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Submissions/Blocking as a part of the tacit/implicit enforcement practices in Spanish Wikipedia: The never-ending dilemma

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2015 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this July.

Submission no.
Title of the submission
Blocking as a part of the tacit/implicit enforcement practices in Spanish Wikipedia: The never-ending dilemma
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

In general, there seems to be a consensus that blocking (as one of the enforcement strategies to stop gross violations of community norms or persuade others to follow acceptable norms of conduct) is a procedure used by administrators in order to prevent imminent or continuing abusive or disruptive actions intended to damage the project, deter the continuation of present harmful behavior, and encourage a congenial editing style cross Wikipedia namespaces.

Although there is no official policy or guideline about blocking, at the Spanish Wikipedia this is an extended method by which administrators technically prevent user accounts, IP addresses, and ranges of IP addresses from editing. After exploring trends in the block logs from 2011 to 2014, it was found 84,190 administrative actions associated with blocking, unblocking, and changed blocking settings; thus, discarding those that do not have any edit summary (a brief explanation of why the procedure was done), the most used reasons were:

  • Vandalism constitutes the main explanation used by administrators (around 43,248 administrative actions). The figures indicate that there has been a downtrend in the number during that period, with an annual average drop of 12.9%;
  • Proxy usage is the second one, with 16,500 administrative actions related to (91.76% of them were done in 2011);
  • Sockpuppetry or/and Evasion of blocks followed in third place with 4,917 administrative actions (in most cases both occur simultaneously);
  • Harassment, uncivil behavior, and etiquette violations ranks fourth with 4,443 administrative actions.
  • Username that violates Wikipedia's username policies with 3,997 administrative actions ranks fifth;
  • In the sixth place with 3,425 administrative actions are advertising purposes or single-purpose accounts that shows a pattern for editing to add promotional, advocative, or non-neutral approaches, or has a personal or emotional interest in a niche area.

Then, after excluding unblocks, the modification of existing blocks and blocks actions with the edit summary "Proxy" (that probably are justified by the Global Policy m:WM:NOP), the dataset was split into two groups (the first one consisting of 42,771 blocks of anonymous users, and the second one consisting of 22,618 blocks of registered users) to perform an intra-group and inter-group analysis for comparing them and evaluating potential significant differences in some areas as follows: explanation of blocks, trend changes, duration, evasion of blocks, prior existence of requesting blocks at the administrators' noticeboard including off-wiki block requests and implied posterior unblock requests if they exist (using a stratified random sample based on proportional allocation with "blocks per month" as a stratification factor).

The results will be shown in the presentation and a critical reflection will be made based on recent discussions on the need to adopt an official policy or guideline about blocking at the Spanish Wikipedia.

  • WikiCulture & Community
  • Wikimedia Projects in the Spanish speaking countries
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
45 minutes if possible
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Yes (if my application for scholarship is accepted)
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests

Interested attendees

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  1. Wotancito (talk) 07:12, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Will give some interesting lessons for other projects too. CT Cooper · talk 21:26, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Add your username here.