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Blocking is the method by which administrators technically prevent users from editing. Blocks may be applied to user accounts and IP addresses, for either a definite or an indefinite time. Blocked users can continue to access the wiki, but cannot edit any page (including their own user pages).
Purpose and Goals
Blocks are used to prevent damage or disruption, not to punish users. Any user may report disruption and ask administrators to consider blocking a disruptive user or IP address.
Blocks serve to protect the project from harm and reduce likely future problems. Blocks may escalate in duration if problems recur. They are meted out not as retribution but to protect the project and other users from disruption and inappropriate conduct and to deter any future possible repetitions of inappropriate conduct. Blocking is one of the most powerful tools that are entrusted to administrators, who should be familiar with the circumstances prior to intervening and are required to be able to justify any block that they issue.
Blocks can be appealed. Requests to be unblocked are also decided in light of prevention and deterrence. A user may be unblocked earlier if the user agrees to desist and appears to have learned from the matter, or if the situation was temporary and has now ended. Likewise, a user who has previously returned to inappropriate conduct after other unblocks may find their unblock request declined for deterrence reasons, to emphasize the importance of change and unacceptability of the conduct.
If editors believe a block has been improperly issued, they can request a review of that block contacting a staff member. Administrators can "unblock" a user when they feel the block is unwarranted or no longer appropriate.
Unblocking or shortening of a block is most common when a blocked user appeals a block. An uninvolved administrator acting independently reviews the circumstances of the block, the editor's prior conduct, and other relevant evidence, along with any additional information provided by the user and others, to determine if the unblock request should be accepted. Common reasons include: the circumstances have changed, a commitment to change is given, the administrator was not fully familiar with the circumstances prior to blocking, or there was a clear mistake.
There is no limit to the number of unblock requests that a user may issue. However, the disruptive use of this service may prompt an administrator to remove the blocked user's ability to send messages.