This is a guideline document, not a policy document.
In a perfect world, every contributor to All The Tropes would always and only make useful, witty, on-topic edits that follow the Content Guidelines. The Moderation Staff know that this is not a perfect world. Sometimes, an edit is the exact opposite of useful, witty, on-topic, and following the Content Guidelines.
In worst cases, somebody makes a habit of making edits that are the exact opposite of useful, witty, on-topic, and following the Content Guidelines; or makes edits that are blatantly against the rules. This page discusses what to do when that happens: these are guidelines as to what sort of behavior qualifies for a "tempban" or a permanent ban, and what warnings need to be given before a ban is put in place.
This document assumes the terms "tempban" and "temporary block" are synonyms. The lists of what is or is not grounds for a particular type of ban are not exclusive - they are not intended to cover 100% of all possible cases.
We have been using Moderation for new tropers' posts since early 2021; consequently some edits are not immediately visible when they are made. However, this does not change the fact that the edits have been made; an edit that violates the wiki's Terms of Service or other rules is still subject to these rules, whether it is in the Moderation queue or the publicly-readable wiki pages. It is the attempt, not the result, that is the violation.
Moderators are encouraged to re-read section 8 of the Policy for Wiki Staff before issuing a ban.
What is not grounds for any kind of ban
Some behavior that qualifies for a temporary or permanent block on other wikis is acceptable here. This includes:
- Disagreeing with a mod.
- Making an honest mistake.
- Removing - with an explanatory comment - incorrect text that was previously presented as fact.
- Mentioning politics on a page where it's appropriate. (But note that this wiki is "All The Tropes", not "All The Politics" - the political comments should take a back seat to the tropes.) However, mentioning politics is not a "free pass" to break any of the other rules here - you still need to respect both other Tropers' opinions and the laws that apply to us.
- Being disruptive on a one-off basis. (Everybody has a bad day once in a while.)
- Linking to or mentioning a site or content critical of All The Tropes, or documenting the same here.
What is grounds for a tempban or permanent ban
Grounds for a permanent ban without warning on the first occurrence
Some activity needs to be stopped as soon as it's identified. Doing any of these is grounds for permanent termination of editing rights without warning:
- Using the wiki to break the law, including but not limited to:
- Posting child pornography or links to such content
- Posting "hate speech" as defined in Sec. 18(1) of the Public Order Act of 1986 (POA) of the United Kingdom or Articles 137(c) and 137(d) of the Dutch Criminal Code
- Attempting to gather personally-identifying information without due legal process.
- Spamming off-topic posts from a user account, or an IP address known to belong to a spammer ("known" includes but is not limited to being listed at StopForumSpam.com's IP Check).
- Blanking or otherwise vandalizing a content page.
- Creating pages for bogus or non-existent works or creators that attempt to deceive the reader into believing they're real.
- Creation of multiple user accounts within a short time (usually within an hour or less), especially the creation of one account from another. This is considered prima facie evidence of a spammer or vandal.
- Repeating an action that previously warranted a tempban.
- Evidence of ban evasion, including but not limited to positive results from a CheckUser performed by the Miraheze stewards.
- Falsely representing oneself as having the right to authorize copying content from TV Tropes.
Grounds for a tempban without warning on the first occurrence
Some things need to be stopped as soon as they're identified, but the Troper who did them can be given a second (or third) chance to follow the Troper's Code after a period of time away from editing the wiki. These include:
- Putting the wiki as a whole at risk, including but not limited to:
- Bowdlerization of page content in a manner that suggests the presence of Censorware on the user's system.
- Violating the Terms of Service or the Content Guidelines.
- Spamming off-topic posts from an IP address not known to belong to a spammer.
- Editing unprotected wiki policy or documentation pages in the "All The Tropes" project namespace (if you have consensus for the change, then a moderator will make the required edit; if you don't, then it should not be made at all).
- Adding a pornographic image to any page.
- Deleting a warning that was given under "warnings", below. This is seen as prima facie evidence that the editor intends to be a disruptive element on the wiki in violation of the Troper's Code.
- Repeating an action that previously warranted a tempban.
- Making an unapproved bot run. This will also result in the bot account losing its "bot" privileges.
Grounds for a warning on the first occurrence and a tempban on a repeated occurrence
Some things are contrary to the Troper's Code, but don't need to be stopped as soon as they're identified. These include:
- Repeatedly posting material copied word-for-word from TV Tropes in violation of both our Copyright policy and copyright law.
- Repeatedly ignoring a mod. (Disagreeing with a mod is okay; ignoring the mods altogether isn't. We want to talk with you, not to you.)
- Refusing to learn from honest mistakes, or repeatedly making the same honest mistake after it's been pointed out.
- Removing without explanation text that was previously presented as opinion, on a page where opinions are acceptable. All Darth Wiki, Headscratchers, Sugar Wiki, WMG and YMMV subpages count as pages where opinions are acceptable.
- Removing without explanation tropes on a work page or works on a trope page.
- Adding strong language to a page that shouldn't have it, or removing strong language from a page that should have it. Work pages for works that would be rated G if they were films released in the USA definitely fall under the "shouldn't have it" heading. Work pages for works that would be rated NC-17 if they were films released in the USA definitely don't.
- Adding lewdness to a page that shouldn't have it, or removing it from a page that should. Work pages for works that would be rated G or PG if they were films released in the USA definitely fall under the "shouldn't have it" heading. Work pages for works that would be rated X or NC-17 if they were films released in the USA definitely don't.
- Being disruptive repeatedly - especially if no apology was made for the first occurrence.
- Impersonating a mod - including but not limited to threatening to ban another user (especially if the other user had not done anything that would merit a tempban according to this page).
- Repeatedly uploading files without choosing Licensing for them, as mentioned on All The Tropes:Uploading and Adding an Image to a Page.
- Adding incorrect text and presenting it as fact.
We're using the mathematician's minimum definition for "repeatedly": Tropers get two chances before being tempbanned for this type of behavior.
A warning is given on the Talk page of the Troper being warned, where everyone can see it. Casual comments on a forum, in IRC, or board-to-board do not count as warnings as far as this guideline is concerned.
A warning is given by a member of the Moderation Staff, and includes at minimum:
- a statement why the warning is being issued;
- a statement that continued behaviour will lead to a tempban; and
- a set of "pings" to the Troper being warned and all other members of the Moderation Staff (and, if the behaviour directly affected another Troper, a ping to that Troper).
It is common for the Moderator to also request that the Troper respond and acknowledge receipt of the warning. In such a case, such a response is to be in the form of a reply within the thread where the warning was given, where everyone can see it, in which the Troper is to note that they have read the warning. The reply should also include either a statement that the Troper will try to comply with requests made by the Moderator, or a clear statement as to why the Moderator made a mistake in issuing the warning. Deliberately ambiguous responses and Weasel Words will not be accepted as an acknowledgment - instead, this is seen as prima facie evidence that the editor intends to be a disruptive element on the wiki in violation of the Troper's Code and is grounds for an immediate tempban. If you disagree with a Mod, say so in clear language. Nor is the use of the wiki's "thank" function considered an acknowledgment (because a "thank" is not seen by all Moderators) -- you must respond in words and sentences in a proper reply in the thread.
Duration of a tempban
The duration of a temporary block is at the discretion of the moderation team member who puts the block into effect, and will vary depending on the nature of the grounds for the tempban (lawbreaking is worse than fiddling with strong language, for example) and whether the troper is a repeat offender.
The minimum block for a minor first offence is one day.
Moderation team members are allowed but not required to follow the predefined escalation list for the duration of subsequent blocks for repeat offences against the Troper's Code. As of February 6, 2020, the predefined block periods are:
- 2 hours (which is rarely if ever used on this wiki)
- 1 day
- 3 days
- 1 week
- 2 weeks
- 1 month
- 3 months
- 6 months
- 1 year (which for all intents and purposes acts as a permanent block)
- indefinite (which is a permanent block)
There is an option to enter a different duration.
While a first "attention getter" block is often two days in duration, there is no requirement that these tempbans be of this duration. Indeed, if a user who needs a tempban contributes infrequently enough, a longer -- perhaps much longer -- duration may be needed simply to guarantee the inconvenience necessary for getting their attention. This is, as always, left to the discretion of the moderator imposing the ban.
If an action is serious enough that it is grounds for a tempban without warning on the first occurrence, the duration of the block should be no less than two weeks.
Side-effects of being banned
If a Troper who has "autopatrolled" privileges is tempbanned for any reason other than a single attention-getter ban, then it is strongly recommended that the Troper also lose "autopatrolled" privileges. This will move the Troper back into the group whose edits are patrolled and moderated before appearing on the wiki. Regaining "autopatrolled" privileges can be done in the same way that they were gained originally - by way of making a large number of good-quality edits over a long period of time. (Specifics of the process will not be given here so that spammers cannot point to them in order to "game" the system.)
As per this discussion, if a Troper who does not have "automoderated" privileges is permanently banned for any reason, all edits by that poster that are still in the Moderation queue will be rejected without review.
If you wish to see previous versions of this guideline, or you want to know when this guideline was last updated and what was changed, please review the page history by selecting "History" from the menu at the top of this page.
- We are aware that this is on two lists. This is because the response can be different depending on the severity of the action.
- Note that we are being nice here. Normally "Using the wiki to break the law" is grounds for an immediate permanent ban, not a warning.