Inclusionist versus exclusionist

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Forums: Index WoWWiki policy Inclusionist versus exclusionist

Before he quit, Fandyllic hinted that his actions were based on an inclusionist philosophy, as opposed to an exclusionist philosophy. See Forum:New Feral Druid form? (Ideas...) and Forum:What should the forums be for? for his use of these terms.

I am assuming based on his final trends in his comments (in a way that is not slander or an attack, but a guess about the important point he was getting at but never outright stated or championed), that he meant the following:

  • A user can only be banned if you can cite a very specific policy that they are breaking. Parts of current policy as it is may be very vague, so this rule may seem difficult, but that only means that users were being banned for no good reason.
  • A page on WoWWiki (any namespace) can only be deleted with a vote. The vote must be backed by WW:VOTE.
  • All page creations and page edits are allowed (unless it is really, really spam).

This is what I took as inclusionist. This stance would lead to a more open and friendly WoWWiki, and would make a broader audience, especially newer users, happy. This stance also seems to be supported by current policy. Unfortunately, this stance would likely thrash the wiki with nonsense. But who is to say what nonsense is? The inclusionist philosophy would lead to either a bogged down Wikipedia-like democracy, or (if everyone always gets along) a communist utopia.

Currently on WoWWiki, the following is true:

  • A user can be banned if an admin feels that the user needs to be banned.
  • A page can be deleted if an admin feels that the page needs to be deleted.
  • Page edits and creations are screened for content and adjusted if need be.

This is what I took as exclusionist. This stance has more or less worked so far, and it allows for a greater quality than would be possible with a freer WoWWiki. Unfortunately, this stance was speculated to eventually lead to the downfall of WoWWiki, as it is (allegedly) hostile, and gives admins and prominent users too much power; power that may not be supported in policy. If this hostility is widely realized, quality new users my stop signing up and WoWWiki will die of attrition. The exclusionist philosophy, or at least what WoWWiki has now, is an oligarchy with elements of a meritocracy. Is it a hostile one?

Forum:Block and Ban policy, Forum:What should the forums be for?, and Forum:Common sense are all attempts to change the current written policy to match what is and is not being enforced. I would like to see consensuses reached on them.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this issue? Personally, I have faith in the administrative personnel, so this problem may be entirely theoretical.--SWM2448 22:20, November 16, 2009 (UTC)

Obviously, users using common sense (and reducing the work the admins have to do) would be preferred...but sometimes I think the WoW community has more trolls than the average online community. I agree that the exclusionist philosophy is more often than not the way we have been running the wiki. I try not to be hostile whenever possible, so I'm not particularly sure that's a fair characterization. Definitely needs some thought. --PcjWoWWiki admin (TDrop me a line!C58,926 contributions and counting) 00:29, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
I think what you said is true. I do not think WoWWiki is that hostile, so I put in the "(allegedly)". One more thing: I am not sure how writing down either stance in policy will fix the problem of what attitude we should have, but it is a good starting point, and unwritten rules should be written down regardless.--SWM2448 00:57, November 17, 2009 (UTC)
The WoW community may have more trolls than the average online community, but I can't agree to that at all for the general run of editors. I currently have about 8% of the wiki on my watch list; while that excludes the vast run of Guild:, Server:, and User: pages, I don't see a lot of crap getting posted to the main wiki.
While it may be comforting to have faith in the administration, I've personal experience (on other wikis) where "unwritten policies" can cause severe problems and apparent hostility. I did not appreciate it when I fell afoul of them myself, and I don't consider myself unique in that regard. The conversation goes:
A - You shouldn't have done that.
U - How was I supposed to know?
A - It's in our policies.
U - Where? Show me?
A - ...
I agree that it might not change the attitude we should have, but I don't know that we can even get a consensus on that. --Eirik Ratcatcher (talk) 18:28, November 18, 2009 (UTC)
I really think we need policies for this; and soon. Unwritten policies are only a problem that raises every time someone breaks them.
For deleting pages, there are clear cases of spam that should be deleted instantly. Other things, like fan-made pages and stuff that simply isn't right, should be moved to their respective user pages. Remember that there's no way a normal user could retrieve his previous work if the page is deleted, even if it was a wrong one.
As for user pages, while they aren't inappropriate, I think only their owners should decide about keeping them or not. Of course, if an admin sees an useless empty page, he should ask the user about it.
As for removing content that has any type of doubt about its veracity, I agree with the vote thing.--Lon-ami (talk) 19:35, November 18, 2009 (UTC)
I agree that unwritten policies are a bad problem. Lon-ami, there is a difference between intentional fan fiction presented as fan fiction but misnamed, and fan fiction intended as vandalism. We do not need to keep all false information on the wiki, regardless of namespace, just because the author is proud of it. On Forum:Common sense, I go off on a bit of a tangent about non-fictional useless information that floats in the nether between true and false (such as: true, but who cares?), that is somewhat related. Should we really save every page made? Eirik, Consider this:
A - You shouldn't have done that.
U - Is it in our policies?
A - No, but please do not do that.
U - I will keep doing it, as nothing besides you says I can not.
A - ...
Think of all the unwritten conventions and guidelines that you may use for whatever. Is there a policy that says you or they (being whoever else) have to?--SWM2448 21:10, November 18, 2009 (UTC)
Well, yeah, there's fanfic vandalism (putting your character as Thrall's son) but I was speaking more of fanfic pages at the main space, like someone creating an article for his RP character outside from his user page.
Newbies could do this, and explaining them the difference is a good procedure. I myself did that once (hey! first time I edited in a wiki Frowney) and I was glad Kirkburn moved it to my user page instead of deleting it without explanation.
That's what I was speaking about; fanfic edits into already established articles should be automatically removed.--Lon-ami (talk) 21:16, November 18, 2009 (UTC)
To my knowledge fanfic has always been moved to the user's space, don't think I've seen one admin just outright delete it. User:Coobra/Sig4 21:22, November 18, 2009 (UTC)
Of course not, Cobra, but I just said it because I haven't seen any policy around ;).--Lon-ami (talk) 12:12, November 19, 2009 (UTC)
SWM: We are, of course, both right. But consider too: If the response to someone doing a particular thing is always "don't do that" (in some form or another), then it becomes a de-facto policy.
In your case: edit A - No, but please do not do that, because (large numbers of people find it irritating / it doesn't match the style of other similar pages / the reason behind Door #3). If you feel you should be able to do it anyway, you should put it to a vote to avoid conflict. And creating conflict IS against a policy (here).
In mine: edit A - No, we don't have everything written down. We do try to catch the big stuff as policies, and not use policies to micromanage editors. If you feel the wiki should change how it does X, bring it up as a forum topic, or use the voting system (here).
IMO, that fact (that we don't want the policies to micromanage editors and admins) should be stated somewhere. --Eirik Ratcatcher (talk) 22:02, November 18, 2009 (UTC)
Funny topic is funny. Basically everyone has different ideas of what wowwiki is and should be and these ideas are not part of policy so each admin and user pretty much acts to their own set of rules until they find out otherwise. That's why these unwritten rules run rampant and is off putting to users trapped in teir pitfalls.
The policy proccess on this wiki has never been a good one, from modifying without a vote, to people not even voting and votes going stale. Even when policy does get updated, it's clear to see because many admins never had a say in it, they have no knowledge of the change and don't act in accordance with it.
For much of that, i don't blame the admins. The voting process on mediawiki is cumbersome and drawn out; as to be expected from mediawiki. There's also the fact that there's no consistant acitivity of admins. Couple that with the fact that votes on policy are done by all and requires no significant admin participation, and you end up with admins that can't do their job properly and users who run into problems at every turn.
I'm not here to help get involed in the affairs of wowwiki anymore, so i'll keep my suggestions to myself. I just wanted to point out how things stand imo. --   14:09, November 28, 2009 (UTC)
Eirik: Sometimes, they still do not listen. I would like to know what that "(here)" links to. Zeal: Unfortunately, funny topic came up a lot. More importantly, it caused problems [insert World of Warcraft: Cataclysm joke]. I try and correct newer users when they tell even newer users made-up rules, but I am likely biased toward my own views on policy, but I do not try to be. Forget how policy is made for a bit, the problems will persist whether policy stays the same or not.--SWM2448 16:52, November 28, 2009 (UTC)
"(here)" is, of course, where you put the link to the appropriate page... I suppose I could look around for suitable substitutes if you really want, but since it was a thought exercise, I didn't put that much effort into it. --Eirik Ratcatcher (talk) 01:03, December 3, 2009 (UTC)
"Funny" was in reference to Fandy leaving over this, the usage of the terms, and that i; surprise, saw this coming; both fandy leaving and the actual issue.
I'm not trying to point fingers at admins, and i'm not trying to complain about policy itself; even though i do dislike much of it. it's the system in place and the idea of how a wiki should be controlled that is the problem here (and the majority of wikis).
Your last comment is rather confusing and disjointed to me, as the latter part is certainly true, but proves the former wrong. How policy is made is part of the problem; changing policy in the existing system won't solve it. --   17:22, December 3, 2009 (UTC)
Eirik, I certainly hope that that there is a policy that fits there. Zeal, I seem to have been a bit confused. I forget what I was thinking. Do you have any ideas how to fix said system?--SWM2448 02:50, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

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