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Throughout the history of The Vault, and now Nukapedia, our wiki has maintained a level of great professionalism and collaborative efforts due to the policies/guidelines set in place, and collective community conscience that we've created for ourselves over the years. Unfortunately, we have had a bit of trouble in the past with certain users that fancy themselves clever enough to use our own policies against us to defend their actions in disrupting both the community and wiki, or to justify bad editing and user treatment.
Admittedly, this has not been such an issue as of late, but I'd like to take the chance to strengthen our resolve for future dealings with users that would exploit our policies in bad faith.
Now, why do I specifically feel like this addition is necessary? Well, that's a good question that needs proper addressing. A while back in November of 2011, a user by the name of Aestune was frequenting our wiki. This user was excelling in his field of editing capabilities, but later found himself with a permanent ban from Nukapedia. What justified this permanent ban? Because whenever Aestune was called out for any reason, whatsoever, he'd take policies out of context, and wrap everything up so deep in legislation that it'd actually cause the wiki's Administration to come to a near standstill. It got to the point that Wikia Staff was even supporting him, and he knew this, causing threats to be sent out to anyone calling him out over his actions. He even had a ban on his account revoked by Wikia Staff, that's how bad this had gotten. You may see this partially here. I want to avoid this in the future, while addressing some other points that have plagued our mods, such as those coming into chat and behaving in a way where they weren't breaking policies, but just trying everyone's patience.
The policy additions that I would like to have made here are as follows:
Taking advantage and twisting the wording around of wiki policies in an effort to take attention away from, or to justify bad faith actions, is an act of abusing the policies. It is also considered abuse to take a policy out of context, and citing it against another user to win an argument, or to act as a threat against their wiki standing.
Examples of policy abuse:
- A user caught vandalizing or flaming, and attempting to justify it by exploiting our good faith policies.
- Example - A user has been removing percentages or signs from article-pages, and feigns ignorance, stating that we should consider such vandalism in good faith, calling abuse if a ban is instilled.
- A policy/guideline or similar has came up in a discussion or vote, and now a user is trying to destabilize it by using other wiki practices to attack the entire process. For instance, our wiki doesn't allow speculation, and we might have discussion over an expansion on this rule, but another user begins forcing the views of other wikis that do allow speculation to disrupt everything. In response to being told that other wiki policies and guidelines are irrelevant, they will take out of context a special rights member possibly using another wiki's methods as an example in the past.
- Taking policies out of context to proceed with an agenda. There are always those looking to exploit wikis to their own advantage, and use vague policies and guidelines to throw leadership and other policies and guidelines into question. Raising concerns is one thing, but trying to throw the entire wiki into anarchy is another.
- Example - A user has shown to be abrasive, and is now faced with a possible ban for insulting other editors. Not only have they taken vague policies to refute actions taken against them, but also use vague policies to threaten the Administration as well as getting Wikia Staff involved to blow the entire situation out of proportion, causing a wiki-wide disruption.
- Using our policies to claim discrimination and inequality in actions against them. This has been seen regularly in the past with users claiming that they deserve special rights, or that their bans are unjust because they're not being treated the same as everyone else would be.
- Example - A user in chat has been banned for spamming, and makes the harmful claim that they were only banned because they are gay, female, etc., and that the one to ban them is a bigot.
- Pushing buttons. This is seen almost every day, with users on the wiki or within the chat causing disruptions just out of the reach of policy declarations.
- Example - A user in chat is showing a lot of passive-aggressiveness without actually insulting anybody, causing a disruption in chat, and leaving the mods in a questionable stance, which could backfire on them if they banned the user and they appealed to someone who wasn't in chat at the time.
- Using a lack of policy(ies) to justify their actions.
- Example - A user might leave incoherent messages for users outside of the boundaries of spam, and saying that a lack of policies prevents anyone from doing anything about it.
- Attacking other users with policy citations. Everyone makes honest mistakes, and it is both unnecessary and intolerant to take advantage of someone's mistake and burying them in legislation.
- Example - An Admin has made a mistake and removed a line of information from an article-page they were working on. While it's appropriate to point out their mistake and that the edit could be seen as vandalism, a user takes it further by getting as many people as possible involved, threatening them, or possibly even throwing up an unwarranted re-confirmation request.
- Using the abusing the policies policy as a sole argument against others. This policy is not to be used just because someone else has cited a legitimate policy that you might not personally agree with. Using this policy out of context is yet again, an abuse of our policies.
Re-writes and additions might be needed before this policy can take effect. Ideas and criticism are certainly welcome here. Some Assembly Required! 18:48, June 6, 2013 (UTC)
I really don't like where this is going Leon. Lets review
- - Whether or not its justified, its still flaming or vandalism. No new rule is required.
- - Im sorry, but this seems to be a way to essentially force critics out of votes. If there is a rules error with the vote, then pointing it out is in no way abuse of anything.
- - Taking policies out of context? Can you state a "Bad faith" example of what you mean. This is written in a way that seems to criminalise good faith misunderstandings of policy
- - Rather than being regular, I cant immediately think of a single example of that happening. If someone feels they are being discriminated against, I believe they have the right to say so and request an invenstigation and/or mediation.
- - Pushing buttons? Doesnt seems to have anything to do with policy, just seems to be a to get at people that the invoker of the rule doesnt like... Creating an opportunity for policy abuse.
- - Seems to be a catch-all for banning people for rules that aren't written. Again, opens the door to more policy abuse than it solves. if someone is spamming or harrasing, we already have tools to deal with it.
- - Except of course we earlier in this rule banned people taking policies out of context. It is not policy abuse to point out a rule that is being ignored.
- - Circular logic. I love it.
I would need to see some actual practical examples of undersirable behaviour on this wiki that you're trying to address with this rule - not hypotheticals -and One for each of your points before I could consider offering my support. Agent c (talk) 18:54, June 6, 2013 (UTC)
I get the feeling that you read this forum wrong, Chad. O:
- "Whether or not its justified, its still flaming or vandalism. No new rule is required."
- You do realize that's exactly what I said? What I'm saying is that we've had issues with users trying to defend their actions with our own policies.
- "Taking policies out of context? Can you state a "Bad faith" example of what you mean. This is written in a way that seems to criminalise good faith misunderstandings of policy"
- Where did you even get this from... Remember Aestune? That's an explanation within itself.
- Rather than being regular, I cant immediately think of a single example of that happening. If someone feels they are being discriminated against, I believe they have the right to say so and request an invenstigation and/or mediation.:
- Remember Corn? The guy who said sorry all the time, and started up a shitload of forums calling abuse and whatnot?
- "Pushing buttons? Doesnt seems to have anything to do with policy, just seems to be a to get at people that the invoker of the rule doesnt like... Creating an opportunity for policy abuse."
- As a chat regular, you cannot deny this. Corn is another good example of pushing buttons to the extreme, causing other mods to hesitate in any actions against him.
- "Seems to be a catch-all for banning people for rules that aren't written. Again, opens the door to more policy abuse than it solves. if someone is spamming or harrasing, we already have tools to deal with it."
- You're not getting it... Aestune again. The guy who took a lot of policies that didn't exist to justify his actions, which weren't actual spam or vandalism. I already covered spam and vandalism, anyways. This is addressing something entirely else.
- "Except of course we earlier in this rule banned people taking policies out of context. It is not policy abuse to point out a rule that is being ignored."
- For one, this policy says nothing about banning people. Nowhere is it ever stated that breaking any of these rules will instantly instigate a ban. This list is a referral point to take into consideration when dealing with other users. Now, onto the actual point, there's a huge difference between pointing out a rule to someone, and harassing them with rules. A huuuuge difference.
- "Circular logic. I love it."
- Taking policies out of context is circular logic? Since when? Just because I was mentioning not to use this policy out of context doesn't make it circular logic. Some Assembly Required! 19:09, June 6, 2013 (UTC)
In your revent pure human vote, I would have breached your proposed rules about 5 times. All of which I think is justifyable given the way it was being run. But to your points.
- "What I'm saying is that we've had issues with users trying to defend their actions with our own policies.". I'm sorry Leon, having a valid defence is not a crime. If they are an evildoer, they're already banned for the actual offence; if the ban its wrong, its removed. Ergo, no new rule is required.
- Aestune? Can't say that I do, and a look at his talk page isn't too enlightening. That he was banned back in 2011 makes me question the relevance to the discussion... Clearly whatever it was wasn't that pressing of an issue, and was dealt with under existing policies, indicating no new rules are required.
- Corn. Yes, I do remember him. As a user he has the right to have his bans reviewed by a thrid party. I cannot, and will not suppoort any rule that would discourage this in light of them being called a "Policy abuser".
- "Button Pushing" as you seem to be defining it here has nothing to do with abusing policies. it would be covered as insults, harrasment or dickish behavior, thus rules already exist and no new ones are required.
- Your comments sugegst I am getting it. This is about freedom to police things that are not against the rules. I cannot endorse that.
- Banning is implied. Why create a rule if its not going to be enforced? If we're not enforing it , its surplus to requirements. If we are enforcing it, my choices are a severe ticking off, and a ban.
- A special point about absuing the rule about abusing rules is ciruclar.
Leon, you have a tendancy to overengineer solutions to minor issues. Beauty is in simplicity. Identify the specific bad behaviour that is happening today that you want to target, and target it. Agent c (talk) 19:51, June 6, 2013 (UTC)
- Your theoretical examples are interesting, but I would need to see real live examples bfore I could consider any support. Agent c (talk) 20:27, June 6, 2013 (UTC)
- It seems the issue here, then, is that this is being perceived as a way to ban people for whatever reason we can conjure up. The entire point of this discussion is to remove loopholes that vandals can take advantage of. And they have. We might be in a dead period now, but I am looking forward to Fallout 4, and remembering how hectic our wiki is during game periods. We will be hit by spam bots, trolls, vandals, and the clever ones that hide themselves in our community while slowly tearing the wiki apart without us even noticing. Aestune is certainly not the only example of this, as seen by Lugiatm. It would be nice if we had actual ways of dealing with these users instead of having to fight to have them blocked, which just wastes everyone's time Some Assembly Required! 20:34, June 6, 2013 (UTC)
I know one problem, everyone on this Wiki, including myself is guilty of it. These forum discussions end up being nothing more than many sided arguments. I really question how expedient our democratic process is when it's literally paragraphs and paragraphs of drivel. I'm sorry, this is with no ill intention towards either Chad or Leon, like I said, I've done it too. But I see this forum in particular isn't going to be very productive. --TwoBearsHigh-Fiving 19:12, June 6, 2013 (UTC)
- Some see it as drivel, some see it as due process. Progress requires debate, and requires different sides speaking their minds. No one can really expect for changes to be made simply because they want that to happen. Just not very realistic, I suppose. Some Assembly Required! 19:15, June 6, 2013 (UTC)
This can still be discussed, but unless someone else wants to pick it up, it won't be moving on any time soon. I have a few other matters which are taking priority, with some of the being Wikia involved, so I'm going to have this forum hanging on the shelf for a while, and I'll see about compiling more detailed reports of how this all works since there seems to be a bit of confusion. I got this idea because I've seen other wikis use this policy quite well, and I had wondered if it might be a good edition to our wiki, as well. So the next time that I bring this up, I'll try and have examples from other wikis added in, too. Some Assembly Required! 20:44, June 6, 2013 (UTC)