Forum:Delete Wiki Chat Logs

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Forums: Yew Grove > Delete Wiki Chat Logs
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This thread was archived on 3 July 2021 by Legaia2Pla.

Back when the wiki was hosted on Wikia, there was a chat feature on the website that wikia users could access. A bot was set up to record logs of the conversations in this chat which were stored on pages at RuneScape:Chat/Logs. The logs run from 2012 up until 2017 when the chat was disabled (although later iterations are mostly empty due to inactivity). There are loads of them; I'm not going to count how many. My proposal is to delete these logs.

The chat was a feature on a previous version of the wiki site and bears little relevance to today. It's now over four years since the feature existed on the original site with many logs much older than this. Any use they might have served in understanding past behaviours of users (i.e. bans) will hold little relevance to today. The chat was not for use in any binding decisions so is not useful for understanding discussions about the wiki or pages on it. The chat feature also, realistically, does not realate to the current website. There is little reason to keep a record of these chats (and in general the conversations were unremarkable).

There is a point to be made about privacy expectations. It would have been known that a bot was recording these chats at the time so the existence of the logs would not have been a surprise. Nonethless, there will not be many similar instances of chatrooms with this level of permanance and privacy concerns have developed since that time. There may reasonable be users that would be concerned that the chats are still permanantly recorded or forgotten they might exist. I should point out that I personally appear in these logs and am not concerned by this, but I can imagine others might be. Funnily enough, the logs would still not be deleted from their original home on wikia if they were deleted here so that element of things would not be completely resolved. Regardless, I think any purpose these logs might have served has now passed and the logs should be deleted.

Henneyj 00:06, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Discussion

Oppose - While there may not be current relevance in terms of user behaviors, there is still relevance in terms of discussions. Users have browsed them for context for various things, some wiki related, some not. If anything, I would support archiving the chat logs, but I don't support an outright deletion of them. -Badassiel 00:15, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Not really, the logs weren't really set up to aid in discussions and discussions still took place in the usual places on the wiki. I'm sure we don't keep logs of discord conversations on the wiki which will contain the same sorts of conversations. Nor do we keep IRC logs, nor chat on Runescape itself. The main motivation to keep them seems to be simply that they already exist. Henneyj 18:24, 24 June 2021 (UTC)
Perhaps you've forgetten, but EvilBot used to keep logs of IRC. Discord conversations, unlike Special:Chat and IRC are not ephemeral and are simply there unless we delete them. If someone had the ability to log in game chat, I'm sure CC moderation would find a way to use it. This argument seems a little thin to me. cqm talk
Are either of those things stored on the wiki itself? Henneyj 22:06, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Support - I concur. These logs may have at some point been relevant, but now they just act as nothing more but a place for people to go back and get entertainment out of people's old chats, a lot of which may have come from a time when some people on the wiki may have been particularly young (under 18). I think it serves no purpose to keep these logs available to all users (of course, deleting them means that admins can still view them, which is fine). I don't really see any strong argument someone would have for keeping these logs public. jayden 01:22, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Oppose Per Baddy, I would support archiving them, but not a deletion. Even if the content isn't relevant anymore, it could be someday, like for determining what sort of person a user is if they were to, say, come back after a hiatus and ask for stuff like adminship. 7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 01:24, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

I'm not sure I agree with using chat logs from 4+ years ago to determine whether someone is fit for adminship. In the same vain, I don't particularly agree with judging whether people should have adminship based on their actions many years ago, which is also why I'm against old desysopped admins coming back and being grandfathered back into adminship simply because they were one before. But... that's another thread :) jayden 01:27, 24 June 2021 (UTC)
Agreed. I didn't use that chat, but I've come across screenshots of conversations I had 4+ years ago, and I was a lot different person than who I am now. There are areas where I would totally understand not trusting me from back then, where I'm perfectly fine now. People change, and having a single frame of reference on someone from years ago isn't useful at judging one's character now (within reason). RAf (talk) 01:47, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Comment - Original discussion: Forum:A_Bot_for_Chat. HaidroH rune.pngEagle feather 3.pngCandle (blood red).png 1XqyDNM.png Crystal triskelion fragment 3.pngHazelmere's signet ring.png 01:37, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Neutral - They're kinda fun to read. It's like a time machine back to idiot teenager myself. I agree they don't provide anything relevant anymore but I'm not sure that's a strong enough argument to delete them. HaidroH rune.pngEagle feather 3.pngCandle (blood red).png 1XqyDNM.png Crystal triskelion fragment 3.pngHazelmere's signet ring.png 01:37, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - They've been useful to me for tracking down historical stuff... often from conversations I was personally involved in. Adventurer's log Wahisietel (Talk) Quest map icon.png 01:43, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Hard Oppose - If these logs only ever included casual chatting about the weather, I'd maybe support, but they don't. They include logs which have determined the route some forums have taken or even the actual consensus of those forums and this would make those forums impossible to fully understand the context of if deleted. I'm not a fan at all of deleting archives, they don't harm anything by existing, and being able to look back on discussions that have happened in the past is beneficial not just here, but for all discussions. zTUG5mD.png Crow 653  01:55, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

That's a bit of a stretch. Forums by themselves should have the full context without needing to go through chat logs. We treat it the same way for Discord: Conversations on social media have no value if they aren't presented on the thread. Have you actually had a scenario you looked back at chat logs to gain context on why something was done? I'm not saying it's impossible but that wasn't really the point of the logs in the first place. HaidroH rune.pngEagle feather 3.pngCandle (blood red).png 1XqyDNM.png Crystal triskelion fragment 3.pngHazelmere's signet ring.png 03:09, 24 June 2021 (UTC)
I don't think it's much of a stretch. From my perspective, looking back at a time when I wasn't here and was uninvolved in the wikis, forums bringing up stuff from the chat didn't seem to have the full context of the chat in the thread itself, they seemed to always just be linked and then it was assumed you would read those links, which is fine imo, but it means this forum passing would remove context from those forums, which is not fine imo.
All three of the "Problems with AnselaJonla" threads come to mind immediately, the threads themselves provide reasons for being in violation of UTP and then link to the proof and context of those reasons, the third one is the only one that really tries to provide full context of the chat logs in the actual thread and I still preferred clicking the links to the logs and reading the full logs of the circumstances since it was an obviously heated subject that could have bias in what people chose to quote in the thread. zTUG5mD.png Crow 653  03:57, 24 June 2021 (UTC)
You don't need to keep an archive of the particular details of issues with a user in 2014. What use is it in 2021 and beyond where behaviour would have to be measured on the here and now any way? It's cataloging something for cataloging's sake Henneyj 18:24, 24 June 2021 (UTC)
For the record, consensus is formed by people that comment in the forum. Chat logs may add colour, but no more. cqm talk 18:46, 24 June 2021 (UTC)
I think in these situations, they provided context from which people that commented based their comments off of, ultimately forming consensus. zTUG5mD.png Crow 653  18:48, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - Unless there is more to the concerns about privacy, such as a user requesting logs relating to them being deleted, I can't see that it's necessary to delete the logs. For what it's worth it was clear at the time that logs were being made - there was a bot which showed up as a user in the chat so users would have been aware. I think irc had the same thing way back in the day. If the logs were deleted it would make the context of some historical threads difficult to follow as Crow has mentioned so I do think RS:DDD can be applied here. Although unlikely, it is also possible that a user from back in the day might return and re-request admin rights or to be unblocked; if that were the case it might be helpful to be able to look back at what they were like when they were active in the absence of the current active & community knowledge of the user. Magic logs detail.pngIsobelJTalk page 11:16, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - they're not in anyone's way. just let them be User talk:ThePsionic.png: RS3 Inventory image of User talk:ThePsionic ThePsionic Special:Contributions/ThePsionic.png: RS3 Inventory image of Special:Contributions/ThePsionic 18:33, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - I think in reality the point of logging Special:Chat was for moderation after the fact. So many years later, I suspect that use has long since expired. While I haven't found a use for them for a long time, if someone is willing to say they still find them useful (as some have above), I'm willing to take them at their word and keep them. It's not like deleting them saves disk space and they're not harming anyone. cqm talk 18:44, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - I feel like this is a non-issue in that I don't see what this accomplishes. Most archives aren't combed through regularly, that's the norm for most archives. Any privacy concerns can be handled on a case-by-case basis but it would have required people to have an account on the site to join to begin with, so it'd probably only need to be handled for singular dated logs if any. And storage hardly means anything as they're just raw text logs as far as I'm aware? They shouldn't be very bloated. I guess I just feel there's little reason to go through the act of deleting them all. Achievements Coelacanth0794 Talk Contribs 19:00, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - I really don't see a reason to remove these. Privacy is just a terrible argument, considering the same logs are on wikia, usernames aren't linked, there's no way to get IPs from them, etc etc. Seers headband 2 chathead.png Elessar2 (talk) 19:04, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

I suppose it's more permanance of records rather than simply privacy. In most situations a random casual chat would not be on record many years after the fact, and many sites otherwise allow for deletion after the fact which is seemingly not something we allow here. Henneyj 22:20, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - There's no point deleting them when they exist on Fandom as well. Shoyrukon (talk) 19:05, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - Delete no. As I read above, archiving them at most because it is historical data. It's something to possibly look back on and learn from in the future. Kosmiklove (talk) 19:16, 24 June 2021 (UTC)

Comment - It's already an archive, so how could you archive it again? Farming-icon.png Salix of Prifddinas (Talk) Prifddinas lodestone icon.png 09:49, 25 June 2021 (UTC)

Comment - something something archiveception. Also, since I was the first to say that, I didn't parse it as an archive at that moment... oops. - Badassiel 22:19, 25 June 2021 (UTC)

Oppose - Data need to preserved. 1wDmkih.png  Manpaint of the RPU (t)(c) 20:43, 25 June 2021 (UTC)

Closed - There is not consensus to delete these logs. --Legaia2Pla · ʟ · 00:32, 3 July 2021 (UTC)