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Wed, 02 Jan 2019 06:26:42 -0800

Do we have cross project policies to govern or limit local policies
for the use of sysop tools? I would like to pass on policy advice, and
any past cases folks here would like to highlight that set a

The case below is illustrative, though based on my recall of several
complaints which went nowhere over the years, on email lists, and
Jimmy's talk page, about apparently arbitrary blocks on different
non-English Wikipedias, it seems reasonable to believe those
complaints are the tip of the iceberg, and there are likely to be many
historical cases of blocks that could have been appealed... had the
user been confident to complain in English, and have the energy to
pursue generic WMF policies on terms of use, or
harassment/discrimination, to establish a meta-level case.

# Example case

An account block on the Amharic Wikipedia (am.wp) was flagged up
yesterday on the WM LGBT+ Telegram discussion group.[3] The rationale
for blocking the account was because the account name includes the
word "Queer"[1]. The incident raises questions about process and
accountability, particularly as the block gives the impression that
this is the norm or an agreed interpretation of policy for sysops on
am.wp, and because the user is well established using this account
name across Wikimedia projects and has never edited am.wp so the block
cannot be based on any prior action or dispute.

In this example there is no obvious process for appeal, if sysops on
that project think that blocking any LGBT+ related account name
represents local consensus. After off-wiki discussion, the WMF Trust
and Safety team has been approached for advice,[2] as the rationale
for the action appears hostile to any openly LGBT+ volunteers who
might want to include something queer looking in their account name
(such as my account name, should anyone want to read it as transgender

# Links

the block log states "Names calling attention to your sexual behavior
have never been allowed here in 15 years and aren't suddenly allowed
in 2018"


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