As most of you probably know by now: For a long period of time on this wiki, I was subjected to to things no person should ever have to endure, in the form of harassment, taunts, threats and online bullying. One of the perpetrators was a former admin and bureaucrat; not only was he a bully, he repeatedly let others get away with bullying and harassment, because they were his friends. All of this has made me think: Our rules about user conduct are not good enough. We do need something to make harassment and abuse of power more difficult to get away with.
This is a suggestion for a new set of rules. They are more detailed and more specific, with specific examples. They also elaborate on the responsibilities of an admin/bureaucrat and clearly state what they are not allowed to do. I've added comments to some of them, set in cursive.
- The rules about user behavior are not meant to be all inclusive and each occurrence will be looked at individually, with room for discretion. (I don't think black and white rules area a good idea; we should look at these situations on a case by case basis.)
- Everyone should have the right to feel safe and comfortable on this wiki. All users, regardless of status, are required to show the utmost respect to others at all times. No slander, harassment or insults will be tolerated at any time. (This is the current rule about user conduct.).
- Examples of actions which will not be tolerated include but are not limited to: bullying (whether it's overt or subtle), taunts, mocking, making fun of other users, scornful remarks, sarcasm intended to hurt or offend, threats, blackmail, snide comments, giving unwarranted constant criticism of another user’s work or behavior, and making fun of people by calling them out on minor mistakes, such as typos or incorrect grammar.
- The rules on this website applies to everyone; neither bureaucrats, admins or other staff members are exempt from the rules.
- The objective of admins and staff is to enforce the rules to every user. It is strictly forbidden for admins and staff to willfully ignore it when someone breaks the rules, or give preferential treatment by deliberately letting a user escape warning or penalty for breaking the rules or give them an unreasonably mild penalty compared to other users.
- The rules of proper user conduct apply to every aspect of this wiki, including warnings and blocks. Warnings and penalties are to be delivered in a polite and respectful manner; being overly aggressive or making fun of the recipient is not allowed. For example: A warning like "You have offended multiple users with your behavior and it needs to stop" is acceptable, but a warning like "stop acting like an idiot who enjoys embarrassing themselves in front of others" is unacceptable.
- Admins and staff members are to treat other users as their equals, not their subjects. Divaesque behavior, such as having personal rules that you expect people to follow as if they're the wiki's rules or universal rules, is not permitted, nor is it permitted to punish users for actions which are not against the rules. (For example, the bureaucrat that I mentioned earlier would repeatedly fly into a fit of rage and admonish people if they misunderstood him or dropped to the wrong conclusion about him, something that is completely unacceptable and inappropriate.)
- Delivering negative sanctions or punishing someone for exposing or bringing up serious issues such as bullying or harassment is not permitted. No one should be afraid to talk about or make others aware of what happened to them, or another user. Similarly, although only staff members can issue actual warnings, regular users are allowed to speak out against injustice. Admins and staff members are not allowed to punish or block someone for taking the victim's side or speaking out if they feel that a person, whether they're staff members or regular users, is treating someone cruelly. (The first two times I exposed the bullying I was subjected to, I was punished and shouted down, something that no person should ever be subjected to. In addition, a couple of people have told me about incidents where they saw someone being badly treated by the aforementioned bureaucrat, but were too afraid to speak out. This is something that needs to end right now.)
- Similarly, it is not, in any way, permitted to deliver negative sanctions for reporting a violation of the rules (this applies to both staff and regular users). People should be allowed to report any problem without fear of retaliation. Retaliating by punishing the person or telling them off for reporting you or another user is forbidden. This is a wiki, not a schoolyard. This means that should you or a fellow user be on the receiving end of a report by another user, it is not acceptable behavior for you to use the chat or wall messaging to intimidate, confront, or argue with the user about what was reported. (I, personally, have been bombarded with taunts, accusations and verbal abuse by a user because I reported a friend of theirs for breaking the rules, something I thought I would never experience here.)
What do you think?