Talk:Harassment consultation 2015/Ideas/Apply the Wikimedia rules on the Wikimedia IRC dedicated channels

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Make this local where practical[edit]

A simple first step would be to tell local wikis:

If you, the local community desire it, we, the WFM, will give you the tools to block and ban editors from IRC channels that are associated with a particular Wiki, subject to the following:
  • If the IRC channel has its own "community rules" that are independent of the Wiki itself, those rules may allow for a Wiki-initiated block or ban to be overturned
  • Initially, any IRC channel that has its own independent "community rules" will have a boilerplate text added to its "community rules" which allows for a Wiki-initiated block or ban to be overturned. The affected IRC communities are encouraged to discuss whether they want to keep, modify, or remove the boilerplate text (that is, the boilerplate text is intended to be temporary until each affected IRC community decides what their long-term rules will be)
  • If the IRC channel's rules allow for a Wiki-initiated block or ban to be overturned (which, initially, will be true for all IRC channels that have "community rules" that are independent of the related Wikimedia project), an IRC-based mechanism for the editor to request that the block or ban be overturned will be provided.

What I expect will happen long-term:

  • IRC channels that DO NOT have an independent set of "community rules" will have Wiki-initiated blocking and banning as soon as the associated Wiki community develops rules to implement them. For smaller Wikis that have a quick rule-making process this could happen within a few days or weeks of WMF implementation. For larger Wikis this may take a month or more.
  • IRC channels that DO have an independent set of "community rules" will have *temporary* Wiki-initiated blocking or banning as soon as the associated Wiki community develops rules to implement them, but editors will have an IRC-based method to appeal the Wiki-initiated IRC block or ban.
  • Many IRC channels in the second group will just accept these temporary rules as permanent.
  • Some IRC channels in the second group will reject the temporary rules outright, reverting to the current, no-Wiki-initiated-IRC-blocks-or-bans.
  • Some IRC channels in the second group will come up with their own rules to handle Wiki-initiated blocks or bans.

IRC channels that are not open to the general editing community or which are not tied to a specific project would be outside the scope of the suggestions outlined above. Davidwr/talk 20:41, 20 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

A few issues:
  1. IRC channels are already free to enforce on-wiki bans. Those that don't automatically do so are still more likely to channel-ban those users anyway, because inevitably they tend to cause disruption. That's not always the case, though. Someone banned on-wiki can still technically be a productive IRC helper in some instances.
  2. IRC isn't controlled by the foundation. To be most specific, IRC is hosted by Freenode; channels exist that loosely relate to various projects where various projects or sub-communities within them wanted channels and people stood up to help organize and run them. There's no approval process and no easy way to monitor the creation or use of channels within the #wiki* namespace. This is different from how projects relate to the foundation on-wiki in that control and monitoring is significantly more decentralized and entirely up to those on the channel. There is no "recent changes" mode, and it's not the glass-house that Mediawiki enables; only those in a particular channel see what's going on, and only if they're on the channel when it's happening. Structurally, he ultimate decision of content, availability, and admission of users to the network is determined by Freenode first, then, if the user joins a wikimedia-related channel, that channel's operators. That said, Freenode, like other networks, largely stays out of channel matters, however network admission and user information is squarely out of the foundation's control—so it's both a blessing and a curse.
  3. IRC, from a technical standpoint, doesn't work like Mediawiki. This presents numerous issues with block-to-ban synchronization, not the least of which is that channel operators don't—and can't—have the IRC equivalent of "checkuser" access on Freenode (nor vice versa), so there's no reliable way to enforce on-wiki blocks and ban mandates. The exception to this is that there are a handful of people (if that) that both are channel operators for Wikimedia channels as well as Freenode staff who are able to determine a user's actual IP, but they are under no obligation to do so and usually don't.
  4. IRC, unlike Mediawiki, has ways to ignore users that you feel are harassing you, both on channels as well as via private message. This significantly reduces the need for administrative intervention. While ops usually intervene if the harassment or other problematic issues are happening in public anyway—usually faster and more proactively than equivalent on-wiki procedures, I might add—there's no way whatsoever for ops to prevent or address issues via private message; there are no "user talk" pages on IRC. Not even Freenode staff can really help. You just have to ignore harassment.
Some of these issues could be addressed if Wikimedia started its own IRC network and got everyone to join it and moved all the channels there and trained capable irc operators and had a group of C developers able to customize the ircd and services to make things work the way the foundation wants and deal with any and all legal ramifications of doing so. However, these are huge issues and are way outside the scope of what you're proposing. :P
--slakrtalk / 01:35, 21 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hi folks,
English isn't my first language and I don't really understand all you have writed here. All I can say is :
1- I don't go on IRC and I don't really know what happen there. What I know is that it have strong effects on the project management. There's a lot of "power users" (admin and others) of the project on IRC channels and a lot of links on the project point to IRC channels. You cannot chose to ignore/deny that IRC dedicated channels are importants tools in the management of the projects and, consequently, must follow community rules.
2- While you are not a IRC user, possibility to ignore some users on it don't help if these users speak ill about you to others users. Simon Villeneuve 22:14, 21 November 2015 (UTC)
  • There are a number of IRC channels that are promoted as "official" wikimedia channels - including in error messages. The people running these should be given a clear choice, bring them within the civility standards and logging that you expect of a wikimedia site or stop having them promoted from pages on Wikipedia and other wikimedia sites. WereSpielChequers (talk) 18:01, 24 November 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]