Global bans

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A global ban is a formal revocation of editing or other access privileges (use of "Special:EmailUser" for example) across all Wikimedia projects. A global ban's purpose is to prevent harm to Wikimedia projects when a problem cannot be addressed by the community through less restrictive means, and consequently is usually permanent. A global ban is not a form of punishment nor is it meant to provide a “cool down” period. A global ban reflects a broad and clear community consensus.

Global bans are exclusively applied where multiple independent communities have previously elected to ban a user for a pattern of abuse. Wikimedia projects are entirely self-governing. Typically, good faith is assumed when a user chooses to become a member of a new community, regardless of his/her history on other projects. Consequently, global bans are not a possibility where a user is only temporarily blocked, or only banned on a single project. Please remember, global bans are intentionally very infrequent.

Global bans should not be confused with global blocking, a technical mechanism to prevent a user from editing any Wikimedia Project.

Criteria for global bans[edit]

Global bans are only considered when all of the following criteria are met:

  1. The user demonstrates an ongoing pattern of cross-wiki abuse (that is not merely vandalism or spam). No global ban is required for uncontroversial cases of cross-wiki vandalism or spam, since these may be handled with a block or lock (which may be made by a Steward, without need for extensive discussion). See Steward requests/Global.
  2. The user has been carefully informed about appropriate participation in the projects and has had fair opportunity to rectify any problems. These projects must have demonstrated a good faith attempt to explain acceptable practices and behaviors that are consistent with their mission and scope. This criterion is to show users reasonably know what is expected, have had ample opportunity to appropriately address concerns, and chose not to participate appropriately in projects.
  3. The user is permanently blocked or banned on two or more projects. These projects must have demonstrated broad support for the blocks or bans through a prominent community discussion process—clear explanations and considerations for local rules and practices must be evident, decisions must be independent of a block or ban on another project, and the blocks or bans must be clearly intended to be permanent.

Merely meeting the above minimum criteria does not mean that a global ban is required. Past reasons for requesting a global ban have included:

  • Harassing or threatening contributors to the projects, on- or off-wiki
  • Serious on-wiki fraud or identity theft (that is not simple abuse of multiple accounts)
  • Inappropriate use of user rights with access to private information, such as CheckUser or Oversight
  • Violations of the privacy policy or other official Wikimedia policies.

Relation to local policy[edit]

This policy is meant to complement existing policies and procedures for all projects, not act as a replacement. All governance of the dispute resolution process remains the responsibility of each individual community, and this process is not a venue for entertaining proposals to ban or block a user on a single project.

Relation to the Terms of Use[edit]

The Wikimedia Terms of Use, which apply equally to all users of the projects, specifically refer to this policy and supports banning users violating either the terms themselves or any mandatory community policies and guidelines. As the service provider of Wikimedia websites, the Foundation has and continues to support community consensus relating to blocking and banning decisions.

Obtaining consensus for a global ban[edit]

A simplified workflow

Consensus for a global ban is conducted through the requests for comment process on Meta. A global ban request must only be accepted when a user presents a clear and current danger to all Wikimedia communities, a decision is backed by a broad and clear consensus that fairly represents the vast majority of Wikimedia projects, and careful consideration of concerns and possible consequences are evident in the decision. In order to initiate a discussion on whether harm to all communities is evident and merits a global ban, please do the following:

  1. Confirm that the user satisfies all criteria for global bans prior to opening a request for comment.
  2. File a new request for comment on Meta. The title should have the username of the user nominated for a global ban. The nominator must impartially document the significant incidences that satisfy all criteria for global bans. The nominator must also attempt to show that the user's decision not to participate appropriately presents a current danger to all Wikimedia communities.
  3. Inform the user about the discussion on all wikis where they are active. If the user nominated for a global ban is blocked on Meta, a temporary unblock may be considered to allow participation in the discussion.
  4. Inform the community on all wikis where the user has edited about the discussion through a prominent public venue. Be sure to stay neutral in your communications and avoid any defamatory, inaccurate, or exaggerated commentary.

A nomination that fails to correctly follow the above steps is invalid.

Once a valid request for comment has developed a broad and clear consensus, an uninvolved and impartial sysop or Steward may close the discussion. There is no set time limit on requests for comment. Requests are likely to be closed without extensive discussion when frivolous. Requests are likely to be closed after an extensive discussion when no consensus is likely to be reached.

Multilingualism in discussion[edit]

Please be aware that the discussion can and should be conducted in the relevant language or languages of any projects where the user has been active. Wikimedia projects exist in hundreds of languages, and thus a wide variety of communities should be afforded the ability to participate in global discussions regardless of their fluency in any second language. In cases where there are no human translators available, machine translation may function as a substitute for communication between communities.

Implementing a global ban[edit]

A global ban formally revokes some or all privileges at all Wikimedia projects, regardless of whether accounts are attached through the unified login system. Any attempt to circumvent an active global ban constitutes a violation of the Terms of Use, regardless of accounts used. Accordingly, local communities where the user is blocked or active should be informed in a prominent public venue about the decision. Stewards may also choose to respond to requests to globally lock proven alternate accounts of a globally banned user.

If the consensus requires Steward action, a request should be made to the Stewards. Please provide a link to the relevant discussion in your request; otherwise it will be rejected for lack of consensus.

Overturning a global ban decision[edit]

Discussion to overturn a global ban decision is conducted through the requests for comment process on Meta, in order to include the widest possible audience. A request must follow the same consensus process for requesting a ban, described above.

See also[edit]