Grants talk:IdeaLab/Editor rescue

Latest comment: 5 years ago by Nemo bis in topic Unnecessary

Umm... edit

  • Since this would be a safe space, I do not think that it should be viewable by anyone who has been involved in the block or ban for the editors.--
    • Executing this is insane and pretty impossible from a technical standpoint.
    • And, what is a safe-space? Some place where the banned user and his/her advocate can indulge in massive fuck-wittery, (which is the rough working definition of safe-space at Meta and has been consistently rejected at without being called out?
  • If anything, we waste pretty unnecessary time on civil POV pushers and wikilawyers, who ought be shown the door long ago.
    • That being said, whilst I would support some initiative to re-orient good-faith editor(s) who were probably incompetent/clueless, at their time of being blocked, this proposal's not it.
  • And, contact banned or blocked editors and assign them an advocate will be mostly exploited as forms of proxying, which is prohibited.
    • Also, bans are exceptional measures and it takes a lot to earn them.

Overall, much lack of any substantial/meaningful idea.Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 07:31, 22 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I disagree 100% with your reaction. I was once banned for six months because I lived in the vicinity of the ban recipient! It is too damn easy for certain administrators to block anyone they choose. We should do what we can to undo the tyrannical nature of some editors. Vcuttolo (talk) 17:22, 22 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
IP bans are only given out when there's been a massive sockpuppetry problem problem. A registered user who has verified their email can be given explicit permission for their account from a banned IP range -- for instance: Help:I have been blocked. If you've never created an account then you'll have to en:Wikipedia:Request_an_account If it's a shared IP block, like if you're editing from a school that has been blocked in the past, then you may be out of luck. Banaticus (talk) 19:33, 22 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As Banaticus said, you were most likely) a collateral damage.If one is even unable to create an account (sometimes ranges are hard-blocked and account-creations are prevented to fight abuse), they can request an account at Account-Creation-interface and we will look into the details to help him/her out.It's pretty unfortunate for an innocent person to get caught in the cross-fire but they are almost always resolvable.Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 07:48, 23 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comments from I JethroBT (WMF) edit

@Barbara (WVS): Hi Barbara. I'm not exactly sure how this idea is related to the theme of measuring community health so much as it is an idea to help reorient people back into projects who have been blocked or banned. One approach that would be related is describing a plan to assess whether current systems used to appeal blocks and bans are working well in cases where we would expect an appeal to be accepted. One idea that you should consider reviewing from a past campaign is this one, which resulted in an RfC that did not achieve consensus to build a space for editors to talk freely about their block or ban. Thanks, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 15:15, 22 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I JethroBT (WMF), Your point is very good. But I am not clear on how is community health is measured now? Are we healthier than we were a year ago? Do we get grades like A+ or D-. Do we loose editors who have made contributions (perhaps thousands of edits) or not? I'm not so concerned about getting people back into Projects because they may want to consider editing in a different area. There is nothing the WMF can do to change the 'culture' of bans and blocks via ANI, sorry. The banners/blockers are not even using the editor interaction tool or other objective measures of editor actions/behavior because they are not interested in losing 'power'. Without a safe space, this idea won't work because the free expression of a banned/blocked editor will always be used against them. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 19:36, 29 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Barbara (WVS): There has been past work at the Wikimedia Foundation to evaluate some aspects of community health. Some examples include the 2015 Harassment Survey and the research involving the ANI process that you mentioned. This campaign is encouraging broader thinking around other kinds of evaluation that could be done. As of now, we have no holistic tool to look at entire projects and assign them a grade or value. Developing a way to accomplish this is not a specific goal of this campaign, but if someone had an idea for how to do this, it would certainly be welcome. That said, I think it is more manageable for people to be thinking more about specific spaces and specific problems, like the case of how blocking/banning processes operate related to this idea. In terms of people not wishing to give up power, maybe that is true for some admins, but I think many others are looking for ways to be able to be able to their work better, because real conflict resolution is challenging and time consuming work. I know as an admin on, I used to use other tools to look at editor interactions when trying to ascertain patterns of behavior, but I'd be frustrated when these tools would be down or become unavailable-- I would have to make a decision based on incomplete information or it would simply take longer for me to know what action to take (if any was needed). I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 22:37, 29 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So it looks like I am not the only one that is concerned with losing good people. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 20:19, 5 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think it safe to assume that lots of us are concerned at losing good people. The problem is in how we do it and who we consider good. Unbanning a bunch of blocked and banned editors could get us some good editors, but how do we do it without losing more good editors than we regain? Not every victim of abuse is going to stick around when their abusers are allowed to return. Please credit those of us who are more concerned about the victims of past abuse than their abusers as at least as concerned about the loss of good editors as you are. WereSpielChequers (talk) 14:03, 20 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Why ban the banned subject? edit

I support your idea strongly. My one nitpick is the assumption that all who are banned must have earned that ban. Let those who received the suspension be part of the conversation! Let us hear from the individual we are trying to help. It should become clear quickly whether or not the ban was earned, and, if it was, whether or not the banee is willing to be helped. Vcuttolo (talk) 17:27, 22 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You are probably unaware of the distinction between block and a ban.Complete bans cannot be ever enforced without a community discussion that must run for 24 hours.Banning is the last resort and the recipient is always allowed to defend himself/herself, shall he choose to.Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 07:39, 23 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Speaking from experience, a community ban is proof enough that the action was 'earned'. Guilty or not guilty, it is irrelevant at the point of the ban. You are banned...period. An appeal is expected, I suppose if the banned wants to get unbanned. "Rehab" or "Editor rescue" would be one bit of evidence that the 'banned/blocked' intends to avoid actions that got them blocked/banned in the first (or second) place. "Willing to be helped" a interesting phrase. If a banned/blocked editor is willing to 'sign-up' for editor rescue are they not 'willing to be helped'? Barbara (WVS) (talk) 19:25, 29 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In my experience at least some of them just want a further opportunity to argue their case, or to argue that their good contributions justify the occasional loss of temper or non PC language. WereSpielChequers (talk) 14:03, 20 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Comment from TJH2018 edit

This is not a good idea, mainly for the sake of transparency. Even with this "rehab," there is no guarantee that the editor will go do the same stupid things after playing along with the "treatment." En-wiki is transparent, and to hide things only because you were in any way released to a block would be both a technical and ethical nightmare. TJH2018talk 04:08, 23 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

(+1)Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 07:36, 23 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As long as editors can send emails and telephone calls back and forth you are not going to have complete transparency. How about all the ridiculous usernames we have now that anyone can hide behind? Not so transparent. Of course there is no 'guarantee' that an editor will not repeat their behavior. But compared to what there is now (nothing), this could be successful. It would be voluntary, you don't have to like it or use it. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 19:18, 29 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unnecessary edit

Honestly, I think this is a waste of resources. Generally, people who get banned are vandals with zero intention to improve the project, or NOTHERE POV-pushers. Rehabilitation of these people is a waste of time and energy. This is why we have ban appeals. If they've really had a change of heart, you know they're just going to make another account. Jjjjjjdddddd (talk) 07:55, 23 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Non-vandal users get banned as well. This generally happens when they get into conflict with other users and/or unintentionally become disruptive due to the arguing. Sometimes, they might also become frustrated. While I've never been banned I have seen others get banned for it.Banning sometimes only aggravates it. MonsterHunter32 (talk) 08:58, 23 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am not a vandal. I am not disruptive. I avoid conflict. I have created a decent number of medical articles that are well-referenced and are viewed by thousands of readers. I am not pushing a POV. I am topic banned. I don't fit your description above. I am an excellent editor. I'm seeing this happen with other medical editors. Going through a 'rehab' process that is recognized could be one way to appeal a block or ban. This process is something that should appeal to both the banned and the banners. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 19:13, 29 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The thing is, we know you're not just some random who replaces a few pages with "kljsdbfjhsagdfioygasdfuyg" or "LOL", or someone who's sole mission on Wikipedia is to go after Israel/the Palestinians/the Americans/the Left/whoever. We know that you care about the project. In what I've seen, most people who get banned, don't. Jjjjjjdddddd (talk) 20:45, 2 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are many who completely disagree with your assessment of me, btw. We should not waste any time on 'restoring' editors who edit like you have described above. We should rescue editors like me. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 20:17, 5 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm afraid that any project which is based on a personal assumption like "rescue editors like me" can't possibly produce anything proper. The proposal also seems to assume that blocked users should continue editing Wikipedia, while in fact if they care about free knowledge it's probably better that they try contributing elsewhere, e.g. in Wikisource which is less confrontative. --Nemo 09:13, 5 September 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, a waste of resources edit

As Winged Blades of Godric & others have pointed out, trying to rescue blocked/banned editors is spending resources unwisely. There are many more needs with higher priorities that should be attended to long before this.

Having been a volunteer on the English language Wikipedia for over 15 years, I have seen many people banned. These usually fall into two groups: troublemakers who have driven away useful contributors; & onetime valuable contributors who are burned out & instead of just leaving have decided to vent their frustrations against the project. Reaching out to them will only result, respectively, extended trolling that will alienate more useful contributors, or a sincerely-expressed "fuck off". While there are probably some banned editors who could be rescued, they are not the majority, & chances are good that the banning will eliminate any desire to act in good faith.

If the Foundation wants to rescue editors, they need to intervene long before the point of a ban. Almost every day editors get into conflicts, & most of them think about quitting. Some of them do, because they think no one cares about their contributions. This is the point an intervention would prove most valuable, before they decide we are all Wiki-Nazis & act accordingly -- either by leaving or deciding to become a troublemaker. Of course, to do that would require manpower to monitor activity on the different projects, & I suspect no one at the WMF wants to spend the money to hire people to monitor & intervene in these instances. -- Llywrch (talk) 00:44, 24 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So call it editor retention-it is really the same thing. I don't expect such an effort to be funded. It will be a volunteer 'thing'. A 'safe' space is necessary-a space in which the 'banned' can vent without their comments coming back to bite them in any future discussion to have a ban/block lifted. Call it rehab or whatever. I had an admin walk through the same thing with me and it was effective. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 19:06, 29 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is not that people always are troublemakers or intentionally decide to be. There are situations when in an edit dispute things might get heated or a user has a diametrically opposed viewpoint. In such cases, it is usually best to advice them and then warn them if friendly help didn't work despite your best try. MonsterHunter32 (talk) 16:47, 25 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Friendly help is rarely offered, I've seen. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 19:06, 29 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Barbara (WVS): I won't deny that. How Wikipedia is set up works against person-to-person interactions, both in technology & culture. For one thing, countless firestorms can rage on the website, yet be invisible to anyone not actively watching the pages where this is happening. As for another, I'll admit that when I have an hour or two to work on Wikipedia, the last thought I have is "Let's go find someone who needs some help"; far more often it is to edit articles, & sometimes I get so bogged down in researching or organizing my notes I may end up making only a couple of trivial edits. Unfortunately this seems to be what the community thinks it wants: search for the string "not Facebook" to find examples of people objecting to creating more social tools along the lines of the {{ping}} template or the thank button. What our fellow Wikipedians fail to perceive is that more social interaction -- but on specific matters related to Wikipedia -- would benefit not only individuals but the project itself. -- Llywrch (talk) 18:27, 30 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Barbara (WVS):-I guess Wikipediocracy/Reddit/9Chan might be an equally good alternative.Or else, a word processor to jot down one's feeling(s) might suffice equally well.I just don't get why the wiki itself has to be the venting ground?! If you want some ideas from the broader quarters as to why such a safe-space would be a horrible idea, feel free to make a pointer at en-wiki VPP, linking to this page:)Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 14:41, 30 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Llywrch:-You've put it quite nicely and accurately.What certain folks don't try to understand is that those who get banned/blocked (other than the garden variety vandals/trolls) have been helped pretty much (As was a certain discussant (at this very thread); He was helped (IMO) at by multiple people a-prior to being blocked over there (and even by a good samaritan who came to meta-wiki!!) all of which, which he failed to recognize.)The point in all these cases is that the very definition of help is a subjective quantity.To someone who has been blocked for pushing right-wing-POV, the sole person who is helping him is an accompanying POV pusher.Nobody else.Winged Blades of Godric (talk) 14:41, 30 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @Llywrch: I also support what you say because you want to intervene before a block/ban happens. The idea is to rescue editors. The assumption is that that means editors that are blocked or banned. But then its most likely too Late. The slap in the face has happened...the line is drawn...sides have been taken and there is no going back. The difficulty is how to find those situations that are just starting to bubble... And then what to say and do to ease the tension. Buster7 (talk) 23:30, 30 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I guess I couldn't disagree any more. Just for the fun of it see all the fireworks that accompanied my recent block of nine hours on the en:ANI as a great example. You will see exactly what I am talking about. I am assuming that you might be a relatively young person and you are basing your opinion on what you have observed. You (I usually avoid that pro-noun, sorry) have decided that editors can be tidily divided into a few distinct categories. You have them all figured out and have decided they are getting what they deserved.
That is not just/fair to put all those people/editors in the same camp. People/editors can change. Some will work hard to regain their editing privileges. I don't have time to 'rescue' editors that have been banned/blocked and have made few contributions, say <2000. But those who create good content with experience and more than 2000 edits can be saved. It seems that it would be very easy to get blocked if you are an editor whose real life situations/lack of medication/physical emotional trauma helped cloud your judgement for a time and you somehow created a situation that got you blocked. Also, it is unlikely that we will identify anyone before they get blocked. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 13:21, 5 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No $$$ is requested edit

There are editors who may want to help 'rescue' contributing who are blocked or banned. Me, for example. Allowing some venting off-wiki may redirect all the vitrol that otherwise would appear on a talk page or ANI discussion. A listening (virtual) ear can de-fuse a heated discussion and future heated discussions. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 19:06, 29 July 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

nuance please edit

We block or ban people for a range of reasons, some more serious than others. I'd be uncomfortable if anyone wanted to do outreach to people banned for paedophile advocacy, or the likes of en:User:Swastika12345 who I'll I'm proud to have blocked before they even managed to save an edit. And as for this [[:en:User:SamboHunter|editor, I'd suggest you look at their deleted en userpage to see who they wanted to murder before deciding if you want to try and rehabilitate them.

As others have pointed out most of the blocks we issue are for vandalism, and while much time has been spent on talking about such blocks and issuing second chances for such editors, we know that the proportion of former vandals amongst our editors is very very low. More importantly I have had a chance to talk to a couple of them, and they didn't have complaints either about the way they were blocked or that the community was willing to let them back in later.

Where we do have a problem is with the way we treat edit warring, and I may draft up or resurrect one of my old proposals in this area. People who have been blocked for edit warring often are upset about it for years afterwards. WereSpielChequers (talk) 10:26, 5 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You have created a straw man and described outliers. No one in their right mind would want to help an editor involved in pedophilia or a self-described murderer! Those who are involved in edit-warring AND have made many contributions (>2000) are just the kind of people that might be helped and restored to productive editing. You've actually done exactly what I propose by talking to a couple of editors to assess their willingness to continue to contribute in the future. Barbara (WVS) (talk) 16:38, 5 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we are missing an opportunity by completely focusing this entire discussion on blocked or banned editors. And, in so doing, we get lost in considering why they are banned or blocked and whether they deserve our time and our interest. I think we would be better served and have better results if we started to focus on those new "amateur" editors that leave or threaten to leave because they are just tired of arguing with a cadre of veteran editors....before they get blocked or banned.Buster7 (talk) 21:55, 5 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Dear Barbara (WVS), I don't think I'm making a strawman, but it is possible that we are talking at cross purposes. On the English Wikipedia we have dished out literally millions of blocks, mostly just for adolescent vandalism and many of them just 31 hour time outs. We have a much smaller number of bans, far less than 1% of the blocks and Bans in total. A ban is a really big deal, anyone subject to a ban is very much an outlier within the total blocked and banned group. But within that group of banned editors pedophile advocates may not be such an outlier, though I hope they are within the total of "blocked editors". I'm very serious that if we are going to talk about outreach to blocked editors we need to delineate what sort of offences we are prepared to overlook in that outreach. I've skimmed through the blocks that I've administered, and though they aren't representative, for starters I doubt if I have ever blocked anyone for either editwarring or copyvio. But I have for hateful comments or usernames of a homophobic, racist or antisemitic nature. None of those three groups would count as outliers amongst the people I have blocked, and I'm pretty sure that homophobes aren't an outlier amongst those we've blocked in total. In fact it wouldn't surprise me if there were more homophobes blocked from Wikipedia than edit warrers. Now we could go through a list of people who we weren't going to try and reach out to, and I'd hope that would include homophobes, misogynists, racists, anti semites and doxxers - obviously that lot collectively are not an outlier within our blocked editors, though I'm pretty sure they are a minority. Aside from the ethics of not wanting to do outreach to any of those groups, it would send an unfortunate message to parts of our own community and relevant parts of the broader community outside Wikipedia if we were to do such outreach. But there's a practical issue here, unless you can see someone's deleted edits you often don't know exactly what they were blocked for, and only admins can see those edits, and our numbers are dwindling. So if such outreach is to be done on any scale it needs to involve non admins, and their inability to see deleted edits makes this awkward. There's also the practical issue that the chance of either vandals or spammers becoming Wikipedians is probably too low to be worth wasting anyone's time on. Unlike Editwarrers, they are no more likely to be the sort of altruistic geeks who we are looking for than anyone else on the internet. That still leaves editwarrers and a few other groups of blocked editors as people we could consider outreach to, but I suspect we are dealing with a small minority, rather smaller than those who have used hatespeech, probably smaller than those who've made death threats. In any event I think it really important to define the sorts of blocked editors you are considering outreach to, and to be really clear to the community that you don't intend to try and bring certain groups back. Ideally be aware that a large proportion of the regulars, or at least the admins, have had death threats from people who are now blocked or banned, and might baulk at those who've made such threats being described as an outlier amongst the blocked and banned. WereSpielChequers (talk) 21:11, 16 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

good idea edit

please add me to the support section. thanks. Michael Ten (talk) 20:21, 5 August 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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