Discussion on Chat Emoticons

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This forum has been set up in response to the excessive additions made to the chat emoticons mediawiki page, the unregulated changes made to the page and the non-sequential emoticons added.

Any user who has frequented chat recently has seen the increase in the number of emoticons available for use, the current total, of which, now stands at seventy-six unique emoticons. This should already be quite obvious that it is ridiculous amount, most of which are rarely used (if ever used, post implementation). The primary issues found with the current range of emoticons are:

  • The sheer number of them
  • The low usage of more than half
  • The hap-hazard organisation of the mediawiki page
  • No regulations with adding emoticons (policies, guidelines for use)
    • Currently in place is an edit lock, only those with Administrator rights may edit the mediawiki page, though this has not stopped the unregulated additions of emoticons as user requests for new ones have been quickly fulfilled
  • The addition of personal emoticons, or emoticons designed with one specific user in mind
    • The only current policy for this is an unwritten rule (ineffective to uphold without proper place in the policy section) that only bureaucrats may have personal emoticons

The page for all the emoticons can be found here: Mediawiki:Emoticons

What I hope to see from this forum is a discussion on what, if anything, to implement in light of these issues and what to do with the outstanding emoticons.

Neko-signature Archmage NekoNeko's Haunt 23:01, January 3, 2013 (UTC)


It is in my view that the following ought to be implemented, with immediate effect on current emoticons on the mediawiki page:

  • No further emoticons may be added to the mediawiki page, unless a valid reason is left on a user’s talkpage who has administrative rights
  • The addition to current chat guidelines that an emoticon must be visible at 20 by 20 pixels in size, it may not be personal (with a specific user in mind for the emoticon) and must conform to standard image policies (categorised with correct licensing used)
  • The removal of all unused, personal or otherwise non-sequential emoticons from the mediawiki page

Though I realise that the limit on the database is no more, and that we aren't constrained by an upper limit for images, I still do not feel that this is a good enough reason to add meaningless emoticons. Cluttering the emoticon page with new ones, which are rarely if ever used, is a waste of everyone's time.

Neko-signature Archmage NekoNeko's Haunt 23:01, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

I commend thee for finally bringing up the issue at the fora =) I agree after taking a fresh look at the emoticons page that it is indeed overflowing. They are non-essential in the first place and only serve as a "for-fun"-type feature. I believe new emoticons should only be added with mass consensus from chat-goers and if appropriate. In general, I support your above-written proposition. --Skire (talk) 23:05, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

As much as everyone asks me to make new icons, Duncan's right - some of them need to be deleted. But I don't see a need for any special chat icon guidelines - if a user just spams with icons or uses a lot of icons which nobody can determine why he/she used for a long period of time, he/she's blocked. Energy X Signature0 23:07, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

The guidelines I am suggesting don't relate to the usage of emoticons in chat, but rather what emoticons can be uploaded to the mediawiki page. Neko-signature Archmage NekoNeko's Haunt 23:11, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

And BTW, all MediaWiki pages are locked from the start. --Skire (talk) 23:08, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

There are very few emotes we need or that have a legit use. The only actually useful ones are o/ and \o used to greetpeople, maybe (y) and (n) for thumbs up or down (just for stuff like I agree/disagree) and (yn) for "X and me are like (yn)". There's no need to have things like "(pulp)" or any of the other ones added on a binge today. If we allow anyone to have personal emotes then we should allow everyone to have them (and if that's the case; where's my god damn shroom emote).
Even most of the defult ones should go.
I'm not saying get rid of everything, but unless you can make a reasonable argument for an emote staying, it should be deleted.
Not to even mention the fact that most werent even added to the page right.
Jasper: The Wonder that is Shroomman! 23:12, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

Deciding which ones are necessary is the hardest part. If you know of ones that seldom used just let me know and I will remove it, if there are no significant objections. --Skire (talk) 23:31, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

Just because they're used alot doesnt make them "necessary". For example, I could use the (pulp) emote day in day out but it would never really be necassary or useful or less of a waste of space.
Jasper: The Wonder that is Shroomman! 23:54, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

If they're used often there is no harm in keeping it. As I said above, emoticons as a whole are unnecessary. If you believe some are pretty much never used any more, let me know. We can reduce the list and prevent mass-adding of personal or unnecessary addition hereafter. --Skire (talk) 23:57, January 3, 2013 (UTC)

I agree on the sizing and stuff... GRA for example just looks like grey mush when done in chat. Not sure I understand the reasoning for limiting emoticons beyond "everyone will want one" though. Agent c (talk) 00:32, January 4, 2013 (UTC)

Because, to paraphrase someone in chat when I asked why they borderline spam emotes all day long "if it's not okay, why are they there?" teh fact is that mixing images in with words for no reason is stupid and distracting. Instead of asking "What do you guys think of the NRC" people just do "(NCR)?" It makes it annoying to read and, for newer users who dont recognise the symbols, it pushes them away. Just because we can doesnt mant we should, which seems to be the average view of emotes usage.
If the emote has no real such as I mentioned before the (pulp) one, use or is never used, such as many of the defult ones, then we dont really need it there at all. Note; just because they're used doenst make them useful, as people use them for the sake of it.
Jasper: The Wonder that is Shroomman! 00:54, January 4, 2013 (UTC)
Please provide an example of a "useful" emoticon?? --Skire (talk) 01:19, January 4, 2013 (UTC)

I don't have much of an issue with actual emotes, you know, the little yellow smiley guys. All the other crap that's been added, frankly, I could care less over, but I firmly believe that no one should have a personal emote. Everyone gets one, or no one gets one. But that's just me. They gave me an orange gun for crying out loud. Who wants an orange glock for an emote? But as long as the other ones are functional emotes, are legible at the 25x25px size, the page is in proper a-z order, then I don't care how many we have.

Now, to make sure you all understand my position, here's the definition of emoticon:

emoticon (plural emoticons) 1. A graphical representation, either in the form of an image or made up of ASCII characters, of a particular emotion of the writer.

As long as the emotes are, well, emotes, and not just tiny pictures of random crap, they can be used as intended, to convey emotions. I use the hello/goodbye ones and the yes/no ones just for this purpose. What the hell emotion was an orange glock gonna convey? Forget it, I don't want to know....... The Gunny  380px-USMC-E7 svg 01:29, January 4, 2013 (UTC)

@Sig ("Please provide an example of a "useful" emoticon??")
"I use the hello/goodbye ones and the yes/no ones just for this purpose"
These sig, are useful emoticons. They're just as good as the words and are universially recognised. o/ \o for waving (y) for yes, (n) for n and (yn) for fingers crossed are useful emotes. Along with things like blush (blushing smiley), facepalm (a facepalming face and palm), na/not awesome and, as much as I hate to say it, arguably troll (trollface) could easiy be considered useful, they do after all convey emotions as in emoti(tions)cons. Stuff like anon (the defult anon picture), arrg (a pirate), ba (Mr T), cap (a sunset star bottle cap), chip (a err... something), the various faction ones, a tank, Vault boy with sunnies ect are not useful because they dont furfil the criteria of emotions and really serve no use. Why would we randomly need a picture of a tank? The only time I see that is when people are going "Hey look at this emoticon of a tank!". The PS3, PC and XBOX emotes are frankly just asking to start a flame war (and have been incorrectly added to boot.)
Jasper: The Wonder that is Shroomman! 01:57, January 4, 2013 (UTC)
Alright, but just as you might use the "hello" emoticon o/ you could easily just write "hello", or "hi". And the same goes for all the others. I realise they are expressions, and really that's what emoticons should be kept as. However, this definition can be twisted to mean an expression of ideas, perhaps. The pirate emoticon would convey the concept of a pirate, and ba the concept of Mr T. Whilst you may not find these particularly useful, they were at once added for a reason (although maybe not a good reason). Which ones are "useful" is subjective, and in reality they could all be scrapped as none are truly necessary or essential. Anyway, I digress. I fully understand your position and I think we are in agreement more than we might think. As I said before, I am more than willing to trim the list, so once we have some more consensus we can start discussing which ones to remove. --Skire (talk) 02:13, January 4, 2013 (UTC)
Pretty sure they're defult emotes, they've never really been used in a constructive way here. How often would I need to tell people I've have similar ideas to Mr T? Not like I'll be getting on any helicopters in the chat. I agree that you could use "Hello" or "hi" instead, but just because there's an alternative doenst mean that the use is lost. o/ feels friendly.Jasper: The Wonder that is Shroomman! 02:19, January 4, 2013 (UTC)

I've taken the liberty of creating a short list of already unused or emoticons which are currently causing issues (obscuring the mediawiki page, incorrect sizing, etc.).

The removal of:
(anon) (cap) (chip) (content) (fingers crossed) (indifferent) (laser) (pulp) (vbtw) (vbtw) (vb) (USA) (gra)

The resizing (to 25x25 pixels) of:
(PS3) (XBOX) (nukapedia)

If there's any other emoticons which people believe ought to be removed (due to lack of use or a complete lack of relation to "emoting" or the wiki) please add proposals to this list, same with any objections to items on the list.

Neko-signature Archmage NekoNeko's Haunt 20:53, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

I'd also say do something about (shrug) and (hi), they're both out of shape and have been squashed to fit the square shape of emotes. Personally I'd say get rid of (PS3) and (XBOX) because, as I said before, it really is just asking for flamebating. Nukapedia is a pretty bad emote and should also be ditched. (fingers crossed) should stay, I personally use it and it's useful "x and y are like this (yn)". (BoS) is pretty ugly looking so needs a reasize or something. Jasper: The Wonder that is Shroomman! 21:19, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

I have removed the ones suggested above, save for (fingers crossed). They were added arbitrarily in the first place and I have seldom seen any of them used at all. If you are against any of the removals let me know, and with valid reason I can restore them. If everyone agrees that personal emotes should be deleted, I will do so. --Skire (talk) 22:10, January 5, 2013 (UTC)

I reverted this removal. If we are going to instate regulations and restrictions for emoticons, then they should be formally discussed, elaborated and voted on before being enacted, not rushing it based on the likes or dislikes of a couple of users. Limmiegirl Lildeneb Talk! ♪ 04:40, January 6, 2013 (UTC)
I feel the best way to figure out which need to be removed, and which should stay should be to have a Yes No vote to EACH emoticon, and leave this vote up for a week (as is standard wiki practice). Sure it may not be easy to set up a vote for so many emotes, but it would be the best, and show the clear-ist views of the community in my opinion. --The Old World Relics (talk/blog/contributions) 05:59, January 6, 2013 (UTC)

Formatting break 01Edit

When adding and removing them I tried to stick with the parameters of 1) likelihood of use by more than just one few people, 2) no "personal" emotes except for the BCs, and 3) being at least marginally relevant to the wiki's theme, namely Fallout. Those were sufficient and adequate for a long time, and I'm puzzled as to what changed to warrant this thread.

Regarding the emoticons I've recently added (specially the platforms, DLC and gamelogo ones), I made it perfectly clear, both at the time of addition and several times afterwards, that I was adding them on a 'trial run' to gauge icons of that type would be used or not. There would be several of them, all needing not only to be added but to be brought up to the quality standard, which would be a significant amount of work. So I decided I wouldn't bother with the adaptation details, and would only add a token amount of them for the trial. If they were, then I'd add them and the rest 'officially', resizing, refitting and retouching them as necessary. If they weren't, I'd simply remove them and be done with it. I never planned to leave them like that (precisely the reason why they were separated in the bottom of the list), so I'm rather surprised to see the organization of the list and the non-standard size and resolution of the emoticons being brought up here. They were never meant be permanent. I've made that so abundantly clear, and so many times, that I can't fathom why some people still felt like using those as arguments.

As for the need and validity of specific emotes: emoticons are a matter of pure taste. They're flavor, nothing more. Arguing about what kind of emoticon is valid or not is as much an exercise in futility as arguing whether Coke is better than Pepsi. Ultimately it all boils down to "I personally like/dislike this one and not that one". None of them are necessary, and none of them are intrinsically valid nor invalid; there's simply no way to objectively qualify them.

And since it's all about liking/disliking each specific emoticon, I propose simply running a poll to keep each emote currently on the list. The ones who receive sufficient support will be kept, the ones who don't will be removed. To make the process more expedient, we could perhaps lump emotes into groups instead of pooling them individually (such as faction emotes, BC emotes, etc).
Limmiegirl Lildeneb Talk! ♪ 06:33, January 6, 2013 (UTC)

Since this discussion has been idle for a little, I would like to pick it up in order to resolve the perceived problems. From here we could make a simple poll to manage emoticons once and for all, and also for passing the proposition placed near the top of this forum page. --Skire (talk) 22:23, January 18, 2013 (UTC)

Polls for keeping or removing individual or groups of emoticons is a complete waste of time, it's adding more bureaucracy to a straight forward issue.

Considering the topic has been clearly exhausted, I believe it is time to move this to a proper poll. My proposal is for two polls. Poll one will cover the current status of emoticons, either voting to keep all of them, voting to revert them back to the wikia presets or voting to remove all of the current emoticons. Poll two will cover the current status of uploading new emoticons, either voting for the proposal I have given at the top of this forum (changing the current unwritten rules to actual guidelines), voting for no guidelines for emoticons whatsoever (stopping the enforcement of current unwritten guidelines) or voting for the removal of chat emoticons. Neko-signature Archmage NekoNeko's Haunt 22:46, January 18, 2013 (UTC)

The very proposal is already an unnecessary bureaucracy. The current practice of dealing with the emoticons was already more than sufficient and efficient, the fact that so few people came forward with complains, and that most of them are invalid in the first place is a testimony to that. All the other examples listed here would have already been dealt with if it wasn't for this thread putting a halt on the work being done with the emotes (which would include removing the improper ones).
The proposal about the two polls are flawed to the core. Firstly, the option of removing all emoticons doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell to pass, to actually believe otherwise one would have to be completely out of touch with what the community thinks. Reverting to the Wikia default isn't that much likely to be passed, and at any rate would solve nothing seeing as most of the default icons are the least used, and would actually restore emotes that have even less to do with our wiki than most of the examples mentioned here (such as the Mario, the Nintendo 64 controller, the wikia Walter, etc). Between such obviously poor choices, it doesn't take a clairvoyant to know that the one which will pass will be the one keeping the status quo, rendering the whole poll pointless as none of the concerns brought up here will be actually addressed.
The guidelines proposed above are also purposeless ("No further emoticons may be added to the mediawiki page, unless a valid reason is left on a user’s talkpage who has administrative rights" is quite moot since the page already requires sysop clearance) or so subjective as to be meaningless.
Limmiegirl Lildeneb Talk! ♪ 01:11, January 24, 2013 (UTC)

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