Forum:Too many rules?

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This thread was archived on 12 December 2009 by Degenret01.

I was in the IRC channel some time ago. TehKittyCat was in there as well, and he happened to say something along the lines of "as a Wiki, we have far too many rules. How could anyone keep track of and remember them all?" This intrigued me, and after thinking about it for a while, I have to agree with him.

I believe that we have far too many rules and regulations enforced, which makes people feel uneasy about joining. I also feel that if we continue adding rules to the wiki, we'll become like Wikipedia, which is losing editors for being too draconian.

When I first joined this wiki, I LOVED working on it. I was eager to help and enjoyed editing it. Now, however, it feels like a chore to even log in, and if you pay attention to my contributions, you'll see them steadily declining to near-nothing. This mostly is true now, but I think it started around the time I was desysopped.

The wiki isn't fun anymore. I WANT to enjoy it, but if instruction creep takes over, I don't think I'll be able to. So, what can be done about this? I firmly believe that we need to delete or loosen some rules, but that's just me...7kyt1iT.gif --WINE OF GOOD HEALTH (Actually Stinko) 17:36, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

Support - I have to say I support this... Many of the wiki's policy's are equal to those at Wikipedia. Though, Wikipedia has over 3000000, whilst the RSW has 12000. It certainly could be reduced a bit. This wiki might even have the biggest policy of Wikia. Tedjuh10 (Talk)

Extreme Oppose - Thanks to 'those rules' you are talking about this wiki is not full of misinformation, vandalism, grammar errors, etc. If you want an example of this, just look at the RuneScape Spanish Wiki. Would you like that to happen with this one, too? I don't. The rules are there for one reason, and it is to keep order around here. Makxtrl Talk 19:54, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - So you're saying that these rules help preventing vandalism? Anonymous users don't read these rules. They'll vandalise anyways. Tedjuh10 (Talk)

Not only vandalism, those rules are here for us too, the registered users Smile Makxtrl Talk 20:02, December 3, 2009 (UTC)
Ahhh but you see that if we say that that is a rule, then we CAN place a permanant ip ban if neccessary --99.131.46.48 20:43, December 6, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - While I do agree that there are several "rules" in this game, I'm curious about what it is that you are complaining about? There haven't been a massive number of new rules added, and in fact I've seen proposed rule suggestions shot down in flames pretty harshly. As far as where to find everything: How about RuneScape:Policies?

I agree that too many rules can spoil the fun, but at the same time there needs to be a codification of what is going on around here for at least some consistency sake. Writing down the rules that have been pretty much followed but largely not recorded previously is hardly generating many new rules either, and it also gives the community to even question why the rule was established in the first place. I can give several of those kinds of rules that have been written down for a change... where I'm the one doing the questioning for why the rule exists in the first place. Others have done the same.

We still have RS:IAR, and I recently created RS:BB to add to that general philosophy. I'm curious if that is what you are referring to here, where we want to avoid instruction creep? The point of these two "policies" is to emphasize that we need to relax a bit and not take ourselves too seriously, but that we can work together to make some cool thing happen.

The wiki editing community isn't quite what it was three years ago when you first started to edit here, Stinkowing. It has grown and changed in its nature. Looking back to three years ago (based on your first edit), there were at the time only about 400 people (including vandals, miscreants, and other folks who happened to stop by for a casual stop... including myself), and now there have been over 15k people who have contributed to this wiki in some form or another. There were also only 2600 articles written on this wiki at the time and now there are 12,000. In fact, the 12k articles really kind of hides the more than 100k pages that are on this wiki but spread among other namespaces and various locations like the Exchange pages, sigs, and stuff that has piled up on the user pages.

What I'm trying to say is that there is a point to having these rules and policies, even if we don't need to necessarily have to be overbearing on them as much as sometimes happens. There isn't a single policy on the policy list that wasn't abundantly reviewed by the community at large and had ample time for feedback to form consensus on the topic. While there may be a specific policy or two that can use some review, I don't see a massive overhaul of the policies to really need to take place. These policies have all been created in response to specific needs that have come up and vastly different personalities that have been encountered in the process of creating all of this content. I certainly don't see rules being made simply to have new rules, and if that does happen, such proposals usually get shot down anyway. --Robert Horning 20:15, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

What Robert said. ~ Fire Surge icon.png Sentry Telos Talk  20:22, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - What's the problem? Too many rules - how? What's so bad about rules? I don't think that there are too many. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 20:52, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

Made it an oppose. We have enough rules, but not too many. Ancient talisman.png Oil4 Talk 07:19, December 8, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - Could you give an example of an unneeded rule on this wiki? White partyhat old.png C Teng talk 23:32, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

Support - I agree with this. We have so many rules I bet most of everyone on the wiki doesn't know them. Black cavalier.png Zenihdrol Tribal top (blue).png 23:34, December 3, 2009 (UTC)

Examples please? I am strongly against unnecessary rules which make things more difficult for no real purpose, but I do not see any here. Everything we have is in place to make our articles and our community the best possible, and in a non-hostile environment. If there is a specific rule or rules you have a problem with then list them, don't just say lets randomly abolish some. Which one do we get rid of? And why?--Degenret01 02:32, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

What rules would you have us loose? Its easy to say "we need less rules" but its another matter entirely to actually say what rules you could get rid of. You may as well have said "we need more info" kitty.pngPsycho Robot talkSilver bar.png 02:35, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I see absolutely no problems with the current policies. In fact, we barely have any and most are short and to the point.. I'll just go through them all and tell you why we need each one.

  • RS:AEAE - We don't need a wiki hierarchy
  • RS:AGF - Would you like people to assume bad faith?
  • RS:BOTS - It would be hard to keep every bot and bot owner in line without some sort of guidelines to define how they can be approved and what they are used for
  • RS:CONSENSUS - Uh..I think the word 'consensus' sums it up. If there is no policy defining what consensus is on the wiki then how can we possibly ever reach one?
  • RS:COPY - Kind of important so we can avoid any copyright violations/misunderstandings on or off the wiki.
  • RS:SPEEDY - Otherwise anyone could tag anything for speedy deletion and admins could delete anything on the spot for any reason.
  • RS:DEL - Kind of important to have some deletion guidelines so admins know when they can and can't delete something.
  • RS:DDD - You already know why this is important..
  • RS:DEU - So people don't go around messing with everyone's personal pages
  • RS:TROLL - Especially useful in heated discussions/arguments etc..
  • RS:DSA - So people don't go around adding --Soldier 1033 03:04, December 4, 2009 (UTC) signatures in articles it's kind of nice to have something to refer to when people actually do
  • RS:GTS - Remember this?
  • RS:G - So we don't lose articles about things that aren't very well-known
  • RS:IAR - Sometimes other rules just shouldn't apply so this policy can be your best friend if you know when and when not to refer to it
  • RS:IMAGE - Important to have some uploading guidelines, don't you think?
  • RS:NPOV - So articles aren't all full of The KBD is so awesome you should go there right now cause I love it!! sections
  • RS:NIP - So we don't have any articles about uranium or Superman
  • RS:PLAYER - Otherwise everyone would write an article about themselves OMG!
  • RS:PP - Admins need to have some guidelines for protection so they know when it is and isn't OK to use this tool
  • RS:PS - I personally wrote and proposed this one..since it's a very powerful tool it's extremely important to know when to use it and what procedures you must follow
  • RS:QUEST - So we know how to write quest articles
  • RS:REDIR - Important to have redirection guidelines since they are used so often
  • RS:NOT - One of our most important policies. Without anyone can upload anything, we could be a democracy, etc.....
  • RS:SPOILER - Just a short but important notice so we don't get a bunch of "OMG U GAISE SPOILED DA KWEST REWARD FOAR M3" complaints
  • RS:SSS - So we know how to write store articles
  • RS:SG - Kind of important to know how articles should look
  • RS:3RR - Bai2u edit wars
  • RS:BLOCK - Admins need to know when it is and isn't OK to block
  • RS:UTP - So people will treat each other nicely
  • User:Karlis/Clan_Chat_Discussion2 - The framework of our clan chat guidelines

Every one of our policies has an important use and there would be problems if we did away with any of them. Please elaborate your points..I don't understand how there are too many rules. Andrew talk 03:04, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

Comment Response @ above. Policies=/=rules, policies embody many rules at once, IIRC. Anyways, relating to the topic, as you spend more time on the RSW, you'll notice that rules are starting to become more lax since you're more accustomed to how things go around here. When I first joined, I was carefully making sure I wasn't breaking any rule at all for fear of palpation, but now, I've learned that rules are nothing more than established sets of words that are intended to help guide the user, not instruct them. --Fruit.Smoothie 04:08, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

P.S. I think that the RS:3RR rule is the dumbest rule ever. I've broken it in like all of my edits so far. --Fruit.Smoothie 04:10, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

3RR is necessary to prevent excessive edit warring. Angry Andrew talk 04:53, December 4, 2009 (UTC)
Maybe he misunderstands it. It does NOT say no editing the same article three times, it means do not revert someoen elses edits 3 times. Its a great policy/rule. And there is an exception for vandals, if not written then by using IAR.(laggy comp I am not going to look it up right now).--Degenret01 05:07, December 4, 2009 (UTC)
I agree that all our policies are required and none need to be dleted. BUT I think we are a little too harsh. We nee to be a little more lenient and not bite the newcomers with our 50 billion rules. Look at our welcome template; that'd daunt me if i was new... Also, I think we should not ever call them rules, but instead, policies or guidelines. Last thing, I think we should merge RS:SPEEDY with RS:DEL. Cheers, Chicken7 >talk 10:02, December 4, 2009 (UTC)
Yea, when I see an experienced editor maybe being not quite sympathetic to the new guy I try to offer them another way to inform the mistakee of the mistake. We should alwasy keep it casual and friendly, never commanding. And go ahead with putting suggested merge tags on them two, that makes sense. Or if you can't get to it I'll do it when I get home and on a better comp that can actually have two tabs open at same time.--Degenret01 10:22, December 4, 2009 (UTC)
If you are uncomfortable with the 3RR rule, perhaps you need to really look much more closely at what it is based upon and why it exists, Fruit. I'm glad that some others have commented on this ahead of me, but I've seen this rule (especially on Wikipedia!) be a life saver to calm down or even weed out the trolls that do register accounts and play by the basic rules but start getting rough and tough with other editors. This is an attitude issue too, where editors ought to respect the work that somebody else has done and put into an article... and you should try and tread lightly on culling out content that another person added to an article in good faith.
I've contributed edits to an article that have been rather tame like adding a reference to a particular quote or passage in an article (that didn't previously have a citation), only to see that reverted, and added major new sections to an article with an overly protective editor who simply deletes the whole thing simply because they didn't write the content. Even here on this wiki I've bumped into editors who have simply deleted whole paragraphs that I've added because they questioned the source of information that I've used, or questioned the logic for the training method (like with various skill training guides). I figure I can usually outlast these types of trolls as I've got more patience than most hot-tempered young kids that tend to edit on wikis, but the 3RR rule is something that I've had to invoke more than once to clobber folks who don't cooperate with others very well. Usually chastisement and suggesting that constant reverting is "against the rules" is enough to calm these folks down, although I've had to file a case with the Wikipedia Arbitrators to get one editor to back down and at least accept that there were other viewpoints he should permit in one rather contentious article. I had to arbitrate a case on Wikibooks, and it got incredibly ugly there.... and I hope that we don't ever have to face that sort of situation here on this wiki any time soon. The abuse and treatment I got from the other Wikibooks admins over that issue is one of the reasons I'm not too active over there anymore. --Robert Horning 14:09, December 4, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I completely agree with Soldier; all policies here seem to have an important function. We need them to keep running smoothly. 20px‎ Kudos 2 U Talk! Edit count! Contribs! 00:05, December 5, 2009 (UTC)

Support- Per Stinkowing ço¬Ø

Seriously, please say which ones we don't need.--Degenret01 15:25, December 5, 2009 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Robert and Soldier. http://img268.imageshack.us/img268/3921/thehimmemote.pngGone. 15:45, December 5, 2009 (UTC)

Extreme Oppose - Every rule covers a topic that the community has found needed. By repealing rules, this leaves more loopholes (and holes in general) in the stability of nonvandalism in the cc and wiki. Every single rule Andrew needed covers a topic that is completely and legitimately important. Give me an example of one that is even a tiny bit useless. You'll find it hard, or better yet, impossible. Zaros symbol.pngChaos Monk Talk SignCoins 250.png 01:08, December 8, 2009 (UTC)

Comment - I can't really find a rule that we could delete as unnecessary, but do like the spirit of the idea. Promoting a spirit of being friendly and relaxed could provide more benefit to our community than being strict and bureaucratic. I think it's something our community is doing a pretty good job at now, but it's nice to be reminded of that. Air rune.png Tollerach hates SoF Fire rune.png 08:31, December 9, 2009 (UTC)

I agree. But I think we're heading in the strict-bureaucratic direction. Concerned Chicken7 >talk 09:30, December 9, 2009 (UTC)

Closed Not a single rule can be selected as unneeded on this wiki. Per all opposes and RS:SNOW.--Degenret01 09:17, December 12, 2009 (UTC)