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We have been told we need a policy explaining our basic wiki rules and guidelines for blocking. I have formulated a suggestion that should be suitably vague and that gives administrators a lot of leeway for dealing with disruptions. Note that the suggested policy is intended to codify existing conduct, and does not contain any sweeping changes or new rules.

Edit: changes to the original text are italicized. Text that will be removed is struck through.

Proposed policy

This blocking policy is intended as a loose codification of how and why blocks are implemented on the Forgotten Realms Wiki. The policy comprises two sections: a deliberately vague set of conduct guidelines, and a set of suggested measures for when these are violated.

Guidelines for Conduct

Be civil
Treat your fellow editors with respect. Do not harass, attack, impersonate, make derogatory remarks, or otherwise try to make others have a bad time when contributing to the wiki.
Do not be disruptive
Do not engage in vandalism. Do not insert nonsense or gibberish into pages. Do not remove content. Do not implement sweeping changes without prior discussion. Do not deviate from American English spelling and grammar. Do not arbitrarily alter categories. Do not add plagiarized or copyright-infringing content, including rules information (crunch). Do not post spam. Do not evade blocks.
Respect policy
Adhere to established policies unless you have a very good reason not to. Especially important are the plagiarism, no crunch, canon, and citing sources policies.

Measures

Note that these measures are merely guidelines. Administrators may use their own judgement and may choose to implement measures that are, relatively speaking, more or less severe on an individual case basis. Blocks will be applied when malicious intent is suspected, to prevent edit-warring, and to limit disruption to the wiki. Also note that blocks are not intended as punishment, but as a way of protecting the wiki and its contributors.

Very mild infraction
User is contacted and informed.
Mild infraction
24-hour block.
Medium infraction
Three-day block.
Severe infraction
Seven-day block.
Repeated severe infractions
1-year to indefinite block.

Finally, administrators reserve the right to block users for a short amount of time (2 hours to 1 day) to save them unnecessary effort or throttle their activity if there is a problem. This is to give the administrator time to contact them to resolve a issue. The block will be lifted once the user has responded and the issue resolved.

Appealing a Block

Users will not be blocked from editing their own Talk pages, so that they may discuss or resolve an issue or appeal a block. If this is abused (such as erasing messages or continuing harassment or spam on the Talk page), the block may be expanded to include the Talk page.

Ir'revrykal (talk) 10:06, 12 March 2021 (UTC)


Thanks for getting this started! It looks good, brief and to the point.

For "Do not be disruptive", I would add: "Do not add plagiarized or copyright-infringing content, including rules information (crunch). Do not post spam."

What do you mean by "unless you have a very good reason not to"? This seems unnecessary; any exceptions to policies would be handled by individual policies or would require community discussion or changes to policies. Saying this kind of suggests a license to do whatever with "a very good reason".

For the last line, I would expand it to "Finally, administrators reserve the right to block users for a short amount of time (2 hours to 1 day) to save them unnecessary effort or throttle their activity if there is a problem. This is to give the administrator time to contact them to resolve a issue. The block will be lifted once the user has responded and the issue resolved."

I also suggest "Users will not be blocked from editing their own Talk pages, so that they may discuss or resolve an issue or appeal a block. If this is abused (such as erasing messages or continuing harassment or spam on the Talk page), the block may be expanded to include the Talk page."

BadCatMan (talk) 12:00, 12 March 2021 (UTC)


I considered adding a "Do not infringe on copyright" section. I left it out because I didn't want to include rules already covered in other policies. With that being said, I am fine with adding your suggestion to "Do not be disruptive".

The "unless you have a very good reason to" was intended to cover cases where policies are outdated (in that they have not been updated to cover current conduct--the canon policy is a (mild) example of this). I agree that we can nix the line, it is unnecessary.

I agree with your revisions to the last line, as well as adding the information regarding talk pages.
Ir'revrykal (talk) 14:43, 12 March 2021 (UTC)


looks good
~ Lhynard (talk) 16:13, 12 March 2021 (UTC)


Very reasonable. Thank you for taking the lead on this.
Regis87 (talk) 16:31, 12 March 2021 (UTC)


This seems very sensible. The only thing I can think of is what should occur if a user repeatedly breaks the rules via mild infractions, i.e., minor vandalism. Does the ban level get bumped up in severity every time, or is a 24-hour block given out each offence? I think the former works best.
Possessed Priest (talk) 13:22, 13 March 2021 (UTC)


Yeah, the former is intended, but I wanted to word it in a way that gave admins a lot of flexibility when dealing out measures.
Ir'revrykal (talk) 15:24, 13 March 2021 (UTC)


Oh, I don't see anything about changing spellings of "Worshipers" or adding incorrect categories. Something should probably be explicitly said about categories and spellings.
~ Lhynard (talk) 19:06, 13 March 2021 (UTC)


I added "Do not deviate from American English spelling and grammar. Do not arbitrarily alter categories." to "Do not be disruptive".
Ir'revrykal (talk) 20:09, 13 March 2021 (UTC)


We should put American spelling in our policies somewhere, if it is not already codified.
Moviesign (talk) 20:13, 13 March 2021 (UTC)


Agreed. I was hoping we could add it to the Manual of Style once we get around to writing it.
Ir'revrykal (talk) 20:24, 13 March 2021 (UTC)


Ir'revrykal: "I left it out because I didn't want to include rules already covered in other policies." Given how much of a recurring problem it is, repeating it is worthwhile.

Possessed Priest: "what should occur if a user repeatedly breaks the rules via mild infractions, i.e., minor vandalism. Does the ban level get bumped up in severity every time, or is a 24-hour block given out each offence? I think the former works best." Yeah, I'd scale and adapt as necessary; minor vandalism once a week would require a block of several weeks to correct.

"Do not deviate from American English spelling and grammar. Do not arbitrarily alter categories." This I'm not so sure about. I imagine "worshiper" to "worshipper" changes to be over-corrections based on a misunderstanding. Incorrect categories might be added in error (though I don't see how that's possible now). Even the present tense changes seem to be based on a genuine misconception. Trying to assume the best of people, I don't want to block and punish passers-by (who could well become regular editors in future) for making reasonable edits in good faith. We might understand a block as protecting the wiki, but a reader on the receiving end won't feel that way, they'll be aggravated and not edit again. I'd rather just fix and leave them the chance to learn to do otherwise. And a block doesn't even protect the wiki in such cases. Most of these anons don't edit again, and if they do it's weeks or months later or their has IP address recycled, so a block would've expired or not apply. OTOH, I have seen otherwise good-faith edits made maliciously (false labeling of copyright infringement, present tensing), but they're easy to see coming in an edit war.

So, I suggest under Measures "Blocks will be applied when malicious intent is suspected, to prevent edit-warring, and to limit disruption to the wiki."

Under "Do not be disruptive" after "vandalism", I also suggest "Do not harass or make derogatory remarks." to ensure that's also emphasized.
BadCatMan (talk) 03:25, 14 March 2021 (UTC)


As written, this policy does not say that anyone will automatically be blocked by changing "worshiper" to "worshipper". No, it states that doing so is disruptive, which it is, even if done in good faith. It then states that for such a "very mild infraction" that the user is to be contacted and informed.
~ Lhynard (talk) 05:08, 14 March 2021 (UTC)


I updated the proposal with more of your suggestions, BCM. And yeah, per Lhynard, the idea is not to say these are "blockable offenses" but rather that they constitute "disruption". Admins are free to use their own judgement and apply the measure they feel is the most appropriate. I think most would agree that the "Worshipper" example constitutes a very mild infraction (but done repeatedly it would be more severe).
Ir'revrykal (talk) 11:06, 14 March 2021 (UTC)


Okay, yeah, something minor done persistently after contact would constitute edit warring or passive-aggressive disruption and would be dealt with as more a serious issue. Alright, it looks like we're all in agreement. Any final opinions or ideas before I enact this in a day or so?
BadCatMan (talk) 06:20, 19 March 2021 (UTC)


Alright, the Blocking policy is in place and the rules are laid down. They're accessible from under Policies & Guidelines in the Help dropdown menu in the top navigation menu on all pages, which should suit the requirement to be easily found.
BadCatMan (talk) 08:51, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
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