Wikis are communities of people working together on a common project. It's almost inevitable that there will be disagreements and arguments as the community grows - that's just human nature. But when do disagreements become harassment or cyberbullying?
Harassment and bullying are more than just a mean comment or a nasty argument. In both cases they involve repeated attacks over time. They might involve nasty texts, threats on social media and elsewhere, and even posting personal details and pictures. These are serious issues that may have "real-life" or even fatal consequences.
Some examples of harassment or cyberbullying on Wikia might be:
- Making repeated nasty comments, Chat messages, Wall messages, etc.
- Following a user to other communitie…
Blocking is the right and duty of all admins. It's a way to stop damage to a community, such as the damage of vandalism or the more subtle reasons such as social disruption.
Blocking itself is not hard to do. You can find a link to the block page on contribution pages, or go to Special:Block on your wiki and add the name of the person you are blocking, make some selections, and click "block this user".
What's harder to do is to block well.
The first things to consider are the options given on the block page. The first is possibly the most important - the timespan of the ban. It's tempting to make this as long as possible, after all, since we usually get to the block page when we are annoyed at someone's bad actions. But a long ban removes any …
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New users are something that every community needs, whether it's an established community or a brand new one. New users bring more hands to do the daily work of building and improving the content, and can bring valuable new ideas too.
The problem is that many people make their first edit and then disappear back into the Internets. Reaching out to talk to new users is one way to help bring them into the community.
All communities come with an automated welcome tool that leaves a message for each person when they make their first edit. This is a good start, but it's not the end of the welcoming. Each message is "signed" by an admin. That way, if a new user replies to a welcome message, there's an admin who's notified of that who can write back…Read more >
Wikians are often at the epicenter of their favorite fandoms. You represent the biggest experts there are, not to mention that you have some of the most intense passions for pop culture in the world. That's why it's not very surprising to know that social media is an important tool for your community. What better way is there to talk to other fans and let them know about your community?
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Allow me to introduce to you User:Sanns sock. She's a pleasant enough sort of user, not very active on Wikia, but she's been around for a while. She's useful when something goes wrong and there's a need for some non-staff testing.
Then there's User:Sanns bot. She's retired now, but used to do some work around Wikia every now and then. Just routine spelling corrections and other simple changes.
There's also User:A user name with spaces, User:Sannsetestingagainandagain and, for some reason, User:APrettyPinkPotofPreciousPetunias.
As you might have guessed, these are just some of the accounts I've made on Wikia over the years, my "sockpuppets". Most of them were made to test various features and verify bugs. Although, as an old Uncyclopedian, the…Read more >
We’ve given plenty of advice in the past on how to deal with trolls, annoying users, and bad admins. But what if that user who is upsetting the community is a bureaucrat, and can delete anything and block anyone they like?
As in any dispute, the best option is to talk it out: Stay calm, assume your bureaucrat isn’t evil, but just coming from a different point of view, and see if you can find a way to work together.
Try these options, if a bureaucrat is causing trouble:
- Talk to the bureaucrat: Leave them a message and let them know what you think they should do differently, and why (be nice about it).
- Talk to the other bureaucrats and admins: Maybe they are on your side and willing to discuss matters with the troublesome bureaucrat on your beh…
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With about one staff member per 11.8m users, that means we can't know everything that happens on your sites. The local admins will always have a much stronger idea of any context surrounding a blocking than we could ever hope to have. They know you. You're part of their community, a community they want to keep happy and healthy. That means deferring to their judgment is almost always the best idea.
Local admins also know their community much better than we do. Actions or behaviors that are verboten on some wikis would be celebrated on others. Admins know who’s had a history of stirring up trouble in chat, whose edits can be trolly, and who has a history of temporary blocks. That context is important! Staff can try, but we’ll never…Read more >
Today's topic was suggested by 452, and it's a good one. We've talked about the attributes of the ideal admin, and about the best ways to react to trolling. But between that is the best way to react to users you dislike or are causing problems on the wikia in ways other than simple trolling.
This is related to "Don't Feed the Trolls," but there are some differences. Not feeding trolls is generally about not giving feedback to those that are editing specifically to get a reaction to their disruption. But sometimes there's more involved than that, and sometimes your reaction is not just about not feeding, it's also about your own effect on the wikia and its community.
So let's talk about your reactions to vandals, users that don't listen, or w…Read more >
Back in May, I talked about how to become an admin. Today we're going to look at this from the other side: how should you choose a new admin?
The choice of admin or bureaucrat on a wikia is a very important one. A good admin can grow and nurture the wikia, and make it thrive. A bad one, at worst, can cause major disruption and destruction.
There are different views on how many admins a wikia needs. Some prefer to have many, to divide up the admin tasks between them, and to make sure some are always available. Others prefer a strong core of the best candidates, to make it easier for them to work directly together and in tune. I would advise starting with a very small group for a new wikia, and then deciding how many works best for your commun…Read more >
Recently I talked about why staff don't change admin decisions to block. But that didn't answer the related question of how do you get a block removed on Wikia.
Of course, the first way is to not get blocked in the first place! I've often heard people protest their block when they were clearly doing something wrong. So if you get blocked because you replaced the main page with "aasdkadkj" then my answer to you is "don't do that then".
But even if you act perfectly, there are reasons that you might get blocked. There might be a misunderstanding, or you may have broken a rule that wasn't obvious, or you may have come across an unreasonable admin.
So my first advice is to take an honest look at your actions. Is this really a bad block, or were you d…Read more >