RationalWiki talk:Community Standards/Archive8

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This is an archive page, last updated 13 April 2011. Please do not make edits to this page.
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Use of rollback and undo functions[edit]

Old policy
Two tumbleweeds rolling across the screen, from left to right.
Proposed policy

Sysops have the ability to "rollback" all of the edits the most recent editor has made to an article. Only use "rollback" to remove blatant vandalism, or any other self-explanatory reversion (such as when someone blanks a page, or adds "4 HOT SEX, see THIS LINK!!!123" to a page). When reverting a good-faith edit, use "undo" and state your reason(s) in the "Summary" box, such as "that was an intentional misspelling". When reverting substantial edits, discuss your reasons on the talk page - a summary of "see talk" is usually sufficient.

Reverting without any explanation - either on talk pages or in an edit summary - is strongly discouraged, and repeated offenses generally will constitute abuse of sysop powers.

Heavy-handed, considering we have no other real definitions of "abuse" or what infractions entail regarding sanctions. I think this might belong, toned down a bit, in the sysop guide, though. Forcing people cleaning up a substantial mess left by a drive-by editor to not only remove it but to go to the talk page and justify it seems a bit over the top to me. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:40, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree it should be toned down a bit. The point of having it in community standards is to make it more "official". Also, autoconfirmed users can rollback too, and Help:Etiquette already contains this. -- Nx / talk 06:02, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
If autoconfirmed users have it, the "sysop" phrasing should be removed, of course. Is it "autoconfirmed abuse" if they do it wrong? Just curious. Is it clear at the chicken coop that autoconfirmed users have rollback as well? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:37, 12 October 2010 (UTC)
Probably not. To only way (currently) to actually remove rollback from users is to vandal bin them. -- Nx / talk 06:45, 12 October 2010 (UTC)

Why the span tags around the headers?[edit]

Since #header name works for links, is there a reason for these ugly tags? ħumanUser talk:Human 02:47, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

They're shortcuts. -- Nx / talk 04:31, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
To what??? Headers are directly linkable... or do you mean like WP:RS type things? Those could still simply link to headers. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:33, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, e.g. RW:CS#DEL is shorter than RW:CS#Deletion -- Nx / talk 04:51, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, the former can simply redirect to the latter. After all, that's how all the WP shortcuts work... and it makes more sense than adding redundant tags to a page. ħumanUser talk:Human 04:57, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Can you create a page with a # in the title? -- Nx / talk 05:10, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
How about #REDIRECT [[Community Standards#Deletion]] as the contents for RW:DEL? This ain't rocket science, and I'm sure you could have done it faster than I. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:31, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I know, I think I didn't want to create so many redirect pages. I only used these a few times, I created them because I was linking a lot to RW:CS#TALK when telling noobs not to delete stuff from their talk pages, and the hobgoblin made me create all the others. -- Nx / talk 05:49, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
That makes sense. What do we need to fix to straighten this out? I'm not afraid of a bit of heavy lifting... I used to be against redirects here, several decades ago, because I wanted articles written as opposed to redirected, but nowadays I'm a big fan of them (SJ Gould, Stephen Gould, Steven Gould, Stevie Jay Gould... you get the point). What do we need, six or seven "anchor" simple redirects? Should they be RW:CS(etc) or just RW:(etc)? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:56, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not even sure we need them, and the few old links in the archives don't matter that much. -- Nx / talk 06:04, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
OK, I'll clean them out. If we need the links again, shall we just create the redirects? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:10, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Yes, something like RW:TALK should be okay. -- Nx / talk 06:15, 13 October 2010 (UTC)
Cool, yes, I'd think so. We can create them as we find we need them? ħumanUser talk:Human 06:42, 13 October 2010 (UTC)

Conflicts of Interest[edit]

Could we, as a mob, agree on some set, written up standards against conflict of interest editing, so that the cranks and quacks that show up can say "point me to a rule" and we can go "Here's the rule, fuckhead"? Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 16:52, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

It seems to me that the only think that we can ask is that people declare a possible conflict before editing articles about which they may have a commercial interest. --BobSpring is sprung! 16:56, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
Okay. And if they do, and then continue trying to whitewash their article? For example, this kind of shit? The Goonie 1 What's this button do? Uh oh.... 16:59, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
The real problem with that edit was that it was vandalism. It would have been vandalism whether there had been a conflict of interest or not. The thing about declaring a COI is to enable people to keep an eye on edits so as to ensure that an editor is not spinning an article to his or her advantage. In the event that they do then they would be warned to desist. So:
  • When editing articles in which you may have a commercial interest you are required to express this interest on your talk page. If you are seen to be editing the article to favour your commercial interest you will be warned and, if you continue, put in the vandal bin. Failure to declare an interest which is later discovered will be treated in a similar manner.--BobSpring is sprung! 17:10, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
There's a minor elephant in the room when we talk about a general "Conflict of Interest" policy for RationalWiki, when we're really talking about cranks trying to edit their own page. A wiki the size of RationalWiki is very unlikely to have people trying to edit the pages of politicians or major companies with a conflict of interest. It's going to either be cranks or Conservapedia folk. Therefore, I think the policy for people editing with a conflict of interest should be the same as anybody editing. If somebody with NO conflict of interest had gone to the Ramanand Jhingade article and began defending the crank on the talk page, trying to white wash it, vandalising, whatever... we wouldn't have it. We'd say, "Sorry, SPOV comes first. You're arguing against the mainstream scientific view, and for homeopathy. Your edits aren't particularly welcome." So, to formalise that:
While it is good form to state of a Conflict of Interest on an article's talk page before editing the article, it is not required. In fact, somebody trying to edit an article which they're the subject of, or a representative of that subject will be treated largely the same as any other editor. They will be held to the same standards: Their statements should be sourced, and any additions which do not meet SPOV will be removed. If you find yourself discredited for being associated with something which RationalWiki considers woo, pseudoscience or generally quackery, then you must simply accept that if we consider, for example, Homeopathy to be pseudoscience, then as a practitioner, you are a pseudoscientist. You'll find a serious backlash of editors working against you if you try to whitewash a page, so don't bother. And if a clear consensus forms against your edits, but you continue to push them, then we might have to block you. And neither of us want that, do we?

That wholly addresses the current situation, but also the situation in general: People are welcome with opposing views, and will be treated the same, regardless of their reason. If any old editor had tried to do this stuff to that article, they'd have been treated largely the same as this guy. And if they kept on editing the article, even after a consensus against their additions had formed, eventually they'd probably be asked to leave. DalekEXTERMINATE 17:21, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Maybe we should slightly rephrase that to be more like, "Don't bother whitewashing, we'll undo it, and probably make you look worse for it." DalekEXTERMINATE 17:23, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

I think a special rule is unnecessary bureaucracy. Editors with conflicts of interest are undoubtedly nothing new - we all have a COI to make woo-like products look bad, for instance. If someone makes edits that the rest of the group do not agree with, they are undone. A special case of COI isn't needed except in conflict resolution - but as we have no conflict resolution program that works and community standards are repeatedly ignored anyway, there's no point. Scarlet A.pngbomination 17:46, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Yeah. I see the problem Goonie highlighted, but realistically there is little difference between a fanboy and someone with a conflict of interest. I don't think that we need a specific policy, nor Dalek's text, but Dalek did sum it up perfectly in requiring sourcing and respecting our SPOV. It's already covered elsewhere. Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 13:20, 22 January 2011 (UTC)

Best way to contact a crat?[edit]

The recent dox dropping thing kind of got me wondering what's the best way of finding a crat if this kind of thing happens without us noticing? Seems something that would be useful to have. Would RationalWiki:Technical support be appropriate? Concernedresident omg!!! ponies!!! 14:08, 22 January 2011 (UTC)