Flow/Block Module

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A wireframe process diagram for a theoretical block/unblock workflow module

Within Flow, many processes that are in use by the community and supported through difficult to use templates may be automated. This page describes such a hypothetical feature: the ability for blocked users to automatically request an unblock.

Current Process for Unblock Requests[edit]

For many blocks, the current process follows thus:

  1. A user is blocked.
  2. The blocking admin leaves a template (based on the block type) on the user's talk page.
  3. If the user requests an unblock, they must edit their talk page and add in wikitext:
    {{unblock-spamun|Your proposed new username|Your reason here}}
  4. The user's page is added to the "unblock requests" category
  5. An admin monitoring the category goes to the user's talk page and reviews the block.
    1. If the admin decides the block is valid, they leave a message and closes the template out.
    2. If the admin decides the block should be undone, they must then manually unblock the user, leave a message concerning this, and close the template out.
  6. If unblocked, the user will have to manually delete the block notice from their talk page (or not, according to per-wiki policy).

This is extremely confusing to many new (and experienced) users and involves several rather needless steps from administrators.

Improved Process for Unblock Requests[edit]

Many steps in this process can be improved or modified though direct interface to the software.

  1. When a user is blocked, the software automatically issues the "You have been blocked" notice as a Flow message. This is an "in software" message, however, and we can embed functionality within it.
  2. The user is notified (via Echo) of the block. They click the notification and are brought to the block message.
  3. The user can simply click a "request unblock" button, that then allows them to enter a reason why they should be unblocked.
  4. The block notice message is now tagged as "#UnblockRequested"
  5. Administrators and other users who subscribe to the "UnblockRequested" tag now see the unblock request in their Flow feeds and can interact with it in situ.
    1. The admin can respond directly there and engage in conversation (using standard Flow discussion mechanics)
    2. If they decline the unblock request, the "#UnblockRequested" tag is removed from the posting (and it disappears from feeds)
    3. If they approve the request, the tag is removed and the user is unblocked.

This can happen automatically, without the admin ever leaving their feed.

Notes[edit]

  • Whether or not specific block types are eligible for unblock requests could be defined by the community of a particular wiki. In fact, even the use of this module could be disabled. For example, if a user is blocked for socking, the "request unblock" functionality will be disabled (with a note explaining why).
  • The English Wikipedia Unblock Ticket Process