IxWiki:Standards and Conventions

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IxWiki is a a wiki dedicated to providing members of the online, roleplaying and nation-simulator game NationStates region Ixnay a means to explore and detail pertinent information relating to their nations, and roleplaying entities. Unlike other wikis related to NationStates, IxWiki places emphasis on roleplaying and information pertinent to the creative literary experience. As such, IxWiki has a dedicated set of rules, regulations, and guidelines in regard to submitting content; all users - including administrative staff - must adhere to these guidelines in order to submit content.

These guidelines, known as IxWiki Standards and Conventions, are detailed herein. New users are strongly encouraged to review these rules and regulations before submitting content. If a user believes an article or submission does not adhere to the Standards and Conventions, please submit a review request complete with the article or submission in question, what standard or convention is potentially in violation, and a the signature of the user submitting the request (which can be done by merely appendeding ~~~~ to the end of a report or request).

Neutral Point of View

IxWiki attempts to maintain a neutral point of view in all articles and submissions. This standard is largely based on Wikipidia's NPOV policy. In short, it is best, when writing an article, to try and view the content of the submission objectively, avoiding controversial language and bias, and (where applicable) giving as broad a range of perspectives. A summary of Wikipedia's policy follows:

Achieving what the Wikipedia community understands as neutrality means carefully and critically analyzing a variety of reliable sources and then attempting to convey to the reader the information contained in them fairly, proportionately, and as far as possible without bias. Wikipedia aims to describe disputes, but not engage in them. Editors, while naturally having their own points of view, should strive in good faith to provide complete information, and not to promote one particular point of view over another. As such, the neutral point of view does not mean exclusion of certain points of view, but including all notable and verifiable points of view. Observe the following principles to achieve the level of neutrality that is appropriate for an encyclopedia.

  • Avoid stating opinions as facts. Usually, articles will contain information about the significant opinions that have been expressed about their subjects. However, these opinions should not be stated in Wikipedia's voice. Rather, they should be attributed in the text to particular sources, or where justified, described as widespread views, etc. For example, an article should not state that "genocide is an evil action", but it may state that "genocide has been described by John X as the epitome of human evil."
  • Avoid stating seriously contested assertions as facts. If different reliable sources make conflicting assertions about a matter, treat these assertions as opinions rather than facts, and do not present them as direct statements.
  • Avoid stating facts as opinions. Uncontested and uncontroversial factual assertions made by reliable sources should normally be directly stated in Wikipedia's voice. Unless a topic specifically deals with a disagreement over otherwise uncontested information, there is no need for specific attribution for the assertion, although it is helpful to add a reference link to the source in support of verifiability. Further, the passage should not be worded in any way that makes it appear to be contested.
  • Prefer nonjudgmental language. A neutral point of view neither sympathizes with nor disparages its subject (or what reliable sources say about the subject), although this must sometimes be balanced against clarity. Present opinions and conflicting findings in a disinterested tone. Do not editorialize.
  • Indicate the relative prominence of opposing views. Ensure that the reporting of different views on a subject adequately reflects the relative levels of support for those views, and that it does not give a false impression of parity, or give undue weight to a particular view. For example, to state that "According to Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust was a program of extermination of the Jewish people in Germany, but David Irving disputes this analysis" would be to give apparent parity between the supermajority view and a tiny minority view by assigning each to a single activist in the field.

Standards

On IxWiki, standards are defined as "those policies which exist and have been formulated by the administrative staff in order to assure peak site performance for all users, ease of readability, and to allow for an enjoyable environment for all users." As such, standards are rules and regulations which insure that the IxWiki experience is homogenous for all users, regardless of their location and perspectives, while still allowing for the maximum degree of creative liberties while, simultaneously, balancing and respecting the rights of others. In this capacity, IxWiki Standards are those rules and regulations which exist and, for all intents and purposes, all users must abide by them to the fullest extent of their definition, while permitting liberties for interpretation where the application of "common sense in administrative execution" is necessary.

To that end, the following standards must be met by all users, and cannot be broken without running the risk of an administrative citation, banishment, or other punitive actions.

IxWiki Standards
  • Prohibition of illegal content.
Users may not submit, post, or upload content which promotes, displays, or otherwise condones illegal acts "in-reality". Such is to say that, an article on crime or detailing the recreational use of psychoactive drugs within the realm of an entity or creation of NationStates is permissible, but condoning such activities outside of the realm of fiction is prohibited.
  • Prohibition of adult content.
Users may not submit, post, or upload content which is obscene or pornographic - including nudity. Redirecting or linking content, outside of links to Wikipedia in the case of anatomical/biological/etc. articles (which may contain anatomical nudity), which contains nudity or pornographic material is, likewise, prohibited.
  • Prohibition of vandalism.
Users may not edit or create pages for the sole purpose of antagonizing users or readers or otherwise creating or altering pages for the purpose of malicious activity or intent.
  • Prohibition of "meta-material" and the promotion of a strictly "in-universe" reading experience.
Users are expected to write and submit articles which are meant to be understood as if one where reading a non-fiction encyclopedic article. As such, references to NationStates or its associated gameplay mechanics are prohibited, constituting "meta-material". IxWiki strives for its articles to be viewed "in-universe", as if a random citizen of a random, fictional nation were searching for information relating to a given topic.
  • Prohibition of non-standardized infoboxes, navigation boxes, or templates.
Users may not utilize or post infoboxes, navigation boxes, or templates which does not meet the standard established by the latest update of MediaWiki software. Such is to say that infoboxes, navigation boxes, and templates which detrimentally impact site performance or readability are prohibited.
  • Prohibition of the manual importation (copy-and-paste) of infoboxes, navigation boxes, and templates from other Wikimedia projects.
Users may not manually import or otherwise copy-and-paste infoboxes, navigation boxes, or templates from other Wikimedia projects, such as Wikipedia. Such is to say that users whom wish for a template to be imported must request such through a member of the administrative staff as to avoid potential issues or cascading problems involving improperly rendered templates and transclusions.
  • Prohibition of unlabelled, grossly incomplete content.
Users may not leave an article or submission incomplete without properly labeling the content as a "work-in-progress" or "under construction". An appropriate template that might be used is {{Template:WIP}} placed at the top of an incomplete article.
  • Prohibition of sub-standard syntax, grammar, spelling, etc.
Users must strive to be correct in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and mark-up when submitting or editing an article. While typographical errors are to be expected (and are, further, expected to be corrected by any users who finds them), articles strewn with incorrect syntax, spellings, or errors are prohibited.
  • Prohibition of article adjectives starting a title.
Users may not start an article with an article adjective (such as "a", "an", or "the") unless the topic is the title of a work of fiction within the fictional NationStates universe, such as a book, film, or video game. Further, article titles such as "The Republic of Example" are prohibited unless it is an actual part of the nation's "legal name".
  • Prohibition of incomplete or insufficient categorization.
Users must categorize their articles according to content. If it is a nation, in the least, it need be categorized as [[Category:Countries]]. Incomplete or insufficient categorization (pages that are not categorized, insufficiently categorized, or improperly categorized) are prohibited.
  • Prohibition of "sandbox articles".
Users may not create or utilize a sandbox outside of their designated name-space, such as User:Example/Sandbox. These pages are meant specifically for experimentation with articles and syntax, and due to their often unstable syntax or incomplete content, they are prohibited from occupying any other space spare name-space.
  • Prohibition of spam.
Users may not create a page that is purely spam. This is to include pages which link only offsite without any further content.
  • Prohibition of "orphan pages".
Users may not submit an article that does not contain links to other articles. An article that has no link to any other page is considered an "orphan page". A page that only links to offsite material is still an "orphan page".

Conventions

On IxWiki, conventions are defined as "those policies or codes of conduct which are established by the community by default, being accepted either as common courtesy, common sense, or otherwise accepted due to the nature of the convention itself." Conventions may be enforced, largely, at the leisure of the administrative staff insofar as they do not violate IxWiki Standards, and may vary on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the convention and its content. In short, conventions are largely a subjective matter and, as such, their execution and enforcement varies given the context of a given instance or occurrence.

IxWiki Conventions
  • No flaming, flamebaiting, griefing, or trolling.
  • No plagiarism or theft of another user's intellectual property or creations without explicit permission. Plagiarism of external media, such as of Wikipedia, will be discerned based upon a case-by-case basis.
  • No excessively-long articles, those which may be better suited for several shorter articles.
  • No editing of another user's article(s) without permission, except to correct an error (such as a typographical error, improper categorization, or Standards violation), or as a part of a sanctioned anti-violation/anti-vandalism unit.
  • No impersonating a member of the administrative staff.
  • No discriminating against a user based on any criteria, including their method or form of play.
  • Don't take yourself (or others) overly seriously.
  • Remember: it's just a game, a work of fiction, and an overly-elaborate game of pretend.

Treatment of Violations

Citation icon
Citations and punitive actions are often indicated with a specific icon.

Violations of the IxWiki Standards and Conventions are quite rare, considering the amount of traffic received each day, the amount of new articles created, and the amount of edits made each day. Even so, when a violation occurs, it is usually handled quickly and with a degree of professionalism. While the method of enforcement varies depending on which member of the administrative staff handles the issue, there is a general consensus in regards to the execution of punitive measures against users.

Administrative Citation

Administrative citations are the most common form of punitive action taken by a member of the IxWiki staff. These constitute a simple message on a user's talk page (and, often, a repeated message on the offended submission or upload) detailing the violation and what corrective measure need be taken by the user to correct the violation. More often than not, these involve a violation of template standards, lengthy pages, or some other "mechanical" issue. More often than not, a user is given a grace period (usually seven days from the date when the citation was given) to correct the issue or otherwise engage in discussion with the staff member issuing the citation.

In the case of a violation of the IxWiki Standards, there is usually little room for discussion spare a further explanation of the violation and the appropriate procedures to correct said violation. In general, if a member of the administrative staff has issued a citation, it has already been found in violation of a standard and thus need be corrected as detailed by the staff member.

In the case of a violation of the IxWiki Conventions, usually some discussion need be had in order to clarify the issue and see if any actual correction need be made. A special case is in the instance of plagiarism; this often involves a complaint lodged with the staff over a possible instance of plagiarism. A lodge complaint will result in an immediate locking of both the article against which plagiarism is alleged, as well as the article from which it is believed theft or plagiarism has occurred. This is in order to compare the two in a static environment, free from corrective changes being made immediately prior to the complaint, as well as to set a date in the article's history, after which further complaints might be lodged in the case a complaint of plagiarism is dropped or rendered null.

In the event a grace period is given, the staff member's position is held sound, and a correction is not made, the offending article will enter a state of pending deletion. In short: if a violation is not fixed, that article may be deleted at the leisure of the citing staff member or at the leisure of a staff member conducting routine maintenance or cleaning.

Temporary Banishment

In the event of an egregious violation or repeated violations, a user may face temporary banishment. In this instance, more often than not, a user will be notified on their talk page of the period to which they will be banned (usually twenty-four hours, three days, seven days, or thirty days, though any length of time for the banishment may occur, depending on the violation). More often than not, this banishment will attach to both the username and the IP address of the offender. In instances in which they do not, a user is expected to not conduct edits under a new username or they may, in turn, face further banishment.

Permanent Banishment

In the event of an exceedingly egregious violation or an extensive history of violations, a user may face permanent banishment. In this instance, a user may not be notified; notification of permanent banishment before its execution is not mandatory (and usually does not occur), largely because, in the event of an indefinite banishment from IxWiki, a user is either new or deliberately editing maliciously, vandalizing, submitting illegal content, or submitting pornographic content.

In the instance of a permanent or indefinite banishment, both the username and IP address of the offender will have a banishment attached. If a user is found to be creating new accounts, those, too, will be banished, as well as the new IP address. In the event of a repeated string of violations from a given range of IP addresses, the entire range may be banished.

In the event of the submission of illegal, obscene, or pornographic content, a user may face further penalties, to include the contacting of their Internet service provider in order to request a termination of Internet service and, in turn, may also result in the contact of an offender's local police or law enforcement in order to inform them of the illegal activities being conducted.

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