[OSM-dev] Various types and means of account blocks

tigerfell-688 at tuta.io tigerfell-688 at tuta.io
Mon Sep 24 19:05:16 UTC 2018

Well, as outlined in GitHub, these concepts seem to exist already. Number 1 would be called "block" (you could still use the forum, I guess) and (2) "suspension" (everything hidden). 
I would suggest (if not already present) to add an option to block a user from using the forum or their user page separately. (Later this could be extended to the wiki.)
I oppose the current practice of "suspensions", because I was once suspended for a diary entry, as it contained links (to the forum and the wiki only) and I had not made a map edit before, but my (approved) forum comments were not taken into consideration when suspended. 
I would like to propose this to be more open and selective towards blocking certain functions only. Having a list of suspended accounts and reasons would be great (like the current practice for "blocks"). 
Considering minors: Frederik's suggestion to link accounts sounds good but also complicated. I mean the fact that the accounts linked needs to be hidden as well, right? Otherwise, someone could search for all minors...Maybe, it would be sufficient to use the parent's email address and set a flag that this user cannot use the functions mentioned by itself (and not change the email address). So, the parent would receive the message and could answer to it directly (comparable to answering GitHub-notifications by mail)?Replying to Frederik: Yes, there should be more selective permissions that also take other OSM services into account (Forum, maybe QA, in the future also Wiki) so it is more general. 

Kind regards,

24. Sep 2018 18:44 by mapper+dev at minoa.li <mailto:mapper+dev at minoa.li>:

> There are two common types of account blocks on MediaWiki, which could form the basis for the proposed reform: 
> 1. A block where a user cannot edit any page except their own talk page.
> 2. A block where a user cannot edit any page at all.
> So on OSM, it would be:
> 1. Editing block
> 2. Full block
> I think that should take care of it.
> — ika-chan!
>> On 24 Sep 2018, at 16:57, Frederik Ramm <>> frederik at remote.org <mailto:frederik at remote.org>>> > wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I would like to start a discussion/brainstorming about the technical
>> aspects and means of blocking OSM user accounts.
>> First of all, the wider OSM community uses a wealth of communications
>> channels, most of which are not even controlled by us; here I just want
>> to discuss the actual OSM account and the means of communication
>> associated with that.
>> Currently an account can be blocked (by the DWG for a limited time, or
>> by admins for arbitrary timespans). There's a UI for that (even though I
>> think the long-term blocks need manual database fiddling). A blocked
>> user cannot edit OSM data. They can, however, still use the various
>> communication functions: write personal messages, write or comment on
>> diary entries, comment on changesets, and open, close, and comment on
>> notes. And they can modify their user page, change their account name,
>> and "befriend" other users.
>> Currently, if we wanted to keep someone from using these functions, we'd
>> have to "suspend" the account altogether, which is almost the same as
>> deleting it: The account will not be visible any more, at all, and
>> nobody can log in to it (cf. discussion in
>> https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/issues/1946 <https://github.com/openstreetmap/openstreetmap-website/issues/1946>>> ).
>> OSM has largely been spared from obnoxious nutcases that you find online
>> elsewhere, but our increasing popularity will certainly send a couple of
>> them our way in the future.
>> Some examples of borderline behaviour that we have seen in the past:
>> * user creating tons of playful/funny notes, and modifying his user name
>> several times a day
>> * user closing 100s of notes without actually doing something about them
>> * user "stalking" another user in changeset comments, writing rant-y
>> comments in response to everything the other user writes
>> * user writing longish, rant-y, unwanted, and off-topic diary comments
>> to third party's diary entries
>> * user sending legal threats to other users in personal messages
>> * user adding a "shit list" to his profile page listing the account
>> names of other mappers they don't like
>> I wonder what the best way would be to deal with issues like that. The
>> ticket I quoted above is from a DWG member suggesting that normal user
>> blocks should simply be extended to block all the "communication"
>> functions as well. In the discussion it was suggested that someone
>> blocked for, say, participating in an edit war, should not necessarily
>> be prevented from writing and receiving messages.
>> Is the opposite true as well - would/should someone given a cool-off
>> period for being a dick in a discussion still be allowed to do mapping?
>> Should a normal user block perhaps simply come in two flavours, "block
>> mapping only" and "block all"?
>> It has been suggested that blocking *all* communication functions might
>> be problematic because one thing you might expect from someone you have
>> blocked is that they apologise, or set something right, which they might
>> not be able to do without the ability to write messages.
>> Do we need a full array of permissions - "can change user name", "can
>> edit own user page", "can write personal messages", etc. - and the
>> ability to short-time suspend any and all of them?
>> Thoughts are welcome.
>> This also ties in somewhat with a separate discussion, on how a
>> prerequisite for allowing children on the platform might be that we can
>> disable the "social" functions of an account. In that case it would not
>> be a short-term block, but a whole class of accounts that can edit, but
>> not participate in discussions (for their own protection). I'm not sure
>> that can work at all (given that the ability to contact a mapper is very
>> important to us). Maybe such accounts would have to be linked to a
>> "responsible" parent account who then gets the messages...
>> Bye
>> Frederik
>> -- 
>> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail >> frederik at remote.org <mailto:frederik at remote.org>>>   ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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