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|This article is an official policy on Bulbapedia.
Its contents are strongly binding and can be considered law on Bulbapedia.
Blocking is a method that allows staff members to address vandalism, inappropriate usernames, bots, and disruptive behavior by technically preventing a user from editing. Blocks can be temporary or indefinite in time and may be applied to:
- User accounts
- IP addresses
- IP address ranges
A blocked user may continue to access Bulbapedia, but will not have the ability to edit any of its pages.
If a user fails to follow the policies and guidelines of Bulbapedia, official warnings should be issued by a member of staff, guiding them away from inappropriate behavior. A user who does not adhere to warnings and persists in rule breaking behavior, or substantially violates Bulbapedia's rules, may be blocked.
Please note that blocking is not the preferred way for a situation to be resolved. A user may be asked by a member of staff to refrain from editing an article or a certain type of article for a period of time. If the user follows these instructions, then no block will be instituted. Failure to comply with this rule will result in a temporary block. Blocks are generally cumulative in nature and will increase in duration for repeat offenses. A user who is blocked for 1 week due to sockpuppetry (using one or more fake accounts) may be blocked for 2 weeks or longer on a subsequent offense.
Appealing a block
If a user believes they were unjustly or accidentally blocked, they may submit an appeal to a member of the Editorial Board using the EmailUser feature, via the Bulbagarden Discord server, or via the Bulbagarden forums. In all cases, please include any information you think would be useful in an appeal process.
If using the EmailUser feature, please title the email Bulbapedia block appeal so it is easy for the staff to identify. If possible, contact a member of the Editorial Board or the Editor-in-Chief.
Blocks less than one week in length cannot be appealed, as the appeal review duration would equal or exceed the length of the block.
There are several circumstances that may prompt a member of staff to enforce a block:
If a user deliberately ignores a ban, the ban may be forcibly enforced using a block. When possible, staff will apply the use of bans as a way to settle disputes without having to intervene through more severe measures. In addition, it is considered ignoring a ban if a user asks others to make edits on the Bulbagarden forums, Discord, or other methods; this also includes social media and platforms not controlled by Bulbagarden.
Users who engage in vandalism, or the deliberate destruction of pages and/or information on pages, will be blocked for an amount of time based on the severity of the incident. Blocks for vandalism may range anywhere from 24 hours to an indefinite or permanent amount of time; serious vandalism will automatically lead to permanent blocks from editing Bulbapedia.
Acts of major vandalism include uploading or adding inappropriate images and replacing pages or sections of pages with inflammatory or profane remarks. Blanking the content from pages or replacing content with nonsense/gibberish is considered another major act of vandalism and will result in a block determined by severity. Deliberately inserting false information to mislead is classed as a major act of vandalism (even if only a few articles are affected) and will result in severe penalties.
Repeated and pointless page creation/modification can be grounds for blocking. Creating a page entitled "MAGIC PEEKACHU", and then another called "MAGIC RAICHOO", and so on, is grounds for a temporary blocking, because it's considered unproductive and clutters the appearance of the wiki.
While the instances above can all be considered vandalism, unless clear evidence of malice exists, assume good faith and do not quickly label fellow users as “vandals” for what simply could have been a mistake and should instead receive warnings where applicable.
Inappropriate usernames that are in violation of Bulbapedia's username policy will be blocked immediately by Bulbapedia staff. Usernames that are inflammatory, profane, lewd, deliberately confusing, or spammy will be blocked indefinitely without the opportunity to create a new account. Usernames that impersonate famous figures (i.e., Barack Obama) or members of Bulbapedia staff are also considered inappropriate and will be blocked immediately, though the user will generally be allowed to create a new account with an appropriate username.
If a user is judged as having made many edits in a short timespan that do not make constructive improvements to Bulbapedia, staffers may take action to reduce the pace of change. Users may be given a preview warning, where they are instructed to preview their changes before making an edit to the page. If this warning is ignored and edit flooding continues, the user may be forced to preview their changes before making updates.
In some cases, a "cooldown" block may be issued. The length of the block is to be judged by the blocking staff member, but should not exceed 1 day unless the situation is exceptionally severe. During that time, the edits will be reviewed and any unacceptable ones will be reverted. As with other short-term blocks, this cannot be appealed.
Adding links to external or personal websites as a means of advertisement in articles is considered spam and may result in a user being blocked. A user is free to use their userpage to advertise, or link to appropriate personal websites and/or blogs.
An edit war occurs when users who disagree about the content of a page repeatedly override each other's contributions. Bulbapedia generally treats three reverts/back-and-forth edits to determine if an edit war is taking place, although this guidance is not absolute and in some cases fewer edits may still be an edit war. For example, fewer than three edits may qualify if there is a pattern of conduct occurring across multiple pages (discussed in detail below) or if edits are targeted at a specific user.
Users engaged in a dispute should reach consensus or attempt to resolve a dispute on the article's talk page or reaching out to the involved user, rather than edit warring. Additionally, a user can also contact a member of staff to address the issue if another user continuously reverts you and a resolution cannot be reached. All parties involved in an editing or reverting war will be blocked, generally for 3 days for a revert war; this may be expanded if there is a large number of reverts.
Users making similar or identical edits/reverts across multiple pages as part of a larger dispute can also be considered an edit war. Users should follow the above guidance for using talk pages to work through these disputes, rather than edit warring. An issue that spans multiple pages does not need each individual page to be reverted three times to fall under this policy.
The staff are expected to maintain Bulbapedia's style and as such can revert without a warning or discussion on a talk page if they feel it is in keeping with Bulbapedia's interests. Discussions about staff edits/reverts is welcome on talk pages.
Harassment, threats, and violent conduct
Harassment in talk pages or editing wars is grounds for a block. While active, vibrant discussion is necessary and encouraged, harassing other users in talk/discussion pages is a violation of the code of conduct and can result in a block depending on severity. Violent threats and comments which create an unsafe environment may lead to a block without a warning, and depending on the severity of the threat the block can be indefinite.
Unauthorized additional accounts for the purpose of hiding one's identity, or sockpuppets, are not permitted on Bulbapedia. Additional accounts created to evade bans are blocked indefinitely, and may result in an extension or institution of a block on the primary account.
There are legitimate reasons for creating new accounts when you already have one, for example, if you have strong reasons to want to be dissociated from your past. This does not mean that accounts can be created for the sole purpose of starting fresh. To confirm that the reason is valid, users can reach out to a member of the Editorial Board detailing full reasons. After this request is approved, a new account can be created and the old account should stop being used as soon as possible.
Please contact a member of the Editorial Board to obtain permission to create additional accounts.
A user who does not behave civilly to fellow contributors who are acting in good faith may be blocked to enforce a Wikibreak. Such behavior includes and is not limited to:
- Always or frequently assuming bad faith.
- Use of abusive language.
- Personal attacks on other contributors.
Such behavior is detrimental in a collaborative project such as this and should be avoided. A contributor that fails to change their behavior after being warned several times may be blocked temporarily, or even permanently if need be.
Users who take it upon themselves to enforce the rules of Bulbapedia can be mini-modding. This typically occurs if users attempt to enforce or interpret rules, or otherwise take away from the community experience through their application of rules to other users. For example, a user warning another user about a violation of the revert policy "if you keep reverting you will get in trouble!" would be a violation of this policy.
This does not apply to users operating in good faith to inform others of the rules; for example, an edit correction adding an "é" to Pokémon (correcting from "Pokemon") with an edit summary informing the user of Bulbapedia's style is not mini-modding. Making the same edit with an edit summary informing the user that if they continue to omit the "é" they could be warned or banned is mini-modding.
Some users who are known to be particularly disruptive or counterproductive may have their Bulbagarden Archives, Bulbanews, Bulbagarden forums, and related accounts hosted on Bulbagarden blocked as well. This is done on a case-by-case basis, but users should be warned that if these accounts are left unblocked, they should not use them to get around the block that has been enforced.
Similarly, blocked users may not use the Bulbawiki forum or Discord to circumvent their block. Users who do this, particularly users who have been permanently banned from the Bulbawiki system, will have their access to this area of the forums removed or may be removed from the Discord server.
An extended block on another Bulbawiki site is performed at the discretion of the Editorial Board based on circumstances related to the user's original block and any subsequent communications that have taken place.
Staff are expected to follow the following guidance when using the blocking policy; this is being presented publicly in the interests of transparency.
Individual staff members are expected to be impartial and should recuse themselves from administrative decisions if there could be an appearance of a conflict of interest. This could occur, for instance, if a user reverts a staff member's edits. The staffer should not "pull rank" and revert the edit because they have an interest in their wording or version. In this case, a third (neutral) staff member should be asked to adjudicate the dispute and determine what, if any, warnings or blocks should be issued. The staff member is authorized to return an article to a previous state if the user's edit (or revert) brings an article out of compliance with Bulbapedia policies or standards.
Section Heads on the Editorial Board and the Editor-in-Chief are authorized to make final decisions regarding content and disputes for their own sections.
The guidance in this section does not remove the general expectation that users and staff work through good-faith disagreements about content on the article's talk page.
Staff are expected to include a comment in the block that provides an explanation for the offending behavior. Staff should be courteous to individuals who are blocked and not mock or belittle them in the comments. Staff have a right to interpret this policy in the event of unusual cases with the goal of maintaining a safe, welcoming, and inclusive community in line with Bulbagarden's values.