Everything Food & Drink:Guide to appealing blocks

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This is a guide to making unblock requests.

Users may be blocked from editing the Everything Food & Drink project by administrators to prevent damage or disruption to the project. Blocks are lifted if they are not (or no longer) necessary to prevent such damage or disruption.

You, as a blocked editor, are responsible for convincing administrators:

  • that the block is in fact not necessary to prevent damage or disruption (i.e., that the block violates our blocking policy); or:
  • that the block is no longer necessary because you understand what you are blocked for, you will not do it again, and you will make productive contributions instead; or:
  • that your conduct (under any account or IP address) is not connected in any way with the block (this can happen if a block is aimed at resolving a separate situation and you are unintentionally blocked as a result because you use the same IP range).

It also helps to clearly state your reasons for requesting an unblock because:

  • If the background or reason isn't clear, your request may be declined out of hand.
  • In complicated situations, the reviewing administrator may not want to spend a long time reading your whole talk page and all of your contributions. Information and evidence not in your unblock request may not be read.
  • If you make repeated invalid or offensive unblock requests, your talk page may be protected from editing which makes it even more difficult to request unblocking.

To make an unblock request, copy the following text to the bottom of your user talk page: {{unblock|1=Insert your reason to be unblocked here}}. Don't forget to insert your own reason. We will discuss its composition below. If you find that you cannot edit your talk page, mail your unblock request to admin‐at‐everythingfoodanddrink.org.

What happens when you request unblock

It may help with your unblock request if you understand how they are reviewed, and by whom.

  • After you save the unblock request to your talk page, it is automatically placed in a category for administrator attention. Many administrators routinely check this category. Any of them may read your request, and decide to take action on it, or leave it for another administrator to look at. There are over a thousand administrators, so if any one doesn't want to look at your request another administrator will. Any review will be carried out by another administrator (not the one who blocked you).
  • Usually unblock requests are reviewed within hours. An administrator reviewing your request will likely look over several logs - for example, your contributions, comments by others, and past issues, warnings or blocks if any - to get an idea what happened and whether they think the block was merited. These logs, with the exception of deleted contributions, are viewable by any user. They will look carefully at the reasons given for the block and the unblock request, and the policies that back them. The aim in each case is to reduce disruption, damage, and similar issues from affecting the Everything Food & Drink project.
  • They may, if they choose, leave a note for the blocking admin if they feel they need more information and put your request on hold. If they are considering unblock, administrative etiquette requires they inform the blocking admin and allow an opportunity to comment.
  • Often you will find more than one user commenting on your block, or a mini-discussion happening. The administrator who blocked you may contribute, but any decision will be made by the reviewing administrator who takes all points made into account.
  • If your request is accepted, they will leave a templated response on your talk page and unblock. If it is declined, they will give their reasons in an edit to the request template.

Composing your request to be unblocked

Shortcut:
EFD:NICETRY

Try to make it as easy as possible for the reviewing administrator to see why your block is not justified. Be clear, using easily readable English. Administrators are volunteers.

Understand your block

To effectively contest your block, you must understand the reason for it. Also, if the reviewing administrator concludes that the block was justified, you will not be unblocked unless the reviewing administrator is convinced that you understand what you are blocked for, and that you will not do it again.

You are informed about the block reason in two ways. First, the blocking administrator provides a brief reason that you will see when you try to make an edit. Second, the administrator may leave a message explaining your block on your user talk page. These messages should include the names or abbreviations of those of our site rules (the "policies and guidelines") that the blocking administrator believes you have violated.

Before you make an unblock request, you should attentively read the policies and guidelines named in your block reason. They are usually one or more from among the following: vandalism, sockpuppetry, edit warring, violating the three-revert rule, spamming, editing with a conflict of interest or having a prohibited username. You should also review the blocking policy.

Give a good reason for your unblock

As a user requesting to be unblocked, it is your responsibility to explain why your block violated Everything Food & Drink project's blocking policy. Specifically:

  1. State what is wrong about your block. It is not enough if you just say that the block was "wrong" or "unfair". You must explain why it was wrong, and why the block violated the blocking policy.
  2. Address the block reason. As explained above, you have been informed about the reason for your block. You must address this reason in your request. This means that you must either explain why the block reason does not apply to your case, or you must convince the reviewing administrator that you won't do it again.
  3. Give evidence. If you state that you did or did not do something, please provide a link in the form of a differential edit ("diff") if possible.

Stick to the point

  1. Be brief.
  2. Stay calm. The use of profanities, ramblings, SCREAMING and personal attacks will lead to the decline of your unblock request without further review of your edit history. The block duration may also be extended.
  3. Don't behave as you think lawyers do. Unblock requests are not legal proceedings. As explained in more detail here, a ban or block is a revocation or suspension of your privilege to edit this privately owned website. Any legal right you may have to freedom of speech| does not prevent us from enacting and enforcing our own policies and guidelines. We may also check which IP address you edit from, and which other accounts use it, where this is necessary to prevent abuse.
  4. Do not threaten legal action. Such threats almost always, by themselves, result in an indefinite block.

Talk about yourself, not others

Shortcut:
EFD:NOTTHEM

You are blocked because of what you did and not because of what others did. For this reason, in your unblock request:

  1. Do not complain about other people, such as editors you may have been in a conflict with, or the blocking administrator. Any disagreements with others should be addressed through dispute resolution after you are unblocked, but your unblock request is not the place for this. The only thing that your unblock request needs to address is why you did not in fact disrupt Everything Food & Drink project or why you will no longer do so. Unblock requests that contain personal attacks or incivility against others will be declined.
  2. Do not excuse what you did with what others did. Two wrongs do not make a right. An unblock request that just asks administrators to block another editor will be declined.
  3. Assume good faith. It is theoretically possible that the other editors who may have reported you, and the administrator who blocked you, and everybody involved, are part of a diabolical conspiracy against someone half a world away they've never met in person. But they probably are not, and an unblock request that presumes they are will probably not be accepted.
  4. Assume the assumption of good faith. The administrator who blocked you probably tried to assume good faith on your part, as did any administrator who had reviewed previous requests, and the administrator who will review your current request. It is needless to remind anyone beforehand to assume good faith, and to accuse the blocking administrator of their failure to do so.

Agree to behave

If you are blocked for something you did wrong, and especially if you are blocked for a long time, you are more likely to be unblocked if you:

  1. Admit to it. All your contributions to Everything Food & Drink project are logged. There is no point in denying something that you did do, because your edits can and will be checked.
  2. Make people trust you again. Promise, credibly, that you will stop doing whatever got you blocked. Earn back our trust by proposing improvements to pages.
  3. Don't do it again. If you were blocked for an offensive statement or legal threat, do not repeat it in your unblock request. Even if you feel that your conduct did not deserve a block, evidently at least one administrator disagrees with you on that point. Assume that the reviewing administrator will agree with the block, and write your request in a way that cannot give further offense.
  4. Tell us why you are here. Say how you intend to help contribute to the project after you are unblocked. See here for some ideas about what you could do.

Examples of bad unblock requests

Shortcut:
EFD:EBUR

Requests such as these are likely to be denied. If made repeatedly, they may lead to your block being extended or removal of talk page access by either a change of block settings or your talk page being protected from editing.

Special situations

Blocks directed at you, as an editor

Staff enforcement blocks

Shortcut:
EFD:SEBLOCK

Special rules apply to users who have been blocked because they violated an Staff decision, or restrictions imposed on them (such as discretionary sanctions) by administrators in accordance with a Project Staff decision. In a , the Staff held:

Administrators are prohibited from reversing or overturning (explicitly or in substance) any action taken by another administrator pursuant to the terms of an active arbitration remedy, and explicitly noted as being taken to enforce said remedy, except:
(a) with the written authorization of the Staff, or
(b) following a clear, substantial, and active consensus of uninvolved editors at a community discussion noticeboard (such as EFD:AN or EFD:ANI). If consensus in such discussions is hard to judge or unclear, the parties should submit a request for clarification on the proper page.

Any administrator that overturns an enforcement action outside of these circumstances shall be subject to appropriate sanctions, up to and including desysopping, at the discretion of the project staff.

A reviewing administrator acting alone, therefore, is not allowed to undo your staff enforcement block. To request that such a block be lifted, you may:

  • address your appeal by e-mail to the blocking administrator (using the "E-mail this user" link on their talk page), or
  • address your appeal by e-mail to the Project Staff (at admin‐at‐everythingfoodanddrink.org), or
  • make an unblock request using {{unblock}} that asks the reviewing administrator to initiate a community discussion about your appeal. You should prepare the appeal in the form provided by the template {{staff enforcement appeal}} on your talk page, below the unblock request, so that the reviewing administrator may simply copy it to the appropriate community forum. You are not entitled to a community review of your block. The reviewing administrator may decline to initiate a community discussion if you do not prepare a convincing appeal before making your unblock request.

Banned users

Banned users, too, have special rules for their appeals. Those users banned by Mlpearc must appeal to him. Users banned by the community are normally unbanned only after a community discussion at the administrators' noticeboard determines whether there is consensus to lift the ban.

Compromised accounts

Shortcuts:
EFD:GOTHACKED
EFD:COMPROMISED

If you state in your request that the edits which led to your block were made by someone else (for example, your little brother) who accessed your account without your knowledge or permission, we will have to leave it blocked. You may have changed the password, but unless they've met you at a meetup or talked to you on Skype, administrators have no way of knowing that you are indeed back in control of your account.

For this reason, if your account is blocked as compromised, do not make unblock requests unless you can demonstrate that you have regained control of your account. Instead:

  • Create a new account and make sure to choose a strong password. If an autoblock prevents you from doing that, use a computer in a different location (that is, with a different IP address).
  • With your first edits, clearly identify the new account as a successor account of the blocked account, for example by adding the code {{User Previous Acct|1=Old Username}} to the user page of the new account (replace "Old Username" with the username of the blocked account). If you do not do this, your new account may be blocked as an abuse of multiple accounts.
  • Follow the advice in Personal security practices to prevent your new account from becoming compromised again.

If you create a new account while you are blocked not only because your old account is compromised, but also for other reasons, your new account will likely also be blocked to prevent you from evading the block of your old account. In this case, you will need to request to be unblocked with your new account and address the other reasons for which your old account was blocked.

Sockpuppetry blocks

Accusations of sockpuppetry result in many blocks and almost as many unblock requests, as project policy calls for the sockpuppet account to be blocked indefinitely and the sockpuppeteer to be blocked for some length of time (possibly also indefinitely). Users confirmed or believed to have engaged in the practice must request unblock at their main account. Meatpuppets will be blocked indefinitely, too ... don't edit on behalf of someone else, no matter how well you may know them.

Reviewing admins will usually defer to the blocking admin in a sockpuppetry-based block, especially if the sock account has minimal edits. Even without the use of the Checkuser tool, or with a result of "unrelated", an account that makes the same edits as a different blocked account, has the same linguistic peculiarities and the same general interests may remain blocked under the "quacks like a duck" test.

Everything Food & Drink project admins can never be absolutely sure about sockpuppetry, and the most abusive users can be very devious in attempting to evade detection. If you are improperly blocked for sockpuppetry, you should realize that it may not always be easy or even possible to correct the situation.

If you actually are guilty of sockpuppetry, and want to get a second chance at editing, please do as follows:

  1. Refrain from making any edits, using any account or anonymously, for a significant period of time.
  2. Make the unblock request from your original account. Sockpuppeteers aren't often unblocked—since they've acted dishonestly, it's hard to believe them—but the administrators certainly aren't going to unblock the sockpuppet account.

Checkuser and Oversight blocks

A small amount of administrators also known as Project staff have access to additional technical tools. The Checkuser tool may be used in special circumstances to determine whether multiple accounts or IP addresses are used by the same person. The procedure to be followed with respect to the review of blocks based on CheckUser data as follows:

"The Project Staff would like to remind administrators that those with Checkuser permission may sometimes block accounts as a result of findings that involve confidential Checkuser data. When such blocks are appealed, non-Checkuser administrators will generally not be privy to all the information that the Checkuser relied on in deciding to block. Moreover, in many cases the Checkuser may not be able to share such information because doing so would violate the privacy policy.
Therefore, in most cases, appeals from blocks designated as "Checkuser block" should be referred to the Project Staff, which will address such appeals as promptly as possible. If an administrator believes that a Checkuser block has been made in error, the administrator should first discuss the matter with the Checkuser in question, and if a satisfactory resolution is not reached, should e-mail the committee. As appropriate, the matter will be handled by the Ban Appeals Subcommittee, by the Project Staff as a whole, or by an individual arbitrator designated by the committee. When an unblock is appropriate -- either because the reviews disagree with the initial checkuser findings, or for other reasons -- it will be granted.
This policy applies only to blocks designated as "Checkuser blocks", that is as blocks relying on confidential checkuser findings. It does not apply to ordinary blocks by an administrator who happens to be a Checkuser, but is not relying on checkuser data in deciding to block. These blocks may be reviewed on-wiki or on unblock-l, the same as any other block. Checkusers are reminded that because designating a block as a "Checkuser block" means that it cannot be reviewed on-wiki or on unblock-l, this term should only be used when confidential information has been used in the blocking decision."

Do not make an unblock request that includes a request for checkuser to "prove your innocence" ... as indicated at Sockpuppet investigations those are so rarely done that you're better off not asking (besides, it is difficult to use it to prove that two editors are different people). Most administrators consider such an unblock request a sure sign of a sock account (particularly one with very few edits otherwise) and will decline on that basis.

A similar situation applies to blocks relating to Oversight. If your block relates to Oversight issues, then it concerns edits or log actions you have made which had to be suppressed. This is an extreme form of deletion used for removing potentially defamatory material, serious copyright violations, and non-public personal information including but not limited to addresses, phone numbers, or identities of pseudonymous or anonymous individuals who have not made their identity public. Suppressed edits and log entries can only be viewed by Oversighters, and like CheckUser-based blocks, Oversight blocks can also neither be reviewed on-wiki or on unblock-l for similar privacy related reasons, nor be reviewed by most administrators.

Edit warring ("Three-revert rule") blocks

Many established users who request unblock do so because they have been blocked for violating the three-revert rule. They often post lengthy explanations, with many linked diffs, of why they did not actually violate the rule. If this is what you intend to do, be advised that such unblock requests often take longer to review than others. Given that many 3RR blocks are for a short duration (36 hours or less), long and detailed unblock requests will often go unanswered or will take so long to investigate that the block will expire on its own. Also, be aware that 3RR is seen as an "electric fence" and that with VERY few exceptions (such as reverts of patent nonsense/vandalism or of egregious libel violations) most admins see any violation of the three-revert rule as justifiably blockable. Being "right" is not an exception to the three-revert rule, and claiming that your version is the "better" version is not a reason that will get you unblocked.

Also, be aware that any sequence of edits that violates the "spirit", if not the "letter", of the three-revert rule are just as worthy of a block. Intentionally gaming the system by waiting 24 hours between your third and fourth revert, or subtly changing your version each time so it is not a perfect revert, or otherwise edit warring over the article is seen to be editing in bad faith, and your block is unlikely to be lifted in these cases, even if you did not technically revert more than three times in 24 hours.

"Bad username" blocks

Accounts with usernames that do not conform to the username policy are often blocked indefinitely, regardless of their editing behavior. Most commonly this is because of a name that wholly or closely matches the subject of an article or a link added as spam or otherwise in violation of the external links policy.

Most such accounts are soft-blocked, meaning a new account may be created while the old one is blocked. This is done because it is the account name, not the behavior of the person behind it, which is the problem. While it is possible to request a change in username, this takes a little longer and requires that a user with bureaucrat access do so. Whichever method you choose, it is a good idea to have some review of the proposed new username first, to avoid ending up in the same quandary.

An account with a username that uses hateful or obscene language or otherwise indicates disruptive or provocative intent will be hard blocked, meaning that an unblock request will be required.

Advertising-only accounts

Shortcut:
EFD:SPAMACCOUNT

Accounts that seem to exist only to promote somebody or something ("spamming") are normally indefinitely blocked, because the Everything Food & Drink project may not be used for promotional purposes. Such promotion may include posting articles that read like advertisements or inserting inappropriate links to other websites.

As an advertising-only account, you will not be unblocked unless you indicate that you will stop your promotional activities. In addition, you must convince administrators that you intend to make constructive contributions to Everything Food & Drink project that are unrelated to the subject of your promotion if unblocked. To do so, your unblock request should include specific examples of productive edits that you would like to make.

Blocks directed at a problem generally ("collateral damage")

A number of blocks exist because they are preventing abuse from a given source, such as a proxy server or a particular ISP used by many people. In such cases some users will be responsible for the problem; others may be unavoidably blocked by the solution.

An administrator or Checkuser will investigate and consider whether it is likely this has happened.

Open proxy blocks

Everything Food & Drink project policy on open proxies is clear: editing through them is blocked without exception once identified. While some users can use them to circumvent censorship or filters, they have been used far too many times by far too many blocked vandals for users to assume good faith on their part. This includes Tor nodes. If your server has been blocked as an open proxy, you will probably need to edit via another connection: in most cases, proxies are "hard blocked", which prevents even logged-in users from using the connection to edit.

The only way such a block can be lifted is if it can be determined that it is no longer an open proxy, or was erroneously identified as one. If you believe this to be the case, say so in your unblock request and the administrator will refer it to the open proxies project, where verified users can determine if it is indeed an open proxy.

Shared IP blocks/Range blocks

Occasionally readers who have never or rarely edited before, or not from that location, with no intention of registering an account, click on edit only to find that editing from their IP address is blocked, for something they didn't do. If you are here because this happened to you, there are two possibilities.

  • Range block. Everything Food & Drink project administrators can choose to block a range of IP addresses rather than just a single one. This is done if a vandal, sockpuppeteer or otherwise disruptive user has taken advantage of dynamic IP or other situation (such as some LANs) where it is possible to evade blocks by hopping from IP to IP or physically moving from one terminal to another. Yes, this inconveniences many users (the longterm rangeblocks imposed on some large ranges mean that, in certain geographic areas, some users cannot edit without using a registered account). But the Everything Food & Drink project community does not take these actions lightly, and while some rangeblocks may be reduced in scope if they were imposed on too many users, it is only done if other methods of protecting the project and its users have failed.

    If you are affected by collateral damage from a long term range block, consider creating an account either from another computer or via Request an account process.

  • Shared IP block. This affects large institutions, most commonly schools, that route all their Internet traffic through one or two servers. Since many users can edit through them and we have no way of knowing if a vandal or disruptive user on a shared IP has been prevented from doing so again, or what security arrangements are in place on the other end, administrators are wary of unblocking shared IPs. Those that are blocked (again, primarily schools), are commonly blocked repeatedly and for long periods (up to a year at a time) for blatant vandalism. If the reviewing administrator sees that reflected in the talk page, block log and edit history, the unblock request will likely be declined.

    If you are the systems administrator at a site with a shared IP, and you are able to identify and take action against users whose conduct on the Everything Food & Drink project led to the block, we may consider an unblock if you can prove this. Most commonly, though, the best solution for the Everything Food & Drink project and users alike is to simply create a registered account and edit with it. This can be done by connecting to the Everything Food & Drink project through another internet connection that is not blocked, or by making a request via the process at Request an account.

See also