Training modules/Dealing with online harassment/slides/closing-actionable-reports
Closing cases: Closing actionable reports[edit | edit source]
Closing an actionable report is a bit more involved, though it is based on most of the same steps.
Usually, your first step in closing an actionable case will be to take any on-wiki action your team has decided on. The timing of this step is important; if it has become necessary to place a block or ban on a user, you want to avoid leaving them in a state of "nothing left to lose," especially if they have advanced user rights that could be misused in retaliation. That will mean placing any blocks or bans first, before notifying the sanctioned user.
There should not be a gap in time where the sanctioned user is left wondering why a sanction has been placed on them; immediately after placing any blocks or bans that are needed, you should notify relevant parties. This will include the sanctioned editor, first; the target or person who reported the case to you, second; and possibly any on-wiki venues your community requires sanctions to be posted in.
When communicating with someone you are sanctioning, keep your statements factual and as non-judgmental as you reasonably can given the situation. Communicate clearly what action is being taken against them and, in general terms, why, and what they can do if they wish to appeal your decision. Even in the context of explaining how to appeal, however, it is not appropriate to provide a sanctioned user with the name of, or detailed information provided by, their accuser or target. As always, you should attempt to communicate with both targets and reported users with empathy.
Remember that in severe cases that involve advanced user rights, you may need to contact a steward or bureaucrat to request removal of those rights, and that these teams may not make instantaneous decisions on such requests. In a case where you must reach out to stewards or bureaucrats for higher-level action, you needn't delay closing your case or taking any necessary local actions unless you have reason to believe that the need for these actions will be affected by the decisions made by the stewards or bureaucrats.