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Forums: Index > Wiki proposal votes > User talk page blanking policy (Vote)

Following the discussion about removing comments from user talkpages I hereby suggest a change in the policy. Here's the addition to the policy for the rule and how to handle any blocking:

Users are not allowed to remove comments from a talkpage or blank them, other than to remove insults/harassment or by archiving it (allowed after 40 posts or 32kb of talkpage content). Administrators need easy access to a users' talkpage history. When in doubt if a post can be removed, consult an administrator.
If a user talk page is blanked by a user an admin has the right to revert the blanking unless it was done to remove harassment or insults. If the user blanks their talk page more that 3 times it will be considered an edit war at which point, another admin (not the admin already reverting the page blankings) can step in and perform a ban as required.

A Yes vote counts for the suggested change in the policy, No means no change.



  • Yes I find that fair now. Still a little wary of the archiving minimun, but nonetheless, the amendment looks good. --Bunny2.jpgBubble.png 21:06, March 4, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Dragon.jpg Skål!
  • Yes I don't see a thing wrong with the change. I for one have always been against the kind of censorship the old policy allowed; that which makes oneself look better by removing messages that show them in a negative light. Its nice to see that kind of stuff stopped. VictorFaceMonitor.png Victor the Insane Cowboy Robot 05:45, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Agent c 10:09, March 5, 2012 (UTC). See the other vote pages for my comments.
  • Yes Finally, let's get this vote over and move on :) Yes Man default.pngUser Avatar talk.png 11:19, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Jspoel Speech Jspoel.png 14:30, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Ncrsmellsfunny--Ncrsmellsfunny 15:49, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes GobTheGoul (talk) 17:47, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Damn Skippy (Thats Alabama talk for I agree). --RAMUser talk:Ramallah 18:08, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes MysteryStranger: Trust in the power of Infinity! 20:05, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes It could use more refining. -ΣΔLet's talk! 18:22, March 10, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Another vote :O The Australian Kiwi 21:52, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Limmiegirl Lildeneb.jpg Talk! ♪ 21:55, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Seems reasonable to me. --Arcade Israel Gannon 18:52, March 6, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Finally setting it in stone. --Kastera (talk) 21:58, March 6, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Change of heart, even though it's not the greatest, we will benefit from this. ToCxHawK 23:08, March 6, 2012 (UTC)
No I thought about this again and I don't know why I even put yes in the first place. I never liked this changed anyways no matter what the change was. ToCxHawK 09:39, March 10, 2012 (UTC)
  • No See my comments below and my justification and my subsequent suggestions for amendment to the new policy User talk:Miss.Nicolle"Even In Death May You Be Triumphant" 08:22, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
  • Neutral My position as a bc and the fact that I started this poll and as such I cannot vote either positive or negative, but my opinion is expressed below. --Kingclyde 08:54, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes Seems alright.--For NCR 15:51, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
  • No While this iteration is better with the clause added about how admins are to enforce the new rule, I still believe that this could be done in other more efficient, less intrusive ways. Until I see a better alternative, my position is that this is an unnecessary rule change. The Gunny 380px-USMC-E7 svg.png 18:13, March 10, 2012 (UTC)


[1]Dragon.jpg Skål! 21:00, March 4, 2012 (UTC)

In my time here (and I've always been around in the past 16 months) my experience has been that people 9 out of the 10 cases try to hide a negative comment from an admin/moderator which previously led to a ban on more than one occasion often contained a (serious) warning). That has made it harder for admins to keep track on a users' history. So I think we should add the rule. Jspoel Speech Jspoel.png 14:30, March 5, 2012 (UTC)
But Jspoel, the talk page is usually the last place I look when investigating a user. Usually, the block log and user contributions can give you a good idea of what action to take. They can blank their talk page, but they can't blank those. --Kastera (talk) 22:06, March 6, 2012 (UTC)
That only tells actions that were actually taken, not warnings and advices. Limmiegirl Lildeneb.jpg Talk! ♪ 22:46, March 6, 2012 (UTC)
That got to me too, Kastera, last night. It was often not a block message removal but a serious warning removal. So in that case you wouldn't know if that users already had some bad history. Jspoel Speech Jspoel.png 22:52, March 6, 2012 (UTC)

I am going to probably suffer flack here for what I am about to say but chuff it. Under these new rules, I wouldn't be allowed to remove personal messages that have nothing to do with the Wiki etc. For example, Ci (Guardian of the Wastes) left me a picture on my TP. It took up the whole of the screen. For this, I saved the picture and then deleted it off of my TP. How is it fair I would be punished for this? I suggest that the rules be you cannot remove anything to do with the Wiki (such as ban messages etc) but anything personal is your choice. As for the archives thing, I archive when I get a loads of messages (something I have only done once thus far) but I didn't count the number of messages or the amount of space it took up. Some messages are longer than others so there may be a need to archive before 40. And the argument is that Admins may need to find a message, well here is an idea. Just look in the most recent archive? Seems like laziness in my opinion. Anyway, these are my reasons for my vote. Loves! User talk:Miss.Nicolle"Even In Death May You Be Triumphant" 08:21, March 9, 2012 (UTC)

If an image is too big, just add |thumb after the filename and it will automatically get smaller :) Yes Man default.pngUser Avatar talk.png 08:29, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
It was only a love heart, Yessie :p But I hope people can see my point on personal messages, like if I wrote "I love you!" on someone's TP I think it should be up to them if they want to delete it, mainly to the fact it hasn't got squat to do with the wiki! Rather my loving nature :p User talk:Miss.Nicolle"Even In Death May You Be Triumphant" 08:35, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
I suppose putting it that way, there should be something about removing personal messages. It's not like it would harm anyone if a love heart image is removed. I might drop Jspoel a line about it and see what he feels. Yes Man default.pngUser Avatar talk.png 08:37, March 9, 2012 (UTC)

I am all for implementing policy that makes sure block messages etc aren't deleted, because they are important within the community, but the personal messages should be down to the uer themself, they are personal after all - even if they are in the public domain nobody else will care about something like that really. It is the important Wiki stuff that needs to be protected, fluff like my "I love you!" messages are just that, fluff ^_^ User talk:Miss.Nicolle"Even In Death May You Be Triumphant" 08:40, March 9, 2012 (UTC)

Honestly I think it's just adding too much unneeded bureaucracy and we do not need that. Some admins are making the point about having to go back into the history as "too much work". I proposed people using the page history but that idea got shot down as it was "too much work". Some people seem to think that their time is too valuable to hit a few extra buttons. If you didn't want the responsibility of having to do extra work why did they become admins? My opinion seems to get ignored a lot so it's refreshing to see others with my view point.--Kingclyde 23:02, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
It was explained again and again, it's not just about "too much work". First, you're ignoring the opportunity cots of the extra time spent in hunting down deleted warnings: it could be used in doing something else that's actually productive instead flipping about the history for warnings that may or may not be there. It's just not efficient. Secondly, if you don't have previous personal knowledge of the offending user you wouldn't be able to easily find them, or even search for them at all. Lastly, it's also about transparency: things done and said here should be clearly displayed. The very action of hiding something damages that principle. You already know all of that, so please stop belittling our motivations just you don't agree with it. Limmiegirl Lildeneb.jpg Talk! ♪ 15:11, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
Is it possible for me to leave my opinion anywhere on this wiki without you personally telling me I am "wrong?" I put my opinion so let's leave it at that. So please stop belittling my opinion just because you don't agree with it. Swing that judgmental hammer away from me. If you notice this will pass. It is nice to know that the "Goddess of the Ban Hammer" (which is an inappropriate name for an admin to possess) really doesn't care to let people leave their opinions without making a rather large argument. You made your point, why can't I make mine?--Kingclyde 23:02, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
I'm not belittling your opinion, nor am I criticizing you for it. I'm criticizing you for passing out our motivations as if they were just our being lazy, when you know very well that there's more to it than that. Strawmanning is rather dishonest, that's all I'm saying. And the "Goddess of the Banhammer" thing is just an ironical statement, I'd think that was pretty clear. Not that that I plan to keep it for long, nor that this is the time or place to discuss it. Limmiegirl Lildeneb.jpg Talk! ♪ 20:48, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
If you are not belittling my opinion, why are you now accusing me of strawmanning. This my opinion and I am not asking you to agree with it I feel that I should be able to leave it without being called dishonest. For christ's sake I'm the one who authored this poll. This bickering needs to stop. You left your opinion, I left mine. I do not appreciate being called dishonest for leaving my opinion.--Kingclyde 23:02, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
I'm accusing you of strawmanning because that's what you're doing. Our motivations were explained to you several times, so you know very well what they are. You instead chose to portray them as merely our not wanting to do work because that's a whole lot easier to refute. That's the very definition of strawmanning. I'm not demanding you to agree with our position either, just that you stop passing it off as laziness. Also I'm not calling you dishonest, I'm calling your statement dishonest. The distinction isn't exactly subtle. Limmiegirl Lildeneb.jpg Talk! ♪ 21:15, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
If it were up to me, the rules would merely be:
"Do not remove messages from an administrator or moderator from your talk page".
The rest of it, I really couldn't care less about. Yes Man default.pngUser Avatar talk.png 08:59, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
That is probably how it should read but now we need to let this finish before we can make amendments.--Kingclyde 09:05, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
Clyde, I completely agree with you. And Yessie, exactly. To the people who are tagging on "it isn't perfect but it will do" to their votes, it is up to us to make it perfect; not just roll over and take what we are presented with. Our job is to question the policy and refine it so it makes sense. And the policy that makes most sense is "Do not remove messages from your talk page from Admins/Mods regarding vandalism you have done, bans, blocks etc." It covers what is most important, the retaining of messages that NEED to be here. As for archiving, just do it when you get loads of messages. User talk:Miss.Nicolle"Even In Death May You Be Triumphant" 09:04, March 9, 2012 (UTC)

I am in support of this policy addition because of transparency issues. The fact is, every word everyone says here needs to be taken into account, not just messages from and to mods and Admins here. Limmie had a point in that if someone blanks their talk-page unnoticed, how are we to know if we need to go through their history to see how they deal with other users? Even then, and we do decide to go through their history, why should we have to spend 10-30 minutes digging through their history when we could easily just go through an archived page that they've kept? There's an actual point to this policy change, but there's no point to deleting anything here unless the content in question expresses someone's ideology, if it's blatant vandalism/spam, or if it's content such as what Nicolle just pointed out. For instance, if we have a sexist user here who has made some questionable comments on their page/talk-page or leaves such a comment on another user's talk-page, I want that message to be as clear as day for us to find and take into account, even if it takes us days or weeks to notice it. After matters have been dealt with, that content can be archived so it's no longer an eye sore to any passerbys, but it's still there if we need to reference back to it if that user creates any future incidents. It undermines our efforts if content like that is constantly being deleted by shady users. Dragon.jpg Skål! 15:34, March 9, 2012 (UTC)

I guess next to allowing removal of harassment and insults, you could also include personal messages. I mean, removing a skype adress, personal image or moving a present to a user page and the user not knowing of the policy and not asking an admin, would be in violation, while they're not. And there may be a few examples more in which case I personally wouldn't revert a talkpage comment. But I think that's pretty well covered by the policy rule: 'has the right to', saying some exceptions can be made. That gives the admin a bit more freedom to see if a revert is necessary. Jspoel Speech Jspoel.png 21:25, March 9, 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's one good aspect of this proposal. -ΣΔLet's talk! 13:57, March 10, 2012 (UTC)

i could have sworn i already solved this crisis... i shall say again:this issue has arisen from people deleting block notification messages. so instead of blocking and leaving a message, have a page dedicated to listing current blocked users, why they are blocked, who blocked them, and until when they are blocked. this page can then only be edited by people with admin privellages. problem solved GRANDMA AWAAAAAAYYY!!!The lone wanderer's bad-ass grandma 20:34, March 10, 2012 (UTC)

Read my next comment up from here and you'll see why that doesn't solve all of our problems in this case. ;) Dragon.jpg Skål! 20:43, March 10, 2012 (UTC)

This shouldn't be a rule. If you want to blank your page, go ahead. Kingclyde himself suggested that you should be able to see the user's contributions or the page's history to now what you're referring too.
But I imagine if someone blanks their page without an excuse, the admins keep an eye on that pal. A wrong action, and you're going down. No need to make mandatory rules, but this just affects your reputation and you already become a suspect -- 12:54, March 11, 2012 (UTC)

But how does one know which particular entry in the history the needed information is on? There can be countless revisions on any given page. Agent c 19:08, March 11, 2012 (UTC)


Vote passed. Rule will be added shortly.

Policy vote forum overview
GuidelineUser conduct guideline
Amendment 1Comment policy · Vote · 18 January 2011 · 4-3
Amendment 2Talk page blanking · discussion · Vote · 11 March 2012 · 16-4-1
Amendment 3Signature image size · Discussion · Vote · 24 January 2013 · 8-3-0
Amendment 4Multiple accounts · Discussion · Vote · 15 June 2013 · 8-2
Amendment 5Article talk pages · Discussion · Vote · 15 October 2013 · 8-2-1
Amendment 6Plagiarism enforcement · Vote · 27 August 2015 · 13-0-0
Amendment 7Mandatory edit summaries · Vote · 8 October 2021 · 18-10-2
Amendment 8Editing user and talk pages · Discussion · Vote · 8 April 2022 · 11-0-0
Amendment 9Multiple accounts and block carryover · Discussion · Vote · 8 April 2022 · 11-0-0
Related topicsAdministration policy