- The following contains content adapted from the MarioWiki blocking policy and the Wikipedia blocking policy.
Blocks are used to deal with vandalism, bots, and inappropriate usernames.
There are three types of blocks:
- User accounts
- Anonymous IPs
- IP ranges
Sysops have the technical ability to place blocks for any period of time, but such blocks should follow our blocking policy.
When blocks may be used
Blocks are most frequently used to deal with vandalism. There are several other less common situations where blocks are appropriate, which are listed below.
Sysops may, at their judgment, block IP addresses that vandalize the Wiki. For dynamic IPs, such blocks should last at least 24 hours. For static IPs, such blocks should initially last 24 hours, but repeat violators may be blocked for longer periods; there are various rules of thumb that sysops follow in how much to extend the blocks of habitual vandals, none of which are formal policy. In general, casual vandals should be warned before being blocked, though warnings are not usually given for deliberate vandalism intended to discredit the wiki or serve an activist agenda.
Logged-in users that do essentially nothing but vandalism can be blocked indefinitely if they make no edits that are constructive and/or good-faith in any way whatsoever. However, user accounts that perform a mixture of valid edits and vandalism should not be blocked in this manner, but be warned with the Template:BlockWarning template. If they continue, a temporary block is more appropriate.
Sysops may, at their judgment, block any user that disrupt the normal functioning of the wiki constantly. Such disruption is to be objectively defined by specific policies, and may include changing other users' signed comments, making deliberately misleading edits, plain vandalism, profanity, etc. Users should be warned that they are violating policy before they are blocked. Keep in mind, however, that if there is behavior deemed unacceptable by many users and staff members, but not specifically outlined in the policy, it can still be considered disruption and a minimum warnable offense. When issuing blocks, for dynamic IPs, such blocks should last 24 hours. For static IPs and user names, such blocks should initially last 24 hours, but repeat violators may be blocked for longer as conditions merit.
Sysops may also block new user accounts that immediately make many disruptive edits, or are obvious vandals, for any length of time or permanently, at their discretion. "Sockpuppets", or multiple accounts of the same person, should be blocked permanently. However, blocks should not be used against isolated incidents of disruption from IP addresses nor against user accounts that make a mixture of disruptive and useful edits. It is especially not advised to issue indefinite blocks to otherwise constructive good-faith editors, even if they have disrupted the community several times, as blocks should be used as a means for these users to take the time off and consider their actions.
Reincarnations of blocked disruptive users will be reblocked if they continue being disruptive, or if they edit in a way which suggests they are likely to continue being disruptive – such as "YOU CANT BLOCK ME!!11!!" or "JOIN ME IN MY FIGHT TO DESTROY THE WIKI!1!!1!!"
Inflammatory, deliberately confusing, and other inappropriate usernames are not allowed, and in certain circumstances, sysops may block accounts permanently with such usernames.
Sysops can force a namechange by blocking the username (with an expiry time of infinite). The blocking sysop should include a note regarding the username violation in the "reason" field, along with a link to the user talk page where the matter was discussed. If a user page has already been created, any user may add an explanation of why the user was blocked and a link to the talk page on the blocked user's userpage. It is not advisable to create user pages or talk pages for users with offensive usernames – bureaucrats are likely to rename the users to something generic, like "Null001", "Null002", etc.
Care should be taken to make sure autoblock is disabled when blocking accounts with unacceptable usernames, unless the username is particularly offensive. If autoblock is enabled by mistake, something like Autoblock #1234: Autoblocked because your IP address was recently used by 'TestAccount'. The reason for TestAccount's block is: Unacceptable username, will appear at Special:BlockList. Click "unblock" next to that number. Then the user can log in under their new name.
If an account has been blocked both for vandalism and for having an inappropriate username, autoblock should be left enabled by default, as with any other case of obvious vandalism.
Usernames that are designed to impersonate legitimate users may be blocked immediately and indefinitely. Autoblock should be enabled in these cases. Accounts and IP addresses that illegitimately use another account's name in the signature should be warned first, and then can be blocked.
Please be sure that the account is a malicious impersonator before blocking it; someone might choose a name similar to that of another user without any ill intent. Use common sense. If the suspected impersonators are vandalizing, flaming other users, or otherwise acting with malice, then they should be blocked immediately. If they are making legitimate edits, they should be told of the possible confusion and encouraged to change usernames.
Bots are currently not allowed (except by official wiki team members) and should be blocked indefinitely.
When blocking may not be used
The list above is widely considered to be an exhaustive list of the situations that warrant blocking. Blocking should not be used in any other circumstances, unless there is exceptional widespread community support.
Use of blocks to gain advantage in a content dispute, and self-blocking in an effort to enforce a "Wikiholiday" or departure are specifically prohibited. Likewise, users should not block those with whom they are currently engaged in conflict.
Sysops should not block themselves (to enforce a "vacation" on themselves, for instance) because this sets a bad example for other users, and is not the way to behave as a trusted member of the community.
Effects of being blocked
Blocked users can still see all Wiki pages, but the "edit" link brings up a "User is blocked" page which explains the reason behind the block and gives information on how to request unblocking. This page includes the "reason" message supplied by the administrator who placed the block. Links and template includes all work as normal in the "reason" section.
The duration of the block depends on the expiry time that was entered at the time of the block, which may be "indefinite" or "infinite" (ie, until explicitly unblocked).
When a blocked user attempts to edit, the IP from which they are editing is "autoblocked," so that they may not make the same edit anonymously or under a different user name. However, while blocking a user, an administrator can disable autoblock, this should be done when blocking unacceptable usernames (unless the name is particularly offensive), sockpuppets (unless the sockpuppeteer is blocked permanently) or if the user the admin is blocking has a sibling who may share the same IP address. There is an internal autoblock expiry time variable, which is set to one week, meaning that when a username is blocked, their IP will be automatically unblocked one week after they last accessed a page.
In addition, when an IP block is placed, or an autoblock is set by an account block, a cookie will be set in the blocked users' browser. This means that the user will still be blocked even if their IP address changes. However, the cookie will expire after 24 hours, and is only meant to provide a small extra level of protection.
Note that blocking does not in any way restrict any feature other than normal article editing: normal users can still read articles, as well as adjust their watchlists and user preferences. Administrators and bureaucrats cannot continue to use all of their respective features; the version of MediaWiki that powers Nookipedia forbids this, however a sysop can unblock themselves (but should not get blocked anyway without being demoted).
Occasionally, users with floating IPs will find that they have been blocked accidentally, because their present IP was previously used by a vandal or hard-banned user. These blocks will disappear if IP change can be forced. If that is not possible, the block should be reported to the nearest friendly sysop via email - see the list of sysops for some likely candidates.
Users who act so as to impersonate a previously banned user, to impersonate a known vandal, or to pretend to be engaging in vandalism, are also likely to be accidentally blocked. To avoid this problem, do not act in this way. It is good practice to edit so as to demonstrate your trustworthiness, not to put up a facade of untrustworthiness.
Range blocks are sometimes used when a vandal or disruptive user has been IP blocked on several occasions but responds by using a different IP address. In most cases, range blocks will affect at least some legitimate users. Therefore, range blocks should only be used when the disruptive behavior is frequent and severe enough to make other methods ineffective. This is a matter of judgement, and the likely number of legitimate users that might be affected should be considered. Range blocks can be placed by the server administrator, and prevent all access to the wiki. The blocked IP(s) will be unable to edit, view, or even load images from Nookipedia servers. This is used only in extremely severe cases. Accounts can also be blocked in this way by the directors, these should have Template:BlockDirector placed on their talk page.
Special:BlockList contains a list of all currently blocked users and IPs. Sysops will see a link to [unblock] next to each user. After clicking this, you should type in the reason that you are unblocking the user and then click the Unblock this address button.
Sysops may unblock users if:
- They were blocked in violation of this policy.
- The reason for blocking no longer applies.
- The block has lasted too long.
- In other appropriate cases
There are no hard and fast guidelines on unblocking, hence the "in other appropriate cases" guidance. Sysops must use their common sense and good judgement.