Purpose of this Guideline
General Etiquette Guidelines
- Assume good faith.
- Remember The Golden Rule: Treat others as you would have them treat you—even if they are new.
- Be polite. Be civil. Dont be a dick.
- Argue facts, not personalities.
- Do not make misrepresentations.
- Do not ignore reasonable questions.
- Concede a point when you have no response to it, or admit when you disagree based on intuition or taste.
- Although it is understandably difficult in an intense argument, if other editors are not as civil as you would like them to be, be more civil, not less. That way at least you are not moving towards open conflict and name-calling; by your own action you are actively doing something about it.
- Do not hesitate to politely let the others know if you are not comfortable with their tone (e.g., "I feel that you have been sarcastic above, and I don't feel good about it. Let's try to resolve the issue").
- Be prepared to apologize. In animated discussions, we often say things we later wish we had not. Say so.
- Forgive and forget.
- Recognize your own biases, and keep them in check.
- Give praise when it's due. Everybody likes to feel appreciated, especially in an environment that often requires compromise. Drop a friendly note on users' talk pages.
- Be courteous.
- Help mediate disagreements between others.
- If you are arguing, take a break. If you are mediating, recommend a break.
- Take it slowly. If you are angry, spend time away from the wiki instead of chatting or editing. Come back in a day or a week.
What are Chat Moderators?
Chat Moderators are users who have been entrusted to enforce the rules are guidelines for the TESwiki chat. Mods are essentially the administrators of the TESwiki 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. Mods are identifiable in chat when a star is visible next to their name.
- 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.
- The tools to administrate TESwiki chat are not a status symbols. Any moderators who believe so are unsuitable to moderate the chat.
- Chat mods found abusing their tools, not following or enforcing policy may be subject to removal of chat mod status.
Kicking from Chat
If you have been kicked from Chat for any reason, before heading back into 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 chat immediately, as this can make matters worse. If the Chat Moderator is not responding or unavailable, you should contact another Chat Moderator who is online, or alternatively an Admin. As always, the Etiquette Guidelines applies. 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 breaking policy after being given one warning. If the chat is moving very fast, the warning may missed by the user. In these cases, the warning should be given via private message.
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 this discussion take place in the main chat and risk disruption. Doing so will be taken very seriously. See the "Disagreements with another user section" for full details.
Grounds for blocking
Users who are clearly disruptive to the chat or who fail to behave appropriately towards other contributors will be blocked. The number of people in the chat at the time of the offense is irrelevant. As role models for the community, members of staff (including Chat Mods) should not only follow these rules themselves, but rigorously enforce them.
The possible reasons include (but are not limited to):
- Personal attacks, bigotry, racist or sexist name calling. This also applies if the target of the attacks is not present in chat.
- 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.
- 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.
- Use of excessive profanity/cursing or directing it towards another user is not permitted.
- 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 will be stopped by a chat mod or admin. Ideally, arguments should be taken to private chat or the talk pages. Especially do not try to test the admin's and/or chat moderator's patience and/or limits.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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 (such as "133t" speak), and excessive usage of non-English languages.
- 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.
- Spamming. The meaning should be obvious. Don't say the same thing six times because no one is responding to you. Don't keep yammering on about a subject nobody cares about. Meaningless and/or random posts can also be considered spam, alongside disruptive internet memes.
- Sockpuppeting. Multiple accounts brought into the chat by the same user (also known as "sockpuppet accounts") will result in all sockpuppet accounts being instantly kicked. Special exceptions may be made by a chat mod/admin depending on the given situation. Punishment for the person sockpuppeting will be determined by the moderator/admin. Sockpuppets should also never be used to get around a ban. This will just extend the duration of your ban.
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 block. Admins and Chat Mods must leave a message on the talk page of the user who has been blocked with the reason and a screen capture (if available or applicable). This is to record the offense and formally notify the user:
- Two weeks for the first offense
- One month for the second offense
- Permanent ban for the third offense
Report rulebreaking with screen captures
Due to our chatlog 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.
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.
Disagreements with another user
If you have a criticism regarding another user or indeed a Chat Moderator, be it their behavior, manner or anything else - the first step is to take this up with the person in question in a private message or talk page post. No one is not exempt from criticism. Under no circumstances should this discussion take place in the main chat and risk disruption. Doing so will be taken very seriously.
Moderators 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.
While these avenues are more private, people are expected to follow the Etiquette Guidelines and behave in a civil and respectful manner. Failure to do will result in punishment:
- For regular users this may be a ban.
- For staff members, this can mean the removal of moderation tools.
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.
Why can't I make my complaint in the main chat window?
The stability of the chat is absolutely vital for encouraging users, both new and old, to participate. While some people might prefer to air their concerns to anyone who will listen, doing so ultimately leads to arguments and disruption of the chat feature.
For example, imagine a new user visiting chat for the first time, and the first discussion they are met with is an argument over the actions of another user. This is not the most welcoming atmosphere, and as such all discussions about the behavior or actions or other users must be kept out of the main chat. People are encouraged to take concerns to private chat or the user's talk page.
Examples of such discussions:
- "Moderator X is not doing his job "
- "User Y should be banned."
- "Moderator Z is abusing her powers and is corrupt."
Chat is a feature that allows users connect in real time on a wiki. Anyone with a Wikia account can join chat by clicking the "Join the Chat" or "Start a Chat" button on the right navigation rail. You can also access chat by visiting Special:Chat the wiki.
Guidelines and policies
We want to make Chat a welcoming and helpful place for new and returning visitors alike. 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 guidelines when using Chat.
Please do not:
- Link or otherwise reference any content (censored or uncensored) such as videos, pictures, etc. in the main chat that is one or more of:
- Excessively gory
- Otherwise NSFW material
- Use excessive swears, or use swears against a fellow user.
- Flood the chat with repetitive posts/ASCII art/song lyrics/nonsense/bot commands (If bots are introduced).
- Use excessive amounts of capital letters or non-English languages.
- Overuse emoticons/create multiple posts one after another containing solely emoticons.
- Advertise. This includes advertisement of other websites, petitions, blogs and videos, among other topics.
Please do not:
- Harass other users in any manner.
- Ask for or give out without permission any personal information.
- Discuss matters which other users may find offensive.
- Post inciting messages or engage in trolling.
- Including "passive trolling" - the process of making users uncomfortable without necessarily breaking any other rules.
- Create drama by bringing real life issues into the chatroom which may disturb or upset others, or otherwise cause disruption.
- Role play excessively.
- Use the emoticons in a hostile manner.
- Tread on moderators' feet. If there are moderators around, let them deal with any situations.
- Flood the chat with repeated leaving and joining.
Evading a ban on an account using another account is strictly prohibited and doing this will result in the original account possibly having its ban extended, and any sockpuppet accounts being indefinitely banned.
- Moderators do not "outrank" other users. All users shall receive equal treatment.
- Before a kick is given, a warning must be given to explain to the user what is wrong with their behavior. Likewise, a warning must also be given before a ban.
- The sole exceptions to this are offensive content/spam, and sockpuppet accounts.
- Do not use threats to make a point.
- Give bans only when necessary, and keep ban lengths as short as possible. Bans are at the discretion of moderators/admins, however they must still be kept appropriate.
- Communicate with other moderators. If there is a disagreement, for example, about a ban, a civil discussion in a PM should ensue before any ban is undone.
- If you feel uncomfortable dealing with a situation for any reason, do not hesitate to ask another moderator for help.
(Though these rules have moderators in mind, they do apply to all staff members.)
- 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 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 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.