Difference between revisions of "RationalWiki:Community Standards/Revamp, January 2009"

From RationalWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
(Voting)
(Discussion about voting)
Line 382: Line 382:
 
:::OK, I'll reword the ending criteria so they reflect what you meant better? '''[[user:human|<font color="#DD00DD" face="comic sans ms"><big>ħ</big>uman</font>]]'''{{User:Human/sigtalk}} 14:51, 13 January 2009 (EST)
 
:::OK, I'll reword the ending criteria so they reflect what you meant better? '''[[user:human|<font color="#DD00DD" face="comic sans ms"><big>ħ</big>uman</font>]]'''{{User:Human/sigtalk}} 14:51, 13 January 2009 (EST)
 
::::That's fine. On another thing, I used the phrase "number of users equal to a majority of the currently active user base" rather than simply "a majority of the currently active user base", because the latter implies that it would have to be a majority of the actual users on that list. Firstly, that'd be a pain to check, and secondly, those won't always be the ones who're actually voting - so I think it's better to use numbers instead, and then just go with the slight legal fiction that they're the same people. --{{User:AKjeldsen/sig}} 15:22, 13 January 2009 (EST)
 
::::That's fine. On another thing, I used the phrase "number of users equal to a majority of the currently active user base" rather than simply "a majority of the currently active user base", because the latter implies that it would have to be a majority of the actual users on that list. Firstly, that'd be a pain to check, and secondly, those won't always be the ones who're actually voting - so I think it's better to use numbers instead, and then just go with the slight legal fiction that they're the same people. --{{User:AKjeldsen/sig}} 15:22, 13 January 2009 (EST)
 +
:::::Yeah, I know, and we might need to discuss it, but you tried, at least.  Somehow the "electorate" or at least a quorum has to be defined if we to ever use voting, and activity (recent?) is about the only way to separate the "real" members from the fly-bys and our socks. I think as a footnote, any newish but active user ought to be allowed to petition for the franchise if they aren't on the "active users" list yet? '''[[user:human|<font color="#DD00DD" face="comic sans ms"><big>ħ</big>uman</font>]]'''{{User:Human/sigtalk}} 15:41, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Revision as of 20:41, 13 January 2009

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

Because the revamped version on the right is being constantly revised, to avoid confusion please make a note that you have changed the text in the relevant discussion section.

Introductory paragraph about the guidelines

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 of intro

I like the idea of keeping them informal, but we should try to make a distinction between what rules/guidelines are acceptable to occaisionally break and which are really BAD to break. ArmondikoVbomination 08:29, 13 January 2009 (EST)

I thought I changed the second use of "these standards" to "them". The repetition isn't very good writing, and the referent of "them" is obvious. Thoughts? ħumanUser talk:Human 13:20, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Paragraph about the mission statement

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 of mission statement section

I indented and stacked the "missions" - d'ya all think it looks better than sortof run-on prose? ħumanUser talk:Human 13:26, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Yeah, what about using the actual # markup for it or will that not work in the side-by-side for now.ArmondikoVbomination 14:21, 13 January 2009 (EST)

How RationalWiki is run

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 of mobocracy

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. ArmondikoVbomination 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. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.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. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:37, 11 January 2009 (EST)
I must say I don't like this paragraph at all. The tautology doesn't say much at all, and I agree with RA that it's a lazy way out. But actually, the next point ("only an approximation of what the mob has decided") is even worse - surely we should be able to express at least reasonably clearly what it is we have decided, otherwise it isn't much of a decision in the first place? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 20:57, 12 January 2009 (EST)
But that's the point. We don't make grand unanimous decisions on immovable rules. We have various standards which reflect the standards of the individuals making up the community. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:25, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I think there's a significant difference between "immovable rules" and "being clear about what the standards are". The whole point of having a page like this is to outline what the present standards are, both for out own benefit and that of new users. If the standards change in the future, then the page can be changed as well, just as we are doing at this very moment. One could even make the argument that clearly outlining what the standards are at any given point makes the process of changing them that much easier if necessary. (At least considering how difficult it has been to actually get to this point, I'd say it's been the old, vague standards that were more immovable, if anything.) --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 21:37, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I agree, AK. A real world example is the US Constitution. If there had been a new Convention every, say, ten years, such a thing would not be so scary, and some of the language would have steadily evolved to be easier to understand (original intent and all that crap). One could argue the 2nd-11th amendments, the bill of rights (the actual 1st amendment never passed, IIRC), were almost such a thing. But now, 230 years later, the idea of a ConCon is much harder to swallow, especially since the interpretation of certain passages has become so politicized. Anyway, here we are, trying to more accurately describe how we actually do things... ħumanUser talk:Human 13:30, 13 January 2009 (EST)

On the subject of religion

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 of our dogma on dogma

Explicitly say "this is not an atheist website"? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:17, 12 January 2009 (EST)

Should we be saying something equivalent about politics & not having a specific political stance as a site, or would that just be opening another can of worms? WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:27, 12 January 2009 (EST)
It would also be lying to say this, as this site clearly pushes left-progressive dogma. Secret Squirrel 11:10, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Can I be a bore and suggest that we also reference the Scientific Point of View here? To be frank, our articles on the subject are... uh, not always characterized by a particularly high level of erudition (if I may put it that way.) --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 21:43, 12 January 2009 (EST)

Suggestion: "Our support for all things Rational does not, however, mean that this site is officially pro-atheism or anti-religion. Your belief or non-belief is your business, and this outlook lets our community focus on our shared interests instead of our differences. We do ask that new members have their dogmas spayed or neutered to minimize aggression." --SpinyNorman 10:14, 13 January 2009 (EST)
"Leave your dogma at the door" perhaps? ArmondikoVbomination 11:09, 13 January 2009 (EST)
How about a mention of being secular? I agree with not having an official stance of pro-atheism or anti-theism, particularly as I am not an atheist, but I think that a pro-secular worldview might be explicitly stated. Maybe something like this: "While this site is often critical of religion, we are not officially atheist. In fact, we disagree with anybody pushing their religious beliefs, or lack of them, on anybody else. We are secular, and advocate a secular approach to all issues of public interest. Your beliefs are just between you and God, Allah, Vishnu, Tom Cruise, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, Sol Invictus, or Richard Dawkins." This would preclude an explicit Dawkinsonian assault on theism as official policy, however, although I see that as being no different than any other kind of proselytizing. CorryI think hallucinations are a side effect of Teamocil. 11:11, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Don't forget Cthulhu. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:44, 13 January 2009 (EST)

I don't think we explicitly do not wany people to talk about their religion, but for it not to dominate. I also think we could say that we like evidence for assertions. Sterilerationalize 11:30, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Mentioning scientific POV would be useful, & also help to explain all the times when we are critical of religions without making us look like hypocrites. Maybe add to the paragraph above something like "We do, however, have a rationalist point of view, and believe that the scientific method is the most reliable framework for researching and understanding what happens in our universe. For this reason, we are critical of both religious and secular movements which oppose scientific thought and knowledge." WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 13:44, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Yeah, something like that, although I'd personally drop the "we believe" part, it has the same connotations as "we believe in Thor" etc. It's really closer to "we have come to the conclusion that". I mean it's picky, but it's a minor linguistic thing that I've been paying attention to for a few month. ArmondikoVbomination 14:25, 13 January 2009 (EST)
To be more specific, when I referred to Scientific Point of View, I was not thinking of rationalism, but rather to a sentiment along the lines of "Please make sure that what you write about religion is not simply random stuff you believe to be true, but actually reasonable and at least minimally well researched." --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:41, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Personal conduct

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, although archiving may be done periodically.

Discussion of conductivity

I think we could lose the bolding... ħumanUser talk:Human 21:17, 12 January 2009 (EST)

Oh, c'mon. I think it highlights the most important points nicely. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:45, 12 January 2009 (EST)
We say: "RationalWiki respects the right of people to be heatedly debating something on one page and joking around on another—at the same time." Do we need to state this? It would petty weird if we didn't respect this "right".--Bobbing up 02:02, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I put it in because I felt it was one of the unique aspects of the community on RationalWiki. And to counter your point, it is no more "weird" to include it than the rule against personal attacks. Just because it can go without saying doesn't mean it should. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 03:37, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Well, it's worth mentioning because I've seen debates spill over to other areas before. It's an unwritten rule for some people that if you're disagreeing with someone in a specified politics or debate area that you don't allow any animosity to influence your posting elsewhere. I think it's a very good idea, and worthy to be mentioned in a set of guidelines because clearly some people will take individual events very personally and use it as an excuse to be a git in completely separate discussions. ArmondikoVbomination 11:12, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Re: what Bob quoted. I think it should just say "often people are heatedly...". It's only purpose is to lead in to the request to avoid spillover, I think. Re: Bolding, italics are used for emphasis. Bold is more for things like the intro to each section in a list, which this starts out looking like, but then the bolds stop and a phrase in the middle of a later sentence is bolded. ħumanUser talk:Human 13:34, 13 January 2009 (EST)

I think resolving content disputes (i.e. edit warring & discussing on talk page) should be a separate section & go into a bit more depth. It should address this rule of three thing if we're going with that, and more formal voting (as discussed below) as a last resort for particularly difficult disagreements. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 15:16, 13 January 2009 (EST)

The vandal bin and blocking

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 them about it on their userpage before assuming they are a vandal and vandal-binning them.

Discussion of wandals and blocking

Copied from talk page

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 \scriptstyle\sqrt{12}\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-3)^{-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 \scriptstyle\sqrt{12}\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-3)^{-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). ArmondikoVbomination 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 \scriptstyle\sqrt{12}\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-3)^{-n}(2n+1)^{-1} 05:32, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Ah, I didn't see it upgraded to years. :S ArmondikoVbomination 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. ArmondikoVbomination 06:03, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Exponential sequence? It is linear my friend doesn't grow faster than O(x). - User \scriptstyle\sqrt{12}\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-3)^{-n}(2n+1)^{-1} 23:45, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Sorry about that I need to think better it is exponential. - User \scriptstyle\sqrt{12}\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-3)^{-n}(2n+1)^{-1} 23:49, 12 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. ArmondikoVbomination 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). ArmondikoVbomination 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. ArmondikoVbomination 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. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.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)

Further discussion of wandals and blocking

Shouldn't this at least mention blocking in some way? Also, another thing that might need to be considered is that thing recently about whether or not to issue blocks on request - which I personally don't see a problem with. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 20:48, 12 January 2009 (EST)

Also, can we drop the bolding? ħumanUser talk:Human 21:18, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I've copied the relevant thread from the talk page, as the blocking policy still hasn't been agreed. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:34, 12 January 2009 (EST)
We're not moving forward on this, & I think it's one of the most urgent issues. Some people are acting as if a consensus has been reached (not to block vandals at all) when in fact there's been no agreement. Other people have mentioned permablocking all TOR nodes; again nothing decided. I'm going to intercom this to try & revive the discussion. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:34, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I think short (hours or so) blocks are useful with random vandals. Beyond that, they're only useful to make us sign in. ħumanUser talk:Human 14:43, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I think we should just use the vandal brake, and not bother with blocks. Blocks are only useful for cleaning vandals up, and it would be pretty damn hard to vandalize so extensively that we couldn't undo it in half an hour. As for users who want to be blocked, if they are a sysop, let them block themselves and retire their sysopship. If they aren't a sysop, extend the offer to them if they fit the normal criteria, and if they turn it down, that's their business. I also think we should block the TOR nodes, because there is no real reason to leave them open. There are no privacy concerns, as we don't check your IP, and the only real use is block evasion. Phantom Hoover 15:10, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Demoting and promoting users

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 of sysoprics

Especially now two notorious page burners are sysops can I suggest a three strike rule. The first major abuse of Sysop power is taken to be a misunderstanding of the rules, like Jammy the other day deleting a talkpage and blocking a user at their request. Second okay maybe they still haven't got the point another helpful little message on their talkpage. Third violation they are promoted back to editor until they learn the ropes better. - User \scriptstyle\sqrt{12}\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-3)^{-n}(2n+1)^{-1} 20:33, 12 January 2009 (EST)

"A user can always request to not be demoted, and bureaucrats are to respect these requests." I don't think I agree with this... ħumanUser talk:Human 21:20, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I don't agree with the split infinitive. They are requesting not to be demoted, not "to not be demoted". WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:30, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I'm having trouble understanding your position, Human. Could you explain to me why you disagree with bureaucrats having to respect the wishes of other users? Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 21:42, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I also have don't understand Human's position and also the not blocking retired users if they ask for it. If it is specifically requested by the user then they can have their way. I know CPadmin didn't want to be a sysop because he felt it made his position at CP untenable so he was desysopped. Why can't this apply to other people? - User \scriptstyle\sqrt{12}\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-3)^{-n}(2n+1)^{-1} 22:01, 12 January 2009 (EST)
I agree that if someone doesn't want it, then just don't give it to them. Knock up a template "I DON'T WANT SYSOP POWERS!" or something. Even if the change is barely noticiable and quite minor there's no reason to force it onto people. ArmondikoVbomination 11:17, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I remember not too long ago somebody trying to refuse demotion and it turned into a big, stupid argument. What's the point of pushing somebody into something they don't want? CorryI think hallucinations are a side effect of Teamocil. 11:23, 13 January 2009 (EST)
The template is a good idea, and I guess I see the point about "respecting user's requests", of course. As far as not blocking "retired" users, if they are retired, why do they need to be blocked? (Of course, we could unblock them after they are gone ;)) ħumanUser talk:Human 13:12, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I agree with π's three strike rule, it makes sense. However, there could be different interpretations of what a "major abuse" is, so who should make that decision in practice? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 12:44, 13 January 2009 (EST)
We might be stuck with "bureaucrat discretion" on that one, although the discretion should probably come after someone else brings it up (the first two times obviously require carefully-worded warnings), and some discussion of the "abuses". Although, I think the only need for this would arise in fairly obvious situations? ħumanUser talk:Human 13:12, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Has this ever been an issue in the past - i.e. somebody needing to be desysoped because of abuse? If it's something that's never happened, or very rarely, do we need to decide on a rigid process just now? Better to cross that bridge when we come to it. I think a strict three-strikes approach could be a bit unforgiving. We already have a rarely used RationalWiki:Administrative Abuse page. That's where complaints should be raised (preferably only if they've already been raised with the sysop themself & the problem is still continuing). Then others can discuss & give their opinion on how bad the transgression is & whether any further action is needed, addressing each case on its own merits. Incidentally I see there is also a long-forgotten RationalWiki:Requests Not to be a Sysop page. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:01, 13 January 2009 (EST)
A "cross that bridge when we come to it" is all well and good but we may as well think about how to cross that bridge before it's looming and too late, right? Some stuff will probably have to go to "bureaucrat discretion" mobocracy or not, it's just practical for when things need to be decided to have as few people as needed making the actual decision. The system has a heirarchy for a reason and if people are abusing powers you don't want to need everyone to chime in and complain before taking action. Of course that wouldn't exclude sysops or non-sysop users from throwing in two cents on a discussion and certainly wouldn't give anyone with higher administrative powers the ability to be immune from criticism for their actions (i.e., the mob will bite you in the ass). ArmondikoVbomination 14:34, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Deleting pages

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.

Deleted discussion

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). ArmondikoVbomination 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. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.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)
What about bullet pointing the criteria for immediate deletion rather than extended paragraphs. It's simpler and more concise than having to go through wordiness. "There are some things that should be deleted immediately by the first sysop to spot themm:" Then list with "*" or "#" markup. ArmondikoVbomination 11:21, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I agree, once it hits the second paragraph there's too many words. The whole thing about obsolete categories could be six words (after moving a category, delete the old version). The list could start "These are the exceptions to this rule:" Also, the "rule of three" is being invoked in para one, I'm not sure it's the best way to handle it? perhaps we should leave it more open-ended ("please start a discussion and let it run for several days before taking action"?) Should we also mention using the delete template and starting a tlak page section stating one's reasons? ħumanUser talk:Human 13:45, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I agree to placing emphasis on talking. Of course, that can often lead to a lot of waffle but it's hardly taking up a lot of server space (is it?!?) and doesn't actively harm anyone. If things just got shifted and deleted without any discussion or justification where would we be? (To which point I feel I should put on an Al Murray voice and shout "yeah, that's right Germany") ArmondikoVbomination 14:37, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Moving pages

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 capitalized 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.

Discussing movies?

"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! ArmondikoVbomination 16:32, 9 January 2009 (EST)
Note: The line in question has been removed. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 20:28, 12 January 2009 (EST)
Can we change "can be moved without discussion only if" to "should only be moved"? More like a guideline in phrasing? And there's that "rule of three" again. We need to work on that. ħumanUser talk:Human 13:48, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Renaming users

Old community standards

[Nothing]

Proposed revamp

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

Discussion of renaming

Hate to bring up this rare grey area, but what about users with similar names. It's happened previously and can suceed in confusing people who read recent changes (albeit only for a short while). ArmondikoVbomination 11:23, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Good point. We have had a long habit of respecting the "territory" near any given user's name. And abusing it if they don't mind (namuh, the bohdans, etc.). How about "If an established editor requests, a similarly-named new editor may also be renamed to a more unique name of their choice"? Or some such? ħumanUser talk:Human 13:15, 13 January 2009 (EST)
It depends if it's obviously done deliberately to cause disruption (e.g. one of FD's sock accounts was a variant of my name) - this comes under vandalism &/or personal attack and so should be renamed a.s.a.p. to avoid further confusion. If it's a coincidence that somebody signs up unknowingly choosing a name that is extremely similar to an existing user, then there should be at least some discussion & attempt to reach an agreement, rather than the new user feeling like they're being forced to be change their user name. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:10, 13 January 2009 (EST)
That was the incident I was referring to so you clearly know what it's like. I wouldn't go straight for "that's MY name, BAGSY!" and force people to change if it's perfectly innocent (by all means, let people request it, it can be a perfectly reasonable request but it's certainly not "I'm the older user, therefore YOU change!") but if someone is making non-constructive edits and their name is similar enough, we assume it's deliberate and alter the name to something, although we should make it a point of being non-offensive. Then again, this seems to be a rare event so putting it down in the legislation may be extreme and unncessary, it's worth making a strong mention that this happens and that we should be allowed to deal with it. ArmondikoVbomination 14:42, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Protecting pages

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 about condoms

I think that we should add that this is (a) an unusual situation which should only be carried out under exceptional circumstance and (b) such protection should not exceed (say) three days.--Bobbing up 02:09, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Where did you get those rules from, RationalWikiWiki? Oh, you did... - User \scriptstyle\sqrt{12}\sum_{n=0}^{\infty}(-3)^{-n}(2n+1)^{-1} 02:12, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Clarify that the level of protection to beused is the one where we block unregistered users and non-sysops from editing only. I don't agree with the expiry. In the case of Fred etc. they come along every three days or so, therefore protecting for three days is pointless. ArmondikoVbomination 11:26, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Should we apply the rule of three here as well, as with deleting and moving? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 11:33, 13 January 2009 (EST)

I think this should read "we don't protect public pages on this wiki. However, users are welcome to protect things like their signature subpage, for peace of mind. Some oft-recreated junk pagenames are prevented from recreation by using the cascading protection page." I also think we need a new section to discuss this "rule of three" thing. ħumanUser talk:Human 13:50, 13 January 2009 (EST)

About SPOV

Old community standards

[Nothing]

Proposed revamp

RationalWiki does not use Wikipedia's well-known "Neutral 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 of POV

I strongly reject mentioning CP on our hallowed holy page of mandates, dreams, and goals. So I was bold... ħumanUser talk:Human 21:25, 12 January 2009 (EST)

"Scientific point of view" should come first. We should stress that "snarky" is secondary.--Bobbing up 02:11, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Is it? Toast s.png (with butter!) talk to Toast 02:13, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I had always felt that as well, Bob. It was listed second because it seemed that "scientific point of view" was more of a backronym added just recently, and it still wasn't mentioned anywhere official. But I do think it should take precedence over the original "snarky" meaning. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 03:52, 13 January 2009 (EST)
How about a compromise? We make a random choose tag, and present it in both orders randomly? ħumanUser talk:Human 13:16, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Put them in text boxes next to one another - or does that get too cluttered? --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:44, 13 January 2009 (EST)
That would work, too. I do like the random idea, though. Perhaps make the left/right setup of the boxes random? ħumanUser talk:Human 14:47, 13 January 2009 (EST)

About the namespaces

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). Articles in this namespace are intended to be collaborated on by any and all editors. (Articles which do not related to RationalWiki's mission are, with few exceptions, moved to the fun namespace.)
  • 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.
  • RationalWiki namespace - Contains articles relating to the wiki itself, such as help files, policy and "meta-discussion".

Discussion in space

Should specifically mention that articles which don't fit mainspace are likely to be moved to fun.--Bobbing up 02:13, 13 January 2009 (EST)

I thought it already said something like that, but I guess it didn't. I went ahead and changed it per your suggestion, Bob. Star of David.png Radioactive afikomen Please ignore all my awful pre-2014 comments. 03:48, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I think the thing about moving to fun should only be under the fun space description. Right now it's in there twice. ħumanUser talk:Human 13:58, 13 January 2009 (EST)
  • RationalWiki namespace - used for articles about the wiki itself, and various meta-discussion. Or something like that. ħumanUser talk:Human 13:59, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I went ahead and added that at the bottom (I like the "meta-discussion"). Good work for spotting that it was missing. ArmondikoVbomination 14:52, 13 January 2009 (EST)
This is going to be affected by the science namespace debate. Either we add another namespace to the list, or acknowledge that not everything in mainspace in necessarily mission-related. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 15:05, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Advice when writing articles

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.

Stylish discussion

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)

I also think this should be a separate article. Although it is a "standard" in a sense, it's not exactly a community conduct thing. Also, lower priority (IMO). We should try to finish the standards page, then create a separate manual of style, maybe using Human's draft as a starting point. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:18, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Links to pertinent articles

Old community standards

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

Proposed revamp

[None so far]

Impertinent discussion

I think this stuff is pretty good in general; we should also list to the main help page list, the noob guide, and new sysop guide I think. This is basically a "see also" section. ħumanUser talk:Human 21:28, 12 January 2009 (EST)

Why don't the boxes in this section fill the width of the screen? Is it just because there isn't enough "text width" to force it? ħumanUser talk:Human 14:10, 13 January 2009 (EST)

Voting

Old community standards

[Nothing]

Proposed revamp

Voting is one of the methods used on RationalWiki to determine the will of the mob. It is best used to decide on issues that would significantly change the way the Wiki operates, relate to the fundamental principles of the Wiki, or otherwise impact on the experience of the users.

A vote should only be called after a thorough discussion of the question. All new votes and all votes about to close should be announced on the General Site News Intercom and the Community Chalkboard. Voting is only open for registered users.

A vote shall close when one of these three criteria is met:

  • A number of users equal to a majority of the currently active user base (i.e. the total number of user that are semi-active or above) have voted for or against a proposal.
  • 72 hours have passed with no new votes being cast.
  • One week has passed since the vote began.

Discussion about voting

I don't get the "OR" - shouldn't things like that say "the latest of these three:" or something? It's also shouting :(. Also, the active user list is often a bit out-of-date, isn't it? Or has it been fully automated now? ħumanUser talk:Human 13:18, 13 January 2009 (EST)

It's not clear what things this voting process is to be used for, unless that's explained somewhere else on this page where I haven't noticed it yet. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 14:20, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Human: The idea is that any one of those three things is sufficient to close the vote. An absolute majority of the user base (31 at present) would show such an overwhelming acceptance or rejection of an idea (by comparison, the present vote on a Science namespace has 11 votes against) that there'd be no point in continuing the vote. On the other hand, if there have no new votes coming in for 72 hours, it's a fair assumption that everyone who wanted to have voted, and you can also close it. If neither of those two things happen, the vote closes after a week. It's a compromise between making sure that as many users as possible have the opportunity to vote, while at the same time not letting the whole thing drag on when its not necessary. Of course, it also makes the assumption that the active users visit at least once every three days. I don't know if the numbers need to be adjusted. As for the user list, I think LArron is updating it once a month right now, but we might want to check if he intends to keep doing that, or if someone else can take over the job if necessary.
Weaseloid: I don't think it's possible to say anything specific about that, but I guess it'd be on "matters of substance" that are more important than simple things like page moves and such, but not so important as to go through a full consensus-building process like we're doing here. It's mostly intended as a useful tool to determine what the mob actually wants when necessary. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 14:36, 13 January 2009 (EST)
OK, it should still probably have some brief wording to express that, even if it's not very specific. Otherwise this section will be a bit confusing. WëäŝëïöïďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 15:10, 13 January 2009 (EST)
I tried to put something general up. Feel free to reword. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 15:31, 13 January 2009 (EST)
OK, I'll reword the ending criteria so they reflect what you meant better? ħumanUser talk:Human 14:51, 13 January 2009 (EST)
That's fine. On another thing, I used the phrase "number of users equal to a majority of the currently active user base" rather than simply "a majority of the currently active user base", because the latter implies that it would have to be a majority of the actual users on that list. Firstly, that'd be a pain to check, and secondly, those won't always be the ones who're actually voting - so I think it's better to use numbers instead, and then just go with the slight legal fiction that they're the same people. --AKjeldsenCum dissensie 15:22, 13 January 2009 (EST)
Yeah, I know, and we might need to discuss it, but you tried, at least. Somehow the "electorate" or at least a quorum has to be defined if we to ever use voting, and activity (recent?) is about the only way to separate the "real" members from the fly-bys and our socks. I think as a footnote, any newish but active user ought to be allowed to petition for the franchise if they aren't on the "active users" list yet? ħumanUser talk:Human 15:41, 13 January 2009 (EST)