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Global blocks are technical actions performed to prevent an IP address or range of IP addresses from editing all Wikimedia wikis, for a fixed period of time or indefinitely. Global blocks disable account creation from the blocked IP by default, and can also prevent editing while logged in to an account.
Global blocks cannot be applied directly to accounts. For the analogous action with accounts, see global locks.
IP blocking is the only form of global blocking that is technically possible. The GlobalBlocking extension can block an IP address or range (maximum of /16 in IPv4, maximum of /19 in IPv6) from editing all Wikimedia projects except Meta, and is only available to Stewarder or selected WMF staff in special groups like WMF Support and Safety. These are logged in the Global block log.
Globally blocked IP addresses that cause disruption on Meta are locally blocked.
While exceptions exist, these are the guidelines:
- Global blocks should only be placed where a combination of page protection, local blocks, and other technical and non-technical measures would be ineffective or inefficient.
- Global blocks may be placed on IP addresses:
- Who engage in widespread cross-wiki vandalism, where that cross-wiki vandalism would currently require the intervention of stewards (as opposed to allowing local communities to manage the vandalism).
- Who engage in cross-wiki spamming, where the user shows clear disregard for external link policies of the respective wikis.
- Who are otherwise blatantly disrupting multiple projects, and the local communities of those projects are unable to effectively manage the behaviour. This is not intended to cover "trolling" or similar behaviour.
- Which are open proxies being used abusively on multiple projects such as spamming links or forum spamming, and which are not being extensively used for legitimate purposes.
- Global blocks should be placed with the lowest expiry possible, while still remaining effective. All global blocks should have an expiry (none should be indefinite).
- Global blocks should, wherever practicable and sensible, be placed with the anonymous only flag on. Remember that even in this case, account creation from the blocked address(es) is prevented.
- Global blocks will remove talk page access when the block is encountered.
Accounts which are "global IP block exempt" are exempted from these global blocks. They are still vulnerable to IP and IP range blocks made locally on individual wikis. To apply for global IP block exemption, see Steward requests/Global permissions or use the .
Global IP blocks can be locally unblocked on specific wikis by any sysops on that wiki (Special:GlobalBlockWhitelist). Similarly, user accounts can be unblocked where they are caught within an IP block, such blocks can be overridden on the local wiki by granting a local IP block exemption (Special:UserRights).
Deciding on Global Blocks
Requests or appeals should be made on the Global [un]block and [un]lock requests page or the .
A global ban should be discussed in its own RFC and mentioned widely on meta, and on all communities where the user is active in the local language. Notice should be given, at a minimum, wherever local bans are discussed - or on the village pump if no local process exists.