Talk:Office actions

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Import notes[edit]

While a de facto policy on all Wikimedia Foundation projects, it should be noted that it enjoys extremely rare use. While discussing this policy, please recall that the Foundation requires the privilege to maintain the proper and legal operation of its servers. Failure to comply with Office actions may well result (aside from penalties) legal seizure of assets including the same servers hosting your content!

This policy works best, therefore, when it's never needed. Kylu 03:32, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

This needs to be put on the content page, not here.  — Mike.lifeguard | @en.wb 11:45, 1 August 2008 (UTC)

Local versions[edit]

In the interests of clarity (and of office actions not being reversed), every local project should really have at least a soft redirect to this page, preferably with a "nutshell" local language summary (compare commons:Commons:Office actions). Actions should also ideally mention the local project version in the edit summary / log entry, and link to it from the relevant user page. Rd232 02:26, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Recent update[edit]

Office actions have primarily only been used for content. Recently, it was used for the very first time to globally ban a user who had been active on commons. There was no explanation provided beyond the standard Office action disclaimer. There is also the assumption that there was no legal order this time requiring such an action. The policy on Meta and elsewhere still clearly states, that office actions can be used to blank or delete pages. I would like to invite the WMF staff to discuss this recent addition and change here, and ratify it first with the rest of the community, before breaking new ground, and using office action to ban a user again. Theo10011 (talk) 06:35, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

Terms_of_Use#10._Management_of_Websites. Rd232 (talk) 16:11, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
The new TOI don't speak about OFFICE action as established policy. The new TOI are new in themselves, and the office action policy predates it by a few years. Since, TOI does mention global ban policy, but the current framework doesn't exist yet, and office action was most recently used to globally block someone, this should reflect in the Office action policy pages on all wiki, preferably after some sort of discussion. Regards. Theo10011 (talk) 16:48, 12 July 2012 (UTC)
This does seem inconsistent. The current policy here essentially states that WMF staff will occasionally take this drastic action in response to legal requests about articles (or more widely content), since of course no matter what we must comply with the law. What needs to be discussed is whether the policy should be expanded to cover actions not relating to content editing and not required for legal compliance. Now, of course, WMF ultimately owns the place and so can do as they wish by fiat, and just say "We'll do it whether you like it or not, if you don't like it leave." Especially after the English WP ACTRIAL debacle, I hope WMF has learned that's an excellent way to get a lot of good volunteers to take up the offer to leave, and that seeking and then respecting consensus, even though they don't have to, is a wise idea. But if they do intend to make the change by fiat, they should at least change the policy to reflect the new and expanded use of office actions. Seraphimblade (talk) 17:33, 13 July 2012 (UTC)
As regards blocks etc., it's been made very clear that the WMF will do whatever they wish for whatever reason with no need to tell why. This is what the ToU for legal reasons and the praxis say. The unlimited discretional power of the WMF is limited only by self-restrictions of its usage, so for instance this page is mostly obsolete now; the only effect it has is that to enact DMCA notices the WMF has to follow that particular process, while for all the rest it has complete freedom because o restrictions are written anywhere. --Nemo 10:03, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

"Official, formal complaint"[edit]

The page says «Office actions are only occasioned by an official, formal complaint made off-wiki (e.g. mail, email, telephone calls or personal meetings) about the content». Could you please confirm that this is still valid? It would also be nice to know what "an official, formal complaint" actually is: for instance, can anyone send an email to any WMF address, or are only complaints made according to the law considered official and formal; or what middle ground?
To clarify, I'm not talking of what already discussed above, but only of the 6th bullet in Terms_of_Use#10._Management_of_Websites (i.e. not: investigation, technical abuse, blocks/bans, legal actions). --Nemo 14:40, 2 April 2013 (UTC)

It's important to know that the things covered under that bullet are not necessarily Office Actions as defined at Office actions, although they could be. it's sort of a "all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares" situation. So perhaps it would be easier if you laid out a scenario and I could address that more specifically, rather than in the abstract? Philippe (WMF) (talk) 16:22, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
What bullet are you talking about now? :) I'm asking only about that specific point in this page, which is quite specific. For instance, for DMCA cases it means that only the copyright owner as defined by the DMCA itself will be able to file a request (obviously).
I know that the last point in ToU(10) is very general on purpose, but does it affect the question above? I explicitly excluded the first 5 points because they are either not "office actions" (on the wikis) as meant here or they clearly take precedence over this policy (for instance global bans for which there is a defined process), so they could bring the discussion very offtopic compared to my question.
I know I'm clarifying by negation only, but is this enough or do you still need a scenario to answer? (Scenarios are often misleading, IMHO.) --Nemo 18:24, 2 April 2013 (UTC)
Let me try again, I wasn't clear. Not every action taken under the TOU meets the official definition of an Office Action, as on this page. Those can be other enforcement actions, taken by the office, but not "office actions" as defined here. So, for an Office Action, as defined on this page, yes, that statement holds true. I would say that in practice, it's also true for the TOU, although it isn't defined there.
As for the definition of a formal complaint, we would typically require that it be a complaint submitted in writing (usually through service, but post and sometimes email would suffice, depending on the nature of the complaint) addressed to the Foundation (not a project governance body) and requesting our involvement.
Of course, this is situational. It is possible that a less formal complaint could theoretically be accepted if we think waiting longer would unreasonably compromise the safety or property of the Foundation, its volunteers, or others. In that circumstance (and at the discretion of the Foundation's legal team) we may not require the formality. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 09:57, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
So in short there isn't any requirement except the written form, although some requests are valued more than others. --Nemo 17:22, 5 April 2013 (UTC)
No, there is a requirement, but there is also broad discretion to the legal team in enforcement. Philippe (WMF) (talk) 07:03, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't see the difference. What's not required is not a requirement. If you say "there's a requirement that the complaint is short", but then in a footnote define short as "at our discretion, roughly between 0 and 10^24 words" again it's not a requirement but just a criterion for a subjective evaluation. It's fine like this, I don't mind the absence of requirements but only outdated/unclear/misleading language. --Nemo 15:49, 7 April 2013 (UTC)

Copyright violation in closed Wikipedias[edit]

Where can one report copyright violations occurring in closed Wikipedias that host local media files (ng, cho, mh, mo, ii, ten)? Who can delete files there? 05:33, 23 March 2016 (UTC)

SRM. --Nemo 13:49, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Request for office actions[edit]

I request that w:en:PFT Commenter be stubbifed and protected. I just had to courtesy-blank 2 attack sections and comment out a badly-sourced attack statement. KATMAKROFAN (talk) 16:18, 20 October 2016 (UTC)

English Wikipedia[edit]

It's inappropriate for the first line of the page to link pages specific to the English Wikipedia. If this page is only designed around the English Wikipedia, please state so and declare the other wikis unconcerned with it. Thanks, Nemo 13:48, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Large expansion in June 2017[edit]

By a single user, without any discussion here. --MZMcBride (talk) 13:51, 28 June 2017 (UTC)


I encourage the policy writers at the WMF to cease and desist from their habit to introduce tautologies everywhere. "Abusive requests are not acceptable" is a particularly useless sentence. --Nemo 13:54, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Non-existing email address[edit]

[1] falsely states «you can submit your concerns through». In reality, I just tested this email address and my message was bounced:

We're writing to let you know that the group you tried to contact (trustandsafety) may not exist, or you may not have permission to post messages to the group. A few more details on why you weren't able to post:

  • You might have spelled or formatted the group name incorrectly.
  • The owner of the group may have removed this group.
  • You may need to join the group before receiving permission to post.
  • This group may not be open to posting.

If you have questions related to this or any other Google Group, visit the Help Center at

It's also inappropriate to host records about potential Wikimedia Foundation abuse on third party tools such as a Google Group. Please replace the email address with a functioning address corresponding to an OTRS queue. --Nemo 14:37, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

Many thanks for catching that glitch and for letting us know, Nemo. This is now fully functional. Kalliope (WMF) (talk) 07:35, 29 June 2017 (UTC)


why Alison0lapoint (talk) 04:19, 8 February 2018 (UTC)

Große Änderung gestern am 19.2.2019[edit]

Gestern hat Kbrown (WMF) sehr umfangreiche Änderungen auf der Vorderseite durchgeführt. Wo genau wurden die diskutiert und von der Gemeinschaft konsentiert? Welche konkreten Auswirkungen haben die, ind wo wurden diese Auswirkungen diskutiert?
For the anglocentrics: Yesterday Kbrown (WMF) changed quite a lot on the other side. Where were those massive changes discussed and agreed upon by the community before implementation? What are the effects of this and where were those effects discussed?
Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 21:20, 20 February 2019 (UTC)

Hi Sänger, vielen Dank, dass du dich an uns gewendet hast. Die Änderungen der Office Action Policy wurden nicht vorab mit der Community besprochen. Deshalb konntest du und konnten andere diese Diskussionen auch nicht finden. Die Office Actions Policy ist eine Wikimedia Foundation Policy und legt den Handlungsspielrahmen der Foundation in diesen Bereichen so transparent wie möglich offen. Sie wird von der Foundation gesetzt, die letzten Änderungen sind ein Ergebnis unseres Jahresplans 2018-19, der letzten März veröffentlicht wurde.
Was den Effekt dieser Änderungen betrifft, so hoffen wir dass die angepasste Policy uns erlaubt ggf. weniger einschneidende Konsequenzen bei Verletzungen der ToU zu ergreifen (verglichen mit einem dauerhaften Foundation Global), wenn es eine realistische Chance gibt, dass der betroffene Freiwillige an anderen Stellen in anderer Form weiterhin beitragen kann und zwar so, dass es unwahrscheinlich ist, dass er die Verletzungen der ToU wiederholt, die dazu geführt haben, dass Office Actions nötig wurden.
Du kannst die Policy und ihre Auswirkungen gerne hier auf der Diskussionsseite diskutieren, aber bitte sei dir bewusst, dass dies eine Foundation Policy mit rechtlichen Implikationen ist und deshalb die Tatsache, dass etwas hier diskutiert oder vorgeschlagen wird nicht notwendigerweise bedeutet, dass die Foundation dies entsprechend umsetzen kann. WMFOffice (talk) 16:25, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
Da die Stiftung nur eine Serviceagentur der Community ist, und daher nur ausführen kann und sollte, was der eigentliche Souverän, die Community, möchte, erfordern wichtige Änderungen an z.B. den ToU o.ä. unbedingt eine vorherige Konsultation der Communities, ohne eine solche sind sie schlicht nicht das Papier wert, auf dem sie stehen. Die WMF ist keinesfall so etwas wie die Chefs des Wikiversums, das wäre völlig daneben, sie ist nur ein notwendiges Übel, weil die Community sich in der aktuellen Größe nicht mehr komplett selber organisieren kann.
Die umseitigen Änderungen, so sie tatsächlich ohne jeden Community-Input vorgenommen worden sind, sind also asap zu revertieren, weil sie ohne jede legitime Grundlage erstellt wurden.
Die WMF ist auf gar keinen Fall Chef des Wikiversums, sie ist einzig und allein eine Serviceagentur. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 18:34, 21 February 2019 (UTC)
For the anglocentrics: As the Foundatios is only a servie agency for the community, and should only implement what was asked for by only valid sovereign here, the community, such important changes like the ToU or such require a consultation of the communities beforehand. Without community consultation such changes are not worth the paper, they are written on. The WMF is in no way the boss of the Wikiverse, that would be a travesty, it's just a necessary evil, because the community was too big to organise completely by itself.
If the changes on the other side really were made without any community input, they are simply invalid and without any legitimate base, so they should be reverted asap.
The WMF is in no way the boss of the universe, it's only a service agency. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 18:45, 21 February 2019 (UTC)


This parameter inside the section div's is causing horizontal scrolling, looks like it improves with 99% - any other suggestions to improve the layout? — xaosflux Talk 03:14, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

If you take out the 100% width statements it still occurs, seems to have an affinity to the header itself. Are you seeing that wherever that header type is used?  — billinghurst sDrewth 04:02, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
@Billinghurst: I'm only getting it in the areas with "Expand" controls such as Primary office actions. See example at User:Xaosflux/sandbox5, where when I changed that one section from 100% to 99% it works for me now, but the other sections still cause a horizontal scroll. — xaosflux Talk 18:02, 11 June 2019 (UTC)
Yep, see your issue. I have a copy at User:Billinghurst/Office actions sandbox (stripped of languages/translations/artefacts) with which to play. But not now.  — billinghurst sDrewth 21:24, 11 June 2019 (UTC)

Anchors, best to correspond to section name[edit]

@The Devil's Advocate: I am not sure that such a label is particularly productive. I have created an id that corresponds to the section name "Partial Foundation ban" to which you can anchor.  — billinghurst sDrewth 23:06, 11 June 2019 (UTC)