MarioWiki:Warning policy

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Warning templates have been around since the creation of the Super Mario Wiki and are used to keep track of a user's disciplinary history as well as provide justification for blocks/bans. Warning templates may only be issued by or to registered users.

Once a warning has been issued, it cannot be removed without going through an appeal. Removing a warning template without going through an appeal is grounds for another warning. Users can archive talk pages that have warnings as long as the warnings are not removed from the archive page or are otherwise tampered with.

The following templates are considered warning templates:

In this page, the above templates are collectively referred to as "warnings" for simplicity.

Procedure

If you feel like another user has violated a rule, the course of action taken depends on whether you are dealing with a registered user or someone editing anonymously from an IP address (also referred to as an "anon").

Registered users

With registered users, contemplate whether they really deserve the warning. Since warnings are serious accusations, use them responsibly. Abuse of warning privileges is grounds for a warning of your own, or even a block. Follow these steps:

  1. Identify the problem. If the problem is something that can be resolved through discussion (such as edit conflicts), try contacting the user.
  2. Determine the right template for the situation, based on the nature and severity of the offense. A list of offenses and what templates should be used can be found below, but here are the general rules of thumb:
    • If it's the user's first time creating that particular problem, give them the default template. In general, minor issues get reminders and userspace issues get the userspace notice, while problematic behavior gets Warnings, and serious offenses get last warnings or even instant bans. See below for details and a list of what specific offenses get which template.
      • If you give someone a last warning, contact an admin to that they can keep an eye on the user and block them if they continue to break the rules.
      • If you see someone doing something that deserves an instant ban, alert an admin immediately.
    • If the user has already received the default template, give them a warning from the next level. If they have received both the default and the next tier up, give them the tier above that. I.e. if they already have a reminder or userspace template, give them a warning template, and if they persist with their action, give them a last warning.
    • If the user has not caused that particular problem before, but has accumulated numerous warnings for various other offenses, they can be issued a higher-level warning for this latest offense. I.e. if they have numerous reminders, rather than give them another reminder, give them a warning, even if it was a minor offense - it becomes the straw that broke the camel's back.
    • If you go to warn someone and find they have already been given a last warning for any issue, contact an admin, as that user most likely needs to be blocked for their latest misdemeanor.
  3. Place the template on the user's talk page and include the specific offense in the template. If necessary, accompany the template with a paragraph detailing exactly what the users was doing wrong and maybe even how they can avoid the problem in the future. It is extremely important that you make it clear what the warning was for.

Alternatively, you may contact an administrator or patroller and ask them to deal with the problem. If you don't feel comfortable asking them in public, you may also PM an administrator on the forums.

Anonymous users

Anonymous users (also referred to as anons), follow a different warning procedure. If an IP is seen committing a level one offense, instead of issuing progressive warning templates, they should receive an informal reminder on their talk page explaining what policies/guidelines they are infringing. If their behavior continues, alert an admin so they may be blocked for a short period of time (usually two weeks or so). If an IP address is seen vandalizing (like blanking pages or adding profanity to articles), rather than issuing a warning template, please alert an admin so they can be blocked (never indefinitely; a few months at the most).

Warnable offenses

Here are some common reasons for warnings on the Super Mario Wiki. Offenses are organized by four levels and are given a fitting warning template for the initial offense. Reasons other than the ones listed below may be used depending on the situation. As explained in the procedure, each time the offense is repeated, the severity of the warning issued is increased to the next level.

An asterisk (*) marks offenses which only administrators can issue a warning for.

Level one offenses

Level one offenses are low level offenses and are given through the {{reminder}} and {{userspace}} templates. Infractions that deserve a Reminder template include:

  • Not marking minor edits as "minor"
  • Not marking a flood of edits as "minor"
  • Consistently writing with bad grammar/spelling (some leniency for non-native English speakers)
  • Not entering coding correctly
  • Entering speculation into articles
  • Making too many consecutive edits to one page
  • Consistently using edit summaries for nonsensical or otherwise unconstructive purposes.
  • Creating new stub articles
  • Having too many personal images (can also be given through {{personal-image-warning}})
  • Violating signature guidelines (can also be given through {{sigfix}})
  • Using mainspace talk pages for unconstructive purposes
  • Adding unnecessary amounts of off-topic information or Trivia
  • Uploading unnecessary files, including duplicate images
  • Consistently formatting Proposals and Talk Page Proposals incorrectly
  • Changing American spellings and grammar conventions to British standards (like changing "color" to "colour")
  • Failure to follow the writing guidelines

Infractions that deserve a userspace template include:

  • Editing user page too much in a short period of time
  • Having a large ratio of userspace contributions compared to mainspace contributions
  • Creating user subpages that are not for constructive purposes
  • Violating the userspace policy

Level two offenses

Level two offenses are mid level offenses and are given through the {{warning}} template. Infractions that deserve a warning template include:

  • Making major changes without approval
  • Enforcing a proposal before it has been passed
  • Entering false information into articles
  • Removing/altering other users' content (votes, comments, etc.)
    • The only exceptions to this are when fixing coding issues and enforcing policy (replacing red links with {{fake link}}, replacing a signature with {{user}} on no-signature pages, etc.)
  • Participating in an edit war
  • Antagonizing or otherwise engaging vandals in conversation (i.e. writing witty or emotional remarks in edit summaries, in logs, or directly on talk pages)
  • Abusing warning privileges* (handing out undeserved warnings or joke warnings, including tampering with warning templates for informal usage)
  • Removing a warning without an appeal
  • Editing an archive without good reason
  • Acting discourteous towards other users on a regular basis (see MarioWiki:Courtesy)
  • Failure to follow most policies

Level three offenses

Level three offenses are high level offenses and given through the {{lastwarn}} template. Infractions that deserve a last warning template include:

  • Minor vandalism (like capitalizing all words, removing information for no reason, adding comments to an article, etc.)
  • Impersonating another user
  • Falsely claiming to be an admin
  • Creating sockpuppets*
  • Undermining admin authority*
  • Flaming, spamming on user talk pages, and making disruptive comments towards other users

Level four offenses

Level four offenses are offenses which warrant an automatic infinite ban. Infractions which are considered level four offenses include:

  • Major vandalism (like blanking pages, uploading inappropriate images, unprovoked flaming, etc.)
  • Possessing an inappropriate username
  • Creating sockpuppets during a temporary block (will extend the block the first time and become an infinite ban the second time)
  • Creating an account for advertising purposes
  • Creating an account just to make inflammatory comments

Please note that any sockpuppets of an existing account are automatically banned.

If you see a user committing a level three or level four offense, notify an administrator immediately. Depending on the severity of the offense, repeated offenses may be escalated more than one level.

FAQ

Q. Does my warning ever expire?
A. No, warnings are permanent records.

Q. Can anyone give out warnings?
A. Not everyone. Only registered users have the right to warn other registered users; anons are not allowed to issue warnings.

Q. I don't think I deserve my warning. What should I do?
A. If you feel you don't deserve the warning, you have the option to appeal it as long as the warning in question was not given by an administrator. When appealing warnings, it is best to do so as soon as possible.

Q. Can I still be promoted even if I have warnings?
A. Absolutely. Warnings are meant to keep track of your past activities, not to evaluate your current performance.

Q. Can I still be blocked without any warnings?
A. If the offense is severe enough, it is possible to be blocked without any kind of warning.

Q. An anonymous user is vandalizing articles. What should I do?
A. Instead of issuing warning templates to anonymous users, contact an administrator immediately so they may block the user.

Q. What if someone else warns me for something I've never done or something else absurd? Can I remove it myself?
A. While the administrative team tries to correct these errors and discipline users that issue bad warnings, we may not always get to everybody. If you feel that a warning was given to you for no apparent reason, you may contact an administrator directly and request for them to remove it. However if an administrator feels that the warning has some legitimacy to it, you will be told to go through the appeals process. Remember that the admins will always have the final say in whether it will be removed or not. You should never remove warnings by yourself under any circumstance.

Q. If a user issues a warning to another user which isn't very clear, can I reword the warning to make it clearer?
A. No. Altering another user's warning is akin to altering their content, which is an automatic level two offense. If you are truly concerned, try asking the issuer to clarify their warning and if they won't, suggest to the warned user to appeal or ask an administrator to remove it.

Q. What happens if someone breaks a rule which is only warnable by administrators?
A. Certain warnings can only be given by administrators for special reasons. Never issue those warnings yourself. If you feel someone deserves a warning for breaking a rule only warnable by administrators, contact an administrator. Issuing admin only warnings without approval varies in level of offenses.

Q: I saw that someone broke the rules a while ago, but no one gave them a warning for it. Should I give them a warning now?
A: No. If it's no longer an issue, there is no point bringing it up weeks, months or even years later, especially if the user has gone inactive in the meantime. In fact, if a warning is issued for old offences, it is considered invalid and may be removed on sight by the admins.

See also