UDWiki talk:Administration/Policy Discussion/Permaban Appeal Revisions

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This is the space for discussing the proposed Permaban Appeal Account Creation policy. Specific questions I have include:

  1. Should the account be able to create the appeal or only comment once it has been initiated by another user? I have it as the former, but I can see arguments for the latter.
  2. Should the account be able to comment on the talk page, or only on the Appeal vote itself? Do I need to clarify archive versus main A/DE pages?
  3. Is the mention of the lack of other privileges and/or banning the account after the vote is over clear enough?
  4. Anything else you may want to discuss.

Have at it, y'all. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 16:48, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Just storing a prior version of the text below, in case anyone wants to comment on it. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 00:57, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

A banned user may create a temporary account in order to initiate the appeal and/or comment on it and its discussion. Any edits made by that account not on the De-Escalations page or its associated talk page will be considered vandalism and be a criterion for terminating the vote and escalating the ban. The account will have no other privileges, and cannot vote on its own appeal. ... In any case, once the vote has ended, any temporary account made by the vandal will be banned without being considered an escalation.
Seems workable to me. When I fall, I'll weep for happiness 17:29, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

A Different Proposal

So I think the Permaban Apeals policy could use some rephrasing, but I don't think it needs to be this. Users are banned, for the most part because they ignored or were unaware of some rules. Adding new rules about how they can use alternate accounts would cause problems, I would think. The existing vandalism policy regarding vandal alts is almost as old as the wiki itself, so it would be better to reinforce that.
I'd suggest adding something like Permabanned users may not comment on their own appeal. Use of alternate accounts during an appeal may be dealt with according to the Vandalism Policy and may result in the appeal being withdrawn.
I think we should then set up some sort of method for permabanned users to choose a representative for them if they choose. It could be similar to Arbitration; a list of users available to speak on the behalf of a permabanned user during an appeal. ~Vsig.png 17:32, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Are there others out there who share this preference? I'm personally of the opinion that people should be able to comment on matters that directly concern them, like their own unbanning. I also think that the behavior of such a user during the deperma vote process can be illustrative and help those voting to come to a decision, especially if they'd otherwise be voting on things which occurred entirely before they arrived on the wiki (as with myself in Izumi's case). Bob Moncrief EBDW! 18:08, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
In addition to my reasons above, I feel that by giving banned users access to only the A/DE page, you'd be restricting them from fully discussing the terms of their appeal. Discussion may take place on other parts of the wiki (talk pages, A/VB, Misconduct and now Policy Discussion to use the Izumi example). A representative would be able to openly discuss the appeal outside of A/DE if necessary.
Having said that, I would accept that, under some circumstances, a represntative may request that a banned user be temporarily unbanned on an as-needed basis (such as to provide some information not easily conveyed by a representative). At that point, certain editing restrictions could be defined by the sysop administering the temporary unban. ~Vsig.png 20:43, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
I kinda disagree. Giving banned users access to only the DE page has little bearing on whether or not other users can choose to advocate on that same page or elsewhere. You and I, right now, could advocate for Izumi on any talk page or related-page. We could go all super-saiyan or whatever and pull-out all the stops in convincing people that choosing not to unban Izumi is not only an affront to humanity, but also threatens the very fabric of society. There is no formal list of wiki-Matlocks on the arbitration page for representing (not arbitrating but representing) and yet people volunteer all the time to represent a side, presumably because they see merit in the case. Why is there a need to formalize that process? -MHSstaff 21:12, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
The examples you've given aren't directly related to whether or not the appeal goes through, however, which is all that the banned user should care about. I can see an argument for allowing them to comment on A/VB in cases where they're about to receive a fresh escalation, since that would affect the success of their appeal, but A/M is unrelated to the success of their case, even if it may be related to the case itself, A/PD would never affect them unless they started an appeal while a policy was in mid-vote (and even then, I feel that that is out of their control and that they have no right to comment), and, at least in this case, talk pages outside of the UDWiki namespace would have had no relation if Izumi hadn't posted on them first. I'm fine with allowing them to comment on admin talk pages that are related to their case, but certainly not user talk pages. All-in-all, most of what I said can be condensed into a simple phrasing I posted below, though I'll need to consider the A/VB issue. Aichon 21:15, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
Let me also clarify some other things. My proposal is also something I put forward to help prevent abuse while still giving banned users a voice. Let me run through a couple of scenarios.
  1. A banned user is being appealed. The community is split on its decision and is being hotly debated. The banned user is keeping comments on the A/DE page but another line of discussion is taking place in a user's talk page. Despite there being a policy which prevents the banned user from commenting ouside of A/DE, the user adds to the discussion. This violates policy and therefore the appeal is shut down entirely for six months or longer.
  2. A user has been banned for harrassment and is later put up for appeal. The user is allowed to comment on their appeal and uses the oppurtunity further the harrassment. Or perhaps they see that their appeal clearly has no support and they go on a harassment spree.
Both of these situations could be avoided by simply leaving the user accounts banned. My proposal just gives them the option of a voice during the appeal.
To address MHStaff's comments, I am open to different ways in which representative can be presented. It could simply be a raise of hands during the appeal, a list of potential representatives like on A/A or something else entirely. Obviously, it would need to be someone that either feels strongly about the appeal (like the person making the appeal in the first place) or some other volunteer willing to act as the mouthpiece. ~Vsig.png 21:56, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
Well, we effectively allow that already, so why regulate it? The person making the appeal can act as the representative. We don't need any special lists of users or the like, right? As for your cases, yes, those could happen, but in the case of the first I'd suggest that sidebar discussions aren't their business anyway, and in the case of the second, they'll only be able to do that once or twice before placing an appeal for that person will start to be considered a form of abuse of the system since the person placing the appeal would be aiding the act of harassment. It's not perfect, admittedly, but I think it's better than formalizing something like that. Aichon 21:59, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps I didn't make it clear, but the banned user would need to choose the user to represent them. It's one thing to volunteer and to be accepted as a representative. Its another to do so without the approval of the banned user. I'm also fine with the status quo and have no official outside representaion, but I put it out there as a compromise. In any case, I think the potential for abuse or for technicalities causing the whole thing to be shut down should be enough not to allow banned users these limited editing permissions. ~Vsig.png 22:10, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
To me unbanning the main account (by request) and restricting it to the DE/DE talk page seems a lot simpler. They can also request/ accept a representative then, just like with arbies. As far as abuse/technicalities with limited editing, phrase it like "this is as a privilege not a right, blah blah blah, does not have to be given, blah blah blah, and can be revoked if a sysop feels that the user is misusing / abusing this gift blah blah blah". Basically put the onus on the sysops and let them exercise their best judgement and enjoy the drama (when deciding if this is being misused/abused) while you, I and everyone else enjoys Miller Time. Either we trust them (sysops) or we don't.-MHSstaff 22:30, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Common sense

I'm new to UD wiki politics, so I don't get why you're so trigger happy about inventing new policies. Secondary accounts or messangers? Here is my suggestion for something simpler (copied from Wikipedia):

In some cases, a banned editor may be unblocked for the purpose of filing an appeal. In such cases, editing of any unrelated page or other matter is grounds for immediate re-blocking.

Let them comment on A/DE, if they step outside that block again. With some rewording this could be used as a minor revision to existing laws. --Labla 18:23, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

I support this. Son of Sin 18:50, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
That looks to be an ancillary rule to the normal appeal process on Wikipedia. They require that a banned user use their own talk page (Wikipedia allows banned users to edit their own talk page in most cases) or email and state their case an Arbitration commitee. Unbanning users so they can state their case looks to be a special priveledge give to people under certain circumstances after the appeal process is started. ~Vsig.png 20:09, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
I rather like the idea of simply unbanning the main account with some stipulations in place, rather than having them create an additional account, since it makes things easier to track. Aichon 21:09, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
Simple. Makes sense. Maybe give some leeway to sysops to deny this privilege if it banned users use it solely to flood/shit up the DE page. -MHSstaff 21:13, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Rework

Regarding the proposed text additions, I'd condense both pieces into something along these lines and place them where the first block of new text is located:

After an appeal has been filed, the banned user may request that their primary account be unbanned for the duration of the voting period so that they may comment on their case. The banned user is neither permitted to vote nor edit pages other than administration pages related to their appeal and its success. Using other accounts, editing pages other than those permitted, or engaging in any form of vandalism will result in the permaban being re-applied and the appeal being cycled immediately.

Allowing them to post their own appeal is a bad idea, since part of the original idea was that current users could be held accountable for any abuse of the system. Allowing self-appeals negates that. Also, as above, using their original account is a smart idea, since it means we have less to track and that they can use the name they're best known by. And with wording along these lines, we can condense both of the currently-proposed blocks of text into a single block that handles it all. Aichon 21:09, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Added the "and its success" in order to try and address issues like A/VB cases that might affect whether or not an appeal continues. Aichon 21:17, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
How do they request the ban lift? -MHSstaff 21:20, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
I intentionally left that unspecified. Other than that they must make the request themselves, which was specified, I figure it's fine for them to make the request of a sysop on a forum, via IRC, e-mail, etc., and most of the sysops make an effort to be accessible in case of situations like these. The whole point is just to ensure that we're not automatically unbanning uninvolved people. Aichon 22:04, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
I've changed the version to be more in line with your proposal, Aichon, which I really like. I'm very willing to compromise to allow the banned user's main account to be the one with which they can comment. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 01:05, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Kirsty's Suggestion

First, I'd prefer an addition to the existing perma appeal policy not a new policy. As for the general phrasing (the italics are to why):

  • A permabanned user may make an account to initiate or comment on their permaban appeal, the account is limited to using the DE page (both main and talk).If conversation occurs in another location, the user may reference that conversation and address it on DE talk.
  • A permabanned user may only initiate a permaban appeal 12 or more months since their banning or previous DE vote, whichever is greater. Stops them from flooding DE with requests.
  • Edits to other pages will revoke the right of the user to comment, resulting in the account being banned, but does not effect a vote already underway. Stops the user, but doesn't stop a community vote based on technicality.
  • If a permabanned user creates an account but does not declare it is the account of the permabanned user, the new account is banned and voting continues. Probably best to make sure that the vandal doesn't pretend to be someone else.
  • If a permabanned user is abusing this right, as determined by a minimum of 2 sysops, the new account will be warned, continued abuse will result in the account being banned but does not stop the voting. Just in case they attempt to use this allowance to harass a user, spam the wiki or simply to post hateful/offensive material.
  • An account created for this purpose is banned at the end of DE voting, regardless of results.

Gives them to chance to both defend or foil their appeal, limits their ability to initiate the process (but doesn't limit their ability to comment if another user initiates DE), and most importantly avoid taking away the community vote due to the those activities. It will probably speak poorly enough of the user that they violated the rules put in place to allow them the appeal. --K 22:42, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

I like some of it, but I still don't see why a secondary account is better than simply unbanning the first. Also, if they decide to go and blank an enemy group page for lulz, they should be escalated and thus ineligible for an appeal since they've demonstrated that they're not reformed, which was the whole thing that they're trying to argue for with an appeal. It's one thing if it's a silly technicality that will get their appeal cycled, as it would have been in the current case with Izumi, but if someone is acting in outright bad faith, there's no doubt in my mind that they've demonstrated conclusively that they're ineligible for an appeal. Aichon 23:33, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
I prefer allowing the new account over a temporary unban, since it doesn't require the user to go through someone off wiki, but either way is fine really. As for your example of vandalism, I believe in that situation the community vote would reflect the poor decision, but by making it a rule it puts it on the sysops to not only determine vandalism but also remove the chance of users to vote. However, not all cases will be so cut and dry, what is the line between silly technicality and vandalism? I know the extremes are easy to judge, but the middle may be more judgment and less obvious. So rather than trying to define unknown variables and situations, let's make the policy so sysops can do what they feel is best without having the added weight of potentially cancelling a community vote. As for having sysops warn a user, that is intended for users who are following the other rules, but are misusing their commenting ability on DE/DE talk. --K 23:54, 23 February 2013 (UTC)
Better wording as to allowing the vote regardless: As Bob pointed out, users may be voting on vandals they have never meet. If we trust them to vote on something they didn't witness, we should trust them to recognize an unreformed vandal. --K 00:43, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
Kirsty, it looks like it's just you and I who support allowing the temporary account creation (as opposed to the temporary unbanning of the main account). I'm going to reword the proposal to follow what seems to be more consensus.
Also, to anyone, is there any difference in procedure between revising an existing policy and initiating a new one? I was under the impression not. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 00:55, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Temporary unbanning is cleaner. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 01:31, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

Karek's Suggestion

Can we just not do this policy wank thing for once? Us sysops can update that banned users will be allowed to comment on their appeal via the standard way of us just adding a line to that effect in there(so we can revise it in the future as issues appear without more policy wank) and trust the sysops to be competent and aware? I mean there's so few of us now that it's not exactly a big mystery about who's doing what or clique rule. You can trust us. Well, probably not me but those other guys sure. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 01:34, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Yes. And as few sysops as there are, there are even fewer permbanned users who want to be allowed back. It just doesn't come up often enough to make a policy for it, that will have to updated every bloody time it's used, because each of these cases is going to be unique. Let the sysops make a decision that works in the situation at hand, like they did this time -- boxy 05:35, 24 February 2013 (BST)
This is one of those rare instances where I agree with Karek. Policy change for sake of policy change, jeez, you guys don't have anything better to do? --Thadeous Oakley Talk 11:00, 24 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't think a policy is needed either but I also don't think you guys should go unbanning everyone that's put up for an appeal. ~Vsig.png 15:58, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Unnecessary

Here is a list of permabanned users excluding 3 edit vandals, ban evasions and impersonations (i.e. people with zero chance of successful appeal), as well as self-requested bans (i.e. Yonnua Koponen):

CGR (talk | contribs | logs | block | IP Check | vndl data | discuss)

Cornholioo (talk | contribs | logs | block | IP Check | vndl data | discuss)

Gold Blade (talk | contribs | logs | block | IP Check | vndl data | discuss)

Izumi Orimoto (talk | contribs | logs | block | IP Check | vndl data | discuss)

Jack Neon (talk | contribs | logs | block | IP Check | vndl data | discuss)

JohnnyCakes (talk | contribs | logs | block | IP Check | vndl data | discuss)

Johnny Rotten (talk | contribs | logs | block | IP Check | vndl data | discuss)

TerminalFailure (talk | contribs | logs | block | IP Check | vndl data | discuss)

Yzzif (talk | contribs | logs | block | IP Check | vndl data | discuss)

Zinker (talk | contribs | logs | block | IP Check | vndl data | discuss)

Each and everyone of these had about 2 years now to appeal if they had wanted back to the wiki. How many more permaban appeals do you expect to come up? And how many of these are going to need thoughtful handling like Izumi's bumbling wiki alt entry?

This policy is at best unnecessary. At worst, it will hinder the sys-ops at using their discretion to handle special cases as the current Izumi one.

I'd just let the proposal die an inglorious death and forget about it. -- Spiderzed 17:16, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Yeah, no need for this policy. What happened izumi was a one-off, under very extreme circumstances. I don't like the 'do it as we call it' attitude much, in fact I never did, but I do trust the op team, particularly because most of them know the exact extent to which Izumi is a different case to anyone else. It was a rare case, policy shouldn't be knee-jerked in because of it. Too easily abused, and if anything, I'd be cementing in policy that this can't happen. A ZOMBIE ANT 22:21, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

In response to Spiderzed, DDR and others who have made similar arguments: I think a lot of the issues surrounding this whole thing stem from the fact that some wiki users (including myself and, I believe, Kirsty) think that Izumi's case is not special, and should not be treated as such. It is only "special" insofar as it involves something happening which has not happened before on the wiki (namely, a perma'd user attempting to get involved in her own de-perma vote.) The idea that "cases like this one" will never, ever happen is part of the larger belief that soon enough the wiki will go into the long, dark night of internet oblivion, something which I firmly do not believe. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 00:52, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

It has happened before. She's forced us to directly talk to her via her alts before. Once she even demanded the sysops have a vote regarding her permaban. We eventually all pitched in and denied her request to have her permaban rescinded through that vote on A/VB. I see this as a mere extension of that event, and therefore I would insist that it is something that's happened before, is a preposterously rare case, and has only happened with izumi. therefore I would call it a special case also. A ZOMBIE ANT 03:00, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Do 3-edit vandals get IP bans? --K 23:25, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

All bans are IP bans in addition to account bans. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 00:18, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
I don't see 3-edit vandals as having zero chance of appeal. --K 00:41, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
They don't go through the escalation process. Additionally pretty much any proposal of a legitimate 3-edit vandal falls under the last clause in the rule; i.e. Unserious proposals. As it's clearly meant as either a joke or to intentionally disrupt the wiki. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 01:30, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Perhaps I misunderstand what a 3-edit vandal is. Isn't it someone who made 3 obvious bad faith edits without making any other contributions? Whether or not they were warned of the consequences before being banned? I was under the impression that many of them were three edits made consecutively? --K 01:53, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
The sheer majority are though occasionally an account will throw in a legitimate one. The rule exists specifically for the user known as the 3 page wiki vandal who made accounts that did just that to a massive degree back in 06 and off and on since. Generally it gets used to can vandal alts though there have been the very rare mistake(which usually gets caught and fixed by another member of the team with the banner serving the time the bannee served). --Karekmaps 2.0?! 09:41, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Karek already told the gist of it, but to re-iterate: 3EVs are users who have never made a constructive contribution, but have at least three instances of vandalism under their belt. In addition, many 3Es have been vandal alts and/or have been hiding their actual identity behind a proxy. The chances of any of them being nominated are marginal. The chances of them not only being nominated, but also being supported by a 2/3 majority are astronomically low. While it is theoretically thinkable that a 3EV gets a successful appeal through, in practice it is virtually impossible. That's why they are excluded in the list above. -- Spiderzed 23:29, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Fun fact: Karek (or maybe it was nubis) once wanted to get Iscariot banned as per 3 edit rule because none of his contributions were technically constructive. It was preposterous and hilarious and excellent. A ZOMBIE ANT 23:46, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Well considering I originally placed myself up for demotion because I didn't want to put myself in that position where I stopped assuming even the possibility of good intentions from that particular user I may have non-seriously joked about it but that sounds more like something Nubis would do. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 06:02, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Pretty much. It was one of you, but seeing as you were mostly gone when i was a new op, and again as you said based on both your personalities, It'd be safe to assume it was Nubis. A ZOMBIE ANT 10:59, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
I'd probably vote for a 3EV who emailed a sysop asking back in years after the fact. I could definitely see someone falling through cracks. -MHSstaff 00:03, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
As would I, if during the unban process they demonstrated civility and stayed on their best behavior. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 00:06, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
3 edit vandals, by their nature, are throw away accounts. They usually come back under another name (or already have one) and no one knows any different -- boxy 07:49, 27 February 2013 (BST)

I got Zinker banned because he tried to impersonate me and caused a bunch of ruckus. Smarmy little bitch, I could have done that myself. >:I --SA 14:04, 26 February 2013 (UTC)

"self-requested bans (i.e. Yonnua Koponen)" - lolwut? When did this happen? 0.o --Yonnua Koponen Talk ! Contribs 20:03, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

My best post ante guess is that I have mixed you up with that other Yon as I went through the A/VD page and tracked back to A/VB to compile the above list. It was towards the end. -- Spiderzed 20:21, 7 March 2013 (UTC)

Lesser of Two Evils

Looking at the policy on banning users, it appears that alternate accounts of banned vandals "may" be banned at the discretion of the sysops, and that discretion in Izumi/Kitakaze's case was to not ban the account. So strictly speaking this policy change is unnecessary. However, in the interest of simplicity, and of discouraging ban-skirting sock-puppetry, I think reinstating limited privileges for banned users currently undergoing appeal would be preferable to the current policy. P.F. 21:28, 25 February 2013 (UTC)

Current policy where it exists already? Writing the same things twice on two different policy documents is not improving simplicity over it being written on one document. Writing up new rules that apply to 10 users (see above) out of the thousands that have visited the wiki in the past is not making things simple, it makes things annoying. A ZOMBIE ANT 22:57, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Then why even have a permaban appeal policy in the first place? It only applies to permabanned users which is a small percentage of the (ex-)community. You drafted the original policy probably knowing that it was always going to apply to like 10 people. So what's changed? Well-crafted policy should provide guidance and direction. Doesn't it bother you that your little baby has led to a misconduct case and has sown confusion among the community? And wouldn't you want to fix or address that? Also, I don't really get the idea that modifying and rewording a policy to be more clear is this monumental change. It takes literally five seconds to make the edit.-MHSstaff 23:57, 25 February 2013 (UTC)
Because it's the logical extension of the deescalation process that banned users can recover their account should the community decide the ban length served is appropriate to the actions taken to get the ban. The only confusion around this is that it's a new process, hell even the sysop team was in complete agreement about the action we took. Do you know how rare that is? --Karekmaps 2.0?! 01:25, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Sure but the argument that we shouldn't modify policy because it only affects 10 people is really hard to accept if the original policy basically only affects 10 people. That is my point.-MHSstaff 01:33, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
That's because it's an irrelevant point. It's also not one that was ever considered while the policy was being developed though it had prevented the policy from being added in the past. The policy exists as a review of bans implemented and in lieu of the lack of flexibility in the escalations ladder. It's a way for us to go "Is one year enough for this case? Are 3?" which is why it starts at 6 months(the old ban escalation after 1 month before it became perma-vote)--Karekmaps 2.0?! 01:44, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
This. I don't understand why people would put in so much effort to opposing a change in policy when they could simply ignore it. I'm understanding of Spiderzed, who thinks that the policy as it is presented would be harmful, but not anyone who says "we shouldn't have new policy because we shouldn't have new policy". If you don't want to deal with the policy-revision process, then ignore the policy-revision process and those of us who do care will continue with it. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 01:05, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
It's not that we don't care, it's that you're actively making the situation worse in the future because to address policy implemented functions we're required to go through this nonsense of basically a month long vote on two lines/one paragraph of text. What we're essentially telling you is that the sysop team actually has it within their powers to add this to the rules, specifically of A/DE, without running it through policy discussion so long as there's a clear consensus of what the rule should be(which is the whole reason behind me pursing the conversation with Kirsty to get an idea of what the objections as raised might be). The objections people are voicing are against you proposing it as a policy not against the rule being added or developed, we just want to be able to address the issues that might arise from it in the future which a policy proposal specifically prevents us from being able to do without a dramatic re-interperation of the limits to our powers. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 01:25, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Is there a clear consensus as to what this rule should be yet? If there is, then I can withdraw this proposal right away. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 01:52, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
I might have read this wrong but I think Karek is saying that the general idea of unbanning a user to let them speak about their appeal has merit, but you don't need really a policy change for that. Sysops can just do it. -MHSstaff 02:22, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Personally, I don't think you should withdrawal the policy. If sysops expect /want the community to trust them enough to basically "just do it," then I don't think it is unreasonable for the community to also expect sysops to have enough trust in the community's ability to decide if they (the community) would be more comfortable with this being spelled out explicitly in a policy, rather than simply trusting sysops to "do the right thing." If it dies in a vote because it truly is not needed, then it dies. Let the community decide. -MHSstaff 03:02, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
I've put in about as much effort as I'm willing to at this point. I'm fine with the status quo (no policy change, sysops make another judgement call in the future if necessary, blah blah). I'll vote against the policy if it stays as is. If I'm alone or in the minority, so be it. Not my problem if it causes problems down the line. ~Vsig.png 03:11, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
It is, and from what has been outlined here it looks like we have a pretty good framework for what the wording could/should be. All we need is removal, I'll throw it through the udwiki admin discussion page as a notice of what I'm doing, then throw it onto the A/DE rules. The discussion page part is for future reference to the rule's history. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 09:35, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
I complain about policies being unnecessary. Then I do my best to improve them, then I vote against them anyway because I don't like what they are doing. I wouldn't complain too much about that happening. Listening to those people can sometimes offer help on how a policy can be improved and eventually implemented. See other horrible, horrible policies and the backlash surrounding it, then people taking the feedback and making very good, acceptable policies out of it. A ZOMBIE ANT 23:44, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
I'm fully in support of that, and I would love it if everyone criticized constructively rather than simply posting "I don't want there to be new policy." I do want to listen to (and I hope I do listen to) those who are offering constructive advice; but because I believe that an adjustment of policy is necessary, I am going to oppose those who argue that it is not. I don't intend to complain about anyone's vote, though - if the community decides the policy is bad, then I'm all for ditching it. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 00:11, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
@MHS, My baby was, and still is, perfect. Mwaha. It served a purpose and serves it still, in the case that it needs to be used for such a purpose in future. This policy doesn't enhance or improve it. If anything of this has disheartened me, it's the sysops interpretation of how to deal with permabanned users in the A/DE system. I don't disagree with them, but it was that that spawned the A/M case and this policy document, not the appeals policy. A ZOMBIE ANT 23:25, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Your baby went rogue and needs to be put down. I do get where you are coming from though but I also think this would help.-MHSstaff 00:05, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Noo! I can control it! Let me show you all before resorting to heinous acts! A ZOMBIE ANT 00:36, 27 February 2013 (UTC)

Questions round II

  1. Is there a way to officially change the name of this proposal to "Permaban Appeal Revisions", since the original title "Permaban Appeal Account Creation" no longer applies? Can I just put it through A/MR?
  2. Is there any procedural difference between revising an old policy and creating a new one? I asked this above but didn't get an answer.
  3. Of those who've commented on this page, roughly 50% seem to support this policy proposal, and roughly 50% oppose it either because of preferring a different policy option or opposing the creation of a policy. Does anyone else want to comment?
  4. Have I made any typos or anything like that? I don't want to lose sight of the nitty-gritty while we get bogged down in the sweeping generalities ;) Bob Moncrief EBDW! 03:19, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
The answer to 2 is no. 1 is A/M would be appropriate. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 09:37, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! Bob Moncrief EBDW! 16:39, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
You have redundant text: "Once an appeal has been filed, the banned user may request that their primary account be unbanned for the duration of the voting period for the sole purpose of commenting on the case.". A permabanned user may do that whether it's codified in rules or not, they aren't bound to the rules of the wiki and it doesn't need to say what a permabanned user may do if they wish, especially if they can do that anytime they like, regardless of whether it is likely to be accepted or not. If it were me, I would change it to "The sysops may unban a permabanned user upon request, for the sole purpose of commenting on the case". At least then it relates to someone's responsibilities and actions on the wiki, rather than being redundant text. Also, I would argue " In certain circumstances at the sysops' discretion," is redundant too. It'll always be at the sysop's discretion as they are the ones who police and manage it, so I just don't think that wording is necessary, as a rule with consequences it's already implied the sysops will be the ones judging and enforcing it. just imo A ZOMBIE ANT 23:35, 26 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks! That makes a lot of sense. I've changed it around a bit. Does the new version look better? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 00:03, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
I'd dump the "should be unbanned" part and use DDR's wording:
The sysops may unban a permabanned user upon request during the appeal. This account will only be allowed to comment on the De-Escalations page and its associated talk page; any other edits will be considered vandalism and be a criterion for terminating the vote and escalating the ban. In certain circumstances, the user will be allowed to comment on other administration pages directly related to their appeal and its success. The user will have no other privileges, and cannot vote on their own appeal.
. Gives sysops freedom to grant or not grant it. -MHSstaff 00:13, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
I've adjusted again. I also realized that the "for the duration of the case" was only there from the version where it wasn't the main account eing unbanned, but a new one created. Thoughts? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 00:20, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Which part is that? I couldn't find it after a quick squizz though. I like the new version, although I would prefer re-arranging the wording from "During the appeal at the user's request, the sysops may unban the primary account for the sole purpose of commenting on the case." to "During the appeal, the sysops may unban the primary account at the user's request, for the sole purpose of commenting on the case." I think it sounds a bit neater, anyway. A ZOMBIE ANT 00:33, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
Will do. And I'd deleted it by the time I posted that last message. You can probably find it in the history. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 02:25, 27 February 2013 (UTC)
are you guys done circle jerking? there is spambits to hunt.-- HEY! HANDS OFF MAH BOOBS!   bitch   COBRA!   אמת 13:25, 27 February 2013
oh no people using the wiki to be prouductive better get stupid A ZOMBIE ANT 12:51, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Any final thoughts from anyone before I start the vote? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 00:46, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

I'm still of the opinion that this policy is a Lex Izumi in knee-jerk reaction to a single case. It has become entirely pointless with Izumi's de-escalation. Furthermore, if it had been in effect during the Izumi vote, it would have countered the result of the community vote, so it isn't even a good Lex Izumi either that reflects the wishes of the community. I see now even less point in this policy than I've seen in it a few days ago. -- Spiderzed 13:18, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
I would say it is more needed, as it seems no one is advocating the choice the sysop team made. By every suggestion put forth Zoomi should have been banned. I think we all get the sysop team feels the sysop team is trustworthy. --K 13:48, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Izumi was unbanned with a 2/3 majority. That would have been impossible if she had been re-banned during the vote due to applying this policy, resulting in a 6 month delay for a new vote. -- Spiderzed 14:00, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Zoomi's unbanning is not approval of the sysop decision to not ban. I get the reason the sysops did it, but I also think if Karek (who I think favored banning) had been first to VB, we might be having a completely different conversation. Why isn't it better to just clarify how this works? --K 14:14, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Because that would endanger the sysops' ability to handwave their way to targeted, sysop-guided drone killings. Dangerous users like you need to learn your place. I too don't get why clarification is a bad idea but whatever. -MHSstaff 14:37, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
It seems like we're discussing whether this should be voted up or down, rather than the specifics of the proposal, so I'm opening the vote. Have fun, y'all! Bob Moncrief EBDW! 14:55, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

Question

I may have missed this in the sea of text above that I only read some of, but in the final version now up for a vote, you're assuming that a friendless banned person who was possibly the victim of overzealous and corrupt Sysops will find a way to get someone else in this community to put this forward for them?--Sarah Silverman 16:13, 2 March 2013 (UTC)

In a nutshell, yup. But there are a few nuances to that, the most important of which is the fact that this particular change to policy doesn't seek to address that issue, nor does it make it worse, so it should be a moot point, at least as far as this discussion is concerned. That aside, the issue you've raised is generally not a problem since there are sufficient checks in place. For instance, users have to be on their sixth consecutive escalation before they are even eligible for a perma-ban, which is a process that takes over a month at a minimum. Assuming that the sysops are indeed railroading the victim along, you'd still have A/M to use against those sysops, ensuring that they are held accountable for their actions and that the unjust ban is overturned (which has happened). If we assume that ALL of the sysops are complicit and corrupt, then A/M may be out, admittedly, but we haven't seen any evidence of that being a problem, and by most people's accounts, the current sysop team is one of the most stable, drama-free, and reasonable we've had in a long time. Not perfect by any means, but pretty darn good.
Related to that, most of the current sysop team wasn't even around when the existing perma-banned users were banned (i.e. they're merely names from history to us, rather than people we knew), so they have no vested interest in seeing the users stay banned. They tend to be very open to such things, since we are all aware of some of the corruption that was an issue in the past, and most of the sysops and active users are reachable via some combination forums, IRC, Facebook, or even just the "E-mail this user" link on a lot of users sidebars here on the wiki. A banned user would merely need to contact one of them — sysop or not — and convince them to post it on their behalf, which shouldn't be that hard, to be honest. Aichon 16:56, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
I just realized you might have been thinking it applied here because of the first bolded statement. That statement is only there to ensure that this change doesn't accidentally change existing policy. As I said earlier, the existing policy is that a different user has to make the petition for the banned user. This new policy allows the banned user to be temporarily unbanned, so there was a need to restate that this doesn't affect the fact that they still cannot make an appeal for themselves. More or less, it's ensuring we don't change the rules by accident, but if you want to address that issue separately, you're welcome to do so. Aichon 17:01, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
I hope you don't think I was suggesting actual corruption. I was poking gentle fun at the recent case where every sysop was accused of miscomfibulation. I'm in the camp that this is very unnecessary legislation for a nearly unique circumstance, and that Sysops are under-appreciated servants of the community who can be trusted to make a judgment now and then. I was asking the question because it's a logic flaw - but you're right, with even the smallest will, there is a way to find a wiki-public defender, I'm sure. People seem to line up to debate this stuff, and even I can't fully resist it! Thanks Aichon.--Sarah Silverman 17:06, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't think you were suggesting anything of the sort. I was merely pointing out the difficulty in something like that happening. :) Aichon 17:18, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Great! I think I'm going to refrain from voting. Hey - check out my new signature I just made!  :D --SarahSig.png 17:30, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
Clearly that just means only those of us that were should get a say. I thusly nominate myself as arbiter of all permaban appeals and their validity, guess I could technically share that some with Revenant, on paper at least. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 15:23, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
And actually I think only Boxy and Myself at this point can even claim involvement in any of these votes. What with hagnat and the General basically gone from being sysops. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 15:28, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
And I am not a sysop nor do I have a different opinion than you on most cases.--SA 17:18, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Re: Thad's vote

copied from main page

  1. We've already solved this once in a lifetime situation correctly. Any further cases can now be be handled by using the Izumi case as a precedent. Red-tape for no reason is bad. Now go do something productive with your time. --Thadeous Oakley Talk 16:03, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
    Actually the sysops have been very clear that wasn't a precedent, it was a exception. --K 12:44, 3 March 2013 (UTC)
    Actually, we've been very clear that's NOT what we're saying. It's both a precedent and an exception, since precedents always get set, but this was a unique situation, so we doubt that our decision would ever be used as precedent in deciding a future case. Aichon 04:39, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
    I stand corrected. Aichon, would I be correct that the opinion is that the decision/precedent to allow Zoomi to speak does not necessarily apply to any other cases and should not be interpreted to mean other permabanned users are allowed to comment? The complete opposite of what was allowed here, I understand there is further reasoning, but just talking end results. --K 20:11, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
    Essentially, which is what this policy is seeking to address, as far as I understand it. Aichon 03:29, 5 March 2013 (UTC)
    Pretty much, there's nothing overly wrong with it just not everyone sees a need for this as a policy that essentially reiterates something we can already do if appropriate. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 05:52, 5 March 2013 (UTC)

Re: Spiderzed's vote

copied from main page

  1. Unnecessary red tape is unnecessary. In addition, if this policy had already been in place during the de-.escalation vote, it would have invalidated the community's decison to unban Izumi, as she would have been automatically escalated and put on ice for 6 more months. -- Spiderzed 16:38, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
    Re-read the policy, since it seems like you're thinking of something else. What red tape? Quite the contrary, this change ensures there is no red tape like what we had to deal with this last time (i.e. now we can simply unban them, instead of having to justify ourselves at A/M). And even if it would have invalidated the decision with the last case, how is that relevant? We've both acknowledge that the last case was unique. We don't design policy around unique cases, and we'll still have just as much ability to make judgment calls in the future, since this policy in no way inhibits our ability to do so. Long story short, it makes a potential general case easier to manage without getting in the way of our ability to handle unique cases uniquely. Aichon 17:43, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
    The policy is adding rules, exceptions and exceptions of exceptions to the existing policy text. This addition is further mellowed down by relying entirely on discretion ("may unban", "In certain circumstances, the user will be allowed"), making it more of a gesture than a clarification. I see nothing in it that couldn't already be handled by using existing leeway of sys-op discretion. -- Spiderzed 18:45, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
    So, in other words, it's providing guidance on what the community's will is in this situation, while leaving leeway for the sysops to use their own judgment. It doesn't dictate, so much as suggest, which is perfectly fine. Truth be told, I'd actually like to see more common sense rules like this replacing some of the stupidly rigid and legalistic ones we've tended towards in recent years. Even the official guidelines themselves state that they are meant to be edited after mere discussion on their talk page, rather than via policy and the like. But back on topic, getting the will of the community in writing is never a bad thing, and that's what this accomplishes. It doesn't empower us to do much more, as you said, but it does provide extremely useful guidance. Aichon 19:20, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
    This is just speculation. We have no idea what would have happened with the Izumi case if this had been in place from the beginning. -MHSstaff 18:32, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
    Izumi had posted to SarahSilverman's talk page, amongst others. This policy would have that made vandalism automatically. -- Spiderzed 18:45, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
    You are speculating that the alt would have always been created and acted contrary to policy if this policy had been in place from the beginning. That is not guaranteed. So why even bring it up and use it as a somewhat interesting fearmongering tactic? I don't see why the fear that this policy somehow invalidates the community will in a speculative scenario is relevant.-MHSstaff 18:57, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
    Completely agree. "Something that already happened in a situation most of us agree was unique and will likely never happen again might have happened a different way if we assume that everyone is a robot who follows the letter of the rules and Izumi would have done exactly the same thing even though circumstances would have been different," is a non-argument. Aichon 19:20, 2 March 2013 (UTC)
    I've previously responded the "red tape" argument above. In relation to the "Izumi's case would have been different" situation - yes, exactly. If this policy had been in effect, Izumi would have been banned for ban avoidance/sock creation. That would also have happened if, say, SA had not brought the de-perma case - her alt would simply have been recognized and banned. It's technically what should have happened the moment she made an account, but that got abrogated due to a (perceived or real) hole in policy, which this is trying to fill. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 05:24, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

It's Done

Two weeks is up. Can I officially close voting, or can only a sysop do that? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 15:41, 17 March 2013 (UTC)

Go for Option 3: Run for sysop and then you can close it yourself without fear. Do eeettttt! -MHSstaff 18:04, 17 March 2013 (UTC)
Anyone can close it, though only sysops can completely archive it, since it needs protecting. Other than that, everything else is open to anyone that wants to do it. Aichon 03:00, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
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