explain the reasons, but perhaps I may quote Peter: "too many chefs in this kitchen, and not enough sense to go around". Yes, it is related to the page you mentioned, but I think that it is also more general. Consensus, soft security, and all these things work well as long as people in the community share same ideas and have the ability to listen to each other. This does not work here any longer. Sad, but true. Honestly, I don't know what could be the way out, because the community has to reconsider some basic things, and for this it has to reach the consensus, but consensus can not be reached unless some people step back. And they really step back by emptying their user pages and leaving the project. I am thinking of doing the same.
To be more specific, the current consensus is that we put more effort to protect trolls than to keep long-time prolific contributors (for example, by protecting them from trolls). Unless this stance is reconsidered, more people are likely to leave. --Alexander (talk) 16:35, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
I can't speak for Jan and Peter, but my sense of things is that people are getting overly frustrated with the perceived levels of bureaucracy needed to get things done around here. When the site was smaller it was fairly easy to get unanimous agreements, everyone knew each other fairly well, it wasn't hard to follow all ongoing discussions, etc, but I think we're experiencing severe growing pains and need to revisit some longstanding site norms. At a high-level, I think our Wikivoyage:Consensus policy needs to address what happens when discussion simply fails to reach any agreement - we have far too many discussions that stall, discouraging people from even proposing changes. In addition, I think we need to re-instill the spirit of Wikivoyage:Plunge forward, but also make it clear where the limits should be (example: w:Wikipedia:Be bold#... but please be careful!). In the particular case of Frank, the lack of any specific policy that allowed us to deal with a problem editor led to endless discussion and all manner of tiresome edit patrolling, which could have been reduced if we really did believe in plunging forward and trusted that experienced editors who dealt with a difficult situation in ways that might not follow existing policies to the letter did so in good faith. I don't have any specific proposals for addressing these issues now, but it would be good if everyone could take some time to think through what problems they see and what solutions might work (particularly if those solutions have already been tried elsewhere) so that we can have a meaningful discussion and hopefully allow people to spend more time writing travel guides and less time discussing site policies. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:20, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
+1 --Rschen7754 20:07, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Consensus does not need to be unanimous, all it needs to be is majority. As WV grows unanimous consensus will become a thing of the past. The issue at hand does not appear to be that difficult to solve. Get consensus at the Wikivoyage:User ban nominations board. We could use a more formal Request for Comment process to help facilitate this but that is a different issue. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 18:43, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

This topic is about two long-time prolific editors leaving the project. I don't see how a consensus at Wikivoyage:User ban nominations can solve this very serious problem.
As a side note, for Danapit who started this topic: this comment by James is a perfect illustration to my words above. Some people in this community have no ability to listen to others or at least to understand what the conversation is about. --Alexander (talk) 18:58, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
In the limited context of this particular discussion, Doc James' comment does not appear unreasonable. Perhaps if you explained the full context to Danapit your meaning would be more clear. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 19:34, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
I am not sure that I understand you. The question was how to revert the damage and how to prevent further drama. Suggestions are still welcome, but I don't think there is one. I better refrain from further comments about the context. DocJames is already suffering from insults, and I am not sure that he has proper medicine. --Alexander (talk) 21:17, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
"Consensus does not need to be unanimous, all it needs to be is majority." Uh, no, that's not consensus, that's just majority rule (otherwise known as a democracy). Consensus doesn't necessarily mean unanimity, but it does mean general agreement, which isn't exactly the same but pretty close. PerryPlanet (talk) 19:44, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
I'd like to point out the irony that the two admins left precisely at the point at which action has begun to be taken. Ikan Kekek (talk) 20:47, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
It's a bit more nuanced than that. It involves evaluating the strength of the arguments and the level of opposition and support (as in, how strongly the supporters support, and how strongly the opposers oppose). It involves some in the minority realizing that they are in the minority, and becoming okay with the "majority" decision or at least finding it acceptable under the circumstances. It involves compromise to make sure that the rights of the minority are not simply trampled on. It involves recognizing that some people will oppose anything and cannot be reasoned with, and that reluctantly we do have to go with an overwhelming majority to get anything done. --Rschen7754 21:44, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Fair enough. I was mainly just objecting to Doc's statement that all you needed was a majority (not even "overwhelming majority", but just "majority"). That struck me as a pretty big misread of the definition of "consensus". PerryPlanet (talk) 21:55, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
We define consensus on our wiki, and the definition there seems to be a pretty good one to me. I don't necessarily thing there is too much wrong with how we build our our existing consensus. It saves us from things like flip-flopping between AM/PM styles, and spelling dialects changing with the latest users opinion. Our consensus building doesn't count votes without argument. A simple support or oppose doesn't count. Therefore, all arguments need to be addressed in order to build a consensus.
The issue (as I see it is) once someone goes against an already built consensus, we then need to build another consensus to actually do anything about it. If someone actually does something about it, they are just as likely to be pilloried as the perpetrator.
We perhaps have a general issue to address here. However, I'd like to propose the following to deal with this specific case.
You may find an action has been taken against your editing on our wiki, because it goes outside our policies. Another user may revert your change. Sometimes an admin may block your account to prevent edits against our policies from continuing. You will have the right to discuss any reversion or block, and to find out what the issue is. You have the right to contribute to a consensus building discussion on our policies. However, you do not have the right to make personal comments against another user or admin trying to uphold our policies in good faith. Doing so after a single warning will result in you being banned from the project.
I have infinite time for anyone trying to build the project up by argument and consensus building. Happy to indulge strong argument on article content. Understand that no-one is perfect, (even administrators :-). However, we need to support the people who invest their time in patrolling this site. They can have their decisions questions and discussed, but they can't be disparaged in completely separate contexts, simply for enforcing our consensus policies on our behalf --Inas (talk) 23:32, 2 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
  • What is happening exactly? Well, the answer is nothing. I have formed the opinion that a small body of long-established editors here resist even the most minor changes (Inas's fear-mongering of "flip-flopping" is just one example of an in-built stasis that prevents this site from evolving). My prediction is that WV is going to fade over the next few years, and then die. It's a great pity, but if any attempt to improve it is shafted by time-tested techniques in discussions and an effective veto power by a few people, I can see no alternative. Tony (talk) 01:15, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
That's not what this is about, and it's irritating for you to make that "prediction" in this context. The problem is that there are certain people - one in particular - whose response to being unable to gain a consensus behind their proposals is to make ornery comments about that in multiple situations, deliberately (and sometimes perhaps unwittingly but carelessly) insult admins and other users, and blatantly and knowingly flout consensus in his edits. I will make it plain that I'm talking about User:W. Frank, which you probably already knew. I personally have had a good working relationship with him, I like those edits he makes that are constructive, don't mind his opinions, and sometimes like his sarcastic sense of humor, so this is not at all about me, but Frank's antisocial side has taken up an inordinate amount of admins' time and has chased away an unknown number of editors, including two admins who recently retired out of frustration and another one who just announced that he will concentrate his edits in Russian Wikivoyage instead of here. Frank has been suspended a couple of times recently for persistent ornery and contrary behavior. Like Frank, you are welcome to express your opinions about matters of policy, but you should do so in a way that respects other users, which includes not gratuitously (and, correct me if I'm wrong, repeatedly) predicting the demise of the site because you evidently think those who disagree with you are so much less smart than you because they don't think your minority view on everything should govern site policy. So while I don't think you've ever come close to warranting a block, if you'd like to join Frank and be suspended yourself, just keep up with your annoying "predictions." This site isn't about you, and it isn't about me. But it's essential that an environment for peaceful and productive editing be maintained here, and that surely won't happen with a few individuals engaging in ornery behavior and hostile "predictions." Ikan Kekek (talk) 01:31, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
This kind of aggressive, threatening behaviour is just about convincing me that this site is going to die, actually. So you don't like what you hear? You then insult the editor and threaten to block. It would take a willingness to change, to be flexible, to convince me that this site was a huge waste of money for the WMF to take on. I'm thinking now that it should have stayed with the corporate raiders, left to die of its own accord. Now, instead of insulting and threatening me, you people need to act in a more functional way. Tony (talk) 01:59, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Sorry Tony, but you are also a part of the problem. You've just been as strident and even inflammatory in your remarks as anyone. It's interesting really, speaking as someone who has never edited a public wiki, not even pressing the "edit" button until the launch of Wikivoyage. Now that I've looked behind the veil at both WP and WV, the distinct thought is that these are perhaps flaws regarding discussion endemic to wikis. The decision making cannot be said to be better at WP, and maybe it is even more entrenched there. The feeling is that a lot of time is being spent on debating, rather than adding content. I've tried to avoid sticking my nose into discussions if I couldn't add anything new and prefer to cut through to the key of the matter, but I, like Alexander, regret not putting my oar in earlier at the user ban nominations. I started precisely because of the mantra of "Plunge forward", and finally removed my initial bugbears of dynamic maps, a listing editor and empty outlines, only to look up and see an exodus.
Community is important, civility is important. I could pretty much predict the same sad demise for WP, yet others have already done this before and been proven wrong. We will see what happens, and whether this discussion does come to a conclusion. -- torty3 (talk) 02:02, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Or perhaps you are the problem. Tony (talk) 02:05, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
This is exactly what I mean. Why are people running scared in Wikipedia talking about editor retention and lack of newcomers? Because people will not contribute if they feel threatened. I've not been threatened until now and I recognise my previous comment went a little far. Do you recognise the same for yourself? -- torty3 (talk) 02:24, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
(edit conflict) One thing I've learned from editing wikis in the past eight years is that there are enough opinions and personalities out there that every single person who edits will be perceived as a "problem" by someone else at some point, so let's just agree that we're all the problem and move on. While I would like to see all major contributors stick around forever, the site survived the loss of its founder and most of the individuals responsible for making it what it is today, so I'm confident that new users will continue to take up the reins and that we'll be fine in the years to come. That said, this latest episode is a chance for reflection on how we can make things better, and it might benefit all involved to take a few deep breaths, formulate some thoughts, and come back tomorrow with a fresh perspective and some actionable plans for making it easier to achieve (and perhaps even update?) our goals. -- Ryan • (talk) • 02:30, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Taking a deep breath is fine, but I think it's important for everyone to know that individuals who create a hostile work environment by being persistently ornery about not getting their way when they're in the minority may end up outside the site. Discussion and disagreement are always welcome, but you are way more likely to persuade people if you are respectful of those who at least initially don't share your opinion, and respect consensus while you argue for changing it. And if you really believe the site will die because it's your way or the highway, there are many highways you can travel without us, so it might be better for you to take one than to add insult to injury, especially at this time, with repeated prophecies of our doom. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:41, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
There we go again: batter down anyone who threatens your entrenched notions. I don't buckle under pressure, although there will come a time when I see this formulaic resistance to change (and unwillingness to support innovation) as terminal. There are clear signs of an entrenched culture that is rooted in some kind of nostalgia for the site as it was years ago; that is going to kill it off. My recent travels demonstrated starkly how inadequate it is for the needs of travellers, and how a few other sites individually offer a much better user experience in some key respects. Although en.WV does have some strengths, they alone are insufficient to stop its demise in a highly competitive, crowded market for travel information on the internet. The unfriendliness towards anyone who wants to promote change augurs badly for increasing the number of regular editors, particularly the housecleaners we so urgently need to keep its many corners up to date and professional. Tony (talk) 02:43, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Keep arguing for specific changes! Just do it without being hostile. And sure, the site might die - but realize, it's bigger than me and it's bigger than you. Ikan Kekek (talk) 02:47, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Because there is very little participation in discussions for bit-by-bit improvements/reforms, they are effectively vetoed by a few editors (you know very well who they are). This is not conducive to a site that needs to adapt and reform to survive. Tony (talk) 02:52, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
I'm one of the people you have yet to persuade to support your proposals on spelling, so you're at least partly talking about me. But I think the reason few people participate in that discussion is that few care. However, it's not like no-one can ever persuade a consensus to adopt changes on this site. People with good arguments and powers of persuasion have achieved the adoption of some major changes, such as pagebanners, a redesigned front page, and the Airport Expedition. There was also much discussion of the possibility of more Wikipedia links (which I was also willing to consider under certain circumstances), but no consensus has yet been achieved. However, some positive things came out of the discussion. I doubt this site will die over the issue of spelling, but if you have other proposals that more people might be interested in, you can try to garner more interest by posting a link to your proposal at Wikivoyage:Requests for comment, and possibly here in the Pub. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:01, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
@User:Tony1. Sigh. I reject your accusation of fear mongering. It is simply that sometimes there are equally good reasons to do things different ways, and sometimes we have to make a call on one way to do them. Toss a coin, scissors paper rock, whatever. However, once done we don't need to re-consider these decisions every time the same arguments are repeated do we? New ideas, improvements, etc, are in a different league, and should be discussed and tried. But no-one should be too surprised at the lack of interest in a discussion British/American spelling yet again. --Inas (talk) 03:33, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Making major changes on either WP or WV is hard but not impossible. This is not really surprising. We have large communities who have developed the way things are now and a new idea needs to be good to justify change. What change have you proposed Tony? Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:59, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

I will make an observation here at the risk of offending some people, though that is not the intention. There are many people who have the best interests of the project at heart, and feel very strongly that they know what is good for the project. Logically, they will do whatever they can to further what they believe is best for the project. Logically, to them, they feel frustrated when other people will not accept what they know is right. Logically, they take offense when their beliefs are dismissed as unimportant or nonsense, even when the perceived opponent truly believes this to be the case. The truth of their own belief is so self-evident that it is obvious that those who deny it are malicious, stupid, deluded or misinformed. When they still disagree after the point has been explained so clearly that it is impossible to misunderstand, this leaves malicious, stupid and deluded as the remaining options. It is difficult to come to a compromise between true believers with opposing views. Or maybe I am wrong? Is some other explanation why people who seem well-intentioned, friendly and helpful, and work so hard together to produce something of enduring value can be so bitterly opposed over what seems to a third party to be a small matter? • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 07:32, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
If you look at the text above, and on this user's talk page, and in the policy articles, you'll see so many examples of people being patient and polite with this user. Ryan, Ikan, have responded calmly and thoughtfully today. In the discussions the arguments placed have been met. The reverse has not been true. At the end of a rant, canning the project and the people on it, a strong community should stand behind the people who've tried to manage this issue, handle it rationally, and make arguments in line with our consensus building way. They shouldn't accommodate the person who has made the attacks, and who has flown off the handle. That's not a cabal or conspiracy. It's recognizing the people who do so much valuable volunteer work for the community, cop the flak, and keep going. I want to encourage new users. I want to encourage disruptive innovation. I want to interact politely with all our community. But we have to accept that there are variety of contributors, and we should make sure the squeaky wheel doesn't get all the oil. --Inas (talk) 10:23, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Some of us are more able to remain civil in a disagreement than others. Lack of civility is not necessarily an indication of bad faith, but how much one tolerates is also a personal choice. There is also the problem of personal interpretation, and cultural variance. What may be perfectly friendly in one country may be interpreted as hostile or uncouth in another. And that is just regional variations of English without taking into account the difficulties that a non-native speaker may have. However, in some cases almost everyone will agree that an unjustified personal attack has been made. Where and how to draw the line and what to do about it is a complex problem. Perhaps a third party could be chosen as an arbitrator. Someone who is acceptable to both parties in a dispute, and who is not involved, on the pre-condition that the arbitrator's decision will be respected by both sides. It may work, it may not. It may be worth a try. The arbitrator need not necessarily be a Wikivoyager. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:06, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hmmm. I'm obviously not making my point very well. We already have the situation where an administrator acting in good faith, administering the policies on our site that have evolved by consensus is subject to sideswipes around the wiki, and then has to justify his actions as if they are a party in a personal dispute, rather than a volunteer helping with a mop and a whistle. What we need is more people to stand behind those people who are putting in, instead of feeling they need to pander to the contributor making the noise. I fear another layer of arbitration may just play into the hands of those whose interest is in dispute and drama. --Inas (talk) 11:29, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
I am with Inas in that respect. I would not like to see further levels of arbitration, especially from outsiders who may not be familiar with our processes and policies in the first place. I also agree that admin's using the mop and whistle should be supported in their decisions and not treated like they are in a personal difference-of-opinion dispute where the problem user they are trying to rein in is given equal respect and opportunity to try and discredit said admin. I think we need something like the proposal in the section below. Texugo (talk) 12:49, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Like Danapit, this sudden turn of events came as a complete surprise to me. The discussions that seem to have led to this position appear to have gone over my head, but that's perhaps a blessing in disguise. I think it's a terrific shame that we've lost several well-liked and experienced editors recently and we must do all we can to draw them back or at least prevent this from happening again.

From what I've seen, there doesn't appear to be a particular area of policy for the community itself rather than the content. With that in mind, I might suggest the two following tenets:

  1. Wikivoyage is fun
  1. There's a place for everyone

I've already written a very basic description of 'Wikivoyage is fun', which you can see by clicking the link. 'There's a place for everyone' would state that all are welcome here and that you will not be marginalised for an opinion or mistake that you've made. I understand that many people already view these as accepted wisdom and I certainly don't mean for them to be patronising, but would it perhaps be good to get these down in writing? Any thoughts welcome! --Nick talk 13:18, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

I really like the "Wikivoyage is fun" essay - once again, I am touched by how much heart you throw into this project - but I'm not really sure what it would have done to help the current situation. The problem is that there isn't a place for everyone - at least not if your intent is to disingenuously subvert, ignore, or act against the consensus of the community, or to insult other users, or to discredit administrators who are simply doing their lowly jobs, or to delegitimize policies in a way that doesn't involve balanced and respectful community discussion. There appear to be some people willing to ignore endless warnings not to do certain things which go against the ideal of WV being a happy and fun community. We need to have a clear, decisive, and documented way to deal with those cases. Texugo (talk) 13:36, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Reading through the discussion above (and at de:Lounge) I certainly see and understand better what got us into this point and it is shame that things got so far.
Now, I think a policy along the lines proposed by Texugo is way to go. I also believe Nick's Wikivoyage is fun and There's a place for everyone might be an important piece of policy or a guideline. Danapit (talk) 14:06, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
That "Wikivoyage is fun" essay is great. Even though it wouldn't be formal policy, it would be a nice thing to link to when things get too heated, just as a way of saying "chillax". It won't stop the most persistent trouble users (as Texugo noted), but it could be employed to ease tensions with a more moderately-minded individual before things go too far, as well as just a nice general statement about what we're all about. PerryPlanet (talk) 15:36, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Proposal: Revise policy on dealing with repeated unwanted edits

Discussion transferred to Wikivoyage talk:How to handle unwanted edits#Proposal: Revise policy on dealing with repeated unwanted edits. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 08:30, 7 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

The End

Currently refining our iceberg avoidance techniques so this doesn't happen!

FYI, there is now one admin and bureaucrat less on English Wikivoyage.

" admission that our community is not strong, patient, and professional enough to deal with unwanted edits..." Remember all this rubbish? It became reality now. I hope it will be a good lesson to other language versions. --Alexander (talk) 19:58, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

It's a damn shame it came to that. I feel like we should have a funeral or something. But instead, let's focus on revamping our policies- I've always felt like that line you quoted was not quite right. Blocking a user who is steadfastly bent on being disruptive should not in fact reflect poorly on our community - on the contrary: we can be strong and patient, and then if the time comes when that is obviously not going to work, we can be professional enough to put a definitive end to the problem before the disruptive editing weakens our community by driving away exasperated volunteers. Texugo (talk) 20:18, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Hey Saqib, let's not go that far. We ain't all dead yet! Let's try to stay positive! (edited your caption for a more positive spin) Texugo (talk) 21:03, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Before we whip out the bagpipes and start playing "Amazing Grace", I would like to point to the discussion right above this one as evidence that many of us are committed to really learn something from all of this and not let the unfortunate loss of a beloved user be for nothing. PerryPlanet (talk) 22:01, 3 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
You know, Alexander, while I greatly appreciate all the work you've done on English Wikivoyage until now, you could choose to work on creating new procedures, such as the ones Texugo is proposing, rather than pronouncing our doom. I don't consider it any more helpful for you to do that than for anyone else to do it. Meanwhile, we'll work on this without your help, and you'll doubtless do great things on Russian Wikivoyage. See you around. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:13, 4 October 2013 (UTC)Reply
Alexander is just pointing out that this problem was foreseen and considered not worth providing for during the pre-migration policy consolidation and clarification drive. Prophets whose warnings were not heeded and later turn out to happen are often unpopular, So it goes. On the other hand it is quite possible that many disasters have been averted because doom was prophesied and some action was taken (Y2K?). Hard to prove either way in most cases. • • • Peter (Southwood) (talk): 11:13, 4 October 2013 (UTC)Reply

Tony1 (Part 3)

Moved from User talk:Wrh2#Personal information
@Danapit - due to the WT lawsuit much of my personal information is already a matter of public record, and I accept that it's important for people on WMF projects to know my real name so that they can identify me as the same person who the WMF helped defend during that lawsuit. My primary concern with the Signpost discussions were 1) use of my full name in those discussions was unnecessary given the context, and 2) a Signpost article is going to rank highly in search results, so using my full name alongside disputed accusations of bullying and erroneous accusations about prostitution is likely to cause unnecessary headaches for me in the future. Since my real name is a well-known fact I accept that others have a right to use it, but I would also like to have the right to edit that usage when appropriate. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:49, 8 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
That seems a fair and nuanced balance.
Does Tony have form for this kind of unacceptable behaviour? Was everything discussed here "on-wiki" before his ban proposal or did some of the ban discussions take place "off-wiki"? -- 16:03, 8 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Wikivoyage talk:User ban nominations would be the right place for that discussion. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:07, 8 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

It would be if the discussion around a ban for Tony1 had not already been archived. Now that it has, I don't think the archived discussion should be opened unless that archival is to be reversed.
And I don't exactly want to prod Tony back into action by starting a whole new Tony section just to get you to answer those two simple questions with your personal, best guess opinions. So, I ask you for the third time, Ryan:
i) Does Tony have form for this kind of unacceptable behaviour?
ii) Was everything discussed here "on-wiki" before his ban proposal or did some of the ban discussions take place "off-wiki"? -- 03:08, 9 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Perhaps the confusion comes from the unfamiliar syntax "have form". I have no idea what you mean by it. LtPowers (talk) 15:42, 9 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Sorry to be obscure, I forgot that's probably obscure Kiwi police/crim jargon where you come from. Translation: Does Tony1 have a previous history of knowingly linking real life identities to on-line avatars in an effort to harass or blacken characters unfairly. --118.93nzp (talk) 02:40, 10 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
I am not aware of any off-wiki discussions about banning Tony. Texugo (talk) 16:00, 9 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Thank you, Texugo. If Ryan would also give me his opinion too, then I can put that particular concern to bed, too. --118.93nzp (talk) 02:40, 10 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Bump: Ryan? --118.93nzp (talk) 16:25, 11 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

I responded earlier [1]. -- Ryan • (talk) • 16:27, 11 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Yes, I saw that you wrote "Wikivoyage talk:User ban nominations would be the right place for that discussion" and I responded to that by writing "It would be if the discussion around a ban for Tony1 had not already been archived. Now that it has, I don't think the archived discussion should be opened unless that archival is to be reversed", Ryan. The original Tony1 ban remains archived and now the second ban discussion is archived too.
I still "...don't exactly want to prod Tony back into action by starting a whole new Tony section just to get you to answer those two simple questions with your personal, best guess opinions. So, I ask you for the." fourth time, Ryan:
i) Does Tony have form for this kind of unacceptable behaviour?
ii) Was everything discussed here "on-wiki" before his ban proposal or did some of the ban discussions take place "off-wiki"? --118.93nzp (talk) 16:53, 11 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
I shall, for the fourth time, choose not to engage in this latest witch hunt. If you want to make further allegations about an "old boy's club fora" [2] please don't do it on my talk page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 17:04, 11 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
I'm sorry if I've hit a raw nerve, Ryan and I hope this will be the last time I need to write on your talk page about this topic.
I think you miss the point. It's precisely because I don't wish to engage in a witch hunt or make further allegations about "old boy's club fora" that I'd like you to answer the second question. The allegation emailed to me (with quotes) is that you were one of the participants in the off-wiki(voyage) discussions - hence my question. Sorry to press you! --118.93nzp (talk) 17:16, 11 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Ryan has clearly asked you to stop pestering him about this. Is there a particular reason why you're bugging him about it when Texugo has already given you an answer? LtPowers (talk) 20:20, 11 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

I've moved this thread out of my talk page. Just to make clear: the accusation that I'm being asked to respond to is that admins, and myself in particular, are acting in bad faith by colluding on an "old boy's club fora where the discussions to block Tony1... took place" [3], that Tony1 was blocked for reasons not revealed on English Wikivoyage, and that this block was not done to deal with disruptive editing [4] but is instead an example of bullying and attempts to silence dissent? Is that correct? Let's be very, very clear about the apparent insinuations being made about this "old boy's club fora", and let's also be clear that, in my opinion, 1) repeated, 2) ongoing, and 3) unsubstantiated accusations by User:W. Frank, User:Alice and 118.93nzp (note: I am not suggesting these accounts are sock-puppets by listing them together) that individuals here are acting in bad faith (censorship, bullying, an old boy's club, etc) are grounds to consider an immediate ban nomination should they continue - see w:WP:AOBF for Wikipedia's policy on the subject. We can disagree with one another, but the site cannot function in an environment where individuals are repeatedly insinuating that other editors have anything but the site's best interests at heart, and this constant questioning of motives has been poisonous over the past several months. If I'm going to respond to a witch-hunt, I want it to be clear what that witch-hunt seems to be about, and that any response should represent the last chapter in this whole saga. 118.93nzp, does the above accurately capture your accusations? Please note, while I'll respond to the specific allegation being made, I'm going to exercise my right to ignore this subject entirely should it veer into tangents. -- Ryan • (talk) • 21:29, 11 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

I think that's a very fair and complete summary, Ryan (with only a few caveats which I reserve the right to deal with later in this thread if my two questions are not finally answered by you and I haven't been blocked).
I'd like to commend you for dealing with this in an open manner - although I still have reservations about dealing with it using Tony's name as a heading and on this particular page rather than an entirely new page such as wv:The mop cupboard dealing with possible abuses of WV admin tools.
Perhaps you now have some gut feeling of what Alice and Frank and Tony have had to endure when you write so passionately about "witch-hunts" and "unsubstantiated accusations".
All three of those accounts have unequivocally denied that they were alternative accounts of the other. In the interests of transparency and putting this "...particular concern to bed" please would you, Ryan, now answer clearly and unequivocally if, to the best of your own personal knowledge and belief whether everything "was discussed here "on-wiki" before his ban proposal or did some of the ban discussions take place "off-wiki"? " --118.93nzp (talk) 23:03, 11 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
The only email correspondence I engaged in with respect to Tony's block was from James, sent after Tony was blocked (on October 4) and raising concerns about the block, and my response was to insist that any discussion happen on-wiki rather than in private communication. I applied the block to Tony's account only after two requests to de-escale the situation ([5] and [6]), after a ban nomination, what I felt was increasing aggressiveness including threats [7], and solely in an effort to halt what appeared to be an escalation of heated rhetoric [8]. While the Signpost incident (especially the comments following the article publication) appear to have resulted in another ugly escalation of this episode, I want to acknowledge that Tony's recent interactions here [9] and at Wikipedia [10] have been much more congenial, and I hope that this relationship can be repaired.
Again, we can disagree without assuming ulterior motives. I don't plan to comment further on this matter, so let's please get back to writing travel guides. -- Ryan • (talk) • 00:37, 12 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
All of that is very useful to know and interesting and fair and, knowing the little I do about you, Ryan - exactly the moral and transparent behaviour I would expect from you, Ryan.
However and unfortunately, it does not answer my question (unless we're to engage in oblique implication), which was not necessarily about e-mail exchanges you may have had or not had but rather whether, to the best of your own personal knowledge and belief, everything was discussed here "on-wiki" before Tony's proposed ban or did some of the ban discussions take place off-wiki(voyage)?
For example, you may have been a silent observer of or had passive knowledge of other fora that you, personally, did not participate in? On-line chat? IRC channels? --118.93nzp (talk) 01:14, 12 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Do you have any reason to suspect this is the case, or are you just dragging this controversy out for your own amusement? LtPowers (talk) 01:37, 12 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
Yes to the first, no to the second.
And it's not me dragging things out. I'll wait patiently now for Ryan's clear and unequivocal answer - or not - as he chooses, and not comment further unless it's really essential. --118.93nzp (talk) 02:31, 12 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
I also feel this is being dragged out unnecessarily. The discussion around Tony 1 was closed. I don't see what you want to achieve with these questions. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 02:38, 12 November 2013 (UTC)Reply
For what it's worth, I am not aware of any off-wiki discussions about banning Tony.
In line with your request for transparency, 118.93nzp, would you mind posting to your user page a list of IP addresses (and user accounts, if any) that you have used in the past. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think you posted this list, so you presumably you won't mind posting earlier ones. You could start by copying that list to your user page. Then start working back to earlier ones. Of particular interest is any addresses/accounts you used in early Oct, so we can see what (if any) input you had to the discussion about banning Tony. Then work your way back through the addresses you used for the anonymous editing you described here. For my own part, I have not used any other account in my 10 years here and I have disclosed (in an incidental way) in this edit that I have used I have also used a workplace IP (which I won't disclose) - suffice to say I have made 5 edits from it in the past 10 years and they were all routine edits to destination articles, probably when I didn't realise my login had timed out. Any other IP edits I have made would have been similarly accidental and innocuous. Thanks. Nurg (talk) 05:25, 12 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

There was no off wiki discussion of banning Tony that I am aware of. It all occured on WV. Travel Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 08:10, 14 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

That's helpful, Doc. Thank you! --118.93nzp (talk) 08:16, 14 November 2013 (UTC)Reply

Australian IP vandal

As of right now, our dealings with the problematic Australian user take up most of the user ban page. However, strictly speaking, this is not a user ban nomination—it's already been decided what to do about this user, and the discussion remains in place on the page only so we can keep track of which IP addresses the vandal uses.

There must be a better place for this information. Wikipedia has w:Wikipedia:Long term abuse—but regarding the local analogue (Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress), I feel that continued vigilance in the monitoring of the situation by the community is too important to move the discussion to such a dead page.

What do you propose we do?

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:23, 22 December 2013 (UTC)Reply

Wikivoyage:Vandalism in progress might actually be a good place to put this. But I guess people who don't patrol recent changes see certain corners of this site less than I do. Ikan Kekek (talk) 03:36, 22 December 2013 (UTC)Reply

Should we ban any new account based on its name?

I'm tempted to ban User:Irresistible urge to vándalize before they have a chance to fulfill the prophecy, but I will take no action. What do you all think about this kind of preemptive user ban? Ikan Kekek (talk) 21:21, 24 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits#User ban notes: "An obvious vandal is someone who is clearly here to edit maliciously, such as... individuals with clearly malicious user names such as "User:I AM GOING TO VANDALIZE!!!!!" or "User X is a NAZI!!!!!!". Registered accounts of malicious editors may be blocked indefinitely." Based on current policy, a pre-emptive strike would not be inappropriate. -- Ryan • (talk) • 22:36, 24 April 2014 (UTC)Reply
It's already locked globally, so there's no need to block. But yes, this is a block-on-sight username just like an impersonation account. Powers (talk) 22:51, 24 April 2014 (UTC)Reply
An accent on the a? Tex blocked a vandal named User:Badfaithvándal a few minutes ago. Maybe the same person? ϒpsilon (talk) 17:16, 25 April 2014 (UTC)Reply
Here is yet another one. ϒpsilon (talk) 17:38, 25 April 2014 (UTC)Reply
We get the idea; let's not give this guy any more publicity. Powers (talk) 20:57, 25 April 2014 (UTC)Reply

Breaking a logjam?

We have had a number of users — Tony, Frank, 118.whatever, Alice under current discussion, perhaps others — banned for "disruptive edits", failures of civility, "forum shopping", insulting tone, ... We have also had some valuable long-term editors leave in disgust because of their "antics", which is beyond question a loss to the project.

For the record, I am not the least bit interested in discussing either allegations of sock puppetry or claims that there is a cabal at work here to suppress innovation and "shoot the messenger". In my view, neither of those discussions is likely to lead anywhere useful.

I agree that all of those people sometimes behave in distinctly irritating ways and I understand the reasoning behind the bans. On the other hand, all of those people did make some positive contributions too (in Tony's case, I think only by provoking worthwhile discussion) and I am not at all certain bans are the best way to deal with the problem. For one thing, as I see it, instituting such bans represents a policy change that should have discussion and consensus before action. I now regret not starting such a discussion earlier, but better late than never.

Clearly, none of these people are in the usual ban-on-sight categories: spammers, vandals, etc. Of the categories on the unwanted edits page, the best fit seems to be troll, and even that is not an exact fit. Moreover, the stated policy on handling trolls is:

The best way to protect yourself and Wikivoyage against trolling is to keep an open mind and not take yourself or the site too seriously. Keep a level head during editorial conflicts and edit wars, remember to be fair and objective as often as possible, and try to keep focused on issues rather than on personalities. Most of all, avoid being pompous, authoritative, or pushy. One of the best ways to let yourself be trolled is to accuse someone of being a troll.

If these people are trolls, which I think is highly debatable, then why are we not following the stated policy in dealing with them? If they are not, then do we need to update the policy page?

Further down, there is a section on escalating user blocks, but the header says last resort options for dealing with really, really problematic situations. I cannot see that that applies here. Granted, all these users are problematic, but really, really seems questionable. Perhaps I am just more tolerant than others. I once wrote on another wiki:

I have a remarkably thick skin. I was involved in spam-fighting back when the Usenet Kook Kabal were active. I was not there early enough to be on Grubor's "List of known homosexuals on Usenet", but I did have an entry on their "NetScum" page and when they turned to labelling anyone they did not like a pedophile, I was one of several targets. Mailing lists I am on currently include one that is mostly Marxist intellectuals and another that is mainly hacker NRA members who vote for Ron Paul. In both places, I am sometimes deliberately provocative and get soundly abused for it.

Anyway, I think it is worth considering alternatives to bans.

One is to just ignore or revert the silly edits. Consider "40 km". I want to add "(25 miles)". Others might want to delete the addition in a metric-only country or to abbreviate to "mi". I disagree; I think those who are used to medieval measurements should be accommodated but since everything here is printed on 100% recycled electrons, I think it is unreasonable to inflict the abbreviation on anyone. Alice and Frank both want to avoid the risk of badly placed line breaks, Alice by making it "40km" and Frank with an HTML-coded non-breaking space; this is a valid concern but not, in my view, worth the trouble of either an edit or a revert.

One problem has been that some of these users change policy pages to reflect a pet idea, then go off and change multiple guide pages, pointing to the policy as justification. Would it help much to restrict editing policy pages to admins. Or perhaps to auto-confirm users?

Are there other possible courses? Pashley (talk) 19:16, 29 May 2014 (UTC)Reply

I think all of your concerns above have already been discussed fairly extensively at Wikivoyage talk:How to handle unwanted edits (start with "Proposal: Revise policy on dealing with repeated unwanted edits"). Policy pages have since been updated to reflect the outcomes of those discussions, and the current ban nomination with Alice is a reflection of the fact that a number of editors here feel that users whose who have a significant negative effect on the site and who do not show any willingness to change their behavior should be subject to a ban nomination as a means of making the seriousness of the situation clear, and to give others a last resort in dealing with them. If others want to re-open those discussions to consider "alternatives to bans" then we can do so, but those were long and often contentious discussions, so I think the starting point for any new discussion needs to be the current guidelines, and not a blank page where we try to craft an entirely new policy. -- Ryan • (talk) • 20:13, 29 May 2014 (UTC)Reply
(edit conflict)
Regarding the text of Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits, the text you cite is pretty well divorced from how we deal with userbans in practice. Over the years, the Wikitravel/Wikivoyage community has taken a progressively harder line when it comes to bad-faith editors (check out some of the earliest threads in Wikivoyage:User ban nominations/Archive for some approaches to vandalism mitigation that would be considered completely laughable by modern standards) and has placed progressively more emphasis on civility, which is as it should be: our community has grown since then and learned through trial and error what works and what doesn't. The text on the policy page absolutely should be changed to reflect the reality on the ground, and many attempts to formally change policy have been made by various members of the community (example), all of which, predictably, got bogged down in hemming and hawing and ended up fizzling out. Now once again, I myself am trying to start a discussion on streamlining our policy on unwanted edits, but even now, with the issue of the Alice/Frank/118 saga fresh on everyone's mind again, it's still like talking to a brick wall - which is really, really frustrating. That being the case, we're forced to ask ourselves which is the better option: deferring to unwritten precedent for the lack of a workable written policy, or letting the inmates run the asylum while we sit and wait for a miraculous break in the logjam? Quite clearly, the former option is the superior one.
I am quite receptive to the two ideas you cite in the final portion of your comments (restricting editing of policy pages to admins and autoconfirming users), but in general, it seems quite clear to me that the solution is to bring the text of our policy pages up to date vis-à-vis what our policies, for all intents and purposes, actually are.
−− AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:15, 29 May 2014 (UTC)Reply

A Measure of Your Team’s Health: How You Treat Your “Idiot”

Interesting article from Slashdot; I have used its title for this section. I wonder to what extent it might apply here.

Of course, it talks of "one person involved who could most charitably be described as a well-meaning dummy" and that does not describe the people we ban; they are not dumb and "well-meaning" is debatable. Pashley (talk) 17:56, 2 June 2014 (UTC)Reply

It's important to clarify that we have never, and should never, ban someone for being bad at travel writing or at using a wiki. Bans have only been used for individuals who are editing maliciously or, in two recent cases, have refused to desist from behavior that others find detrimental to the project, after months of requests to do so. The cited article notes the following about successful teams: "Everyone was conscious that we could achieve far more together than we ever could on our own; we cherished the skills of everyone else." I'd like to think that's true here, but the key is the "everyone" part of that statement - 118 and Alice have both been openly contemptuous of others and accused them of working against the interest of the project for selfish reasons, which creates a difficult environment for others. Insofar as the article is about how to create a successful team, it is clear that "working together" is key, and thus I'm not sure it is relevant to anything that has ever come up on the ban nomination page. -- Ryan • (talk) • 18:16, 2 June 2014 (UTC)Reply
Precisely. The main issue here is how to define "team". It's unpleasant and contrary to our goals to treat collaboration on Wikivoyage as an us-vs.-them situation, but 118 and Alice (and Frank) gave us no choice but to do so. In order to get back to operating in a constructive or collegial spirit, it was necessary for us to do what we did. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 18:28, 2 June 2014 (UTC)Reply
I'm pretty sure most sucessful Open Source projects have 'difficult' users as well, although the Slashdot article does not seem to be about that scenario. We don't ban people for 'idiot' behavior, although I do sometimes observe an agressive reaction when some new user's contribution is undone. Ussually the user goes away before a ban discussion is required. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:21, 3 June 2014 (UTC)Reply

Auto archiving

Per WV:Pub#Automatic archiving, this page was identified as a candidate for auto-archiving using User:ArchiverBot, so I've set this up to automatically archive threads that have been inactive for four weeks. Please revert me if there are objections.-- Ryan • (talk) • 01:05, 3 December 2014 (UTC)Reply


I object to the archiving of the discussion over Conserve.

First, the rules of this page require the user to be notified of the discussion. This was not done. Second, the user was indefinitely blocked, a procedure which only applies to long-term problem users and obvious vandals/spambots. Neither applies in this case.

Absent further policy-based justifications, I feel I must unblock Conserve in the near future.

-- Powers (talk) 19:40, 4 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

The discussion was archived because we had a consensus that an indefban was justified. You were the only one who thought differently, but consensus ≠ unanimity, and you know that. Speaking for myself, I would be hard-pressed to avoid regarding any unblocking of this user contrary to consensus as abuse of the sysop tools. If you don't like the recent changes that the community has enacted in the way userbans are handled, that's unfortunate, but again, consensus ≠ unanimity. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 20:05, 4 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Okay, that's fair enough. But the original indef block was not justified under current policy, and I'd like to clarify the boundaries of that policy for the future. I'm also not clear on what policy is cited to justify the consensus ban, either. Powers (talk) 01:53, 5 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
As you know, we've tried many times to update Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits to reflect current practice, with only limited success. It's been hard enough to establish a consensus when the question is a simple yes-or-no one, such as "should (x) user be blocked"; when the question has an unlimited number of possible answers, such as "how should we reword policy", it requires a level of pulling together that we've not been able to muster. What the solution to that problem is, I don't know, but in a recent pub conversation, PrinceGloria and myself started on a promising, if embryonic, discussion about "streamlin[ing] the process of gathering consensus and implementing policy, or... encourag[ing] input from a wider slice of the community when policy issues come up, or... establish[ing] some guidelines for the scope of policy discussions so that they don't get derailed by folks going off on a thousand different tangents" that might be expanded upon.
As far as policy justification for banning the user, it was an indefban as an obvious vandal per Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits#User ban (the second item in the bullet-point list). While your points about the subtle differences between vandalism and trolling were well-taken, I think in this particular case they're moot - whether or not his conduct fell within the exact boundaries of "vandalism", the user's bad faith was ably demonstrated by his history both here and at Wikitravel, a point echoed by the majority of the community. Also see Rschen7754's comment on another archived userban nomination: "honestly, I do think that 'accounts created solely to troll' should be allowed to skip the nomination process [and be automatically indefbanned]", a maxim we've employed uncontroversially on several instances thereafter.
-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 03:06, 5 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Actually, while I support the ban for the user who triggered this discussion, Powers has a point. This user should and would still be banned, but I'd agree that in line with policy and in order to err on the site of caution (which is also a base line of policy), an indef block for trolling is better posted as a nomination first. I think we need to get the issue straight, though. While there are differences, most of agree with AndreCarrotflower that in principal there's no need to distinguish between trolling and vandalism for the purposes of userbans. However, Powers is right that interpreting what is (obvious) trolling is not as straightforward (as we've seen in another recent block and unblock too). If it's a clear enough case, support or consensus (even if not unanimity) is gained easily enough, as it was in this user's case after the fact. If it's not a clear enough case, the community may want to opt for escalating blocks, and that should be fine too. For the record, I support more swift ways of handling clearly unwanted edits, it just shouldn't mean we try to avoid discussions and consensus where we can. We must change the general understanding of what is policy, common practice and what's right, so consensus comes easier. I think we're clearly moving in that direction. JuliasTravels (talk) 11:56, 5 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Julias - The policy I cited specifically authorizes indefbans without consultation for "obvious vandals". Wikivoyage:How to handle unwanted edits takes an extremely milquetoast approach to problem users under most circumstances (the source of many of the problems we've been having at Wikivoyage:User ban nominations), so if for this particular category of troublemaker it deviates and prescribes strong medicine, it follows that the policy was most likely considered at length and instituted for a good reason. Powers makes a good point when he notes there is a higher standard for coming to a definitive conclusion of bad faith (i.e. "obviousness") in trolls than there is in vandals - but that's moot; consensus has already established that User:Conserve's conduct qualifies as "obvious trolling". Once that determination has already been made, I maintain that there is no further need to treat trolls differently from vandals. Bad faith is bad faith; disruption is disruption. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 17:02, 5 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
You're misunderstanding me. I wasn't referring to User:Conserve specifically - as far as I'm concerned, that issue is closed, and I agree with you. As to Powers more general concerns however, I'm saying it's reasonable to make the determination of "obvious trolling" a short discussion we have before the block, not a call of an individual mod with a discussion afterwards. JuliasTravels (talk) 17:13, 5 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
I fear we have different ideas of what constitutes "obvious trolling". If context is required (such as from other sites) for the behavior to be identified as trolling, then it's not really obvious.
There's also the problem that the motives of trolls and vandals are quite different. Good-faith users rarely indulge in outright vandalism, but some do sometimes succumb to trolling behavior. Add that to the difficulty in identifying expert trolls, and troll-blocks become something I'm really not comfortable with any admin making unilaterally.
-- Powers (talk) 21:26, 5 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Giving it a rest

Swept in from the pub

After giving it some thought, I've decided to temporarily recuse myself from any Wikivoyage tasks that involve cleaning up vandalism and instituting user bans. This break will not extend to any of my other usual activities on Wikivoyage, and I hope that it does not affect my continued status as administrator.

While I remain very optimistic about the more realistic approach the community has been taking to the issue of unwanted edits since the days when Peter, Jan and Alexander walked away in frustration, I also feel that I've begun taking my self-appointed role as sheriff far too seriously, and it's begun affecting my enjoyment of Wikivoyage as a whole as well as my working relationships with various other editors. I apologize to anyone I may have crossed the line with over this issue, and specifically to Powers. I hold our team of administrators in the highest regard, and I am completely confident they will keep our momentum going vis-à-vis combating problem edits while I focus my attention on other aspects of Wikivoyage.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 22:39, 5 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Thanks for engaging in what is an unenjoyable aspect of Wikivoyage (and wikis in general) AndreCarrotflower. Nevertheless, we do need a wide range of opinions to balance between the idealistic and pragmatic approaches to unwanted edits and I hope your absence from this area will indeed prove temporary. Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:17, 6 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Andrewssi2. With all the drama that's gone on in the past few months, from the IB vandalism just after the fork to the Telstra user to the Alice/Frank/118 boondoggle, it's sometimes been hard for me to keep things in perspective and remember that Wikivoyage is supposed to be fun and not a battleground. In that spirit, I feel that it's necessary to stop and catch my breath before it starts eating into the friendly and collegial working relationships I have with pretty much every editor here - but don't worry, my absence from these proceedings will most definitely be temporary. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:59, 6 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Cheers to you, Andre, for knowing when to step back from tasks that aren't fun. No one likes dealing with problem editors. You've been very good at sniffing them out; feel free to ping me if you happen to see one you don't want to deal with. Powers (talk) 02:49, 6 January 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks for your work on Wikivoyage. I do understand. I did the same recently. -- DerFussi 08:20, 12 January 2015 (UTC)Reply

Plunging forward?

Swept in from the pub

Bon is in Chad. Thats all i know. Should i plunge forward or wait for your help? --Gol929 (talk) 13:02, 10 July 2015 (UTC)Reply

Look at WP how many inhabitants the place has (and what other things there are, e.g. museums monuments or the like) and ask yourself whether it deserves an article. The mere existence of a place is not sufficient for it to get its own article here. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:04, 10 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
See pcv for a history of this user's contributions, or for a description of the user they are impersonating. I have blocked this account for two weeks, just as past accounts have been blocked. Note that Wikipedia tends to apply indefinite blocks to this user when they are identified. -- Ryan • (talk) • 14:43, 10 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
Thanks. And sorry for my "spamming" more than one user page, I at first did not recognize the pattern and thus should have alerted you Ryan... Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:28, 10 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
It's always better to err on the side of caution to avoid misidentifying a vandal, particularly since the most difficult vandals are those whose edits are hard to distinguish from confused newbies. There is definitely no need to apologize for requesting assistance from others. -- Ryan • (talk) • 15:33, 10 July 2015 (UTC)Reply
Okay. Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:07, 10 July 2015 (UTC)Reply

Telstra vandal revisited

I got it in my mind recently to check the Telstra vandal abuse filter log, and it appears that at present only a very small minority of edits the filter catches are unambiguously vandalistic. These days most of what's being blocked is either completely innoucuous or inconclusive. I think it's high time we changed the parameters of the filter or, perhaps, did away with it altogether.

-- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 15:28, 12 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Please do. The filter worked well, but if it's now mostly or only affecting other users, it's indeed time for it to go. JuliasTravels (talk) 15:57, 12 September 2015 (UTC)Reply
I was about to suggest the same, but then there was a sudden surge of 31 attempted edits between 28th August and 8th September. I beleive they have also been posting edits under another IP address, many of which had to be reverted by Ryan.
A quick review of these has changes such as this and this which are not helpful.
Given that we need to at least identify these edits, I would suggest turning this from a block to a tag, a to wait another week to ensure that the surge of attempted edits is over. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:13, 13 September 2015 (UTC)Reply

Telstra vandal re-revisited

At this point, effectively 100% of the edits caught by the Telstra filter are attempts at productive contribution - even the "small minority" of genuine instances of vandalism cited in the thread immediately above this one has dissipated. I'm not sure if Andrewssi2 actually changed the filter from a block to a tag, as he suggested above, because all edits are either allowed through with a warning or disallowed outright. In any event, at this point I would be against even a tag for these edits; the filter serves no useful purpose and only serves to dissuade good-faith editors from contributing. It's time to decommission it completely. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 16:29, 21 July 2016 (UTC)Reply

Hi AndreCarrotflower . I do generally agree with your position.
The main aspect I would still be keen to avoid is the bulk creation of empty Australian town articles, which does reduce quality significantly and makes it harder for the traveler to navigate --Andrewssi2 (talk) 07:25, 22 July 2016 (UTC)Reply
AndreCarrotflower Looking at the latest edits caught by the filter, I am also of the opinion that they should be disabled for now. I'll do so in the next 24 hours unless any objection is raised. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 22:46, 11 September 2016 (UTC)Reply
Special:Contributions/ - disappointing :( --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:23, 20 September 2016 (UTC)Reply

Telstra vandal: "Brendan John Williams" user accounts

Just so we're all on the same page here, the "Brendan John Williams" user accounts being established by the Telstra vandal get banned indefinitely - not for 3 months, a year, or any other finite amount of time. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:00, 14 April 2017 (UTC)Reply

I'm OK with this --Andrewssi2 (talk) 03:44, 14 April 2017 (UTC)Reply
It's a game of whack-a-mole regardless, but we should block indefinitely, definitely. Hobbitschuster (talk) 17:36, 14 April 2017 (UTC)Reply

Telstra: Contact!

Check out User talk:Brendan John Williams. -- AndreCarrotflower (talk) 01:34, 28 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

New filter

I've had quite success with a different approach with this new filter in tagging recent problem edits: Special:AbuseFilter/31

If you are an Admin then you can see the conditions (obviously do not discuss them on this public page!). I want to dissuade problem edits and this may just do it if I change the setting to 'Block' for a couple of weeks. What do other Admins think? Thanks. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 23:49, 28 May 2017 (UTC)Reply

I see a problem: User:BradSmith2017 is a false positive. See User talk:Ikan Kekek#Al Ruwais Confusion. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:10, 29 May 2017 (UTC)Reply
User:Saubin123 is also a false positive. Ikan Kekek (talk) 00:12, 29 May 2017 (UTC)Reply
Those were false positives, but I believe they would not be caught in the latest iteration of the filter. Happy to leave it for a few days to see if it catches any more? --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:18, 29 May 2017 (UTC)Reply
I would also draw your attention to the second filter condition, which would stop a certain user's edits, but not catch others. --Andrewssi2 (talk) 00:29, 29 May 2017 (UTC)Reply
I would trust your judgment and support you in whatever you choose to do. Ikan Kekek (talk) 06:18, 29 May 2017 (UTC)Reply