RationalWiki talk:Community Standards/Archive2

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Archiving Talk Pages[edit]

Do we have/need a max size for talk pages before they should be archived? RojerB can't edit a lot of talk pages cos he's on a pocket pc or something (before you all shout back and tell me he should get a proper computer look up the floods in north east england in june/july - i'm assuming that's what he's referring to on his talk page.) ДιЯɖі$ɧ ɥοםЄʟβЯƏакĐΩωΝ 05:11, 18 July 2007 (CDT)

Well, I think the Wiki software warns the editor at 32k, but that's based on some browsers not handling the edi twindow well beyond that. I guess a temporary solution for him would be to poat a note at a user's talk page (one that is small) saying what he wanted to say and where, and they could copy it over for him. Are there specific talk pages at issue? Because the whole thing doesn't have to be archived at once, maybe "decided" discussions or off topic ones could be moved out to make space? Which anyone could do anytime... humanbe in 14:04, 18 July 2007 (CDT)


We had a proposed guideline on how to deal with this but it didn't make it to standards. It's under "Superseded1" above. do we need to re-visit this?--Bob_M (talk) 03:50, 2 August 2007 (CDT)

As user User:SusanG has a technical problem which prevents her posting here she has asked me to post the following:--Bob_M (talk) 09:59, 2 August 2007 (CDT)
..... a suggestion for a policy statement? What I've got in mind is: As wandals, trolls, etc are basically attention seekers they should never be fed. Merely knowing that they've caused a little stir will be justification enough for them to repeat. So "revert & ignore" would seem to be a good rule of thumb. Or does this already exist? Am I just restating existing policy? User:SusanG


Growing bigger: do we need a HELP portal?

Keep on wiping until it's clean » 10:43, 12 August 2007 (CDT)

Like RationalWiki:Help I suppose? It could turn into a FAQ as good answers accumulate, and perhaps get saved in sub-files. Let's see how well it works, I'll add mention of it to the Noticeboard and Forums. humanbe in 12:24, 12 August 2007 (CDT)

New guideline.[edit]

I propose we create a new guideline. Pages that do not meet the requirements of RationalWiki article should be created into a soft redirect to wikipedia. - Icewedge 19:08, 25 August 2007 (CDT)

I think its still early in this project to know what pages meet our standards, what pages can eventually meet our standards and what pages will never meet our standards. I am also hesitant to link too much to wikipedia. We shouldn't really be sending our visiters off to another site with out fairly strong reasons for it. tmtoulouse beset 19:26, 25 August 2007 (CDT)
Taking it to the extreme then you could just put a soft redirect on th main page & just keep conservapedia & "according to" here then? Anything else is more deepy explained on WP isn't it? SusanG193.113.235.174 19:28, 25 August 2007 (CDT)
For some stuff yes, but we have many article here you will not find on wikipedia, and certainly not from a rational POV. tmtoulouse beset 19:32, 25 August 2007 (CDT)

Yeah, i was being facetious - it's the relationship between & slant of our articles that makes the site unique. I'd agree with Ice really. SusanG 19:38, 25 August 2007 (CDT)

At this stage if an article does not meet or appear to be able to meet RW standards I think it should be moved to ACD or deleted and links to it removed. I can't think of anything thats so important to RW that it needs a WP link yet that we could not write a good article about using our "standards". tmtoulouse beset 19:40, 25 August 2007 (CDT)
I'm with Trent on this one. There's no point in building a link mill to WP, the point is really to link to our own articles. Um, any dummy can look up a word or phrase we use on WP, I would imagine. We don't need to send them there more than necessary. PS, what is a "soft redirect", and should I be taking expensive prescription drugs to offset its effects, at my age? humanbe in 02:32, 26 August 2007 (CDT)
I agree with Trent and Human on this. Locke User is Vandal/sysop Always Watching...... 02:46, 26 August 2007 (CDT) P.S. To negate the effects of the soft redirect, you must Pwn three pages in two minutes.
Um, as our new resident vandal, I am conflicted!? Do we care what you think or not? Are your goals actually to screw us up, or to make us better?! <totally confused!> Nice job, that's your goal, right? humanbe in 03:28, 26 August 2007 (CDT)
Buahahahahaha!!! Locke User is Vandal/sysop Always Watching...... 03:43, 26 August 2007 (CDT)
Yes, now you must consider, does my support of your plan instantly invalidate it and made Ice's plan the better of the two? Or is it the exact opposite? Or did I just pick at random? And finally, 42...... Locke User is Vandal/sysop Always Watching...... 03:54, 26 August 2007 (CDT)
Um, copy/pasting sigs is so last week, or even, forever ago. Nice try, though. humanbe in 04:17, 26 August 2007 (CDT)
Wait..... wha? Locke User is Vandal/sysop Always Watching...... 04:19, 26 August 2007 (CDT)
Huh, oh? humanbe in 04:25, 26 August 2007 (CDT)

What is this "guideline" thing? What happened to torches and pitchforks? --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 06:17, 26 August 2007 (CDT)

We had to sell them so that we could have enough money to buy soft redirects. But I do have a secret stash of contraband torches stored in Bohdan's user page. ThunderkatzHo! 09:21, 26 August 2007 (CDT)

Efforts to disrupt other sites.[edit]

Following the Samwell incident I suggest that we make it clear that Rationalwiki neither condones nor encourages actions designed to disrupt the running of other sites.--Bob's your uncle 13:39, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

Users who have not followed this may want to see the discussion over at User_talk:Jazzman831#Parthian shot for some background. I am perfectly fine about this but want to choose the wording carefully. I am not the one to do that probably, I am verbose and careless with my phrasings. Can some of our more laconic and focused editors find a way to capture the idea that we do not condone such actions, while at the same will not take action against users that may choose to do that on their own time? tmtoulouse beset 13:42, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
See alsoConservapedia:What is going on at CP?#What is going on? "A day that will live in infamy .... for more detail.--Bob's your uncle 13:59, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

I guess it would be better PR to condemn this sort of action, and it would further our goal of shifting away from CP, and more towards balanced treatment. Aside from also being nicer to CP. I agree for various reasons, which nonetheless will force us to play nicely (tragedy!). I'll draft it if you want.-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 14:07, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

I (n+1) the motion. I figure Ames has a way with words, so a draft would be a good idea, I think. --Sid 15:24, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
"While there is nothing that RationalWiki can do about it, we do not encourage or condone actions intended to disrupt the usability, functionality, or credibility of any other website. Goatspeed!!!" signed, the mob. humanbe in 15:33, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
How about we take no official position, i.e. "RationalWiki neither encourages nor discourages actions on other sites intended to cause disruption to the functionality..... et al." --HVista-epiphany.pngjimachong 15:36, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
Taking no position is a bit of a cop-out I think. Furthermore, if I remember correctly the LA Times article criticized us for these kinds of actions and it would be nice to be able to point to a specific disclaimer. How about: "Although the actions of individual editors are naturally beyond our control, we do not encourage or condone actions intended to disrupt the usability, functionality, or credibility of any other website. Goatspeed!!!"--Bob's your uncle 16:04, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
I like your first clause better than mine. Change "we do" to "RationalWiki does" and it's got my vote. humanbe in 16:17, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
Nix credibility, we are talking about things that disrupt the function and usability of the site. Things that prevent CP from voicing their opinion, but I don't see how we could make the claim that we do not want to do anything that disrupts the credibility of those ideas. tmtoulouse beset 16:33, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
I agree with nix credibility, that's what we're here to do--discredit those places. Although I understand the intent of that statement, which I believe is to say that we won't condone inserting parody or disinformation off-site. Is there another word that better captures that spirit?--Bayesupdate 16:38, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
OK, yes, I see that. Questioning credibility is one of our main objectives. We could just leave it out, but those 1,2,3 lists read so well. "usability, functionality, and management"? (but an .....ity would be nice) --Bob's your uncle 16:58, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
Communicability? Ability to disseminate points of view?--Bayesupdate 17:09, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
hehe homogeneity of opinion. tmtoulouse beset 17:14, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
I'm glad youse liked my poemtry, but I agree, it's unclear. How about "content" instead of cred.? How about "incredibility"?! humanbe in 18:21, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

I am late to this party, and most likely too new here to really count for much in this discussion, but I agree with Hojimachong, and think perhaps some of you are just too tired to fight the good fight anymore. Now, let me say that is understandable. political warfare wears a person down. Down to teh bone. But I think there is just too much a rush into "doing something" for the sake of doing something. Anyway, sorry to be sticking my newbie nose into something that has obviously been brewing and discussed for a while. --NightTrain♦Τάļќ ǃ 20:08, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

Actually, it's only been brewing for about a day. --HVista-epiphany.pngjimachong 20:13, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

Disrupting other sites pt II[edit]

Hello! I was thinkin about this. I like what everyone has above, and you beat me to my own thing. But if you want my thing still (as soooo many others do), it's below:

RationalWiki, above all else, advocates the values of reason, logic, and moderation in politics and religion, as well as a proper understanding of the role of scientific knowledge in both of these fields. Our perspectives often place us in direct opposition with certain communities, and specifically, certain websites.

In pursuit of these goals, RationalWiki encourages its editors and community members to speak up, and through rhetoric and debate, force others to think about the "hard questions." However, RationalWiki does not condone the use of internet disruption as a means to this end. We exercise no control over our individual editors, and RationalWiki editors who engage in this kind of activity cannot be presumed to be speaking for the website.

Finally, as a community built on humor and friendship, we will support any of our contributors who face reproach for their actions, and heartily support satire and humor as forms of valuable political speech.

Too long? Please de-lawyerize, or toss out, or merge with what you guys said above.-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 17:47, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

I like it! Length might be an issue, but I wonder if there could be a one-sentence statement like the Human/Bob proposal above that appears in areas where succinct is better (like on the main page and WIGO maybe?), with a link to this statement that would appear on the community standards page.--Bayesupdate 18:12, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
Nice lawyering, AmesG. I agree with Bayes - the long version on CS, linked from the short version wherever it might be appropos. humanbe in 18:23, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

YAY! That's an awesome idea. Could you guys set it up, though, I has to run out wit friendses.-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 18:32, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

If the time has come to vote on this, then Ames's text gets my vote. --HVista-epiphany.pngjimachong 19:18, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

So short links to long?-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 19:23, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

Yes. And maybe the short version could be an intro sentence, with quotes around it, leading into the long version? humanbe in 19:26, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
Will this go at RationalWiki:General disclaimer? --HVista-epiphany.pngjimachong 19:29, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
Maybe the short version, but nah, not really. It should be its own section on community standards, and the short one should at least go on wigo cp and best of cp, I think. Heck, we could make a userbox with the short version... humanbe in 19:33, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
Wow. All over and decided upon by the big guys in just a couple of hours! Maybe someone needs to post a schedule for debate, or at least let a guy know how get into it! One hundred apologies if I am not reading this right, but it does appear to an outsider lots was going on behind the scenes to move this along this fast. Maybe the people deciding his are the bosses here? Forgive my ignorance! --NightTrain♦Τάļќ ǃ 20:12, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
Wow, what's the problem? This article is forced to the top of recent changes and one's watchlist. Why a noob wouldn't read it and "watch" it is beyond me. Anyway, we have a hierarchy here, at the mobocracy. Highest to lowest in order of status:
  • Anon IPs - the cream of the crop!!!! and our best vandals.
  • registered users who haven't done much. Pretty cool.
  • registered users we are sick of (their shit) - eh, ok, we listen.
  • Sysops = janitors. Who cares?
  • bureaucrats - the lowest of the low. Ignore them.
But what really matters here is what one says. So, ya gotsanopinion on this matter? Or any of the others we kinda worked up before you even got here? Feel free to express them, if you have any. humanbe in 01:10, 23 September 2007 (EDT)

Things do tend to happen quickly here but a word from anyone will slow things down. There are one or two who take action without waiting for concensus but generally a word of alarm, like yours, will halt the juggernaut in its tracks & allow a bit of laid back pondering. I tend to like at least 24 hours to be left on something that's going to be involved with things like this.

(Check user pages for "cabal" or mention of RW1- they think they're the bosses but come the revolution - heads shall roll!)

Of course there's no bosses here. Susantalk to me 21:18, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

Thanks, Susan! But I noticed posting above, the temperature dropped about 30 degrees, so like I said above, please forgive me if I was talking out of turn. Sometimes being new leads a person to chime in, like I did here, without knowing all the ramifications and players. I am not here to "rock the boat" at all. I see Hojimachong changed his mind, so perhaps there is good reason and this was discussed off-wiki or on pages I don't have watched, and he decided to go along. So, if it helps, and in the interest of cooperation, I will just agree with the rest of you, trusting your longer experience here! :-) -- --NightTrain♦Τάļќ ǃ 22:21, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
To the best of my knowledge there's little or no 'off wiki' discussion. Like I said people do tend to get carried away with an idea and it needs newbies to stop them - see what Bayes has done, probably as a direct result of your intervention. Good on yer! Susantalk to me 22:31, 22 September 2007 (EDT)
True dat. If this is a mobocracy, then the mob needs to be heard on stuff like this! NT, your input would be valuable.--Bayesupdate 22:37, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

"Internet disruption?"[edit]

Please for to define. CЯacke® 21:03, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

In the interest of having a wider range of input, I've put up this page to summarize the proposed standard and get a better picture of the mob's opinion. Sorry if that should have been tacked on to this page.--Bayesupdate 22:11, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

Brilliant Goating Idea[edit]

Can we somehow "force" community standards onto everybody's watch list? Since a noob (like whatshisname) might not add it to their watchlist - even though we added it to the box above "recent changes" and "my watchlist". IE, let's make it so everyone, any registered editor, at least, gets the CS file on their watchlist? Trent, can we do this? humanbe in 23:42, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

BTW - Isn't

Make RationalWiki better every day, in every way!

A bit twee? Susantalk to me 23:56, 22 September 2007 (EDT)

As I said in the edit comment! We have no need for a line below the box. It's a frikkin' wiki, delete it! And by the way, is "twee" code for "gay", in which case, no, it's not gay. It's just bein' a first class wanker! I love it, it's so fooonny!!! Goatspeed, humanbe in 00:04, 23 September 2007 (EDT)


Just a question... do we have an IRC Channel? If not, can somebody go grab one? --HVista-epiphany.pngjimachong 00:11, 23 September 2007 (EDT)

What's that stand for? I Really Can't understand? Shit, Hoji, are you trying to get us to conspire behind the scenes? humanbe in 00:13, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
Internets Relay Chatz. --HVista-epiphany.pngjimachong 00:15, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
That'll get rid of the peasants. Start talking in secret - I'll vanish for one! Susantalk to me 00:19, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
I knew that. But, um, why? We already have a wiki, a forumz, and one or two seekrit vandal spaces. How can we keep track? Hoji, I know, you're just trying to crash my vintage '93 'puter!!! (OK, the case is that old) humanbe in 00:27, 23 September 2007 (EDT)

On freenode.net #rationalwiki CЯacke® 00:31, 23 September 2007 (EDT) IRC should well fit your ancient-of-days computer as it's about that old as well.CЯacke® 00:32, 23 September 2007 (EDT)

Lol human, I just think IRC is the easiest casual discussion medium - just type and send in real-time. There's no navigating and button-pressing. --HVista-epiphany.pngjimachong 00:41, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
Can someone explain, I've never bothered with IRC. Locke User is Vandal/sysop Always Watching...... 00:42, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
Do you use FireFox? --HVista-epiphany.pngjimachong 00:55, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
Yes. Locke User is Vandal/sysop Always Watching...... 00:57, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
Go download ChatZilla. --HVista-epiphany.pngjimachong 01:00, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
School is all IE. :-( You guys have a forum? Where? Isn't it real time, like IRC? --NightTrain♦Τάļќ ǃ 01:34, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
IE suckzorz. Forums are, gee, linked in the upper left, under "forums" (whodathunkit): http://www.rationalwiki.com/forum/index.php if you can click your mouse, you can join. humanbe in 01:40, 23 September 2007 (EDT)

Cool! I thought it was like a list of forums since it is plural! Guess I shouldn't have been so lazy and just tried. :P ----NightTrain♦Τάļќ ǃ 01:44, 23 September 2007 (EDT)

See ya there! Warning: they're almost as boring as the wiki. humanbe in 01:52, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
LMAO! I am there! Yeah, I can see they are a beehive of activity....oh well, guess I better get myself some IRC client since everyone wants to talk in chat instead of here....I agree with you, Human...too many clients, too many windows. Did you guys ever think of adding a "chat" client to your forums? ----NightTrain♦Τάļќ ǃ 01:55, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
AAerrgghhh, we only have forums because of a bored teenage hacker with root access. Ain't the wiki enough? Sheesh. humanbe in 02:07, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
AAerragghh! It was your own janitor, Human, and other users, who don't seem content with the wiki, not me. I wasn't the one bringing it up, was I? So why the hostility to me? Why not voice it to those who were talking about it? Like I said above, I am totally sorry for even posting on this page, and this will be the last time I make that mistake, lol. Runs for cover and some wiki links to fix! ----NightTrain♦Τάļќ ǃ 02:35, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
You remind me of someone. who was it... shoot, I can't remember. Eh, it's probably a fluke, nevermind. humanbe in 06:02, 23 September 2007 (EDT)
Human! Our forums are not boring! They are teh bestest forumz on teh internetz! :nods: --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 10:41, 23 September 2007 (EDT)


I is still there all lonely and waiting... irc.freenode.net #rationalwiki



Wikipedia has an advisory 'rule' that,to maintain a well behaved file tree, articles should not be categorised into two cats one of which is a member of the other. I can see the virue of this as it will reduce duplication and make site navigating more logical. I have erred in this manner by catting into both physics & science - what's the opinion? Susantalk to me 18:45, 24 September 2007 (EDT)

My opinion is as long as things get catted well, I don't care. Maybe one day we'll want the "big" cats (like science) to only have members that are subcats, but right now, as long as people actually friggin cat their stubs we're doing well. I also tend to use both sci and, say, physics (or whatever), I think.
Keep in mind WP is a tree of what, 100 million articles? And RW broke the 1,000 mark last week (in a flurry of uncatted stubbing, as I recall...) humanbe in 18:58, 24 September 2007 (EDT)

interwiki links[edit]

We generally discourage links to WP from this Wiki. Is this a good idea? When and where are they appropriate?--Bobbing for apples 15:02, 21 October 2007 (EDT)

I've actually always liked wp links, but others aren't so fond of it. I think in general, we should use them only when they are particularly helpful, and we should create red links for links that should really have an article here.--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 15:06, 21 October 2007 (EDT)
I think WP links are good. There's no point in re-creating an article if WP already has a good one on it, and it's a potentially useful resource. --Gulik 15:17, 21 October 2007 (EDT)
I think the point is that we don't want to send people to where they won't come back from (grammar?). Susantalk to me 15:27, 21 October 2007 (EDT)

The primary problem with WP links is that they have in the past often been used for articles we really should write something about. When I open up an article and see a blue link to a topic I don't think about it again unless for some reason I follow the link. If it is a WP link then people happening upon it will not decide to write about it and it will also not show up in wanted pages. If there is a chance we will want an article about a topic then we should just red link it.

But there are topics that we will never need to write about and we are not attempting to recreate wikipedia. The argument against these links is it takes people offsite earlier than maybe they would have left on their own. How big of an issue is this? I don't know. Maybe some sort of compromise could be setup such that interwiki links are defaulted on a different color scheme? So WP links appear green or something? I don't know. tmtoulouse beset 15:32, 21 October 2007 (EDT)

Interesting point, although, if we maintain a good product, a good SPOV, they'll be back. I still maintain that red links are our friends.--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 15:33, 21 October 2007 (EDT)
RationalWiki:NPOV, by the way, is where that SPOV stuff started. humanUser talk:Human 17:53, 21 October 2007 (EDT)

I know what I do if I follow a link, I find myself five minutes and five links later absorbed in some totally irrelevant article about a totally irrelevant subject. I rarely go back to the third of these links. So in cases where RW is the third in my list I might never see it again. Does that make sense? Susantalk to me 15:43, 21 October 2007 (EDT)

I think that the "don't link 'cause they won't come back" argument misses the point. Firstly, over 35% of all web users, and probably more in our user segment, use Firefox which almost encourages using tapped web-browsing. See something interesting, you open a new tab and check it out, then go back to where you were. Secondly, new users to RW will decide on whether to come back another time or not based on our content, not on our links. And thirdly, I see interlinking as providing an important service for our users, by making it easy for them to look up things that may be important for a given issue, yet not suitable for an RW article. On the other hand, by not interlinking, we deliberately make the same thing more difficult for the users, and that's rarely a good business practice. Besides, it's wp:Web 2.0, people! Open up to the world! Be not afraid! --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 15:48, 21 October 2007 (EDT)
Can I still make them green? tmtoulouse beset 15:52, 21 October 2007 (EDT)
I like the idea of them being different color - if that's possible. But under what circumstances should we make them? If it's obviously in our field then it should still be red I think. What criteria should we use?--Bobbing for apples 15:58, 21 October 2007 (EDT)
Details, details I am going to make them green! tmtoulouse beset 16:08, 21 October 2007 (EDT)
Can you make them a really disgusting green? Better yet - can you make them blink? That will mean people will only use them as a last resort.--Bobbing for apples 16:10, 21 October 2007 (EDT)
Green is a fine and very liberal colour - but no blinking, plz. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 16:14, 21 October 2007 (EDT)
I'm against blinking seizure links.--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 16:16, 21 October 2007 (EDT)
I second that. Locke User is Vandal/sysop Always Watching...... 16:17, 21 October 2007 (EDT)
Yes, I wasn't really serious about blinking. But and I'm sorry to harp on about this. But we do need some sort of general idea of when to go green and when to go red.--Bobbing for apples 16:19, 21 October 2007 (EDT)

Make it a nice dark leafy green. Anyway, my persistent .02 on this... web 2.0 or no, I think that inline links to wp should be minimized for a few reasons, probably none of which stand to reason. Several have been stated above - causing people to leave the site, not realizing we don't have an article we should have, etc. But, I think there are times when an EL at the bottom to a wp article on the same subject (for more depth, etc.) makes sense. One argument I like to make, in terms of the whole "ease of use" thing, is that I think we can safely assume by now that people know what wikipedia is and how to find it. So if they encounter an unfamiliar term, or just want to see the NPOV, it is a quick cut and paste and search away. Heck, part of my attitude comes from my making an html file on my 'puter that can be easily opened in a new tab, that has a wp search box in it (to speed things up, since opening wp to search there takes several seconds). I added a google search box, and then uncyclop., cp, and then RW. Of course then I added a bunch of "fast links" to RW that I liked (all cats, all templates, that sort of thing).

Now, as far as inline wp links in general, I think they are a great service on, say, a blog. If a writer brings up an arcane term of art, or makes a comparison only specialists would "get", a wp link makes life easier. But on here, there would be two ways it would come up - one way is when we should have the article. Then linking to wp defeats the point of "wanted pages". The other is if we probably won't ever write it - where a judicious use of not many wp links might make sense. But, as I said above... people know where wikipedia is.

So here's an idea - how about a wp search box on our leftside toolbox thing? At the bottom? Hmm. Interesting, but could it be set to open in a new tab, not replace the existing one? Oh well, them's most of my yacks on the topic. humanUser talk:Human 18:03, 21 October 2007 (EDT)

Sure people know how to find WP, but interlinking reduces the number of processes necessary to get to the information to one (click button) rather than many (open new tab, click on URL field, enter URL, press Enter). Putting the information at people's fingermousetips, so to say, makes it easy for the customer, and making things easy for the customer delights the customer, and we do want to delight our customers, don't we? :D --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 18:32, 21 October 2007 (EDT)


Bob recently voiced a concern (on Talk:Proton) that such things were unnecessary as anyone wanting such information should seek a more expert site. As I understand it this has always been RW's policy. However: has anyone actually tried looking up something like proton on e.g. WP? too much information came the cry. I think that we would be doing browsers (people not programs) a favour by just giving a layman's description of such technically deep subjects. Many scientific subjects could be "laymanised" without undue difficulty (and it'd give editors low on social science knowledge something to do). What's the opinion? Susanspeak your mind 11:08, 24 October 2007 (EDT)

Don't you go putting words in my mouth Miss Susan. I only asked what it had to do with our mission which is (1. Analyzing and refuting the anti-science movement, ideas and people. 2. Analyzing and refuting the full range of crank ideas. 3. Explorations of authoritarianism and fundamentalism.). And I think we interpret this pretty liberally as it is - though to be fair we say our mission "includes" these things and not "is limited to". Nevertheless if we explicitly expand our scope to include simplified explanations of all things scientific then we would be going in a rather different direction. I vote against this expansion of our role.--Bobbing for apples 12:04, 24 October 2007 (EDT)
Sorry Bob, I meant no offence. It's just that if (say) quark were to come up in a disagreement with creationism, would we expect a lay person to check in WP where the explanation is raaaather complex, or could we just give a 1000 word explanation - enough to satisfy curiosity without going into the depths? I don't mind but I see no harm in short explanatory articles. Susanspeak your mind 12:15, 24 October 2007 (EDT)
As I mentioned, I think that Proton and Electron are definately a part of our mission. I don't mean that just because I was the one that added the specifics I added to the articles. Those specifics (B4B/Sisyphus) speak directly to our mission. However, I do think that we need only a happy medium between layman's terms and quantum physics. --Edgerunner76 12:25, 24 October 2007 (EDT)

I'm sorry Susan, but I see a number of problems with it. 1. First and most importantly it reduces our focus. 2. Keeping articles small would be difficult. Any passing expert would almost immediately complain they were gross oversimplifications and re-write them. Which brings me to my third point. 3. What is "simple" to one person might seem either overly complex or hideously oversimplified to another. 4 We would inevitably fall fowl of what I shall call “topic creep”. At the moment our "proton" article refers to “ a mass of 1.0073 amu”, “quarks” and “baryons”. Anybody who does not know what a “proton” is certainly won’t know what these terms refer to. Which means we’ll either have to write them or include them in the article - making it complex. 5. Edgerunner, I rather think that Sisyphus is a hoax. I don’t think we need to write refuting him.--Bobbing for apples 13:00, 24 October 2007 (EDT)

5. Sisyphus is teh psrodt, yes. 3. I'm "simple", please be kind. 1. Basic science (logic, etc.) articles are good here - they show that we know what we're talking about. 2. If "experts" turn up here and make our articles better, so much the gooder! 4. "topic creep" isn't the problem, "editor boredom" is! Sometimes we just want to write, and don't have some great "on-mission" thing ready to go. So we write about why the sky is blue (to make me cry-y-y-y-y, of course) to maintain our mental health program (editing RW to stay sane). humanUser talk:Human 18:09, 24 October 2007 (EDT)
It is possible that "editor boredom" might be better treated by a bit of "red link stubbing". :-) --Bobbing for apples 03:13, 25 October 2007 (EDT)

Hm. There are 62 reds - none of which I feel competent to comment on so I'm reduced to lurking or scanning existing pages for errors, wanted links, cats etc, this is veerry slow for me. Unhappily H is apparently here & on my wavelength - we tend to positive feedback so I'll bow out of the conversation pro tem. Susanspeak your mind 04:30, 25 October 2007 (EDT) Oops - turns out that the 62 above was a symptom of my system - sackcloth/ashes. (should be 600+) Susanspeak your mind 05:02, 25 October 2007 (EDT)

Semi protection[edit]

Following a recent spate of vandal attacks on pages such as Global Warming and it has been proposed that we temporally semi-protect them so that they can only be edited by named users. It is further proposed that we do this in future in the event that similar periods of vandalism occur. Are there any major objections?--Bobbing up 14:56, 8 November 2007 (EST)

Yes, the last 3-5 or so all go to the same places and do the same things, with some non-overlap in places. I think we should start discussing restricting editing to logged-in editors again. I cannot think right now of any recent editing done by IPs that mattered (other than when people get timed out, of course). At least making them log in gives us one more laugh, in their choice of user name. Anyone want to bring it up at talk:main page or community standards or something? humanUser talk:Human 14:34, 8 November 2007 (EST)
I don't like it Susan... purrrrrr ... 14:50, 8 November 2007 (EST)
1. can we move this to RationalWiki Talk:Community Standards, and then, (answer there) 2. Why, Susan? humanUser talk:Human 15:01, 8 November 2007 (EST)

I don't like it - it strikes @ our very " open door" thingy. Susan... purrrrrr ... 15:13, 8 November 2007 (EST)

How so, when anybody can create an account in seconds? Thus actually making themselves anonymous? humanUser talk:Human 15:29, 8 November 2007 (EST)
Think what CP'll make of it. "RatWiki bows to conservative pressure - bans anonymity." Susan... purrrrrr ... 15:53, 8 November 2007 (EST)
But do we care what CP thinks? Jrssr5 15:57, 8 November 2007 (EST)
Smart people don't care what "rationalwiki" thinks. And your name is bullshit. 16:00, 8 November 2007 (EST)
Personally I like my name. Jrssr5 16:22, 8 November 2007 (EST)
Not your name, the name of this entire wiki. 16:23, 8 November 2007 (EST)
It's too easy just to make accounts -which flood our user list. Oh, and lol at the 'tough guy' troll. -- מְתֻרְגְּמָן וִיקִי שְׁלֹום!
I'm not a troll, i am just angry because i have been reverted and even blocked for trying to expose the truth. 16:04, 8 November 2007 (EST)
We can't handle the truth! --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 16:06, 8 November 2007 (EST)
Sorry, Mr Murrow - we didn't realise. -- מְתֻרְגְּמָן וִיקִי שְׁלֹום!

Seems like a rational action to take to me. The fact that our vandal doesn't like it speaks in its favor too.--Bobbing up 16:19, 8 November 2007 (EST)

Names are still anonymous unless you attach it to your real life identity. What is important is being able to establish an identity. As a side note this should be required reading. The things you have to accept, you have to accept or the social structure of the group has difficulty. Likewise, you have to design for a barrier to participation (how much is debatable - but it needs to be there). Compare the story of CommunitTree BBS to what we are facing now. That article really is something that needs to be read and understood. TO that extent, I believe that A: requiring registered users to edit and/or B: providing for semi-protection on vandal targets is necessary for the long term survival of rationalwiki. --Shagie 16:24, 8 November 2007 (EST)

Shagie - road -> Damascus. Never read that "group is its own worst enemy before" - great. Stop anon whenever you want folks. Susan... purrrrrr ... 17:03, 8 November 2007 (EST)

I concur; the article can still be edited, so I'm not bothered.... VirileSterileyawn! 17:09, 8 November 2007 (EST)
I don't care about the rules so much as I love the troll. His (yes, an assumption) entire lack of a sense of irony is, well, ironic.--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 17:42, 8 November 2007 (EST)
For the last time, i am not a troll! Why exactly are you calling me one? 20:57, 8 November 2007 (EST)
Still reading Shagie's link (I had to go replace a brake line...). Excellent piece. Trent has sent me to a few online discussions of online communities, too, as he is very interested in the whole process. I know we got a bit cranky at teratornis for offering to helpp us "not reinvent the wheel", but that was partly because he was doing a one-size-fits-all kind of pile'o templates. What we do need to appreciate and learn from is this treasure trove of knowledge and experience and teaching from those who have trod the path before us.
That all said (thanks, Shagie), I am leaning toward the semi-protection. Referring to Susan's comment, it slows the clogging of our user list, and it's obvious that only a few articles need it. I'd even suggest a short horizon, like 3-7 days for the SP. Vandals do get bored and get on with their lives. If we ever do get under an organized, heavy attack, we can always make everyone sysops and lock every page (haha, wait, that's CP!) until it goes away. I dunno, and can't make up my mind. One thing with user names is, as was said, we "get to know" the editor, for better or for worse. Also, requiring logins makes it so we don't have to memorize the IPs of frequently-logged out editors...
Did a good job of adding nothing to the discussion, didn't I? humanUser talk:Human 20:39, 8 November 2007 (EST)

Quotes from Shagie's link above[edit]

What a dumb name for it. It's [1].

These are from about 3/4 of the way down, and relate to the argument for requiring people to be logged in to edit. It won't much change vandalism (the IPs will log in as user:I hate your site), but it does relate strongly to my experience on here (and at CP!) with our more prolific contributors, and even the less frequent ones. I do find it frustrating to go read some IP edit, and not know it was PalMD until six hours later.

" It's pretty widely understood that anonymity doesn't work well in group settings, because "who said what when" is the minimum requirement for having a conversation. What's less well understood is that weak pseudonymity doesn't work well, either. Because I need to associate who's saying something to me now with previous conversations."


"If you want a good reputation system, just let me remember who you are. And if you do me a favor, I'll remember it. And I won't store it in the front of my brain, I'll store it here, in the back. I'll just get a good feeling next time I get email from you; I won't even remember why. And if you do me a disservice and I get email from you, my temples will start to throb, and I won't even remember why. If you give users a way of remembering one another, reputation will happen, and that requires nothing more than simple and somewhat persistent handles."

Even though we don't interact as much anymore, I thought of GL when I read that. We buddied up over at CP (even thought we were founding a "cabal", until we found the existing one!), had fun messing around with setting up RW2, and so the back of my brain remembers that whenever he pops up. It's the same, in a different way, but not so different, with Bohdan. And of course with at least 20 or 30 of the rest of you/us. We also slowly get to know what the boundaries of our common agreements are - the things we all agree on versus the things we know we will always have to be flexible with each other over.

And that's fun, and it only works because we have usernames and log in when we edit. humanUser talk:Human 20:50, 8 November 2007 (EST)

I've finally got round to reading the link in its entirety - and it's most illuminating. It sort of suggests that the mobocracy will need a hierarchy though.--Bobbing up 15:07, 9 November 2007 (EST)
Doesn't editor/sysop/bureucrat etc form a hierarchy? Susan... purrrrrr ... 15:12, 9 November 2007 (EST)

That was not the original concept. The original ideas was that the sysops etc were the servants of the mob. Whether it actually works that way in reality is another question.--Bobbing up 15:20, 9 November 2007 (EST)

I was thinking of creating a RW:trusted editors article, that would have the rule that people could only be added by other people on the list. I would break that rule to create it, of course, and put a handful of you guys on it to start with, and see how things went. These would not necessarily be the "core", but should include them. And in the end it wouldn't matter, so I didn't bother.
Anyway, part of the reason we inverted the power structure was being repelled by CP sysops' concept that anything they said was the law. Interestingly, I would love to be able to see a list of "whose watchlist is this page on". What the explicit hierarchy does is allow scaling - right know, we all know who "we" are - the core group of highly motivated and invested editors. If the site had 500 (active) editors instead of 1/10 that many, we'd have separate sub-groups that wouldn't know how to interact. I think. Here, we tend to try to promote any trusted user to sysop anyway, all hands on deck and all that. Some still resist this indoctrination, though. humanUser talk:Human 15:37, 9 November 2007 (EST)

Essay procedures?[edit]

Related to the above points--There's been at least hints of the following idea elsewhere, but maybe it should be addressed here: would it make sense to require a logged-in user signature to post an essay? Right now, the door's pretty much open for anonymous IPs to post crap in the Essay namespace using "hit and run" tactics. That kind of thing is easy to revert as vandalism if it's in the mainspace, but in the Essay space it can be unclear whether it's valid to take it down. Taking this step would still allow crap to be posted, but you'd at least know that it's attributable to either an established whack job, vandal, or an unreliable "hit-and-run" user who made 1-2 edits total (playing into Human's comments above about reputation). Plus, as a bonus, weird anon essays wouldn't stay up while the community hems and haws about whether it's ok to edit them or figure out something else to do with them. Maybe not totally necessary at the moment since there aren't that many anon crazies right now, but it might be something to think about.--Bayesupdate 14:43, 9 November 2007 (EST)

Yes, at some point we will need to think about what to do about them. We're already talking about semi-protecting high-profile articles from the attentions of the IP's (or more likely IP). It might be a good idea to reserve the essay space for identified users.--Bobbing up 15:10, 9 November 2007 (EST)
Essays unclaimed by a named author should be fair game - who's to say (checkuser aside) that I'm not the author? Susan... purrrrrr ... 15:15, 9 November 2007 (EST)
Thanks for bringing it up, I was going to. Allowing IPs to "own" essays is oxymoronic. Will we allow some anon to come and write a big ole essay about how Adolf was a sensitive man and "honor" our "edit only the talk page" dictum? I agree with what Bob says - registered editors only in the essay space. It is for "us" to occasionally express ourselves unedited, not for random internet users whose blogs get no traffic to get an audience. I have several times been on the verge of deleting the above linked essay, since it has no "author". I think we should try to reach a quick consensus on this one and propagate it across our guidelines and appropriate help pages. humanUser talk:Human 15:17, 9 November 2007 (EST)

Ok, let's do it. Perhaps we should edit the welcome template for Ip's - or would that be overkill?--Bobbing up 15:33, 9 November 2007 (EST)

If it's OK with youall I'll do a Help on namespaces for consultation - including above suggestion(s) - wait a bit & see what you think?. Susan... purrrrrr ... 15:40, 9 November 2007 (EST)
Well, if we disallow IP editing per the conversation above, that pretty much ends IP essays. And removes the need for the welcome/IP template... and gets rid of the random text insertion bots. Let's see if anyone else chimes in on this before making it policy? Time window? 24 hours? 72? Should we go ask some heavier editors (the "core") to come chime in? Darn it, where's our "core" mailing list when we need it?! humanUser talk:Human 15:41, 9 November 2007 (EST)
The "core editors" are deciding on all policy in our seekrit diskuzzion foorums, remember? Anyway, I support limiting editing to registered users, as per "Shagie's link" and the discussion above. It'll promote accountability and transparancy, IMO, and make several things a lot more simple. --AKjeldsenGodspeed! 15:46, 9 November 2007 (EST)
I have mixed emotions on this. As long as it's the same IP address, what's the difference between being called 443.232.121.1231 or whatever and being called Sterile or Human or Cracker? VirileSterileyawn! 15:49, 9 November 2007 (EST)
We don't "own" our IP addresses, they are assigned us dynamically (some change faster than others) by our ISPs. Or assigned to whatever computer we log in from (school, library, etc.) That's the difference. Also, user names are easy to learn to remember - creating an identity. I can't tell the difference between 72.x.x.x, 74.x.x.x and 76.x.x.x from one minute to the next. Memorizing 12 digit numbers to get to know one another is a waste of brain processing power.
Addendum: notice that you easily mentioned some real editors, but couldn't remember an active IP address to use as an example. humanUser talk:Human 15:59, 9 November 2007 (EST)
For what it's worth, I am in agreement with both of the above discussions (Log in required to edit, and Essay for named users only Locke User is Vandal/sysop Always Watching...... 17:07, 9 November 2007 (EST)

I like this[edit]

I've put a Help page Help:Namespace in, including a rider allowing IP edits to be removed without notice - does that meet the point? Susan... purrrrrr ... 16:40, 9 November 2007 (EST)

"All the above namespace pages can be viewed and edited by anyone but anyone not identifiable as a known, named editor may find their edits reverted without explanation." Suggest that this be put in standards? Susan... purrrrrr ...

I added the header. This is a good compromise, IMO, as it doesn't limit the ability of IPs to write whatever they see fit to write (drivel or GOLD), but explains that as an IP they do not merit full policy protection that are conferred to "citizens" (i.e. named IPs). CЯacke® 17:11, 9 November 2007 (EST)
The only IPs I've seen write "gold" here are registered users who got timed out... humanUser talk:Human 17:15, 9 November 2007 (EST)
And Doc!Susan... purrrrrr ... 17:20, 9 November 2007 (EST)
I don't disagree with your statement, however, I feel that if we choose to "limit" or "allow" what we're really doing is saying, "Okay, we tried the open format and it doesn't work, let's us close it up just a little bit. That way "our" goals and values will be safe.
If you agree that that is true then I'm going to have to dissent from the consensus. CЯacke® 17:23, 9 November 2007 (EST)
Me too! Arr! --

Hi. Ice? Susan... purrrrrr ... 17:33, 9 November 2007 (EST)

It's still open - anyone can create a username. The goal is to improve the "face to face" thing of having handles to refer to each other by, etc. Oh, and to mildly deter drive-by vandals. Cracker, did you read the interesting essay that Shagie linked to above? It is something to keep in mind. Remember, a lot of our extreme openness is, once again, a reaction to CP's authoritarian closedness (while pretending they are "open to all viewpoints"). humanUser talk:Human 19:42, 9 November 2007 (EST)
yeah, Hu I did read the "essay", which reads more like a toned-down rant. I thought the goal (in creating the essay namespace) was exactly to allow anon editing on iffy topics. I am actually finding it difficult to maintain my aire of contrariness on this but think it necessary to continue to do so if only to remind myself that the "creation" of an orthodoxy simultaneously creates heretics. My query would then be: Are anon IP's heretics to this orthodoxy we're setting up? CЯacke®

<- Actual history: Trent created Essay: in order to have a place to put RobS' rants when he joined here for a bit. It is most certainly not for "anon editing on iffy topics". If not signed, our essay template (which I take as common law for my argument, we have all used it happily) becomes meaningless. I mean, come on. "this article is the private property of anonymous"???? "IP's" are visitors, and we invite them to join. We don't even really care if they create several IDs if they want. Especially if they are each internally consistent - I can remember several exploits like that that were fun - docsock comes to mind, as does subhuman. Heck, I should have a sock everyone hates that is me editing when I'm drunk... Anyway. It's one thing to allow IPs to edit, which is not a big deal, except that we don't "get to know them" - in fact, they get polluted by the vandals reputation even if they are well-meaning - it's another to build a "community" of any sort, which is half the fun of this project, is it not? I find there are people here I disagree with, and if all they were was an IP, I'd revert, etc. But if they are someone (a user name) that I have seen do good stuff as well, I learn my own boundaries - ie, I share this space with people who agree with me on some or many things - but not everything. IPs cannot teach me that. Registered users absolutely can. humanUser talk:Human 21:10, 9 November 2007 (EST)

Okie doke. As I said afore I was merely playing devil's advocate to make sure we don't start up the rules making machine too fast nor too often because then it all becomes about maintaining the rules and less about having fnu and interacting with one another. CЯacke®
Hey, I'm all with your DA role. That's part of the fun, eh? We're not trying to shut down debate, or conversation, just trying to manage the wiki. And, I think, if you look at the recent changes over the last few days, half of it is dedicated editors reverting IP wandalism. And, as I said, I love that we also internalize the devil's advocate. humanUser talk:Human 22:41, 9 November 2007 (EST)
Yeah. Besides I never argue with a drunk while he's in his cups. CЯacke® 23:34, 9 November 2007 (EST)
Hehe. Anyway, if we try this "editor only" thing, and still get just as much (signed in) wandalism/trolling, we can undo it, since it didn't save any work. And then just apply the "named editor only" rule to "essay". humanUser talk:Human 12:41, 10 November 2007 (EST)


Well it appears that minds have been made up - so be it. I made 2 templates essayanon & essayfree butI'll scrub em. Susan... purrrrrr ... 12:50, 10 November 2007 (EST)

I'm starting to get a bit lost I'm afraid. So can somebody confirm that this is where we are at the moment:

1) Vandal targets will be semi-protected ie. can't be edited by IP's while they are under attack. 2) IP's won't be allowed to create essays or their articles will be liable to be deleted without notice - which? 3) IP edits in general ...... is there something on this? 4) (And I want this one) "Argument by deletion", if carried out by IP is grounds for a ban. --Bobbing up 12:58, 10 November 2007 (EST)

If we do (3) (only allow signed-in editing in general), (1), (2) and (4) are superfluous. If we don't do (3), then (1) is a very good idea, (2) IPs (anons) can't created essays, which are supposed to be signed, and I'd agree with (4) wholeheartedly. This is why I favor (3) - it kills 3 birds with one stone. And if it does not reduce our travails, we undo (3) and fall back to 1,2, and 4 (ran out of parens!). That is just what I think, not the consensus so far. Although, looking above, there seems to be a fairly wide consensus to do (3). humanUser talk:Human 13:35, 10 November 2007 (EST)

Lock Out IP's[edit]

Actually my number "3" was a question. "Anything on this?" So the general idea is that we lock IP's out completely?--Bobbing up 13:38, 10 November 2007 (EST)
That was my take on it. Full anon blockage. You wanna contribute? Fine, spend the time to create an account (which is free) and becomes account-able. If we're flooded with one-off names that fill the wiki with drivel fine we can always open her back up to IP's any old time. CЯacke® 13:48, 10 November 2007 (EST)
Once you start to close it up it will never become MORE open. I see this as a microcosm of the use of laws that the neocons are pushing: "Let's give up a wee bit of freedom to protect our homeland, (read RW)." Toe Tapping Republican 13:56, 10 November 2007 (EST)
It's not "less open". Anyone can still edit - they just have to take one small step - register. And who says we won't go back to letting IPs edit if this doesn't help? humanUser talk:Human 14:15, 10 November 2007 (EST)

Although now that we've started to talk about locking out IP's they seem to have disappeared - only to be replaced by various (equally insane) registered users.--Bobbing up 06:11, 12 November 2007 (EST)

Check User[edit]

Now that a handful of users have access to Check User I think it is time to start implementing a policy regarding its use. Or maybe not. What does everyone else think? tmtoulouse beset 12:25, 11 November 2007 (EST)

What's the point of it? (Genuine question) Susan... purrrrrr ... 12:33, 11 November 2007 (EST)

Check User allows you to see every IP address used by a given user and all the edits and user names that user has used. You can search by user name or IP address. The issue is that once a user signs up with an account their IP address is masked and they work under the assumption that their IP address is hidden. Check User is a method site administers can use to by pass that, and perhaps should be used only under certain conditions. The usual way is to check for sock puppets of vandalizes, ect. But since our policies basically treat every use ID as a separate and unique identity linking two together really serves little purpose. Up until recently basically I was the only one with access to it and I have access to IPs and a whole lot more through server logs and other things (your privacy is never assured from the sight of the webmaster!) but now that more users have access to it maybe its time to talk about how we use it and when? 12:39, 11 November 2007 (EST)

I say if Assfly won't sign the Wandalism Nonproliferation Treaty we bring out the Check User 'Big Boy' and let 'em have it right between the peepers. DogP 12:46, 11 November 2007 (EST)

I think a probable cause standard would be good. Like oly use if you have probable cause to suspect a user of being another disfavored user.-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 12:47, 11 November 2007 (EST)
Ah Vienna! Quite frankly my dear, I don't give a damn! 12:49, 11 November 2007 (EST) (SusanG)


I like AmesG's idea. Elassint Throw things at me
Seconded. I vote for the probably clause. --Kels 12:58, 11 November 2007 (EST)

undent Sorry, but I don't see what possible use it is, are we to ban socking & if so who decides which socks are banned. Quite possibly someone might like two personae (one naughty, one nice), why shouldn't they have them? I see it rather as peeking under the garments & giggling @ the underwear. If TK wants to sneak about as Day Bus then let him - most of the time it adds to the lulz. Anyhow there's such a lot of what I understand are calleddynamic IPs that checkuser wouldn't make much difference. Susan... purrrrrr ... 13:09, 11 November 2007 (EST)

(You might gather from both above topics hat I'm agin regulations of any sort - I suppose I'm a bit of an anarchist really. I can't help thinking of present anti-terror regulation in both UK & USA - jolly good given present circumstances but what happens if a more authoritarian authority takes over? The laws could be easily perverted to oppression. Susan... purrrrrr ... 13:19, 11 November 2007 (EST))

It really needs an very exceptional condition. Let's say that a user has two accounts. Let's call them "User:Nice" and "user:Nasty." If Nasty does bad things he gets clobbered as Nasty. But if Nice does good things and only good things why should we do bad things to him as long as he stays in character? (OK, you need to imagine a pretty schizophrenic personality - but the internet seems to encourage that.) Anyway, if Nasty is Nice we should be able to work it out by Nice's actions. While I'm on the topic , it would be nice to define "disfavored user" as well. Sounds a tad Orwellian to me. .-) --Bobbing up 13:22, 11 November 2007 (EST)
Either give it (checkuser) to everyone or keep it to webmaster only. Susan... purrrrrr ... 13:29, 11 November 2007 (EST)

I'll surrender my rights if that's the consensus. I really only wanted it to investigate a TK hypothetical (I was thinking that TK=KevinK), but the evidence was inconclusive anyways...-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 13:38, 11 November 2007 (EST)

Checkuser should not be given to everyone, I think. It is (somewhat) personal information, and I don't think the whole site should have it. It could, for example, identify places of employment. VirileSterileyawn! 13:46, 11 November 2007 (EST)

Didn't really mean it sterile - don't see the good of it that's all. Susan... purrrrrr ... 13:55, 11 November 2007 (EST)

I too will relinquish it if the mob demands. I do however think it's useful in certain cases, such as seeing is a registered vandal is the same as a certain IP vandal. Locke User is Vandal/sysop Always Watching...... 14:11, 11 November 2007 (EST)
But a lot of the IP's usually come in on proxies don't they?--Bobbing up 14:18, 11 November 2007 (EST)
I've sometimes checked my own IP - apparently I live in either Salford (200 miles away), Aylesbury (150 miles away) or Rotterdam. Totnesmartin 14:26, 11 November 2007 (EST)
To me, it seems that most of its use here would be for lulz or to satisfy curiosity. I think what this really comes down to is deciding whether having those extra lulz trumps the (implicit) pseudo-privacy that comes with a user account.--Bayesupdate 14:32, 11 November 2007 (EST)

<- I have used it a few times - on myself, out of curiosity and to see how it worked, and on a certain cluster of users who may or may not be the same person (they each used different IPs, it turned out), again, out of curiosity. As far as usefulness, it almost has none for us, since we don't disapprove of socks the way, say, WP does. It is a dangerous tool, in that its results, if discussed on the wiki, do undermine the privacy of an editor. As discussed above. It's a creepy feature, as such, and should be used rarely and with great care. humanUser talk:Human 14:42, 11 November 2007 (EST)

Check me if you want, I'd love to find out where I live! Totnesmartin 14:59, 11 November 2007 (EST)
Well apparently checkuser says I live in Aylesbury, so those last four years in Totnes must have been a dastardly liberal media hoax. Aylesburymartin 15:49, 11 November 2007 (EST)

Hmm, okay, Check user can go *poof* with a matter of a few keystrokes so that it's not available at all. Maybe thats the better course of action? tmtoulouse beset 15:40, 11 November 2007 (EST)

Would it actually help us with wandals?--PalMD-If it looks like a donut, eat it 15:44, 11 November 2007 (EST)
Not really, basically its a tool to identify sock puppets. tmtoulouse beset 15:46, 11 November 2007 (EST)

I think its main use is as anti-TK countermeasures. He's really the only one for whom I've thought it necessary... if his super-deceit is gone, then no reason to keep it (a glimpse at the log shows that it's really only been used on NightTrain/other TK accounts). Just in case, it might be better to keep it, but with only tmtoulouse as someone with the powa.-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 15:48, 11 November 2007 (EST)

Do I count as a sockpuppet? Aylesburymartin 15:49, 11 November 2007 (EST)
If the consensus is to leave it just in my hands then their is no reason for it, I have access to very detailed records from server logs if I need to track something down, stuff that goes beyond the basic tools in the wiki and forums. No one's secrets are safe from me :). But seriously....maybe we don't need it.... tmtoulouse beset 15:51, 11 November 2007 (EST)
Maybe there are situations in which it could be useful for 1 or 2 others to have it, I don't know...maybe make it something kept in cold storage with limited access by high-willpowered people until it's really needed. You know, like Voltron.--Bayesupdate 16:02, 11 November 2007 (EST)

I like keeping the function as is or completely uninstalling it... but I err towards keeping it around just in case (let's face it, it's a "when" and not an "if") Night-T-Train-K comes chugging back in. But we should promise not to use it. We could establish a full procedure - like, someone who wants to use it proposes the use to the seekrit Cabal Forum (think of it as the FISA Courts), and then the Cabal approves or denies, and then the checking-user reports on the "Report on the Secret Forum" page who was checked and why (but does not disclose IPs). Using the Seekrit Forum makes sense because a vetting process on whether to check-users would probably include IP addresses. ORRRR we could just uninstall it and trust in Trent's superpowers to alert us of TK's presence when he comes a-marchin' back.-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 01:30, 12 November 2007 (EST)

But that would mean that those without cabal forum membership (Me) would need it. Locke User is Vandal/sysop Always Watching...... 02:06, 12 November 2007 (EST)
That idea seems along the right track to me. I ain't no cabal member, but I would more or less trust the judgment of a panel of trusted users (the RWPanel??? OMG!!) to use the checkuser powerz, especially if the intent is to guard against, um, "unique" socks. But keep in mind, that sort of "off-wiki policy discussion" will likely lead to "It'z an OligARchY!!!11!" criticism. Dunno if there's a practical way to keep it transparent though.--Bayesupdate 02:20, 12 November 2007 (EST)
Good points. Uninstall it then?-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 02:34, 12 November 2007 (EST)

It's still around. I just ran it on myself to see how the process works and what the results look like. I'd like permission from the mob to use it on TK et all to compare against some e-mails. TK himself may object here if he so chooses. Objections?-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 23:33, 12 November 2007 (EST)


All checkuser does is let the operator see which IP's a username has used, or conversely, what username has used what IP.
I, myself, am a sock, which those with the power can check and be reasonably certain my main account is being run by the same person. While it is not "intrusive" (any webpage one goes to records what IP is talking to it), it can be used unethically. I do not think we're likely to do that but why tempt ourselves with that unnecessarily? (Point: If we all went to the IRC channel we'd all have a sort of "checkuser", the /whois command identifies via IP and hostmask, chatzilla is set up by default to give this info when people join a channel.) Toe Tapping Republican 01:54, 12 November 2007 (EST)

You can rest in socky safety, we <3 non-TK socks here.-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 01:58, 12 November 2007 (EST)
OK - lets zap checkuser then.--Bobbing up 06:07, 12 November 2007 (EST)
I agree, we don't need it, and one accident could violate someone's privacy for no good reason. humanUser talk:Human 01:12, 13 November 2007 (EST)

Would it be contrary to RW policy to get a list of TK's IPs for my own edification & defense, before the feature goes poof?-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 14:04, 13 November 2007 (EST)

I wouldn't mind this, either - if only for launching an ill-advised solo vigilante counter-campaign against the man. -- מְתֻרְגְּמָן וִיקִי שְׁלֹום!
Any dissent?-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 14:29, 13 November 2007 (EST)
I dunno, seems wrong to me. So don't tell us. Remember that these searches all end up in the log... humanUser talk:Human 14:30, 13 November 2007 (EST)
Rightio. So do we wanna vape this thing now?-αmεσ (mission accomplished!) 15:01, 13 November 2007 (EST)
So someone email Trent, I think he has to do it server-side, right? humanUser talk:Human 15:20, 13 November 2007 (EST)

Strange Sites[edit]

(White Power's Userpage; from User talk Cracker, started this discussion)

I'm reverting your (Cracker's) edit on White Power's userpage, where he links to the American Nazi Party - if we won't link to Metapedia, which we shouldn't - we can't link to that site either. PFoster 15:45, 18 November 2007 (EST)

What about his edit which removed a good 80% (Shlafly math here; I don't feel like kalculashunz) of WP's user page? BTW: WP never linked to the ANP; that was Cracker's doing. Lurker 16:19, 18 November 2007 (EST)
My edits, (which I stand by but won't revert w/o further discussion), were, (IMO) in the best interests of the wiki. My cut of the content on the user's page was to trim away that that didn't meet fair use standards, though IANAL.
WP did link to ANP.com, PFoster axed it and I reverted it to .con, so it doesn't actually go anywhere.
It is my opinion that we should not censor unpopular viewpoints but allow people to see what kind of kooks are lurking out there. Whether this is seen as a tacit endorsement of such sites is a matter yet to be determined by the community.
Free speech is the default. Please do not fear it. MOO CЯacke® 20:16, 18 November 2007 (EST)
Censorship is something conservapedia does, so we should NOT do it!! Elassint Throw things at me 20:28, 18 November 2007 (EST)
It's not quite that simple. I will not condone violence toward other people, posts that advocate such are going to be reverted by me. Posts that link to people who do advocate violence towards other people are in grayer areas. I, myself, tend to allow them only to show what kind of nutcases are out there. If we do more, by not allowing these cites, then it is tantamount to saying this is "bad free speech", it takes the decision away from the readers and onto the editorial ethics of the wiki, which I do not believe have the moral authority to make such decisions. Not without further discourse anyways. 20:41, 18 November 2007 (EST) CЯacke®
The only link I saw to ANP was this one, which was added by Cracker. If WP had it there before I didn't see it.
I still don't see the difference between censoring "copyright violations" (I'm pretty sure ANP could care less how someone spreads their hate, right?) and censoring links -- all speech is free speech, right? Lurker 20:38, 18 November 2007 (EST)
Apologies Lurker and to PFoster and to WP, yes...I did add the link to eliminate the actual text on the page. Above post edited to reflect this. Don't be so afraid of nazis you don't even mention them existing, whitewashing doesn't help. 20:48, 18 November 2007 (EST) CЯacke®
Don't try to edit before waking up fully. CЯacke®

I think there's a difference between a page that is clearly linked as an exposition of racism on the web with links to sample sites and a racist rant followed by a "see more here" link, which is what was on WP's page. Also, free speech is not merely a right, it also represents a set of obligations. Just 'cause I *can* call you "ni--er" or "k-ke" does not means that I *should* do so, or that any forum is an appropriate place to do so, or that I should not bear the consequences of doing so - like a bloody nose, or having my userpage edited because that's just not the place to make those kinds of statements. PFoster 21:51, 18 November 2007 (EST)

I censored the above comment a bit, hope you don't mind. Shouldn't we be discussing this at community standards? humanUser talk:Human 22:02, 18 November 2007 (EST)
That's fine if you guys want to go and censor things you don't like to hear, it's your website and you can make up the rules. It's just that you are violating your own standards of behavior ("An editor's User page space is inviolable; they are free to do with it what they want, and no one should edit it without permission"). If you punch someone in the nose (which is against the "rules" of society) you get arrested for assault, no? Lurker 22:18, 18 November 2007 (EST)
Thing is that from the get go we tried to set these out as standards not rules. To some extent as is wont to happen with any community standards and traditions have morphed into standing rules but we don't really have official rules or policy. Wikis are inherently organic and subject to change over time as new issues arise. It's not a bad thing to change an alter our standards as long as we discuss it openly and get community feedback. Unilateral action should be frowned upon, but any user whether janitor, editor or troll has a right to make any edit they feel like, but will be subject to reversion/temporary blocking/ect for that action. tmtoulouse beset 14:12, 19 November 2007 (EST)
Right. Which is what we're doing here now...
My original attempt was to revert Hojimachong's wholesale deletion of the user's page. In so doing I decided that I was uncomfortable with the whole message being on this wiki so I truncated it and provided a non-working cite. (For those so inclined to view the site they would have to figure out what was wrong and thereby obtain the information they wanted.) This was embellished by the user. PFoster took exception and deleted the embellishment and the link (such as it was) and the reverts began in earnest. The linkage to "undesirable sites" is a separate issue. 14:30, 19 November 2007 (EST) CЯacke®

<- Interestingly, some of this kinda started when I put that "non link" over at metapedia. Since then, many trolls have tried to make it a real link, and endless RW editors have reverted it, forming a strange kind of consensus - at least about that one instance. The language used there to explain why the link is not given has morphed into a sort of unwritten policy that we mostly ignore (as we do all our "rules"). As far as the user page thing, many people seem to think we simply don't want to host racist garbage (or sexist, homophobic, etc) on RW, in any space whatsoever. The line is vague, however (see HOG's rants...), and we act in a rather ad hoc way to define it. One important thing to note is that none of these censorships are enacted on "real" editors here - just trolls, mostly seeming to have crawled out of the sewer at metapedia. humanUser talk:Human 15:21, 19 November 2007 (EST)

I can understand removing the link (though I disagree ideologically), since the wiki has more or less decided as a group that they don't want to send traffic to certain types of websites, mainly racist ones. (On a side note: the link was never actually corrected to point to the right site, but that's incidental to the meat of the discussion).
The thing that scares me is the speed at which and fervor with which you remove someone's personal opinion (copyrighted or no). That you only remove such information added by trolls is no consolation to the little (classic) liberal deep inside me who thinks the right is more important than the message. What's to stop the mob from progressing from racism into anything else they don't like to hear? One of the advantages you guys have over CP is that you allow dissenting opinion. (See, I can compliment you guys... occasionally :p) Lurker 16:28, 19 November 2007 (EST)