Office actions/Community consultation on partial and temporary office actions/draft

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This is a [draft] consultation about the existence, purpose, and practicalities of two office action tools: temporary and partial Foundation office action bans. Temporary Foundation bans were envisioned as a potential remedy where concerns have high likelihood of being temporary and/or are able to be redressed by the user. Partial Foundation bans were envisioned to serve to exclude an individual from a single or a defined set of Foundation-supported projects, activities or platforms, either indefinitely or for a defined period of time, without excluding them from the entire Wikimedia ecosystem.

Instructions[edit]

  • Please use the talk page to offer ideas on what the consultation draft below should contain and how it ought to be formatted.
  • The Foundation is not currently taking input on the use of the stayed partial and temporary Foundation Office Action bans. That input will be requested when the consultation itself opens in September 2019.
  • This draft will be open for comments until 30th August 2019. At that point the Foundation will finalize the content of the draft in preparation for launching the actual consultation, likely in in early September 2019.

Draft content of the September consultation[edit]

Hello, and welcome to the Wikimedia Foundation's Community consultation on the topic of partial and temporary Foundation bans. After the English Wikipedia's community examined a partial and temporary Foundation office action ban in June 2019, the Wikimedia Foundation has suspended use of partial and temporary Foundation bans as of 2 July 2019. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees requested that staff hold this consultation to "re-evaluat[e] or add community input to the two new office action policy tools (temporary and partial Foundation bans)", and the executive director subsequently affirmed that "[the Foundation] will seek further community feedback on those [partial/temporary tools] changes". This consultation is intended to give the global Wikimedia community space to discuss three things:

  1. Should partial and temporary Foundation bans be used? On all projects, or only on a subset?
  2. Can the Office Actions policy on partial and temporary bans, as written (circa June 2019), be used? If not, what changes need to be made to its text?
  3. How should partial and temporary Foundation bans ideally be implemented, if they should be?
    1. For what types of behavior should the Foundation issue partial or temporary office actions?
    2. Should partial and temporary office actions be appealable?
    3. What duration(s) should be available for partial and temporary office actions?
    4. What other considerations should be taken into account when using partial or temporary office actions?

Policy as written, circa early June 2019[edit]

Temporary Foundation bans[edit]

Temporary Foundation global bans serve to exclude a user in line with a traditional Foundation global ban, as described in the previous section, with the key difference that their duration is finite. This means that a temporary global ban will bar individuals from all Wikimedia Foundation websites, platforms and activities, either in their own capacity or as agents of others, for a limited and clearly defined period of time.

Temporary Foundation global bans are reserved for conduct that:

  • Constitutes a single, serious violation of the Terms of Use, and is not part of a pattern of otherwise abusive behaviour;
  • May not expressly breach the Terms of Use, but follows a pattern of behavior with considerable negative impact on the affected projects or individuals.

Similar to a global ban, a temporary global ban is placed against an individual instead of against a specific username. It applies to any alternate accounts an individual may control and any accounts they might create after the ban has been enacted and for the duration of the ban. Likewise, it applies to anonymous / “IP accounts” the banned individual may be using at the time of the ban or may use while the ban is in effect.

The duration of the temporary global ban can range from one to several years, which is clearly communicated to the banned individual and the public through the temporary Foundation global ban notice. It is not appealable, so its duration is final and non negotiable. The sanctioned individual may resume activity, in line with local project policies and the Terms of Use, upon the ban’s expiration.

Partial Foundation bans[edit]

A partial Foundation ban is a Foundation complementary tool to a community site or topic ban. Accordingly, partial Foundation bans serve to exclude an individual from a single or a defined set of Foundation-supported projects, activities or platforms, either indefinitely or for a defined period of time, without excluding them from the entire Wikimedia ecosystem.

Partial Foundation bans may be implemented in cases of:

  • Repeated misconduct within a single Foundation-supported project, with considerable impact either on that project overall or on individual contributors who are active in that project.

Additional circumstances that may be considered for partial Foundation bans include:

  • Lack of abusive conduct by the affected individual in any other Wikimedia Foundation supported projects.
  • Record of positive contributions and overall good standing in other Wikimedia Foundation supported projects.

Partial Foundation bans help safeguard constructive contributions to and growth of smaller, technical, and/or emerging communities, where individual editors with problematic history on mature wikis sometimes become pillars without causing any issues.

Similar to the other bans listed above, partial bans are placed against an individual rather than against a specific account name or IP address by which that individual may be known.

They are final and non-negotiable.

In the event of a finite partial ban, the affected individual may resume activity, in line with local project policies and the Terms of Use, upon the ban’s expiration. Should the affected individual fail to demonstrate course correction upon their return, further office actions may be considered.