Conservapedia talk:Blocking policy

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Drop down lists

Discussion moved from here

How would the drop down lists be edited? It should also contain 1 year and 2 year blocks, I think. It's a b ig spread from 6 mos to 5 years. Other changes on the lists also need to be considered. Rob Smith 18:59, 14 July 2011 (EDT)

I've never dealt with the drop down lists to be honest - but I'm certain they can be edited. I'll attempt to research this and get back to you very shortly.--IDuan 22:46, 14 July 2011 (EDT)

Found it! MediaWiki:Ipboptions.--IDuan 22:58, 14 July 2011 (EDT)

How is those pages don't have page protect? Rob Smith 23:02, 14 July 2011 (EDT)
They're protected for me sir! Mediawiki pages might be protected by default? (That's just a guess, though.)--IDuan 23:04, 14 July 2011 (EDT)
What about the link for the blocking Reason? Rob Smith 23:19, 14 July 2011 (EDT)
MediaWiki:Ipbreason-dropdown --IDuan 23:21, 14 July 2011 (EDT)
Let me know if you can edit MediaWiki talk:Ipbreason-dropdown; I propose we begin with this [1] list of offenses, even then, some need to be reviewed/merged/clarified. I'm going to begin inserting them at Conservapedia:Blocking policy. Rob Smith 19:19, 15 July 2011 (EDT)
I can not edit that page - it was actually protected by TK here. I'm in favor of starting with that list. Sounds good!--IDuan 15:26, 16 July 2011 (EDT)
Should be working now. I got a limited protect on it. Rob Smith 15:41, 16 July 2011 (EDT)
Are we gonna move this into the mainspace? I think it's more concise and up-to-date than the current version.--IDuan 20:40, 18 July 2011 (EDT)

5 year blocks

Item #3, Obvious vandals who have been blocked indefinitely (or for 5 years) should have their user and user talk pages deleted , is one where we've had some serious problems with. Users with consrtuctive careers, but who have taken hiatus or retired for POV reasons, have had their pages deleted by sysops as a form of payback for past disagreements. None of this has created a healthy environment. A sysop should not be looking for a reason to block someone for 5 years so they can retaliate by deleting their page. All this, I'm sorry to say, has happened in the past. And if a user is blocked for 5 years, what's to stop them from coming back as a good faith editor in 5 years after a period of rehab, to find their page deleted. What then? They may as well create a new user account under a different name rather than go through the ordeal of asking a sysop to undelete, which only raises suspicion, and has them targeted all over again as a problem editor. So why wait 5 years? They may as well sockpuppet now then deal with the hassle. Only now they have a chip on their shoulder for having their user account deleted and recognition besmirched for their positive contributions. Is there a housekeeping reason a temporary blocked editor should have their account deleted? Rob Smith 21:40, 18 July 2011 (EDT)

<-Another way of looking at it. User:A, with extensive mainspace contributions, is blocked or 5 years as a retalitory tactic for un ugly disagreement with a sysop. Their account is deleted. User:A does not edit for 5 years, comes back in 5 years as a good faith editor, but is afraid to ask to have his account undeleted so he can get full recogition for his positive contributions. User:A creates a new account under a different username. Techncally, this could be seen as a violation of CP rules against multiple accounts, despite his block having expired and the editor's return as a user in good standing. Rob Smith 21:56, 18 July 2011 (EDT)

I must admit I'm slightly confused just about your interpretation. What I've written (as you accurately quote it) is "obvious vandals who have been blocked indefinitely (or for 5 years)..." ... therefor non "obvious vandal" users who have been blocked for 5 years would not be subject to page deletion. I agree that it's a de facto problem - you're absolutely right - I'm just pointing out that it's not what I've written. I think the important thing is making clear that situations like the one you describe should not happen. No one should be blocked as a retaliatory tactic. Perhaps this should be explicitly stated. I shall work on that--IDuan 22:51, 18 July 2011 (EDT)
Yes, but it's the same sysop who hands out the 5 year block & deletes the page. If this is to be retained, it should include language such as, "vandals who have been blocked indefinitely (or for 5 years) after a review process may be subject to having their user and user talk pages deleted", but nobodies given a reason for deleting the page, to my knowledge. Rob Smith 23:08, 18 July 2011 (EDT)
OH now I understand. I'm certainly fine with removing it; to be honest I'm not sure if it really does much harm (if a sysop disagrees with the block he can always restore the user and user talk pages), but besides for saving a modicum of space I don't think there was ever any reason for deleted the pages. I have no opinion as to whether its kept or not.--IDuan 23:14, 18 July 2011 (EDT)

Rob, for those of us who are not admins, it's really hard for us to opine. I do know that Wikipedia does indefinite blocks for user accounts, but might block an IP for a short set time. The only comment I would have is that the blocking rules be predefined, but it seems like it is already here. If people get blocked for a liberal point of view (I don't check the block log so I wouldn't know), I would think here that's fair game. HP 23:23, 18 July 2011 (EDT)

People get blocked for registering accounts here and never making an edit. Rob Smith 23:27, 18 July 2011 (EDT)
Not often. It can happen in some circumstances, but it's not routine.--Andy Schlafly 23:33, 18 July 2011 (EDT)
Yes there may be a need to block a sock-plant that's been inactive and never used over time, but I've seen too many user accounts blocked minutes after being created. It can be because someone isn't using checkuser properly, or there's just a controversy in the air and someone doesn't want to deal with questions about it. If good faith is expected of users, good faith should be exhibited by sysops by not being suspicious of every new acount registered. Rob Smith 23:46, 18 July 2011 (EDT)
To my mind the only situation where such a block would be acceptable would be a username-related offense, in which case obviously the IP should not be blocked. (update: and sockpuppets)--IDuan 23:43, 18 July 2011 (EDT)
The failue to use first name & last initial should not be a blockable offense, IMO; and the guidelines themselves say "encouraged" or "recommended". Rob Smith 23:51, 18 July 2011 (EDT)
I think generally that block reason hasn't been used in a strict sense, but rather only when usernames are offensive or potentially offensive. But I agree.--IDuan 23:54, 18 July 2011 (EDT)
We need to consider shorter block times in general, and maybe order the current list by severity. Sockpuppetry and vandalism are most definitely not in the same league as edit warring and 90/10.
Especially 90/10 (even more so in the current "It's called 90/10, but the numbers don't actually matter" interpretation) is little more than an easy escape hatch from a debate a sysop might end up losing, so there needs to be some sort of balance to it. (More on balance later, perhaps. It's an important topic, but also a more global long shot.)
Some people need to keep in mind that we need to build a community. That doesn't mean blindly accepting anybody, but it also doesn't mean giving five-year-blocks to people who point out that you made a mistake. My very presence here shows that things are moving in a better direction, so let's hammer out a way to distinguish between blocking (months/years for vandalism) and nudging (hours, days to cool down). --Sid 3050 08:03, 19 July 2011 (EDT)
Thank you Sid for your positive input, hope to hear more. One problem is a mindset that everything Wikipedia does is wrong. While that may be true in article content policy, Conservapedia needs to learn it can gain much from Wikipedia's experience dealing with vandalism and sockpuppetry. Blocking & Checkuser are not the magic panaceas some people imagine; if an angry editor wants to be heard, they will find a way to get in and only make the sysop and whole project look foolish for thinking they can enforce unenforceable rules. As Sid alluded to, it's easier to build a balanced and civil community with a healthy tolerance of diverse views, and persuade people to positively contribute by example, than constant sniping in a war the project cannot win. Rob Smith 12:44, 19 July 2011 (EDT)
There are two mindsets which hope we will make equal effort to avoid: the attitude that everything Wikipedia does is evil, and that everything Conservapedia wants to do is irrational.
Recall that our brand of conservatism is not to stick blindly to every old idea and value, but only to the "tried and true". A genuine conservative is open to new ideas. What we reject, ideologically, is a knee-jerk adherence to modern liberalism which wants to throw out the baby with the bath water.
We should describe every liberal idea, in as much detail as it takes to let our readers understand it. We need not endorse it, nor should we tolerate users who sneak in liberal ideas as if they were the unquestionable truth. Likewise, we need to be aware that much of what American Christians and Conservatives believe is incomprehensible to the average liberal. In the USA, liberals shield themselves from new ideas just as much as religious fundamentalists do. I wish we'd be more like the Jesuits, who study everything very carefully, serene in the knowledge that finding out more about what others belief is no obstacle to maintaining one's faith. It is only those who are shaky in their own faith, or who want to pull the wool over the eyes of people they're trying to dupe, who oppose any open examination of the issues.
So I welcome contributions from people whose beliefs are different from mine. Just look at the way I've tried to describe the two main branches of Creationism. I can't recall any time that a difference between YEC and OEC has flared up into a quarrel or edit war. Contributors on both sides have agreed to "write for the enemy", so to speak. That, by the way, is one Wikipedia policy which we ought to retain. Every contributor who writes about a controversial subject should always describe every aspect of it in such a way that (A) no one can tell which side of the controversy the contributor is on and (B) that anyone on the opposite side of the controversy would agree that the aspect has been described accurately and fairly.
People who disagree with this core policy should not be invited to contribute here. If they get in without knowing what we're about, or if they came on purpose to thwart our aims, we should weed them out promptly. The only exception I would make is the sort of "lost sheep" that Andy feels could be reformed with some kind attention from us, but still I feel that such people should not be allowed to trample on the rest of us.
Let's find a way to promote our editorial aims with civility and a mutual good faith effort to provide our readers with timely, valuable and trustworthy information. --Ed Poor Talk 13:37, 16 August 2011 (EDT)

Infinite blocks

Infinite blocks are disfavored, for several reasons, including how some people move from being liberal to conservative -- more often than other liberals admit.--Andy Schlafly 23:35, 18 July 2011 (EDT)

Agreed. Redemption should be a possibility. This should be reflected in the blocking policy - or at Conservapedia:New sysop training page (which is being worked on here - where I've changed the language to say "Keep in mind that users can change - infinite blocks are therefore discouraged.")--IDuan 23:45, 18 July 2011 (EDT)

Parody

I'd rename this section to something like "Mocking" because the real problem of "parody" (in the sense that some people in CP's history were "parodists") by far exceeds this description and is the result of deeper problems within the site itself. So let's avoid confusion. --Sid 3050 07:31, 19 July 2011 (EDT)

Proposed Actions

Here is something I put together quickly:

Blockable offenses Here are the actions which can get one's account blocked. The block comment should state clearly what the reason was.

  • Vandalism. True vandalism is easy to spot and is utterly unmistakable. A glance at "recent changes" will often show someone creating an account and then going through as many pages as possible (until someone stops them) doing things like blanking the page, changing it to 100 repetitions of some crude anatomical reference, foul language, insults against other users etc. The tolerance for this is absolutely zero. Such a person will be blocked with no possibility of appeal.
    • Proposed Action: 5 year ban.
My opinion: no more than 1 year, depending on the severity; massive vandalism is an infinite block. Karajou 14:14, 16 August 2011 (EDT)
  • Parody. This is often easy to spot, but sometimes is quite subtle. Obvious cases involve altering an article in such a way as to make the article, and by extension - Conservapedia, an object of ridicule. It is sometimes done for ideological reasons, and sometimes for one's "15 minutes of fame"—there is an allure to the idea of typing something at one's computer that the whole world will see, an allure that sometimes affects people totally lacking in common sense. Vandalism and parody are problems for all wikis. Clear parody is treated the same as vandalism. Other cases are harder to judge, and may require serious editorial intervention and discussion.
    • Proposed Action: 1 - 5 yeah block depending on severity and reason for parody. Initial cases where it may be accidental such as a user "trying too hard" or just wanting to fit in should be discussed with user first and warned.
My opinion: agreed. Karajou 14:14, 16 August 2011 (EDT)
  • Edit warring. When people disagree on content, they should try to work out their differences on the talk page. Just reverting each other's changes repeatedly does no good, and can lead to a temporary block if it distracts people from doing real work.
    • Proposed Action: Sysop warning first followed by short blocks, starting at 1 - 7 days and increasing if behavior isn't amended.
My opinion: Short blocks of no longer than a few hours; the individual needs to cool down. Mild warnings with encouragement to offer solutions on the talk pages only would suffice. Karajou 14:14, 16 August 2011 (EDT)
  • Personal remarks. We do not look kindly on personal insults directed at other contributors. You should be able to disagree on content without being personally insulting.
    • Proposed Action: Staggered lengths from 1 week for minor infractions to infiniate for continued and/or foul and obscene commments and Intimidating behavior/harassment
My opinion: agreed. Karajou 14:14, 16 August 2011 (EDT)
  • Removing content from pages without discussion. We take a dim view of the plain removal of information; it smacks of censorship. Try to find a way of incorporating the other person's viewpoint into the article. When necessary, discuss on the talk page.
    • Proposed Action: See edit warring. Similar situation.
My opinion: agreed. Karajou 14:14, 16 August 2011 (EDT)
  • Inserting false information.
    • Proposed Action: See parody
  • Inserting nonsense/gibberish into pages.
    • Proposed Action: See parody
  • Spamming links to external sites. This is a problem on many wikis. Some people view a wiki as just a vehicle for increasing the visibility of their own external web site, whether it be hawking crackpot scientific theories, herbal supplements, or whatever. It is strictly forbidden.
    • Proposed Action: Dependent on site spammed. For minor/accidental case a warning should suffice. Pornographic and continued flagrant spamming should be treated as vandalism.
My opinion: agreed, but careful checking needs to happen. Users often post links to harmless websites which they like. Karajou 14:14, 16 August 2011 (EDT)
  • Sockpuppetry. We do not allow use of multiple accounts for the purpose of evading blocks or making one's point of view appear to be more widely held than it is. There are mechanisms for appealing blocks, involving email or requests on the blocking sysop's talk page.
    • Proposed Action: Immediate ban of sock and explanation required of sock-puppeteer. ban will be based on severity of action and explanation. Lengths should start low and get longer if more socks are created.
My opinion: infinite block of the sock; should not affect the original block of the primary account. Karajou 14:14, 16 August 2011 (EDT)
  • Inappropriate user name. It has been a general principle that one's user name be "based on one's real first name and last initial", though there are a number of reasons why that is not always practical. The point is that we don't like the kind of foolish "handles" that are often used in various blogs and social web sites. If you run afoul of this by accident, you will be asked to create a new account, and doing so will not be considered sockpuppetry. Of course, some user names are essentially just vandalism, and are treated that way.
    • Proposed Action: infiniate block without "account creation disabled" ticked with message "pick a new name"
My opinion: agreed. Returning users with changed names are to be welcomed in as any other user. Karajou 14:14, 16 August 2011 (EDT)
  • 90/10 rule violation. This rule is something of a Conservapedia tradition. The objective is to avoid combative arguments. While an actual numerical check could be used, the usual application of the rule at present is a more subjective analysis of whether one is here just for engaging in combat. Remember, Conservapedia is a meritocracy, and an editor's contributions to mainspace weigh in the balance more in granting user rights than occuping other editors time in fruitless talk page discussion.
    • Proposed Action: Dependent on severity but start very low as new users need get used to this as it differs from most other wiki's.
My opinion: If the user is just engaged in talking without helping out in article creation, then the above is agreed to. Users should not be blocked for 90/10 if 1) they are engaged in friendly banter on user pages (friendships happen); 2) they are working on the ways and means to make specific articles better; 3) they are engaged in respectful debate between editors on specific debate pages. Karajou 14:14, 16 August 2011 (EDT)

Let me know what you think. MaxFletcher 23:54, 27 July 2011 (EDT)

Your list of blockable offenses is pretty good, but I would like to suggest that we be simultaneously more gentle and more strict. Are you familiar with what Wikipedia cofounder Larry Sanger did at Citizendium?
First of all, they only let college grads (or well qualified grownups) contribute, and they ask everyone to use their real name (initial + last name is too easy to fake). They don't allow pseudonyms unless there is a well founded risk of persecution or whistleblowing retaliation (which is actually extremely rare).
Secondly, they just email a violator privately, if they think the offense is based on misunderstanding or overlooking a rule. A second offense after a private warning is an instant, permanent ban. Or an obvious, deliberate first offense.
This project is different, in that many contributors are kids who are still in school. So we may need to more patient. But we should also be strict. It hurts the project tremendously to let basic civility be undermined. Serious authors and experts will continue to stay away, as long as we fail to make this a congenial place for volunteers.
Another difference is the ongoing flood of users who sign up only to undermine the project. They are well organized, determined, ideologically motivated and possibly even financed. We need a policy which is friendly to the sincere newbie, but also capable of swiftly weeding out the infiltrators.
Telling the truth and speaking cordially - these are not difficult or strange values. I suggest we limit participation in our project only to those who already understand and support them. --Ed Poor Talk 13:17, 16 August 2011 (EDT)

Off-wiki harm

I don't know if this has ever happened here, but I have seen cases on WP where editors either 1) publish personal information of other editors or 2) attempt to cause real-life harm via employer contact, etc. A set policy might be a good idea, just in case. --SharonW 23:50, 28 July 2011 (EDT)

Yes, this is very important area which needs to be addressed; right now we need to end the arbitrary blocking and deletion of discussion of editors whose experience may be useful on this extremely important subject. Rob Smith 15:35, 29 July 2011 (EDT)

Intro

Under this definition, Liberal censorship and trolling are virtually the same things. It is the site owner's intention to make the view expressed in the mainspace article on liberal censorship the core of CP's blocking policy. Liberal censorship, it appears, applies both to article mainspace and discussion pages. Although Conservapedia does not block on ideological grounds, nor is an ideological litmus required for active users, it is ultimately the behavior of the user that is judged in issuing blocks. Redundant arguments for the liberal point of view, or mainspace contributions that run counter to a conservative, Christian, family-friendly educational resource, is trolling. Rob Smith 00:02, 5 August 2011 (EDT)

It is a bit of a slippery slope because I might make raise arguments about a pages contents and be blocked for trolling under the "arguments for the liberal point of view". The 9/10 rule should be used as opposed to trolling. MaxFletcher 00:04, 5 August 2011 (EDT)
Well, that's virtually the same thing. The key phrase is, "redundant arguments". I'm more concerned about sysops who block people because they are liberal, or obese, or atheists, than because they made repeated pitches for some obese liberal apologetics after it was established criticism of obesity is Christian and family friendly (this is just an example). Rob Smith 00:12, 5 August 2011 (EDT)
There's nothing at all wrong with arguments for the liberal point of view, however frequently repeated. Users may contribute as much as they wish to the Conservapedia:Debate Topics. Making such points on article talk pages should be squelched.
On the other hand, descriptions of liberal POV do need to be added to a number of our articles, especially on political and religious subjects. This is something Andy has asked me to do but which I have been dawdling dreadfully. I won't wallow in self-reproach because I've spent a lot of time asking our liberal contributors to help with this, but I've met with repeated refusal.
It seems liberals don't want their POV to described - carefully, fairly, or accurately. They want it to be enshrined, but only as a replacement for conservative or Christian viewpoints, which they condemn as dogma. The notion that their own ideas may be equally dogmatic is not something they are prepared to concede.
I propose therefore that on all controversial topics we either:
  1. Take a stance, but describe opposing POV; or,
  2. Remain neutral, and describe all majors POVs fairly
A "fair" description is one which neither its advocate nor its opponent would say was biased or inaccurate. YECs really do believe that God created the Earth and humankind less than 10,000 years ago. Both sides in the Creation-Evolution debate agree that this a fair account. (What they may disagree on is what percentage of Americans are YECs, or whether the RC church is YEC or "evolutionist" or supports intelligent design.)
Let us therefore strive to be fair and civil and to avoid censorship. Those who insist on being unfair or uncivil should be shown immediately to the door. All others should be welcomed with open arms. --Ed Poor Talk 14:01, 16 August 2011 (EDT)

Illustration

In a case from recent memory User:C blocked User:BS as a "parodist." When asked for evidence to justify the block under CP policy, User:C provided none. User:C made a lengthy argument that User:BS, who had several "I am a Christian" userboxes in CP, was allegedy another User:SC at RW 2.0. User:SC at RW 2.0 had several "this user is an atheist" userboxes at that website. With no evidence or explanation, User:C concluded that User:BS "had lied" at CP, and was a parodist. No mainspace or discussion page examples of parody were provided by User:C when asked. No evidence was produced to validate the claim that User:SC at RW 2.0 was indeed CP contributor User:BS. And no evidence was produced to support either claim the User:BS was either an atheist or a Christian, despite the fact CP does not have an ideological litmus test to register an account or contribute.

Conservapedia:How_Conservapedia_Differs_from_Wikipedia specifically states,

  • 11.We respect users' control over their own talk pages as much as possible. Wikipedia treats users' own talk pages like government or public property, and it becomes a place for Wikipedia editors to bully users.
  • 15.We do not ban users based on their comments elsewhere, such as on their own blog. Wikipedia will monitor users' blogs and ban them for their exercise of free speech on their own blogs.

Conservapedia:Guidelines#Duties specifically sates,

  • Unlike Wikipedia, we do not block for ideological reasons.

So, User:BS was blocked, evidently, for ideological views he expressed on another site, assuming the two are the same person. Rob Smith 14:11, 6 August 2011 (EDT)

Warn?

Do you think we should warn vandals once before we block them? Or are there ways of telling easily if they will stop? what if someone just vandalizes once?

                                          Sincerely,Jwill 14:51, 18 January 2013 (EST)
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