RationalWiki's 2019 Fundraiser

There is no RationalWiki without you. We are a small non-profit with no staff – we are hundreds of volunteers who document pseudoscience and crankery around the world every day. We will never allow ads because we must remain independent. We cannot rely on big donors with corresponding big agendas. We are not the largest website around, but we believe we play an important role in defending truth and objectivity.

If everyone who saw this today donated $5, we would meet our goal for 2020.

Fighting pseudoscience isn't free.
We are 100% user-supported! Help and donate $5, $20 or whatever you can today with PayPal Logo.png!

Donations so far: $1050Goal: $3000

RationalWiki talk:Community Standards/Archive1

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Can I assume from the statement no deletion permitted you mean no deletion of substantive material, or for political reasons? Just clarifying for our viewers. ;-) Flippin-shhh 12:59, 23 May 2007 (CDT)

Meant it in regards to a talk page, I don't know for anything else. No one has said yet. Tmtoulouse 13:02, 23 May 2007 (CDT)


Wiki Newbie question.[edit]

In "style" we are asked to "use permanent links or diffs" and in "Site Structure" we're asked to use the appropriate namespaces. Would it be possible to have some simple (that is to say idiot proof) instructions on how to do this?--Bob_M (talk) 15:00, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

Yep. I'll write some later. ----Linus(plot evil tech) 15:08, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Cheers. Thanks Linus.--Bob_M (talk) 15:14, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Hi Bob, I think we have an article on namespaces, linked from the front page. Newbie input here is critical, as it is important that things like this are written so everyone can understand them. As far as the thing about links and diffs, I am guilty of pretty much writing that phrase - as a non-newbie, and not considering newbies thoughtfully at all. If I see nothing linked from that phrase, I will go write a short article about what it means, linked from the page the phrase is on. Again, your comments will be invaluable, and you might be able to make them on the talk pages of the various explanatory sub-pages. Cheers humanbe in 19:34, 5 June 2007 (CDT)
Bob, see Help:Linking_style humanbe in 19:58, 5 June 2007 (CDT)

Request for Community Comment[edit]

I'd like some community comment on Conservapedia:Blatant plagiarism/Edwin Meese III and its associated talk page. In particular:

  • is my quoting a private conversation to rebut a point made by another editor problematic?
  • is the article in the right namespace?
  • was my response to TK's (now removed) rebuttal appropriate in general? How should we decide when to just let the other side have the last word?
  • was TK removing his rebuttal appropriate?
  • If so, what if anything should be done with my response to that no-longer-evident rebuttal?

--jtltalk 19:11, 5 June 2007 (CDT)

I've since modified the page; this was the current version when I posted this request for comment. Further comments would still be very welcome! --jtltalk 00:06, 6 June 2007 (CDT)

Comment by Human[edit]

In order, my opinions:

  • I think using a p. conv. goes over the line, yes, as much as the other person in question "prefers" to conduct his "business" out of the public space.
  • Yes, so far. As are some of the other plagiarism articles, they about another website (CP), not the author. IE, WP has had endless, I am sure, copyvio articles, but they get rid of them as fast as possible. The gist of the plagiarism articles here is that the website in question does not do anything about them.
  • Yes, I think so. The other editor claims "The fact they offer them self yet another section to re-butt the rebuttal shows their disingenuous, non-intellectual intent." when in fact it is a common practice (see many mgazines' letter sections). It's your article, or, at least, "ours". So we decide. What gets interesting is that apparently the CP editor/author/accused is also an editor here, responding as one, and hence part of the "we" that decides. We don't have to offer any space or rebuttal at all (although it is good form), and probably the only reason it occurred here is that the rebutter is a member of this site.
  • As an openly edited article (not an essay), yes, TK can remove anything he wrote, as any editor can. Reinserting it would be pointless, as it then has the low value of "something someone said and retracted within hours".
  • You rewrite your response however you want (or remove whatever about it is now meaningless). One thing that I think the article could use, if it is clear, is whether or not there was a "principal" author, and how many, if any, sysops/admins etc. at that site have edited or otherwise "ok'd" the article since it was written.

Further comment: From the redacted rebuttal, "Since I acutally worked for the man, and that is well known, it is most likely the bits the accuser here gathers greedily as "evidence" are actually themselves cut and paste jobs from my own work product, years ago." If this is true, it should be claimed as such, clearly, and if at all possible backed up with a reference or three. If not classified, government work is P.D., right? And if the other editor wrote them years ago, why is he or she not credited as the source (prior to the published material presented)? humanbe in 19:31, 5 June 2007 (CDT)

Blocking by aggrieved parties[edit]

I blocked User:TK for this edit. DocSock reasonably asked "I don't disagree with the sentiment of the block, however, should we let the aggrieved party do the blocking?" This seems like the right place for that discussion, and hopefully it won't be just me and the Doc. My thoughts are conflicted on the issue. In the best possible world, no, I wouldn't have done that block; some other sysop would have. That's counterbalanced by the desire to not let disruptive behavior fester, however. For our Fibonacci blocking scheme to work, there need to be blocks for most of the blockable actions, or we get to a point where the obviously "right thing" is a long block, but there's no documented history behind it. Also, the sooner the user is told what the problematic behavior is, the sooner he or she can try to correct it (although in this case, the user is well aware of the problem, and chooses not to correct it). In this case, there was a 6 1/2 hour gap between the behavior and the block, which I took as long enough for someone else to do the block if they were going to. The other possibility of course is that I'm alone in thinking the edit in question deserved a block. If that's the case, I need to know that, and I should probably be blocked. --jtltalk 13:33, 19 June 2007 (CDT)

You were fine in the blocking action, the comment did merrit a block. I shall reblock him for the time being so as to not label you as an over agressive admin.--TimS 13:44, 19 June 2007 (CDT)

Thierry Henry never takes penalties he wins. Call it the Henry Rule. If you're insulted someone else must do the block. If no other sysops are online you may block pending arbitration? Maybe a Block COI page for documenting these cases? (though guilty until proven innocent - so maybe a warning that the incident is going on the COI page and permission to block if further insults happen after the warning?) δαιισρΗταλκ 13:44, 19 June 2007 (CDT)
I'm with you there, jtl. Obvious cases (in this case, even after filtering out borderline material, we've got the usual terrorist remark, the puny dick, shitty mind, and putting words into your mouth) should be punishable by an involved party. Heck, I'm surprised we're still at just 3 hours in the case of a guy who has a lengthy history of trolling here. If we introduce a quasi-rule about how only an uninvolved party may block, you can bet on TK being the rule-exploiter he is and creating all-out troll fests with large numbers of sysops only to go all "NYAH NYAH YOU CAN'T BAN ME!" --Sid 13:49, 19 June 2007 (CDT)
I agree in principle with jtl's action and Sid's comment. If possible, any aggreived party should find a 3rd party to determine if a block is warranted and do it. However, sysops are also expected to display the ability to evaluate situations. I never blocked TK for direct insults because they were usually in the middle of heated discussions. I also never asked anyone else to arbitrate, either, though. This particular instance was quite clear and justified. There is a certain value to the block being as close in time to the offense as possible. If a sysop is in doubt about a situation they are a party to, they can always ask someone (anyone) else to discuss the matter. One more thing, I think the user in question's talk page is where such discussion should take place, not some arcane special page that most of us won't know exists. humanbe in 14:08, 19 June 2007 (CDT)
  • Thanks Human, however you cater to the little blackmailer, and you moved the convo to where the accused cannot post, typical of Liberals who tolerate no disagreement. The solution is simple, remove him as a sysop, or at least agree he will no longer be my minder...then there can be peace. --TK/MyTalk 17:25, 19 June 2007 (CDT)
The discussion was not moved from your talk page, and it was not moved to your talk page simply because it didn't belong there. It started on Conservapedia Talk:Sysops (which also was the place where you made the edit that got you blocked for 2.5 hours AND which happens to be a place where you wouldn't have been able to post then, either) and was continued here because it's about Community Standards, not about you being temporarily blocked for accusing jtl of being a terrorist with a small penis. Please try to stay on topic while posting here. If you have something to contribute (other than calling people names and stuff like that), then you are free to do so (once your new ban expires again, of course). If you need a reminder, this discussion is about: "Should a sysop do a ban if he is involved in the conflict?" --Sid 19:11, 19 June 2007 (CDT)
Dang, I wuz gonna cuss out TK and gladly take a little blocky-thang for it, but Sid went and defused the situation. Friggin' diplomats, how can we ever start a shootin' war with you around? humanbe in 19:41, 19 June 2007 (CDT)

<-- I heard TK make fun of your mom ... now go with the cuss out! Jrssr5 07:30, 20 June 2007 (CDT)

Eh, I heard your mom make fun of TK, so things are even... humanbe in 11:34, 20 June 2007 (CDT)

Deletion of talk page material[edit]

It should be said in the article that this guideline does not apply to unfunny vandalism, such as the guy who replaced talk pages and the main page with random characters. ɧєɭıסş-get sunburn! 13:30, 2 July 2007 (CDT)

This needs to be gone over and improved for RW2.0 ColinRtalk 00:12, 22 May 2007 (CDT)

Please feel free, I am only a lowly editor trying to help. You are obviously also welcome to wipe it and start fresh. humanbe in 00:14, 22 May 2007 (CDT)
I apologize if I came across in a condescending tone, I appreciate your help, I was just trying to make sure they were edited. ColinRtalk 00:56, 22 May 2007 (CDT)

(I also entered here: As (if) consensus is reached on any of these, let's simplify the "guideline" to the consensus view, and copy the discussion to this talk page. humanbe in 00:14, 22 May 2007 (CDT))

I moved this from [RationalWiki:Guidelines] so that we can move consensus guidelines over there. Do any of these have consensus yet? Tmtoulouse 10:43, 22 May 2007 (CDT)

Yes, this is a better place. I think if you read through, there are 2 or 3 that are fairly unopposed, in a sense. Another 2 or 3 seem to have all the words they need to be edited into the main version. I also see you moved a few to a "style" section, that makes sense as well. I don't think there's any rush on this, we might as well make sure we do a decent job of figuring this stuff out, so newcomers get to read something clear and simple (and relatively stable) if they go there. Also, Trent, could you or Colin write RationalWiki sometime (it's linked from the front page, after all)? The reasons for being here, what we are, etc.? I think one of you put it quite well over at AKJ's blog yesterday. humanbe in 12:05, 22 May 2007 (CDT)
Id say all but a few of the rules are ready. We can change them later anyways. -ĬŴΣĐĝё 00:11, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

Quote Mining[edit]

On Talk:Main Page, there's talk about inviting, or at least accepting, conservatives coming over here and debating on even ground. I think that's a good idea and all, but what about when someone like Conservative comes to try to "teach" us how wrong we are on his favourite subject? Is there something in the guidelines to help prevent him from using his signature style? --Kels 07:44, 23 May 2007 (CDT)

While I think that it would be nice to have a rule that speaks for something like... uh... intellectual honesty (Yes, this suggestion sounds better and better, the longer I think about it!), I think Conservative's style will pretty much fail here since he doesn't have sysop power or bureaucrat backing here.
And Natural Selection (zing) will take care of the rest: He may try it, people will ask him to supply the full sources, he will demand that people find sources that explicitly say that his sources are incorrect, people will say "Whatever" and move on, he will be all alone, barking up some random tree. --Sid 10:41, 23 May 2007 (CDT)
I think, relative to the section title, that simply requesting that references actually lead to the source being quoted will slow him down a lot. Those QM's he loves to paste around on CP all reference places like AIG, not the place the people are being "quoted from". Also, speaking of those specifically, they are relatively easily "refutable", we just forget (?) that on CP, those refutations were not permitted to see the light of day. humanbe in 11:20, 23 May 2007 (CDT)
Good point. But since that would only lead to "In the paper which is not online, blah said" quotes, I'd refine it to

When quoting or referring a source, refer the source directly. If the source is not available online, you must be able to supply any section of the source (for example: "the paragraph in which it appeared") on request. If you don't have access to a source, didn't read the source, or are unwilling or unable to discuss it, do not use it.

or something like that. Would be one of the harsher rules, though. --Sid 12:30, 23 May 2007 (CDT)
Regarding Human's comment regarding slowing conservative down by having refutations right there, I've done a little wandering around looking at other conversations Conservative/kdbuffalo/Ken DeMyers has gotten into, and that doesn't really seem to phase him much. Mostly he just ignores refutations, adding exponentially to his Big Wall O' Blockquotes, or tries to steamroll them, answering each one with long digressions that essentially ignore the point. Not that I think there should be any rule beyond the one proposed here, it's a good one. Just saying we should brace ourselves for a battle should he actually arrive. --Kels 05:11, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

I wonder if the scenario of "Conservative" coming here and attempting to "teach us how wrong we are" is really any different than some of the users here who did and do the very same thing to that lost soul on CP? Talk amongst yourselves, please! --TK /MyTalk 05:21, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

It's a fair enough question TK, but I think there are some important differences. Particularly Conservative's tendency on CP to fill articles with quotes that he retrived en masse without reading them in their original context, and using them in a way that twists or even reverses the original meaning. When he's been challenged on that he refuses to engage in a discussion, which suggests to me that either he never read the original sources or that he knows he's misusing the quotes, or both. There's nothing at all wrong in general with Conservative or anyone else coming to RW to try to change minds - it's a question of doing it honestly. Diabhal 00:34, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
One problem. I have frequently taken notes from books I check out from the library, and return the books. If challenged, it may take some time to reaquire the book. But in general, I agree. I have seen what I thought were evolutionists cutting and pasting inaccurate summaries of sources found elsewhere on the internet--no allegations here, this was in another life. HGHeart of Gold tx 00:39, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
That's not such a problem - at least you had the book in your hands, and presumably it's in other libraries. Con's QMing were out of context, and the links were to AIG. Not the "source", and the sources are hard to get one's hands on. I still have a list to go look up in the UNH library... someday... oh yeah, I got banned, can't refute him "there"... humanbe in 00:53, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
With regard to asking for sources, we could be looking at a contradiction as we're also going to allow original work- or at least that's the where the debate seems to be going. In other words if we ask for a source the reply could simply be that it's original work.--Bob_M (talk) 09:21, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
I don't really see a problem there - if it is original work, it should be in the essay space. Even there, unfounded assertions of facts can be discussed on the talk page by others. In regular articles, if a factual assertion or quote isn't supported, at some point it should be removed. The OR part would be deduction, induction, synthesis, etc., which, as longg as the logic is decent, we would allow in articles. Right? humanbe in 12:42, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
OK.--Bob_M (talk) 12:45, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

Personally, I believe we should only use quotes in cases of a person's position on a matter and not as a sweeping statement often associated with Conservative's style. For example on CP's Theory of Evolution Farce, Conservative uses the quotes as supporting evidence for his position, sometimes as the primary evidence. We should try to avoid this practice and leave the POV of the article to the reader by not placing quotes of others for their stances. For example, a Darwin page could hold many quotes from Darwin and quotes about Darwin while the evolution page can remain quote free. We need to keep in mind that a quote is just something that a particular person believes and is not an objective representation of what is factual as such to keep things objective we should refrain from subjective content. That is just my 2 cents.--TimS 13:38, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

Copyright/left/up/down/whatever[edit]

Being the resident artist (although I haven't contributed much of my stuff as yet, I'm workin' on it!), I release a lot of my stuff under the Creative Commons attribution-share alike-no commercial use license, at least where I don't note that a piece is free of copyright. How does this work in with the existing copyright policy in the works?

If you specifically wish to submit under a different copyright you can, I think it just has to be equal to or less as far as restrictions go compared to GNUFDL. The CC stuff falls under that category, as does public domain. Tmtoulouse 00:10, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
That's what I thought, but I figured I'd run it by wiser heads than my own. My stuff is normally copyable, but with attribution, share-alike and not for commercial use. I think that fits in with your stuff. Things I do specifically for RW, we can discuss whether to do that or copyright free, whatever. --Kels 00:13, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
Tmt, are you sure the cc-nc licenses are GFDL compatible? I don't have as much experience with the GFDL as with the GPL or LGPL, but under those licenses the 'non-commercial' would count as a use restriction and be incompatible, I'm pretty sure. --jtltalk 00:25, 25 May 2007 (CDT)
Well, this is the one I use through deviantART, it's pretty standard I think. You can check it out and see if it fits. --Kels 00:27, 25 May 2007 (CDT)

Behind Closed Doors[edit]

I'm curious if there's any plans for a policy regarding offsite, un-archived Sysop discussions? We've all seen the CP Sysops (most notably TK but he's hardly alone) insisting that conversations be taken to IRC, email, IM, or whatever, to keep the "dirty laundry" out of public sight. I can understand doing this if your goal is to avoid showing "weakness" and to keep things from the general membership, but as this wiki, in classic wiki style, is run by the users, shouldn't we have a policy about this stuff? It would definitely come under transparancy and accountability, so we should at least discuss it. --Kels 14:35, 26 May 2007 (CDT)

I absolutely agree about discussing it, and your point about "secret" discussions. Even on here, one of TK's pet tactics was to bring up something from teh end of a fight somewhere else, as in "so and so tried to pwn me just an hour ago" and once I saw him do it dishonestly, havign just been at the page he was referring to.
I also think we don't need rules to stop us from being as ridiculous as CP in some ways - this being one. personally, I have some conversations with Trent, and we have made all sorts of decisions about other users that they will never know about but I would never think of introducing a "well, Trent said this to me in private" as content in a debate over anything here. (I was mostly making sure I was going to move some files the way he wanted me to, then we dished on TK for a couple of hours) And I think anyone who tried would be laughed out of town in this place. Which is a Very Good Thing. In other words, we don't need a rule here to fix a problem that occurs in a place with an almost diametrically opposed philosophy.
And, to wrap up, as I said first, discussing it makes total sense. If there is anything resembling consensus that we need a rule guideline of some sort, my comments in the middle paragraph are just part of the process of getting there.
Oh, here's an idea - since sometimes it is so much easier for two people to discuss something on IM or the phone - how about anytime that happens and some sort of important discussion occurs or decision is made, the parties should jointly publish a summary of their conversation? humanbe in 15:12, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
I was thinking something of that nature, actually. I don't know whether we need a policy or not, as you say, but it's something we should be aware of. Goddess knows, there are enough naturally curious people here that want to know all the ins and outs of how the place is being run, and having something discussed in some sort of virtual Star Chamber really leaves a glaring hole in the record.
I would be very happy just to have the matter discussed, and maybe even a statement of intent that the Sysops/Admins/Praetors will keep us plebes informed of anything substantial. --Kels 15:23, 26 May 2007 (CDT)
Perhaps we could develop a "sysop honor code" template that can be displayed on sysop/user pages. No unexplained blocks, no private discussions of import that are not published, uh, I don't know what else? humanbe in 19:18, 27 May 2007 (CDT)


Like this:
BrainMop.png As a confirmed mustard jar for taking on this job as a Sysop on RationalWiki: I pledge to only block users if they ask for it, or insert unfunny vandalism.
I furthermore pledge that if I indulge in secret private conversations about you, we will make a formal report to the mob. Is that all?
If you impugn my motives without warrant, or challenge my "AUTHORITY", er, there is nothing I can or will do.


humanbe in 21:30, 28 May 2007 (CDT)

Where No Non-CP Refutations Go?[edit]

I'm working on something, but I don't know what namespace to put it in, given that the original is not from CP. Essay? RationalWiki? Mainspace? --Kels 09:25, 27 May 2007 (CDT)

A section called Crackpots?Prof0705 09:31, 27 May 2007 (CDT)
I think essay. ɧєɭıסş-get sunburn! 01:39, 2 July 2007 (CDT)
Mainspace. Unless it's something you don't want others editing, then, essay. Link, please? humanbe in 02:58, 2 July 2007 (CDT)

TK calling Human on the carpet for nasty, mean remarks[edit]

  • Let's answer first your penchant for making nasty, mean remarks to some people first, eh? "YOU WILL NOT BE MISSED" and things like that, shall we? No. Let's not, because all you do is make excuses for yourself, and palce the blame on someone else. --TK/MyTalk 00:58, 15 June 2007 (CDT)
Feel free to bring that up on my talk page, if you like. ... humanbe in 01:01, 15 June 2007 (CDT)
  • Just like what usually happens when something is questioned, (sub)Human. Why don't you answer the questions? You allowed me to be badgered the same way, and actually posted saying I should answer! Come on! Stop and smell the roses! Have some fun! This is all in fun, Human!
(Copying edited to a new section, if you prefer to discuss it here)

What is your question, TK? I wandalized your talk page with a rude message. Why? Well, because one of us is a complete jerk, and I think we disagree on which one of us it is. Do you want an apology? Sorry, I don't regret doing it, I would do it again, and still feel the same way. So you can add this comment to your quiver of insults, disrespect and under-appreciation. Night night, I'll be back tomorrow, surely. Unless, of course, you manage to get my account here terminated. humanbe in 01:22, 15 June 2007 (CDT)


  • I think the following pretty much sums up this place:

04:37, 23 May 2007 Tmtoulouse (Talk | contribs) deleted "Conservapedia:TK" (shoot me in the morning, but can we wait till we get guidlines up till we go after individuals? )

Just like the other "Proposed Guideline" that had to do with retro-actively making things apply to me. It was removed after I pointed out how you guys operate. How many more examples will it take before you all just admit what you did, same and worse than anything ever done to you at CP, apologize, and I will do the same, and we move on? --TK/MyTalk 03:04, 15 June 2007 (CDT)

TK, to take my example at CP, the 90/10 rule was introduced while I was having a "discussion" with Andy and Karajou. Andy decided he didn't like me so he blocked me infinitely for retrospectively breaking the rule before it was a rule. I was not involved in any vandalism, I was simply trying to keep some people honest (i.e. homosexuality, slaverly) and to try to understand why CPers think the way they do (fundamentalism genuinely fascinates me). I was not allowed back to CP (or given a chance to get my stats up, which should have been the very least that happened). I admit that I was having some fun with it, but I was being 100% honest while there and anything I said on discussion pages was 100% my opinion and I got banned for it; my only compromise was that in all my discussions I allowed for the fact that God exists and the Christian Bible was written by his followers. You're still on this site and are allowed to express yourself wherever you want - without compromise. How is that "worse" than what happened to me, and others, at CP? One thing, which I am honestly confused about... Is it a 90/10 rule or a 10/90 rule (talk/edits)?αιρδισΗταλκ 03:39, 15 June 2007 (CDT)
  • Whle I never knew the particulars about your "case" Airdish, as what Sysop would on any site, unless directly involved, I can understand why it happened. Before continuing, before my page was repeatedly filled with hate and invective from some of the retarded members here, I had an offer there. If you want to come back, let me know. I have been given permission to reinstate any of the blocked (Liberal) members.
  • My only expressed POV about anyone more Liberal than Andy (and that does include me, Hoji, several other Sysops) using CP and then arguing constantly about things fundies don't agree or like, is why? Can you at least see my logic there? I don't seek out Christian Scientists, take them to lunch and argue with them, telling them why they are "wrong" IMHO. Do you? Do you see me arguing with Andy over that kind of stuff? No. Would you go to a Catholic wiki, and argue with the Nuns over abortion? I hardly think so. So my only conclusion is, some people come to CP because its a Conservative wiki, and just hate the idealogy. Do you see me arguing idealogy here? NO. Because this wiki has a reputation of being very nasty to Conservatives in general, even people considered by most as Moderates have been driven off this place. Anyway, that's my thinking on the matter. If how you describe it above is 100% true, I think Andy was unfair. Maybe he had a bad day, it happens. I can't undo what happened, but I can, and will undo your block, and if you follow the rules there, I think everyone would love to have you. --TK/MyTalk 04:43, 15 June 2007 (CDT)
Please, everybody, remember, that I am the original "SUBHUMAN" per TK's "lulz". Make me famous! As if. humanbe in 03:00, 2 July 2007 (CDT)

Do we have a "no advertising" guideline?[edit]

Well? ~~ CЯacke® 23:44, 7 July 2007 (CDT)

As in what? No banners? No links to our businesses? No links to any for-profit sites? No spam by IPs? humanbe in 18:45, 16 July 2007 (CDT)

Proposed more aggressive block policy at sysop discretion[edit]

I propose that, having some more experience with real vandals now, we make the following things clear. At a sysops discretion (knowing another can always undo it if deemed extreme), the block sequence can start at

  1. one minute, for silly, easy to fix one-off vandalism.
  2. one hour, for more serious vandalism that will take time to clean up.
  3. one day, for hard violations, such as editing another user's page, uncalled-for abuse, or libel/slander

I also propose, again at sysop discretion, that two sequences be available:

  1. Fibonacci (1,1,2,3,5,8..) for lesser offenses, mere knuckle-rapping
  2. powers of two (1,2,4,8,16,32...) for people who really don't seem to "get it"

In either case, explanations are always to be left on the user's talk page so they

  1. know what they did wrong and
  2. know what the next block will consist of

What do we think? (please comment below to leave what I wrote readable) humanbe in 13:11, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

Sounds good to me. For really aggressive vandalism the 1123 may be too gentle.--Bob_M (talk) 14:26, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I like the minutes/hours rules, not sure the days is needed though. Also think having 2 block sequences is going to make things too complicated - we should just stick with the fibonacci - it racks up soon enough. Also I think it should be clear that obvious sockpuppets are treated as a single unit, and all sockpuppets should be banned at the same time. The explanations on the users pages it certainly important, and is something I think has been missed slightly with Jeb, since there's no clear site policy objecting to his edits, and he hasn't been made aware of such a policy on his talk page. -- Stevo (talk) 14:37, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I also think it's important not to "panic" re: Jeb, it's easy enough to revert edits and nothing he's done yet has been too serious. -- Stevo (talk) 14:42, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I respectfully disagree. I probably have spent more time cleaning up his shit (a couple of hours) than it took him to do it - partly due to one minute blocking, partly due to not quite having a perfect diff to link for a new block when he returned. In some instances not only quick action is needed, but action that stops them in their tracks. I blocked Jeb2 last night for editing another user page (Jeb Berkeley) for one day and felt no qualms in doing so. Also, as far as "keeping track", that's why we document on the user talk page. The default is fibonacci, of course - for mistakes by genuine people who might contribute. Powers of two gets to nice long blocks quickly for people who don't care at all and just want to seee their tripe on the 'net. Remember that a clearly justified one day block does not ruin someone's life, but can make ours a lot easier. PS, Stevo, I'm going to add your name to the requests for sysop page if you don't mind. humanbe in 14:52, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Surly we should have a system whereby it takes less time to fix vandalism than commit it. --Bob_M (talk) 15:24, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I'm sorry, I wrote that last comment in rather a hurry. When I said "nothing he's done yet has been too serious", I didn't mean that I disagreed with your blocking him, because I don't, as it was completely deserved. I was thinking "not serious" relative to what I can imagine someone with a bot doing. As far as I can see, all Jeb has been doing is creating/recreating pages about ED, uncyclopedia, and Sherrod DeGrippo, and adding links to them on other pages. In my opinion there's nothing here to "panic" about. His edits can be reverted easily (as far as I'm aware it shouldn't take too long, I'm not quite sure what you meen about perfect diffs), and even having them left for a few hours, wouldn't hurt the site at all. But I've not experienced trying to undo his work as you have, and so I thank you for the sysop nomination - I'd be happy to do my bit to help out and see for myself.
Regarding the 2^n blocking, I disagree with this as it seems we've had enough trouble to sticking to just the one system, and with two systems I fear block lengths would soon become more or less arbitrary - it's a slippery slope. I think it's very important to have a rigid and robust blocking policy, so that everyone knows where they stand and are on a level playing field. I think the fibonacci and minutes/hours combination could work well - after two one-minute blocks, if a vandal persists in vandalizing, the next block could be two hours. If he came back as a sockpuppet, the next block would be 3 hours. If he came back under as his original account before the block on the sock had expired, he could be immediately blocked for 5 hours, and so on. Under this system Jeb would already be on about 8 hours - not as much as a day - but I don't think it matters - and if the system is followed rigidly, everyone knows where they are.
The other thing that worried me - while Jeb is clearly a vandal, and you've been doing a good job at combatting him, there wasn't actually any site policy that his material was violating and, I think we certainly needed - before getting too heavy with the blocks - to put a clear statement on his page saying: we don't want anymore uncyclopedia or ED-related stuff, please stop or you'll be blocked for misconduct. This way we can't be accused of being unfair.
-- Stevo (talk) 15:48, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I'd like to see a single policy that we stick to really just to prevent the arbitary sort of blocks that annoyed so many of us on CP. As to site policies, a discussion might be needed to define what we term as vandalism. I'd agree with Stevo that, if we really don't want certain, err, contributions, then the user should be warned in a clear way on their talk page. Just conscious that one person's vandalism is another persons lulz. And I suck at this rules stuff. liessmokemirrors 15:58, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Stevo, there were several "crimes" by jeb - one, creating an attack page on some other person no one knows, and two, editing another user's page - granted, it was his sock editing his original page, but both of those are clear violations. The short block problem is that while you are fixing damage, the vandal is back recreating it before you've even gone through their contrib list. If I had to choose between fibonacci, as cool as it is, and powers of two, I'd choose powers of two. No real editor is ever going to end up blocked for long anyway. Trashbat, I think part of the problem with our very lenient block policy is we tied out own hands in reaction to the outrageous block "policy" at CP. Please keep in mind that a rogue sysop can have their blocks undone by any other, and we, as a groups, tend to discuss these things rationally - which are things that should make us immune to the whole "omigod we're like CP" problem. And, maybe I am oversensitive in that for some reason I have wound up being the one on the scene who had to cope with both our "real" vandals so far. But I won't get the hours I spent fixing crap done *after* the first blocks back. Now, all that being said, if any user turns up here and makes a "sherrod whoever" article I will block them for a day immediately. If it turns out to be a mistake (ie, real, sourced article, other useful edits), I'll unblock immediately and apologize to them on their talk page. If we need a single policy, forget the one minute blocks. One hour does not ruin a life, and gives to repair and discuss. One day for a few heinous sins would be a harmless policy, also. EG, if a new user came in and made multiple serial edits to user page after user page, why should they be able to return in an hour? humanbe in 16:07, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Editing another user's page is against the site rules but I don't think creating the attack page in Sherrod DeGrippo is a clear crime, given some other stuff there's been on this site about certain members of CP. Regarding fibonacci/2^n, I dont mind which (although fibonacci is more elegant), but would prefer just the one. As I've already said, believe in sticking rigidly to a blocking policy, but it seems you would prefer more flexibility, so we'll have to agree to disagree there.
However I don't understand, and I may be missing something here, why you feel such urgency over these things. The site won't suffer if a few unwanted pages exist, and the world won't end if a vandal's edits aren't reverted immediately. One can make a couple of one minute blocks, and see what happens. If the vandal continues (already have a policy for blocking simply for unfunny vandalism), block him for two hours, and clean up the edits in you own time. (However page move vandalism, is a nastier beast and we might need to take steps against that in the future). And as I've said, if I'm given the sysop tools, I'd be happy to help in this.
-- Stevo (talk) 16:52, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I've just given Jeb a warning as an example of the sort of thing I was talking about. It shouldn't be too difficult now to keep blocking him with the reason of "unfunny vandalism". -- Stevo (talk) 17:10, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
As far as the attack page, we may seem to have some nasty stuff - but almost all of it is thoroughly footnoted to diffs whoever it was made. Sequencing - I know the F sequence is elegant, that's why it seduced us. 2^n is also elegant, but also more effective at moving a real vandal into "stay away" time. As far as flexibility, well, it's good to have, but also easy to have it get confusing, so we don't really disagree. Just, say, flexibility whether to jump to "hours" from "minutes".
Now, as far as urgency. It certainly doesn;t matter if a little cleanup is done ten minutes or ten hours later. Or even ten days. But from what I've seen, they stop when we interfere. And not until. NeoNazi was slowed down, and got bored and went away. Jeb runs his little motor here, and I was tempted to let it run and see how far he'd go, but the edit comments struck me as being "out of line". He could have just said, "oh come on, people, have a sense of humor". As far as one minute blocks, I see them as having no effectiveness whatsoever. But in mild cases, they do serve as a "heads up". Of course, so would a comment on their talk page. Note that Jeb moves pages around as he sees fit, also. "clean up the edits in you own time" is the chore I am trying to minimize. Of course, the more people who pitch in, the less anyone has to do. On a few of these, I've been stuck in a position of being, apparently, the only sysop on line at the time, and having to decide what to do - block hard and stop a further mess, or do the one minute things and watch the damage accumulate. Let's face it, when a vandal arrives, they don't tend to make one edit and go away - they go on a spree. It is with relief I eventually see another sysop (or anyone) on the horizon fixing things.
There is one minor "reason for urgency" - if other people make good edits after the vandalism without noticing it, it gets harder to track and fix easily. But we'll worry about that if it ever happens. Now, imagine if someone got into the middle of some major housekeeping, and mucked up temporary holding files, etc. Luckily that's unlikely.
Can you go to the RationalWiki:Requests for Sysop page and comment in the "Stevo for" section so I can act less ambiguously ;) I'd like to see at least a couple of other people chime in before doing it. humanbe in 17:23, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I certainly wouldn't disagree with jumping from hours to minutes if the vandal clearly wasn't paying attention to what you said. So I wouldn't see a problem with jumping from 1 minute to 1 hour, as long you stick to the correct numbers. I still think the 1 minute block is important though. I think we could also do with a "please stop" template like WP. -- Stevo (talk) 17:51, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Some vandals obviously know what they are doing, of course. But anyway, how about a really cool "block" template that can have the blocking sysop, the time period involved, and appropriate links? The "warning" template could be for that first one minute block, IMHO. usage: {{block|Human|2 hours|vandalism}} humanbe in 18:04, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

The page on Sherrod DeGrippo had nothing to do with the ethos of RW (in my opinion, feel free not to agree) and was a pure attack against someone unknown to (most) of us for reasons unknown to us. Fair play, there are ad-hominems against certain leading CP lights but, given the initial nature of this site, that's maybe to be expected. Using RW to launch attacks on random people by random editors doesn't seem to be in keeping with the spirit of RW. liessmokemirrors 17:13, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

I'd certainly agree attacks on random unknowns is against the spirit of RW, but it would be hard to write a policy prohibiting such material without someone pointing to the stuff we have on CP sysops. I think there are two policies that could work instead:
  • In each case gain community consensus that the offending material isn't funny, and then treat subsequent edits as "unfunny vandalism"
  • Have a policy making it a crime to continue editing article pages if someone has (politely) asked you to stop. Obviously the details of that would need working out.
-- Stevo (talk) 17:30, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Agreed re the attacks. So, let's cleanup our own act? No insults or derision that are not supported by good links? We can, after all, wean ourselves off "Assfly" type jokes, I would hope. And still stay funny :) humanbe in 17:35, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I think a "clean up" campaign for the main article space might be a good idea, lets get the personal attacks out from there, the silly stuff moved to ACD or whatever...would be great to have the main space totally presentable. Tmtoulouse 17:39, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I think (and feel free to ignore, got new contract today and am, err, celebrating with booze) that my point hinged on "random unknowns". Posting a critique of those on CP does not constitute random attacks on random people. We know these people (although not biblically) and some (not all) of ad hominem is funny to other users if not outright justified (when documenting cunty behaviour par example). Creating articles, a la Sherrod, about people we neither know nor are of interest to RW with a view to abuse is a totally different kettle of fish (and hence an easier prohibition) than the previous. Otherwise we'd have to find nice things to say about Ann Coulter. And I could only do that AFTER she's dead. liessmokemirrors 17:38, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I haven't read any of the previous discussion cos i've just had lots of beer cos i've got my results, but, there should be some means by which the block length can be increased depending on the specifics of the vandalism. Confirmation sought from at least one other sysop maybe? But when the increase happens it should start at the beginning of the new fibonacci sequence, eg. if you go from 8 mins to hours, it should start at 1 hour? just a thought. But we do need some policy for persistent dickheads wandals.ДιЯɖі$ɧ ɥοםЄʟβЯƏакĐΩωΝ 18:35, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
On your first point, surely that's common sense. If someone repeatedly adds "lol poopy" to a few pages, block them for a short amount of time; if they repeatedly blank pages leaving images of tubgirl, block them for longer. Does that really need to be formally codified into a policy? Mike K 19:11, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

I have no intention of dictating how this site should be run but as a sysop on both Wikipedia and another, smaller wiki (smaller than this one) I could perhaps give my opinion.

  • One minute blocks are possibly the most absurd idea ever; they will achieve nothing. One/two minutes is a short enough duration that it's quite conceivable that the block will expire before the vandal has even noticed it, not to mention that it's also short enough to simply wait out. If the intent is to merely give the vandal a heads up or a "You Are Being Watched" type message (it is true that many vandals stop when they know someone's noticed them), a simple talk page (with the orange banner) will have the same effect, and has the added bonus of not requiring a sysop.
  • Picking a system of block lengths and sticking to it religiously is not a particularly productive approach, especially as the proposed systems (Fibonacci and 2^n) are entirely arbitrary. Why not triple the length of the previous block each time? Or quadruple? Or <insert some other mathematical sequence here>? I mean, rough guidelines are good to, well, guide people, but don't object to a block of six days just because the Fibonacci system says that 5th blocks should be five days.
  • The community here seems small enough that it doesn't need a strict, detailed blocking policy. Everyone here seems to be on the same wavelenght, having roughly the same idea of what should and shouldn't be allowed, how harsh punishments should be, etc. Taking Wikipedia as an example again, with 1,200 sysops and God-knows-how-many users, there are all sorts of people with wildly conflicting opinions and strict standards agreed upon beforehand which everyone is expected to follow are necessary. I don't think that's the case here, but granted I only discovered this site yesterday and my total time browsing it is less than three hours, so I could be totally wrong on this point. Don't make policy for the sake of making policy. Has there been an incident recently where the current guidelines and standards (disclaimer: standards which I haven't read myself yet) have proved inadequate, or haven't worked in some way? Is there a concrete (as opposed to hypothetical) problem that needs to be solved? (not rhetorical questions, btw)
  • Flexibility over rigidity.

Mike K 19:11, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

Regarding Mike's points (thanks for the input!)
  • One minute blocks (& Warning template). This is why this discussion started. They are "fun" but useless in the real world. I agree, perhaps the first step should be a warning template anyone can easily use to alert a would be vandal.
  • I also agree with your comment on rigid block length increments, and and have ruthlessly broken the rules a few times to ge the desired effect.
  • Small community - but we have delusions of grandeur ;)
  • Flexibility within agreed upon bounds is what I prefer. responsible flexibility, always, of course, subject to peer review. humanbe in 19:26, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
One minute blocks act like scarlet letters and I don't really like them, but that's just me. Your last point is pretty much what I was trying to get at above but didn't word particularly well. I'm just used to the unbearable bureaucracy of Wikipedia and would rather that other wikis didn't also bog themselves down in pages upon pages of policy. Mike K 19:49, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Well, I don't know about the scarlet letters, I wear my two justified one minute blocks as badges of honor. I think we shooting for a short list of what constitutes blockable offenses (very short) and something like "sysops can switch the increments in the fibonacci sequence from minutes to hours and back again or hours to days and back again at their discretion". What it comes down to is sometimes needing to fairly rapidly eliminate genuine trolls/vandals. As you can see, we have a lot of minor disagreement, which I think is good - if a sysop contemplating a block read all this first they'd have a good read on what the community thinks. As if we had any sysops who don;t already know (so far). humanbe in 20:03, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
As if we had any sysops who don;t already know - precisely my point. Mike K 20:17, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Mike, your points make sense, and yet...
Many of us met at a wiki where the only real rules seem to be:
  • The sysop is always right.
  • If two sysops disagree, the more obnoxious one is right.
We may well have gone overboard in trying to avoid that trap, but we do have our reasons.
It may be that just having a different attitude is enough. --jtltalk 19:45, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I see what you're getting at. Perhaps we're both overcompensating. Mike K 20:17, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

Templates[edit]

OK I've made a start at a warning template, and a block template. I've left the fibonacci thing on the block template for the moment. -- Stevo (talk) 08:23, 6 July 2007 (CDT)

How to handle deletion[edit]

There will be articles written from time to time which are just plain nonsense, either diliberate vandalisms or becuse someone is overreaching their capabilities or the article is not of interest. We need an AFD process which actually works. I propose that anyone can nominate an article for deletion, but only if they provide a clear rationale why that article is not worthy of being included in RW. The article is then listed on an AFD page by date, latest near the top, but that the debate about the article's deletion takes place purely on the talk page of the article, again at the top. Every article up for deletion gets two weeks; after that time, consensus rules, and the article is kept or archived in a deleted article folder, where it can, if necessary be cannibalised. Decisions about articles are recorded on the AFD page, which should be archived every month. After a period of time (say 6 months or a year), there is an autodelete on dead articles in the deleted articles folder.--CatWatcher 12:26, 24 May 2007 (CDT)

Sounds good to me.--Bob_M (talk) 12:50, 24 May 2007 (CDT)
I agree broadly, but I think we should also have a speedy delete process too. For utter junk, libel, etc. I have no problem being the TK aggressive experimental lightning rod so people can decide whether or not it works. In other words, if I get a lot of crap for doing it, we've learned that whatever I was doing was wrong, and codify it. If there is no fuss, we can try to codify whatever it is we think I've been doing right. humanbe in 14:10, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

Bold text

Deleting and salting[edit]

I think its time we consider the possibility of deleting and salting pages against recreation. The example I am thinking of is Sherrod DeGrippo which is a non-notable person who is being mocked by one user. I think in cases that approach libel and slander we should be able to delete and salt the page. Comments? Tmtoulouse 13:41, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

Yeah, where's my "salt" button? humanbe in 14:08, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I'd agree with that in the case of pointless drivel like the Sherrod DeGrippo article, we should kill it with fire and prevent recreation. Can't see how a pointless ad-hominem page against the supposed ED creator (why do I even know these things?) fits in with this wiki. liessmokemirrors 14:16, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
I agree with the above. But we need some reference points don't we? To be honest we're not short of apparently pointless articles. So - ad-hominems yes. Anything else we need to add, or add as we go?--Bob_M (talk) 14:24, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Given that we are a mobocracy of pretty like minded folks, I'd say add as we go. Any by pointless, I guess I meant "clashes with the spirit of the site". Which in itself is a reasonable guideline IMO. liessmokemirrors 14:29, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Hmm just want to say I don't really like the idea of this, but I guess it could be ok only in cases of libel. -- Stevo (talk) 14:40, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
"we're not short of apparently pointless articles" - actually, check the mainspace. I suspect it is mostly populated with reasonably good articles, or at least subjects. We keep most of our silly lulz at ACD and Recipe. A "useless" article in the mainspace becomes the face of the site when someone clicks "random" a few times. And we are here for a "reason" or "reasons", not to be a repository of random crap. Feel free to school me, though. Hopefully we will have this hammered out well in time for the next real vandal, so the sysop dealing with not only knows exactly what to do, but what they are expected/permitted to do also works. humanbe in 16:12, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

Meta-discussion not related directly to a new guideline proposal[edit]

We're currently discussing them elsewhere, can that be brought over here so we are down to two files (this one and its article?) humanbe in 16:27, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
Yes the idea is to just have the agreed policies on the article page and all discussion on this page. We'll continue the existing discussions over there but any new ones should be started here now. -- Stevo (talk) 16:57, 5 July 2007 (CDT)
No, please, that's too confusing. Can't we just bring it all here? Then we don't have to have links to the "old" file(s) because nothing will be added there. And bring it's archive over here, too, if possible. I like the idea of having it all on just these two pages. humanbe in 17:08, 5 July 2007 (CDT)

The goal of simplicity[edit]

The goal is to consolidate as much as we can on this page and its discussion page. But too much material might be problematic as well. For things that are not really "guidelines" or "standards" and are more technical or in-depth but probably very useful to a new user I would like to provide a "links of interest" section on this page. For example we could link to "how to hand vandalism" wants its finalized, link to the project whitewash "what is a rationalwiki article" and maybe a detailed description of namespaces and what they are used for. Comments? Tmtoulouse 15:44, 7 July 2007 (CDT)

I have gone ahead and implemented this and expanded on as much as I thought I should. I have also integrated some of the more recent discussions into the standards. Tmtoulouse 16:48, 7 July 2007 (CDT)

Content regulation[edit]

After our problems with editors posting racist, pseudoscientific, bigoted articles, etc... I propose we clarify our rules a bit.

We could add something like this to our rules:

We at rationalwiki support free speech and oppose censorship and one-sidedness. However, to keep our wiki readable, comprehensible and most of all consistent we must set limits to what is and what is not acceptable content for our articles.

  • We believe in equality and equal rights for all, whatever their gender, sexual preference, skin-colour, religion or nationality may be.

Edits that undermine our principals of equality will be reverted.

  • We are dedicated to debunking pseudoscience.

Controversial theories that are not backed by at least one Ph.D-holding scientist in that specific field, and do not follow the Scientific method will not be presented as credible theories.

  • Vast liberal/communist, right-wing or Zionist conspiracies have no place on a RATIONALwiki.

These rules apply to all articles and essays. Talk pages are exempted, but please try to remain civil.

MiddleMan 10:30, 14 July 2007 (CDT)

What's a zionist conpiracy,or did you mean conspiracy theories about ZOG?--PalMD-Goatspeed! 10:45, 14 July 2007 (CDT)

You know, like HG has his liberal conspiracy theories, some people believe in a vast Zionist conspiracy. MiddleMan 10:47, 14 July 2007 (CDT)

I might suggest waiving it for essays, otherwise we run the risk of becoming like CP. In fact, it does seem to me to be becoming a bit censorious already… the issue is, there is a place for humor on RationalWiki. --Linus(plot evil tech) 11:09, 14 July 2007 (CDT)

We have to find a balance. We are rationalwiki, not giveyouropinionwiki. I just want to make sure we don't get essays that are racist, demeaning towards women or gays or warn us for the "grand-liberal conspiracy", I mean people have to take us seriously. MiddleMan 11:37, 14 July 2007 (CDT)

" I mean people have to take us seriously" - why? RojerB 12:11, 14 July 2007 (CDT)

Several points, first, would anyone be opposed to me moving this to RationalWiki Talk:Community Standards? Thats really ideally where new guideline discussion should go. I am not sure we have to have a rule per say about this, I think that articles in the main space will naturally become a reflection of the community. Since it is editable by anyone the consensus of the community will dictate the content of the article. For essays, we mark them fairly clearly as original works and encourage people to goto the discussion pages for debate. Maybe for really controversial or far out there stuff thats really sparking debate we can add an additional template telling readers that the essay is "contested" and to see the discussion.

In the end something somewhere is going to have to be deleted that is not a priori a candidate for immediate deletion. Thats where we are going to have to develop an AFD protocol. Which is on my to do list as well....those are my thoughts. 130.113.218.226 12:56, 14 July 2007 (CDT)

Yeah, maybe we shouldn't restrict essays then, but I do believe some clear rules are necessary to keep this wiki consistent, we don't want articles that contradict other articles. MiddleMan 13:08, 14 July 2007 (CDT)

Do you mind if I move this discussion to community standards? tmtoulouse persecute 13:13, 14 July 2007 (CDT)

Nope. MiddleMan 08:11, 15 July 2007 (CDT)

Doo eet! --Kels 15:19, 16 July 2007 (CDT)