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Talk page administration

I have a problem with User talk:The Scythe Has Fallen, where my section header was drastically shortened:

  • 17:27, 5 December 2010 Randomtime (2,237 bytes) (Reverted User:The Scythe Has Fallen: The header is too long. This is an adminstrative decision)
  • 17:20, 5 December 2010 The Scythe Has Fallen m (10,412 bytes) (Reverted User:Shadowcrest: rv vandalism)
  • 17:09, 5 December 2010 Shadowcrest (2,235 bytes) (oops you accidentally the whole page, don't disrupt to make a point (that isn't even an important point))

My personal opinion: We administrate users, not content, that means there shouldn't ever be administrative decisions on content; especially not on users' talkpages, because we've traditionally left them for the users to administrate themselves. Whether the point that the overlong header was making is important or not is for Scythe to decide; the admin action came 6 weeks after the fact; and the admin action completely removes the context for the discussion under that header, so a note would definitely have been in order, at the very least. I do not understand why the long header would disrupt anything, especially if Scythe himself doesn't think so; and why it would "accidentally the whole page", the content below the header is not affected, and the other sections are easily accessed via the TOC. PLease restore my header. --◄mendel► 02:03, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

We "administrate" anything that disrupts the display of a page - I use quotes because this can be done by any user, not just admins. In this case, I agree that your section header was being disruptive. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 02:14, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
What exactly did it disrupt? --◄mendel► 02:30, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
And it doesn't disrupt RC either because the edit summary cuts it off.--Łô√ë Ho ho ho!îğá†ħŕášħ 02:36, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't've touched it in the first place. Although it is really large, Scythe doesn't seem to care, and he 'owns' the page somewhat. Second-best would be commenting it out for a large part (it only makes it longer code-wise, which was the point, but makes it shorter content-wise). Next comes trimming it to maybe 25% size (alters the comment, but retains content). Last would be destroying context altogether. --Vipermagi 12:01, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I am of opinion that a section header that forces someone with 1920x1200 screen resolution to scroll in order to actually reach any discussion is in fact disruptive - or at the least, would be generally considered so anywhere outside of the userspace. That said, even in the userspace it's rather annoying, and looking at the past revisions with the full header hurts my eyes. Ultimately, the original purpose of a user's talk page is to provide a place to contact the user, discuss the user's contributions/projects, etc, though I realize guildwiki more often than not uses user talkpages more to hang out/chat/discuss random stuff. Personally, I would have shortened it, but not quite as drastically as Shadowcrest did. Wizardboy777 15:57, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
Under current policy, I am against people altering someone else's text on anyone's user page (except their own) unless there's a rendering problem, spam, or a personal attack so egregious that removal is the only sensible action. Too bad for me if the page looks odd or is hard to read; that is the owner's problem; we should feel free to drop a note (or 10) to mention the issue, but we should not unilaterally take action.
However, I would also support a change to existing guidelines that specifies excessive header length as an example of a type of disruptive text that can be altered by a maintenance edit. On user pages, maintenance edits should be limited to truncation, leaving any rephrasing to the original poster or page owner; that limit should not apply to communal talk pages.
Long section headers strike me as mildly funny, in a I remember my great grandpa used to tell that joke sort of way, but they are otherwise annoying to parse. They aren't disruptive in the way that an excessive signature is, but they sure don't do the section (or the users involved) any favors either. In other words, they are on the border between bad writing and disruptive text; under current policy, we need to treat it as the former and leave it alone.  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 17:10, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
When a section header crosses the line from "Long" to "Excessively Long", then it falls under disruptive text. 8k of text in the header is excessive. --JonTheMon 17:46, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
As a compromise, I have partially reverted the header to ~300 characters. This is enough to satisfy the original purpose of demonstrating how to "cheat" the 200-character limit in the standard new section title input box. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 17:59, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Dr Ishmael's compromise doesn't solve the issue; it is not actually a compromise because it favors the side that argues that admins can edit talkpages if they personally don't like the content.

The problem here is that "disruption" is arbitrary and not clear-cut; there is no consensus what it is, and there never can be; if you want to base admin actions on disruption, become an admin at gww: or gw2w: or sign up with Wikia staff. In fact, I argue that my 8000 character header disrupted nothing for 6 weeks; then Shadowcrest made a point via an edit and that edit caused disruption. If the header disrupts, so did the user who posted it; I did not receive a warning, I did not get a chance to correct it myself, I did not get a satisfactory explanation. ("I have to scroll to get to the current discussion" has applied to every admin's talkpage at one time or another, and it'd be silly to demand that this not be so.) So instead we have an admin declaring something unilaterally as "disruption" without explaining why this should be so to any of the parties involved; we get a "disruption" of the limited "sovereignty" over their talkpages that our users have historically enjoyed here. Then the page owner affirms his position, and another admin overrules it, not minding GW:1RV, and nobody is opening discussion. Frankly, that is disappointing, and I expected better of you. Dr Ishmael defended the right to keep a comment of someone off the wiki for 3 years to keep a comment about an issue long since resolved, but now he supports modifying the recent comment of an active user on the talkpage of another active user for no other reason that people have to scroll some.

The concept of "maintenance edits" has so far encompassed rewriting links where pages that were linked to were moved or deleted, i.e. generally fix things that got broken in the course of events to ensure the original writing escapes as intact as possible. There was nothing broken about that edit! There was nothing to maintain! To call this edit a maintenance edit calls into question what maintenance should be, and whether it stands for "arbitrary use of admin position". Please stop calling adjusting content to personal preferences "maintenance".

This is not about my header. Had Scythe shortened it himself, I wouldn't have minded much (though I'd have probably complained a bit, just for show). I don't care how long it is. I care deeply that a sysop who is on bad terms with a wiki editor modifies their talkpage for no reason that past practice on this wiki supports in any way, and does not think to adress this openly before somebody else does. I do not want this to continue. Make me understand why this is necessary, or stop. A compromise won't do, there needs to be understanding. --◄mendel► 22:06, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

The tl;dr version of the above WoT is: Who decides what gets written in headers, editors or admins? --◄mendel► 22:34, 6 December 2010 (UTC)

Brb posting spam pyramids on every talk page I can see. I did what has always been done for ridiculous shit-- removed it. There's a difference between an 8000 character unnecessary section header and any reasonable conversation that extends that long (normal conversations also don't give the page a ridiculous horizontal scrollbar). Nobody was oppressed here. Move along. Shadowcrest 23:00, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
what has always been done -- well, only if "always" doesn't include 3 days prior, when you edited the very same page. Also, I've seen "ridiculous" scrollbars, and this isn't one - I doubt you'd see one if your screen was 1400 pixels wide, and of course there wasn't one on Oasis, for which this post was originally made; if you'd politely pointed this out to me, I'd probably have changed the line breaks that I did add in this edit. Also, educate yourself on the violence inherent in the system. --◄mendel► 07:58, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
(edit conflict) A 8000 character header does not disrupt if it's the last thing on a page. When it's in the middle of a page it would. And what if the first removal was not as an admin, but as a user who found the header overly disruptive? What do you do then? And yes, the second removal had less merit (1RV) and I definitely wouldn't say it falls under maintenance edit (more like discretionary edit). However, your WoT loses a little bit of merit from your "just for show", arguing a point just for the sake of it (which in certain cases is disruptive). In the general case of other users editing another's comment, it's frowned upon, but there's a certain level of usability vs expression that this situation crossed (especially as talk pages are for the community). --JonTheMon 23:03, 6 December 2010 (UTC)
I submit that when I posted it, my post was the last thing on the page (and also the first). I also still don't understand what distinguishes the header from other content you have to scroll past to get to the bottom of a talk page (except maybe that people don't understand the point it was making; but it was quite clear from context when it was made 6 weeks ago, and apparently Scythe, to whom it was adressed, got it - and that's the point of talkpages, they're not always meant to be understood by the general public, which is why we usually leave their "owner" some freedom to decide what happens on them.)
Admins act on content when it's vandalism, spam, or libel (or something broke, i.e. "maintenance"); if we see "disruption", I'd prefer for us to act on the user instead as this is the more long-term strategy.
You misunderstood my "just for show" point: I meant that if Scythe had changed the header, I would have respected that - I did not want him to, I did not expect him to, he in fact didn't, if he had done so I would have expressed my displeasure and disagreement, but I would have respected his decision and seen nothing wrong with him making it, hence my protest would have been, in a sense, "for show". This protest here isn't, because it wasn't Scythe who changed it, and I don't believe the people doing it should have been.
If the edit had been done as an editor and not as an admin, I'd have reverted the editor and explained to them that we respect the integrity of other people's comments, especially on other people's talkpages; that if you must, delete a comment outright; if you choose to change it, leave a note that you did so and why; but that it is vastly preferable to take your issue to the author if they are available, and let them make the change. I recall an instance where I managed to get an editor to remove their potentially inflammatory comment, thus averting drama, without actually editing it myself. To not give someone that chance, especially not wiki contributors in good standing, is quite disrespectful, and not the way I want this wiki community to work. (If you now think, "meh, it wasn't serious enough to be brought up on a talkpage", then why didn't you stay away from it in the first place?) --◄mendel► 07:58, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Okay, I will say one thing here: I resent you nitpicking my actions when I wasn't the one to perform the "administrative action" in the first place. I at least attempted a compromise to resolve this silly situation, but you rejected it. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 14:17, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
A compromise is an agreement between the concerned parties. If one suggests a compromise, it is customary to get the parties to agree before deploying it.
Your compromise was a compromise only as far as the header length was concerned; the real issue was unannounced admin edits to personal talkpage comment headers, and with your edit you came down fairly square on the support side on that one (i.e. you did announce it here, but you didn't wait for a reaction). To point this out is not an attempt to pick nits, but to correct a major misperception on your part of what I am on about; sorry if I didn't make myself clear enough.
I did not nitpick "your" actions, I addressed all three admins who did that sort of action, though you were the one who did it with the discussion already ongoing; I'll refrain from crying "disruption" since clearly that wasn't your intent. --◄mendel► 04:01, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Shut up

And write up a policy to avoid this kind of shit in the future. You'll have been working as a team to get us off wikia (and I can't thank you enough for that), but now you are squabbling among each other like little children. That hurts me. I love this wiki, and I love the people here. Can't you see it? You are running around in the same old circles again. Don't go there; it's not nice (for anyone). On a petite side note, I favour "owners" of pages making this kind of decision. Ask them to remove the invading or in any other way not nice parts. Also, leave teh making of long and funny headers to me. Arnout aka The Emperors Angel 09:56, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

Thank you. I've been trying to come up with a reply to mendel, but you're right - this is unnecessary nitpicking that isn't going to improve the community in any way. I'm going to ignore this issue now and focus on actually improving the wiki. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 13:58, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
What Arnout said. We have bigger fish fries. [sic]  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 21:47, 7 December 2010 (UTC)
Unfortunately, this is pretty big fish as well. Proof: if you stifle it here, the discussion just moves elsewhere (see below). It'd be good if could get off the personal and focus on the big issues at stake, though: I saw an attempt to extend admin roles here from what I perceived them to be, and I'm hoping we can affirm the old roles, but I don't see a consenus for that yet. --◄mendel► 04:10, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

User talk:Shadowcrest

The content between the lines was copied from User talk:Shadowcrest#ridiculous_shit ([..] elisions mine). --◄mendel► 03:32, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

[..] And finally, yes, we have historically removed stuff exactly like your header-- see [1] (spam pyramid template, which was removed from multiple talk pages and then deleted), [2] (same deal), [3]... etc etc. Shadowcrest 00:14, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
2.1) As it is not spam (read: excessively long single-edit post is not spam) it is not "exactly the same. It is also not "exactly like..." because it could be categorized as a mathematical equation, which (unless you were generating a spam pyramid because you wanted to count to lines or do trig on them or something) is not the same deal.
3) It spanned one page, therefore the last three links are redundant.
Don't throw out random links that don't matter into a discussion, please. — Scythe 1:26, 8 Dec 2010 (UTC)
Quick refutation of 2.1: yes, an excessively long single edit can be considered spam when it has no meaningful content. Mendel's header held no content that was meaningful to the point he was making - it was the length of the content, not the content itself, that was meaningful. That is why I felt that editing it down from 8000 to 300 characters was an acceptable compromise - it was still long enough to suit mendel's point without being disruptive/spammy. Yes, it was disruptive - what do you call all this drama if not a disruption?Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 01:50, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I find this E-peen contest that is really getting nowhere several times more disruptive than the initial edit. a ToC would easily make it navigable and end any possible disruption (to an extent, I use ToCs though some people may scroll). This would (will?) go away once enough crap lands on my talk to force me to archive + stylize it so I don't have an ugly archive box, tbh imho. — Scythe 2:06, 8 Dec 2010 (UTC)

Adressing the precedent that Shadowcrest cites, from the deletion logs:

  • User:Gimmethegepgun/Spamlicious was delete tagged by Gimme
  • User:Warwick/Spam Pyramid Template was 500 kB of Warwick's sig repeated
  • User:Warwick/Spam Crew! was not delete tagged, but Warwick consented to the deletion

An additional point is that these are outright deletions, not unmarked modifications of user talkpage comments.

In my opinion, none of these precedents apply to the matter at hand. --◄mendel► 03:32, 8 December 2010 (UTC)


If I were to rule this place by fiat, I would force a moratorium on this conversation for 24 hours and block anyone who didn't comply. As I do not (drat!) I would suggest that we walk away from this for a little bit. Pissing at each other isn't going to do much good. There are some points on both sides, but there's also a lot of derision and slight mis-perceptions of comments. --JonTheMon 03:58, 8 December 2010 (UTC)

Drat. I was only away for 19 hours. ;) --◄mendel► 04:12, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Thanks Jon. Help me in stopping this shit. Arnout aka The Emperors Angel 08:18, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Telling people to stop arguing about the problem does not solve the problem.--Łô√ë Ho ho ho!îğá†ħŕášħ 09:00, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
I posted a sollution: write up a policy, or establish a code of behaviour. Its contents should be simple; if something is disturbing you, cindly ask if the owner of the page could remove the disturbance. Simple. Arnout aka The Emperors Angel 09:38, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Existing policy: "Assuming every edit is a well-intended edit, any reverts or removals should be explained thoroughly, unless the edit in question is obvious vandalism." (GW:AGF) Not enough? --◄mendel► 15:06, 8 December 2010 (UTC)
Giga, he didn't ask people to stop completely, he merely asked for a pause. Bloody hell, now we're arguing about a request to calm down the arguing! XO —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 14:02, 8 December 2010 (UTC)


Q: Isn't it a bit silly to discuss the length of your talkpage section headers here?

Yes, it is. Discussion of my talkpage section header style should be directed to my talkpage.

Q: Why didn't you shorten your header?

Nobody asked me to. I didn't realize it would annoy people; it apparently didn't annoy Scythe (it was posted on his talkpage), nor did any of the people patrolling RecentChanges at the time complain.

Q: If you didn't mind shortening your header, why did you make such a fuzz?

I minded Shadowcrest and Randomtime (and later Dr ishmael) changing it without asking me.

Q: Couldn't you just have brought it up with them personally?

As it turns out, it doesn't affect only them; it is a problem of community standards potentially changing, and I believe any conflict arising from this change should be out in the open. It would probably have been better to first ask them privately whether they intended to change community standards.

Q: What is this standard you speak of?

"We do not censor talk pages" (Rose of Kali, here)
"GuildWiki talk pages are not censored, unless they are blatantly vandalised." (Randomtime, on User talk:Nikaido25)
"On other rare occasions, people introduce a topic with a misleading or gratuitous header. In which case, I will change the header, (a) noting so on the relevant talk page and (b) offering an explanation on the original contributors page. That extra work makes me hesitate before taking the drastic step, but shouldn't stop me if there's a true problem with the original. The other option I've used (for veterans) is to post a note on their talk asking them to change the header themselves." (Tennessee Ernie Ford, on User_talk:Dr ishmael/Archive 8#Headers are part of a comment)

Q: Reading that, didn't the standard already change back in August?

Yes, it did; now it is changing a step further, with the standard for the change lowered:
  • back then, the header was gratuitious, now it's just long;
  • back then, the comment was in Talk: space, which is administered by all, now it is in User talk: space, which is traditionally administered by the Users themselves, except (up to now) in exceptional cases.
  • back then, the comment was two years old, and the user not active on the wiki

Q: Are there other standards that apply?

Assume Good Faith promotes assuming all edits in question were intended as positive edits and that removal of any legitimate contribution should be well justified. I think it would also be common courtesy to contact an active editor before making a change to their comment that you have reason to assume they would not consent to.

Q: Don't we routinely make maintenance edits to comments without contacting people?

Yes, of course. These edits never change the meaning of an edit. They typically involve removing or adjusting links to pages or images that have been moved or deleted, or fixing wikicode errors that break the formatting of the page they're on. Shortening the text of a message is not maintenance.

Q: But wasn't your long header disruptive?

I am not convinced that the length of a text determines how disruptive it is; we deal with long text on talkpages all the time. My post didn't disrupt anything for 6 weeks, so first evidence seems to support me. I believe that rudely changing my header caused the disruption. But then this is one of the issues under discussion.

Q: What are the issues under discussion?

One opinion is that my header was disruptive, and that this justified the edit to it. Currently, Shadowcrest, Randomtime, Dr ishmael, Wizardboy, Jon the Mon and Auron seem to be in favor of this interpretation; Auron even sees it as grounds for a block.
Scythe, Gigathrash and Tennessee Ernie Ford have denied that the header crossed the line into disruption; Vipermagi, Tennessee Ernie Ford and Arnout have affirmed the right of the User talkpage owners to decide for themselves what they think "disruptive".

Q: What is your own opinion?

I do not believe that "disruption" is a good standard for policing wikis; on the wikis I know that use it, it has been watered down from its common language origin to apply to arbitrary annoyances. I do not wish for this term to become part of GuildWiki's administrative standards. We can do well enough with terms like "spam", "vandalism" and "personal attacks", which are less arbitrary (and still pose problems at times).
I believe that there would have been no drama if Shadowcrest had expressed his annoyance to me politely instead of editing my comment. I want to encourage all wiki users to exchange their views on controversial subjects instead of limiting themselves to controversial actions. All our policies ancourage this behaviour; the reason for this is that it makes the wiki run much more smoothly. I expect wiki administrators to not set a bad example in this respect.

Q: When will you let this matter rest?

I want to find out whether "disruption" is going to be considered a standard on this wiki from now on or not. I want to find out whether users retain the right to decide what to allow on their talkpages (obscenity and libel excluded). I want to find out what style of interaction is considered acceptable here. I believe these are important issues.

Q: So it's not really about your header at all?

It never was.

Q: Thank you.

You're welcome.

--◄mendel► 11:54, 9 December 2010 (UTC) (TEF stricken twice, see my talk. --◄mendel► 01:57, 10 December 2010 (UTC))

No thank you. --JonTheMon 13:50, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
Ok, to be more constructive and focus the conversation, do you want to discuss what counts as disruption, or what should the response to disruption be? --JonTheMon 14:30, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
I think current policies and traditions would suffice if properly enforced, so I am not about to start a policy discussion; if I did, I would probably base it on GuildWiki:What (not) to Delete, a proposal I drafted two years ago that, had it become policy as proposed, would have applied here: On a user's talk page that user may edit section headers. As I recall, at the time neither that policy nor its competing GuildWiki:Censorship were seen to solve an imminent problem, so they were left in limbo. --◄mendel► 09:40, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
"it is a problem of community standards potentially changing" It wasn't until you turned it into one. It was an isolated incident that two editors participated in. I would hardly call that a potential change to community standards.
However, you chose to involve the entire community in it. Obviously, you were looking for people to back you up and say, "Comments on user talk pages (including their section headers) are sacrosanct, we shall never ever edit them for any reason whatsoever, upon pain of death!" Instead, you got a lot of people who thought your header was patently ridiculous, and you don't seem to be able to accept this.
No, this is not a change in community standards. Your header was making the page unusable for some people (no matter that it was never technically broken), so they fixed it. We've always done this.
No, community standards are not going to change, either. We're not going to suddenly start editing other users' posts willy-nilly just because of this one incident. This was a very unique situation - I'm pretty certain we've never had a section header of even 500 characters before, much less 8000 - and it is very unlikely that a circumstance like this will happen again.
Honestly, mendel, you're worrying too much about nothing. You're crying wolf. Hell, even Auron thinks you're acting childish about this. IF a situation like this ever happens again, then you would have a case for a "change in community standards." Until then, please give it a rest. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 15:37, 9 December 2010 (UTC)
You criticise me for choosing to involve the entire community.
The header of the admin noticeboard states that it is intended to assist in policy enforcement; we have often used it for policy discussions so they're kept out of the hairs of "regular" contributors watching the community portal since they may not be in interested in that sort of thing.
I saw the situation as a policy issue since two admins had been involved in it, it was labeled as "administrative decision", and I felt that it wasn't in the spirit of some policies that we do have. I do believe that here was (is!) an appropriate place to raise this concern.
I realize now that contacting the two people concerned on their talkpages could maybe have resolved the situation more quickly, though Shadowcrest's reaction indicates that some discussion would have taken place, which might have ended up here anyway.
Had the administrator who first replied to me realized then what I realize now, and asked me to try bringing the matter up with the admins individually before involving a larger group of editors through the admin noticeboard, things might have unfolded differently, but you didn't ask me that then, so they didn't. --◄mendel► 09:40, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
What. The. Hell. You're blaming me for this whole fiasco now? Up yours, mendel. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 13:58, 10 December 2010 (UTC)
Some of my comments above are misrepresented or taken out of context. Here's the condensed version of my position: I think there's a gray area in policy/guidelines and I believe it would be a far better use of our time to fix it rather than worry about whether this particular long header was/was not disruptive enough to invite a maintenance edit.  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 01:27, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

What I (Scythe) Think Really Happened (this is no doubt rage fodder, but it's necessary)

As many of us know (mainly those who frequent IRC) me and Shadowcrest don't get along... to say the least. We usually nearly always butt heads, and it can get pretty ugly. I've known Shadowcrest to do things (whether on IRC or otherwise) just to either piss me off or cause bad things to happen. I think this is one of those cases. A 8000 character edit doesn't go unchecked in RC, and I'm sure Shadowcrest saw it when it was posted. I believe that being dissatisfied with the (at the time) current drawl the wiki is moving at that Shadowcrest made the edit to "wake things up". This would certainly not be acceptable behavior from an admin, and I hope it is not the case. I do, however, believe that my doubt is not ill-placed. As for Auron thinking that mendel's edit was block-worthy, that's blasphemy in my eyes, and I'd probably open an RfA as well as an arbcomm [about Auron] over it (though the latter is sort of happening alread). — Scythe 2:46, 10 Dec 2010 (UTC)

Can we please archive this or remove it? It's a user's opinion that I don't think belongs here, to be honest. Ariyen 01:12, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
It's a comment on the issue, giving a personal view. Why do you think it doesn't belong here, and why do you draw attention to it more than a month later? --◄mendel► 02:28, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
I look through things and think of possible changes. *shrugs* It's just an eyesore due to the contents up top aka table of contents. Topic more than anything is what I find a bit long, but upon finally reading it. Doesn't seem like it fits here... If it's a comment on the issue, why not have it moved to the talk page? Sides, I finally have time to look at things bit more and less busy with most holidays, etc. being over with. 06:32, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Comment policy

The draft is at GuildWiki:Comments‎‎, comment on it at GuildWiki talk:Comments‎‎. --◄mendel► 11:55, 10 December 2010 (UTC)

No-one's commented on it for 12 days, which leads me to assume it's failed. Apparently the people who suggested having a policy didn't want it that much after all. --◄mendel► 22:41, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I can't speak for anyone else, but I decided to concentrate my discretionary GuildWiki time on articles/guides ...until there's a lot more participation. If it's just a dozen of us contributing 90% of the mainspace edits, I don't think there's any need to hammer out policies for issues that rarely arise. I do want talk protected, but not as much as I want the wiki to be more active.  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 22:54, 22 December 2010 (UTC)


The matter has fizzed out, the precedent stands. What did I learn from it?

  • "Disruption" is now an accepted standard for administrative actions.
  • Disruption encompasses posting 8000 digits of π in a conversation.
  • There is no need for admins to contact users who they think disrupt.
  • The "compromise" faction suggested focusing on a policy; the effort I spent on that was wasted.
  • Don't bring up anything on the admin noticeboard that you don't have consensus for, you'll get blamed for the ensuing discussion.
  • Don't criticise Dr Ishmael, he bears grudges that he won't address constructively. [4][5]
  • My personal standards don't pull much support from the wiki community right now.

--◄mendel► 23:19, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm confused. I didn't learn any of these things.
  • Disruption was part of the spirit behind a number of standards held by the wiki; there's disagreement about what constitutes disruption, which is natural for a wiki/community.
  • It always makes sense for admins to contact targets of actual/potential admin actions and you help set an example for that.
  • Lots of people argued that our time would be better spent discussing policies; a lot of us were burnt out from the argument. I didn't read anything at :all into the lack of interest in rewriting policies at this time.
  • Not everything should get hashed out here; somethings should.
  • I critique and question Ish all the time; as far as I can tell, he has always dealt with me graciously and productively (and any deviations from that, if there were any, were dealt with and have been forgotten).
  • I strongly support a lot of your personal standards. I think many of them should be policy/guidelines.
Probably, my comments (and Mendel's?) should be moved to some talk page some place.  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 01:31, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I'd say 'put it on my talk', but you'd have to scroll down. --Vipermagi 10:54, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
Do you want me to actually argue any of the points, or is your intent merely to voice your disagreement? --◄mendel► 15:48, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
I have reopened GuildWiki:Comments for discussion because I see no reason for it to fail. Felix Omni Signature 16:17, 23 December 2010 (UTC)


Category:Candidates for deletion --◄mendel► 02:02, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't understand. Felix Omni Signature 08:56, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
My note brought the category to the attention of some admins, who made some deletions/edits as an intended result. It had one category and 8 pages in it at the time. "Bump" is used on webforums to signify an edit made simply to bring the topic back "up" again. --◄mendel► 12:20, 26 February 2011 (UTC)


Revoke or enforce? --◄mendel► 18:00, 8 March 2011 (UTC)

Guideline.--Łô√ë Gigathrash sig Gîğá†ħŕášħ 18:13, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I went to that link. It's a policy, not a guideline Giga... 19:56, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
I chose to treat it as such.--Łô√ë Gigathrash sig Gîğá†ħŕášħ 20:28, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
And what I mean by that is not that it is optional, that it is something that should be followed by all and should not need to be enforced. Whereas I treat policies as law rules, whereas guidelines are ethical rules. I'd want mendel to elaborate on his question before someone over analysis my response and gets the wrong impression. Specifically, what do you mean by revoke?--Łô√ë Gigathrash sig Gîğá†ħŕášħ 21:29, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
(1) I don't understand why the question has come up. (Near as I can tell, it is enforced now using velvet gloves.) (2) Why is this a topic for admins? They don't have authority to revoke a policy or guideline without community input.  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 21:35, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
The question has come up because I find myself defending my intentions time and again. I do not understand why this happens if the community is guided by the ideal that a person's intentions need no defending (my interpretation of the AGF policy). Jink and Jon intervened some 26 hours ago, basically advising me to make my intentions more clear, and in the meantime I have found myself in the same defensive position again. This bothers me very much; it appears to me that this "guideline" is not very effective right now. I wish that this policy was enforced differently, that's why I am taking my complaint to the admins. --◄mendel► 21:58, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Aside from Ish, who here is not applying AGF to you? Jink and I just think that you two have magic fingers that find the buttons to push. Do we need an intervention or arbitration? --JonTheMon 22:04, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Formal arbitration, no matter how it was conducted, has generally resulted in one of the persons leaving/quitting the wiki. If it comes to that, I'd rather leave directly and save ourselves the drama. --◄mendel► 23:05, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Mendel, this isn't a problem with AGF, it's a problem between you and me. —Dr Ishmael Diablo the chicken 22:05, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Isn't that point of view what brought us to where we are now? I can't say I enjoyed it. --◄mendel► 23:05, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Jon, from a personal standpoint, and as a guess based on experience, people don't like being singled out, especially in the heat of conflict. I can say that personally, I'd probably explode if my name was brought up semi-randomly like that in the middle of a discussion and I found out about it. ∵Scythe∵ 23:40, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Mendel, I know you're german and everything, and that when it's a second language words are used for their technical meaning and such, but in America (or at least to me) using "Isn't" in that phrasing brings a sort of 'speaking down' tense to the sentence, and again, it would enrage me. I'm not saying the good doctor is just like me, but I'm willing to bet he's more than a little irritated by these actions. ∵Scythe∵ 23:40, 8 March 2011 (UTC)
Isn't is the proper form of English compared to ain't. However for the sentence used, is would have been a better choice. :-) Ariyen 00:46, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Let's not get sidetracked by minor wording. Felix Omni Signature 05:13, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

(Reset indent) There are several conversations going on right now. I think that they are (in a not-quite arbitrary order):

  1. (from Mendel) Should AGF be revoked?
    • (from TEF) Is this the appropriate place to ask about revoking it (the admins don't have the authority to change it)?
  2. (from Mendel) Is it being enforced (or at least applied) appropriately?
    • Shouldn't AGF mean that one shouldn't have to defend one's intentions? If not, what does it mean?
    • (from various) It isn't being applied appropriately? How so?
  3. (from various) Is there an issue between 2 or more community members who are (currently) having difficulty communicating that is complicating the rest of the discussion(s)?

 — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 06:01, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Let me focus my response on the aspects that I think are most important:
  • AGF: The goal of writing is to communicate; AGF cannot possibly handle all the ways in which well-intended phraseology leads to misunderstanding. Even the best of intentions can't stop someone from being hurt by seeing someone else say that idea is st00pid. Policies and guidelines aren't sufficient when that happens. The best that AGF can do is to reduce the number of times that there's drama because of miscommunication or differing ideas on what's best for the wiki.
    • Consequently, I am not persuaded that the issue lies with AGF or the way in which the current b'crats/admins apply it.
    • Of course, I intend to keep my mind open to additional evidence or reasoned argument.
  • Other: I think there are some real issues that have been indirectly raised; I believe that they can (and, I hope, they will) be resolved. However, I don't think they are things that are in the direct purview of the admins and I think they should be discussed elsewhere (e.g. the specific parties' talk pages).  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 06:01, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I agree with TEF: I don't think the issue here has to do with AGF. It's about a conflict that has been going on for a very long time now between Mendel and Ish. I'm not sure what can be done about that, since iirc, there has (or have) been an attemp to talk it out, and it failed (or is my memory playing tricks on me?).--TalkpageEl_Nazgir 11:38, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

Ok, so here's how I see what happened so far:

  • I say, "Let's treat this problem as a community issue, there's a community ideal which applies that nobody seems to care about".
  • Response (by pretty much everyone else who posted here): "It's a personal thing between Dr Ishmael and you".
  • I say, "We treated this as a personal issue for a year now and it got steadily worse, why not try this approach for a change?"
  • Everyone else: "...."

If this was a GW:NPA issue, nobody would even dream of saying "that doesn't concern us, it's a personal issue" (which it is, most of the time). --◄mendel► 22:48, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

I don't see how a "different approach" would help, nor how it could actually be seen as such. If it's seen as a violation of a policy, a warning and a ban of both of you won't help anyone, and as far as I can tell, talking it out or banning are the only ways conflicts here could be defused (except for downright ignoring each other, which is practically impossible here and with the work both of you do). --TalkpageEl_Nazgir 22:59, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
I am reading your argument as "it can't be a community issue because we don't know what to do". I imagine we could at least discuss what to do.
I am also reading that I'd deserve to be blocked, and I don't know what for. --◄mendel► 04:51, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
No, I don't see this as a community issue because it's a conflict between 2 users. Even if it was one, there is no appropriate way of dealing with it, as far as I can see.
How did I ever say, or even hint at me thinking you should be banned? I don't think you deserve to be blocked, but if every infraction on AGF on both parties here has to be punished, you'd both be banned a couple of times, probably all of them at the same time. And the only thing it would do is make you dislike each other even more imo.
Summary: I don't think of this as a community issue, and I don't see how it could be solved. And frankly, I dislike you twisting my words like that. --TalkpageEl_Nazgir 15:35, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't put it quite the same way, but, I completely agree: it's a communication problem between two adults. You guys can choose to keep going at it the same way until one of you ragequits. You can choose to listen to more of the solicited and unsolicited advice you both have received on the topic. You can choose to think of other ways to attempt to work it out together.
What you cannot do is to expect that the admins should subvert the policies of the wiki to suit the situation. What you cannot do is expect that community members should treat this as their responsibility. Personal attacks are community issues because vitriol creates a chilling atmosphere on all discussion; if this reaches the level of a community issue, it will be because the parties directly involved have allowed it to fester. (I am confident that this needn't be so.)
Mendel wrote: I am reading [El Nazgir's] argument as "it can't be a community issue because we don't know what to do". I imagine we could at least discuss what to do.
Some of us have a clear ideas on the topic; we have discussed them with each of you.  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 20:43, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
We should all play Guild Wars together. Nothing ends disputes likes having a good time. Felix Omni Signature 23:20, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
I second this. Jink 23:22, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
Still that wouldn't solve anything. Problems still would exist... Ariyen 23:57, 10 March 2011 (UTC)
O ye of little faith! Felix Omni Signature 00:08, 11 March 2011 (UTC)
Or minecraft. No venting like dumping lava on that guy's three-month project base >:-) ∵Scythe∵ 20:36, 11 March 2011 (UTC)

There's a WoT of mine up at User talk:Dr ishmael#Wall of Text, part of which deals with the community aspects of that issue, if anyone's interested. I suggest commenting on the community aspects here instead of on Dr Ishmael's talk, if you're so inclined. --◄mendel► 09:07, 17 March 2011 (UTC)

Policy proposal: Be 50% wrong!

→ Moved to User talk:Mendel#Policy proposal: Be 50% wrong!

Spambot Outbreak

Any admins who are stirring should probably take a look at RC and pages like this. I've been rolling back a few, but they're still running amok and probably aren't going to stop without a ban. If this would have been better served with templates instead of a noticeboard post, well, apologies. — ızǝℲ 00:44, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

been doing my part to help, but we need protection. first off being no edits of any pages without an account .. I know it rather defeats the open nature of a wiki, but ANYTHING on the internet NEEDS some kind of protection, ESPECIALLY wiki's ... Mauirixxx 01:28, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I support a temporary ban on IP edits in the mainspace (with an appropriate site notice) until this dies down. RT: if you are reading this, please consider going for the drastic solution if you are the only admin nearby.  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 01:42, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I don't have protectsite here, sorry ---- RandomTime 01:43, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
How about temporarily blocking all edits for an hour or so? -- Mauirixxx
Or blocking a huge range of IP addresses? (Any port in a botstorm.)  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 01:48, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
There isn't a common range that I Can see, I can do rangeblocks if there is one, I can't protect all pages on this wiki, I don't have the tools to -- RandomTime 01:51, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Blocking individual or a range of IP addresses will be a losing battle. Don't you have access to add extensions that will help protect this wiki? Best thing to do right now is straight deny ANY not logged in user from editing ANYTHING. Mauirixxx 01:59, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
I think this is a good time to wake someone up at Curse. As our hosts, they should really want to be involved in protecting their own sites from bots, spam, and other evils.  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 02:15, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
This was a relatively minor outbreak. If anything, I would let them know about it, and maybe ask them to install security related extensions if no one on the wiki has that kind of access. There was a recent discussion on the Mediawiki mailing list about this very type of event. When I find it, I'll link it. Mauirixxx 02:20, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Here we go, this was pretty informative. I run a wiki at work, but it's on a private network that no outside users can access, hence why I read the media wiki mailing list. read me please. Mauirixxx 02:23, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
This might be a problem. It doesn't seem to be stopping anytime soon. Cress Arvein Cress sig 02:49, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
That's because it's not going to. It's the nature of the botnet. It's fully automated, the guy in charge probably went to bed already. It will stop when someone either installs extensions to block anonymous edits, or when the botnet operator decides to do something else with his botnet. And blocking anonymous edits is just the first step .... Mauirixxx 02:52, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Formal request:: talk to Curse about tools to reduce spam

This is a formal request that our hosts at take action to help us reduce spam, spam bots, and vandal bots. Because they have retained technical administrative rights over their servers (as they probably should, given how little we pay), they have the responsibility to ensure the integrity of this site.

I don't have an opinion about how they should accomplish this, but I do think that they shouldn't wait for a more serious bot storm to take place before addressing this.  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 03:02, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

I whispered Felix in-game and he is currently discussing with people from Curse. Apparently it is happening on other Curse wikis as well. Cress Arvein Cress sig 03:20, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Excellent. Mauirixxx 03:25, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Oh, was that you? Cool. Ariyen contacted Wynthyst, who told her all the wikis are being hit and that bots have learned how to recapcha, so we're discussing possible options in IRC. Felix Omni Signature 03:27, 5 June 2011 (UTC)
Unawesome that it's happening, but glad to hear that ppls are on this. Thanks all.  — Tennessee Ernie Ford (TEF) 03:35, 5 June 2011 (UTC)

Old vandalism expoit is back on Curse

See User:PanSola/Sandbox, I think the only things you can safely click on are the Wiki's logo and the "User page" tab (z-index, which IMO doesn't count as a valid fix against the exploit). I forgot which exact fix dealt with this issue, but appearantly it didn't get ported to Curse (the same sandbox on GuildWars.Wikia does not have the exploit). Lack time to investigate deeper, just want to raise the alert. -User:PanSola (talk to the Follower of Lyssa) 00:35, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

Removing comment.

I replaced a comment back on a talk page, but I saw that it was removed again. I ask for the admins to place this "non-harmful" comment back and see to this that it's not removed again. It's not vandalism and it's not the person's right to remove a user's comment, when it's not against any policy. This is the latest removal. I'm not about to break any rules trying to place something back, yet again. Thank you. 10:45, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Discussion goes here: GuildWiki talk:Admin noticeboard#removing comment. User A F K When Needed Signature Icon A F K When Needed 11:13, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Over-aggressive spambot filers

Another IP tried to edit Amnoon Oasis, to fix an incorrect note about one of the quests (it's secondary, not primary). Because that detail is on a subpage, IPs cannot fix it due to the subpage rule. This wiki generates a lot of content via transclusion from subpages, so that rule creates a major barrier. Could it be tweaked so if only 20 characters are removed/added, the edit can go through? 19:56, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

It's not that sub-pages are protected, just a certain set of them, notably /Quest and /Collector ones, and that's only for non-auto-confirmed users. --JonTheMon 13:58, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
I see. Those pages are probably more accurate and stable than unprotected mission articles, but isn't there some sort of compromise that would have allowed that potential contributor to help out the wiki? Or even use a friendlier error message. There are still a handful of /Collector articles with a missing or inaccurate row. 15:57, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
Register and confirm your e-mail! :D --JonTheMon 16:39, 19 June 2012 (UTC)
The point is: User: seems to have given up on trying to fix stuff. "I'm not sure if the admins recently implemented aggressive filtering but this is killing the usability of the wiki." He/she found something that should have been trivial to correct, but found themselves blocked because this wiki happens to use a transcluded page (worse, it's only transcluded twice). 06:11, 20 June 2012 (UTC)


Some reason my 100% zoom has left this site to being very small like an 8 point font and that makes it hard for me to read... What shall I do? Ariyen 04:11, 24 February 2013 (UTC)