Talk:Requests for comment/Designated space for editors to give and seek advice about topic bans and other sanctions

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Where to publicize[edit]

Putting this as a separate thread to avoid confusion. @Darkfrog24: Meant to say, thanks for adding the Publicization section. Good idea, and looks great. I see you were able to add it to one local wiki, great.

I've been wondering if there is anywhere else I could add it myself. I could add it to Wikquotes and wiktionary. What do you think? My topic ban on wikipedia wouldn't apply there. Robert Walker (talk) 23:11, 25 July 2016 (UTC) [copied here by Darkfrog]

You know my view: What this really needs is the Village Pump. If people get topic banned on Wikitionary, then it's relevant to Wikitionary and it would be right to publicize on Wikitionary. But do people get topic banned on Wikitionary? Darkfrog24 (talk) 23:21, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
Good point, couldn't find much sign of it, though it has an administrator's board. I think in principle wikiquotes does, has admin board and village pump, but the discussion on their Administrator's noticeboard going back through a few archives, back to 2013, as they don't have many archives there. there are blocked user there, vandals, but not topic bans, doesn't have a search arhives that I can see. Wiktionary even less so. So - I think perhaps it is just too rare to be worth putting a notice there. Was worth a look to find out, but seems unlikely, don't want to put up a notice to an irrelevant RfC. Robert Walker (talk) 23:49, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
I found one mention of the phrase "topic ban" on the wikiquote admin page itself, "that shouldve netted a topic ban at best" - but just a user comment in a discussion, not an actual ban. Robert Walker (talk) 23:52, 25 July 2016 (UTC)
I've just added it to Wikiquotes. After all they do have sanctions there, and it's a short notice, easy to ignore, not going to bother anyone I think. I copy / pasted @Ca2james:'s notice to en.wikipedia, so that is a good way to be sure there is no bias in the statement as he is opposed to the idea, and I thought he did a good neutral statement. Thanks for putting it on wikipedia! Robert Walker (talk) 12:00, 28 July 2016 (UTC)
Insofar as this proposal is expressly concerned with Wikipedia only (cf. lede sentence), I don't quite see the point of notifying Wikiquote about it. Of course, nothing prevents someone from discussing Wikiquote at an external venue, but very few people at Meta know enough about the project's workings to be of much help.

In the eight years that I have been active at en.WIkiquote there have been only three sanctions of the type contemplated here: two interaction bans (since expired) and one editing restriction on the use of multiple accounts (voluntarily agreed to). I can certainly see that people might benefit from an external forum to help navigate Wikipedia's elaborate bureaucracy, but the situation at Wikiquote is nothing like it. ~ Ningauble (talk to me at Wikiquote) 13:54, 28 July 2016 (UTC)

Oh sorry, as you see we wondered whether or not to mention it, I'll revert the edit. Robert Walker (talk) 18:02, 28 July 2016 (UTC)


It seems that just over two-thirds of the edits to this RFC (127/187) have been made by one user, who set up the original Grants proposal and this RFC. I suggest that the purpose of an RFC is to obtain a wide range of input on a proposal, not to be a venue for its proponent to argue for their proposal and against all contrary opinion. Rogol Domedonfors (talk) 21:14, 30 July 2016 (UTC)

Oh dear, sorry about that! I didn't mean it in that way at all. One thing to say - counting edits doesn't work well for me, because I do a lot of copy editing and the search tool is not good at distinguishing minor edits for some reason (also sometimes I forget to mark them as minor). It's more accurate to count the number of occurrences of "Robert Walker (talk)" on the page as I sign all the posts. Chrome gives the figure and the answer is 23. Still, that is a lot. I am probably the most prolific replier. Let's see
  • Robert Walker (talk) 23
  • ca2james (talk) 11
  • Darkfrog24 (talk) 10
  • Natuur12 (talk) 5
  • Neotarf (talk) 5
  • about 10 that only posted once or twice.
So about a third of the posts there are by me. It's too much, I agree. It was not at all the intention to try to get anyone to change their opinion, just to deal with matters of information.
I don't know what I can do about it now, as I can't delete my posts once they have been replied to, and I think most of them have been replied to. It's the first time anyone has said this in this RfC. Though I've been told it was an issue in a previous RfC and I know you may find it hard to believe, but you can check if you look, I have actually been taking a lot of care not to say too much! Discussions of this on my talk page. With some of the posts, I posted there first to work on the post before commenting on the RfC. Sorry! If you have any suggestions of anything I can do at this point to rectify the situation please say. The last thing I want is a biased RfC! Robert Walker (talk) 23:13, 30 July 2016 (UTC)
I think what RD is saying is that you and I put together a good proposal and now we need to hang back a bit and let the community decide whether or not they want it. Keep the RfC comments to any questions that need to be answered or any new issues that come up. If you already said it in the proposal or proposal talk page, then you don't need to repeat it in the RfC discussion section.
I came here to say not to overdo it with the blocked editors. Letting editors contribute to parts of the project from which they've been blocked for any reason is an incredibly big deal. I'm not kidding when I say that board would already have to have a fantastic track record before that could even be considered. By giving that much detail on your plans for how this could work, you're letting people think you think it's a given that it will happen in the near future, and it's not even a given that it will happen eventually. Let the community approve the board itself. Then let it run for a while and show people it won't cause problems. Then advocate for this huge change. Darkfrog24 (talk) 10:38, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
And what if this board is made and blocked editors don't have access to it for the first year or two or even ever? They won't be any worse off than they are now, and fewer of them will end up getting blocked in the first place. Darkfrog24 (talk) 10:42, 1 August 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, yes, agreed on the RfC comments, I'll keep them to questions that need to be answered or new issues. And leave the proposal / mockup board speak for itself. It was actually really helpful that, as I'd been taking part in RfCs before on wikipedia, just a couple of them, but I hadn't really got that point and I think this is a bit of a breakthrough for me, for understanding how RfC discussion areas work. I mean - I wasn't intentionally trying to get anyone to change their vote, but it is different not having that intention, which I never had, and being careful not to do anything that could be construed as that, or that might bias the discussion into a section that presents mainly arguments in favour of your preferred response.
On blocked editors, actually coincidentally before I read your post I've also been thinking along similar lines and I composed a section on the proposal talk page on Blocked Editors where I sketch out some ideas for email support. That could be useful even on meta as it would help us support editors who are blocked on meta too - which does happen. Robert Walker (talk) 11:56, 1 August 2016 (UTC)


Sorry but I have withdrawn my support. By looking at the edit history it appears there have been more than 50 edits to the proposal since my ivote, almost all of them marked as "minor", and none of them visible in the current text. While it was very hard to follow all those edits, I find I cannot support the "clarified" proposal as it now stands. This proposal now looks to me just another WP:ARCA, which already exists as part of arbcom.—Neotarf (talk) 21:35, 1 August 2016 (UTC)

I've commented in the RfC discussion section, but I see this as being very different from ARCA. Still, if the proposal is not something you want to support, then it's not something you want to support. Your comments have been useful to the discussion in any case. Darkfrog24 (talk) 00:06, 2 August 2016 (UTC)
No problem, I felt all along that it wasn't really what you were looking for. But it is not actually anything to do with en:WP:ARCA as there is no intention of clarifying or changing policy at all. It's for a much lower level, topic banned editors often have no idea about even basic things about their ban, I know I was clueless about a fair bit. And the closing admin either doesn't understand where they are coming from or doesn't have the time to talk through things in such detail. I've done another edit of the proposal to make that clear. Sorry about the edits of the proposal. I did make some substantial additions, but @Darkfrog24: pointed out this issue about changing a proposal after people have voted which I hadn't realized, as I haven't been involved in very many RfCs to date. I removed all those additions, which weren't in the proposal for long. Apart from that most of it is just copy editing to clarify the language where there was some potential for confusion or just to make it easier to read. I also removed some extra sections which I added to the proposal talk page as @Darkfrog24: thought that that also was not a good idea while the RfC is in progress, so have moved them to my user space - they are for some later stage after the RfC is over.
So a lot of this is due to my inexperience with RfCs. I think though that you made the right decision not to vote for it, because from your comments in the RfC discussion I think you are looking rather for a place for whistleblowing and for overhaul and improvement of the way the system works. Though I can see the value in that as well, it's not the motivation behind this proposal. If you put one of your other proposals to RfC I might well vote for it, especially the one about an experienced observer to oversee Arbcom and give them advice. But again that's not this proposal which is much more mundane and simple in its objective, to help the topic banned editors, not to overhaul the system. Robert Walker (talk) 02:57, 2 August 2016 (UTC)