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Forums > Senate Hall > SH:Discussions Moderators and blocking rights

I wanted to take some time to talk about blocking rights as they relate to Discussions. Currently, the only Discussions Moderator here with the ability to block people is ChristopherLeeGallant, which the wiki allowed in a vote last year. As you can see in that thread, it’s the view of the admin team that the Discussions community is a wholly separate and independent entity from the wiki. As a result, because blocks apply to the wiki and Discussions, the approach has been to ask, why should a moderator be able to block someone on the wiki too if they are from a separate community?

It’s not standard functionality for Discussions Moderators to have blocking rights. We’ve found that it’s largely not necessary. Other communities either have admins who are involved with Discussions and can take care of blocks, or have otherwise set up a system with the admins to be able to report problematic behavior and have it dealt with swiftly. Either way, there’s collaboration and coordination. This collaboration and coordination doesn’t exist here because of the feeling that Discussions is its own thing.

To that end, this thread is meant to open up a dialogue on how to move forward. The wiki and Discussions both fall under the starwars.wikia.com domain, hence why blocks apply on both because it’s a domain-level action, and the status quo as it exists today is not an option given that there are 5 moderators who don’t have the ability to handle blocks.

Here are the options we can see for moving forward:

  1. Option 1: FANDOM gives the Discussions Moderators the ability to block users, so they can handle those issues without admins needing to be involved.
  2. Option 2: The admins become involved in the Discussions community and handle blocking proactively as members of that community.
  3. Option 3: A few admins are chosen from different time zones to be the point persons for the Discussions Moderators in reporting users needing to be blocked, such as by joining the Discord server that the Discussions Moderators and community use for quick communication. The door for collaboration was left a bit open from the CT where Christopher was given blocking rights.

I do need to be clear that we will be going with one of those options regardless of any editor or admin disinterest in Discussions, but we didn't want to mandate one over another. As we continue to build Discussions and as it becomes an even more prominent part of the FANDOM experience throughout this year, resolving this question is a must and it's something we'd like to do now rather than later. So this thread is for discussing these options and seeing what people prefer. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 22:29, July 5, 2018 (UTC)

CommentsEdit

  • This certainly won't be the first time Wikia has crammed something down our throats against our will, which is why we have the Site feature policy. So for the record, even if you give the Discussions Moderators blocking ability, they won't be authorized to use it unless and until we explicitly grant them that right as a community. Toprawa and Ralltiir (talk) 22:41, July 5, 2018 (UTC)
  • Right now, from what I can see, there are 12 threads posted in the last 24 hours, 3 of which have been deleted by the mods. The remaining 9 threads contain a total of 33 comments. Maybe it's just me, but I'm unsure how this low level of activity necessitates half a dozen moderators. There is no technical reason as to why Discussions blocks/bans can't be separate from wiki bans (see Special:Chat and chat bans); it's purely ideological. I'm sure Wikia wants to push Discussions to become some sort of de facto online hangout for fans and editors alike, but as it stands, the interface is completely woeful (it's been, what, 2 years, and you can't even do text formatting and wiki linking?) and any wiki opting to use Discussions as their general forum (like Wikia originally wanted but they had to retract after they realized that converting even CC forums to Discussions would be a disaster) would be a mistake. As for your three options... option 1 might grant moderators the de facto capability of issuing wiki blocks but be assured that these blocks would have zero legal standing on Wookieepedia unless blocking power is granted to moderators through a community vote. If necessary, admins would have to simply unblock any users affected by these illegal blocks. As for option 2, I personally have absolutely zero interest in moderating a lacking forum that Wikia forced upon us. I'm glad there are people who do, however. Option 3 is the only feasible option here, and there's absolutely no rule that prevents this from happening now. Any Discussions moderator is more than welcome to bring problem users to the attention of the administration. 1358 (Talk) 22:41, July 5, 2018 (UTC)
  • Option three seems as though it's already entirely available. There's almost always an admin available on the IRC and the moderators are welcome to reach us there to request bans. CLG, AV and Vitus have all used IRC before and so I'm assuming have no issue in accessing it. I'm not seeing why any big changes need to be made? Ayrehead02 (talk) 23:21, July 5, 2018 (UTC)
    • Even though Option 3 is already available, given the disinterest in Discussions then going with Option 3 is something that we wanted to see a firm commitment on. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 23:23, July 5, 2018 (UTC)
      • Has there been issues in the past where the moderators have been ignored in IRC? If I'm honest I've never seen any requests for bans based on discussions made there which is why I'm surprised this is an issue. Ayrehead02 (talk) 23:25, July 5, 2018 (UTC)
        • Not sure. But we're working with the moderators on a lot of changes that should dramatically increase activity, so we want to make sure that everyone is on the same page—whatever option ends up being decided on—so we can hit the ground running and have our bases covered. Which is why we want to make sure that if we do go with Option 3, we know there's a firm commitment from the admins. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 23:31, July 5, 2018 (UTC)
          • Well option three is what we agreed upon as policy in the vote you linked above and it doesn't get much firmer than that. I imagine we'll continue to all be regularly available in IRC so I don't see there being any issues. Ayrehead02 (talk) 23:37, July 5, 2018 (UTC)
            • That CT was specifically about Christopher and the process he had to follow, so this commitment here just ensures that everyone's on board for Option 3 for all moderators. - Brandon Rhea(talk) 23:42, July 5, 2018 (UTC)
              • Giving all Discussions Moderators the same blocking authority we granted CLG is not likely something that's going to happen. If you need to replace CLG with someone who is more active, we can do that. Toprawa and Ralltiir (talk) 23:47, July 5, 2018 (UTC)
                • The reports of my lack of activity have been greatly exaggerated. Being hospitalized used to be acceptable once upon a time. --ChristopherLeeGallant (talk) 07:00, July 8, 2018 (UTC)