Difference between revisions of "Bulbapedia:Code of conduct"

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Revision as of 04:30, 4 January 2009

The purpose of the code of conduct is to outline, specifically, acceptable behavior when users interact with each other. It is not the manual of style, and does not pretend to tell you how to edit pages. This doesn't even deal with edit wars specifically (which are bad, and against the rules, but not a violation of the code of conduct). The code of conduct governs interaction between users on every aspect of Bulbapedia: the main space, the Shipping space, the userspace, and every other space there is.

The code of conduct in two words

Play nice.

Main space interaction

There are hundreds and hundreds of edits made to the main space every day. Most of them aren't conflicting, everyone humming along and improving Bulbapedia at their own pace. Sometimes, however, users come into conflict over specific phrases, pictures, templates, or other aspects of the Wiki.

On regular pages, if you think somebody's wrong about a fact, and they don't think they're wrong, an edit war can ensue. While that is going on, do try to talk it out politely on the talk pages. Outline why you think they're wrong--factually, not stylistically--and expect them to do the same for you. Call in an arbitration. Do not insult them, demean them, or otherwise bash them in order to prove your point. It doesn't improve your image in the community and won't win you any points in the argument.

If you disagree with someone stylistically--for instance, if you think a template or picture is wrong, or a bad choice, talk to the creator or post on that template's talk page before making changes. Be nice about it--point out the specific deficiencies, and why your idea provides a more effective solution. Don't degrade their work--remember, they worked hard on it. Remember, too, that ideas have inertia, and it may take someone a little while to leave their design and come around to yours. Be patient, understanding, and, again, kind when dealing with another user. It may slow the process of change down a little bit, but the changes will be more pleasant to everyone.

User space interaction

Writing on talk pages in four words

Not nice, don't say.

Writing on talk pages in three paragraphs

It sounds really simple, but if you just make an effort to be nice or be quiet, that will help a lot. If somebody's doing something wrong and you want to write on their user talk page, describe what's incorrect and provide encouragement and advice in how to make it better. Nobody was born with an intuitive understanding of wikicode, or the English language for that matter. Positive reinforcement goes a long way to making the community stronger and new users better contributors--because even bad contributions are additions.

If someone makes an incorrect edit, nobody is done a favor by degrading the incorrect party. Of course, it is the duty of another user to correct the problem. But snide comments aren't required--or even useful. New users aren't made better if they feel like outsiders to a private club--and Bulbapedia isn't a club. This is the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia. We accept everyone with an e-mail address.

If someone starts trouble on your talk page, don't respond in kind. Let it slide, or, if you have to respond, respond nicely. If it's really bad, contact an administrator--administrators are here to help. If it's an administrator, causing the problem or you don't feel comfortable talking to any of the admins, contact TTEchidna, the current Editor-in-Chief. If you don't feel comfortable talking to him for some reason, or need outside perspective, evkl or Archaic are both available to field issues.

Other aspects of the user space

Subpages are cool, as are userpages. Almost all of us have them. But don't use them to bash people, or create lists of disliked people. It would also help if there were no lists of people you liked especially, either; that can cause an atmosphere which encourages cliques, and that's bad. If there are people whom you're working on a project with--for instance, Project Dex--and you want to thank them or give them credit somehow or somewhere, that's fine. But an "A-list" of sorts, that describes your 'best buddies,' can lead to rising tensions, and has few positive consequences.

This does not apply to affiliations or statements of solidarity made with userboxes, or anything of that sort.

User feuds

There are a handful of long-running feuds between some users. Kiss and make up. Bury the hatchet. Drain the bad blood. It would be a really great thing if every user who knew they had someone they really didn't get along with extended their hand--metaphorically--and apologized for wronging the other.

Accept that apology if it drops your way. Apologize back for anything you might have done to wrong them. Because we're all in this together, at the end of the day, and there's no reason to make enemies when you could have friends.


Enforcement of these rules is, ultimately, up to the discretion of the administrators. However, they aren't omniscient, so feel free to drop a pointer to an admin if you see something going on that's really not cool. If you don't feel comfortable talking to the Bulbapedia administration, again, feel free to contact evkl or Archaic. Depending on the severity of the Code of Conduct violation, different action will be taken, and everything will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. However, it is reasonable to assume that first-time infractions will typically draw a warning. Second-time infractions may draw a warning or a short block. Third-time infractions and beyond will almost certainly draw a block.

Unless infractions are especially egregious, the block length may not exceed one month. All Code of Conduct blocks of duration greater than one month must be approved by the Editor-in-Chief, Archaic, or a surrogate Archaic designates.

This does not, in any way, limit administrators from blocking spammers, vandals, or trolls (whose accounts are solely used for harassment, not anything constructive) indefinitely.

Time will be taken into account with regards to enforcement; after a violation of the Code of Conduct, if no other violations occur over two months, a user's slate is 'wiped clean,' so to speak. However, if a larger pattern of meanness emerges over a long duration of time, administrators may take action to rectify the situation as they see fit, within the limits already laid out when describing enforcement.

Concluding thoughts

Play nice, please.