Please let me know if this should be removed (like it has been answered elsewhere).
So I am new to being an admin, and it's on a very small Fandom. We have two others, one of which is not active currently and is the bureaucrat. There's a team of us working on our Fandom, but recently we've had some trouble with a user and their edits. They have not responded to our messages (both via discord and wiki). They are very active on the site, but their edits are.... of different quality and the content is not always pertinent. We suspect this is due to a language struggle based on interactions that we have managed to have.
A beginning of an editing war is brewing, and I am an involved party as is the other active admin. Reading the admin guidelines, I am discouraged from using admin powers, so I am worried about what to do should the problem escalate or we are unable to reach a consensus. This person is very active on a relatively dead Fandom (it's a beta game) so we don't want to completely discourage involvement, but they haven't been receptive to alternatives. Any advice?
As you read, starting an editing war is not a good idea. Could you elaborate on the how and when you tried to talk to this user so we can get a better idea of what is left to try? Do you have an idea of what the language problem might be (ex. they are fluent in a different language)?
It is 100 percent a language issue. We are on the relevant discord, where I admin as well, and both I and another admin have tried to discuss wiki issues with them. On the discord, they demand for wiki changes to happen (though I suspect the tone is from a language deficit). We have talked to them about this attitude over the course of two weeks asking them to please be patient with us as we help contribute. Their responses have been curt (OK) or unresponsive. It is most recently we have seen a large number of contributions to pages from this person. The issue in this is that BECAUSE they are contributing so much, there is so much future content to edit and likely delete, as most of it is hard to understand and somewhat ill formatted. I have messaged them asking them what is going on to get some more clarification on their feelings and thoughts. They've started to almost passively aggressively send their own wiki pages in the Discord too.
I see that part of the issue is the mixture with another platform (discord) which is not relevant to this site entirely, it is just where most of our contribution comes from and where we are based. I am also very scared about abusing my admin powers, or even just being a territorial editor, as I have been reading a lot of wiki articles on it. I fear I am verging on this territory, and am going to step back for a week or so to breath. However, like I said, they seem unwilling to cooporate and may in the future resort to editing wars (where one user deleted their page and they restored it). What is the point that I intervene and how?
Sorry, I reread your question and realised I misunderstood. They are fluent in another language, and not so much so, at least in reading and writing, in English. They are not completely willing to work with a translator application either.
If you are aware of the person's fluent langauge, I would suggest trying to send your messages with both an English version and a translated version (if you haven't already). Taking your claim at face value, it is possible they just aren't understanding the English very well. As for the recent uptake, I would suggest trying for a bit longer to discuss the issue with them. If they continue to ignore you entirely, I think it would be fair game to start considering blocking them for a certain amount of time. If it gets to that point, you should definitely warn them that you are considering that course of action. That might be enough to bring them back to the negotiating table. If not, then you may actually need to go ahead with the block. It isn't a pleasant prospect but, if you never put your foot down, people are just going to keep pushing. If you have already tried some of those things, feel free to pick-up at whatever step in that process you are already at.
Since you guys use Discord, have you integrated it onto the wiki? That would help link the two.
Okay, thank you so much for the advice! We are planning on putting it in, but have been overwhelmed by a lot of the wiki work itself. We will get on that immediately. I'm hoping to give them as many chances as possible before going to that extreme, but I do see what you are saying and will contact the inactive admin to get them to be an unbiased party in the matter should it come to blocking them.
I had a similar experience as an admin some years ago. I found that using Google Translate works pretty well once you figure out the other person's preferred/native language. Then it's up to them to respond. Also, try to keep your sentances simple. Don't use slang, if possible. And try to explain jargon simply and concisely.