The Rules

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Notice
This page is not a policy document, it exists solely to help guide users in some common general practices and policies that are outlined elsewhere. When citing a resource that requires official documents look elsewhere.


This page is not complete, and could do with some more editors. See talk page.

The wiki has a number of rules, designed to keep the wiki useful and running smoothly. Like any other rules, they should be applied with common sense.

The Fundamental Rule

  • Always act in good faith, never bad faith.

This rule underpins all others. It is our guiding focus, and the most important rule. If the rules ever conflict, this rule overrides any other.

Other Rules

No Alts without Good Cause

An "alt" (short for alternate) account is a second (or third or fourth etc) wiki account. On this wiki, they are (generally) forbidden. This is because of the potential for bad faith actions from them, such as:

  • Voting multiple times
  • Setting up strawman arguments to undermine an opponent's position
  • Giving a false sense of consensus of an issue
  • Avoiding accountability for actions

If a user is found to have two accounts for no reason, then the lesser used account is banned, any content in the userspace of the banned account is transferred to the userspace of the main account, and any vandalism records are collated. Having two accounts is _not_ seen as vandalism in itself.

There are legitimate reasons for having an alt, such as for role-play reasons. If you create an alt, it's worth stating the reason for the alt's existence on its user page, so no-one mistakingly believes it will be used to harm the wiki.

Private Property Pages

Some pages on the wiki are seen as private property. Only the respective owner(s) of a page may edit it. This allows them to cultivate the page to their personal taste.

User pages

You own all pages that start with User:<your name>. No-one else may edit it (unless they are clearly trying to be helpful). That means that you can keep it however you wish. The content restrictions on the wiki are relaxed for user pages.

Group pages

Groups that want to can make wiki pages about themselves, perhaps to attract new members, just to let the world know that they exist or to provide a contact point. The page becomes the group's public face on the wiki. Only group members are allowed to edit these pages. There is one exception: anyone can create or edit a single paragraph at the top of the page written with a neutral point of view.

User and Group talk pages

User and Group talk pages are seen as the property of the User or Group whose name is on them. They may remove discussions (preferably to an archive page) as they see fit, however they may not change other people's signed comments, or otherwise misrepresent what someone has said there.

Don't Make The Wiki Worse On Purpose

Examples:

  • Adding information to an article which you know to be false,
  • Adding nonsense,
  • Removing good content for no reason.

If you make a good edit to an article which could reasonably be mistaken for an edit made to harm the wiki, it's worthwhile (but not required) to write your reasoning either on the article's talk page or in the edit summary. This should help avoid misunderstandings.

It's worth noting that edits can be undone very easily, so don't worry about making the wiki worse by accident.

"Unspoken" Rules

  • Don't edit comments which have been already replied to, except to fix spelling or coding errors.
  • Posting the same or similar message on multiple pages (assuming the message is not an essential one) generally becomes vandalism after 20 pages; this limit is usually less in the case of the pages being unrelated to the comments or if they are community pages.

These are actions which, even though they have not been specifically codified in policy as being vandalism, have such a well-established set of precedence that they have become more or less set in stone. Often this unspoken nature generates drama when a user is reported or escalated for breaking one of these (many users don't actually know of their existence); this list is an attempt to rectify the situation. If users are made more aware of these rules' existences, drama is less likely to be triggered by their citation - and more importantly they are less likely to be violated in the first place.

It is important to note that this section is not here to be used as evidence in A/VB cases; links to precedent will still need to be produced in cases where they are relevant.

Breaking the rules

If an editor repeatedly breaks the rules, they can be barred from editing the wiki. The first two times an editor harms the wiki, they will be asked to stop and warned that if they continue, they may be banned. The next time, they will be exiled from the wiki for a day, the time after that, a week, then a month, and finally a year.

Where Rules Come From

Rules come from two places: Historical policies, set up when the wiki was much younger and Policy Discussion, where new wiki policies are created. Rules can only be created with the consensus of the majority of wiki community. Where no rules exist to cover a situation, administrators are given the authority to use their own best judgment, and the decisions they make when enforcing the existing rules set a precedent in how those rules are interpreted. For the sake of consistency and fairness, precedents are generally (but not always) adhered to.

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