The following Wiki Rules and Blocking Policy have been created to ensure that all good faith contributors have the opportunity to contribute and add to the wellbeing of the wiki and community. This policy will go into effect globally on April 4th, 2022, and all wikis are required to follow it:
- Rules for your wikis must be defined and easily accessible. This can include putting a link to the rules page on the wiki’s main page or in the top navigation.
- Rules must include guidelines regarding wiki formatting, how and when blocks happen, page protection, and how users may become admins or other roles.
- Rules also cannot be overly restrictive and prohibit good faith users from editing. Blocks may only be issued for violations of your community’s written rules.
- Community members must be treated with respect. Abusing admin status to harass other community members or overuse of blocking power will not be tolerated.
- Violations of this policy may be met with loss of local user rights and, in extreme cases, additional disciplinary action, as deemed necessary by Fandom staff.
Some tips for writing a good rules page
- Use examples: What does “uncivil” mean in the context of your wiki? Is it a personal attack? Is it the use of specific language? Does your wiki not allow curse words? Give your users adequate context to understand the rules.
- Don’t be afraid to leave some things up to your best judgment: A good rule to have is “Do not be disruptive to the workings of the wiki” and good enforcement of that would be to give warnings to users with education, rather than blocking a user who didn’t know there was a particular procedure for a certain type of page on your wiki. Users should be treated with good faith until they prove otherwise.
- Keep the spirit of wikis in mind: Wikis are collaborative community projects. They are not your blog or personal website. Making your rules so restrictive as to discourage anyone else from contributing is not allowed.
- Be clear about consequences: Let editors know what will happen if they break a rule. Clarify what will result in a warning versus a block, and explain how long the block will be.
Being a good administrator
Every wiki’s rules should be followed by everyone in the community, including admins. Being a good admin is a great way to set the tone for the rest of the community and help the wiki grow. Here is some advice for how to conduct yourself as an admin:
- Be open and responsive. Communication is key. Many users, especially new ones, will look to you for guidance and advice. Being a friendly and approachable face, as well as addressing users in a timely manner, is important to creating an open and welcoming environment on the wiki.
- Do not act as the “owner” of the site. Wikis belong to the community, and ideally admins should not be considered “in charge,” even if they’re the founder of the wiki. They are experienced users who are trusted to use a few extra tools for the betterment and protection of the community as a whole, not for personal gain.
- Do not protect large numbers of content pages. The majority of pages on a wiki should remain unprotected to encourage all users in the community to edit. Page protection should only be implemented if it serves the betterment of the community for reasons such as preventing persistent vandalism or “edit warring.” Protection should not be used to lock a page on a version you prefer, to reserve the page to be edited later as an admin project, or to mark any page as “complete” - there is always more to be improved.
- Do not revert edits made in good faith without explanation. Rewording should always be considered before resorting to reversion. If the edit is incorrect or cannot be reworded or revised, then a clear explanation should be provided to the user that made the edit as to why it was reverted.
- Do not shut out the opinions of other users. Everyone in the community should feel encouraged and empowered to speak up and engage in reasonable discussions about topics that pertain to the wiki, even if their opinions differ from that of an administrator.
- Do not play favorites. All editors should be given the opportunity to learn and grow in the community.
- Understand your limits. Being an admin on a wiki can be rewarding, but it can also be tiring. If you need to take a break or leave the wiki, it is okay. Talk to your fellow admins and let them know.
How blocks should be appealed
Have you talked to the admin on your wiki yet? If not, make a good faith effort to have that conversation on wiki or here on Community Central. Good faith means trying to explain your intentions and actually giving the admins time to respond. Escalating to staff when you’ve not given the admins a fair amount of time to respond will not be seen as a good faith effort. At least 24 hours is sufficient.
Only send in a support ticket via ZenDesk about a block if you have made a good faith effort to discuss your block with the admins (or can’t) and the block is longer than 2 weeks. If you meet those conditions, we’ll review it. You will be required to submit a link to said discussion.
Pathway to adminship
Communities must have a pathway to adminship where good faith users can be put forward and chosen by the community to become an admin, bureaucrat, moderator, or another position on the wiki. The method for this pathway needs to be explained on a page that is easy to find, such as the Rules pages, and the process for choosing a new admin, etc. should be easily understood. You should involve your community with creating the system, too. Here are some suggestions (and therefore, not required) for what to include in your process:
- Only users who have been active on the wiki for 6 months or more are eligible.
- Any user can recommend another user. However, users who have been previously blocked in the past may be automatically rejected for consideration. Nominations are approved by the admin team, based on general requirements set up on the wiki.
- The community will be allowed to discuss the recommendation via Discussions, a talk page, or another method that fits your community, as long as it is easy to find.
- The community can set a term length - an amount of time that a user may be an admin (or other position) before they will be asked to go for re-election. Depending on how big your community is, the term length can change, but it should be a reasonable amount of time (for example, 1 week is too short, and 10 years is too long.)
The pathway to adminship should be encouraged and practiced by the current admins. We want to make sure that wiki communities are living and healthy, and by allowing everyone to have a share of stewardship in the community, you can help bring new ideas and positivity to your community.
Need ideas for rules?
Check out the Example Rules page for more rules and guidelines you and your community can use on your wiki. You can use these rules either as they are written now or as base ideas to create your own policy.