All The Tropes:Policy for Wiki Staff

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This is the Policy for Wiki Staff: our promises to you, the readers and editors of All The Tropes. It's also our manifesto -- how we feel that a wiki should be run.

  1. This wiki is a digital commons -- a place that belongs to everyone. Just like a physical commons, there are rules for the community to follow and leaders to keep the rules, in order to prevent The Tragedy of the Commons. Also, like a commons, the rules are a reflection of what we as a community want -- not a policy set by administrative fiat. Rules and policies will be set, as much as possible, by an informed consensus of the wiki editors, with eye toward the long-term growth and sustainability of All The Tropes.
  2. Disagreement with the Wiki staff is not treason. You will never be banned for disagreeing with wiki policy. You will never have your posts or comments or contributions erased simply because a staff member didn't like what you said. We want to see other opinions and points of view from ours, because we know from experience that we can (and probably will) be wrong on occasion. If you can convince us, great! If you can't, we bet we can still find something of value in what you wrote.
  3. The Wiki has no borders. All The Tropes documents the full range of human creativity, regardless of culture or nation of origin. We promise you that administrative xenophobia or prejudice will not limit the works, memes and tropes that may be discussed and quantified on the wiki. We further promise that we will not allow a contributor's xenophobia or prejudice to intimidate other contributors out of pursuing their particular interests.
  4. The Wiki is not beholden to any outside organization. We promise that the Wiki will never prostitute itself for advertising dollars. ATT's intellectual integrity is supremely important to us, and we refuse to involve the wiki in any kind of economic arrangement that gives an outside agency the power to dictate our content. If that means the wiki shuts down from lack of funds rather than give advertisers that kind of power over us, so be it. We can always restart the wiki. We can't regain our integrity.
  5. We promise that the Wiki is and always will remain a non-profit effort. From the very beginning, we intend to operate as if we were a non-profit organization. Our Goals will always be to educate and serve our community, and not to make ourselves rich.
  6. We will not censor for politics, prudery or prejudice. Period. Censorship is a slippery slope, and we don't want to play that game. That's not to say that there will be no censorship at all -- even a physical commons has time, place, and manner regulations on free speech. We will only censor content that is illegal in the United States, such as: photos of child pornography, libel, harassment, and hate speech that would incite a crime. The rest of our standards are up to the community. In practice, this means that we are not a site for young schoolchildren, as there will be strong language and discussion of adult themes in the media. (In order to edit, you must legally be able enter into an agreement to grant a copyright license, so there is that.)
  7. We promise to respect creators. Without creators, we would not have the wiki. We are happy to have you as members, and we are delighted to engage you in discussions about your (and other creators') works. If creators have concerns that are not mentioned on our FAQ for Creators, they're always free to Contact Us about them.
  8. Bans and page locks are for protecting the wiki, not taking sides. Sanctions should never be arbitrary and capricious, and banning users should be a last resort. Temporary locks will be used in most cases; an Edit War is a sign that editors need a chance to cool down, not an excuse to wave the banhammer +12 indiscriminately. That said, yes, you still can get permanently banned from the wiki. But you really have to work at it. Permanent banning is an extreme sanction, used for only the worst cases and not as a way to ensure that administrators always win arguments. We promise that banning won't become an easy way to dispose of someone an admin doesn't like. If we give a ban, we will try to inform the user why they were banned. Instant bans can happen: if you have some sort of censorware installed, we'll need to protect the wiki from poor software that doesn't understand the Scunthorpe Problem. Automated attacks, obvious vandals and spammers are also subject to instant bans.
  9. We do not hide who we are. If we discuss troping and tropes sites anywhere other than on All The Tropes, we will identify ourselves as admins of this site, right from the very beginning. We want people to know that we have a (possibly-unconscious) bias towards ATT.
  10. If we break these rules, call us out. We're human, and sometimes we get angry and make mistakes. We would rather face the occasional What the Hell, Hero? than to fall off the Moral Event Horizon. If you feel you have been mistreated, Contact us or edit some Discussion Pages. It's our job to empower our community to make good use of the wiki, but not to impose our own standards.

If you wish to see previous versions of this policy, or you want to know when this policy was last updated and what was changed, please review the page history by selecting "History" from the menu at the top of this page.