Forums: Index > Wiki discussion > Reverting and edit wars

I think we are too quick to revert edits. This leads to unnecessary edit wars and, even worse, angry editors. I propose that we review how we treat reverts, and perhaps see if we can update the guidelines/policies to make some points more explicit.

I am writing this post as a response to the discussion with 90TheGeneral09 about reverting edits and how the expectations of the reverter are unfair. I will begin by outlining the problem, and then I will propose somewhat of a guideline for reverting (nothing official yet).

The problem[edit source]

Currently, when an edit is deemed "bad", it is reverted. When the author of the now-reverted edit disagrees, they are expected to initiate dialogue. Not doing so will lead to them being accused of edit warring (which is not an incorrect accusation), but nonetheless the reverter is expected to keep on reverting until the author gives in. The problem with this approach is that it assumes that the reverter is right until proven otherwise, which is a wrong assumption. Optimally, the article will be frozen at a random point in time until the authors have solved their conflict.

At the moment an edit war begins, both editors should be in the wrong when they try to revert. But then what about vandalism? Isn't it a good idea to keep on reverting a vandal's work?

Proposal[edit source]

I propose that the following flowchart is followed whenever a bad edit is encountered.

Revert plan
Find a bad edit.
Bad faith
Good faith
Major edit
Minor edit
Revert the edit.
Revert the edit.
Revert is reverted
Nothing happens
Revert is reverted
Nothing happens
Leave a talk page message, and then revert the revert of the revert.
Leave a message on the author's talk page.
Your revert is reverted
Nothing happens
No timely response
Timely response
Revert the revert and inform an admin. Keep reverting.
Revert the edit, and keep waiting for a response.
Fight it out on the talk page.
Nothing happens
Your revert is reverted
Author leaves a late response
Do not revert again. Instead, inform an admin and leave another talk message.
Fight it out on the talk page.

Faith[edit source]

When do you have good faith, and when do you have bad faith?

When someone (unnecessarily) inserts vulgar language or bogus into articles, you should obviously assume bad faith. While "bad faith" might not be the best term, I think edits of which you can verify that they are wrong (such as an edit erroneously claiming that deathclaws sometimes drop packs of cigarettes, or someone fixing a "typo" in a dialogue file) should also be treated according to the left branch in the flowchart.

Otherwise, assume good faith. I have made a distinction between major and minor edits. This is because reverts happen a lot, and starting a conversation over every little detail is not worth the effort. Sometimes a revert is a good alternative to leaving a talk message, because with minor edits no response occurs 90% of the time anyway. A minor edit is an edit of which you think not even the author would really mind if it were reverted. What is most important in this category is that you do not start an edit war if your revert is reverted. If you revert an edit while you have good faith in the author but do not initiate dialogue, do not accuse the other of edit warring when they revert your revert. Their reaction is natural, because they're only copying your behaviour. Be a good example and start a conversation instead.

Otherwise, if you find a good faith major edit, just start the dialogue right away. Leaving the page in a state that you think might be slightly wrong doesn't mean the end of Nukapedia, so leaving it in that state for an hour (or two) isn't a disaster. If you're really uncomfortable with the state of the article, you could temporarily add a {{cite}}, {{verify}}, or even a {{cleanup}} to indicate to our readers that the claims are contested.

Now what?[edit source]

What I have written above are what I propose as guidelines for reverting. And then I don't mean official guidelines or anything, but more of an outline of what I think proper behaviour should be. I'd like to open a discussion on my view, because I'm certain not everyone agrees with this. After having had a discussion on what properly reverting means, we might be able to draft actual, official guidelines in a future forum post.

- FDekker talk 14:49, January 20, 2018 (UTC)

Comments[edit source]

I think we might be over complicating it here. If the edit is in bad faith, revert it. If the OP keeps reverting back then stop and find someone to protect the page in the absence of an admin. All reverting is going to do is draw attention to the problem.

If an edit is made in good faith, unless it is grossly incorrect, either by content or policy, it should not be reverted, but discussed. I think our policy already states this. Afterall that is what assume good faith is about. I know the incident that lead to this had too much focus on enforcing policy (sometimes we let ourselves get too bogged down with this, myself included) and Admins need to take more consideration to good faith over policy in these situations.

tl;dr: if the edit is made in bad faith, revert, if it is incorrect, revert, if it is questionable discuss. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 15:02, January 20, 2018 (UTC)

I wasn't sure about that first one: Should we keep reverting or not if it's obviously vandalism? What if someone keeps emptying a page and no admin responds in time?

If the policy already properly covers what to do in the case of good faith, then perhaps the takeaway from my post should be that you can also assume good faith on the basis of who edits it, and that it is not constructive to brand a revert of your revert as an edit war.

I don't think I'm overcomplicating it. In fact, I think my flowchart quite accurately represents exactly what you just said. But maybe I say that because I like flowcharts.
- FDekker talk 15:40, January 20, 2018 (UTC)
Obviously vandalism: rollback. It pulls it silently and often anons don't notice. Worst comes to, if you or Storm are knocking around, a days page protection can't hurt to give us a chance to get to the vandal.
Good faith should be assumed, regardless of if the contributor is new, long standing or simply an anon. This is a point I've tried to make several times in the past. I can be wrong, Mara can, Js can. Because we have rights and the ability to do more doesn't make us immune to being human. Same with anons, Rebel427 was an anon long before he got an account and if we assumed bad faith because of anon status, we wouldn't have got him as a user (I would assume, because who wants to stick around if they're cast out as an anon?)
Flow charts are good, comparison tables are good, there are just simpler ways of portraying information sometimes ;). Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 15:48, January 20, 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I prefer rollback as well. Basically your point is that editors can trust on staff being present anyway, so it's no use making a fuss about that part anyway.

My point wasn't that anons should be mistrusted, but rather that, if you have experience with a user, you shouldn't forget that they might be more than willing to talk. In my experience anons often do not reply (though that doesn't mean you shouldn't try), so if it's a registered user it may be more worth the effort to try to talk (which is something to consider when you are tempted to just revert something).

Or rather, let me put this very concretely in terms of the event that sparked this discussion (note that this is not something personal towards anyone): Stop reverting edits only to make unconstructive accusations of edit warring, especially when it is know that the author has good intentions and is happy to partake in discussion.
- FDekker talk 17:32, January 20, 2018 (UTC)

The most important aspect of this consideration to take into account, is that our veteran users should be respecting their, by all accounts, peers, regardless of existing editing history.

We have too many users that have grown jaded, especially those that have been here for years, and it has gotten to the point where the only way to describe their attitude towards newer users and the anonymous, is utter and complete contempt.

And that contempt manifests itself in myriad of ways, including the neglect of the edit summary tool, and the neglect of sending thoughtful messages to users explaining their errors, and offering help to them improve.

Every day that I'm on here, I see it: Reverts using generic/non-descript summaries, or no summaries at all, and whenever messages are actually initiated by the reverter(s) first, I keep seeing these silly ass auto-messages, which to me, suggests nothing more than laziness and complacency.

Want to help cut down on edit wars? We need to start teaching our users to respect each other, and that goes doubly so for our more bitter veteran users that see those with less experience under their belts, as little more than nuisances to abuse. 寧靜 Fox.png 18:46, January 20, 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for your comment. I think you were able to reach the core of the issue far better than I did in my post above. Wrongly using reverts (and I rambled on about that quite a bit) is only a symptom of the actual problem: a lack of respect towards fellow editors. We should relearn to love our enemies: Adding proper reasoning to revert summaries is a start, but getting people to initiate the conversation when they disagree with someone, or, even better, when they think they can teach something is the goal (or maybe even that's not far enough).

Where do we start? Obviously we start by looking at ourselves and trying not to make those mistakes ourselves, but how do we get those who do not directly participate in this discussion to understand this? To be honest I'm anxious to start calling out names, to start a witch hunt, or to cause a fight (that is: I don't want to vilify anyone either). Having this very discussion makes me feel like I'm "plotting" against others anyway.
Perhaps the solution is to call them out on their talk pages whenever we disagree? Or am I jumping ahead here, assuming that we already know what to do?
- FDekker talk 22:16, January 20, 2018 (UTC)
The most powerful tool to use againt those with any sort of influence, is the tool of humility. These sorts of incidents are not usually enough to consider actual bans and the like, but we really ought to have a reprimand system which could involve everything from administrative hearings, to probationary periods, to a buddy system similar to what was utilized in the NUN.
People don't like to be embarrassed, especially not publicly.
Problem is, this is wishful thinking, because, no one likes the thought of even having a chance of being embarrassed, which is what a system like this one opens up possibilities to. So I highly doubt many people would be willing to entertain the thought, although, regardless, that is the solution that I'd put thought towards. 寧靜 Fox.png 18:57, January 21, 2018 (UTC)
It's good to have this forum making people aware of the problem, most of active users will read it I assume. It will be often them that step into taking action. I've read the user conduct guideline and the section "Do not start edit wars" already describes well how to deal with this. I think we have become a bit easy to revert and locking pages, it's better with good faith edits which you judge have merit, first to let it stand and discuss it with the editor on their talkpage. Each edit needs to be judged individually which can be expected from at least the user rights holders. We need to prevent putting off users on their first honest attempts at editing (also keep in mind they often don't know the policies yet), and lose prospective new contributors. Jspoel Speech Jspoel.png 19:08, January 21, 2018 (UTC)
@Jspoel: Wikipedia has more than a few pages (in the Wikipedia: namespace) dedicated to edit wars, so I doubt our paragraph justifies the complexity of the issue. Wikipedia has some suggestions on how to deal with edit wars (both how to prevent them and what to do if one occurs anyway), so perhaps we could link to those in the guidelines?

Back to Nukapedia: I also noticed that the "defending" side of edit wars often continue because "You reverted my revert, so now you are edit warring = breaking the rules, so all your reverts must be reverted right away", which of course makes them just as much guilty of edit warring. Perhaps we could solve this issue by enforcing the three-revert rule (to either side of the war, of course).

Lastly, I think that the user conduct guidelines should also include something about writing edit summaries for reverts.
- FDekker talk 12:45, January 22, 2018 (UTC)
@Janaschi: What is the NUN?
I think our Discord chat also provides us with a good tool to talk to contributors without having to publicly shame them. I already use it at times to notify others about (what I think to be) minor errors in their edits.
- FDekker talk 12:45, January 22, 2018 (UTC)
Makes them just as guilty of edit warring? No, the page is supposed to be set back to the revision prior to the person instigating the edit war. The onus of starting any conversation regarding the edit it on them. And before someone mentions the possibility of someone new not knowing the rules, as stated before, ignorance of the rules is no excuse. Great Mara (talk) 16:45, January 22, 2018 (UTC)

( Mara, Saka, and I continued the discussion on edit warring on Discord, with some additional input by Peace. I don't think we (explicitly) agreed on a conclusion. Based on that discussion I would like to propose the following: When a vandal strikes, reverting is definitely the right way to go; just make sure you also inform an admin. Otherwise, in the case of good faith, once someone undoes your undo, the onus of starting the conversation is shared by both parties. If either party subsequently performs an undo (even as a response to the other's undo) it is considered a violation of the rules.
What does everyone think: Does this sound like an agreeable approach?
- FDekker talk 19:51, January 23, 2018 (UTC)

Undoing a revert, when the reverter can clearly cite a guideline/policy being violated, and that includes everything from vandalism to adding non-notable loot, means that the status quo should lie in whatever state the article was in, where the least amount of said rules are being violated.
That's just common fucking sense; don't even argue with these people, because we already have enough nonsense on this wiki without letting someone play semantics with us, and making the entire leadership look like children by arguing with someone who is clearly skirting the rules, and playing games.
But then there are edits where they are reverted simply because... someone disagrees with them. I'm sorry to say, because this is going to bruise some egos, but the status quo lies with the original edit being disagreed with, and until a consensus can be reached, the status quo should be abided by.
Otherwise, you are just being a complete and utter asshole, lording your opinion over the other editor, and taking the lazy way out by simply reverting, instead of cleaning up the edit as a compromise, instead.
And then there's the other problem... since that status quo is never upheld, and that's usually because of someone in a leadership position, a mediator always needs to be brought in, too, who is... guess what? Another user in a leadership position.
I can't tell you how many times, I, personally, have been in an editing disagreement with another user in a position of power, and they forced their opinion over my edit(s) by getting one of their agreeing buddies to join in as a "mediator."
Honestly, the system is absolutely broken, is consistently open to abuse by rights users. I'm glad someone brought this matter to light, because it's a problem that has needed to be addressed for years now. 寧靜 Fox.png 20:14, January 23, 2018 (UTC)
I don't think that reverting when there's a clear violation of policy is under discussion here, as I believe everyone already agrees on that part.

I think that my suggestion that "the onus of starting the conversation is shared by both parties" when it is not the case that the edit is in violation of our policies would address your second point. What do you think?

Finally, if an admin is chosen as mediator and they abuse their power, that admin should receive a severe warning, and should be stripped of their rights if that behaviour continues. As of yet I haven't seen continued abuse from admins, and insofar as admins have handled incorrectly in the recent past I have seen reflection on their behaviour. I have confidence that the problem with mediators will solve itself if we continue this discussion.

I'll be glad to hear what others think of the suggestions in my previous comment.
- FDekker talk 13:19, January 24, 2018 (UTC)
The NUN = New User Network - I think that program was shut down a while back.
As for the rest, I'm not just talking about the administers. I'm talking about the general veteran user-base here, which also happens to include the rights holders. 寧靜 Fox.png 16:00, January 24, 2018 (UTC)
Found it. Never heard of the NUN before, but perhaps it's an idea to revive it. And I understand you aren't (only) talking about admins, but your third point was about mediators, and I think your third point can be solved by using our admins as mediators and by continuing to have this discussion with them.

That still leaves the veteran userbase, as you pointed out. I think the second point is partially addressed by finding agreement in who shares the onus of starting the conversation when an edit war takes place, and could perhaps further be addressed by continuing the NUN.
- FDekker talk 16:12, January 24, 2018 (UTC)
Problem is, I've seen both administrators and bureaucrats brought in as mediators, simply to act as confirmation bias, and push in certain opinions over other opinions. The mediation system is open to abuse, and has been abused. 寧靜 Fox.png 16:22, January 24, 2018 (UTC)
I believe you, but I think we're straying from the subject at hand, which is finding a solution. I think that right now we should focus on setting new standards and challenging the staff and veterans to live up to them—if they can't we can burn them at the stakes later.
- FDekker talk 16:27, January 24, 2018 (UTC)

Here are my suggestions:

  1. Disallow the use of auto-messages by rights-holders, when they are in regards to any sort of rules violation or edit disagreement. These sorts of messages are impersonal, and make the user feel as if they are not worth the time of day, which is absolutely true in some cases, because I have seen numerous times where the user asks for the matter to be elaborated upon, and they are just sent another auto-message in return.
  2. We impose a system like I proposed above:
    1. In the case of quotable rule violations, the status quo lies in the state of the article that has the fewest violations.
    2. In the case of a simple opinion disagreement, the status quo lies with the original edit, until a consensus can be reached. This only applies to outright reverting the edit, as anyone has the right to go in and clean up the work of someone else, as this wiki belongs to everyone.
  3. We really ought to have an ethics board - A group of users that are not technically rights-holders, but is made up of users that have proven themselves to empathize will all of our users, and can determine in cases such as these as to the correct way of applying the rules, and not chasing off our potential future generations of editors.
    1. It's easy to just throw the book at a user. It's actual leadership to know when and when not to apply the rules, and to treat our users as the people that they are so that they may grow. 寧靜 Fox.png 16:07, January 25, 2018 (UTC)
I was hoping for someone else to respond to prevent this from becoming a dialogue (rather than a polylogue), but it feels like I'm the only person here. Anyway, here goes.
  1. I agree that those auto-messages are terrible and should be discouraged, but I'm not sure how far we could go with disallowing them. Then again, that's a conversation for later. For now I agree that they shouldn't be used anymore.
  2. Agreed.
  3. An ethics board would require us to set up formal policy and community votes and then perhaps have elections et cetera, which I think is too formal an approach for the issue. I think any respectable editor should be able to function as an impartial mediator, and when they know they are not impartial in the issue, they should let someone else handle it. I think (at least) Content Moderators/Admins are suitable to do this, and that it's incorrect to assume that (all) admins are corrupt or that they cannot change their behaviour by pointing it out to them.
I'd really appreciate it if someone else could give their take on these proposals, especially if they disagree.
- FDekker talk 11:38, January 27, 2018 (UTC)
Don't make the matter overcomplicated with boards. In my experience 80% of reverted edits are rather clear why it's reverted, and you won't have many comments about it. In most other cases when it's not that clear, we're handling it not that bad I think, mostly there are comments why it's reverted (also for mobile users it's tedious to add a comment I heard). Keep it preferably to one revert with good faith edits, then discuss. Jspoel Speech Jspoel.png 18:59, January 29, 2018 (UTC)
Mobile is awful for commenting, no doubt about it lol
As for the rest, allow me to give a couple of personal experiences:
  1. We had no article(s) detailing the historic usage of the terms 'Pure human' and 'Prime human' throughout the Fallout series, even though they are fairly important concepts in regards to many of the prevalent factors found throughout all of the games.
    1. My work was deleted and reverted, for nearly a year, and I was being called a racist, with any attempts to re-add my work, being cited as "edit-warring." It took me actually creating multiple discussion forums, and finally a vote, in collaboration with another user here, to finally push through my article etymology of pure and prime humans. Almost a year - I really want that to sink in.
  2. On the page Salient Green, our guidelines & policies clearly dictate that all information must be verifiable, and absolutely no speculation is allowed within our article-space. Yet, when I removed clear speculation that had no direct correlation with the article aside from a similar name, the reverter brought in one of their friends to act as a "mediator," and they forced their opinion in over guidelines & policies - this event actually led to many of our veteran users going around adding in their speculation to other articles, backing each other up, which almost made me quit the wiki entirely.
Under normal circumstances, yeah, the rules are good enough as they are. But the problem is that they are open to abuse, and when the rules aren't good enough, they really aren't good enough, and the loopholes are exploited as much as possible. If this sort of abuse is enough to chase away some of our veteran users, then just imagine what it's like having to deal with that sort of abuse as a newer user, or as an anonymous user.
Having people in place to make sure that our user-base is following ethical practices, is not really all that alien of a concept. No need to add bureaucracy to the concept, or add a new user-group with their own set of rights, just find passionate enough people who can empathize with the people, that can help call out shady behaviour during user disputes as they come up. 寧靜 Fox.png 19:12, January 29, 2018 (UTC)

Ok, input from more faces I think.

Firstly: appoint a board. Of all people you are against red tape for the sake of red tape. Someone gets a bollocks mediator in, refuse the mediator and find a more neutral party. If you can't find a middle ground after that, it goes to forum discussion and finally a vote if a consensus cannot be reached by forum. I don't know what has happened in the distant past, however I see the controls we have being fit for purpose and until you or anyone else can bring me a recent (c. 12 months) example of where process has fallen over and failed or come close, I don't see any good reason to add in more red tape that will slow us down more. We have had the era of Ausir and we have had the era of selfish admins after that. The people here now are largely a new pool, with exception to longstanding admins like Peace, Bleep and Paladi, patrollers like Mara and the bureaucrats.

tl/dr; put your podium away on old history and bring something current and relevant to the table if you want to prove need for it.

I'm all for moving notices to a point of last resort, we need to talk to people first, most things can be resolved with conversation, a notice is good for repeat infringement if someone is clearly not listening.

Overall though, we need to remember editors and reverters do make mistakes and we should be bold in nullifying a revert when it is clear there is merit to the addition and a full revert isn't necessary. To me that is a fair application of discretion, one Jspoel undertook himself. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 08:11, January 30, 2018 (UTC)

I think we agree that a formal board of ethics is excessive. The fact that we are having this discussion shows that there are people who care and who will bring (potential) problems to light. I think Content Moderators are in a particularly good position to do this, being somewhere in between users and admins both literally and symbolically.

I'm afraid that the examples of the prime/pure human and Salient Green articles are rather outdated (those events were nearly half the lifespan of Nukapedia ago); the admins have mostly been replaced by new folks who have so far shown themselves competent and willing to improve.

I think the problem is mostly that some (experienced) editors act against newcomers, perhaps without them realising it. I think that it's most important to spread awareness of the issues when they arise and suggest improvements where we see them. This means reverting unnecessary reverts (as Saka said) (a.k.a. being bold), talking to experienced users about the behaviour we disagree with, and setting an example (by not biting the newcomers).
- FDekker talk 11:21, January 30, 2018 (UTC)
I wasn't really proposing red-tape - I was more proposing the incentivizing of a group of trusted users to call out unethical behaviour as it's seen. A lot of times, matters just get swept under the rug, and once something is out of sight... it's out of mind.
Discussions like this one are nice and all, and I'm glad we're talking right now, but I want you to really think about just who is willing to talk about these things on a public fora, and how many more people would rather keep things in the chat, or not talk about things at all. Because I wouldn't really consider a handful of users talking, as a good sign that the community is willing to uphold ethical behaviour across this wiki.
As for the admins mostly being replaced... I wish that was true, but, for instance, in my two examples, none of the people involved in those incidents, except one, have been replaced - there are still a lot of questionable people in charge, here, and even though most of them barely edit, if at all, they still hold a large amount of influence in our chat mediums.
My only real addition to my thoughts, here, is to never forget your past, lest you wish to see history repeat itself, time and time again. 寧靜 Fox.png 22:15, January 30, 2018 (UTC)

Lets look at what exists[edit source]

I think we should look at User conduct and see if there any gaps this forum covers. If we can make it fit in, I'm comfortable it is a change in behavior we need to encourage.

  1. Be polite: It's not only important what you say but also how you say it. Be civil when talking to other people and treat them with respect. This site is built on cooperation.

Can we include use of notice templates as a first resort as being outside of this rule? I imagine not as there is a purpose for them. That said, we can probably look to make some of the common issues a bit politer in a notice, rather than a firm "Don't do this". The {{notice}} template we have has always felt more like a formal warning than "Hello, you might want to check our policy about this subject". Maybe a friendlier Notice2 template for giving quick heads up on things?

  1. Assume good faith: Do your best to assume that other editors are trying to help unless you have evidence to the contrary. Accidents happen, and not everybody has a lot of experience with editing a wiki.

In a rush when checking something, that looks plausible? Assume good faith and it might be you're missing something then leave it for someone with more time to take a look and disseminate the information.

What about if you revert something and OP reverts back, stating the information is there? Double check and talk if you still don't see it. Tag it for verification so readers know this might not be valid information. I do go through the citation needed and see what is there. We need to make more use of this category set and keep a better eye on it, instead of going, "not sure lets pull it back".

Been back to Dekker's flow chart too. "Bad faith" I think is the wrong word there. Bad faith is an edit that is pure vandalism, that doesn't need a talk page message, just a ban. I assume what is meant by bad faith in that cause is "falls outside of policy", which fits much better.

Thoughts? Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 20:50, January 30, 2018 (UTC)

To be completely honest, these sorts of proposals are the same exact 'good in theory' ideas that don't really bring anything all that particularly innovative to the table. Because what I'm seeing, here, are mere guidelines that can easily be ignored without any sort of repercussion - which is exactly what has led to an environment where it's okay to grow a superiority complex and abuse our user-base.
Are we really too afraid to look at the hard choices? I guess I'm not too surprised, because I used to be the same way when I first became an admin, and treaded lightly. I'm considered fairly radical these days, but maybe that's for good reason, especially since people here have such an adverse reaction to anything that makes waves. 寧靜 Fox.png 22:15, January 30, 2018 (UTC)

Editors whose contributions are clearly disruptive to the site or who fail to behave appropriately towards other contributors may be blocked. The possible reasons for blocking include (but are not limited to):

  • Vandalism
  • Personal attacks or threats towards other editors
  • Violating site policies
Fallout Wiki:Administration policy

Point 3, can be banned for violating policy. No-one,one is immune from policy, not even a bureaucrat. Frankly, if those who are appointed to uphold policy don't want to uphold it, they need to consider their position and resign. I'll go up against anyone if they are in the wrong, idgaf who it is to be blunt.

We clearly have policies and red tape enough, if users want to say this is wrong, they can shout up and find anyone, be it other users or staff. A strong motion cannot be ignored and if an admin spots foul play, they are responsible for tackling.

I accept I'm being "idealistic", but to put it simply; I'm not going to allow bullshit on my watch. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 22:36, January 30, 2018 (UTC)

I think you may have me a bit mistaken, but of course you are free to correct me if I'm wrong in my analysis.
I'm not out to outright ostracize users, and have them in the gallows - what I would like to see, is for this wiki to experience a mass lesson of humility, and keep in mind that in no manner am I exempting myself from the people that really ought to experience such a lesson.
Wikis belong to the people, something that not even our glorious host can seem to grasp in their tunnel-visioned ways. The veteran user-base will always be a drop in the ocean of content creators that grace us with their editing, and that's something that is easily forgotten, and is forgotten.
So am I looking for people to be banned? Absolutely not. Am I hoping for a community that learns how to stand up for themselves, and are allowed to stand up for themselves? Absolutely. 寧靜 Fox.png 22:44, January 30, 2018 (UTC)
I'm merely pointing out that if people are using "mediation" to push something outside of the rules, then we do have the means to prevent it. As for board of ethics and my interpretation of what you envision, that board is already the responsibility of all users and not the chosen few. If people so willed it, they could shove us all off the roster and replace us all with new faces. We have mechanisms in place, we just need anreminder of that. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 23:40, January 30, 2018 (UTC)
Mmm - I would shoot more towards having a program for calling people out for their behaviour, rather than giving them any sort of actual power. Of course, if the simple act of calling out a user results in some form of administrative action or community consensus, then maybe that ought to have happened regardless.
But at the same time, I admit that the idea may be far-fetched, simply because having a snitching system is just as unethical, and a program such as this could easily become exactly that if not mandated properly. 寧靜 Fox.png 01:13, January 31, 2018 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I that case let us look at what is ethical: clarification of the rules and how they they should fit. If we can make things fit to make more sense, see can make them tighter without actually adding any tape or systems. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 08:59, January 31, 2018 (UTC)

In which case it would be most appropriate to write down best practices, right? Create a set of guidelines that won't be enforced but are recommended. While the lack of enforcement might make it look weak, I think that at least part of the problem is to blame on incompetence rather than malice. Creating recommendations should at least spread knowledge of how to deal with certain situations, and how to apply them is left up to the user.
- FDekker talk 02:17, February 1, 2018 (UTC)
In that case, I think it would be worth swinging back to my thoughts at the top of this section: reverting and slapping a notice template isn't exactly "being polite" as a first response. Add on we need to encourage more good faith assumption by better communication in the event of being reverted. Crux of the problem no? Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 08:39, February 1, 2018 (UTC)
Alright, let's see. I propose the following changes:
  1. (Yes Done) Change "Do not start edit wars" to "Do not edit war".
  2. (Yes Done) In the "Do not start edit wars" point, change "ask another user" to "ask an uninvolved user".
  3. (Yes Done) Add a clause to "Do not start edit wars" excusing users who edit war to prevent vandalism. (This is a risky one because anyone could argue "But his edits were obviously vandalism!")
  4. Add a clause to "Do not start edit wars" along the lines of "Edit warring in itself does not count as vandalism", to prevent people from reverting because someone is edit warring.
  5. Add a policy about undoing/reverting responsibly. Consider this rough sketch of what that policy could look like:
    Revert responsibly
    1. Explain
      When undoing or reverting someone's edit, make sure to leave an explanation of your action in the edit summary.
    2. Undoing over reverting
      When you revert, users may think their edit has disappeared (and blame their internet connection) and try to add their edit back in. [reverting = rollback]
      On the other hand, reverting is actually preferred in the case of vandalism.
    3. Improving over removing
      For example, if an edit is incomplete, try to improve rather than remove (or, even better, just wait a few minutes (or an hour?) and see if the editor completes their edit themselves).
  6. Add a new guideline similar to Wikipedia's "Please do not bite the newcomers".
  7. Bonus suggestion: Dedicate an entire page of guidelines to edit warring and/or dispute resolution.
This is what I could come up with. Let's see if we can find more points to improve.
- FDekker talk 10:08, February 1, 2018 (UTC)
- FDekker talk 22:46, February 6, 2018 (UTC)

(Ok, I'll bite, but I don't have much to add. I like a lot of the things that have been talked about here. I think that some of the clarifications to the user conduct guidelines do not even need to be voted on if they simply clarify what the intent of the existing policy is and don't change the intent. So do it. Edit them. I like your flow chart. Make it a blog that can be linked to in cases of edit wars or in the NUN, if that's ever used again. I don't think we need to remake the horse here. When I hear phrases like rampant abuse and corruption, I usually think we must be close to having it right when you only hear that from a single or few select voices. If there was a real problem, it would be much more clear and present. Do I think we could be nicer, as a rule, to newer users? Sure. I don't like it when a new user get the notice template slapped on their page for a good faith edit that they didn't make well because of an incomplete understanding of the policies, guidelines and norms.

Hell, I made that template. I made it primarily because we had a bunch of people slapping their own templates on pages that were far less professional. I felt that if we were gonna use a warning template that at least it should be consistent. It was intended for actual formal warnings and should only be used as such. I have no problem with it going away, but ONLY if it is not replaced by a bunch of individual templates or a complete lack of some kind of talk page communication. Part of what needed to be accomplished was already accomplished by bringing this up and talking about it. A greater awareness is there now. I suggest that to move forward, someone make the small clarification in the policy page, which are permitted, and let's see where that gets us. Make that blog we can link to. I do the same for other administrative issues I want everyone to get consistent on. I don't see why you couldn't also. Hell, you write it and I'll publish under my name if you want to. The Gunny  UserGunny chevrons.png 23:08, February 6, 2018 (UTC)

I've clarified the policy to include the simpler points I listed above.

When I read your suggestion to write a blog post I was actually already writing one. I've just published it here, though I decided to publish it as an article in Wikipedia essay style so that anyone can edit it so that the information can be updated and doesn't go stale. I'm also planning to write another such essay about dispute resolution and maybe one on writing talk messages (in particular about notices :P).
- FDekker talk 02:13, February 8, 2018 (UTC)
On second thought a blog post was probably a better idea since the contents are subjective and asking that anyone edits it is probably not going to go too well. Ah well, at least I like talk pages better than blog comments.
- FDekker talk 03:03, February 8, 2018 (UTC)
On third thought I've decided to turn it into a blog post. It's basically the same as before, except on a different page. You can find it here. Any comments are appreciated.

To actually respond to some of the other comments made by Gunny (though the next message is not aimed at Gunny in particular): Yes, I think our raising awareness of the issues is helping, though we shouldn't forget to keep acting to improve: Leave a comment if you disagree with a revert you see (even if you have nothing to do with the revert) and be nice to newcomers; write blog posts to explain what you think is right and discuss on Discord; be constructive yet honest and truthful, and speak up if you disagree (which obviously also applies to your opinion of my blog posts).- FDekker talk 01:58, February 9, 2018 (UTC)
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