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Section 0

I love the new initiatives on the policy front, Tanaric. And I pretty much agree with all your changes. However, I am slightly concerned that later policy changes may become too arduous if people were to read the bold-face conditions as requiring unanimosity among all editors to enable even the smallest change. In fact, I believe a consensus is, and can be, reached and defined by an overwhelming majority despite objections. I'm splitting hairs, I know, but on issues such as this, a little hair-splitting is probably not a bad idea. -- Bishop icon2.png Bishop [rap|con] 18:17, 5 August 2006 (CDT)

The process is designed to be difficult—adding or changing policies generally requires a significant amount of work for the editors who make sure everything is in compliance. Our policies should be flexible, but they should not be swinging back and forth every month or so.
That said, here's how I interpret consensus. If everyone who meaningfully contributes to a discussion agrees on a change, that's consensus. Note that I said "meaningfully." If somebody chimes in once, says "no dont change plz thx," and doesn't offer any good reasons why the policy shouldn't change or suggestions to make the change more reasonable, I don't consider his dissent as taking away from consensus.
If even one reasonable complaint about a policy change exists, I think it's reasonable to avoid the change. However, I see this as a somewhat recursive process—you can apply this interpretation of "consensus" to the potential negative as well. If everyone (but possibly the person who raises the complaint) believes that the change is beneficial regardless of the negatives noted in the complaint, consensus is there to go ahead with the change despite the complaint.
I believe my interpretation of consensus encompasses what you want to see changed about my proposal. If this is so, I should write up an article about what consensus means and how it's interpreted here at the GuildWiki, and include a better-written version of those last two paragraphs. :)
Tanaric 18:43, 5 August 2006 (CDT)
Yes, I think your definition of consensus is close enough to mine as to be indistinguishable. I merely thought I would mention that a strict interpretation of "no vote can ever be considered binding nor, unless unanimous, indication of consensus." indicates that consensus must be entirely unanimous. I welcome your idea of defining it in a seperate article. -- Bishop icon2.png Bishop [rap|con] 18:58, 5 August 2006 (CDT)
My point with that was that votes should not be the primary means of establishing consensus—discussion should be. We've recently begun a vote-using trend that I think is harmful to the wiki, so I wanted to establish their lack of credibility right from the start. :) —Tanaric 19:02, 5 August 2006 (CDT)
You and I are obviously on the same page. I'm not going to comment further untill others have chimed in, because this will simply degenerate into a whole lot of patting each other on the back (erh, more than it already has, I mean). -- Bishop icon2.png Bishop [rap|con] 19:16, 5 August 2006 (CDT)
I have to say I agree entirely Tanaric and Bishop. It is often the case that votes are either "for or against" and do not encourage a situation where compromise can be made. I have recently despaired over the way in which decisions for style and formatting have been made, and even the way in which many policy disputes have recently been handled.
Good work Tanaric! <LordBiro>/<Talk> 06:19, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
Now that I've found this discussion...I think the idea that we have a vote culture here is overplayed. In all honesty I think the major contributors here are all aware of trying to avoid a vote culture (and have been for some months), consequently I don't think we have many votes. I don't see voting as a major problem, we've had it for some time now but we don't seem to be engaging in it more frequently, in fact I'd say we actually vote less and less now and pretty much use it at the right time, when the discussion has carried on for too long, arguments are going round in circles and people are getting frustrated and all relevent arguments have been raised. --Xasxas256 07:21, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
That's a fair interpretation—I'm still in the "one vote is too many" camp, but that's probably because I was here back in the formative stages of the wiki, and we never used votes then. I'm willing to (grudgingly) accept them as a measure of gauging current opinion. The policy is show that votes can only be used in this manner.
Even if the notion of a burgeoning vote culture is overplayed, it's important to codify things in such a way that no vote culture can arise. If you can word my vote/consensus prohibition that better portrays the intent of the community, by all means, please do so. :) —Tanaric 07:52, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
I would bring up Tetris' vote on bound spirits and that new unknown user's vote on sockpuppetry as good examples of recent premature votes that did not try to achieve a collective understanding of the issue. Basically, I think it should be noted somewhere that "votes" cannot be used to bring about an end to a discussion. Votes should be used when the community is trying to choose whether to go with BeastBox1, 2 or 7, but not when one side in a debate feels he has seemingly more support and so he says, well, let's just vote on it! --Karlos 11:15, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
I think Xasxas256 expressed the reasoning behind the bound spirit vote. "pretty much use it at the right time, when the discussion has carried on for too long, arguments are going round in circles and people are getting frustrated and all relevent arguments have been raised." The discussion would have never came to a compromise. But there were faults with the vote. It was in bas taste that you, Karlos, were not made aware and that the vote only lasted a week. Other than that, it just didn't seem like too many users cared about the discussion about bound spirits.
I would also much rather have discussions to finalize situations and not turn to voting. But when two or three users are set in their way of thinking and will not budge, then that leaves a precarious situation. It dissuades other users from participating in the discussion, and if the discussion is heated enough, those that do are dismissed it seems. Those kind of discussions should be brought to an end then and there. Not only is compromise near impossible, but it looks bad for the wiki, especially when it's prominent users of the community going at it. *looks innocent* Just recalling what I've seen in the past. One question that either no one has thought of, or everyone knows about it, but me. What would happen if a discussion went around in circles for weeks, no compromise is made, no real concensus has been shown, and we are trying to lessen the number of votes? -Gares 13:55, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
If discussion cannot reach a consensus, there must be a reason. Two or three users won't be stubborn about something unless there's a good reason to be stubborn. If the change isn't clearly, unequivically good, we shouldn't be making the change. That's the reasoning behind the vote policy as written.
When we need a beast box, it doesn't matter if one wins by a one-vote margin, because they're all essentially the same—it's a question of style and preference. We need a beast box, and there's no point in delaying it further when the discussion is down to whether light red or dark red looks better. When it comes to policy, there's no need to finalize something. If a change never gets consensus/approved, that's totally okay. If a proposed new policy never gets the backing of the community, that's okay too. We don't need half-supported, controversial policies on the wiki. We need well-written guidelines of the mores that already exist. —Tanaric 14:24, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
In the case of articles at large I can understand that voting is sometimes a reasonable way of resolving a debate, but I think that it's important that GuildWiki policy only gets changed/implemented/removed when done so with fully reasoned argument and not simply a tick box. <LordBiro>/<Talk> 15:22, 6 August 2006 (CDT)
I noticed a reference to "the vote policy as written". To the best oif my knowledge, there is no formal policy on voting, and I honestly do not believe we should have a formal policy on it (to me, a policy implies condoning the migration to a vote culture - others may interpret this differently). However, we do have voting guidelines at Category:Votes. Those guidelines should be better clarified to indicate when a vote should and should not be used (among other shortcomings of the guidelines as currently written). --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 21:47, 6 August 2006 (CDT)

Open proxies policy

This was brought up in the aftermath of the "Stabber" flareup but was subsequently not followed through. I think GuildWiki should seriously consider no open proxies policy like WP:NOP to prevent all future cases of abuse. We already know that at least some of the characters involved in the "Stabber" incident used Tor proxies. Here is a dynamically maintained list of known Tor proxies. I think GuildWiki should follow Wikipedia's lead and indefinitely block all these and other open proxies. 23:43, 6 August 2006 (CDT)

Why are you posting through an anonymizer yourself? Just curious. --Karlos 00:45, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I have my reasons. Mostly privacy. I know the irony of posting the above comment through a non-descript IP, and if it gets blocked as a result of my comment, I wouldn't mind. 01:14, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
You do realize, of course, that the obvious assumption around here would be that you are, in fact, Stabber? Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you are, and I happen to like Stabber (but not what s/he caused). But your showing up with obvious before-hand knowledge of GuildWiki matters, high technical flair, eloquence and, above all, confrontational policy opinions from day one, is quite similar to a modus operandi we have seen before...
Regardless, you are of course welcome and entitled to your opinions. Just as I would say to Stabber if s/he was to return. -- Bishop icon2.png Bishop [rap|con] 01:38, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
Yes, that is an obvious implication. I am clearly quite well versed with areas of the wiki that a newbie would be unaware of. Anyone is free to believe what they wish. I neither confirm nor deny that I am Stabber. 01:41, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I find that mighty saddening. Possibly because the obvious implication of that is that you are intent more upon causing trouble -- or simply disruption and drama -- and less upon contributing to the community in a meaningful fashion. I really wish that was not the case, because if you are Stabber, I had hoped you would return in earnest (possibly under a new handle) and contribute more to the content and less to the drama, because that was an obvious skill of his/hers. And if you are not Stabber, then you are a different long-time editor with a different axe to grind, which is more confusing but no less underhanded -- and that hurts, either way, because our community is one based upon trust and collaboration. -- Bishop icon2.png Bishop [rap|con] 01:58, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I think to some extent you have to choose to see this thread as a disruption for it to be one. You say that I'm suggesting confrontational policies, but equally my suggestions would prevent all future disruptions of this form, not to mention many other forms of disruption. I am sure you realize the futility of trying to guess my motives, and the insanity that induces. You have stated your case that blocking open proxies is not a battle worth fighting and the community might well agree with you. Indeed, several comments below seem to indicate that protecting key articles is the better remedy. In the interests of not writing more on a topic than it warrants, I'll make this my final comment on this thread of discussion. 02:31, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
You are right in that I am unable to discern your motives. I was when you were Stabber and I still am. In fact, I do not even try. Your objectives, however, are more easily recognizable. And so is your very unique argumentative style, given a decent sample size. You and I both realize, I am sure, that neither your IP-blocking suggestion nor your article-protection one offers any real protection against abuse. Your claims of protection against unspoken threats are FUD at best, and insidious attacks on the principles of trust and openness at worst. Just as your insistence that anonymity is the enemy of accountability, all the while using that anonymity to underline your point, is a misdirection at most.
The facts of the matter are that accountability and trust can exist even in a completely open environment, and even when the assumption of good faith exists. Your suggestions, howeever, and your attempts to avoid my objections through straw-man arguments, are neither in good faith nor accountable. And in honesty, they offer false security against attacks on those foundations, the values that we hold dear. -- Bishop icon2.png Bishop [rap|con] 03:30, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
Because of size and exposure differences, Wikipedia faces different issues than we do. Blocking, or rather attempting to block, proxy IP addresses are an uphill battle that we cannot win or even begin to fight. Your own origination IP is an excellent example; there is absolutely no way for us, as a community, to tell if you are genuinely using an almost impossibly non-descript access point, using an open proxy, or exploiting a compromised machine.
The only advantage we could gain from blocking known TOR-nodes, for instance, would be to raise the bar slightly for those who wish anonymity. However, that is more likely to prove a negative (by preventing genuinely privacy-concerned people from editing the wiki) than a positive, because determined, disruptive users with a real intent to cause harm could do so anyway.
The only way we could really prevent these issues would be to change policy to favor registered, long-term users over anons or newly registered ones. And that goes against what we stand for and how we do things (and Karlos regularly takes heat for having this view), so that is not an option. Instead, I think we're better off doing what we have been all along, which is to handle each issue as it crops up. -- Bishop icon2.png Bishop [rap|con] 00:54, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
All valid points, but I think blocking Tor nodes is exceedingly low hanging fruit and not particularly disruptive. Blocking open proxies should be just one facet of damage mitigation. I've noted at least one other tool below, ie, page protection. GuildWiki is now one of the largest wikis there is, and it's showing no signs of slowing down. These issues should be considered now while there is still a conceivable chance of sampling community-wide consensus, instead of punting until the problem is too big to handle. 01:14, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
Unfortunately, what you are suggesting is a slippery slope. In fact, one could make an argument that since you are obviously skilled in the arts of online obfuscation, you are well aware that your suggestions would serve more to cause dissent and confusion among newbie editors than it would protect against actual trouble-makers. Introducing measures of elitism to the wiki is not what we need, regardless of how tempting it might seem, even to me, at present. -- Bishop icon2.png Bishop [rap|con] 01:38, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
Regardless who Mr(s) Anonymous is, I don't feel comfortable with somebody deliberately hiding behind an anonymous IP making edits to official policy pages. Frankly I think those pages should be protected from anonymous edits, or maybe even admin edit only. --Tetris L 01:44, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
Disregarding the issue of anon's identity, as it's irrelevant, I agree completely with Bishop's last two posts up there. It is not our place to decide how people should access the internet. We have never had a problem immediately spotting vandalism, if it should occur.
Tetris L, the fact that nobody has ever done what you're talking about seems like sufficient reason not to care about it. :) —Tanaric 09:28, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I'm actually indifferent on this issue at the moment. While we have had problems of vandalism in the past with vandals using both Tor nodes as well as open proxies, the issues have rarely lasted more than a single day (although I remember at least one that lasted on-and-off for several hours) and are fairly infrequent. I won't try to press for a policy towards blocking them, but I won't argue against it either.
All that said, I did want to add material for everyone else's discussion on this. Wikipedia has had extensive discussion and they currently have a policy of blocking open or anonymous proxies (Wikipedia:No_open_proxies and additional links to discussions on it at Wikipedia:Blocking_policy). I realize that we are not Wikipedia and we have several policies that differ from their policies; but in some cases you can gain new insights by looking at their history on various issues. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 11:24, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I'm against blocking anything, beacause it probably wont prevent any vandalism. Some frequently used templates could be protected, but nothing more. --Gem-icon-sm.png (talk) 13:54, 7 August 2006 (CDT)
I've had to use Tor in the past to get around content blocking at work, I don't think it's necessary to block known Tor nodes. Aside from anything else it's incredibly slow using Tor, anybody who's used it would know what I'm talking about! It would be very difficult to do any kind of mass-vandalism using Tor, if anything Tor users represent the lowest vandalism risk of anybody. --Xasxas256 19:30, 7 August 2006 (CDT)

Page protection

→ Moved to GuildWiki talk:Protected page

Handling rejected policies

You guys might want to consider if it's better for rejected policies to generally be put into "cold storage" (in the same fashion as Category:Unfavored builds and Category:Wikipedia rejected proposals) rather than deleted. --Rezyk 18:39, 8 August 2006 (CDT) Please do not count this comment as either support nor opposition toward any consensus.