Probation is a state that users may be placed into should it be decided that they are spending too much of their time in editing their user pages and/or forums without making constructive edits. While under probation, users cannot edit pages in the "User:" or "Forum:" namespaces.
Administrators can probate a user once the following criteria are met:
- The user has significantly more user and/or forum edits than other edits (mainspace, template, file, etc).
- The user's constructive edits (if any) are not major or significant enough to justify a higher tolerance for user/forum edits.
- The administrator has suitably warned the user to no appreciable improvement.
There are no hard-and-fast rules for determining these thresholds and are considered on a strictly case-by-case basis. During times where the wiki status is a Yellow or Red, the probation criteria are more sensitive, and both warnings and probation applications should be provided earlier. Additionally, attempting to circumvent this by editing as a sockpuppets to avoid increasing your forum/userspace edits when in risk of probation, will result in an automatic probation regardless.
The length of a probation is dependent on the user's history and the current status of the wiki, and is again entirely determined on a case-by-case basis. In many cases, users deemed to have made no effort to contribute will remain on probation indefinitely until they have made a reasonable effort to do so. In a similar way, users with outstanding contributions have more leeway during times of lower status. When the wiki's status is high, users that are being useful contributors may receive a time-limited probation if they are also spending a lot of time in their userspace, with repeat offenders having successive probations of increased lengths.