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Talk:Policies and guidelines

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Regarding the template {{Policy}}, do we need to make a difference between policies and guidelines, for example by using two different templates, or would that just complicate things? Wikipedia has it (from Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines):

policies that are widely accepted and that everyone is expected to follow
less rigid rules of thumb that are generally accepted by consensus to apply in many cases

-- Cid Highwind 17:38, 7 Jan 2006 (UTC)

Collaboration (moved from Memory Alpha:Ten Forward)Edit

Our policy and introduction(s) are very clear -- if you start an article about a subject, you should expect other archivists to make corrections, because the article doesn't "belong" to any one person -- it belong to the community.. if you write something, and someone changes it, for the love of the Great Bird, just ask that person WHY THEY CHANGED it, instead of starting an argument.

If you want to write an article on a topic that you don't want changed -- that'd probably be a good start for your own blog or website. -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk

I don't know about the issue of things being "my" article or whatever, but I do think the burden of proof, so to speak, would be on the person who reverts it. To a newb -- and for the record, I myself was unaware of the hyphen thing, although I never noticed the lack of them either -- reverting over something trivial like that would look pretty petty, so I can somewhat understand their position. --Vedek Dukat Talk | Duty Roster 21:59, 25 Nov 2005 (UTC)
I strongly agree with Vedek on this one. Vandals aside, reverts should be a last resort. In improv, you learn that you should never negate someone else's contibutions but always add to them. It's not precisely the same situation here, but when I see a new contribution that I don't approve of, I'll try to find some third way that might work for everyone. Facts that are plain wrong are another matter, but I think it should be incumbent on the reverter to show cause, especially if the reverter is reverting to his own edit or an article he's contributed heavily to. --9er 05:38, 26 Nov 2005 (UTC)
I, too, think that it should be the "first reverter" who has to explain his reasons. I surely don't manage to do that every time, but I try to add a comment either on the article or the user talk page whenever I revert an edit that isn't very obvious vandalism. Mike is right, though - if something gets reverted and a reason is missing, it might be a good idea for the initial contributor to start the discussion instead of trying to be stubborn. -- Cid Highwind 06:46, 26 Nov 2005 (UTC)
Woha, I agree with Vedek and 9er o_O That leads me to this:
--Memory 22:18, 26 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Rollback policyEdit

You know, we had some trouble with the practise of reverting lately (see Duty Roster issue too) and this is not the first time something like this happens, so we might need a policy on that. As I did somewhere else I suggest some rules for one of the policy pages (or an own for the subject). These could be:

Immediate reverts are allowed for the following cases:

  • Vandalism / Spam
  • Jokes
  • Apparently non-canon content has been added (if you are not sure that some facts are canonical, just add the template {{pna-inaccurate}} to the top of the article and write a note on the talk page)
  • Test-edits that should be made at the sandbox
  • Categories have been added that were created without discussion

All other cases have to be discussed on the talk page of the article or (if it concerns e.g. templates) on the talk page of the affected user before reverting.

-- I think this could prevent edit wars and/or misunderstandings. --Memory 22:18, 26 Dec 2005 (UTC)

Actually, I don't think a policy is really needed. If the information added is of a great quantity as it was with Oberth class and is still questionable, it should be reverted and the info moved to the talk page for discussion. Minor things, however, don't really need to be reverted until discussed. This is just my view, of course. --R.I.P. Vincent Schiavelli From Andoria with Love 22:28, 26 Dec 2005 (UTC)

TOS Remastered "Ghetto" Edit

I am severely troubled by the ghettoization of images I am seeing from TOS-R. There is no reason why these beautiful images (esp the new FX shots) should be relegated to a "remastered" section or a photo comparison page. Whether some like it or not, THEY are the canon images, replacing older, poorer, and ultimately inaccurate (where they differ) images.

MA will look 1000% better once these images assume their proper place as leading images in our articles.Capt Christopher Donovan 22:57, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

It would also help if they were uploaded at a decent size, and not taken right off of as most of them seem to be. -- Sulfur 23:05, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Agreed, but given that the HD-DVDs don't start coming out until December and the relatively few people who are likely recording TOSR digitally at this point they're the best we can get unfortunately.Capt Christopher Donovan 23:50, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Until we get better, those just aren't good enough in my opinion. -- Sulfur 00:37, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

Most of them are at least 300x300 if you actually click on the pic on trek movie and open the full size one...the last one I did didn't have a full size one up yet.Capt Christopher Donovan 02:23, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm still against the idea of the remastered Trek "replacing" the originals -- both are canon, and saying that the remastered images and interpretations must replace the originals is quite wrong -- although the TOS-R are canon and useful in that they reveal more information.
Since TOS is available in high-quality versions, and TOS-R is only available is lower quality TV images, the TOS-R images are actually "poorer" in my opinion, and in many cases show differently lit and staged versions, not at all "replacements". Most original TOS effects are not actually that shoddy -- they do suffer from film grain, matte lines, extensive reuse of angles, and recolored planets and scenery -- but are not really "inaccurate" to my eye -- they show what they show. -- Captain MKB 02:37, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I just can't subscribe to that view...the Orion starship, for example, in JtB cannot be both an anonymous spinning blob of light AND a fully realized, detailed ship. The Doomsday Machine cannot canonically be BOTH models, as they differ in appearance and action. Nor can I accept that a slightly less resolution image of a highly detailed source is LESS quality than a high resolution image of a poorly detailed source. YMMV Capt Christopher Donovan 04:36, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

All of the problems accepting this seem to be your own. Many fully detailed starships would look like a blob of light if they were charged with energy for whatever reasons. I say get over it, after all, we are giving the two versions fairly equal time -- meaning that we won't throw out my favorite interpretation because you don't like it -- and vice versa. -- Captain MKB 04:53, 1 July 2007 (UTC)

I know what you did last summerEdit

Greetings all. I wanted to put this on the table on see what people thought. Could some kind of policy be developed which would prevent editors in a dispute from bringing up past and closed previous conflicts as evidence against, or in an attempt to discredit of, another user in a current dispute. An example would be this:

  • User A posts to "Warp Drive". User B reverts and disagrees.
  • User A brings the matter up on the talk page of "Warp Drive"
  • User B counters by saying User A shouldnt be trusted. As evidence, an edit diff to a heated debate 5 months previously is provided where User A and User B disagreed on "Impulse Drive"
  • User A then fills half the page with defense statements against the original edits on "Impulse Drive"
  • User B counters with another edit diff from 8 months ago on "Phaser"

The end result of this is that the talk page of "Warp Drive" is now filled with a long discussion which has nothing to do with the article. To prevent this, I recommend some kind of policy whgich would read:

"When involved in a dispute over an article, it is improper for any user to reference or link to past and closed disputes on other articles which have no bearing on the current debate"

Some stipulations would have to be made, i.e. obvious vandals and articles that are connected in some way. Anyway, just an idea here. This has happened to me a few times and I've seen it happen to others. I leave the floor open to ideas about possibly making this into a policy. Thank you and good night. -FC 05:16, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

That's a nice guideline but what is so hard about just walking away? Guidelines are a nice rule of thumb and policies are good for establishing consistency, but at what point does a list full of policies not become some form of Communism for policy lovers to hide behind... --Alan 05:27, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
We have one, it is called Memory Alpha:No personal attacks. No, we should not create a new policy because a certain pair of editors both like to bait each other, and honestly speaking have both violated this specific behavior of trolling up from the deep past. These two editors are just taking turns with this, and proposing policies like this in the middle of the spat isn't going to end the spat. In fact, the rest of us should just outright oppose this policy, because supporting it is essentially taking sides in the middle of the argument. --OuroborosCobra talk 05:32, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Don't blame you at all for thinking the way you did. But "the argument" to which you refer is actually now completly settled. While it might have inspired my suggestion, it certianly was not in any way related to it. The idea just kind of came to me that it would be a good idea to have a policy like that to prevent talk pages from being filled with non-related materials. I say for the record that this has nothing to do with any current dispute (which is why I cited no examples and linked to no other specific user(s)). I wrote this up since I feel it truely will benefit the site not becuase I wanted to attack other users. -FC 05:39, 1 December 2008 (UTC) Walking away is a very good guideline to be sure. And OC made a fine point below...this might all be covered under No Personal Attacks. I guess enforcement then becomes the question, i.e. at what point and what actions would justify it. -FC 05:47, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

In that case, we already have that laid out here: Help:Talk pages:
Talk pages are used for:
  • Comments about articles. Positive or negative feedback from readers is always welcome for any article!
  • Discussing the validity of an article. Sometimes, a reader or other contributor might have a question about the canonicity of a certain fact described in an article. The talk page can be used to iron out differences of opinion concerning the article's validity.
  • Discussing potential changes to an article. Often, it becomes necessary to rewrite an article. The talk page is a useful place to discuss what sort of changes are needed.
I also believe has something in there about adding new comments to the end of the page too. --Alan 05:51, 1 December 2008 (UTC)
No offense, FC, but it was still going on earlier today. You have a tendency of calling things settled, then kicking up the hornets nest. You're doing it now. It is pretty dishonest on your part to claim that this has nothing to do with anything current when it is directly about an argument where the most recent post was less than 10 hours ago, and was no less argumentative and attacking than the last comments before it, and certainly not conciliatory. If I were you, I'd withdraw this suggestion right now, and take a break for a few days from the entire dispute (including policy suggestions coming from it). You are just kicking the bees nest. Stop. --OuroborosCobra talk 05:53, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

(Edit conflict) Not dishonest at all. If you're talking about Talk:Starfleet ranks the matter (as far as I know) is settled with a restoration of the material and an agreement to look up sources. While, yes, it did inspire this idea, its not related to it and I dont plan to use this as a weapon against anyone. In fact, Alan's suggestion makes perfect sense and I did (see below) withdraw the suggestion just a minute before you made your edit. -FC 06:00, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

That all makes perfect sense, thanks for laying it out. I guess no need for a new policy after all. -FC 05:55, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Bringing Wikipedia Battles to Memory AlphaEdit

Hello all. I was looking over our policies and guidelines and was wondering if we had anything to handle the following type of situation. Before I begin, I have never seen this happen on Memory Alpha. I am just curious what the procedure would be if it ever did and if we even have a policy to deal with it.

If two users are in a dispute, and one of them identifies another as having an account on another Wiki-type website (for instance Wikipedia) what would happen if the said user advertised who the person was and further linked or commented on disputes which took place as evidence of why someone should not be trusted.

A very good example would be User:X posts on a talk page:

"User Z. I know you are User:SoandSo from Wikipedia who was the same guy that got banned by an arbcom. Here are the links: 1,2,3,4. Why should we trust you here?"

In my view, such a situation above would be a horrible criminal act against the trust of this site. Perhaps we can add somewhere something along the lines of:

It is unacceptable to identify a Memory Alpha user with any account on any other Wiki-based site such as Wikipedia, Memory Beta, Wookipedia, etc. It is equally unacceptable to link Memory Alpha pages (including user pages and any talk page) to a dispute or conflict which took place on any website other than Memory Alpha

Like I said, I've never seen this happen and hope it never does. Was just wondering what we would do if it ever did. -FC 06:11, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

First off, it is a really bad idea to make rules and policies in search of a problem that doesn't exist. Second off, as with your other proposal regarding bringing up edits from months ago, this would fall under "no personal attacks" already. The only difference is if we have someone who is starting to vandalize here, and known for vandalism elsewhere. Then it isn't an attack, but a heads up to everyone else. --OuroborosCobra talk 06:34, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't even understand who such a policy would be supposed to protect? I don't get this at all. Anyway, Cobra's right, besides being possibly libelous (in case it's not actually the same user), and a likely personal attack either way, it also would be assuming bad faith, unless such person already were trolling/vandalizing/rulebreaking here, in which case, bringing crap in from other wikis would be totally unnecessary. Someone would have to get up pretty early in the morning to invent a scenario that isn't already covered under the pretty broad guidelines already in place here. The Internet has been around a long time, and I don't think that there's any variety of troll that remains undiscovered. --TribbleFurSuit 11:24, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

That was a good point about why make a policy about something that hasn't happened yet. I'll just archive the whole thing on my shipyard for the day when and if it ever does happen. -FC 16:34, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

If it ever happens, the above discussion shows that no new policy will be needed because the ones we have will take care of it. Some policy, new, old or otherwise, isn't going to deter defamatory, bad-spirited, disruptive behavior (and it's certainly not going to condone censorship of truthful comments, no matter how bad they look). Instead, policies usually are pulled out to justify whatever corrective actions MA chooses to take against such a person - a n00b's friendly warning, a repeat offender's stern talking-to, deletion/reversion of baldly inappropriate comments, temporary blocks, or whatever other level of sanction someone manages to earn for oneself. Like Cubism or Impressionism, everybody knows personal attacks and bad faith when they see them, even if it's an "original work" by a "new artist". Anyway, you've probably got nothing to worry about. The arbcom hasn't been active on MA for 1 year, 11 months, 23 days, and never was an arbcom or admin here. --TribbleFurSuit 18:39, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

I guess one thing that would be pretty bad if an MA user falsly accused another user of being someone on another site who caused problems so as to discredit them here. We have a saying in the Navy: "Once a target is painted". Even if untrue, something like could follow someone around for a long time.

I actually didnt know Memory Alpha had an Arbcom. Interesting. Is there a page linked to it? I'm just curious. -FC 18:56, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Here's a link, there's no formal arbcomming here. "If you feel that you are treated unfairly, feel free to bring that up for discussion. We haven't had a need for arbitration in the past, so just start a new topic on Memory Alpha:Ten Forward". --TribbleFurSuit 19:48, 8 December 2008 (UTC)


Does Memory Alpha have a policy on language? There are a few quotes with words that could be deemed inappropriate. Jonathan Frakes's quote near the end of the Yesterday's Enterprise episode page, for example. Masketh-Kahn (talk/Contributions) 00:10, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

I assume by language, you mean, "foul language" or something similar. In general if it was seen/heard on screen it can be posted here. It was broadcast on US television and was deemed appropriate for that audience. As this site is for the US production we tend to follow those standards. Otherwise we might not have the TNG: "Conspiracy" episode in full... — Morder 00:14, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we have an official policy, but we generally do not insert our own vulgar language. If we are quoting another source, like the actors themselves, or the something that was on the show, all bets are off. In the case of the Frakes quote, that is what he said in an interview of some sort. --OuroborosCobra talk 00:15, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Okay, maybe we could at least remove the statement containing that word from This Page? I don't think it's necessary. Masketh-Kahn (talk/Contributions) 00:25, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

What would be gained from removing the word "fuck"? The quotation seems to be relevant to that performer's personal history. How would censorship benefit Memory Alpha, or the article in question? I could understand problems with language if they were meant to attack particular people or groups, but in this article the language seems to be used in an encyclopedic and explanatory fashion. --- Jaz 05:16, 2 June 2009 (UTC)
It was good enough for the censors when that movie (MASH) was released, it is good enough here. The word stays. --OuroborosCobra talk 05:20, 2 June 2009 (UTC)

Old Discussion, but...Edit

Here were two stray suggestions from last year that I think still might merit some kind of inclusion. I waited until now to bring it up to avoid any thought that this relates to any kind of dispute that is currently going on with another editor. They are just general suggestions and do not relate to any current incident or user on MA.

  1. When in a dispute with another editor, it is unacceptable to link to closed discussions on another article or article talk page from weeks, months, or years ago. This is particularly the case when such links are being used as "evidence" against a user to suggest that a user should not be trusted based on past behavior.
  2. It is completely unacceptable to publicly identify a Memory Alpha user with an account on another Wiki, such as Wikipedia, Memory Beta or Wookipedia. This is particular grievous if the identification was done to slander the user or to provide the appearance that activities on another Wiki site should be regarded as evidence that the user should not be trusted on Memory Alpha.

I should admit that I have violated #1 a few times and am sorry for doing it. The no personal attacks policy might cover some of this, but a clear cut addition, worded as above, I feel would very much benefit our site. -FC 18:19, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

This is an interesting idea, but as said on the previous discussion above, this seems to be a solution in search of a problem. By your own admission this is not in response to a specific incident or series of incidents. I just don't see the need for this.
I also don't see the need for for your first policy. People post here are aware (or should be aware) that what they post will be here for the foreseeable future and should act accordingly. I have not seen anything here that would cause me to think the community would not be able to figure out for themselves if someone using behavior from very far in the past was acting unreasonably.--31dot 18:40, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

Number one might very well be covered under other guidelines. Number two I have seen as a time bomb on this site since we have a lot of users who cross over from Wikipedia. I've never seen it happen in person, but I think it is only a matter of time until someone points at another user and posts "I know who you are on Wikipedia, etc" and then gives a user name from another website. Might even open the door to breaking PPI (Personal Privacy Information) if the info on the other site can then be used to figure out who someone is in the real world. -FC 19:03, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure about any absolute policy in that regard, either. If a past behaviour of that user, or that users behaviour on another website, is relevant in the current discussion, should it really be artificially "censored" by some policy? I mean, "respect the privacy of other users" might be a good guideline, but what if, say, some guy constantly adds slanderous comments about MA to some external forum, while at the same time trying to become an admin here? -- Cid Highwind 09:55, 13 June 2009 (UTC)

Splitting policy Edit

I would like to suggest a policy similar to merge policy for splitting pages. I know this doesn't happen often, but part of this would be to create a {{split}} template and category, which should bring attention to it when it does happen. - Archduk3 06:04, July 20, 2011 (UTC)

It might be best to add this to the current merge policy, since they would be very similar. That would move "Memory Alpha:Merge" to Memory Alpha:Merging and splitting articles. "Memory Alpha:Pages to be merged" could also be moved to Memory Alpha:Pages to be merged or split, with another list added for links to the split template. - Archduk3 19:59, July 20, 2011 (UTC)

I like the idea of the template, but don't see a real need to rename the category. -- sulfur 20:52, July 20, 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Sulfur.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 04:26, July 24, 2011 (UTC)

There is no category for merges, which is why I removed that from my suggestion, so are we talking about the policy page, the list page, or both? - Archduk3 20:16, July 24, 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, I must have been tired when I replied. I first read your comment when you originally posted it and must have skimmed over the strike-out when reading it a second time. I'd always assumed the pages to be merged was a category; I never really looked at it closely. ;-)
There's probably no harm in renaming the policy and list as you suggest.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 00:12, July 25, 2011 (UTC)

No worries, I also assumed there was a category as well when I first suggested it. It wasn't until I looked over the merge stuff in more detail that I realized that there wasn't one. :) - Archduk3 05:01, July 25, 2011 (UTC)

Policies vs. Guidelines Edit

Cite your sources and No personal attacks are categorised as policies, yet are listed as a guideline on this page. Vice versa, Etiquette and Copyright are categorised as guidelines, yet are listed as a policy on this page. I think the categories are right except for Copyright, and this page should be updated accordingly. I really think that CYS and NPA should be in the top list, and this would accomplish this. Thoughts?–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 09:24, September 7, 2011 (UTC)

Anything we require should be a policy, like citations and copyrights, anything else should be a guideline. We generally don't remove poorly worded articles, but ones without citation, and files without copyrights, are. - Archduk3 09:37, September 7, 2011 (UTC)

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