|Occasionally a user has the same IP address as a blocked user, and is shown a block message describing that other user's activity. If you receive a block notice not directed at your actions, you should ask for assistance calmly as described below and the matter will be investigated.|
|This page in a nutshell: Understand in full the reasons of your block before requesting an unblock. Put all the relevant information in the unblock request, and only that. Keep your mind calm and assume good faith on the part of our experienced administrators. If your appeal is rejected, do not make a new one until you thoroughly understand the reasons.|
This is a guide to making unblock requests.
Users may be blocked from editing by Wikipedia administrators to prevent damage or disruption to Wikipedia. Blocks are lifted if they are not (or no longer) necessary to prevent such damage or disruption.
You, as a blocked editor, are responsible for convincing administrators:
It also helps to clearly state your reasons for requesting an unblock because:
To make an unblock request, copy the following text to the bottom of your user talk page:
((unblock|1=Insert your reason to be unblocked here ~~~~)). Don't forget to insert your own reason to replace "Insert your reason to be unblocked here". Its composition will be discussed below. If you find that you cannot edit your talk page, fill out the form at the Unblock Ticket Request System.
More technical and procedural guidance can be found at Wikipedia:Appealing a block.
It's important that you understand the reasons why the administrator blocked you before starting an unblock request. A block is not intended as punishment; it's meant to prevent you from making disruptive edits, either in good faith or as vandalism.
Don't ask questions within your unblock request; that's reserved to explain why you will not be a problem to the project, not to request clarifications about policy. Before requesting to be unblocked, you can ask the administrators that blocked you any clarification about their actions, and they're expected to answer them, though first you have to read the policies they have linked as the reason for the block. If you need to attract the attention of an administrator, you can write ((ping|UserName)) in your comment and they will get a notice, provided that you sign your edit with four tildes (~~~~).
It may help with your unblock request if you understand how they are reviewed, and by whom.
Try to make it as easy as possible for the reviewing administrator to see why your block is not or no longer needed. Be clear, using easily readable English. Administrators are volunteers, and may have limited time or patience for trying to find out what you mean to say.
To effectively contest your block, you must understand the reason for it. Also, if the reviewing administrator concludes that the block was justified, you will not be unblocked unless the reviewing administrator is convinced that you understand what you are blocked for, and that you will not do it again.
You are informed about the block reason in two ways. First, the blocking administrator provides a brief reason that you will see when you try to make an edit. Second, the administrator may leave a message explaining your block on your user talk page. These messages should include the names or abbreviations of those of our site rules (the "policies and guidelines") that the blocking administrator believes you have violated.
Before you make an unblock request, you should attentively read the policies and guidelines named in your block reason. They are usually one or more from among the following: vandalism, sockpuppetry, edit warring, violating the three-revert rule, spamming, editing with a conflict of interest or having a prohibited username. You should also review the blocking policy. If you have read these pages and don't understand, then a first step might be to request a clearer explanation. Attempts to work with others and understand their concerns will be seen positively.
As a user requesting to be unblocked, it is your responsibility to explain why you believe your block violates Wikipedia's blocking policy or should otherwise be reversed. Specifically:
You are blocked because of concerns about actions that are a problem. Responding by threats or attempts that show gross lack of understanding makes it worse; it suggests you will not learn in the future.
If you have made a threat, or might make a threat, click 'show'.
Genuine defamation, privacy breaches, copyright breaches, and misinformation, are taken very seriously. Gossip, unimportant information, and some private details may also be removed at times. Wikipedia has many ways of checking whether our policies or the law governing our website supports your position, and it fields many user teams for this purpose. We act very quickly in response to well-founded complaints. Often, however, people who think they have legal grounds for complaint actually don't according to the law that governs our content.
If you don't know what to do, then the email team is a very good starting point. Do not make threats, and do not ask or hire a lawyer to write — doing so is no more effective than a simple personal email and may get you blocked if your message appears to contain any kind of implied legal or other threat.
If you did make a threat and were blocked, then taking it back is often a big part of being unblocked. A message to the effect of "I take back my threat and won't repeat it again; can anything be done to resolve this?" is a good approach. Ask for advice; don't shake a stick.
You are blocked because of what you did, not because of what others did. For this reason:
If you are blocked for something you did wrong, and especially if you are blocked for a long time, you are more likely to be unblocked if you:
In most cases, if others disagree with your request then it's best to accept it. Rarely, a situation may have become so heated or words exchanged, or there may be a genuine reason to worry that the blocking admin has misunderstood or is being extremely unfair. Do not "rant", "flame" or attack others even if you feel attacked yourself. It is the worst thing you can do.
If you have good cause for worrying, it is far better to check you have briefly and calmly made clear your concern and any evidence, and just ask for other independent opinions. Administrators asked to independently review a matter will come to it fresh – often more than one will respond – and may be able to explain or help. They will also consider whether or not the blocking admin appears to have acted reasonably, and what they think has to happen. If they disagree with you, then this can be useful reassurance that the initial view was not unreasonable.
Requests such as these are likely to be denied. If made repeatedly, they may lead to your block being extended or removal of talk page access by either a change of block settings or your talk page being protected from editing.
Click SHOW to view some examples of bad unblock requests
Special rules apply to users who have been blocked because they violated an Arbitration Committee decision, or restrictions imposed on them (such as discretionary sanctions) by administrators in accordance with an Arbitration Committee decision.
Appeals by sanctioned editors
Appeals may be made only by the editor under sanction and only for a currently active sanction. Requests for modification of page restrictions may be made by any editor. The process has three possible stages (see "Important notes" below). The editor may:
- ask the enforcing administrator to reconsider their original decision;
- request review at the arbitration enforcement noticeboard ("AE") or at the administrators’ noticeboard ("AN"); and
- submit a request for amendment at the amendment requests page ("ARCA"). If the editor is blocked, the appeal may be made by email through Special:EmailUser/Arbitration Committee (or, if email access is revoked, to arbcom-enwikimedia.org).
- Modifications by administrators
No administrator may modify or remove a sanction placed by another administrator without:
- the explicit prior affirmative consent of the enforcing administrator; or
- prior affirmative agreement for the modification at (a) AE or (b) AN or (c) ARCA (see "Important notes" below).
Administrators modifying sanctions out of process may at the discretion of the committee be desysopped.
Nothing in this section prevents an administrator from replacing an existing sanction issued by another administrator with a new sanction if fresh misconduct has taken place after the existing sanction was applied.
Administrators are free to modify sanctions placed by former administrators – that is, editors who do not have the administrator permission enabled (due to a temporary or permanent relinquishment or desysop) – without regard to the requirements of this section. If an administrator modifies a sanction placed by a former administrator, the administrator who made the modification becomes the "enforcing administrator". If a former administrator regains the tools, the provisions of this section again apply to their unmodified enforcement actions.
- For a request to succeed, either
- (i) the clear and substantial consensus of (a) uninvolved administrators at AE or (b) uninvolved editors at AN or
- (ii) a passing motion of arbitrators at ARCA
- is required. If consensus at AE or AN is unclear, the status quo prevails.
- While asking the enforcing administrator and seeking reviews at AN or AE are not mandatory prior to seeking a decision from the committee, once the committee has reviewed a request, further substantive review at any forum is barred. The sole exception is editors under an active sanction who may still request an easing or removal of the sanction on the grounds that said sanction is no longer needed, but such requests may only be made once every six months, or whatever longer period the committee may specify.
- These provisions apply only to discretionary sanctions placed by administrators and to blocks placed by administrators to enforce arbitration case decisions. They do not apply to sanctions directly authorized by the committee, and enacted either by arbitrators or by arbitration clerks, or to special functionary blocks of whatever nature.
- All enforcement actions are presumed valid and proper, so the provisions relating to modifying or overturning sanctions apply, until an appeal is successful.— Arbitration Committee, Standard provision for appeals and modifications
A reviewing administrator acting alone, therefore, is not allowed to undo another administrator's arbitration enforcement block. (This does not preclude the blocking administrator from accepting an unblock request from the blocked editor.)
To request that such a block be lifted, you may:
Banned users, too, have special rules for their appeals. See WP:UNBAN for procedures of ban appeal.
See also: Wikipedia:Compromised accounts
Sometimes administrators or CheckUsers will block an account as compromised. This happens most often when CheckUsers have proof that the person who created the account has lost access to it, and it is now controlled by another person. If your account was blocked specifically as a "compromised account", you should contact a CheckUser or steward, who can hopefully verify that you are now back in control again. You can also ask a Wikipedian who has met you outside of Wikipedia to vouch for you, or you could use a previously disclosed ((committed identity)). If none of these options are available, the account might simply be unrecoverable because we have no way of knowing who is in control of it.
If you have made an unblock request and claim that your account was compromised, hacked, or used by someone else, this will likely not work. This is generally a variation of the "my little brother did it" excuse. Accordingly, administrators will often react skeptically to claims that your account was hacked or compromised. Instead, your unblock request should focus on addressing the reason for your block. If this sort of claim worked, everyone would claim that their account had been compromised.
Accusations of sockpuppetry result in many blocks and almost as many unblock requests, as Wikipedia policy calls for the sockpuppet account to be blocked indefinitely and the sockpuppeteer to be blocked for some length of time (possibly also indefinitely). Users confirmed or believed to have engaged in the practice must request unblock at their main account. Meatpuppets will be blocked indefinitely, too ... don't edit on behalf of someone else, no matter how well you may know them.
Reviewing admins will usually defer to the blocking admin in a sockpuppetry-based block, especially if the sock account has minimal edits. Even without the use of the Checkuser tool, or with a result of "unrelated", an account that makes the same edits as a different blocked account, has the same linguistic peculiarities and the same general interests may remain blocked under the "quacks like a duck" test.
Wikipedia admins can never be absolutely sure about sockpuppetry, and the most abusive users can be very devious in attempting to evade detection. If you are improperly blocked for sockpuppetry, you should realize that it may not always be easy or even possible to correct the situation.
If you actually are guilty of sockpuppetry, and want to get a second chance at editing, please do as follows:
If you appeal a sockpuppetry block, you should also disclose all relevant information that might be relevant or might help explain why the community suspects sockpuppetry. Examples of circumstances that you should disclose include if you were encouraged to edit a Wikipedia page on social media or by a friend, if you share an internet connection with others whom you know edit Wikipedia, or if you were paid to edit Wikipedia. As an editor on a collaborative, community-based project, you have an obligation to avoid deceiving the community or its administrative processes, and failing to divulge relevant information may be considered an attempt to intentionally deceive the community.
See also guides for appealing CheckUser blocks and bans for repeated abuse of multiple accounts (you should still follow the advice above if you are guilty of sockpuppetry).
Certain administrators have access to a tool called CheckUser which reveals some of Wikipedia's private technical logs. CheckUser data can contribute to a finding that a user has abused multiple accounts (sockpuppetry). If your account is "CheckUser blocked", that means that you were blocked for sockpuppetry and that CheckUser data was relevant to the decision. If you are trying to appeal a CheckUser block, please review the guide to appealing sockpuppetry blocks and note that if onwiki appeals are unsuccessful, you may appeal your block to the Arbitration Committee by email.
In rare circumstances, material that is submitted to Wikipedia is considered to be problematic enough that it is removed from Wikipedia’s public archives. This process is called "Oversight" or "suppression", and all but a small number of administrators are prevented from accessing the material. Sometimes, editors may be blocked for repeatedly adding such problematic material to Wikipedia, or for other reasons that relate to Oversighted information. These blocks are called "Oversight blocks". If you have been "Oversight blocked", do not repeat the Oversighted information in any public block appeal; if your appeal quotes or references Oversighted information, you should appeal your block to the Arbitration Committee by email.
Many established users who request unblock do so because they have been blocked for edit warring. They often post lengthy explanations, with many linked diffs, of why they did not actually violate the three-revert rule. If this is what you intend to do, be advised that such unblock requests often take longer to review than others. Given that many edit warring blocks are for a short duration (36 hours or less), long and detailed unblock requests will often go unanswered or will take so long to investigate that the block will expire on its own. Also, be aware that 3RR is seen as an "electric fence" and that with VERY few exceptions (such as reverts of patent nonsense/vandalism or of egregious libel violations) most admins see any violation of the three-revert rule as justifiably blockable. Being "right" is not an exception to the three-revert rule, and claiming that your version is the "better" version is not a reason that will get you unblocked.
Also, be aware that there are many situations in which it is possible to be blocked for edit warring even if you did not break the "three revert rule". For example, if you have made the same revert a large number of times over a long period, you may be blocked even if there was never a period of 24 hours in which you made four reverts. Also, any sequence of edits that violates the "spirit", if not the "letter", of the three-revert rule are just as worthy of a block. Intentionally gaming the system by waiting 24 hours before your fourth revert, or subtly changing your version each time so it is not a perfect revert, or otherwise edit warring over the article is seen to be editing in bad faith, and your block is unlikely to be lifted in these cases, even if you did not revert more than three times in 24 hours.
Accounts with usernames that do not conform to the username policy are often blocked indefinitely, regardless of their editing behavior. Most commonly this is because of a name that wholly or closely matches the subject of an article or a link added as spam or otherwise in violation of the external links policy.
Most such accounts are soft-blocked, meaning a new account may be created while the old one is blocked. This is done because it is the account name, not the behavior of the person behind it, that is the problem. While it is possible to request a change in username, this takes a little longer and requires that a user with global rename access do so. Whichever method you choose, it is a good idea to have some review of the proposed new username first, to avoid ending up in the same quandary.
An account with a username that uses hateful or obscene language or otherwise indicates disruptive or provocative intent will be hard blocked, meaning that an unblock request will be required.
Accounts that seem to exist only to promote somebody or something ("spamming") are normally indefinitely blocked, because Wikipedia may not be used for promotional purposes. Such promotion may include posting articles that read like advertisements or inserting inappropriate links to other websites.
As an advertising-only account, you will not be unblocked unless you indicate that you will stop your promotional activities. In addition, you must convince administrators that you intend to make constructive contributions to Wikipedia that are unrelated to the subject of your promotion if unblocked. To do so, your unblock request should include specific examples of productive edits that you would like to make.
A number of blocks exist because they are preventing abuse from a given source, such as a proxy server or a particular ISP used by many people. In such cases some users will be responsible for the problem; others may be unavoidably blocked by the solution.
An administrator or checkuser will investigate and consider whether it is likely this has happened.
Wikipedia policy on open proxies is clear: editing through them is blocked without exception once identified. While some users can use them to circumvent censorship or filters, they have been used far too many times by far too many blocked vandals for Wikipedians to assume good faith on their part. This includes Tor nodes. If your server has been blocked as an open proxy, you will probably need to edit via another connection: in most cases, proxies are "hard blocked", which prevents even logged-in users from using the connection to edit.
The only way such a block can be lifted is if it can be determined that it is no longer an open proxy, or was erroneously identified as one. If you believe this to be the case, say so in your unblock request and the administrator will refer it to the open proxies project, where verified users can determine if it is indeed an open proxy.
Occasionally readers who have never or rarely edited before, or not from that location, with no intention of registering an account, click on edit only to find that editing from their IP address is blocked, for something they didn't do. If you are here because this happened to you, there are two possibilities.
If you are the systems administrator at a site with a shared IP, and you can identify and take action against users whose conduct on Wikipedia led to the block, we may consider an unblock if you can prove this. Most commonly, though, the best solution for Wikipedia and users alike is to simply create a registered account and edit with it. This can be done by connecting to Wikipedia through another internet connection that is not blocked, or by making a request via the process at Wikipedia:Request an account.