UDWiki talk:Administration/Policy Discussion/Promotion of Zerging should be considered vandalism

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Clarification

Ross, are you saying that it should be considered bad faith or it should not? The amendment you made at the bottom seems to indicate it would not be considered bad faith, but I don't think that's what you meant. ~Vsig.png 23:09, 17 February 2015, The year of our lord (UTC)

Doesn't make sense to me either:
Publicly encouraging Zerging. [...] actively supporting the breaking of the Urban Dead rules will not considered a bad faith edit.

—Policy draft

It states first that encouraging zerging should be considered to be vandalism, then thereafter states that vocal support for zerging isn't bad faith. Doesn't make sense to me. Either we declare a pro-zerging stance to be nasty enough to be vandalism, oder we just ignore it and declare it not to be bad faith. -- Spiderzed 23:12, 17 February 2015 (UTC)
Oops. scratch that not. --Rosslessness 00:13, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Looks good now. -- Spiderzed 23:51, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Multi Abuse

What about things like Salt The Land Policy that encourages multi-abuse by running several alts towards a common goal (but not outright zerging by operating within a few blocks)? Should the policy cover it as well? -- Spiderzed 23:12, 17 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't see any evidence of active encouragement of zerging on that page, or even multi-abuse. Unless you mean the implicit suggestion that ALL zombies should adopt this policy, regardless of the number of characters they use. That same logic could be applied to ANY tactic. But I see what you're getting at. There's often broad interpretation of Kevan's definition of multi-abuse. Most notably, at one time players unsing DEM's DEMON tool were considered multit-abusers. Metagaming itself is sometimes lumped into multi-abuse. I don't think that is what this policy means, but there is some potential for abuse I think however unlikely that may seem. ~Vsig.png 23:55, 17 February 2015, The year of our lord (UTC)
What Vapes said. Its the public, blatant support for multi abuse I'm talking about. --Rosslessness 00:12, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
It seems that this guy isn't even a zerger, but someone pissed off by someone else's blatant zerging, and impersonating them to bring it to the attention of others. Please don't make a knee jerk policy just to deal with this isolated incident. It can already be dealt with by removal from informative pages, and by the use of the NPOV section of group pages -- boxy 09:56, 18 February 2015 (BST)
I don't believe that for a second. The number of IP's used to edit the wiki, his claims in edit histories that he is the leader of the group, the secondary account created etc. --Rosslessness 10:07, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm sceptical, but it is plausible, and makes more sense to me, than the alternative, actually. The number of IP's isn't that high (check mine, for example), and the claims of leadership and secondary accounts (doing the same shit) is totally consistent with it being someone out to discredit a zerging group -- boxy 10:28, 18 February 2015 (BST)
You're clearly several people. Explains the longevity. Parody or not, some people won't get that, and I'd rather the wiki supports the game in this case.--Rosslessness 10:38, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Put the rule up front

So, the real problem is that we've allowed the wiki to be used as a weapon against the game. When we let a zerger use it as a platform for posting POV statements about activities of his that the game explicitly prohibits, we put the wiki and the game at odds with each other. That's in direct contradiction to our core mission of serving as a resource for the game.

Ross nailed this issue in his current version of the wording, but he hid it away in the back half of the sentence. Let's pull it up to the front and phrase it as, "Using the wiki in direct support of activities that break the game's rules". That way, if the rules ever get updated (unlikely as that may be), we're already covered, and it makes it clear that it isn't just "encouraging zerging" that's disallowed. For instance, we grant ownership privileges for group pages so that groups can post POV statements in support of their group. Those privileges should not allow zergers to brag about their exploits or post propaganda. An NPOV statement laying out the simplest of facts will suffice for information purposes, but nothing more. No advertisements to seek new members. No validation or legitimization by listing them alongside other groups. No using the wiki to claim a radio channel. Nothing.

Zerging is a fact of life in Malton, and so it should be reported as such, but it should not be treated a co-equal with other aspects of the game, let alone allowing it to be celebrated in POV terms. No one should be allowed to use the wiki as a weapon against the game. Aichon 02:49, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

No, I think it would be too open to interpretation the way you've worded it, which would be bad since we'd be amending a rule that basically says "There's never any reason that could justify good faith". We'd be lumping it in with spam, impersonation and blanking pages, which are basically automatic escalations. It would be better to be explicit in the definition. ~Vsig.png 04:58, 18 February 2015, The year of our lord (UTC)
I agree with Vapor. If this rule were to be put in, you'd want it as foolproof as possible. A ZOMBIE ANT 23:35, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

Deletions as an alternative

I'm a little confused as to what this policy is designed to do. If it's supposed to stop encouraging people to zerg, then I honestly think it's not going to do much.

Spiderzed said:
The game has measures against zerging. The wiki is a different beast, and we have tolerated blatant zergers like TZH, Zoomie or Thad for a long time. I wouldn't cry if Yocum went down, but a pro-zerging stance alone on a group page isn't sufficient for a ban.

This quote from that A/VB case was interesting because it highlights a big issue, that is, as long as the game fails to enforce career zergers, that is more effective in convincing people to zerg than a couple of groups that promote it on the wiki. The question of "what will this policy achieve?" is reason enough for me to think it's not worth putting into policy if it doesn't actually achieve much. Having to interact on a daily basis with Cornholioo, Finis, and others who are publicly known for zerging, as they go unpunished, is a bigger black eye for the fight against zerging than a couple of groups that promote it on the wiki. There's only so much we can do on this wiki when the game's enforcer's can't keep up.

Besides, the recent arbitration case proves to me that freedom of speech is still very much a valued part of UDWiki, as it's always been, so that's also an issue. I understand that this is a separate issue given it's a wiki for UD, though.

I'm not against making a new deletion candidate, or speedy deletion candidate. That way the community gets to decide on whether it fits the bill for zerging propaganda and whether it has to go or not. As for the apparently obvious ones (like the recent VB case, though I didn't get to see the offending page), well, he basically got banned for it anyway, didn't he? Just start ruling zerging propaganda as bad faith and we probably won't actually need this policy. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by DanceDanceRevolution (talkcontribs) 23:55, 25 February 2015.

Sorry I didn't sign. Damn I'm hopeless! A ZOMBIE ANT 00:55, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
Some of us already consider it bad faith. Others don't believe that it is yet, but they think it should be. I haven't seen anyone yet who doesn't think it should be bad faith at all. This policy is supposed to get us all on the same page by making it clear that it is bad faith from here on. Curbing zerging is not the goal. Taking a principled stand and saying that we refuse to participate in the destruction of the game is all I'd like to see us do. Aichon 03:43, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
^ That, and this policy is about making us more comfortable about slapping people who promote zerging on the wiki. We do like our rules, a soft bed they are. --  AHLGTG 05:55, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
My POV is that up to now, zerging in and of itself has never been classified as a bad faith act and that it has never been brought up on admin pages. If the community wants to get rid of zerging promoters without falling back on other reasons, a policy is the way to go. -- Spiderzed 16:42, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

When something specific is deemed vandalism via policies like this, it then has the potential to creates a huge drama storm, because of the "slippery slope", where editors take the specific, and apply it to a wider and wider range of behaviours. In this case, I can see it moving from straight out zerging, and into the more murky world of multi abuse. Extinction, for example, blatantly promoted their view of multi abuse, but I appreciated the discussion of the issue, because it is a progression from legitimately playing multiple characters of the same style to playing multiple characters of the same style who work towards a common goal using common tools and intel (and then past that towards zerging).

I would much rather we be required to engage with zergers and multi abusers, and clearly demonstrate their "bad faith" intentions towards the wiki and game, than to have them banned by "teh elite" on technicalities. The obvious and clear contempt that they are held in, by the wider game community is much more effective a deterrent than wiki bans on people who obviously have no qualms about creating throw away accounts, know how to use proxy servers, and show no regard to social behaviour -- boxy 11:08, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

We're talking about warning them, not insta-permabanning them. Engaging them in discussion is fine, as it always has been and always should be. Allowing them to abuse the wiki is not. Aichon 16:00, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
We've already discussed simple multi abuse, even talking about the Salt the Land Policy Extinction was built around. Consensus seems to be not to include it in this policy, but to use it only on direct, actual zerging. -- Spiderzed 16:42, 26 February 2015 (UTC)
The old porn scheduled deletion is a case in point. The idea of sysops proactively deleting 'bad things' from the wiki is good, until sysops actually use it. You're right, this would cause a massive shitstorm whenever a sysop unilaterally deletes something/warns someone for promoting zerging. Too many edge cases for this to be viable. Obligatory that I'm an ancient user who's hardly been keeping up with wiki drama. Linkthewindow  Talk  10:22, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
And in the case of porn, it still gets deleted in short order here, if it ever turns up. The difference is, though, that you have to be pretty sure that you will have the support of the community, if you do decide to unilaterally delete something and/or ban someone for posting it. When porn was added to the scheduled deletions, any sysop could make the call (on borderline cases), on their own, without any care for others opinion, and simply say they were following policy, as they interpreted it. It causes adversarial confrontations, rather than collaborative, consensus based decisions -- boxy 15:55, 27 February 2015 (BST)

Taking a stand and cementing a unilateral message for admins that zerging is not allowed may be the goal, but I currently see a vandal case in favour of that regardless, and a few deletions votes that are already unilaterally in favour of delete. I don't think this policy is changing or shaping current opinion, it's just reflecting what's already here. That is obviously a good thing, though I'm a firm believer that if something is already treated this way through culture of the wiki, there is rarely a need to cement it into policy. As boxy I'm also wary of the issues we've had in the past regarding policies like this, that is, the porn deletion 'fiasco'. A ZOMBIE ANT 10:16, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

This is stupid.

Most of the wiki policies are poorly-worded, unnecessary, arbitrarily enforced shit. Why add another? --K 21:22, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Null & Void, This Should Not Be Implemented

I'll have to disagree, let us begin with the facts.

http://www.urbandead.com/donate.html
For players in the UK and outside the EU, a payment of $5 (US dollars) will allow a player to have a character of their choice made immune from the 160-hits-per-day IP limit (although they'll still only have 50 Action Points, and each individual character has a personal 300-hit limit). Payments greater than $5 will allow multiple characters to become unlocked, at a rate of $5 per character.
http://www.urbandead.com/faq.html#mult
Am I allowed to play multiple characters?

You are, provided that they lead completely separate existences within the game - your characters should not collaborate, nor share (or stand outside) the same building. Multiple characters found to be working together in a suspicious fashion will be automatically flagged, penalized or even banned permanently by the system. If you're running a few characters, it's best to make sure that they stay in separate suburbs.

First, it's quite clear that you are aloud to have multiple character's baring the above exception.
To my knowledge, I have yet to hear of a case where an individual was banned simply for promoting the idea of zerging in Urban Dead.
Now then, on to reporting.

http://www.urbandead.com/faq.html#report
How do I report game abuse or zerging?

You don't. A number of automated detection systems and countermeasures are already in place, and time is better spent on improving those systems, rather than carefully investigating reports and screenshots (and all reports would have to be investigated at length, given that any of them could be easily-faked attempts to get innocent characters banned).

There already is a detection system in place to catch zergers.
Kevin has made it quite clear that the playerbases assistance is not wanted, warranted, or even needed in stopping the process of zerging.

Now my arguments and counter-arguments.

  • "Using the wiki in direct support of activities that break the game's rules."
"Support" What do you folks mean by support. For instance, lets say that I simply state on my user profile, "I am a zerger and here are my zerg accounts". I'm not outright promoting zerging or the process thereof, but I would be a symbol/representation of it on this site.

--Sir Knight Sohisohi (talk) 21:44, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

By "you folks", you mean me, since I was the only one who used that phrase that you quoted. It was never a part of the suggested policy, but as with any other policy or suggested policy, that phrase is to be understood in the context in which it was provided. I conditioned "support" with "direct" specifically and intentionally to address the sorts of concerns you're talking about, and it's to be interpreted within the context of the ensuing discussion, which in this case was regarding a zerger using the wiki to encourage others to engage in zerging. Aichon 03:00, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • UDwiki is a purely resources site.
My ass it is, this site openly hosts all sort of Metagame. Groups, Tactics, & Policies. This site is far from descriptive. Now I'm not saying we should abandon objectivity but clearly this site has historically given Users & Groups the right to metagame and promote all sorts of wackiness. I mean really now, we've allowed Nazis on here. There is an integrity and standard we fallow, let us not forget it

--Sir Knight Sohisohi (talk) 21:44, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

The closest anyone came to saying that was me, but what I actually said was that the core mission of the wiki is to serve as a resource for the game. I never said that's purely what it is, nor would I. Yours is a straw man argument based on something I never said. Contrary to your inferences, I have no problem with metagaming. What I do have a problem with are people using an official resource for the game to undermine the game. It's contrary to the categorical imperative. It's self-defeating. Aichon 03:00, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

Help:Making a Group or Character Page

Do's and Do Nots
Vandalism
"All the pages within your User: pages and User: subpages are referred to as a Userspace. You can write whatever you like in your userspace, write heresy or just make up blatant propaganda."
Group Page
Group rights and restrictions
"Because of UDWiki's guidelines for page rights, your group page will technically "belong" to you and you may control the information on the page, and the talk page"

UDWiki:Specific Case Editing Guidelines

Group and Group Talk: pages
Group Pages
"Many long, protracted battles have been fought over claims about "zerging" and "PKing" about certain groups, so while there is no real rule against this, we recommend that such claims not be included in such groups, not even in opinional form (ie "Some people claim that <Group> uses zerging tactics") or attributional form (ie "The group <Group 1> have made claims that that <Group 2> uses zerging tactics"). Groups are, of course, welcome to broadcast this information if they desire."
  • Promoting zerging outside of Groups & Users
If some idiot goes into the Zerging topic and start posting zerging strategies then fine, remove it.

--Sir Knight Sohisohi (talk) 21:44, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

So, the whole point of a policy is to change the way things are because there's a problem with it. We already agree with you that that's how things are. Highlighting it only serves to highlight the necessity for this policy discussion and the changes being discussed. Aichon 03:00, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I feel this rule is targeted
Should we ban/delete a topic created which explores the loopholes in the zerg detection program implemented by Kevin. It could easily be a descriptive, non-zerg promoting, article. Though, clearly, I would undoubtedly be used by zergers when forming strategies. I get the feeling that this rule hasn't been really thought out and it seems to have been created as a means of targeting specific users of this site. I cannot and will not support this rule. Furthermore, I don't see it seen any need for it's existence. It also contradicts long-held rules and policies of UDwiki. If we give users the ability to have their own groups and character/user pages, then we cannot claim they are acting in bad faith if they chose to promote zerging on them. I wholeheartedly assert this rule should not be implemented.

--Sir Knight Sohisohi (talk) 21:44, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

We have policies dating as far back as 2006 that impose rules on what's allowed in "owned" pages. User pages are not the Wild West. There are still rules governing them. And in terms of this being targeted at specific users, I think it's pretty clear that none of the discussions here are suggesting a policy that's aimed at targeting specific users. Rather, they're aimed at targeting specific activities that explicitly undermine the game. As was pointed out throughout these discussions, a number of well-known people have zerged over the years, and we don't want to cut zergers out from the rest of the community. We simply don't want to provide them with a platform to enhance their cheating. Aichon 03:00, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

I've added my sig in multiple areas if there is a specific part you'd like to reply to. --Sir Knight Sohisohi (talk) 21:44, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Speaking in response to some of your earlier comments that didn't have a nearby signature, no one is contesting that multiple characters are fine. It's the use of multiple characters working together that is different. And pointing out that individual users lack a responsibility to report zergers is different from suggesting that the official wiki for the game lacks a responsibility to address the issue. A lack of responsibility for one neither implies nor suggests the same lack of responsibility for the other.
Also, it's worth pointing out that if a policy (e.g. this one) being discussed doesn't go to voting within a certain timeframe, it gets canned. This one was supposed to be canned months ago, but no one got around to it. So, really, we're both just spitting into the wind right now, since this policy discussion is already dead. Aichon 03:00, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Lol, ain't that a kick in the head. Oh well, good to hear. Someone should consider removing/closing this then ^.^ --Sir Knight Sohisohi (talk) 15:35, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I'd do it myself but I'm not sure how the canning process is performed.

Abandoned? Withdrawn?

Hey, looks like this policy proposal has gone inactive for several months. Should I list it as withdrawn, or de-list it entirely? Or does Ross or someone else want to revive it? Bob Moncrief EBDW! 16:35, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

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