Rebirth Wiki:Policy

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Overview

In order to help keep our editors all on the same page, in order to help maintain consistency across the wiki, and in order to reduce and resolve conflicts, the Rebirth Wiki community sometimes formalizes things into official Policy.

Members of our community are asked to follow Rebirth Wiki policies as best as they can. However, we don't expect everyone to memorize all the policies. Most of the time, if you make a contribution that falls outside the bounds of how something is supposed to be done, someone else will just fix it for you. If make a mistake repeatedly or if it's a significant mistake, someone will probably drop a note on a talk page to point it out so you can learn from it. On any wiki, it takes time to learn how things are done, and that's okay.

Policy Statuses

Rebirth Wiki Policy are assigned one of three different statuses: Official, Under Review, or Work in Progress. Each status is represented by a banner that will be across the top of the page. In some cases, banners may also appear under specific subsections if those subsections have a different status.

Official

The banner for Official Policy is added through the template {{policy official}} and looks like this:

Policy marked as Official is what it sounds like: official. The policy has been approved by a majority vote and reflects a best attempt at consensus. Editors should follow the policy as best as they can. If an editors takes exception to the policy, they should start a discussion on the talk page, but should continue following the policy in the mean time.

Under Review

The banner for Policy that's Under Review is added through the template {{policy review}} and looks like this:

Policy marked as Under Review should be treated in the same way as Official Policy. The policy was at some point made Official through a majority vote. However, it's currently under discussion and the policy may change in the near future. Editors should follow the policy as best as they can for the time being, but should be prepared to adjust to changes if they are made. In the mean time, editors are encouraged to participate in the policy discussion to help move things towards consensus.

Work in Progress

The banner for Policy that is a Work in Progress is added through the template {{policy wip}} and looks like this:

Policy marked as a Work in Progress is not yet Official. Instead, it's still under development and editors are encouraged to participate in helping move the Policy towards consensus by participating in the discussion on its talk page. In the mean time, editors may treat the Policy as advisory.

Process

New Policy

The steps involved for creating a new policy are:

  1. Draft the new policy in the Rebirth Wiki namespace. Put the {{policy wip}} template at the top of the article. (Or, create it as a new subsection in an existing policy article and apply the template to the top of the subsection.)
  2. Start discussion on the article's talk page.
  3. As the discussion progresses, make changes to the policy article in an attempt to move towards consensus.
  4. Once the policy seems to reflect at least majority consensus, an Admin should start a vote.
  5. After leaving the vote open for a week, an Admin should close the vote. If majority approves, they can then update the status to Official. If majority does not approve, then the previous steps need to repeated to try to work towards consensus again.

See below for details on voting.

Existing Policy

If you wish to make an inconsequential change, just go ahead and do it. As long as it doesn't change the substantive meaning of anything, it should be fine. (If someone else makes such a change and you feel it does change the meaning, then revert the change and start a discussion for it.)

The steps involved for changing an existing policy are:

  1. Start a discussion on the talk page. Outline the specific change you want to see made. Ideally, present the exact text that you'd like to change and how you'd like to change it. If you want to see multiple changes made, start several separate discussions -- otherwise, things will get lost in the shuffle.
  2. Allow the discussion to progress, working towards consensus.
  3. Once there seems to be something that reflects at least majority consensus (which could even be "leave the policy as it is"), an Admin should start a vote.
  4. After leaving the vote open for a week, an Admin should close the vote. If majority approves, they can then modify the article as needed and update the status back to Official. If majority does not approve, then the previous steps need to repeated to try to work towards consensus again.

See below for details on voting.

Voting

An Admin should facilitate the voting process, which is as follows:

  1. Once a majority consensus seems to have emerged, start a new subsection for the vote.
    • Title the subsection so that it's clear it's a vote, and put the current date in the title as well. This makes it clear when voting started, which helps make it clear when voting will end.
    • Very clearly specify what is being voted on. If it's a Work in Progress, the vote is generally for the whole thing, which is easy enough to state. But for an Under Review Policy, the exact change up for voting should be stated unambiguously.
    • It should be stated that voters are to express one of two stances: Support or Oppose.
  2. Voting then ensues for seven days. Community members should add their vote following the opening, as a bullet point starting with Support (if they support the proposed action), Oppose (if they oppose the proposed action), or Comment (if they don't yet wish to express an opinion, but want to share a comment). Following that, they may then comment as desired, and they should sign it with ~~~~ as is normal with discussions.
    • Editors may comment on one another's comments, but should do so by indenting their comments underneath the bullet.
  3. After seven days, the Admin should tally the vote and clearly state the results. At that point, the vote is then closed. The admin should bracket the vote off with {{vote close top}} and {{vote close bottom}} to prevent modification of the vote and to encourage further commentary to occur in a new section.

Here is an example of what a voting process might look like once a vote has been completed.

The following is an archived vote. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. No further edits should be made to this section.
Vote for Example Change, 2012-04-09

Per the conversation above, please vote below on whether you Support or Oppose making the following change. In the section "How to Build A Raft", the following line:

  • Avoid covering the raft in gasoline.

would be replaced with this line:

  • Coat the raft in asbestos.

If you oppose the change, please state why and what would need to be changed in order for you to support it. -- An Admin 19:08, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

  • Support. -- An Admin 19:11, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. This change is long overdue. -- Some User 20:28, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Asbestos causes cancer. -- Asbestos Hater 17:15, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Since when? -- Clueless 07:11, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Take a look at this. -- Asbestos Hater 18:18, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. The wording is unclear to me. I don't understand! -- What 23:18, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
What's not clear? The sentence only has 5 words! -- Clueless 04:33, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. -- Another User 04:30, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Emphatic support. -- Opinionated 17:38, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
  • Mildly oppose. I don't care much for asbestos but I like the general sentiment. -- Wishy Washy 15:33, 14 April 2012 (UTC)

Voting is closed with a majority result of Support. The tally was four Support and two Oppose. The proposed change will be applied to the page. -- An Admin 21:10, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the vote. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Note that some editors may say things like "Emphatic support" or "Mildly oppose". This is fine. However, those votes count the same as "Support" and "Oppose" for purposes of tallying. "Comment" votes are ignored for the purposes of tallying a vote but may cause a poster to change his/her vote.

Once a vote is closed, editors should not make any changes or additional comments to the vote conversation. If further changes or discussion is warranted, it should go in a new section.