Purpose of this Guideline
The intention of these guidelines and rules are to ensure the TESwiki Chat is a welcoming and helpful place for new and returning visitors alike. It's also to make clear what sort of behavior is and isn't acceptable, and what you should expect when visiting.
In order to best provide an environment in which we can give help and support to users who need it, please keep in mind the following rules and guidelines when using the Chat.
What are Chat Moderators?
Chat Moderators are users who have been entrusted to enforce the rules and guidelines for the TESwiki chat. Chat Moderators are essentially the administrators of the Chat. They are given all the tools necessary to do this job - much like a sysop has been given additional tools to perform their jobs in the mainspace. The tools a Chat Moderator has access to are Warn, Kick, and Ban.
Chat moderators should make visitors feel welcome, and not uncomfortable in any way. Their behavior should reflect policy. Chat moderators are identifiable in chat when a yellow star is visible next to their name. Admins are identifiable in chat with a green star.
- Although Moderators are there to enforce the rules, they do not "outrank" other users in chat, and are expected to follow all the rules outlined here.
- It is the responsibility of chat mods to handle all situations in chat reasonably and without bias. Moderators who demonstrate positive or negative bias towards others are unsuitable to moderate the chat.
- The tools to administrate TESwiki chat are not a status symbol. Moderators who believe so are unsuitable to moderate the chat.
- Chat mods found abusing their tools, not following policy or failing to enforce policy may be subject to removal of chat mod status.
- Chat moderators are not infallible, and if you believe you have witnessed a moderator breaking policy or the points outlined above, please see the "Report rule-breaking with screen captures" section.
Kicking from Chat
If you have been kicked from the Chat for any reason, before heading back into the chat, it is highly encouraged to contact the person who kicked you on their talk page for the reason why. It is not encouraged to re-enter the chat immediately, as this can make matters worse. If the Chat Moderator is not responding or unavailable, contact another Chat Moderator who is online, or alternatively an Admin. As always, the Etiquette guidelines apply. Admins maintain the right to overrule Chat Mods on this decision, provided there is sufficient evidence to the contrary.
When you enter the chat, you are expected to have prior knowledge of all these rules. Ignorance of these rules is not an excuse.
Moderators are expected to only kick users who continue to break policy after being given one warning. If the chat is moving very fast, the warning may be missed by the user. In these cases, the warning should be given via private message.
Users who repeatedly break the rules on a continual or daily basis, while warned or kicked often, that have been made aware of or are already aware of the chat policy do not need to keep being warned or kicked before a ban may be issued. If you believe a fellow moderator has kicked or blocked another user wrongly, the issue should be taken up via private message.
- Under no circumstances should you overturn the decision of another moderator without a prior agreement.
Doing so will be taken very seriously. See the "Disagreements with another user" section for full details.
Grounds for blocking
Any users that break policy, behave disruptively, or fail to behave appropriately towards other users will be removed from the Chat. The number of people in the Chat at the time of the offense is irrelevant. If you witness any such offenses being committed, alert a Chat Mod or Administrator.
As role models for the community, all members of the staff should not only follow these rules themselves, but rigorously enforce them.
The possible reasons include (but are not limited to):
- Personal attacks, bigotry, racism, sexism, hate speech, name calling, etc. This also applies if the target of the attacks is not present in chat. Personal attacks of any nature (regardless of intent) will not be tolerated.
- Bullying. This wiki has a zero tolerance policy on bullying. Bullying is considered the targeting of someone and speaking to them in a derogatory manner due to their nationality, gender, sexual orientation, religion, interests, sociological factors (spelling, grammar, intellect, etc), psychological state (mental illnesses) or physical appearance. Also includes goading other users with comments that you know will provoke a reaction.
- The use of excessive profanity or swearing directed towards another user with aggressive behavior is not permitted. The chat is somewhere that anybody and everybody should feel welcome. The use of occasional swearing is fine. However swearing in every other sentence is not permitted. If a user takes offense and asks another user to leave the Chat or feels intimidated then the guilty party should be reported to a moderator or administrator.
- Disruptive behavior. All users should behave in a civil manner and follow the Etiquette Guidelines. Don't go out of your way to irritate others. If an argument begins to disrupt the stability of the main chat and effect other users it will be stopped by a chat mod or admin. Ideally, arguments should be taken to a private chat or the talk pages. Especially do not try to test the patience of the admin's or chat moderator's.
- Discussing sensitive topics such as real-world politics, religion, etc. without unanimous consent. If someone doesn't want to talk about them, drop the subject. If these discussions do take place, they should be closely watched by a chat moderator or an admin and will cease upon request of the chat moderator or admin should they believe it's getting out of hand.
- Abuse of the Private Message feature. Using the private message feature to send messages that break any of the rules detailed in this policy. Should a user harass you with such messages, please take a screen capture of it and report it to a Chat Mod or Admin.
- Linking to external sources, such as websites, which violate the aforementioned rules. Notably, publicly linking to websites such as Facebook or MySpace that violate personal privacy, is not permitted without prior consent from the user whose privacy might be violated. Content (censored or uncensored) such as videos, pictures, etc. that are either excessively gory, sexual or otherwise NSFW material are also not permitted.
- Trolling or general irritation or disruption of other users. This often includes, but is not limited to; excessive usage of capital letters, punctuation marks, deliberate distortions of the English language, and excessive usage of non-English languages or "133t" speak.
- Violation of personal privacy. This includes revealing personal information about users (e.g. real name, location, age, gender, etc.) and violating confidentiality on particular issues (such as issues asked to be kept confidential by other users or administrators).
- Spamming. The meaning should be obvious. Don't say the same thing several times. Meaningless or random posts can also be considered spam, alongside disruptive internet memes.
- Flooding the chat with repetitive posts/ASCII art/song lyrics/nonsense/bot commands. Using excessive amounts of capital letters or non-English languages. Overuse of emoticons. Creating multiple posts one after another containing solely emoticons. Flooding the chat with repeated leaving and joining.
- Advertising, including advertisement of other websites, petitions, blogs and videos, among other topics.
- Sockpuppeting. Using multiple accounts brought into the chat by the same person or using a different account to evade a ban will result in all sockpuppet accounts being instantly kicked and permanently banned. Special exceptions may be made by a chat mod/admin depending on the given situation.
Admins and Chat Moderators have a degree of discretion relating to the issuing of warnings and bans. The content of messages will greatly impact on the severity of the punishment. In certain cases, exceptions may be permitted, although these are infrequent. Typically, the following hierarchy will apply to infringements on the above regulations (with the exception of specifically implied consequences).
- First offense: Warning. This warning does not "reset" daily if the same offense is committed.
- Second offense: Kick
If a user breaks policy after their first kick, the next step is a ban. Admins and Chat Mods must leave a message on the talk page of the user who has been banned with the reason and a screen capture (if available or applicable). This is to record the offense and formally notify the user:
- One week for the first offense
- One month for the second offense
- Permanent ban for the third offense
Report rule-breaking with screen captures
(Due to our chat-log bot KINMUNE currently not functioning, it is difficult to keep daily records of the main chat.) Because of this, we ask ANY of our users to take screen captures of any offenses that they witness and wish to report to a Chat Mod or Admin. This is vital when reporting another user, as it would be used as evidence when action is taken against them. If you can't take screen captures or didn't manage to get one at the time, you can still bring your complaint to a moderator or admin.
We also recommend doing this if you need to report a Chat Mod to an Admin regarding their actions or inaction in chat. See below.
If you witness any of the chat policies being broken and a Chat Mod is online, it's best to leave the situation in their hands. Mods should be watching the chat and deal with any issues that arise. If they happen to be preoccupied when this issue occurred, do not attempt to chastise the user who has broken policy, as this can lead to conflict. Instead, alert a Chat Mod over private message and inform them of the issue.
If you witness a Chat Mod actively ignoring any policies being broken (or indeed breaking them themselves), take a screen capture and report to an administrator. Do not take the issue up with the Chat Mod in question, either in main chat or private message.
Disagreements with another user
If you have constructive criticism regarding another user (such as their language, behavior or manner), the first step is to try and take this up with the person in question in a private message or talk page post. No one is exempt from criticism.
If the issue is directed towards a Chat Moderator, message them with your concern. Chat Mods are expected to answer private messages of such nature, where they may explain their reasoning or actions. Alternatively, you may post your concerns on the talk page of the Moderator in question. If you are still not satisfied with the outcome or uncomfortable speaking with the Chat Moderator in question - for any reason - take the issue directly to an Administrator.
While these avenues are more private, all users are expected to follow the Etiquette guidelines and behave in a civil and respectful manner. Failure to do so will result in actions being taken:
- For non-staff members, this may result in a ban.
- For staff members, this can result in the removal of moderation tools and/or a ban.
Only if this method has been tried and has failed, users are encouraged to take the issue to a neutral Administrator to mediate. Like mods, active Admins are expected to follow up on complaints of this nature. When taking a complaint to an administrator, a screen capture of the issue is required. Evidence is paramount.
- There are a wide variety of emoticons which can be used in Chat. For the full list, see MediaWiki:Emoticons.
- Links work exactly the same in Chat as they do in the editor. For example, typing [[Special:Forum]] in Chat results in Special:Forum - the main forum of Community Central.
- You can make shorter links to other wikis by using an interwiki link. For example, typing [[w:c:starwars]] in Chat results in w:c:starwars - an easy way to link to Wookieepedia (http://starwars.wikia.com).
- You can also link to specific pages using this method. Typing [[w:c:avatar:Aang]] in Chat results in a link to the Aang page on the Avatar Wiki (http://avatar.wikia.com/wiki/Aang).
The Elder Scrolls Wiki also has an IRC channel (#TESWiki), which is located here. If you prefer to use your own IRC client, click here for details on setting it up. Keep in mind IRC is separate from the Wikia Chat.
The IRC is also used by the Elder Scrolls Wiki staff to patrol the recent changes feed in real-time via the #TESWiki/CVN channel (Counter Vandalism Network). Anyone is permitted to join this channel.