Wikipedia:Appealing a block

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Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

During day-to-day operations, Wikipedia administrators routinely

block accounts and IP ranges to reduce or prevent vandalism
and other inappropriate behavior. This page explains to blocked users why they may have been blocked, as well as how to request an unblock.

Why was I blocked?

If your account was blocked by mistake, it will be reactivated very quickly, as soon as you let an administrator know of the problem. Otherwise, there is a rapid appeal process which obtains quick review by other independent administrators, and brief discussion of the matter. One aim of blocking in some cases is to ensure the user learns from the incident, and that the issues don't happen again.

Common questions

Q1: What is a block?
A1: A
editorial policies. Once a block expires, the user will be allowed to edit as they could before, and the event becomes history unless problems reoccur. Automated features
also identify usage which apparently should be blocked; this can be quickly rectified and resolved if it is incorrectly enforcing a block.
Q2: I don't understand why I was blocked.
A2: You may have breached a behavior,
bad faith
. If you can show that you won't continue the behavior, the block should be lifted. If you don't understand any detail of the policy, or still don't understand the action or reason that caused you to receive a block, you can ask the administrator that blocked you for help, or for any clarification on details that may be unclear to you. Administrators
are expected to answer your questions and reasonably explain their actions
. Don't ask for help or respond with questions within the actual unblock request, though, as it should be only used after you understand the reasons for the block, and when you are ready to appeal your block with a request to be unblocked, and provide an explanation.
Q3: Should I create a new account to appeal? Should I edit anonymously when my account is blocked?
A3: No, do not do either one of these things. Doing so is against Wikipedia's policy on
block evasion
. Wikipedia has had users who were blocked with an expiration set for a number of hours, days, months, even years - and who accepted it, and behaved and acted appropriately and accordingly. Once their block expired, they were welcomed back to Wikipedia, and "made good" as respected editors shortly afterwards. Once a block is over, it's over.
Q4: I've never done anything wrong and I was blocked! Please advise.
A4: Do you use an
collateral damage
(a block that was intended for another user or person located on the same network or range as yours, and that unintentionally affected you as a result). Also, if you are using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect to your network or the internet, try logging out of your VPN connection, closing the VPN connection, and exiting out of your VPN software. Afterwards, check again to see if you are still blocked. It may just be a case where the IP range used by the VPN is blocked, but the IP or range used by your actual network or connection is fine. In such cases, you should
request an account
to be created for you. In nearly all cases, using an account to edit Wikipedia will allow you to do so even when the IP address or range of your network is blocked; these blocks only affect users who attempt to edit Wikipedia without an account.
Q5: I did something a bit wrong, but how do I get unblocked now?
A5: All blocks can be reviewed by, and discussed with, a different administrator who is not involved, if requested. The preferred way to appeal a block is to place {{
Unblock Ticket Request System

One common requirement for unblocking is to be able to answer the question, "do you understand that what you did was inappropriate for this site, and can we have your assurance that you won't do it again?"

In the case where blocks are applied with with a very short duration, especially for good cause, the usual response that you will receive from an unblock request is that it is denied, and that you'll just need to wait until it expires before you can resume editing. Once the block does expire, you'll be able to continue editing Wikipedia as you could before, and you can consider the block to be in the past – just make sure that you learn from what you did wrong. Repeated instances of inappropriate behavior or violations of
to stop.
Q6: It says I've been "indefinitely" blocked. What does that mean and how do I get unblocked?
"Indefinite" does not necessarily mean "forever" or "infinite". It means "however long is needed for the user to address the issue".
This can be minutes, hours – or indeed the user may never do so.


indefinite block
does not mean that you are "blocked forever". It simply means the blocking administrator did not set a time limit or expiration for the block. In this case, the blocked user will usually be required to appeal their block and discuss the matter with an administrator before an unblock will be considered. An indefinite block could be applied because the user needs to confirm that things are okay and that nothing's wrong, or it could be due to a problem that needs attention, or a problem that is deemed to need the user to acknowledge that they understand that a behavior was inappropriate first before they will be unblocked.

Typical examples are where the account owner must be contacted (e.g. suspected "hacking" of their account), and users whose behavior was severely inappropriate (such as making threats or engaging in the repeated use of
founding principle
that members of the community must treat one other with respect and civility. Inappropriate or unacceptable behavior (such as those listed in the examples above) is not tolerated. For other issues, a user may need to stop, learn our site norms, and confirm they will not repeat the behavior (or will edit in accordance with certain conditions), before an unblock can take place.
Q7: It says I've been "autoblocked" because of another person whom I don't even know!
A7: See
collateral damage (a block that was intended for another user or person due to their disruptive behavior and who were located on the same network or range as yours, and that unintentionally affected you as a result). An administrator will sort this out as soon as it's drawn to their attention – please follow the instructions under the "Autoblocked?" section on your block page, or alternatively, here

Requesting to be unblocked

The preferred way to appeal a block is to place {{

Unblock Ticket Request System

To test if you are still blocked, click here which tries to edit the

partial blocks. Users can check for partial blocks by viewing their contributions page or by entering their name on the block list

Useful links for helping blocked users:   Message seen by blocked users: MediaWiki:Blockedtext (partial blocks: MediaWiki:Blockedtext-partial)   Requests for unblocking: Category:Requests for unblock

What happens next

When you appeal, other editors – most of whom probably have no involvement in the matter – will review your editing history, which has been logged, as well as the reason for the block and the history leading up to it. Editors may leave comments on your talk page regarding your appeal.

Usually, if it's a clear cut case, any

(independent) administrator will make a decision. The blocking administrator may be consulted for their comments on your request (this is a common courtesy). The process can take hours or a few days; for major discussions sometimes it can take a week or more.

Administrators will carefully avoid

administrator policy. For this reason, blocks will not usually be allowed to become a source of conflict; rather, consensus
will be sought, by means of a fair and objective examination of the matter and of any policies alleged to have been breached.

Routes to unblock

Blocks can be reversed with the agreement of the blocking admin, an override by other admins in the case that the block was clearly unjustifiable, or (in very rare cases) on appeal to the Arbitration Committee.

Types of appeal

In all cases, unblock requests should be submitted on your user talk page. Generally speaking, unblock requests will be one of the following two types:

  1. Requests for unblock in the event of a case of mistaken identity, misunderstanding, or other irregularity;
  2. Appeals for clemency, in which the appellant acknowledges the conduct that led to their block and requests a second chance.

If the appeal is of the first type, you should use the

the administrator noticeboard. If the appeal is of the second type, you should use the unblock template on your talk page, and only use UTRS if you cannot edit your talk page.[1]

Direct appeal

Appeals will usually take place on your user talk page; use the unblock template on your talk page to initiate this process:

  • If there is agreement that you may have been blocked unfairly, you may be directly unblocked (if the block was clearly and obviously a mistake), but this is very rare unless there genuinely were no prospective grounds for the block. Usually the blocking admin's judgement is respected if there is any question of doubt.
  • You may be unblocked if the blocking admin changes their mind or can't be reached, and an unblock is considered reasonable.
  • When you are unblocked, you may then follow the
    dispute resolution process
    if you believe that you were treated unfairly.
  • If an unblocking needs discussion, reaching a consensus usually takes several days.
    • After a discussion takes place, if there is consensus to unblock, the user is unblocked right away, although
      conditions may be imposed
      by the unblocking admin.
    • If there is no consensus to unblock, or if there is consensus to keep the user blocked after "due consideration by the community"
      ban appeals process
      to have it reversed.

Other methods of appeal

In highly unusual cases, you may wish to utilize the

dispute resolution process
while you are still blocked. To do so, you may contact other Wikipedians by e-mail, or by editing your talk page (which you can usually do even if blocked).

Users may not appeal blocks to the Arbitration Committee by email, except if:

  • The block is an
    CheckUser block
  • The reasons for the block or information related to your appeal is unsuitable for public discussion
  • You have been blocked or banned by the Arbitration Committee or by an Arbitration Enforcement decision.

Abuse of the unblocking process

A usual block prevents users from editing all pages except their user talk page, in order to have a chance for appeal, and so that they are not shut out completely and are able to participate at least to some degree in Wikipedia, while the block is active.

Upon a request to seek arbitration, editing access may be restored to a limited number of other pages (such as those connected with their appeal) pending the formal decision, so that the matter (and any evidence, facts, mitigating circumstances, or corrections) can be presented as well.

A minority of editors who are blocked use these privileges poorly, for

make a point
. Inevitably the response to such actions is simple – editing access is blocked in its entirety and without further discussion, whereas if the user had been responsible and reasonable, an entirely different result might well have happened.

Wikipedia blocks are usually warnings only. Once they are over and learned from, they are in the past (unless repeated). Wikipedia and its administrators and arbitration committee have a real wish for everyone who is capable of acting responsibly to be able to enjoy editing.

Users who are blocked are asked to use this as a chance to reflect, an opportunity to show their understanding and ability to act responsibly, and a period of time to let the matter pass and be learned from.

Users who have lost the ability to request unblocking on their talk pages may then do so at UTRS. Unfortunately, they may continue to abuse the appeal process via that venue as well, and may be banned from UTRS, for six months if a Standard offer is still possible, or indefinitely in the most egregious instances.

Appeals by third party

Third party appeals of blocks are allowed, but generally discouraged. However, some exceptions are permitted for block reviews. An administrator may choose to refer their own block for review,

community ban.[3]

See also


  1. ^ For transparency, unblock requests and discussions should happen in user talk pages unless private information is involved. If you cannot edit your talk page, an administrator may restore your talk page access and direct the appeal to user talk page if appropriate.
  2. ^ Wikipedia:Banning policy
  3. ^ Guidance based on discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)/Archive 166 § RfC: Can editors request community review of the blocks of others?