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Forums: Index > wiki proposal votes > Vote: Policy creation and forum archive standards

As previously discussed in Forum:Proposal: Policy creation and Forum archive standards, I propose updated standards for policy creation and amendment, as well as new standards to codify forum archiving and protection policy. Please see each section in detail below.

Policy and guideline creation and amendment provisions

I have recently spent a great deal of time painstakingly going over every single policy and guideline vote we have on record to ensure that every change to our policies and guidelines were made in the proscribed manner. I removed a number of revisions that were not ratified by vote and added a number that were, but for some reason never added. As it stands today, the policy and guideline pages are as close to their ratified versions as I could make them. During the course of this, I realized that there were a number of norms that we had in policy creation that were not codified in policy and felt there were some changes to the existing policies that should be made to ensure the policy pages stay as close to their ratified form as they are now. The addition of a number of new pages and templates to help organize and record policy changes also will require codification. To this end, I have identified the following policy revision goals.

Policy revision goals

  • Make clear that changes to policies and guideines must go through the approved policy and guideline creation and amendment process.
  • More clearly state what is and is not an allowed edit that does not require the above.
  • More clearly standardize the process for policy and guideline creation and amendment.
  • Add clear instructions on how to add and format changes to policy and guideline pages.
  • Add clear instructions for any other pages that need to be updated with new policies or guidelines.
  • Add clear instructions on copying of policies or guidelines to other places.

Proposed policy changes

Policy proposal
Current policy
Procedure
Policies/guidelines
Any editor is free to edit policies and guidelines to improve clarity and readability. However, changes to the actual content or meaning should only be done with community consensus.

To this end, the normal procedure for proposing new policies and guidelines or changing existing ones is to create a topic in the "wiki discussion" forum. Once the discussion has led to a final draft, call a vote. The vote needs to run for a week at minimum.

Revised policy proposal
Procedure
Policy and guideline creation and amendment
Any editor is free to edit policies and guidelines to correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, formatting and to update links, as long as these changes do not: materially affect the content, context or meaning; or adversely affect the readability, presentation, page structure or categorization. Changes to the actual context, meaning, page structure or categorization should only be done with community consensus through the following method:
  • The primary procedure for proposing new or amending existing policies and guidelines is to create a topic in the "wiki discussion" forum.
    • This discussion forum name should be in the standard form of Proposal:<name of proposed policy, guideline or admendment>.
    • This discussion shall be advertised via notifications on the wiki, in discord and on the discussions forums. These notifications shall be made as soon as possible and shall require the appropriate rights holders to facilitate as needed.
    • This discussion shall run for a duration of at least one week from the time of the notifications being made.
    • This discussion shall finalize the exact wording of any proposed policy, guideline or amendment, including which policies or guidelines, in whole or part, that it may replace.
    • The wording of any proposal must be concise: being comprehensive and thorough while being straight to the point or brief.
  • After discussion is complete and a draft proposal is prepared contingent on the above, a topic should be created in the "wiki proposal votes" forum.
    • This proposal vote forum name should be in the standard form of Vote:<name of proposed policy, guideline or amendment>.
    • This vote shall be advertised via notifications on the wiki, in discord and on the discussions forums. These notifications shall be made as soon as possible and shall require the appropriate rights holders to facilitate as needed.
    • This vote shall run for a duration of at least one week from the time of the notifications being made.
    • This vote shall include the exact wording of any proposed policy, guideline or amendment, including which policies or guidelines, in whole or part, that it may replace.
    • Once polling on a proposal vote has begun, there shall be no further changes to the proposed wording. If changes to a proposal are required, the current vote forum topic shall be closed without resolution and a new forum topic created to incorporate said changes.
    • Current voting regulations shall apply.
  • After a proposal vote has ended, the results will be ratified on the forum page.
    • A new policy or guideline page should be created, if required, using the exact wording of the final ratified vote.
    • Any changes to existing policy or guideline pages should be made, using the exact wording of the final ratified vote.
Policy and guideline structure and organization
  • All policies, guidelines or amendments, when newly edited into a policy or guideline page should reference the appropriate forums through use of links, inline references or special template that details the discussion forum, the proposal vote forum, the dates of such and any other pertinent details.
  • All policy or guideline pages must display the {{Policyintro}} and {{Navbox wiki policies and guidelines}} templates, as well as {{Shortcut}} templates for each appropriate section.
  • All policy and guideline pages must be linked directly from the main policy and guidelines page and all upper-level policy and guideline pages must be linked in {{Navbox wiki policies and guidelines}}.
  • All policy and guideline pages must be added to the appropriate section of the policy and guidelines sitemap and each distinct policy topic should be listed in the "by topic" section of the page.
  • All ratified policy and guideline changes must have their pertinent information entered on the policies and guidelines forum archive in the table in descending chronological order and in the {{Forumoverview}} template for their respective main policy or guideline, which should be transposed onto the bottom of the appropriate policy or guideline page and forum topics.
  • Any policy or guideline, in whole or in part, that is displayed anywhere on the wiki other than its parent policy and guideline page should have its content transcluded to preserve its original form.
  • Any policy or guideline that is displayed elsewhere than the wiki should have it's content updated at any time the parent policy or guideline is updated, e.g. the discord guidelines or the discussions forum guidelines.

Policy and guideline creation and amendment vote

Yes

  1. Yes TheGunny2.0 (talk)
  2. Yes Agent c (talk) 18:37, 23 June 2022 (UTC)
  3. Yes The Appalachian Mandalorian insignia.png 20:17, 23 June 2022 (UTC)
  4. Yes As long as neutral is not excluded by design. The Dyre Wolf (talk) 16:49, 24 June 2022 (UTC)
  5. Yes Sounds good to me, clarification is good. Тагазиэль 19:20, 28 June 2022 (UTC)
  6. Yes LaymansReign (talk) 01:43, 29 June 2022 (UTC)
  7. Yes ---bleep196- (talk) 10:56, 29 June 2022 (UTC)
  8. Yes -Eckserah User Eckserah.png Head Dataminer 11:00, 29 June 2022 (UTC)
  9. Yes intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png6/29/22 8:43am CT
  10. Yes The Greatest Savior (talk) 19:10, 29 June 2022 (UTC)
  11. Yes Richie9999 (talk) 20:38, 29 June 2022 (UTC)

No

Neutral

  1. Neutral I dont have an opinion, but the interested community seems to have a strong consensus. Would be a waste to see a strong consensus go to waste over quorum, so consider this a number boost only. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin

Excluded

# No Pending response to question below, might change. Only just caught while rereading the proposal to vote, or I would have brought it up before the discussion ended. The Dyre Wolf (talk) 13:03, 24 June 2022 (UTC) Moved to yes.

Comments and questions

Does this remove the neutral vote or open up the voting conventions to be normalized as only yes and no responses?

A plurality, or simple majority, shall be defined as the highest number of valid yes or no votes cast which exceeds the second-highest number, while not constituting an absolute majority. A plurality shall be required for any proposal offering more than 2 voting options to pass.

I see no accommodation for weight being granted to neutral votes, only the yes or no, but in practical terms, the neutral votes often house doubt or concern more often than disinterest. Frankly, many times neutral votes house some of the most in-depth responses because it's from users who are airing pros and cons, which prevented them from coming to either support or oppose a measure, as well as what often reads like users who might otherwise have voted no, but they did not want to come across as mean spirited (though the latter is usual in regard to rights requests, not policies). I want to double check because of how important this could be for shaping up close calls. When the first contentious forum crops up with these proposed changes, we do not want to have an "oh, shit" moment as every single user who expressed concern in a neutral vote but did not vote no, is disregarded wholesale because the neutral ballet does not weigh into "yes" or "no" for the purposes of establishing a majority. On the flip side, if it does factor in, that also needs to be clear, so that when they are weighed, it does not come as a shock.


If it is only a world of yes or no, this is totally fine, because all participants would have to fit into one camp or another if they wish to cast a vote. Sure, they could still just place their comments in the...comments, but for the sake of voting, they would at least be willingly avoiding participation by only using the comments. Not voting would have been their choice, but neutral does not translate directly to yes, so if the new voting scheme would make it more difficult or outright impossible to factor in neutral votes, I would not support it. Neutral should not default to yes, the option representing change, because of the value it has representing uncertainty. The Dyre Wolf (talk) 13:03, 24 June 2022 (UTC)

I only sought to firm up the definition already in place for "simple majority" as you can see in the existing policy by using the dictionary definitions available online. In actual practice, let's say 20 people voted. 9 voted yes, 5 voted no and 6 voted neutral. Note that this is a essentially two option vote, as the neutral votes are considered "abstaining", as you can see in the actual poll template wording. If you look for the simple majority, and consider the neutral votes as votes, then the 9 votes win. But if you consider that it is in effect a two choice poll but count all 3 options, the yes votes do not hold an absolute majority. To date, we have been ignoring the neutral votes on two choice votes when it comes to tallying the votes. Some consideration has been made in the past when there are a large number of neutral votes, but almost exclusively on rights requests, not policy. If neutral votes are counted as valid votes on policy changes, then we basically have Yes, no and also not yes. In a nutshell, we've been using the term simple majority when we are applying an absolute majority standard. I figured we might as well word it correctly. This should change nothing as far as consideration of policy votes go, as most are basically considered on a two option absolute majority test, with neutral votes being considered "abstaining". As this is only for policy votes, nothing shall effect rights requests, as they are detailed in a different policy. I'm not sure I answered all your questions, but again, as I've said above, this is the standard we already use, I'm correcting the terms to reflect the term usage, not the application and it should not change anything in the way we consider whether policy votes pass or fail.TheGunny2.0 (talk) 14:15, 24 June 2022 (UTC)
To add: Rush once famously said in the song Free Will: "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." Since the poll template clearly states that by choosing a neutral vote your are "abstaining" you have made the choice for that vote to not count. That's what abstaining is. It will count towards the quorum, since we allow it as a valid vote for that. I don't want to take that away. It's our version of voting "present" in the UN.TheGunny2.0 (talk) 14:21, 24 June 2022 (UTC)
I think it's largely just a difference in the way we read neutral votes, where I see abstaining as choosing to not vote at all, while neutral is explicitly expressing a not yes vote, otherwise, they would be yes votes. There are exceptions, where some might vote with the sort of indifference that comes with taking roll before class and are only putting a name down. But in practice, neutral is often where we see folks airing their own conflicting thoughts on the topics. If they did not intend to have their opinions taken into consideration or their voices heard, they would be signatures and timestamps, with no accompanying content. When someone is setting down a decent sized paragraph though? There's intent to be read. But this might be better suited for the sister forum on vetoes, if anywhere, as a rationale to weigh the total number of votes when issues are tight and neutral can be the determining factor. Wanted to hear what was intended with the language here first, though. The Dyre Wolf (talk) 16:49, 24 June 2022 (UTC)
Actually, that would be a brilliant thing to bring up on the other forum, since that does speak to those nebulous areas where a vote result isn't clear cut.TheGunny2.0 (talk) 17:48, 24 June 2022 (UTC)

I'm concerned about the plurality clause. That could easily result in the overall least popular option being chosen. For example, if the vote ended like this:

  • Option A - 40%
  • Option B - 30%
  • Option C - 30%

Option A would be the winner here, even though 60% of voters did not want Option A. I'd be more comfortable with a runoff system in the event that no option receives a majority of the votes.

I think neutral votes also need to be accounted for in the policy in some fashion. Either forbid voting neutral (anyone unconvinced can express concerns in the comments) or specify how they will be tallied to prevent future confusion.

intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png6/28/22 2:48pm CT
We were already using a simple majority (plurality). For most votes, it does not really come into play, because they are up/down votes on a single topic. We do sometimes see poll options that give us more than 2 options, see the most recent image policy vote. The important thing to do is write the vote up correctly. If you really have 3 distinct viable options, don't split one of the options into two flavors of the same thing opposed by something completely different, offer them up equally and the most popular will win by plurality. Yes, that often means that more folks didn't like the winning option than did vote for it, but unless you can narrow down the options, this is how you have to do it unless you get fancy, like Agentc does. He likes to use weighted polls, and there's nothing in the rules against that. So, in another nutshell, as I said above to Dyre, all I did here was more correctly define the exact same system we already had in place, just made the wording more precise. If anyone thinks this is worthy of looking at for a possible way to change, I've already opened the other forum on admin vetoes and decrees (that is getting even less attention than this vote). It would be an awesome thing to propose and get cleaned up with those two issues. The most important point is the wording change to that section would not impact the way we are currently doing votes, it'd be business as usual, and I was just laying the foundation for adding a super majority to policy. I'm a little worried that this proposal is gonna fail because all the stuff I want to change is fine, but the stuff that we were already doing that I just worded better is keeping people from voting for it. TheGunny2.0 (talk) 00:10, 29 June 2022 (UTC)
How about a ranked choice system for votes with more than 2 choices? I'm stuck on the plurality issue. Some people already had concerns that 50% + 1 was a bad system. Giving a win to a minority option via plurality? Seems worse.
intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png6/28/22 7:41pm CT

Based on feedback from multiple people, I've decided to pull the bit on majorities so that the issue can be discussed further before voting on it. I've restarted the poll for consideration and I will leave messages for everyone who has voted already to ensure they are aware of the changes to the poll. TheGunny2.0 (talk) 11:17, 29 June 2022 (UTC)

Results

Looks like this is 11-0-1, and passes. Will add to voting regulations page. TheGunny2.0 (talk) 12:35, 7 July 2022 (UTC)



Forum archiving and protection standards

I have also re-constituted the ability to archive forum topics. The ability to do this makes it far easier to understand which forum topics are actually currently in the discussion or voting phase. Without this, any time an old forum topic required a maintenance edit, e.g. fixing a bad link, it would cause that topic to rise back up to the top of the forum list. In the process of doing this, I also found a very large number of protected forums that should not be protected per our page protection policy. To this end, I have identified the following policy revision goals.

Policy revision goals

  • Make clear when to archive old forum topics
  • Make clear when to protect forum topics
  • Ensure that maintenance edits of old forum topics are easily accomplished and do not clog recent forum topics.
Policy proposal
Current policy
None
Revised policy proposal
Administration policy
Forum archiving and protection standards
  • All forum topics should be moved to the appropriate archived category 90 days after the most recent (non-maintenance) comment or edit by adding |archived as the unnamed second parameter of the {{Forumheader}} template inserted at the page top of all forum topics, e.g. a topic in Wiki discussion should be have the template changed from {{Forumheader|Wiki discussion}} to {{Forumheader|Wiki discussion|archived}}.
    • Once archived, forum topics should remain in the archived category and should not be commented on. If the subject of an archived forum requires revisiting, a new forum topic should be made.
  • All forum topics should remain unprotected per Fallout Wiki:Administration policy#Page protection to allow for ease of maintenance edits with the following exceptions:
    • When the forum topic is the target of vandalism or edit warring, per the above policy.
    • Immediately after a policy or user rights request vote has concluded to preserve the vote integrity. Votes protected in such manner should then be unprotected when moved to the archived category to allow for ease of maintenance edits.

Forum archiving and protection standards vote

Yes

  1. Yes The Greatest Savior (talk) 22:32, 22 June 2022 (UTC)
  2. Yes Agent c (talk) 01:08, 23 June 2022 (UTC)
  3. Yes The Appalachian Mandalorian insignia.png 15:53, 23 June 2022 (UTC)
  4. Yes TheGunny2.0 (talk)
  5. Yes The Dyre Wolf (talk) 13:03, 24 June 2022 (UTC)
  6. Yes for this measure alone at this time intrepid359FO76NW Overseer.png6/28/22 7:42pm CT
  7. Yes LaymansReign (talk) 01:43, 29 June 2022 (UTC)
  8. Yes ---bleep196- (talk) 10:56, 29 June 2022 (UTC)
  9. Yes -Eckserah User Eckserah.png Head Dataminer 11:19, 29 June 2022 (UTC)
  10. Yes Тагазиэль 11:37, 29 June 2022 (UTC)
  11. Yes Richie9999 (talk) 20:38, 29 June 2022 (UTC)

No

Neutral

  1. Neutral I dont have an opinion, but the interested community seems to have a strong consensus. Would be a waste to see a strong consensus go to waste over quorum, so consider this a number boost only. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin

Results

I reckon this bit passed. I'll add it to the policy page. TheGunny2.0 (talk) 21:32, 30 June 2022 (UTC)

Ok, this passes. I'll leave it up to Gunny to add it. Jspoel Speech Jspoel.png 21:47, 30 June 2022 (UTC)




Policy vote forum overview
PolicyAdministration policy
Amendment 1Forum Archiving and protection · Discussion · Vote · 30June2022 · 11-0-1
Related topicsConduct policy · Ban reviews · Activity policy · User rights requests · Administrators and moderators


Policy vote forum overview
PolicyVoting regulations
Amendment 1Voting rationales · discussion · Vote · 3 October 2012 · 12-3-1
Amendment 2Voting requirements · Discussion · Vote · 15 June 2013 · 8-7-2
Amendment 3Voting requirements · Discussion · Vote · 4 August 2020 · 16-0-1
Amendment 4Quorum and simple majority · Vote · 17 November 2021 · 12-2-0
Amendment 5Policy creation and amendment standards · Discussion · Vote · 7 July 2022 · 11-0-1
Related topicsUser conduct guideline
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