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Implement shadow banning / stealth blocking
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Description

If a user blocked on a wiki try to edit, they get a notice. Notices are not helpful and can cause more problems with block evasion, sock puppetry, etc.

Shadow banning ensures that a blocked editor leaves the site by boredom instead of trying to evade blocks and becoming a long term abuser.

The idea is simple: don't communicate in any way that they are blocked. (Even hide the block log entry from the blocked user!) Edits that they make to pages should tell the user that their edit is successful, but the edits should be invisible to all users, including administrators. The edits can be stored as a browser cookie instead of on the server. Eventually, the editor will get so bored that the community is ignoring them that they will give up and leave.

PS I posted the idea on meta initially. Check the bottom of this page: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Talk:Community_health_initiative/Blocking_tools_and_improvements

Event Timeline

Restricted Application added a subscriber: Aklapper. · View Herald TranscriptMar 30 2019, 6:32 AM
Aklapper renamed this task from Suggestion: implement shadow banning on Wikimedia wikis to Implement shadow banning / stealth blocking.Mar 30 2019, 1:11 PM

Edits that they make to pages should tell the user that their edit is successful, but the edits should be invisible to all users, including administrators.

So are those edits stored in the database or not? Your description is unclear.

The edits can be stored as a browser cookie instead of on the server.

As you are proposing some technical approach, please explain your technical implementation in way more detail. How can "edits" ever be stored as a "cookie"?

Nirmos added a subscriber: Nirmos.Mar 31 2019, 3:05 AM

How can "edits" ever be stored as a "cookie"?

They can't. A cookie can only hold around 4–10 kB or so.

So they can be stored in the database but they are deleted after 24 hours and invisible to all users. That could work but can still create issues with copyrighted content.

How can "edits" ever be stored as a "cookie"?

They can't. A cookie can only hold around 4–10 kB or so.

I still have a lot to learn with regards to some technical matters :-)

Aklapper closed this task as Declined.EditedApr 1 2019, 3:48 AM

So they can be stored in the database but they are deleted after 24 hours and invisible to all users.

That does not sound feasible at all, sorry.

You're asking for gazillions of "Why did my comment just vanish?" support questions.