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  • T3CHNOCIDE
    T3CHNOCIDE closed this thread because:
    Consensus reached.
    20:30, August 4, 2014

    Do you think we should grant general amnesty for all people currently banned from the wiki and allow everyone to return at 2030 25 December 2013, right after the broadcast of the Christmas Special?

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    • I don't know. Perhaps if you want.

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    • I vote no.

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    • I would say consider each on their own reasons, but I'm guessing that would take too long (and where would you draw the line)?

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    • Shambala108 wrote: I vote no.

      Any particular reason?

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    • If you're willing to, I'd be happy to help patrol the edits. It would definitely separate the hardcore vandals from those who've grown up since!

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    • Xensyria wrote: If you're willing to, I'd be happy to help patrol the edits. It would definitely separate the hardcore vandals from those who've grown up since!

      Vandalism rarely happens here. Most people who have been blocked have violated local rules, like T:SPOIL, T:VID and T:ATTACKS.

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    • It's a reluctant yes from me.

      It should happen to those who we think have changed and deserved another chance, a prime example for me would be OS25. I should not be every person who has been blocked - as some of the reasons have been for offences where they should not given a second chance.

      Also, I think if we do go down the road, those Users who have been blocked, which has now expired, should be notified as well. People might have forgotten, or not known when their block was over, so to tell them "you can come back" may bring them back. I am thinking of Bob here...

      Either what would be said to these Users? And how would we contact them, via their talk page of email?

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    • Well if you notify by talk page, they will get a notification when they visit ANY Wikia wiki. So the only deciding factor is whether you want the welcome back message to be private (in which case use email) or not (in which case talk page would be fine).

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    • I agree with Geek Mythology about deciding on a case by case basis. Considering Christmas is still 18 days away, that gives you plenty of time of decide. There can't be that many banned people.

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    • Mini-mitch wrote:

      It should happen to those who we think have changed and deserved another chance, a prime example for me would be OS25.

      But what grounds would we have for believing someone has changed, if they've not been here to demonstrate a different behaviour? I'm not sure I'd be using the case of OS25 as your poster boy of change, since he's been blocked twice for the same offence.

      It should not be every person who has been blocked - as some of the reasons have been for offences where they should not given a second chance.

      See, to me, the amnesty should be general and without exception, or not at all. I don't have time for a case-by-case review, and even if I did, we have no rules, as a wiki, which assesses scale to offences. Is two instances of swearing actually worse than two? Which words are worse than others? Is it worse to break T:ATTACKS or T:VID? We really haven't worked such things out, and I personally have no enthusiasm for doing so.

      The proposal here is a simple one: it's Christmas, so shall we wipe the slate clean and start over?

      Also, I think if we do go down the road, those Users who have been blocked, which has now expired, should be notified as well. People might have forgotten, or not known when their block was over, so to tell them "you can come back" may bring them back. I am thinking of Bob here...

      Technically incredibly difficult. There is no wiki-wide list of expired bans, unfortunately. We'd have to check each user's page for their block history to determine whose bans are now expired. Or we'd have to comb through Special:Log/block, reading every single entry carefully and doing the math to determine if their block had expired.

      So — that's obviously not happening. This Santa Claus ain't spending his time checking that particular list.

      The truth is that most people who have been blocked have probably received an alert to check their talk page, as the bot has made several visits to all talk pages, which would have tripped their message alert. The last was on 1 September 2012. There have been a number of other partial runs of talk pages since then, as well as a number of runs that would have hit large numbers of user pages, which most people follow by default. Most registered editors who have been banned before have had a message alert within the last 6 months.

      As for Bob specifically, I personally made an edit on his page on 13 February 2013, after his block expired. However, he hasn't logged into Wikia at all since 8 August 2012, so he wouldn't have received the message.

      Either what would be said to these Users? And how would we contact them, via their talk page of email?

      Well as a matter of general internet safety, we certainly wouldn't email them directly. You never want to give your email directly to someone you don't personally know, or to a party who has no legal responsibility to protect your email address. So, fine, give your email to a company like Wikia or Amazon, but not to some random Wikia user. Wikia does, of course, offer an anonymous email forwarding service, which is safe to use. Unfortunately, most people don't have email enabled in their Special:Preferences, so that's not a way to go.

      What we would do would be a blanket talk page announcement by bot, where we placed a message on everyone's talk page that wished them a happy holiday season and incidentally mentioned that everyone who had been blocked was "let out of jail" for Christmas. So all our users would get a little bit of Christmas cheer and possibly "come home for the holidays".

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    • GusF wrote: I agree with Geek Mythology about deciding on a case by case basis. Considering Christmas is still 18 days away, that gives you plenty of time of decide. There can't be that many banned people.

      When you factor in IP addresses, there are indeed a prohibitive number of cases. Remember, we've been around since 2004, so we've got about 400 active blocks. Our oldest ban goes all the way back to 28 March 2006.

      But the big problem isn't really numbers. Its that even if there was admin enthusiasm for some kind of parole board — and there's definitely not — there simply is no mechanism for deciding who's been "extra naughty" and who's been "kinda nice".

      The proposal here is very definitely an all or nothing thing. It's about Christmas cheer and fresh beginnings since we have a new Doctor and we've passed a major milestone in Doctor Who. It's not about re-litigating various cases right up until the Christmas break.

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    • Didn't realise that it would be that complicated, to be frank. In that case, I'd have to give a somewhat reluctant "yes." It is nearly Christmas, after all. I can see the logic of granting an amnesty with a new Doctor and a new year on the way.

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    • Hmm. Yeah, I can agree with this one. Great bit of Christmas spirit. Especially for those users who have been banned for a while, they may embrace the second chance and come back as proper, helpful, rule-abiding users. If any of them do offend policy again, obviously they will be reblocked. Over all, though, I can only see this as more positive than negative. A clean slate, as it were.

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    • Based on what you said CzechOut, I agree. I'm in.

      But how many chances do they get? One? Two? Or is this a completely fresh start, forgetting their past blocks? Or given them as many blocks as a new user would get (i.e a few days, then a few week etc)

      And I just used OS25 as an example because it is the only one I can think of.

      So let's do it. In the spirit of Christmas :)

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    • Oh no, it's not a completely fresh start. Perhaps it should be called "Christmas parole" rather than "Christmas amnesty". Block records can't be expunged with any tools available to local admin — and possibly not with any tools available in MediaWiki at all.

      In any case, their previous blocks will be there for us to see if that user comes to our negative attention again, and will form a part of the decision for the next blocking. OS25, for instance, is one T:ATTACKS block away from permanent banning, and he'll remain so.

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    • Well I had a long answer ready to post, but the "all or none" approach simplifies my answer, which is still no.

      Yesterday I just gave a second block to a user who has violated Tardis:Plagiarism three times. Today a user has been blocked for vandalizing at least two pages. There are many users who have been blocked for repetitive vandalism - meaning they tend to make the same kinds of vandalistic edits on random pages whenever they are freed from blocking.

      We have a lot of new users that joined at the recent 50th anniversary special, and we will no doubt have many more join for the Christmas special. The last thing we need when trying to educate new users is to have violators of Tardis:Vandalism, Tardis:No personal attacks, and the like free to edit.

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    • I say "yes", not least because it's Doctor Who's jubilee year, and in Jewish and Christian tradition the jubilee year was an occasion for general amnesty.

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    • Josiah Rowe wrote: I say "yes", not least because it's Doctor Who's jubilee year, and in Jewish and Christian tradition the jubilee year was an occasion for general amnesty.

      Can't argue with that:

      "This fiftieth year is sacred. It is a time of freedom and of celebration when everyone will receive back their original property, and slaves will return home to their families."Leviticus, 25:10
      Not to bring religion into this, but it's a nice ideal.
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    • Shambala108 wrote: Well I had a long answer ready to post, but the "all or none" approach simplifies my answer, which is still no.

      Thanks for clarifying your position. You make some good points. Some people are simply repeat offenders. I think there's a reasonable case to be made that someone banned in the first week of December 2013 isn't likely to have changed their outlook by 25 December. But a lot of our blocks are much, much older. Some blockees would have potentially been banned in their first year of high school but now are in their first year of college.

      Since Josiah has tied jubilee years into this, would it address some of your concerns if we said that we would parole anyone blocked on or before 23 November 2013? That way, your most recent blocks would stand, but we'd still be able to easily and truthfully communicate a message of renewal.

      We're also not saying by this act that we're gonna stop blocking new offenders. I don't care if it is Christmas: if you come here and post a spoiler about the next episode, you'll still get blocked. We're not throwing the rules out the window for the sake of good will. We've had to block at least one person during Christmas week every year since 2008. There's no reason to expect this year to be different, so this "parole" wouldn't prevent ordinary security precautions.

      Don't forget, people's records don't go away. This isn't a pardon; it's just early release. So if you find yourself having to ban someone again, you still have the option of throwing the book at 'em, if they've obviously learned nothing.

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    • I'd say go for it. In the long run, it will probably gain us more constructive users than still-destructive ones, and those who re-offend will just get banned again. I'd say it's worth the risk to welcome back some folks who might, after whatever length of time since their ban, have something positive to contribute.

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    • It sounds risky, but at the same time worthy. I'd just look into who you banned, and why. If someone just persisted on a bad edit or photo; yes. If someone slammed the whole series, other users, and intentionally made bad edits; no.

      Just be careful who you let in. But hey, it's basically your wikia

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    • Yeah see it's that kinda value judgment I would want to stay away from. Forgiveness is forgiveness.

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    • At the end of the day, if someone makes constructive edits, then unblocking them is worth it. If they violate the rules, you can just re-block them. There's only one way to find out if people have learned their lesson. But if someone's been blocked several times already, especially if it was for the same offense, that person would probably never learn and I wouldn't bother unblocking them.

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    • CzechOut wrote: See, to me, the amnesty should be general and without exception, or not at all. (...) What we would do would be a blanket talk page announcement by bot, where we placed a message on everyone's talk page that wished them a happy holiday season and incidentally mentioned that everyone who had been blocked was "let out of jail" for Christmas. So all our users would get a little bit of Christmas cheer and possibly "come home for the holidays".

      While being new here, I think this is a very nice idea which could have beneficial pay-off effects in renewed activity by former would-be editors.

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    • I'm fairly new here and I haven't made any edits because of the reputation here. I've been told its fairly strict.

      I'm all for it! However, they would be on some sort of probation. After a month or 2 of grace time, you see what they have contributed and make your decision. I would select a couple active members to watch their profiles and see what kind of edits they are making.

      All for 2nd chances, but I have a feeling most banned members wont care enough to come back.

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    • As a Whovian who doesn't consider himself a member of this wiki's community, I thought I'd say that no matter what you decide is practical to do the fact that you're having this conversation as a wiki earns you major props. :)

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    • Xensyria wrote: If you're willing to, I'd be happy to help patrol the edits. It would definitely separate the hardcore vandals from those who've grown up since!

      I think patrolling is also a good idea. I was blocked for six months a month or two ago, and now i'm back. I don't know how. I'm not even sure what I did because it wouldn't tell me which page.

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    • Hmm, not logged in I see. Could be that your IP wasn't blocked for some reason when your username was?

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    • CzechOut
      CzechOut removed this reply because:
      misinformation, deleted under provisions of T:FORUM
      03:37, December 13, 2013
      This reply has been removed
    • I also disagree on a case by case basis.

      If there's to be an amnesty, then it should cover everyone.

      I think we as admins upheld the policies of the wiki hard in the lead up to the 50th anniversary and The Day of the Doctor. I think those policies helped maintain an integrity of the policies and the wiki.

      However, I'm also of the philosophy that everyone deserves a fair go, even if they make a few mistakes along the way.

      I agree that we should't "wipe the slate clean" (and can't in any case).

      I'm not sure that Christmas is the time to do it, as Shambala108 points out Christmas is when we'll be getting a lot of new users, and very likely a lot of speculation (or maybe just squeeing, who knows). So maybe Christmas isn't the time to be opening the doors and removing the padlocks.

      How about we parole everyone blocked from the start of 2014, new year and all that jazz?

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    • I vote no, but I've had some bad experiences with an unregistered user who liked to vandalise and singled me out because I would always revert his edits, so I'm a little biased.

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    • Tangerineduel wrote: How about we parole everyone blocked from the start of 2014, new year and all that jazz?

      Because the point of the amnesty would be to allow everyone back in at the moment they most want to be here: the changeover of Doctors. Also we want people to be here when they actually have time to be here: Christmas holidays. If we wait until 1 January, what we're effectively saying is, "Welcome back — on the eve of the day you have to go back to work or school."

      The timing of Christmas Day, is, in my view, critical. Yes, sure we'll have a lot of bad edits during Christmas — as I pointed out, we always do — but we'd also be delivering a message of renewal and goodwill when the greatest possible audience between now and the start of series 8 can hear it.

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    • I understand.

      Although, as we've seen in the past with multiple IPs and blocking people will often edit from school (and likely work), so date wise I don't think is a huge concern.

      I'm still in favour, as at the moment we have more admins, more active users and as has been said we're not and cannot wipe the slate clean.

      I don't disagree with the idea this parole bringing in / back new and past editors with a message of renewal. But I think if some editors have issues with this idea being done during Christmas the new year is also a great time to have a renewal and fresh start. New year, new Doctor etc. Those 6 days would allow time for the dust to settle and passions/squeeing to subside and cooler heads prevail.

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    • I think so until 9:00 or so then put them back on ban

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    • with the coming of the twelfth i think we should forgive all but the worsted of the banned(trolls and such)

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    • Please note that CzechOut states above that amnesty will cover all or none. No admin is going to sift through all the bans and weed out which ones are allowed back. It's a case of bring everyone back or bring no one back.

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    • Digifiend wrote: Hmm, not logged in I see. Could be that your IP wasn't blocked for some reason when your username was?

      I don't have an account, so no.

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    • Of course that's a bit off subject.

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    • Shambala108 wrote: Please note that CzechOut states above that amnesty will cover all or none. No admin is going to sift through all the bans and weed out which ones are allowed back. It's a case of bring everyone back or bring no one back.

      good point also the worst vandals would not bother checking if they are still banned

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    • I say no.

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    • If you want. It's not up to me

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    • Embem5 wrote: I say no.

      Care to elaborate?

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    • I don't think we should. If we give access to everyone, we are letting trolls and vandals back in. The people who were banned were banned for a reason. We can't just let them back in, not even for a day.

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    • Stickmanville wrote: I don't think we should. If we give access to everyone, we are letting trolls and vandals back in. The people who were banned were banned for a reason. We can't just let them back in, not even for a day.

      You've only been around for 15 days. Any reason why you're so adamantly opposed? Have you had bad experiences here already, or are these feelings generated from things that happened on another wiki?

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    • Stickmanville wrote: I don't think we should. If we give access to everyone, we are letting trolls and vandals back in. The people who were banned were banned for a reason. We can't just let them back in, not even for a day.

      We aren't saying we should let them back unconditionally. If they break the rules again, they get blocked agian, even if it is Christmas. It's just saying, 'In the spirit of Christmas, you don't have to serve your full sentence.' It's like bail. But I agree the admins should be watching the pages extra carefully. I vote yes.

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    • Taking a different look at this;

      Unblocking everyone is something that's generally not done, anywhere.

      More editors on the wiki is a good thing, that's how the wiki improves by having multiple editors.

      Many of the editors who were blocked would have come afoul of enthusiasm and ignoring policies designed to protect the wiki against spoilers. I don't begrudge editors the enthusiasm, and it's something we need.

      Age also factors into this, the age you need to be to have an account is 13, there's probably been younger than that edit here without an account, but everyone will have gotten older since they were blocked and with that comes maturity and perspective.

      On the subject of trolls and vandals, wikis are always going to have them, it's just part of the internet. That is not a reason to not do this. We have admins and policies in place to take action if they turn up. But not everyone who's been blocked in the past is a troll or an (intentional) vandal.

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    • Age also factors into this, the age you need to be to have an account is 13, there's probably been younger than that edit here without an account, but everyone will have gotten older since they were blocked and with that comes maturity and perspective.

      On the subject of trolls and vandals, wikis are always going to have them, it's just part of the internet. That is not a reason to not do this. We have admins and policies in place to take action if they turn up. But not everyone who's been blocked in the past is a troll or an (intentional) vandal. </div> What do you mean probably? That's probably the one of the main reasons people don't get accounts. I'm turning 12 on the 27th (28th British time), so I didn't get an account. Also, a lot of people lie. Just check the studies they did on Facebook users. I vote, again, yes. I'm 108 using a different computer.

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    • Tangerineduel wrote: Age also factors into this, the age you need to be to have an account is 13, there's probably been younger than that edit here without an account, but everyone will have gotten older since they were blocked and with that comes maturity and perspective.

      On the subject of trolls and vandals, wikis are always going to have them, it's just part of the internet. That is not a reason to not do this. We have admins and policies in place to take action if they turn up. But not everyone who's been blocked in the past is a troll or an (intentional) vandal.

      What do you mean probably? That's probably the one of the main reasons people don't get accounts. I'm turning 12 on the 27th (28th British time), so I didn't get an account. Also, a lot of people lie. Just check the studies they did on Facebook users. I vote, again, yes. I'm 108 using a different computer, by the way.

      Sorry, the formatting got messed up. :(

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    • Czechout the reason I said no was because if they were warned and they repeated to break the rules then they should not be forgiven. If they were give many warning and still did not follow them, then what is the sense in that?!?!

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    • 24.119.205.100 wrote: I'm 108 using a different computer, by the way.

      It's true.

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    • Yes, but if they mess up, TOO BAD.

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    • I vote yes! But they should be monitored.

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    • Monitored by whom?

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    • That's gonna be hard to figure out....

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    • Monitoring them is not something we need to do. Admins and regular editors already monitor the Special:Recentchanges page. Any vandalism that might arise from this would simply be reported and action taken against whoever vandalised the pages, just as we do now.

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    • Yeah, in short, anyone who reoffends will just be re-blocked. As such, I see no problem with this amnesty idea.

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    • Indeed.

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    • I vote Yes.

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    • Thanks everyone for a lively and informative debate. The clock is striking midnight on our window of opportunity with this thing, so I'm going to draw this conversation to a close.

      This thread was originally highlighted on 7th December, and then renewed on the 14th. We've retained heavy page views in the intervening time. I note the presence of several first-time posters. It seems to me fair to say, then, that the motion has had a reasonable opportunity to attract attention, and that it has actually done so.

      Most respondents have given the green light to this proposal, but Shambala108's reasonable caution is naturally worth heeding. The original proposal shall therefore be modified such that amnesty shall not extend to anyone blocked since 24 November 2013, inclusive of the 24th itself.

      Amnesty shall begin at 2030 GMT 25 December 2013, and the decision will be highlighted through bot communication on user talk pages, a blog post at Community Central, and possibly elsewhere, as time allows.

      Thanks again to all who participated in this important discussion!

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    • Here's the raw list of eligible "parolees". After reviewing the list, around ten of these users are ineligible for parole in that their names would require automatic re-blocking under T:MISLEAD USER or T:OFF USER — our two main policies about usernames. Thus, they won't be unblocked simply because of their names.

      Once those names are removed, what's left is this final list of people who will be unblocked as of 2030 UTC Christmas Day.

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