Bulbapedia:Warning policy

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This article is an official guideline on Bulbapedia.

Its contents are a strong recommendation for users and administrators alike.

Typically it is standard procedure to warn users that they are at risk of being blocked. The purpose of the Warning policy is to lay out some guidelines when it comes to handing out, and/or receiving warnings. In some cases, it's alright for experienced users to send warnings to other users. In other cases, it's best that users not interfere and let the staff take care of it.

Unofficial warnings

Unofficial warnings are messages posted in editing summaries shown in the recent changes. While edit summaries typically tell what kind of edit the user has made, they can also be used to relay a quick message to the immediate user without posting a message on their talk page.

(diff | hist) . . Article; 02:28 . . (-500) . . ‎User2 (Talk | contribs)‎ (Undo revision 0000000 by User1 (talk) That edit was against policy. Please do not make this kind of edit again.)
(diff | hist) . . Article; 02:28 . . (+500)‎ . . ‎User1 (Talk | contribs)‎

Unofficial warnings are acceptable in most cases. They're unacceptable when they break the code of conduct, so while you may tell a user to stop what they're doing, or ask them to explain themselves, you may not lash out or attack them.

User warnings

Certain warnings are acceptable for experienced users to give to newer users without needing to address a member of staff. Examples of these would be: Telling a user to use the preview button, warning a user that they've exceeded the userspace limit, correcting a user on their grammar and etiquette, and reminding users not to remove messages that comply with the Talk page policy. Any other circumstance should best be left to, or reported to an active staff member.

Staff warnings

Staff are capable of giving any warnings they deem necessary, whether they're for minor, or major offenses. Warnings for major offenses are always the product of staff discussion, and therefore the staff seek to settle major issues as a group while having one user relay the warnings to the user in question. If need be, other staff members may aide in providing warnings. In instances of excessive insubordination, a staff member may temporarily block a user so they're able to effectively post a warning on said user's talk page without interference.

Non-staff should not give out warnings for major offenses. This is referred to as overstating one's authority, or in layman's terms, mini-modding. It is viewed as disrespectful towards those who officially hold authority here, and in most cases is considered a form of harassment. Users caught giving warnings to other users for highly serious issues will be warned for taking matters into their own hands and interfering. The warnings they left may also be removed and possibly replaced with a proper warning from a member of staff. If the matter turns into a dispute, users may be blocked.

Walkthrough to warnings

For most offenses, users are typically given three warnings before action is taken against them.

On the first warning, users are to be politely informed that something they're doing is incorrect, and provided instructions on how to correct their mistake. If possible, link to one of Bulbapedia's policies that goes into detail on the correct performance.
The second warning is used to serve as a reminder of the first message, and to inform the user that they're continuing their disarray.
The third warning is left to staff members as it typically informs the user that action will be taken against them upon their next offense.

Subsequent to the third warning, appropriate actions will be taken against the offending user to follow the rules—if possible—by the user who gave them their final warning.

Once action has been taken to get the troublesome user on track, a staff member will leave a message on their talk page explaining that action has been taken, and what the user must do to overcome these actions.

Warning templates

While it is permitted of users and staff to type up unique messages, we also provide templates that provide default warnings. To use them, simply place a {{subst:____}} on their talk page, with ___ being whatever the name of the template is. For example, preview warnings use {{subst:Preview button}}. Warnings come with section headers, so you don't need to include those into the message. While warning templates are convenient, they don't get every point across, so it's sometimes better to type a message specifically for that user as opposed to using a generated message.