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Requests for comment/Blocked users and talkpage access

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The following request for comments is closed. Consensus to file bugzilla:28288, request fulfilled, in two months nobody complained except it.wiki (local consensus can change the default).

I've noticed on quite a few Wikimedia wikis that the ability to block whilst allowing and maintaining for the receiver of the block a chance to at least publish their unblock request or appeal to the administrators of the particular wiki on their own talkpage is not present. This often causes problems with transparency, since unblock requests have to be instead done via proxy editing as a logged out user uses his/her IP to appeal, provided autoblock is disabled, or that it has to be made in private via the EmailUser function. Either way, it doesn't seem like a practical or proper way to allow anyone to request unblock. This feature, whereby users are able to talk with administrators properly even while under a block, gives a more transparent result as to communications, discussions and actions committed by both parties that would be acceptable within the rest of the community and its standards. However, the use of this was unique only to the English Wikipedia until more recent requests opened up the feature and paved the way for more usage of proper unblock discussions, like those in bugzilla:8001, which only enabled the feature to appear by default in 2006 on the other English-language wikis Wikibooks and Wikiversity.

The software change was a simple checkbox that appears in the block menu for sysops when asking to block a certain user whether or not to allow that user to appeal his/her block on his/her talkpage, plus an additional comment in the block log that determines whether or not the user has talkpage access, displaying "cannot edit own talkpage" if it is true and nothing if it is false. Considering the usefulness of this particular feature, I propose that it be used and enabled by default on all MediaWiki installations currently implemented on any Wikimedia-owned sites. (This does not necessarily include other off-site wikis like Wikia for instance, but I'd like to see it enabled there as well.) :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 08:30, 22 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]


  • This is actually a good point. I would probably support this since it's now possible to block people from editing their talk page either way. I don't see a good reason for leaving the default as "cannot edit own talk page". Cbrown1023 talk 19:53, 22 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • It is my opinion that the default should be to allow this option on all new wikis, and then the local community can decide if/how it should be used. The alternative is that each project must submit a bug request (as I did for beta-wikiversity) and the local community might not even know that such an option is possible or how to request it. --mikeu talk 20:54, 22 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]
  • I agree that this setting should be the default, but "default" is a separate question. The present setting for beta.wikiversity is that administrators cannot allow a user access to their own talk page except by completely unblocking. That's inflexible and often harmful. I find it difficult to imagine that an administrator would want to be so restricted, and that a community would want to restrict its own administrators in this way. Has there ever been an explicit discussion of this on any wiki, concluding that the impossibility was desirable? --Abd 16:28, 26 March 2011 (UTC)[reply]