A user is blocked when they are banned from contributing to Halo Alpha completely. They can still view pages, but they cannot edit pages, talk pages, log in, or create a new account. Blocking is done to maintain the smooth function of Halo Alpha and as preventative action against vandals, and violation of Wiki Etiquette.
A user or IP may only be blocked by an Administrator. Blocking can last for different periods of time depending on the infractions.
Reasons for being blocked
Vandalism is the most common cause for blocking on Halo Alpha. Vandalism is any addition, deletion, or change of content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Halo Alpha. The most common type of vandalism is the replacement of existing text with obscenities, page blanking, or the insertion of bad jokes or other nonsense. Fortunately, this kind of vandalism is usually easy to spot. Vandalism also includes adding spam links to pages, and deliberately falsifying information on the page by changing dates, names, or other information.
Note that in order for something to be considered vandalism, it must be done in "bad faith". Though the Internet makes it difficult to determine a person's intentions, problems such as those listed above are obviously done in bad faith for whatever reason. Other problems, such as users testing their abilities to edit, making accidental mistakes, and learning wiki markup, are less clear cut - they can easily be attributed to a new user with good intentions who just does not know how Halo Alpha works. In this instance, you should instead kindly inform that user of how to properly use editing tools to help them along.
There is no warning required for vandalism. Vandals are usually blocked on the spot, the time ranges from 2 weeks to a month depending on the extent of the vandalism attributed to that user. Vandalism of multiple pages sometimes warrants longer blocking periods of three months.
Creating pointless pages
Pages that have nothing to do with the Halo universe create problems for the community. The Frequently Asked Questions page does a good job of outlining what kind of content is irrelevant and should not be created on Halo Alpha. A user who created these pages should be warned about them; note that sometimes information is related to Halo in an indirect way, so a page may not be as pointless as it initially seems.
Repeated creation of pointless pages will result in blocking ranging from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the extent of the infraction.
Halo Alpha has made a clear policy on its About page that intimidating behaviour - harassment and personal attacks are not tolerated. Halo Alpha must have a positive atmosphere so that users can contribute and cooperate in a way that is constructive. Harassment and personal attacks not only drive away potential users, but also damage Halo Alpha by making it a less people-friendly place.
Harassment is a serious infraction on Halo Alpha. Refrain from making personal attacks on another user, even when confronting them about the issues stated above. Users who harass and attack others will be banned for an extended period of time, ranging from a month to a year to four years.
- Definitions of 'intimidating behaviour'
Halo Alpha's definition of 'intimidating behaviour' is the intentional disruption of an individual user's or users' activity with actions which involve the following of specific users across wikis or through their Contributions log. The two are not mutually exclusive terms and definitions vary based on personal mindset. As such, "intimidating behaviour" is a more preferable term to refer to the two. Such examples of intimidating behaviour:
- Pestering users because of actions on another wiki without an attempt to resolve an issue. While the person may be blocked on the wiki in question, what makes it harassment is if they continue to use multiple wikis to specifically annoy users into submission with messages such as "UNBLOK ME PLZZZZZZZZZZZ!"
- Going through a person's Contributions log to revert their edits for no legitimate reason other than to attract their attention- the reverting of vandalism; spam; inaccurate information and poorly-written additions does not, therefore, count as harassment.
- Targeting users with unwanted offensive or sexually-explicit messages.
Point system abuse
Halo Alpha is one of few wikis with an achievement feature. Also referred to as "achievement whoring", abusing the system is when users deliberately make multiple edits on the same page to gain points or advance ranks. Whether this is done on a single article or multiple times, abusing the Halo Alpha achievement system will lead to a ban.