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RationalWiki talk:Community Standards/Revamp, January 2009/Archive

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I think I may I have the saddest sandbox on RationalWiki. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 12:39, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

General responses[edit]

Should we break this down into the section headers, to see which are controversial and which can go straight in? - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 04:39, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I think this is a very good idea, but we may need to split it up a bit. I've already had three edit conflicts.--Bobbing up 05:09, 9 January 2009 (EST)

I am going to have to leave you all now. When I get back I want to see a good headless chicken mode going. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:48, 9 January 2009 (EST)

It won't come to that hopefully :S. I reckon providing enough people get behind this, we could see RESULTS rather than HCM! ArmondikoVpathetic 06:33, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I'm with Armondikov! Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:36, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Cluck! Cluck! SQWAAAK! patter patter patter. (sound of chicken being beheaded & running round afterwards.) fröhlich "gay" and "happy" 06:40, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I'd like to see this as some sort of side-by-side with what we have now, if possible (or italics vs. normal text, say). That way, changes, additions, etc. are easier to identify. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:39, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Yes, because we really need to do this point by point - rather then the "all at once" update which this would represent.Bobbing up 14:53, 9 January 2009 (EST)
One point at a time would make sense. Quote the "original", say whatever one thinks is wrong with it, propose changes, see if we can reach any sort of consensus, proceed to next item. The approach taken here is that RA called a constitutional convention by presenting a new one to be discussed. Let's face it, we don't even have a mechanism by which to decide if anything here is to be "adopted", anyway. And I think our lack of structure and hard and fast rules bothers some people, but not many. Oh, and one last thought, the problem with having "laws" is that one ends up with "lawyers"... (not that we don't get them anyway ;)) ħumanUser talk:Human 16:11, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I don't particularly like idea of a point-by-point approach, but if that's what it'll take to get things done, then so be it. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:24, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Well, what were you hoping for? That all this discussion about everything at once, while you are editing the thing we are talking about, would result in some sort of giant decision to replace the guidelines page? Change is much more likely to happen if a point is clearly discussed, in and of itself, and an improved version of that point actually reaches consensus of some sort. Oh, and why do we need to "get things done"? Was there some crisis or problem we are actually addressing here? ħumanUser talk:Human 16:31, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Because it's better to get things worked out before a crisis or problem actually appears? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:34, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I think that reviewing the standards is a good idea. Some of them are out of date, others are not really used, the site is growing, there are lots of new members who had no input into the old ones. It may be that we'll decide that they are fine. But going through them one by one and deciding if we can improve them had hardly hurt. But I agree that we need a process to decide how and when we accept them. If I remember correctly the first time we went through the process Trent simply decided the discussion had gone on long enough and accepted some and sidelined others. So we've never really had an update process.Bobbing up 17:07, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Are we still going to incorporate the original preamble? ("This is the list of guidelines defined by the RationalWiki community. These are not site rules but rather a list of standards we as a community want to live up to. Please do your best to live up to these standards.") I think that we should. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 09:18, 10 January 2009 (EST)

So do I.--Bobbing up 13:26, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Agreed. And the overall writing style should reflect the word "guidelines" rather than "rules"? ħumanUser talk:Human 14:39, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Dicks[edit]

Don't be one.
Okay I'll kick the ball rolling.
If it is clear that you joined RationalWiki without any intent to participate as a member of the community, and are here just to push whatever your already unpopular cause is, don't expect to be welcomed with open arms. And if you insist on being a dick about it, don't whine when people treat you like a dick.
This seems a little hostile to new users. Couldn't we say something along the lines that first impressions last and you are going to be treated by other user the way you initially appear to them. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 04:51, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Sorry, I was afk for a moment. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:59, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Thank you, Pi—that didn't occur to me. What I was trying to do with that warning was to caution those who come here to push an agenda (such as Fall down and Rembrandt.ryan) to not behave like a troll when doing it. It really should be reworded, and your line about first impressions added in as well. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:59, 9 January 2009 (EST)
A balance needs to be struck between honest warnings (indeed, if someone is going to be a dick it should be taken as read that they're not welcome) but WE shouldn't be dicks about it. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:01, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I know, I know. Could you help me find a way to reword it so it isn't so abrasive? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:04, 9 January 2009 (EST)
(EC)Rewording it more positively rather than negatively: "We prefer and encourage users and editors to become part of the community. We encourage everyone to join in, be bold and engage in sensible debate but expect them to do so without resulting to vandalising pages or harassment of other users." It's a lot more like a standard TOS agreement. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:10, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Thank you for the suggestion, Armondikov. I do think it's rather vague, but I'll go ahead and change the page to match it. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:26, 9 January 2009 (EST)
You have to accept a balance between being vague and being a bit draconian and almost needlessly water-tight. If I can think of anything more specific to say, I'll let you know. ArmondikoVpathetic 06:11, 9 January 2009 (EST)

edit war[edit]

"If an edit you make is repeatedly reverted, (e.g. an edit war has started), or someone has otherwise objected to it, then talk it out on the article's talk page. It is the best possible way for editors to reach any sort of understanding or compromise."

Add: "If no agreement or compromise can be reached then both participants should defer to the views of the majority (the mob)" ? Toast 06:54, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Good idea, Toast. Want to go ahead and add it? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:02, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Good God no: you do it if you want. I'm only waffling & there's a whole lot (the majority in fact) of the mob to show up yet. Toast 08:01, 9 January 2009 (EST)
"majority" is an undefined term... ħumanUser talk:Human 14:38, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Not exactly - a majority is simply more than half of a given group. The question is rather "a majority of what"? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:36, 9 January 2009 (EST)
That's what I mean. A majority of you, me, and six of my sockpuppets? A majority of the five people who notice a discussion? (And, what kind of majority for what kind of decision? Like, can 50% of the 30% or so of active users commenting here change the "guidelines"? Or should it be a supermajority of some quorum?) If we could ever figure out a way to "define" this - even vaguely (?), we might actually be able to use "voting" in a useful way. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:43, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Renaming users[edit]

This has been on I have been guilty of in the past.

Users can be renamed only if they request to have their name changed, the user has a patently offensive name, or the user is a known vandal.

Should we have a policy of renaming offensive socks and vandals? I think Tit and Fred have set a good precedent. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:06, 9 January 2009 (EST)

I do agree that the Tit and Fred, and even Fall down vandals set a solid precedent for renaming vandals. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:12, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Much of what I wrote in the draft was merely what I observed us actually doing. It's how I came up with the renaming policy for vandals (we already do it, really) and the "rule of three" for deletions and moves, which organically emerged on its own. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:12, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Are you suggesting that we rename FD down's accounts 1,2,3 etc?
It'd be interesting to try that. Trying to keep up would be difficult but we need a way to easily identify known socks. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:14, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Well in Fall down's case there is a horse somewhere down the road, but when we get a new one we might want to keep the stable door shut. Unless someone wants to work their way through the list at RWW and what we have linking to him via the sockpuppet template. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:17, 9 January 2009 (EST)

To clarify, my intent was merely to say that it was merely permissible to rename vandals, not that it was official policy to rename them. Though if that statement leads us to really make it a policy, then it would be included, of course. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:15, 9 January 2009 (EST)

So I'm not clear what the third point means.--Bobbing up 05:17, 9 January 2009 (EST)

I say absolutely not to namedropping Fred, Tit & Fall down in the standards, as the current draft does. It's glorifying trollery, plus for new editors (who are presumably the target readership for this) it's completely meaningless. Finally, what it says about their renaming is spectacularly vague: it's arbitrary, permissable but not encouraged. Since this issue only applies to bureaucrats anyway, it doesn't really need to be mentioned. Better to just stop at the first sentence, "Users can be renamed only if they request to have their name changed or if the user has a patently offensive name", and leave it at that. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:25, 10 January 2009 (EST)

For now I've taken the names out. I think it's better that these vandals don't know that they were named here, to avoid this page becoming a target of vandalism. I still don't agree with including the part about arbitrarily renaming vandals. Really I think this should only be done if their user name is offensive or constitutes a personal attack. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:24, 10 January 2009 (EST)
I agree wholeheartedly. Request or offensive. Nothing else.--Bobbing up 13:27, 10 January 2009 (EST)
That would mean putting a stop to the arbitrary renames some bureaucrats (okay, just Pink and I) have been doing to vandals. Are you okay with that? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:06, 10 January 2009 (EST)

General Statement[edit]

On a technicality is we say: We also have a fourth, unofficial purpose, which is to provide people who agree ..... If we put it in community standards it can't be "unofficial" can it?--Bobbing up 05:16, 9 January 2009 (EST)

True, to a point, but anything "unofficial" that isn't written down can either be abused, misinterpreted or catch new and unaware users off guard. Think about the 90/10 rule for a minute and you'll see what I mean. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:19, 9 January 2009 (EST)
It is not on RW:ABOUT. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:20, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I suppose not. I called it "unofficial" because I couldn't find any previous mention of it on any policy pages, and I didn't want to be too bold and unilaterally add a fourth purpose to our mission (though in a sense I just did). Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:20, 9 January 2009 (EST)
How about something like - notwithstanding this, many people simply edit to have fun. Or something of that nature.--Bobbing up 05:24, 9 January 2009 (EST)
You may also want to clarify what you mean by "limits". NightFlare 05:23, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Eh, sorry about forgetting to respond to you, NightFlare. I went ahead and removed it, as I realized it how uselessly vague it was and it was better not to include it at all. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:50, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I agree with the "edit to have fun" part. If we evolve the science sections (did anything come of that because I think it was discuessed just before I put myself of hiatus and missed it all), editing articles for fun (well, some people find it fun) will indeed become a major part. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:27, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I think saying that people "edit just to have fun" is a bit misleading. When I wrote the "fourth, unofficial purpose" statement, I had in mind the vibrant activity of the users on our user talkpages and on talk:WIGO. Describing that as "editing" makes it sound like work, even if we say it's for furn. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:36, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Indeed, as an action it's editing but as an activity it isn't. Just reword the talk and banter stuff to "posting". I should probably involve myself in that more, a lot of usertalk just passes me by. :P ArmondikoVpathetic 05:52, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Articles with general information on "hard science" are occasionally criticized for not adhering to the mission statements. There are a number of people writing such articles, and a number of people making those complaints. One only needs to peruse the science, biology, physics, or medicine categories to see a great number of pages that are purely informational. There are probably a number of reasons for writing such pages, ranging from (my favorite) "Let's stick it to Conservapedia and be the educational resource that they can't be" to "Let's provide background information that will help the reader to understand the issues involved in evolution, medicine, etc."
I have no problem with these kinds of articles not being listed in the 3 main pillars of the mission statement, but I'd like to see some kind of secondary recognition of them. How about changing the sentence that follows the 3 principles to
We also have a few unofficial purposes, such as promoting a better understanding of scientific, mathematical, biological, and medical issues, and providing people who agree with the previously-stated goals a place to just hang out and have fun with like-minded people.
Gauss 12:35, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Or we could create a science namespace and put them all uncontroversially in that.--Bobbing up 13:30, 10 January 2009 (EST)

The Mobocracy[edit]

Says: Therefore, keep in mind that the policies below are only an approximation of what the mob has decided, and are themselves probably being debated on a talk page right now.

Suggest reword to "Therefore, keep in mind that the policies below are only an approximation of what the mob has decided, and may even be being debated on a talk page right now."--Bobbing up 05:23, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Is that the proper grammar for what I was trying to say? It just sounds awkward—the "be being" part in particular. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:31, 9 January 2009 (EST)
My point is that they are probably not being debated. Though the possibility exists.Bobbing up
"Policies are subject to alteration should an unforseen precedent force them to. The talkpage of this article on the rules will show the most recent debates about the rules and their enforcement". Which brings me to the idea that ANY policy discussion should go on the policy talkpage rather than create a new debate-space thing that will just be forgotten. When it's boiled down, it can be archived as a policy subpage (possibly with a summary left on the talkpage for review) and we have a (nearly) blank canvas to start the next rehash of the rules. It might sound like work, but it has to be done to keep the site functioning and consistent, the userbase is getting too large for things like this to be left unorganised. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:58, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Personally, I much preferred the original explanation of the mobocracy & don't see what needs changing about it. I think it explained the concept pretty well. As for the new one, I really don't like "you'll need a fairly thick skin to participate". See my comments on personal attacks below. Just because personal attacks have been happening recently does not mean they are inevitable or something users have to put up with. This isn't a good message to write into our standards. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:51, 10 January 2009 (EST)

I'll relent on the "need a fairly thick skin" part, but I find a tautology to describe anything to be incredibly helpful and even dishonest. A tautology, any tautology, is a lazy person's way out of having to actually explain something. One would think that for something as important as the community standards, a group as intelligent as us would be able to come up with a description that is actually helpful and faithfully describes how we operate. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:42, 10 January 2009 (EST)
I like the tautology - it sums up mobocracy pretty well in a sentence, while also being a neat little riddle. And it was followed by a good explanation, so I don't see it as laziness - "We are ultimately an expression of the active editors on this project. What is written about, how it is discussed, parsed and organized is a reflection of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." I don't think that this aspect (that how things are done by community is a reflection of the standards & preferences of the individuals making up the community) is explained as well in the current wording. Perhaps this original wording could be added into the current paragraph along with what's there already, since they're explaining the same thing in a different way. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:37, 11 January 2009 (EST)

I think I may I have the saddest sandbox on RationalWiki. --Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 12:39, 7 May 2008 (EDT)

General responses[edit]

Should we break this down into the section headers, to see which are controversial and which can go straight in? - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 04:39, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I think this is a very good idea, but we may need to split it up a bit. I've already had three edit conflicts.--Bobbing up 05:09, 9 January 2009 (EST)

I am going to have to leave you all now. When I get back I want to see a good headless chicken mode going. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:48, 9 January 2009 (EST)

It won't come to that hopefully :S. I reckon providing enough people get behind this, we could see RESULTS rather than HCM! ArmondikoVpathetic 06:33, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I'm with Armondikov! Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:36, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Cluck! Cluck! SQWAAAK! patter patter patter. (sound of chicken being beheaded & running round afterwards.) fröhlich "gay" and "happy" 06:40, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I'd like to see this as some sort of side-by-side with what we have now, if possible (or italics vs. normal text, say). That way, changes, additions, etc. are easier to identify. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:39, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Yes, because we really need to do this point by point - rather then the "all at once" update which this would represent.Bobbing up 14:53, 9 January 2009 (EST)
One point at a time would make sense. Quote the "original", say whatever one thinks is wrong with it, propose changes, see if we can reach any sort of consensus, proceed to next item. The approach taken here is that RA called a constitutional convention by presenting a new one to be discussed. Let's face it, we don't even have a mechanism by which to decide if anything here is to be "adopted", anyway. And I think our lack of structure and hard and fast rules bothers some people, but not many. Oh, and one last thought, the problem with having "laws" is that one ends up with "lawyers"... (not that we don't get them anyway ;)) ħumanUser talk:Human 16:11, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I don't particularly like idea of a point-by-point approach, but if that's what it'll take to get things done, then so be it. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:24, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Well, what were you hoping for? That all this discussion about everything at once, while you are editing the thing we are talking about, would result in some sort of giant decision to replace the guidelines page? Change is much more likely to happen if a point is clearly discussed, in and of itself, and an improved version of that point actually reaches consensus of some sort. Oh, and why do we need to "get things done"? Was there some crisis or problem we are actually addressing here? ħumanUser talk:Human 16:31, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Because it's better to get things worked out before a crisis or problem actually appears? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:34, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I think that reviewing the standards is a good idea. Some of them are out of date, others are not really used, the site is growing, there are lots of new members who had no input into the old ones. It may be that we'll decide that they are fine. But going through them one by one and deciding if we can improve them had hardly hurt. But I agree that we need a process to decide how and when we accept them. If I remember correctly the first time we went through the process Trent simply decided the discussion had gone on long enough and accepted some and sidelined others. So we've never really had an update process.Bobbing up 17:07, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Are we still going to incorporate the original preamble? ("This is the list of guidelines defined by the RationalWiki community. These are not site rules but rather a list of standards we as a community want to live up to. Please do your best to live up to these standards.") I think that we should. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 09:18, 10 January 2009 (EST)

So do I.--Bobbing up 13:26, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Agreed. And the overall writing style should reflect the word "guidelines" rather than "rules"? ħumanUser talk:Human 14:39, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Dicks[edit]

Don't be one.
Okay I'll kick the ball rolling.
If it is clear that you joined RationalWiki without any intent to participate as a member of the community, and are here just to push whatever your already unpopular cause is, don't expect to be welcomed with open arms. And if you insist on being a dick about it, don't whine when people treat you like a dick.
This seems a little hostile to new users. Couldn't we say something along the lines that first impressions last and you are going to be treated by other user the way you initially appear to them. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 04:51, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Sorry, I was afk for a moment. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:59, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Thank you, Pi—that didn't occur to me. What I was trying to do with that warning was to caution those who come here to push an agenda (such as Fall down and Rembrandt.ryan) to not behave like a troll when doing it. It really should be reworded, and your line about first impressions added in as well. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 04:59, 9 January 2009 (EST)
A balance needs to be struck between honest warnings (indeed, if someone is going to be a dick it should be taken as read that they're not welcome) but WE shouldn't be dicks about it. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:01, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I know, I know. Could you help me find a way to reword it so it isn't so abrasive? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:04, 9 January 2009 (EST)
(EC)Rewording it more positively rather than negatively: "We prefer and encourage users and editors to become part of the community. We encourage everyone to join in, be bold and engage in sensible debate but expect them to do so without resulting to vandalising pages or harassment of other users." It's a lot more like a standard TOS agreement. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:10, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Thank you for the suggestion, Armondikov. I do think it's rather vague, but I'll go ahead and change the page to match it. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:26, 9 January 2009 (EST)
You have to accept a balance between being vague and being a bit draconian and almost needlessly water-tight. If I can think of anything more specific to say, I'll let you know. ArmondikoVpathetic 06:11, 9 January 2009 (EST)

edit war[edit]

"If an edit you make is repeatedly reverted, (e.g. an edit war has started), or someone has otherwise objected to it, then talk it out on the article's talk page. It is the best possible way for editors to reach any sort of understanding or compromise."

Add: "If no agreement or compromise can be reached then both participants should defer to the views of the majority (the mob)" ? Toast 06:54, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Good idea, Toast. Want to go ahead and add it? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:02, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Good God no: you do it if you want. I'm only waffling & there's a whole lot (the majority in fact) of the mob to show up yet. Toast 08:01, 9 January 2009 (EST)
"majority" is an undefined term... ħumanUser talk:Human 14:38, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Not exactly - a majority is simply more than half of a given group. The question is rather "a majority of what"? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:36, 9 January 2009 (EST)
That's what I mean. A majority of you, me, and six of my sockpuppets? A majority of the five people who notice a discussion? (And, what kind of majority for what kind of decision? Like, can 50% of the 30% or so of active users commenting here change the "guidelines"? Or should it be a supermajority of some quorum?) If we could ever figure out a way to "define" this - even vaguely (?), we might actually be able to use "voting" in a useful way. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:43, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Renaming users[edit]

This has been on I have been guilty of in the past.

Users can be renamed only if they request to have their name changed, the user has a patently offensive name, or the user is a known vandal.

Should we have a policy of renaming offensive socks and vandals? I think Tit and Fred have set a good precedent. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:06, 9 January 2009 (EST)

I do agree that the Tit and Fred, and even Fall down vandals set a solid precedent for renaming vandals. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:12, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Much of what I wrote in the draft was merely what I observed us actually doing. It's how I came up with the renaming policy for vandals (we already do it, really) and the "rule of three" for deletions and moves, which organically emerged on its own. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:12, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Are you suggesting that we rename FD down's accounts 1,2,3 etc?
It'd be interesting to try that. Trying to keep up would be difficult but we need a way to easily identify known socks. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:14, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Well in Fall down's case there is a horse somewhere down the road, but when we get a new one we might want to keep the stable door shut. Unless someone wants to work their way through the list at RWW and what we have linking to him via the sockpuppet template. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:17, 9 January 2009 (EST)

To clarify, my intent was merely to say that it was merely permissible to rename vandals, not that it was official policy to rename them. Though if that statement leads us to really make it a policy, then it would be included, of course. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:15, 9 January 2009 (EST)

So I'm not clear what the third point means.--Bobbing up 05:17, 9 January 2009 (EST)

I say absolutely not to namedropping Fred, Tit & Fall down in the standards, as the current draft does. It's glorifying trollery, plus for new editors (who are presumably the target readership for this) it's completely meaningless. Finally, what it says about their renaming is spectacularly vague: it's arbitrary, permissable but not encouraged. Since this issue only applies to bureaucrats anyway, it doesn't really need to be mentioned. Better to just stop at the first sentence, "Users can be renamed only if they request to have their name changed or if the user has a patently offensive name", and leave it at that. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:25, 10 January 2009 (EST)

For now I've taken the names out. I think it's better that these vandals don't know that they were named here, to avoid this page becoming a target of vandalism. I still don't agree with including the part about arbitrarily renaming vandals. Really I think this should only be done if their user name is offensive or constitutes a personal attack. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:24, 10 January 2009 (EST)
I agree wholeheartedly. Request or offensive. Nothing else.--Bobbing up 13:27, 10 January 2009 (EST)
That would mean putting a stop to the arbitrary renames some bureaucrats (okay, just Pink and I) have been doing to vandals. Are you okay with that? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:06, 10 January 2009 (EST)

General Statement[edit]

On a technicality is we say: We also have a fourth, unofficial purpose, which is to provide people who agree ..... If we put it in community standards it can't be "unofficial" can it?--Bobbing up 05:16, 9 January 2009 (EST)

True, to a point, but anything "unofficial" that isn't written down can either be abused, misinterpreted or catch new and unaware users off guard. Think about the 90/10 rule for a minute and you'll see what I mean. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:19, 9 January 2009 (EST)
It is not on RW:ABOUT. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:20, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I suppose not. I called it "unofficial" because I couldn't find any previous mention of it on any policy pages, and I didn't want to be too bold and unilaterally add a fourth purpose to our mission (though in a sense I just did). Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:20, 9 January 2009 (EST)
How about something like - notwithstanding this, many people simply edit to have fun. Or something of that nature.--Bobbing up 05:24, 9 January 2009 (EST)
You may also want to clarify what you mean by "limits". NightFlare 05:23, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Eh, sorry about forgetting to respond to you, NightFlare. I went ahead and removed it, as I realized it how uselessly vague it was and it was better not to include it at all. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:50, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I agree with the "edit to have fun" part. If we evolve the science sections (did anything come of that because I think it was discuessed just before I put myself of hiatus and missed it all), editing articles for fun (well, some people find it fun) will indeed become a major part. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:27, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I think saying that people "edit just to have fun" is a bit misleading. When I wrote the "fourth, unofficial purpose" statement, I had in mind the vibrant activity of the users on our user talkpages and on talk:WIGO. Describing that as "editing" makes it sound like work, even if we say it's for furn. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:36, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Indeed, as an action it's editing but as an activity it isn't. Just reword the talk and banter stuff to "posting". I should probably involve myself in that more, a lot of usertalk just passes me by. :P ArmondikoVpathetic 05:52, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Articles with general information on "hard science" are occasionally criticized for not adhering to the mission statements. There are a number of people writing such articles, and a number of people making those complaints. One only needs to peruse the science, biology, physics, or medicine categories to see a great number of pages that are purely informational. There are probably a number of reasons for writing such pages, ranging from (my favorite) "Let's stick it to Conservapedia and be the educational resource that they can't be" to "Let's provide background information that will help the reader to understand the issues involved in evolution, medicine, etc."
I have no problem with these kinds of articles not being listed in the 3 main pillars of the mission statement, but I'd like to see some kind of secondary recognition of them. How about changing the sentence that follows the 3 principles to
We also have a few unofficial purposes, such as promoting a better understanding of scientific, mathematical, biological, and medical issues, and providing people who agree with the previously-stated goals a place to just hang out and have fun with like-minded people.
Gauss 12:35, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Or we could create a science namespace and put them all uncontroversially in that.--Bobbing up 13:30, 10 January 2009 (EST)

The Mobocracy[edit]

Says: Therefore, keep in mind that the policies below are only an approximation of what the mob has decided, and are themselves probably being debated on a talk page right now.

Suggest reword to "Therefore, keep in mind that the policies below are only an approximation of what the mob has decided, and may even be being debated on a talk page right now."--Bobbing up 05:23, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Is that the proper grammar for what I was trying to say? It just sounds awkward—the "be being" part in particular. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:31, 9 January 2009 (EST)
My point is that they are probably not being debated. Though the possibility exists.Bobbing up
"Policies are subject to alteration should an unforseen precedent force them to. The talkpage of this article on the rules will show the most recent debates about the rules and their enforcement". Which brings me to the idea that ANY policy discussion should go on the policy talkpage rather than create a new debate-space thing that will just be forgotten. When it's boiled down, it can be archived as a policy subpage (possibly with a summary left on the talkpage for review) and we have a (nearly) blank canvas to start the next rehash of the rules. It might sound like work, but it has to be done to keep the site functioning and consistent, the userbase is getting too large for things like this to be left unorganised. ArmondikoVpathetic 05:58, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Personally, I much preferred the original explanation of the mobocracy & don't see what needs changing about it. I think it explained the concept pretty well. As for the new one, I really don't like "you'll need a fairly thick skin to participate". See my comments on personal attacks below. Just because personal attacks have been happening recently does not mean they are inevitable or something users have to put up with. This isn't a good message to write into our standards. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:51, 10 January 2009 (EST)

I'll relent on the "need a fairly thick skin" part, but I find a tautology to describe anything to be incredibly helpful and even dishonest. A tautology, any tautology, is a lazy person's way out of having to actually explain something. One would think that for something as important as the community standards, a group as intelligent as us would be able to come up with a description that is actually helpful and faithfully describes how we operate. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:42, 10 January 2009 (EST)
I like the tautology - it sums up mobocracy pretty well in a sentence, while also being a neat little riddle. And it was followed by a good explanation, so I don't see it as laziness - "We are ultimately an expression of the active editors on this project. What is written about, how it is discussed, parsed and organized is a reflection of the community makeup, and not a set of rules or policies." I don't think that this aspect (that how things are done by community is a reflection of the standards & preferences of the individuals making up the community) is explained as well in the current wording. Perhaps this original wording could be added into the current paragraph along with what's there already, since they're explaining the same thing in a different way. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:37, 11 January 2009 (EST)

The Vandal Bin & Blocking[edit]

This is good, but contradicts RW:BLOCK. Shouldn't we rewrite that first? Also vandal bin doesn't work on IP what do we do then? - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:25, 9 January 2009 (EST)

There also should be information for the blockie saying that they should take it in good faith if it is short. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:27, 9 January 2009 (EST)
RW:BLOCK seems okay, it just needs to be followed. We tried the fibonnaci thing with FD (Well, I tried it) but it never got far enough to become 2 months (He was enough of a toerag to start it on the MONTH scale and then found RWW to voice his opinions on so essentially went away and hasn't returned as the ban expired this month). ArmondikoVpathetic 05:30, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Fall down is on the Fibbonacci sequence he is currently on 1 year, next is 2 years, 3 years, 5 years, 8 years... - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:32, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Ah, I didn't see it upgraded to years. :S ArmondikoVpathetic 05:36, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I disagree with our current block policy on the most fundamental of levels. With the introduction of the vandal bin, blocking is now the morally inferior choice. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:43, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Actually I don't see the vandal bin and the FS being totally compatible. I'd say we should junk the FS.Bobbing up 05:45, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I agree. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:50, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I think it probably started as a joke to show that most people know something about maths. It's a nice exponential sequence that works if it was implimentent properly but lets face it, the one big problem we've had used proxies to get around the blocks very easily. Anyone deserving a block (by RW standards) is likely to be enough of an arsehole to actively try to get around it any way possible. ArmondikoVpathetic 06:03, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Which brings us back around to the question of why bother blocking at all. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:13, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Indeed. But the practical question is; we have Tit 12 and Fred 15 now. If we didn't block the original accounts, would we have these additional ones cropping up? If yes, then it doesn't matter. If not, then we'd only need to put them into the vandal bin and not worry too much (unless they use every edit every half hour and that would be too much work, but it looks from the posting behaviour like that wouldn't be the case). It wouldn't make a difference, we'd still get the occaisional edit but only from one account. What about degrees of vandal bin (would that take trent too much time to set up), reducing you to one edit every half hour or for a true and proven (bot-like, such as Fred and co) vandal, one a day or even less. It'd be the equiverlent of blocking but needing a lot less maintenence. ArmondikoVpathetic 06:26, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I agree, Armondikov. I had been thinking that the vandal bin should be reduced to once per day, too, although I didn't think of creating various levels of vandals. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:32, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I think Trent will get it working for IPs before long. If it's once a day they'll just sock up as it stands; so might as well be left as it is until IPs can be vandalbinned. fröhlich "gay" and "happy" 06:36, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Yes, but IP identification doesn't work for proxies unless we want to rangeblock (definitely not) or block things like Tor (pointless, because there will ALWAYS be others that we've missed). ArmondikoVpathetic 06:47, 9 January 2009 (EST)
A day's editing ban is very like a day's block but without the IP being blocked. If you're going to use edit bans of this length of time you might as well block. If someone with a day's edit ban wants to edit, they'll just sock up while if they've only an hour to wait, they won't be as likely to bother. Toast 07:09, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Hm. That never occurred to me. Of course, it wouldn't, as I have barely any experience with serious socking (unlike you, eh ; ) ). Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:18, 9 January 2009 (EST)
That did occur to me. The difference is that a one day block expires, while a day long vandal break doesn't, it'll keep reinstating itself. If a bot-like vandal such as Fred comes, posts and goes away, they'll still be limited when they come back a week or month later. Whereas if you block for a day, they go away and you need to reblock again, and again and again. Socks and proxies will always remain a problem regardless of the method. ArmondikoVpathetic 07:39, 9 January 2009 (EST)

I strongly disagree with not blocking vandals. The ones we encounter most regularly use multiple accounts & alternate between them, so the vandal bin is ineffective: they can still do a substantial amount of vandalism in a few minutes. The only thing that stops them is getting blocked, because it blocks their IP. It doesn't need to be a long block (an hour would probably do), just long enough to make them go away. A vandal using TOR might need to be blocked two or three times like this, but they'll usually get bored with having to route through new IP paths. But if we don't block at all, we might get vandal sprees lasting an hour or so, which would take a hell of a lot of effort to clear up.

As well as the practical advantages, blocking also sends a message of what we won't tolerate, which I don't think the vandal bin does as effectively. This is one advantage of the fibonacci sequence, in that, if the vandal persists, they get longer & longer blocks. The downside of the fibonacci is that it only works if everyone does it, and it requires checking how long the vandal was blocked for previously, & becomes unmanageable if the vandal is using multiple accounts. So I think the sequence should be scrapped, but we should still be using blocks (of usually no more than a day) on users who continue to vandal maliciously after being vandal binned &/or given a warning.

Finally, we should mention something about friendly blocks. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 07:51, 10 January 2009 (EST)

I find your suggestion the most compelling, Weaseloid. While I am still opposed to any blocks in principle, I also know that I can't force that opinion on the site as policy (but not for lack of trying). I find your suggestion to be the best because it doesn't condone long, months-long blocks, acknowledges that there is a certain practicality in blocking persistent vandals, and also finally kills the Fibonacci sequence as a blocking tool. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:52, 10 January 2009 (EST)

Policy on Religion[edit]

Looks good to me.--Bobbing up 05:26, 9 January 2009 (EST)

I don't know. Should we have a policy on not having a policy on religion? - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:30, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Well, a lot of people get a lot of criticism for being too anti-theistic. I think it could do with a clarified version because like it or not, it IS a major factor that WILL appear on this site. It needs to be clarified that we (as a group) don't care about someone's religion, but we won't tollerate articles saying "atheists are outright wrong and sinful" "Christianity is fascism" "Jews are c**ts" etc. because such things aren't rational (though stuff like that could come under other rules). ArmondikoVpathetic 05:35, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I wrote that in an attempt to put to rest an old debate (from before you guys joined) about what our official policy regarding religion should be. Some argued that the "rational" in RationalWiki constituted an implicit rejection of anything as irrational as religion, others felt it did not. In the end, all we could agree on was to disagree. That policy ("Our official policy is that we have no policy") is an expression of that agreement. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:48, 9 January 2009 (EST)
That explains it quite well. So you would say something like "We have no official policy because it is a subject that almost everyone can disagree on, therefore the site as an entity in general refuses to rule one way or the other"?ArmondikoVpathetic 05:50, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Yes, though hopefully I could express in a less cumbersome sentence.  : ) Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 05:51, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I don't think you can be elegant about that kind of thing... "Rational Wiki does not enforce a policy that specifically refers to religion." Strictly, I'd want to say that it's treated with the same degree of snarky critical thinking as poltitical parties and other movements (taking a very Dawkins kind of view of it). Basically, this would be saying that the official policy is that religious beliefs are not granted special dispensation from criticism. However, this could be seen as "open season" to attack religion using non-rational and very angry arguments and taunts. ArmondikoVpathetic 06:08, 9 January 2009 (EST)
It would also be implicit enouragement to criticize religion in general (as opposed to just fundamentalism, which is already included in the mission statement), which would violate the whole "no policy about a policy" thing. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:12, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Yeah, as I said, I want to have that as a rule, but my calmer and more pragmatic side says that it would be a BAD idea. But I would like it to be clear that religion isn't treated differently. You could say "RW enforces no specific policy on religion that is different to the other rules of good conduct. I.e., be honest but respectful, critical but not insulting and use good arguments without resorting to the behavior that RW's mission aims to refute". I think that might be better, it allows you to honestly critique irrational belief (if you believe it to be rational) but doesn't let you be an arsehole about it. ArmondikoVpathetic 06:21, 9 January 2009 (EST)
What about something like: "Atheists, Christians, Hindus, Jews, Moonies and Muslims are all humans and their beliefs should be treated with due respect and decency (but not $cientologists)" (Alphabetical order, before someone asks). fröhlich "gay" and "happy" 06:29, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I'm not sure about "honest but respectful". Should we make the same comment about, for instance, creationism, spiritualism and homoeopathy?Bobbing up 07:28, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Can we please not go down this road? How about we just stick with the pleasantly poetic (yet still accurate) "Our policy is we have no policy on religion"? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 07:31, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Why are we not allowed to go down a particular road in this discussion, again? I think mention of some level of respect and tolerance would go a long way. ħumanUser talk:Human 16:07, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I'm afraid of this turning into a repeat of the Constitutional Convention, where we got bogged down in debating the meaning of "rational". I would like this discussion to actually be productive, and not a dead end that kills the entire idea. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:12, 9 January 2009 (EST)
So we can't talk about what you disapprove of? In case it results in ends you disagree with? Or, put better, what did you mean by stifling discussion? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:10, 10 January 2009 (EST)

(unindent and edit conflict) The honest means that you say what you think and don't be afraid of saying "I don't see how your beliefs are grounded in reality" (not giving religion a free ride just because it's religion rather than a different breed of philosphy) while respectful means not saying things like "you're a c**t because you believe in some cosmic zombie you stupid wierdo" as some people are wont to do. ArmondikoVpathetic 07:37, 9 January 2009 (EST)

(in light of RA's comment) I'm unfortunately split. One the one hand, I like the simplicty of saying "we have no policy", that's sort of what I'd want to aim for, but with clarification. It'll not change people's minds or ideas but it'll be a guide as to what is and isn't acceptable to post on the site. ArmondikoVpathetic 07:37, 9 January 2009 (EST)
There's always NOMA... Cue Bob in 5... 4... 3... --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 07:38, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I quite liked the "We have no policy on religion" statement. Said Bob not taking the bait.Bobbing up 07:52, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Perhaps. Although in my experience, at least on important subjects like this, "no policy" is often a bad policy - not least because practically every single incident of HCM that I can remember has been somehow related to religion. Assuming that at least one reason for having standards like this is to avoid such incidents, I think it'd be a good idea to say something about it. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:03, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Perhaps. But anything that we do try to say about it here will simply generate conflict here. How much I don't know. But such a debate will certainly detract from the updating of the community standards. If we really want to do it I'd suggest moving it to a different page. But my inclination would be to leave it alone.Bobbing up 08:39, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Religion is well known as a contentious subject around here. However, if we can't even talk about talking about a subject out of fear of the conflict that it'd generate, it seems that we may have slightly bigger problems than just updating the standards can solve. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:58, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I don't think that any guidelines will affect present attitudes or behaviour, so I'd suggest just leaving it as "no policy" but accentuating, elsewhere, a civility code. Toast 09:06, 9 January 2009 (EST)

How about extending it to something like this:

Our official policy on religion is that we do not have an official policy on religion. Our community of editors includes followers of various religions, as well as many atheists. Please bear this in mind when editing.

That way it doesn't get too caught up into how critical or otherwise we can be about religion, but it does say something positive about the diversity of the editing community, ask for some level of tolerance, and directly addresses the misconception that we are an 'atheist site', which I'm guessing is part of the reason for stating this "policy". WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:02, 10 January 2009 (EST)

I would like to point out that religion is a very prominent part of RW. We allow poking fun at inconsistancies (especially when doing so demolishes fundamentalism), assuming that doing so isn't anti-(insert religion here). We don't have a problem mentioning all the times God kills people for things, or making good-humored jokes. --"ConservapediaUndergroundThermistoris overworked and overbearing 13:34, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Of the various suggestions so far, I like yours best, Weaseloid. It keeps the "we couldn't make a decision as a site" part, notes the diversity of the site, and subtly recommends a degree of tolerance for that diversity. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:40, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Hey, whatever can make people stop calling me and my tribe a "disease on humanity" and such works for me. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:15, 10 January 2009 (EST)
I've put in my wording as above, since RA & AKJ agreed. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:07, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Conservapedia[edit]

Should we make some sort of point to the effect that we do not endorse people carrying out direct action at other websites?Bobbing up 05:52, 9 January 2009 (EST)

That's a good idea, Bob—it would be preferable to have an official disclaimer of that sort. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:02, 9 January 2009 (EST)
What section do you think we should put it in? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:05, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I think there already is a disclaimer written somewhere. To be honest, Conservapedia could probably do with a full PAGE of it's own policy that comprehensively covers everything from outing parodists, to posting WIGO entries to not tocuhing the kids/students. ArmondikoVpathetic 06:10, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Do you think we should leave it out then? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:23, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Well, a "see the full article" link would be an obvious one to leave in, together with a few bullet points to explain the basics; namely "RW does NOT condone vandalism to Conservapedia". Though I'd clarify it as our standard of vandalism. Assfly will say refuting the idea of Obama being a muslim as vandalism. That sort of thing, we might unofficially encourage and act as a resource for. ArmondikoVpathetic 06:29, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Trouble is we do endorse ... look at the way we welcomed MexMax, Bugler et al. "We do not promote ..." might be better. --Frohlich 06:32, 9 January 2009
That's a good alternative, Frohlich. I'd go ahead and add that, but there's still the question of what section to add it in. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 06:45, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Why not create a new section "International relations" or something of that nature. Either that, or put it right up at the beginning under "general statement".Bobbing up 07:56, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Okay, I see the point about "promote" over "endorse". Fully agreed there. ArmondikoVpathetic 07:57, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Or (is there already?) a "Code of Conduct" including civility on wiki (see my comment in religion above) and non-promotion of vandalism off-wiki? Toast 09:12, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Um is it just me or have most of us trolled CP at least once? I don't just mean imputing rationality into their articles but flat out, "Come ban me asshole" types of edits. How many times do we laugh at the people that do? I personally have no problem with people trolling CP and that is the impression most people would get about RW from reading the talk page comments imo, so why even bother? We both endorse and promote vandalism. NetharianCubicles are prisons! 00:21, 10 January 2009 (EST)
"Promote" implies collusion. I don't think (cabal excepted?) we've ever done that. Toast 00:34, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Fun:How_to_use_proxies_to_surf_teh_innertubes and Essay:The_Information_Warrior's_Handbook. Not that I really care, I just don't understand why we are giving the illusion that we don't condone it when clearly we do. NetharianCubicles are prisons! 00:47, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Condone:yes; promote:no. It's because we're not an "attack" site, more a "laugh at" site. I do see your point, but I think that most here would be happy if CP reverted to its original goal of being an encyclopaedia for home schooled kids, and then we'd have much less to laugh at. The escalation into a far right Xtian fundy site has made it a source of humour with little need for coordinated vandalism. Toast 01:02, 10 January 2009 (EST)
I think things like the "how to use proxies" page are perfectly reasonable pages to have for the purpose of assisting in the things that we do promote or condone. We just need to be careful in describing what those things are. Which means pointing out quite emphatically that our definition of vandalism is very different from theirs.
I'd go with something like
  • We do not condone mindless or childish vandalism, such as replacing a page with a picture of Hitler [is there some way of sneaking in something along the lines of "they have respected editors all too willing to do that to themselves in any case"?] or with 1000 copies of "F*ck you Andy" or whatever.
  • However, some sites construe totally sensible activities as vandalism, such as attempting to inject sanity into articles or discussions, or openly challenging the barbaric behavior of sysops. We fully condone these activities as the natural behavior of educated and sensible people.
Then the controversy over "condone" vs. "promote" vs. "endorse" would be a little less charged. Gauss 11:32, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Do we really need a community guideline for activities that take place outside of the community at another website? WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:38, 10 January 2009 (EST)
We are widely accused of damaging CP, as illustrated by many of TK's ban reasons. Given that they are obsessed with us, we really can't be silent on the matter. A well-reasoned defense against that accusation is called for. People will be looking for it. Gauss 12:03, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Some of us have stopped caring about CP a long time ago, so making in blanket statements about what we as a site do or don't about something totally off site seems out of place in our "standards" section. Under the RationalWiki is a section I wrote oh so many months ago when we were first starting out about our relationship with CP. I would recommend taking that as a core and expanding it into one of our awesome "guides" on a stand along page that allows us to fully explore all these issues to our hearts content. We can then put a single statement in here and refer to the guide for those interested in details. tmtoulouse 12:11, 10 January 2009 (EST)
It's also mentioned in the Newcomers FAQ, another page that will probably need some updating once we're finished with this one. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:30, 10 January 2009 (EST)

If someone does come up with a good way to word this idea, one thing we don't want to do (IMHO) is bother to actually mention CP in our guidelines. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:16, 11 January 2009 (EST)

I agree. We should deal with subject somewhere, but it's probably better in our newcomer's guide (&/or the CP newcomer's guide) or the RationalWiki entry rather than community guidelines. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 16:14, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Articles needing attention[edit]

I noticed mentions of "rule of three" and other things that would require the attention of people (i.e., "the mob") to make a decision. For a mob rule thing to work, you need to attract the attention of the mob to make a decision. It isn't always immediately obvious what needs attention and with large amounts of talk or editing elsewhere, things can drop off the recent changes page and go under the radar very quickly.
Therefore, I propose a category of "articles needing attention". I think we might have something like this so this could just be a change to how it works or at least people taking it more seriously. Essentially, you have the category and you tag articles that warrant attention from people to make a judgement or put their oar in (edit warring, conflicts, blatantly crap articles that need work). To make sure it doesn't go ignored, you ask users to click the "watch this page" button and essentially subscribe to it; particularly sending out a memo on demotion to sysop, as a sort-of-but-not-quite (i.e., fully optional but encouraged) responsibility as sysop powers are useful in moves etc. or possibly to new users in the welcome template as a good spring board to get newer editors involved. I know people don't like officially giving people "work" or "responsibility" but it wouldn't be like that; it's just a way to bring attention to the things that we should be doing as editors anyway (and I think in most cases, want to be doing or we wouldn't have taken the time to sign up and contribute).
This would basically replace the intercom or multiple talk page announcements being unofficially used to flag up things needing attention (such as this page). Once the page has been dealt with, it's removed from the attention seeking category and we rest, knowing our work is done! It worked well with the merge template and page for discussion (although people didn't subscribe to it, the watching is just so that it isn't forgotten about like other projects) so I don't see why the concept can't be expanded to include articles that need serious work and attention or disputes that need settled. ArmondikoVpathetic 07:30, 9 January 2009 (EST)

There are already a lot of things (categories) that people ought to watch: stubs, uncatted articles, cover stories, articles for merging, afd spring to mind; I don't know if anyone does watch them. fröhlich "gay" and "happy" 09:25, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Well, that's the real issue. Last time I suggested that maybe we actually do a minimum amount of housekeeping there was a massive knee-jerk against it. But an invite/reminder to watch these pages in the welcome or sysop welcome is something to be mentioned in policy. ArmondikoVpathetic 09:31, 9 January 2009 (EST)
These things sit unnoticed at the top of Rc & watchlist. maybe they should be joggled around from time to time to bring attention to them. Toast 09:35, 9 January 2009 (EST)
The "Useful Links" box? I really don't notice it on the Recent Changes log. Come to think of it, what I think I'm proposing is to just kick Project Whitewash into gear. While Whitewash is a generic "you should do this" we could do with something to have attention constantly focused on certain things. RW editors do tend towards being have an attention deficit :P . ArmondikoVpathetic 12:16, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I believe that we've got category "high priority" somewhere - but it doesn't have much impact.Bobbing up 14:50, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Decision-making and such[edit]

I think it would be useful to say a bit more about the processes we use (or want to use), informal as they are. The "rule of three" is a good start, but especially the concept of "consensus" could need more detail. The biggest problem is probably that on Wikipedia, consensus usually means "majority opinion", whereas in the real world it means "no significant opposition", which is quite different.

I would also suggest considering a sort of "implementation brake" on important issues - waiting for e.g. 24 or 48 hours before actually introducing stuff to make sure that everyone who wants to has been heard.

Finally, and somewhat related, there is the slightly touchy subject of enforcing the standards. Peer pressure is a pretty strong force that can go a long way in itself, but I do wonder if it'll be enough in the long run. The way Wikipedia does this with all its "Request for Comments" and "Arbitration" and whatnot are obviously fail-processes, so that's not the way to go, but having nothing at all might be a little too optimistic. Perhaps we might consider some sort of informal ombudsman institution or something similar? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 07:58, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Speaking about the "rule of three", would that be three in addition to the person proposing?Bobbing up 08:05, 9 January 2009 (EST)
That would make the most sense, I think. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 08:16, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I would extend the 24/48 hours to 72 hours and make it a "three" ;). Also, how's this "rule of three" work, again? 3 more for than against? Suggester plus 3 people comment 2:1, making a 3:1 "consensus"? ħumanUser talk:Human 15:25, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Yes, we'll need to be clear on this. Obviously three in favour is easy; but any other combination starts to become a lot more difficult. We need something which is both simple and fair. But I'm not sure that such a thing is possible. On the other hand, such a guideline would be most useful - as I rather feel that we have a tendency to discuss things endlessly without having some clear way to stop the conversation and actually make a decision.Bobbing up 15:47, 9 January 2009 (EST)
(edit conflict) As I've said earlier, I used what we were already doing to write that guideline. With the "rule of three", I was counting the original proposer of the deletion/move as one of the three. But I like the idea of not counting the proposer as one of the three—that way it requires four people to make a decision, which makes things more democratic (mobocratic?). As for determining the "consensus"... I have no idea. In all of the cases where the rule of three has been followed, the decision was always unanimous. We need to hammer that one out. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:02, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Or we could just leave it alone. If it works the way it is, why do we need guidance? To what sort of decisions does this "rule of three" apply? ħumanUser talk:Human 16:14, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Because in the absence of better processes, the way it works right now is more or less either "debate the issue (and related issues) and hope some sort of solution has been found before people lose interest" or "a small group get together and decide something is a great idea and do it without actually asking anyone". I would say that neither of those work all that well. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 16:40, 9 January 2009 (EST)
A while ago I would've agreed with you, AK, but I actually disagree with you now. The two processes of "debate the issue and hope some sort of solution is found before people lose interest" and "a small group get together and decide something is a great idea and do it without actually asking anyone" seem to work fine. We are only a medium-small wiki, and we seem to be doing, if not good, then good enough. Creating a bureaucracy for a community this size would be overkill. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:49, 9 January 2009 (EST)
No one is talking about a "bureaucracy", and I don't think size necessarily has very much to do with it, anyway, but just to look at that, according to RationalWiki:Active_users, we currently have 50 members that are active or above and which have a vested interest in the site, or 67 if we include semi-actives as well. This is a fairly respectable size, and in real-life you wouldn't try to run a group that large without some sort of structure in place to support it.
However, fundamentally, I see this more as a question of transparency. Any rules on this point don't have to be complicated, but I think they need to be there and to be followed to ensure both that people know what to expect in different situations, and that the group is able to respond efficiently to any problems that might arise. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:08, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I do agree that we need a basic method of determining what the consensus is on any particular subject. But I also feel the community isn't willing to hammer that out right now, alongside whatever other standards are being worked on. I would like to accomplish this rather basic revamp of the guidelines before we start branching into other problems. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:15, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Rationalwikiwiki[edit]

I take it that this initiative was inspired by this article on rationalwikiwiki?False Flag 12:12, 9 January 2009 (EST)

No, absolutely pure coincidence!! ArmondikoVpathetic 12:17, 9 January 2009 (EST)

"Mostly harmless"[edit]

Can we toss in my "mostly harmless" standard for demotion? It would mesh well with several other Douglas Adams references (and I like it). Of course, 42 should be placed somewhere in our policy on religion. tmtoulouse 12:40, 9 January 2009 (EST)

The first one should be easy. But 42 is bit more difficult. Perhaps the number of virgin goats that users receive when they get to the great wiki in the sky?Bobbing up 15:49, 9 January 2009 (EST)

No mention of goat[edit]

Not even a recipe? a little "baaa" somewhere? Clip art of a well-turned fore hock? — Unsigned, by: 216.54.39.107 / talk / contribs 1:20, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Deletion.[edit]

I would like to bring up a rare, but not unheard-of, particular situation. At one point somebody posted extremely personal information about a prominent CPer, including phone number, address and names of children and, as I recall, where they went to school. In rare, extra-creepy stalker situations like that, I propose that the fist sysop on the scene should immediately delete the relevant edit and not wait for discussion/consensus. TheoryOfPractice 13:50, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Yes, I do think that would be a good policy. I want to go ahead and add it, but I should probably wait for a few other people to weigh in on it. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 14:36, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I agree. First user on the scene actually.Bobbing up 14:48, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Agree. Things like that need to go immediately. Phantom Hoover 14:50, 9 January 2009 (EST)
While I generally agree, what if the information is readily available on the web, say? Shoot first, ask later seems a bit heavy-handed. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:28, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Human, LOTS of stuff is readily available on the internet that we wouldn't post here because of the consequences, from bootleg copies of Chinese Democracy to illegal pornography to bomb-making instructions. Just 'cause it's available online don't mean we need to host it. If people want to stalk someone or their children, they can do it on their own web page....TheoryOfPractice 15:35, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I agree. The fact that it's available doesn't mean that we should re-publish it. But we need to specify exactly what we mean by "personal information". There is also the issue - which may be what Human is alluding to - of people who may be well known on the net with identities, addresses and all. But in such a case, if they are so well known, it would serve no purpose for us to repeat the information. So I'd say no Real Names, no addresses, no places of work, no family members, no phone numbers. And anything which is not explicitly forbidden is allowed.Bobbing up 15:57, 9 January 2009 (EST)
There go our articles on the Schlaflies. We use real names, places of work, family members... ħumanUser talk:Human 16:00, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Doesn't list their addresses and numbers though. Andy is pretty open that his name is Andrew Schlafly, Phyllis is technically a sleb so is fair game. There's a difference between the names going out there (I have an extremely common name, there are 6 different people with it that have WP entries) and UNIQUE personal info such as addresses, personal emails (as opposed to business ones that are public domain). ArmondikoVpathetic 16:36, 9 January 2009 (EST)
(edit conflict) Ah, but the Schaflies are part of our people-related articles, all of which give the subject's real name and often their "place of work". For example, PZ Myers and Richard Dawkins both use the person's real name and state their place of work. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:39, 9 January 2009 (EST)
So how do we tell the difference? If the info is on the web it's ok? If they put it there it's ok? I also am urged by my demons to mention "Ken DeMyer" and "Terry Kroeckitz (mispelled I think). Where did that info come from? ħumanUser talk:Human 22:17, 10 January 2009 (EST)

I think articles deleted without discussion should also include articles whose only function is obscenity &/or personal attack (e.g. "User:X is a whore", anything about Drew Pickles, etc.). We don't want to write ourself into a position where we have to sit down & discuss these & get three signatures before we burn them. Also, while we're mentioning proposed deletion policy, we should mention the {{delete}} template, or at least give a link to the relevant Help page that explains this process. We should probably also mention the {{mission}} template & process for non-mission articles. Presumably this would also be a rule-of-three situation before either deleting or moving to funspace. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 09:15, 10 January 2009 (EST)

That situation never occurred to me; I agree that we should mention that. I'll need a moment to think of how to word it... Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:34, 10 January 2009 (EST)

Moving pages[edit]

"As a courtesy, the one who proposed the move is generally the one who gets to move the page."

Seems a bit trivial. And what doe "gets to" mean, exactly? It implies that it is some sort of privilege? ħumanUser talk:Human 14:37, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Yes, doesn't seem really necessary. Bobbing up 14:47, 9 January 2009 (EST)
But everyone loves USING the power! ArmondikoVpathetic 16:32, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Location of this file[edit]

I think it should be moved to the debate or RW namespace, or be a subarticle of the existing guidelines file. ħumanUser talk:Human 15:30, 9 January 2009 (EST)

How many people need to agree to the move? (I'm one.)Bobbing up 15:58, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I agree the page should be moved (that's two). How about [[RationalWiki:Community Standards/Revamp]]? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:07, 9 January 2009 (EST)
How about adding a datecode or something? Like Revamp 200901? ħumanUser talk:Human 16:12, 9 January 2009 (EST)
I like the idea, though using "200901" sounds too much like a random number code to be that helpful. Perhaps "Revamp, January 2009"? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:27, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Sure, whatever. I just like date codes that sort if necessary. Always a good idea. ħumanUser talk:Human 16:28, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Okay, then. I'll go ahead and move it. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:29, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Actually, in the spirit of the suggested new guidelines, shouldn't we wait for the obligatory fourth person to chime in? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:31, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Would a fourth person please give their opinion here so I can move it already? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:17, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Go ahead. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 17:17, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Thank you, AK. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:19, 9 January 2009 (EST)

Now that it's out of the sandbox, can any of the rest of us edit & improve it, or are further changes to it only to be made after extensive discussion? WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:28, 10 January 2009 (EST)

I'd say that, apart from grammar & other copyediting (like what I done): wait a bit for sleepy heads to log on. Toast 11:50, 10 January 2009 (EST)

All seems fine to me. A little windy and unnecessary I feel, but no harm done here and an entirely creditable set of guidelines it is. Now, who can help me find refs for the AS (no jokes) article? DogP 10:42, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Personal attacks[edit]

Nobody seems to have commented on this yet, so I'll start the ball rolling, since I really object to what we're saying at the moment.

1. I really don't like seeing those "bad words" (cunt, faggot, etc.) written into the text here. Better to word it something like:

"Racist, sexist and homophobic language and insults are not tolerated. Accusations of Fascism or comparisons to Hitler are also best avoided (see Godwin's Law)."

2. We seem to now be condoning other kinds of personal attacks.

"Discussions here sometimes get heated, and inevitably at least one person in the room will start getting frustrated and whip out the personal attacks"

So personal attacks are inevitable every time there is a heated discussion?? This is absolutely not true. You can disagree veheremently and even furiously with somebody's opinion on an issue without attacking or insulting them personally. In a community of our size, it may be almost inevitable that personal attacks occasionally occur, but we should still actively discourage them. As soon as we write into our standards that we accept them as a normal occurence, then we're basically sanctioning them, & giving carte blanche for any level of bullying & harrassment that does not involve demographic insults, etc. "You're probably expecting to find a 'no personal attacks' line here" is just drawing attention to the fact that we're no longer proscribing personal attacks, when in fact I don't recall any previous discussion about changing our stance on this.

I much preferred the old wording ('Personal "attacks", however justified, are strongly frowned upon'), & I reckon this should still be included, just with a bit of extra explanation re racist attacks, etc. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:38, 10 January 2009 (EST)

I agree that the suggestion that personal attacks are inevitable should not be included.--Bobbing up 13:20, 10 January 2009 (EST)
I do apologize for using those words in that section. And I'm rather embarrassed now for not putting nearly as much thought into that section as I did with the others. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:33, 10 January 2009 (EST)

How's this as a replacement for that section?

Discussions here sometimes get heated, but resorting to personal attacks is strongly frowned upon, however justified they may seem. In particular, racist, sexist and homophobic language and insults are not tolerated. Accusations of Fascism or comparisons to Hitler are also best avoided (see Godwin's Law). WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:41, 10 January 2009 (EST)

I like it (certainly it's better than my wording). Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:33, 10 January 2009 (EST)
Yes, much better. Although I wouldn't go for "unacceptable" over "strongly frowned upon", and add "repeated personal attacks will result in users being blocked, or worse, promoted back to standard user." Basically, Rational Wiki will not be held hostage by a single user with a grudge and a bad attitude. ArmondikoVpathetic 08:54, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Inane drive-by comment[edit]

For further information: User talk:ConservapediaUndergroundResistor#Block — Unsigned, by: ConservapediaUndergroundResistor / talk / contribs
Deal with it, Frolich. --"ConservapediaUndergroundThermistoris overworked and overbearing 16:35, 10 January 2009 (EST)

missing word[edit]

In the Deletion section, the phrase a user may delete any of the in their userspace without discussion., betwenn the and in. I'd correct it myself but I can't guess what it could be. Totnesmartin 10:30, 10 January 2009 (EST)

I've amended the wording to take care of it. Toast 10:48, 10 January 2009 (EST)
It's "content" "CONTENT!!!" DO I WIN?! CONTENT! I'M ON COFFEE. CAN YOU TELL!?! The word is ""CONTENT"" ArmondikoVpathetic 08:50, 11 January 2009 (EST)

MoS[edit]

Ironically, the headers in this draft use unnecessary caps - can we fix that?

Also, regarding the "manual of style" thing, I think that (along with a few other things?) ought to be its own article, with just a link from the guidelines. Also, we only have the de facto MoS of how the more prolific editors make things look (and what our help files suggest), after working this thing out, will we want to actually create a semi-formal MoS? I sandboxed one once for fun, it's a combination of "how we already do things" and what are probably just some personal preferences, if anyone is curious. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:38, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Another way to approach this project[edit]

I am creating have created RationalWiki:Community_Standards/Revamp 20090111 in order to attempt to make this "project" easier to follow and decide on changes. All it is is a transcription of the existing community standards article, with a zillion subheaders where we can argue and improve them. There's also a section for adding new sections. Please feel free to copy comments and discussion from here to the appropriate sections there - if anyone cares. The reason I did this is that if a given section reaches consensus, we can edit the CS file section and be done with it, as opposed to the way this article works, where there is no real reference to what we have/had now. Thank you, and good night. Or morning, depending on where you are! ħumanUser talk:Human 23:39, 11 January 2009 (EST)

Do we really need to start over at a new page? I think it would be better to edit & improve this one. Anything that was better at the old version can be copied from there. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 11:42, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Not start over, no. All I wanted was a way to look at old vs. new and discuss each section at its own section, with any new sections following that. I burned out when it was time to copy over bits of the new version at this location and the more salient comments above. The way this one is being done makes it hard to see what the changes (additions, deletions, etc.) from what we have now are. For me, anyway. ħumanUser talk:Human 13:16, 12 January 2009 (EST)
It looks to me like you're starting over. Your page seems to assume that we'll be taking a departure point in the old text and doing an organic rewrite of that, while the present page seems to take only the old principles and use that for a complete rewrite of the text. Those are rather different projects. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 13:24, 12 January 2009 (EST)
The end result would be the same I think. The only difference might be structural (see below on that). ħumanUser talk:Human 17:24, 12 January 2009 (EST)
The deletions/additions/changes headings make it a little too complicated. It might be simpler to just have the sections of the old version, followed by the equivalent section of the proposed rewrite (using RA's draft as a starting point), then a space for comments below. I.E. Similar to how Human has laid it out, but just one space in each section for new text, rather than subdividing it into additions, deletions, etc. & similar to the side-by-side idea proposed earlier, but with sections for comment. We would also need to cut & paste all of the discussions from here onto that page, & leave this talk page as a redirect. Otherwise we'll end up with multiple debates going on about the same thing in different places, which is pretty much a guarantee of not achieving anything. Anyway, it really depends whether other people want to do it that way. We should probably wait for a few more voices before we go ahead with moving anything. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:08, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Even if we do it that way, we would still need to decide whether it follows the same structure as the old guidelines (I.E. everything in the same order) or a different one. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:10, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I think that would come late in the upgrade - let's say we have x sections we pretty much agree on, the order based on the original might not be appropriate - eg, we might want to put the "no policy on religion policy" near the top, not "after" the amended original text. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:24, 12 January 2009 (EST)

How about something like this?[edit]

The following is a sample of one possible format for discussing the new community standards:

Introductory paragraph about the guidelines[edit]

Old community standards

This is the list of guidelines defined by the RationalWiki community. These are not site rules but rather a list of standards we as a community want to live up to. Please do your best to live up to these standards.

Revamped community standards

These are the guidelines defined by the RationalWiki community. These are not site rules but rather a list of standards we as a community try to live up to. Please do your best to live up to these standards.

Discussion[edit]

Paragraph about the mission statement[edit]

Old community standards

[Not included in old community standards]

Revamped community standards

As stated in our mission statement, RationalWiki's official purpose is to (1) analyze and refute the anti-science movement, (2) analyze and refute crank ideas, and (3) explore the nature of authoritarianism and fundamentalism. We also have a fourth, unofficial purpose, which is to provide people who agree with the previously-stated goals a place to just hang out and have fun with like-minded people.

RationalWiki is not a general encyclopedia, and articles not somehow related to the above mission statements are generally moved out of the mainspace (see below).

Discussion[edit]

It's "cleaner" than Human's version, but it still allows us to discuss the individual points and view a side-by-side comparison of the old text versus the revamped text. What do you all think? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 16:25, 12 January 2009 (EST)

(I think you might have broken some formatting here, I couldn't edit on the last "discussion" tab) One minor problem I have with this, as with the "version" in the article section of this talk page, is that they get changed, making some comments seem odd. However, yes, I agree, it's cleaner, and perhaps quite a bit easier to "process" for the reader. ħumanUser talk:Human 17:27, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Excuse me while I try to fix it... Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:39, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Well, that's strange. All the section edit buttons work just fine when they're not on a talk page. Except for the [edit] button in the "old community standards" textbox (that one still doesn't work), but that shouldn't be much of a problem, considering that we won't exactly be editing that part much anyways. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:46, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Oh, darn it. The edit buttons work, but they lead to the wrong sections. I suspect this is because the textboxes borrows the main page's wikicode for the boxes. Could you tell me an alternative method for making boxes like that? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 17:52, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Ta-da! All fixed! Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 18:16, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Thanks! Now, the 64,000 Kroner question: Do you feel up to structuring the whole thing like that? Where we discuss it, edit it, and compare it to the old version all on one page? That would be cool... perhaps even copy in some people's comments if their placement is obvious? ħumanUser talk:Human 19:08, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Of course! Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 19:22, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Thanks! ħumanUser talk:Human 21:30, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I apologize for not copying all of the relevant comments over. Firefox started acting funny and was refusing to load any page on RationalWiki in less than ten minutes (and it was only RW, too; all other sites worked fine). I am now, alas, using IE. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:35, 12 January 2009 (EST)
As you may know, there has been discussion at [1] about the role of general math/science articles, and the consensus/vote seems to be developing toward having them, in the mainspace. I recommended there, and recommend here, something along the lines of the following for the "fourth mission statement":
"In furtherance of the above goals, and to promote understanding of science, RationalWiki has articles on basic science and mathematics. These are generally at the level of high-school students and educated laypeople."
Gauss 13:31, 14 January 2009 (EST)
Might want to put that on the actual page, the discussions have "moved" there. Oh, and I think it could be shorter (if we even need it): "In furtherance of the above goals, and to promote understanding of science, RationalWiki also has articles on science and mathematics." Or even just "RationalWiki also has articles on science and mathematics to promote further understanding." ħumanUser talk:Human 14:35, 14 January 2009 (EST)

Voting procedure[edit]

I still think that it would be sensible to take this opportunity to work out a basic procedure for conducting votes. As a very practical example, we have a vote going on right now, but as it is now, it's basically a blind process. People are casting votes, but nobody knows for how long the vote will go on, who will decide when to end it, and on which criteria. This is obviously not ideal, and actually not very democratic, either.

The basic problem here is that this being a virtual community where people come and go, determining who the "electorate" are at any given time is simply not practical, nor can we realistically expect the entire group to actually participate in a vote, even if we we could determine who they were. However, we have a very useful alternative in RationalWiki:Active_users, which at least keeps track of roughly how many active users we have.

Briefly, my proposal is that we use this number (semi-active+ or active+, depending) as the basic definition of the electorate. We can then use this number to set up some criteria for the process. I would suggest a three-tiered approach, so that a vote closes when either:

  • An absolute majority of the electorate support or reject a proposal. (This one should be obvious)

or

  • A specific period of time (could be for instance 3-4 days) has passed without any new votes being cast. (Gives everyone a reasonable chance to have their say, but avoids votes dragging on forever.)

There are some additional possibilities, such as closing a vote if a supermajority of a specific quorum supports or rejects a proposal, which can be interpreted as a clear indication of a general opinion. However, those things can easily get rather complex and are probably not necessary.

Anyway, those are my initial ideas. Comments? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 22:57, 12 January 2009 (EST)

I suggest that votes be weighted by the number of edits the user has. That way, if RA and I agree (and Susan?), we rule, bwahahahahaha. No, seriously, I appreciate the issue. I would say that, at least, when someone calls a "vote" on something SRS, they should intercom it, and the vote should have a "polls close at X" timestampy thing. Also, we have moved to the article itself for disgusting these things. Although this topic is kind of "meta", so it actually belongs on the talk page... ħumanUser talk:Human 23:24, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I do agree with the idea of limiting the window to vote. I have a couple thoughts on how the voting process should go. My first thought is that we should spam it across the site as much as possible. We post on the talk page of everyone who is "comatose" or above with a message imploring them to come and vote, utilize the "Site wide (urgent)" category of the intercom to broadcast the vote to as many people as possible, stick a link to the vote on the main page, etc. My other thought is that we let the vote remain open for one week—a long enough time span to allow even the more casual editors to vote. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:37, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Minor point - I haven't looked at the main page in months. Is it still there? RC and watchlists are where the regulars go, right? ħumanUser talk:Human 23:47, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Well, it's still the second most-trafficed page on RationalWiki (though I do see your point). Unfortunately, no one seems to even glance at the linkbox at the top of recentchanges, either. As for watchlists... I think we can change the watchlist text for everyone, and link to the vote that way. Hopefull that would be more noticeable. The page for that should be somewhere in the MediaWikispace. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 23:52, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Trefficked by visitors more than "us" I think. Perhaps we could liven up that "boring links" box? ħumanUser talk:Human 00:12, 13 January 2009 (EST)
True enough. You mean the boring links on recentchanges? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 00:21, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Yes, them. I wonder, does anyone use them at all? I guess we need to take a poll... ħumanUser talk:Human 00:45, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Apparently not, judging from the a discussion on this page. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 00:52, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Wrote this up on the article itself. And personally, I don't think I've looked at the main page in months. I always go straight to recent changes. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 09:29, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Tolerance Clause[edit]

Proposed New Clause In Community Standards:

  • Users must respect other's beliefs.
  • RationalWiki will be a respectful environment towards people of all creeds.
  • This does not mean that snarkiness will be eliminated from articles. Users will merely respect other users, but not necessarily the group the user belongs to.
  • RationalWiki will still not have a NPOV of view- at least not towards subjects. NPOV towards other users is necessary, to avoid Headless Chicken Mode and this or this.
  • An article on the [Dick Cheny|person]] will still have criticism, if they warrant an article (for example, TK)
  • Users may respectfully comment on each other's beliefs, but must not say anything hurtful.
  • If a user wants a discussion about their beliefs ended, and it was initiated by them, and is not relevant to an article, their wish will be obeyed.
  • Name-calling is not allowed under any circumstances, unless the person in question does it all the time, or is a Conservapedia sysop- though really bad insults are best avoided.
  • Insulting someone's beliefs is not permitted on talk pages. However, both ideas are still open to respectful, constructive criticism. In addition, if the comment is not directed at a user, and is a subject important to RW (for example, YEC), then this rule is void, though politeness is still encouraged.
  • Violation of these rules will get you badgered on your talk page, possibly for several days. Repeated, extraordianarily serious offenses may result in being desysopped, if you are a sysop. Unless it's YEC or Conservapedia being insulted, in which case you will almost certainly be made a sysop. 'Crats hand those out like candy.
  • These rules are designed to avoid Headless Chicken Modes 3 through 1.
  • Any of the above rules can be violated- assuming that 1. RationalWiki is in Headless Chicken Mode 1 or 2

OR 2. You can get away with no one noticing OR 3. The user in question is Fall Down, Bohdan, ASchlafly, Jinx, TK, etc. (i.e. a vandal, troll, a hate-monger, a hating troll, a hating vandal, a trolling vandal, a vandalous troll, a hating vandalous troll, a Conservapedian sysop or near-sysop, or someone who everyone thinks is a wingnut), in which case everyone is invited over to their talk page to form a mob and run them out of town with pitchforks, flaming torches, and banhammers; unless: 1. They didn't do anything OR 2. Enough people raise an objection OR 3. It was a minor offense, in which case banhammers are best avoided

Yes, I'm thinking of the therianthropy debate. No, I'm not asking you to censor anything. The thing is, we should be respectful to other users. I was going to include a mention to therianthropy up there, but thought better of it. Now, here's the thing: therianthropy could actually be true. Could. Not is. Could. I think we can all agree that it theoretically could be true. Doesn't violate any natural laws. And it certainly isn't extreme wingnuttery. P.S. I put in all those modifiers to make it more palatable. --"ConservapediaUndergroundThermistoris overworked and overbearing 15:54, 26 January 2009 (EST)

While I certainly have no pull around here, I'm guessing the chance of this passing is about the same as my name. Z3roh3ro 15:56, 26 January 2009 (EST)
That high, huh? ħumanUser talk:Human 16:24, 26 January 2009 (EST)
We're not leaving your philosophy alone until we can no longer poke holes in it with reasoned debate. Don't like it, shouldn't have joined RationalWiki. Harmonic educated Hoover! 16:26, 26 January 2009 (EST)
I think a "tollerance clause" would defeat the object. While yes, you should just go round attacking people for no reason, this is not a tollerant site. It's a highly critical site. To give people automatic "respect" is to essentially make them imune from criticism. If people can make a reasoned attack on someone's values then they should be allowed to, regardless of how dear a person holds those values! If they can't get a good or rational reason, then they shouldn't be attacking them for an opinion. ArmondikoVpathetic 16:33, 26 January 2009 (EST)
Tolerant as in not calling me a loon. And criticism would have to be constructive, and not hurtful. Actually read the clause. --"ConservapediaUndergroundThermistoris overworked and overbearing 16:39, 26 January 2009 (EST)
Um, I think the entire site is based on hurtful criticism. Z3roh3ro 16:40, 26 January 2009 (EST)
Not of other users, it isn't. Unless of course they're FD, TK, Jinx, etc.- in which case that last bit comes into play. --"ConservapediaUndergroundThermistoris overworked and overbearing 16:42, 26 January 2009 (EST)
"Hurtful" is subjective. If it's "hurtful" to be proved wrong, then so be it. ArmondikoVpathetic
(ec)I hate to break it to you CUR, but you're just about in that group too. Sorry. Z3roh3ro 16:44, 26 January 2009 (EST)

(EC)And what about Toast telling me to have my head looked at, claiming that it was some stupid New Age cult, etc. I think that's pretty hurtful. And I'm no wingnut. I'm sure we're all irrational about some things. I'm irrational about this. Grow up. --"ConservapediaUndergroundThermistoris overworked and overbearing 16:46, 26 January 2009 (EST)

If such a clause were to pass I would compelled to practice civil disobedience on a daily basis. I have mostly stayed away from the volatile conversations, but I would actively seek to be intolerant and mock a wide spread of beliefs just out of spite for such a clause. And good luck blocking me for it ;). tmtoulouse 16:47, 26 January 2009 (EST)

Than I am more mature and smarter than you. Good luck blocking me for that. --"ConservapediaUndergroundThermistoris overworked and overbearing 16:49, 26 January 2009 (EST)
Define belief? Is it a belief if I assert the historicity of Xenu? Is it a belief if I assert that I am a reincarnation of Napoleon, which must have a rational explanation, since so many people have channeled him, probably accountable by the mysteries of science, especially evolution, as there may exist Napoleonic traits which lie dormant in most individuals. Is asserting the reality of Napoleontrophy belief or claims of science? Can't have it both ways. - Gentleman Publius (V)<,",>(V) 16:50, 26 January 2009 (EST)
You can believe that you have Napoleon's personality- and it may have a rational cause. Therianthropy's a bit like that. --"ConservapediaUndergroundThermistoris overworked and overbearing 16:51, 26 January 2009 (EST)
I almost feel like blocking you now. I've tried to stay out of it but now this has managed to mushroom into the CS revamp which I consider myself an active participant. <say the follwing in an amusing voice, possibly Welsh, so it doesn't sound like an invite to HCM> DUDE I WANT MY F**KING WIKI BACK! ArmondikoVpathetic 16:52, 26 January 2009 (EST)
Dahm. HCM 2.
Sorry, but if I think someone's "belief" is stupid then I reserve the right to say so even if it hurts their feelings. There is no innate right not to have one's feelings hurt. I will respect the individual but if someone just "believes" something then they should present some proof for their belief. People believe all sorts of strange things. We are generally agreed (aren't we?) that medical woo, mystics and psychics etc. should be called out. I see no difference if someone decides to make a religion out of it. Transubstantiation? - BS! And we should say so. Redchuck.gif ГенгисYou have the right to be offended; and I have the right to offend you. 16:55, 26 January 2009 (EST)
Who ever said anything about transubstantion? Do you claim that clinical lycanthropy is 'BS?' This may well could be related- and I think it warrants a mature, rational, trying-to-find-out-WIGO discussion- not just immediately dismissing claims. --"ConservapediaUndergroundThermistoris overworked and overbearing 16:57, 26 January 2009 (EST)
THEN FIND A DIFFERENT WEBSITE! WE DON'T CARE! Z3roh3ro 17:00, 26 January 2009 (EST)
To further derail this thread, I would just like to emphasize that you have to provide evidence that can be analyzed in the public sphere in order for us to have a rational conversation. Until then there is nothing to apply logic or reason to. If I think an idea is stupid I will call it out as such. There is no inherent reason to be respectful or tolerant of a belief or view just because someone has it. 17:00, 26 January 2009 (EST)
Exactly. This is especially true when people make assertions about some aspect of the physical universe, then try to shield themselves from criticism by yelling "it's a belief." Free speech and inquiry trump tolerance, and at some point, order trumps free speech, as with RW's favourite misogynist. - Gentleman Publius (V)<,",>(V) 17:02, 26 January 2009 (EST)
Congratulation CUR you have now started this argument again on the 4th or 5th page now. No one is headless chickening but you. Get over it and stop dragging the whole site into this discussion. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 17:17, 26 January 2009 (EST)

Don't Vote[edit]

I removed the pointless voting tabs. What's the point of voting on an issue when every other editor has opposed CUR's proposal?? This is why I have reservations about writing out voting rules. It's just tying us down to really counterproductive bureaucracy. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:11, 26 January 2009 (EST)
I was just trying to make it clear to him. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 17:14, 26 January 2009 (EST)
  • Nae This is all either useless or redundant. We already have no personal attacks which covers what is worthwhile everything else is verbiage or an attempt to circumnavigate RW:MISSION so CUR's feeling aren't hurt because no one believe he is a wolf-cheetah. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 17:06, 26 January 2009 (EST)
  • Nay. Everyone else has the right to hurt my feelings, and I feel much improved for having my beliefs ridiculed here, to the extent that they have been. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:06, 26 January 2009 (EST)
"NPOV towards other users" would mean very little debate at all, & it would be censorship. As far as I'm concerned, we've already said that personal attacks are frowned on, and that's as much as we need to say. People can form & express their own opinions of each other & each other's beliefs. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:07, 26 January 2009 (EST)

Nae. If I have views or beliefs which are patently absurd, I hope and pray someone will call me out on them, because reevaluating them is an inimitably positive thing. - Gentleman Publius (V)<,",>(V) 17:09, 26 January 2009 (EST)

About as strong a nay as possible. As I said I would have to reevaluate my approach to debate here to actively undermine such a clause. tmtoulouse 17:09, 26 January 2009 (EST)

NO For stated reasons. On a side not, can someone who won't break the site move this section to some sort of debate page to take it off the revamp page, please? Z3roh3ro 17:11, 26 January 2009 (EST)

When it's clear this thread is definitely over, we should just archive some sections of this page. A lot of these discussions ended two weeks ago & are already reflected on the page itself. Better than creating another debate page, which would just be encouraging this to roll on. WēāŝēīōīďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 17:24, 26 January 2009 (EST)
Just archive it now before it start up again. - User \scriptstyle4\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-1)^{n}(2n+1)^{-1} 17:30, 26 January 2009 (EST)