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Section 0

I love the new initiatives on the policy front, Tanaric. And I pretty much agree with all your changes. However, I am slightly concerned that later policy changes may become too arduous if people were to read the bold-face conditions as requiring unanimosity among all editors to enable even the smallest change. In fact, I believe a consensus is, and can be, reached and defined by an overwhelming majority despite objections. I'm splitting hairs, I know, but on issues such as this, a little hair-splitting is probably not a bad idea. -- Bishop icon2 Bishop [rap|con] 18:17, 5 August 2006 (CDT)

The process is designed to be difficult—adding or changing policies generally requires a significant amount of work for the editors who make sure everything is in compliance. Our policies should be flexible, but they should not be swinging back and forth every month or so.
That said, here's how I interpret consensus. If everyone who meaningfully contributes to a discussion agrees on a change, that's consensus. Note that I said "meaningfully." If somebody chimes in once, says "no dont change plz thx," and doesn't offer any good reasons why the policy shouldn't change or suggestions to make the change more reasonable, I don't consider his dissent as taking away from consensus.
If even one reasonable complaint about a policy change exists, I think it's reasonable to avoid the change. However, I see this as a somewhat recursive process—you can apply this interpretation of "consensus" to the potential negative as well. If everyone (but possibly the person who raises the complaint) believes that the change is beneficial regardless of the negatives noted in the complaint, consensus is there to go ahead with the change despite the complaint.
I believe my interpretation of consensus encompasses what you want to see changed about my proposal. If this is so, I should write up an article about what consensus means and how it's interpreted here at the GuildWiki, and include a better-written version of those last two paragraphs. :)
Tanaric 18:43, 5 August 2006 (CDT)
Yes, I think your definition of consensus is close enough to mine as to be indistinguishable. I merely thought I would mention that a strict interpretation of "no vote can ever be considered binding nor, unless unanimous, indication of consensus." indicates that consensus must be entirely unanimous. I welcome your idea of defining it in a seperate article. -- Bishop icon2 Bishop [rap|con] 18:58, 5 August 2006 (CDT)
My point with that was that votes should not be the primary means of establishing consensus—discussion should be. We've recently begun a vote-using trend that I think is harmful to the wiki, so I wanted to establish their lack of credibility right from the start. :) —Tanaric 19:02, 5 August 2006 (CDT)
You and I are obviously on the same page. I'm not going to comment further untill others have chimed in, because this will simply degenerate into a whole lot of patting each other on the back (erh, more than it already has, I mean). -- Bishop icon2 Bishop [rap|con] 19:16, 5 August 2006 (CDT)
I have to say I agree entirely Tanaric and Bishop. It is often the case that votes are either "for or against" and do not encourage a situation where compromise can be made. I have recently despaired over the way in which decisions for style and formatting have been made, and even the way in which many policy disputes have recently been handled.
Good work Tanaric! <LordBiro>/<Talk> 06:19, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
Now that I've found this discussion...I think the idea that we have a vote culture here is overplayed. In all honesty I think the major contributors here are all aware of trying to avoid a vote culture (and have been for some months), consequently I don't think we have many votes. I don't see voting as a major problem, we've had it for some time now but we don't seem to be engaging in it more frequently, in fact I'd say we actually vote less and less now and pretty much use it at the right time, when the discussion has carried on for too long, arguments are going round in circles and people are getting frustrated and all relevent arguments have been raised. --Xasxas256 07:21, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
That's a fair interpretation—I'm still in the "one vote is too many" camp, but that's probably because I was here back in the formative stages of the wiki, and we never used votes then. I'm willing to (grudgingly) accept them as a measure of gauging current opinion. The policy is show that votes can only be used in this manner.
Even if the notion of a burgeoning vote culture is overplayed, it's important to codify things in such a way that no vote culture can arise. If you can word my vote/consensus prohibition that better portrays the intent of the community, by all means, please do so. :) —Tanaric 07:52, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
I would bring up Tetris' vote on bound spirits and that new unknown user's vote on sockpuppetry as good examples of recent premature votes that did not try to achieve a collective understanding of the issue. Basically, I think it should be noted somewhere that "votes" cannot be used to bring about an end to a discussion. Votes should be used when the community is trying to choose whether to go with BeastBox1, 2 or 7, but not when one side in a debate feels he has seemingly more support and so he says, well, let's just vote on it! --Karlos 11:15, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
I think Xasxas256 expressed the reasoning behind the bound spirit vote. "pretty much use it at the right time, when the discussion has carried on for too long, arguments are going round in circles and people are getting frustrated and all relevent arguments have been raised." The discussion would have never came to a compromise. But there were faults with the vote. It was in bas taste that you, Karlos, were not made aware and that the vote only lasted a week. Other than that, it just didn't seem like too many users cared about the discussion about bound spirits.
I would also much rather have discussions to finalize situations and not turn to voting. But when two or three users are set in their way of thinking and will not budge, then that leaves a precarious situation. It dissuades other users from participating in the discussion, and if the discussion is heated enough, those that do are dismissed it seems. Those kind of discussions should be brought to an end then and there. Not only is compromise near impossible, but it looks bad for the wiki, especially when it's prominent users of the community going at it. *looks innocent* Just recalling what I've seen in the past. One question that either no one has thought of, or everyone knows about it, but me. What would happen if a discussion went around in circles for weeks, no compromise is made, no real concensus has been shown, and we are trying to lessen the number of votes? -Gares 13:55, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
If discussion cannot reach a consensus, there must be a reason. Two or three users won't be stubborn about something unless there's a good reason to be stubborn. If the change isn't clearly, unequivically good, we shouldn't be making the change. That's the reasoning behind the vote policy as written.
When we need a beast box, it doesn't matter if one wins by a one-vote margin, because they're all essentially the same—it's a question of style and preference. We need a beast box, and there's no point in delaying it further when the discussion is down to whether light red or dark red looks better. When it comes to policy, there's no need to finalize something. If a change never gets consensus/approved, that's totally okay. If a proposed new policy never gets the backing of the community, that's okay too. We don't need half-supported, controversial policies on the wiki. We need well-written guidelines of the mores that already exist. —Tanaric 14:24, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
In the case of articles at large I can understand that voting is sometimes a reasonable way of resolving a debate, but I think that it's important that GuildWiki policy only gets changed/implemented/removed when done so with fully reasoned argument and not simply a tick box. <LordBiro>/<Talk> 15:22, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
I noticed a reference to "the vote policy as written". To the best oif my knowledge, there is no formal policy on voting, and I honestly do not believe we should have a formal policy on it (to me, a policy implies condoning the migration to a vote culture - others may interpret this differently). However, we do have voting guidelines at Category:Votes. Those guidelines should be better clarified to indicate when a vote should and should not be used (among other shortcomings of the guidelines as currently written). --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:47, 6 August 2006 (CDT)

Open proxies policy

This was brought up in the aftermath of the "Stabber" flareup but was subsequently not followed through. I think GuildWiki should seriously consider no open proxies policy like WP:NOP to prevent all future cases of abuse. We already know that at least some of the characters involved in the "Stabber" incident used Tor proxies. Here is a dynamically maintained list of known Tor proxies. I think GuildWiki should follow Wikipedia's lead and indefinitely block all these and other open proxies. 64.78.164.226 23:43, 6 August 2006 (CDT)

Why are you posting through an anonymizer yourself? Just curious. --Karlos 00:45, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I have my reasons. Mostly privacy. I know the irony of posting the above comment through a non-descript IP, and if it gets blocked as a result of my comment, I wouldn't mind. 64.78.164.226 01:14, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
You do realize, of course, that the obvious assumption around here would be that you are, in fact, Stabber? Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you are, and I happen to like Stabber (but not what s/he caused). But your showing up with obvious before-hand knowledge of GuildWiki matters, high technical flair, eloquence and, above all, confrontational policy opinions from day one, is quite similar to a modus operandi we have seen before...
Regardless, you are of course welcome and entitled to your opinions. Just as I would say to Stabber if s/he was to return. -- Bishop icon2 Bishop [rap|con] 01:38, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
Yes, that is an obvious implication. I am clearly quite well versed with areas of the wiki that a newbie would be unaware of. Anyone is free to believe what they wish. I neither confirm nor deny that I am Stabber. 64.78.164.226 01:41, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I find that mighty saddening. Possibly because the obvious implication of that is that you are intent more upon causing trouble -- or simply disruption and drama -- and less upon contributing to the community in a meaningful fashion. I really wish that was not the case, because if you are Stabber, I had hoped you would return in earnest (possibly under a new handle) and contribute more to the content and less to the drama, because that was an obvious skill of his/hers. And if you are not Stabber, then you are a different long-time editor with a different axe to grind, which is more confusing but no less underhanded -- and that hurts, either way, because our community is one based upon trust and collaboration. -- Bishop icon2 Bishop [rap|con] 01:58, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I think to some extent you have to choose to see this thread as a disruption for it to be one. You say that I'm suggesting confrontational policies, but equally my suggestions would prevent all future disruptions of this form, not to mention many other forms of disruption. I am sure you realize the futility of trying to guess my motives, and the insanity that induces. You have stated your case that blocking open proxies is not a battle worth fighting and the community might well agree with you. Indeed, several comments below seem to indicate that protecting key articles is the better remedy. In the interests of not writing more on a topic than it warrants, I'll make this my final comment on this thread of discussion. 64.78.164.226 02:31, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
You are right in that I am unable to discern your motives. I was when you were Stabber and I still am. In fact, I do not even try. Your objectives, however, are more easily recognizable. And so is your very unique argumentative style, given a decent sample size. You and I both realize, I am sure, that neither your IP-blocking suggestion nor your article-protection one offers any real protection against abuse. Your claims of protection against unspoken threats are FUD at best, and insidious attacks on the principles of trust and openness at worst. Just as your insistence that anonymity is the enemy of accountability, all the while using that anonymity to underline your point, is a misdirection at most.
The facts of the matter are that accountability and trust can exist even in a completely open environment, and even when the assumption of good faith exists. Your suggestions, howeever, and your attempts to avoid my objections through straw-man arguments, are neither in good faith nor accountable. And in honesty, they offer false security against attacks on those foundations, the values that we hold dear. -- Bishop icon2 Bishop [rap|con] 03:30, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
Because of size and exposure differences, Wikipedia faces different issues than we do. Blocking, or rather attempting to block, proxy IP addresses are an uphill battle that we cannot win or even begin to fight. Your own origination IP is an excellent example; there is absolutely no way for us, as a community, to tell if you are genuinely using an almost impossibly non-descript access point, using an open proxy, or exploiting a compromised machine.
The only advantage we could gain from blocking known TOR-nodes, for instance, would be to raise the bar slightly for those who wish anonymity. However, that is more likely to prove a negative (by preventing genuinely privacy-concerned people from editing the wiki) than a positive, because determined, disruptive users with a real intent to cause harm could do so anyway.
The only way we could really prevent these issues would be to change policy to favor registered, long-term users over anons or newly registered ones. And that goes against what we stand for and how we do things (and Karlos regularly takes heat for having this view), so that is not an option. Instead, I think we're better off doing what we have been all along, which is to handle each issue as it crops up. -- Bishop icon2 Bishop [rap|con] 00:54, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
All valid points, but I think blocking Tor nodes is exceedingly low hanging fruit and not particularly disruptive. Blocking open proxies should be just one facet of damage mitigation. I've noted at least one other tool below, ie, page protection. GuildWiki is now one of the largest wikis there is, and it's showing no signs of slowing down. These issues should be considered now while there is still a conceivable chance of sampling community-wide consensus, instead of punting until the problem is too big to handle. 64.78.164.226 01:14, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
Unfortunately, what you are suggesting is a slippery slope. In fact, one could make an argument that since you are obviously skilled in the arts of online obfuscation, you are well aware that your suggestions would serve more to cause dissent and confusion among newbie editors than it would protect against actual trouble-makers. Introducing measures of elitism to the wiki is not what we need, regardless of how tempting it might seem, even to me, at present. -- Bishop icon2 Bishop [rap|con] 01:38, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
Regardless who Mr(s) Anonymous is, I don't feel comfortable with somebody deliberately hiding behind an anonymous IP making edits to official policy pages. Frankly I think those pages should be protected from anonymous edits, or maybe even admin edit only. --TurningL sml 01:44, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
Disregarding the issue of anon's identity, as it's irrelevant, I agree completely with Bishop's last two posts up there. It is not our place to decide how people should access the internet. We have never had a problem immediately spotting vandalism, if it should occur.
Tetris L, the fact that nobody has ever done what you're talking about seems like sufficient reason not to care about it. :) —Tanaric 09:28, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I'm actually indifferent on this issue at the moment. While we have had problems of vandalism in the past with vandals using both Tor nodes as well as open proxies, the issues have rarely lasted more than a single day (although I remember at least one that lasted on-and-off for several hours) and are fairly infrequent. I won't try to press for a policy towards blocking them, but I won't argue against it either.
All that said, I did want to add material for everyone else's discussion on this. Wikipedia has had extensive discussion and they currently have a policy of blocking open or anonymous proxies (Wikipedia:No_open_proxies and additional links to discussions on it at Wikipedia:Blocking_policy). I realize that we are not Wikipedia and we have several policies that differ from their policies; but in some cases you can gain new insights by looking at their history on various issues. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 11:24, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I'm against blocking anything, beacause it probably wont prevent any vandalism. Some frequently used templates could be protected, but nothing more. --Gem-icon-sm (talk) 13:54, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I've had to use Tor in the past to get around content blocking at work, I don't think it's necessary to block known Tor nodes. Aside from anything else it's incredibly slow using Tor, anybody who's used it would know what I'm talking about! It would be very difficult to do any kind of mass-vandalism using Tor, if anything Tor users represent the lowest vandalism risk of anybody. --Xasxas256 19:30, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I support the blocking of proxies only in the event that they are used for systemic vandalism or vote manipulation, and even so only after the fact rather than preemptively. I believe we have enough committed and alert editors to police our pages for vandalism. Where proxies and anonymizers are used to manipulate opinion or create the illusion of false support, however, they should be shut out immediately - Bishop pointed out above that ours is a community of trust and collaboration, and it would be difficult to ensure that atmosphere if we couldn't even begin to know why there are so many people jumping on a policy all of a sudden, for example. Kessel 10:33, 16 October 2006 (CDT)

Returning to this, a while ago we had a somewhat persistent vandal that, in hindsight, was an AOL user using AOL's proxies. Wikipedia's policy about AOL is here (the short version is anonymous users are blocked but they're allowed to create accounts). To block that specific vandal, we eventually blocked two class Cs, but those were only a small slice of AOL's proxy IPs. The nature of AOL's proxies would seem to be that in order to block a vandal we'd almost certainly block other AOL users at the same time.

I bring this up since a user just complained on my talk page about it (and I think I unblocked most of the relevant AOL IPs, but I'm not sure). It's not a problem right now, but a persistent AOL vandal would be very annoying. To get a block like WP's going we'd need 1.8.2 (which I was planning to upgrade to anyway). --Fyren 01:00, 2 December 2006 (CST)

Page protection

→ Moved to Project talk:Protected page

Handling rejected policies

You guys might want to consider if it's better for rejected policies to generally be put into "cold storage" (in the same fashion as [:Category:Unfavored builds|Category:Unfavored builds] and Category:Wikipedia rejected proposals) rather than deleted. --Rezyk 18:39, 8 August 2006 (CDT) Please do not count this comment as either support nor opposition toward any consensus.

criteria for deletion

Should criteria for deletion go under policies currently being revisited right now, or should it wait until the voting actually starts? -- Gordon Ecker 00:25, 24 August 2006 (CDT)

Subheading "editing policies"

I am somewhat unhappy with that, since I dont think it is a proper summary of what is below. However I dont have a better idea atm, maybe someone else can come up with a better name. --Xeeron 10:16, 15 September 2006 (CDT)

NPOV

No mention of the neutral point of view policy? --Ab.Er.Rant Necromancer-icon-small (msg Aberrant80) 09:09, 24 September 2006 (CDT)

A good portion of our content is not factual reporting. We're a guide, not an encyclopedia. --Fyren 09:16, 24 September 2006 (CDT)

Proposed change.

Experience with the Builds policy proposal fiasco indicated to me that our policy change proposition policy (whew!) was a little inadequate. I've changed around one of the subsections, and I've posted the revision at Project:Policy/Proposal1—I'm using the guidelines of my policy proposal during this policy proposal, to illustrate what I intend. —Tanaric 07:52, 14 October 2006 (CDT)

Won't a sub-article for counterproposals fragment the discussion into multiple threads? Kessel 08:16, 14 October 2006 (CDT)
That is a useful change. Editing the proposed changes into the main article does produce confusion or worse. --Xeeron 13:04, 14 October 2006 (CDT)
As Xeeron said. The biggest problem with attempting to push a big policy change is that the discussion is nigh-unfollowable. Fragmenting it into multiple interest groups can only help each group come up with a tenable solution. With fragmented discussion, individual proposals can be abandoned as infeasible without disrupting the entire base of users that are discussing the policy change. It also allows the talk page to function as normal, despite the policy discussion. —Tanaric 00:41, 15 October 2006 (CDT)
Alright. I see where you're coming from. This proposal has my support. Kessel 05:28, 16 October 2006 (CDT)
I also agree with the proposal. <LordBiro>/<Talk> 08:26, 16 October 2006 (CDT)
Since no one has given a good reason why this shouldn't be implemented I will implement it soon. <LordBiro>/<Talk> 07:20, 29 November 2006 (CST)
Ok, implementing this now. <LordBiro>/<Talk> 11:54, 1 December 2006 (CST)
Good idea; but in addition to advertising it on the policy's talk page, I think we should also have a standard template to add to the policy itself that mentions that a proposed change exists, and which links to both the proposed revision as well as a link to the talk on it. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 12:21, 1 December 2006 (CST)
That makes sense, Barek. I've knocked up the following template that would go at the top of policy articles with suggested changes, let me know what you think! <LordBiro>/<Talk> 12:46, 1 December 2006 (CST)

template:proposed change

Looks good - any chance of working in "discussion on the proposed policy change is taking place at ...". I'm thinking that could help prevent fragmentation of the discussion. I wouldn't want to see some conversation taking place both on the current policy's talk page as well as on the proposed policy's talk page. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 12:53, 1 December 2006 (CST)

Yeah Barek, that makes sense, I'll add that now. <LordBiro>/<Talk> 17:00, 1 December 2006 (CST)

:Oops ... it appears we already had a template for this at template:proposed policy. Both templates have good elements, maybe time to merge them? --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 01:18, 4 December 2006 (CST)

EDIT: My mistake - that ones actually newer than this one. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 01:20, 4 December 2006 (CST)
Ignore these two posts ... nothing to see here ... move along ...
The other template is for new policy proposals, while the one above would be for changes - two different things. Getting late, time for bed. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 01:29, 4 December 2006 (CST)

Editing other user's posts

Is it acceptable/proper to edit another user's post as to correct spelling or improper links (for example, Sheilds Up! as opposed to Shields Up!) and not make any note on the page? Improper spelling bothers me a great lot, and I always find myself correcting articles (more so on talk pages) to fix punctuation and spelling mistakes. Is this something I am allowed to do?

Red Link

(In reference to the Gwiki/Wikipedia differences) What are we doing with this? Creating the page at the end of the link? Removing the note? It looks bad to have a red link on a policy page. - Candle Krowman (talkcontribs) 22:13, 16 June 2007 (CDT)

This page on the navagation sidebar

As I (and other users) refer to it often, it would be convinent to have a middle click button on the nav sidebar. RT | Talk 21:32, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

It's there now, I either didn't see it the last time, or it went through, anyway thanks! RT | Talk - A joyous wintersday to all 14:34, 13 December 2007 (UTC)
It was recently added Dec 12th by PanSola ... but as posted on the sidebar talk page, to me it should be moved to a different section of the sidebar. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 15:49, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

Added other policies to see also

I added the other policy pages to the policy page, but feel free to remove them if you think that its uneeded. --Warwick sig Warwick (Talk)/(Contr.) 00:44, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Current proposed policies (10 June 2008)

We should try to get the currently proposed policies either accepted or archived. Some of them have been there for at least four months. I'll try to comment on them myself later tonight. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 23:33, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

trivia

I've searched for a trivia policy or guideline, as I remember seeing some talk about the wiki's standing on it, but I can't seem to find it. My question here is: does a policy about trivia or a guideline about it exist? If it does, where can I find it, and if it doesn't, should there be one to avoid the constant conflicts of what should be listed and what not? --El Nazgir sigEl_Nazgir 13:06, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

I don't believe a hard policy on trivia in general exists. Just bear in mind that different people may disagree with the noteworthieness of various trivia, and don't be discouraged when too many people disagree with you. For popular culture references (which is a subset of all trivia), the standards tend to be requiring some very solid support for the reference, especially considering one reference candidate might itself be a reference to something else. That's all I can really recall. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 00:48, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
See also: Project:Pop culture -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 00:51, 15 February 2009 (UTC)
If in doubt, put it on the talkpage. --◄mendel► 04:40, 15 February 2009 (UTC)

(Reset indent) Can we upgrade to a general policy? Are other people also bothered by any of the following?

  1. statements that begins with, "...is probably a reference to...," e.g. Nick's name or To the Limit! (which has two such maybes)
  2. references once (or more times) removed from the original, e.g. For Your Ears Only, which refers to a movie based on a book, based on a deprecated security classification used in various American and British spy agencies.
  3. references that stretch likelihood, e.g. Hudd's connection to a Huddson, Little Thom's connection to Little John.
  4. references that are really Lore rather than Trivia, e.g. Saul D'Alessio or Dwayna

Potential Proposal:

  • Remove unconfirmed and 'stretched references.
  • Change "might be" to certainty, or remove. (Or, if compelling, change to evokes images of... or something stronger than might be.)
  • Redirect reference to the original source (unless there's a compelling reason that the more recent reference is more germane).
  • Change in-game trivia to Lore

Or do people think I've been hexed by Crankiness (for 2...5 days, target will be bothered by water off a duck's back) ?   — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 20:51, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

It is not necessary for this to be a policy, as it is an editing guideline. The master policy is GW:AR. If you want a policy, you should be looking for a way to resolve conflicts, and if you just want something to back you up to save you discussion, then I think the present versino serves you ill. Using Lore sections more is a good idea, edit trivia all you like, but it pays in conflict avoidance to document what you deleted on the talkpage, maybe in a "trivia" section. That way, if somebody re-adds it, which inevitably happens, the then inevitable revert has talkpage backup. --◄mendel► 01:33, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
The circumstances are broad enough that dealing with all possible trivia via one policy is impractical. My basic rule is that if it seems plausible that something could be a coincidence, it probably is. Quizzical 01:42, 11 July 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps editing guide instead of policy is what I meant. I'm not trying to deal with all the trivia, just an unfortunate plurality that is poor copy (e.g. might bes and Lore-as-Trivia miscategorizations). I'll start with some GW:BB edits and see where that leads. (And, as is my nature, I will include summaries and talk page explanations.) Thanks for the 4Gold.   — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 02:33, 11 July 2009 (UTC)

We should be allowed to ban for people being dumb

moved to GuildWiki talk:Don't Be Stupid
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