User:Stabby the Misanthrope/Sandbox2

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The discussion is divided by subject, to allow for individual issues to be addressed one at a time.

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.

Proposed revamp

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

[The old community standards do not mention this.]

Proposed revamp

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]

How RationalWiki is run[edit]

Old community standards
  1. This is a mobocracy. The only way to describe how things are done around here is with the tautology that things are done around here the way they are done around here. 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.
Proposed revamp

RationalWiki is a mobocracy. Some would use a tautology to describe it ("The way things are done around here is the way things are done around here"). But the most helpful description is that, in the course of numerous talk page discussions and edits to articles, a rough consensus emerges which approximates our actual policies.

Please keep in mind that the standards below are only an approximation of what the mob has decided.

Discussion[edit]

On the subject of religion[edit]

Old community standards

[Not mentioned.]

Proposed revamp

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.

Discussion[edit]

Personal conduct[edit]

Old community standards
  1. Personal "attacks", however justified, are strongly frowned upon.
  2. Personal information about other users that is not volunteered by that user should not be posted on this site. This includes IP addresses, and even where an IP address is volunteered, discussion of the user's geographical location, place of employment, or other private information (even if publicly available) is frowned upon.
  3. An editor's User page space is inviolable; they are free to do with it what they want (common-sense-exceptions apply), and no one should edit it without permission. However, the user talk page space is public and does not belong to the user. No deletion of talk page material is permitted, but archiving may be done periodically.
  4. Good wandals are respected at RationalWiki, a good wandal is someone that brings creativity and humor to bear on their attempt at disruption. These kinds of wandals will not only not be blocked but their efforts will be saved for posterity on Special Wandal Archives. However, unfunny wandalism, personal attacks, libel, and disruption for the sake of disruption can all merit a block and at the very least such edits will be wiped clean and forgotten about.
  5. Please, don't be a dick. Even though we encourage those with alternative points of view to join this wiki and share their ideas with us, we ask and encourage you to consider how your actions look to other people. Hate speech or attempting to promote an agenda that offends the community and does not relate to RationalWiki's mission anywhere but on talk pages will almost certainly be removed or archived rapidly, and if you persist in recreating the content, you may be removed from this site for a period of time.
Proposed revamp
  • Assume good faith on the part of other editors.
  • Don't panic. This is a wiki, and any damage can be undone with the click of a button.
  • We prefer and encourage that users and editors become a part of the community. We encourage everyone to join in, be bold, and engage in sensible debate but expect them to do so without resorting to vandalizing articles or harassing other users.
  • 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).
  • RationalWiki respects the right of people to be heatedly debating something on one page and joking around on another—at the same time. If, during an argument, you try to turn every possible page you (or someone you disagree with) appear on into another front of the battle, that's being a dick.
  • 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.
  • An editor's userspace is their personal space and they are free to do with it what they want (excepting patently offensive material). Most users don't mind minor spelling corrections by other editors on their userpage, but don't assume that of everyone. Many editors allow joke edits made in good humor to slide, but again, not everyone is so accepting. A user's talk page is public and does not belong to the user. No deletion of talk page material is permitted, archiving may be done periodically.

Discussion[edit]

The vandal bin and blocking[edit]

Old community standards

Our blocking system is designed to be forgiving, predictable and as clear as possible. Our blocking scheme follows the Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8...). The "unit" of the time will be up to the discretion of the blocking sysop who has the following units available:

  • Seconds-For fun blocks, harmless edits/warnings, random harassment of fellow sysops.
  • Minutes-For minor vandalism and disruption, questionable attacks on other users, inserting potentially libelous material in an article, and minor edits to other user pages when not requested.
  • Hours/Days-For more major vandalism and disruption that requires serious clean-up, serious attacks or threats against the site or other users. Repeated libel, vandalism and attacks.

Offenses from multiple IDs of the same user will all be assessed as a single user.

Other sysops are encouraged to unblock a user if they feel it is unjustified. Users who feel they have been unfairly blocked should e-mail any other sysops, users, or post on the forums. In all cases, discussion is encouraged, and blocks should always be explained on the user's talk page.

Proposed revamp

RationalWiki has a special feature called the vandal bin, which allows sysops and bureaucrats to put vandals into a special user-group that limits the number of edits they can make to once every half hour. It allows RationalWiki to restrict the abilities of vandals while still allowing them the opportunity to protest their punishment (something blocks, by their very nature, do not allow).

And to reiterate above, assume good faith, and if and when that faith is betrayed, don't panic. A few edits by vandals does not a crisis make, so don't flip out and rampage over anyone who strikes you as maybe being a vandal. Wait until they make an edit or two, and if they are clearly vandalism then put them in the vandal bin. Additionaly, if an edit by a new user is questionable but not blatant vandalism, ask to them about it on their userpage before assuming they are a vandal and vandal-binning them.

Discussion[edit]

Demoting and promoting users[edit]

Old community standards

[Nothing]

Proposed revamp
Clarification: In keeping with RationalWiki tradition, promotion is referred to as "demotion" and actual demotion is referred to as "promotion".

Demotion
Any user who is not a vandal or troll is generally demoted to sysop. It is left up to bureaucrats to judge for themselves whether or not a user is a vandal. (Remember that this is a wiki, so any damage done by a vandal who manages to be demoted can easily be undone.)

A user can always request to not be demoted, and bureaucrats are to respect these requests.

Promotion
A user can be promoted out of the sysop group for only a few reasons:

  • The user asks to be de-sysopped.
  • The user is revealed to be a vandal or troll.
  • An otherwise non-vandal sysop repeatedly abuses their ability to block non-sysop, non-vandal users and/or their ability to lock pages.

Discussion[edit]

Deleting pages[edit]

Old community standards

[Nothing]

Proposed revamp

RationalWiki prefers that a page's history be preserved and publicly available. Therefore, if a user wants a page deleted, they must bring it up on the talk page first. If the page is a smaller, long-neglected one, this may mean waiting a while. In these cases, the "rule of three" should be used: Wait until at least three people have chimed in on the talk page, then act on that consensus.

Only certain pages can be deleted without discussion. Users may delete non-talk pages or any part thereof in their own userspace (because it is their personal area). Obsolete categories and redirects can also be deleted without discussion. (In the case of deleting categories, the talk page of the old category should be moved to where the replacement category is. If there is no replacement category, then it can be left alone.)

Other material merits immediate deletion. This includes personal information about someone (e.g. phone number, address, place of work, real name(s), etc.) not volunteered by that person. In these cases the first user to come across the information should immediately delete the relevant edit. Also meriting immediate deletion without discussion are articles and redirects made by vandals whose sole purpose is obscenity and/or personal attack.

Talk pages should never be deleted. (This includes talk pages in one's personal userspace.) This preserves a publicly viewable record of the decision to delete the article.

Discussion[edit]

Moving pages[edit]

Old community standards

[Nothing]

Proposed revamp

A page can be moved without discussion only if it is a simple title correction (such as correcting a misspelling, changing an improperly captilized letter to lowercase, or moving it from the common name of the subject to the formal one). If a user is moving a page out of their userspace (such as an article they were working on that is now ready for the mainspace), they similarly do not need to discuss it first.

If a user wants a page moved to what they feel is a more appropriate namespace, then they should raise the issue on the talk page. Similar to the rule for deletion, the "rule of three" should be applied; at least three people need to give their opinion on the talk page, and the user should act according to that consensus.

Discussion[edit]

Renaming users[edit]

Old community standards

[Nothing]

Proposed revamp

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

Discussion[edit]

Protecting pages[edit]

Old community standards

[Nothing]

Proposed revamp

If a particular page is a magnet for vandalism, then protection should first be proposed on the talk page and discussed before anyone protects the page.

A page can be protected without discussion only if it's in the protecting sysop's userspace (unless it's a talk page).

Anti-page resurrection is sometimes used to "protect" deleted pages (that is, prevent them from being recreated) that have been repeatedly recreated by vandals.

Discussion[edit]

About SPOV[edit]

Old community standards

[Nothing]

Proposed revamp

RationalWiki does not use Wikipedia's NPOV (Neutral Point of View) or Conservapedia's BCPOV (Batshit Crazy Point of View). We have our own version: SPOV. SPOV means two things:

  • Snarky Point of View — This is the meaning most people refer to. It means that, to keep our articles from being dry and boring, we spice it up with snark and witty comments to keep things interesting.
  • Scientific Point of View — Less talked about but more important, the Scientific Point of View means that our articles take the side of the scientific consensus on an issue. Unlike Wikipeda, which effectively treats all viewpoints and theories as legitimate, we will call bullshit on an unscientific or just plain stupid idea and treat it like the crap it is.

Discussion[edit]

About the namespaces[edit]

Old community standards

This site uses several namespaces that are different from other wiki projects.

  • Main namespace - used for articles that are designed for collaboration. They can be about any topic which furthers our goals of: 1. Analyzing and refuting the anti-science movement, ideas and people. 2. Analyzing and refuting the full range of crank ideas. 3. Exploring authoritarianism and fundamentalism. These main space articles can be and will be edited by all other editors.
  • Essay namespace - used for original works by a particular editor. The article will be well marked as an original piece with the name of the submitting user and direct readers to the talk page for community reaction and discussion. The actual articles under Essay should only be edited by the original author.
  • Debate namespace - similar to a forum, where topic questions can be posted and editors can debate. There is also a discussion page attached to each debate which can address questions outside the immediate debate.
  • Conservapedia namespace-used for articles about Conservapedia, its users, and its management. The rules for editing these articles are the same as main space articles.
  • Recipe namespace - used for presenting your own concoctions, it is encouraged to have your recipes submitted to RWs self-appointed culinary expert for review.
  • Fun namespace - used for holding articles that are silly, pointless or just for fun. Random entries should be placed here and are likely to wind up moved here if not.
Proposed revamp

RationalWiki uses several namespaces, each housing different kinds of content.

  • Main namespace — Contains articles that are pertain to our mission (see above). (There are some exceptions, however. Articles that have nothing to do with our mission goals but are sufficiently popular sometimes manage to remain in the main namespace. Examples of this include goat and cat.) Articles in this namespace are intended to be collaborated on by any and all editors.
  • Essay namespace — Contains original works by a particular editor. The article is usually marked as an original piece with a template giving the name of the author. Articles here are intended to be edited only by the original author(s). The talk page is used to discuss the essay and remains public property open to any editor. Some essays are open for anyone to edit and serve more as "share your opinion" boards than as essays. These essays are clearly marked as such.
  • Debate namespace — Similar to a forum, where topic questions can be posted and users debate. The talk page is used to discuss the debate itself on a meta level.
  • Conservapedia namespace— Contains articles about Conservapedia, its management, and its participants. The rules for editing these articles are the same as mainspace articles.
  • Recipe namespace — Contains recipes submitted by users.
  • Fun namespace — Contains articles that are silly, pointless, or just for fun. Entries that do not fit RationalWiki's mission are also placed here.

Discussion[edit]

Advice when writing articles[edit]

Old community standards
  1. Please do your best to watch for spelling and grammar mistakes. If you see some mispeelings, fix them!
  2. When referencing material on another wiki (or any website) please try to use permanent links or diffs. Links to the more volatile "live" versions are likely to become outdated soon after linking.
Proposed revamp
  • Please do your best to watch for and correct spelling and grammar mistakes.
  • Please list categories at the very bottom of the article, not spread among various paragraphs and sections.
  • Articles should be put in the most specific categories possible; avoid placing an article in numerous broad categories. For example, Richard Dawkins should be in category:atheists and category:biologists, not in category:people, category:atheism, category:biology, and category:scientists. Doing so aids the use of categories as a navigating tool and prevents the broader "parent" categories from becoming too inclusive and unwieldy to be useful.
  • Internal links should lead directly to the article, not a redirect.
  • Redirects are used to direct someone using the search function to the proper article. For example, someone searching for "Scientology" should be immediately redirected to the properly-named article, Church of Scientology.
  • When referencing another wiki (or any other website), please use static or diff links. Links to the more volatile "live" versions are likely to become outdated soon after linking.

Discussion[edit]

Links to pertinent articles[edit]

Old community standards

For more expansive coverage of the topics described here please see the following pages:

Proposed revamp

[None so far]

Discussion[edit]