Forums: Index > Wiki proposals and applications > Referendum on talk page policy


Hi everyone. I'm sure you all remember the user talk page policy vote awhile ago. It can be found here, along with its preceding vote (later withdrawn) here. There has also been an extensive discussion on this matter, which can mainly be found here, hence my reason to go directly to a vote.

It has come to my attention that this policy has been one of the more controversial ones the community has passed in a long time. When users who choose to remove content from their talk page are rebuked or even punished for continuing to do so, there seems to be general resentment of the rule amongst chiefly the less edit-heavy members of the wiki.

Furthermore, this policy has been trialled throughout the last months and I believe most users should have a good idea of its application on the wiki and have established their perception of said policy. I will cease here as to reduce bias as much as possible and so users can think over the policy in question and decide whether or not we should keep it, or scrap it - once and for all.


Should or should not the current user talk page policy, found in its entirety here, be retained and continually enforced?
Vote {{Yes}} to retain the policy
Vote {{No}} to remove the policy
Please vote objectively, independently, and thoughtfully
Poll finished on 10:45 pm August 12, 2012 (UTC).
  • A consensus must be reached by voting before any action is taken.
  • You can vote by placing one of the following lines in the appropriate section:
    • Use # {{yes}} ~~~ if you support the proposal.
    • Use # {{no}} ~~~ if you are against the proposal.
    • Use # {{neutral}} ~~~ if you wish to abstain.
  • Please do not edit other people's votes.


  • yesIcon check My opinions have not changed from the last couple votes. I believe transparency is important, and it's much too often where we have shady users trying to remove their pasts here. I really do not want to see the integrity of this wiki going down the drain, so I'd rather see this policy stay. And so far, I have not seen much resentment at all regarding this policy except from the users I was mentioning above that are trying to remove their pasts. And to be honest, why should we cater to them? Dragon Leon Skål!
  • yesIcon check is this [vote] really required? Agent c (talk) 22:58, August 5, 2012 (UTC)
  • yesIcon check The current talk page policy has worked thus far and I, personally, have not observed any issues with the current system in place. The policy is clear, flexible and enforced well. Neko-signature Gothic NekoNeko's Haunt 23:06, August 5, 2012 (UTC)
  • yesIcon check The policy is in effect to cut down on the effort needed to review someone's performance. Yes, everything is saved in History, but staff members shouldn't be forced to wade through history just because someone likes the pseudo-satisfaction of blanking their own talk page. Furthermore, some staff members and users may not have unlimited Internet bandwidth. In short, this policy simply makes staff members' lives much easier while being a negligible restriction. Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 06:36, August 10, 2012 (UTC)
  • yesIcon check I'm sorry for everybody who disagrees, but I believe we should all do our parts to make the mods' and admins' work as straightforward and efficient as possible. If they think poeple erasing warnings gets in the way of their work, it's not a big sacrifice to keep them there. That is my view at least, I hope nobody gets mad me for that, but I think I should state it here. User:Corniolio
  • yesIcon check I feel that deleting things from a talk page is bad, mm-kay? But I don't think users should be punished for it.  Denis517  Enclave Symbol (Fallout 3) 04:45, August 11, 2012 (UTC)
  • yesIcon check Gotta say I don't reckon such big fuss is in order here. Why is removing things from talk pages so important to force admins to go through the history, like Mr Garoux says if they have bad connections and all, just to give some few folks the satisfaction of removing them? Don't seem right to me at all. Corniolio says it all, I'm more than happy to do my part to help out the guys and gals that keep the wiki a proper place do their work! Come on folks, it's not a big deal. CharlesLeCheck Icon check
  • yesIcon check Alright, it's been awhile since I actually got on and actually gave a "Fuck" towards this type of policy, but a little someone helped me find one and give it away. My absolute feelings for the Talk page Policy is pretty much what you see here before you: Meh. I personally never really cared about how large my Talk Page was, or to the point it's a huge archive (probably will never happen). Sure, it can become a pain in the ass to search through messages of "THE ONE", but it can be worst if you actually took this policy out. Taking it out will just give people with a dark past to get a 'second chance' to fuck things up ONCE again, which is unacceptable. People need and should know who they're talking to when working on a project with another, just like companies do when they're hiring someone, they WANT to know who the fuck they're hiring. The same damn thing applies to this matter as well, most people here will probably not go 'fishing' through the user's contributions and activities, which gives the nitwit a chance to delete past 'crimes' he/she/it committed to the Wikia, and if on a Delete/edit spree, could potentially 'push' the records right out the window...and into a dumpster. Sure, the records aren't really gone forever, but it makes the task of looking for it close to being ridiculous. Why take out a policy that forces the records to be shown to the public? It's stupid, it's like taking 5 steps backwards after taking one shaky step forward.

However, I'm not saying this thing is perfect, it's far from being fact, it looks like my crazy older sister who believes stem cells don't exist. We've all been there with the moron or dumbass who spams "HAI" or "U A GIRL/BOI?" on your talkpage over and over, before he/she/it is banned, leaving you an entire archive of stupidity, so everytime you log on and see a message updated, you'll probably have to come across it yet again, wishing you can just delete the moronic messages and keep the place a bit more organized, even keeping old conversations that have no impact on anything should possibly face deletion (unless you cherish those sick bastard). Yeah, pretty rough around the edges, and that's just an understatement, and just like everything else in the world, no one is perfect at their job, which is why they get training, wisdom, and re-shaped into a finer tool, which is what this policy TOTALLY needs. Don't take something like this out, it's just going to cause more damage then good in the long run. Instead, we should improve on it, make it more flexible, like allowing members to delete the obviously null convo's, while keeping important records/convo in place. Perhaps we should do something like a storage container, transferring all the records in some secret folder, where if a person asks an admin to see what he has to deal with on another user, the admin can gladly fish it out and present it to the said person. People should never get away with the dark/stupid/trolling moments of their past, and should just deal with it like the rest of the world does. That, children, is my official '2-cents'

TLDR Because I'm a lazy bastard: Yes because despite not being perfect, it's still a necessary policy that just needs a good tune-up in improvement, not cast out completely.--Zerginfestor (talk) 21:47, August 12, 2012 (UTC)


  • noIcon cross Even though I do not tend to vote, due the fact that a bureaucrats votes tends to influence people. This is one occasion I do feel strong enough to forgo abstaining from the vote. User avatar tagUser Avatar talk 00:06, August 8, 2012 (UTC)
  • noIcon cross While I was an avid supporter of this policy during its first run, I found it to bring about only superficial benefit. If users choose to clear their talk page, they can be encouraged to archive instead, but at the end of the day nothing is really being removed. I'm sure we all understand that nothing posted to the wiki truly disappears: it is still viewable in the history. People should simply be allowed to remove what they wish from their talk pages, for whatever reason, and we cannot always assume it is to remove evidence of previous rebuke or evidence of disciplinary action. Nothing is truly ever hidden and if it brings some personal satisfaction to be able to pseudo-erase something then I believe that those who choose to should be able to do so freely without being punished. Furthermore, we all know those who do erase content from their TP do so at the cost of their community standing, thus a warning that it is frowned upon would suffice. --Skire (talk) 11:40, August 8, 2012 (UTC)
  • noIcon cross I'll cite Sigma's reasons. USA Flag Pre-War User Avatar talk
  • noIcon cross I thought it was a good idea at first. But it's devolved into another meaningless restriction which results in edit-wars of talk pages, for the most trivial things like removing a welcome message. Administrators have better things to do than follow up on bans and warnings because someone wanted to blank their talk page, and even if they wanted to archive it they can't because there's a rule on that too. Long story short - if you're really concerned about a user, check their talk page history. It takes two seconds and doesn't require a plethora of rules, something which new users are unfamiliar with, intimidated by, and discouraged when they accidentally break one. Yes Man defaultUser Avatar talk 05:14, August 10, 2012 (UTC)
  • noIcon cross I really didn't think this vote would ever come close to actually changing the policy. But it's too close for me not to vote, I reckon. My thoughts are listed below in a previous comment, but the issue is keep the policy as written, so i can only judge this policy as is. For me, it's a no. I believe there are enough mitigating reasons and that there are possibly other solutions that have not be explored fully. The Gunny  380px-USMC-E7 svg
  • noIcon cross A couple points that I agree with have already been mentioned, however, I've never supported it. It is a user's talk page, it is their's to do with as they wish. Like mentioned, the content is always there somewhere, the issue is more of bad faith than actual removal of content. It will always be seen as a little shady to remove things, however, it should be looked at as shady, not as punishment.--Bunny2Bubble 04:55, August 12, 2012 (UTC)



Eh, why do we have a re-vote? If a user blanks a talk page he gets warned. If he/she continues she gets a ban. Simple as that. Energy X 10:48, August 6, 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. I don't understand why there wasn't at least a discussion forum set up first before jumping straight to a re-vote. I prefer community consensus. Not one person thinking that the policy needs to be questioned. (No offense intended Sigma.) Dragon Leon Skål! 15:52, August 6, 2012 (UTC)
If you read the above foreword you would find out that there has been plenty of discussion in the past on this matter, to the point of exhaustion, almost. Now a trial period has been given to see how this plays out on wiki, I felt like it was a good time for it to be voted on again to see if people's feelings are the same after said trial period. --Skire (talk) 16:33, August 6, 2012 (UTC)
Understood. However, those discussions were set up to discuss whether or not we wanted the policy in the first place. It obviously passed, since we have the policy up and enforced. So in my opinion, I would think another discussion forum would be necessary to see whether or not the community still approves of it now that we've gone through a trial period. It just seems kind of silly to me to catch everyone unaware by throwing a vote out with a time-limit, when no one has really even discussed or even thought about the whole thing for so long. Hope I'm making sense here. Dragon Leon Skål!
You're completely making sense, and I understand what you're trying to say. I went straight to a vote because I felt it was the easiest and most direct way to elicit a complete response from the community whether they still support this rule or not. Perhaps I have misperceived the overall response to this policy, but it felt like one of the less-appreciated ones we've had. This is so we can say, "Look, we've voted not once but multiple times on it and I did not see your input" to everyone who says this is not a sound policy for whatever reason. --Skire (talk) 17:12, August 6, 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that will be one benefit from this vote. It will be nice to have a solid foundation for this policy for when the trouble-makers start complaining. Dragon Leon Skål!

(I wasn't really convinced of the need for the policy in the first vote. Personally, I felt that ban logs and a user's contributions were more than enough to be certain of a user's past. But I have noticed recently that some user's chat bans are not showing up in the chat ban logs when you search for them. I did have to look at the user's talk page to check for notices. In those cases it did prove utile. I do agree that the policy has created some acrimony with new users, but my observations have been that it is most commonly new users who have made some mistakes and are removing evidence of that. I'm still ambivalent to this policy, but I have seen it prove useful at times. The Gunny  380px-USMC-E7 svg 21:02, August 7, 2012 (UTC)

( Even though I am 100% against this policy. I do agree with GarouxBloodline, in that another vote isn't really needed at this point. It would have been better to open a new discussion to see if peoples views had changed, after seeing the policy in action. User avatar tagUser Avatar talk 00:06, August 8, 2012 (UTC)

So you think when we "disable" this policy I'm able to delete all of my past here (yet only people that were around to know me know things I done)? Doesn't sound right. At all. Energy X 05:57, August 8, 2012 (UTC)

Talk page history, my friend. Nothing on this Wiki is gone forever. Yes Man defaultUser Avatar talk 05:16, August 10, 2012 (UTC)

Let's be honest here: If someone blanks their talk-page and you weren't around to notice it, you wouldn't go through their talk-page history after an incident involving said users. It just doesn't cross your mind to do so, and we all have better things to do anyways than wading through countless user's talk-page histories when we can have all of that information right there out in the open. Transparency. Now, as for the archiving rule, I do have to agree that's quite silly. If someone wants to archive their talk-page, then let them. My opinion. Dragon Leon Skål! 05:22, August 10, 2012 (UTC)

Look at it from the other user's perspective. New to the site, not sure how things work and what to do, makes a mistake and gets a warning for it. They want to hide that fact, because they never meant any harm, so they clear their talk page for a fresh start. Suddenly they get another warning. They give up because they're threatened with a ban when they were just trying to help to begin with.
On the other hand, chat bans are up to the moderator's discretion. There's no set rules for how long someone should be banned, despite the suggested guideline being 3 days, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, infinite. And if I remember correctly, when you ban someone, it shows you their ban log, so there's no need to check talk pages. Yes Man defaultUser Avatar talk 05:32, August 10, 2012 (UTC)
Perfectly understandable. However, if you look at the policy, it states that exceptions can be made if requests are put out. That's the main reason why I like this policy, is that it is malleable. As for your second comment, I'd like to refer you to the original vote. I made a pretty good counter-argument to that, me thinks. Dragon Leon Skål! 05:35, August 10, 2012 (UTC)
Specifically, read my comments here. Dragon Leon Skål! 05:38, August 10, 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the link :P
We'll agree to disagree. I can see where you're coming from, but at the same time I don't think everyone should have to suffer (for lack of better word) a rule designed to combat only a minority. If a bad user is truly a bad user, they'll just continue to break rules and such until they are banned for good. If a bad user just happens to be new and inexperienced, then they should be given the benefit of the doubt and perhaps they can blank their talk page and make a new start. Not to sound rude, but the current rule is aimed to benefit the elite users who already know their way around the Wiki, and basically caters to administrators. An administrator exists to aid the users, not the other way around, and I see this talk page rule as another reason to make the jobs of the admins easier because they don't want to spend time looking through history and logs. Ultimately, if an administrator wants to pass a rule to avoid extra effort in the long run, then perhaps they are not all that suited for their position (this is not aimed at anyone, just a general example. I'd appreciate if nobody got offended) Yes Man defaultUser Avatar talk 05:51, August 10, 2012 (UTC)
I actually do agree with you almost 100%. I hate the idea of having a group of people telling me what I can and can't do. But I'm trying to look at this under a professional light, and in the end, we aren't a social site. (That's what chat is for.) We're a wiki, and talk-pages are community owned tools that are used for easy communication to help with editing. But in the long run, I don't think it would change much whether we had this policy or not. I would be pretty much happy if we went with one of our original plans of having a page dedicated to keeping track of Administrative warnings and ban-tabs. Dragon Leon Skål! 05:56, August 10, 2012 (UTC)

Just to address some things; "New" chatbans will appear in the log, "old" (ones before last chat software update) do not. administrator given warnings for wiki issues only appear in TP comments; removing these form a TP can mean the difference between a ban and repeated warning. Agent c (talk) 07:53, August 10, 2012 (UTC)

@Gunny: That seems odd to say since you created the template for deleting talk page content. Energy X 19:55, August 10, 2012 (UTC)

The template I created covered ALL established policy breaches. Why would I not add the talk page warning? It was, and currently still is policy. The Gunny  380px-USMC-E7 svg 19:57, August 10, 2012 (UTC)
It is not that you don't want to add talk page warning, it is simply that the template will not be used anymore. Energy X 21:42, August 10, 2012 (UTC)

One last thing I would like to add before this vote comes to an end: We all have to remember that talk-pages are not the property of each individual user. Talk-pages are merely a tool given to the community to ease the process of editing and consensus. The only thing that is truly ours when we create an account on Wikia is our user-page. I know a lot of you are against this policy because you feel as if it infringes upon your rights, but this is an entirely false concept. This policy might need changes to remove the archiving rule, but the initial policy is sound in its process to keep any and all information added to this wiki in the open for possible reference. Allowing the removal of content from you talk-page is essentially the same thing as removing content from an article page's talk-page. It's unacceptable in my eyes, as it impedes the Administrators efforts here. Some of you might call it lazy, but who are all of you to pass such judgment? The simple truth is, there's a difference between being lazy, and not wanting to do things the unnecessarily hard way. Hope you all can take this into consideration. Dragon Leon Skål! 20:05, August 10, 2012 (UTC)

@Agent C, the old chat bans still appear, as they always have done, in the user rights management log. The update simply created its own log and started to logs entries to there instead. Nothing is ever lost on the wiki, you just have to know where to look. <--- I think I have just found my very first signature quote User avatar tagUser Avatar talk 21:43, August 10, 2012 (UTC)
@GarouxBloodline, that is entirely debatable premise, which others view differently. One could easily argue that the talk page is an extension of the users page. Just as much as you can argue that it is the property of the community for communication. It is your view that it belongs to the community, I on the other hand see it as the property of the user. User avatar tagUser Avatar talk 21:52, August 10, 2012 (UTC)
It's possible that I'm making an assumption by saying what I did. However, the entire point of a Wikia wiki is for the recording of information on either a single subject, or multiple subjects that all flow into each other. This isn't a social site, (Although Wikia seems to be spitting in veteran editor's faces these days.) but an encyclopedia, and we really need to stop treating it as such. (As a social site, I mean.) (If you want something more social, that's what our chat room is for.) Because of this, I am under the opinion that CC shares, being that talk-pages are here for the sole purpose of easy communication when dealing with progressing the wiki. It's only a consequence of the wiki becoming large enough to have a community that social aspects such as user-page customization comes in. This is all well and good, and I strongly approve of this sort of mindset. But we all have to remember that that's not the point of a wiki, and it will always be a minority aspect. Dragon Leon Skål! 22:01, August 10, 2012 (UTC)

I would argue Talk Pages are not public property. If I were to archive other's talk pages, delete messages from other's talk pages, or answer questions left for other users on their talk pages, I'd probably get a warning or two. Furthermore, some talk pages feature messages and pictures at the top added by the owner of the talk page, such as "Swearing to a minimum" or "Click on the Vault Boy to leave a message!" - were it a community page, personalisation of said page would have no place. At the end of the day, User talk:Yes-Man is mine, and User talk:Ausir is not. Yes Man defaultUser Avatar talk 23:52, August 10, 2012 (UTC)

I already addressed that. "It's only a consequence of the wiki becoming large enough to have a community that social aspects such as user-page customization comes in. This is all well and good, and I strongly approve of this sort of mindset." We do, in a sense, have a small percentage of ownership for our talk-pages. But our talk-pages are still owned by Wikia, and we can't just do whatever we want to them. (Adding controversial messages/images, hiding any advertisements on the side of the page, adding in certain third party custom CSS/HTML, etc. etc.) Dragon Leon Skål! 23:57, August 10, 2012 (UTC)
Yes Man, don't argue points you don't understand. It isn't about property, it's about editing rights. User pages are all user-editable as long as they don't breach content guidelines. Talk pages are also user editable, as long as they don't breach content guidelines and general rules (of which there are few: don't be an ass and don't make the life of staff harder by deliberately blanking your talk page). I would also like to add that I don't remember The Vault being a hugbox for man-children; I wouldn't expect Nukapedia to change that out of the fear that someone might not be able to take a polite request to refrain from blanking his page like a normal human being, instead launching into depression. Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 06:58, August 11, 2012 (UTC)
Don't think that because you've been here longer than me, you have the right to treat me as though I don't know how the Wiki works. I was an admin for quite some time, and a moderator for even longer than that. Nukapedia isn't changing anything that the Vault had. We've already done that, and now we're thinking of changing it back. Your argument makes no sense. As for talk pages being public property - they are to an extent. People leave you messages on your page, you respond. You get notified when your talk page changes, not the whole community. Furthermore, archiving, personalising, and cleaning is all up to the talk page owner and not something that any anonymous user or random can come along and do freely - because it isn't their page. As for the ease of administrators, I'll say it again - if an admin is too lazy to bother checking logs or talk page history, why are they an admin in the first place? It takes two seconds and doesn't require any superfluous rules which come in a bundle with when a user can or can't archive their page. Which sort of counteracts the purpose of not deleting unwanted things on your talk page, because essentially you have to wait for a certain KB size to do anything about it.
Regarding your silly point about the wiki not being full of "man-children", you sure do love exaggerating my arguments in an attempt at making me look clueless, don't you? It's not a matter of someone getting depressed over being warned. But here's a likely situation: Someone screws up, gets a warning. They blank their talk page, they get a warning. When you're getting threatened with bans over something that you didn't mean to do in the first place, it doesn't exactly fill you with confidence or motivation to edit. Yes Man defaultUser Avatar talk 07:15, August 11, 2012 (UTC)
Actually, as a senior staff member of The Vault and two separate successful wikis, as well as a long-term administrator of NMA, not to mention editing about five times longer than you, I am in a position to advise you and point out that you have a rather tenuous grasp of the subject. Now that we have the obligatory argument from authority out of the way, I'll repeat the rather obvious points made by me and several other people here and elsewhere:
  1. As said, this isn't about ownership. User talk pages are public to edit with the only restriction being generous content guidelines and a request not to blank them. Archiving is good as long there is a link to the archive on the talk page. Other users can, and will, edit others' talk pages.
  2. Staff members shouldn't be burdened with annoying, avoidable clicking to reach information relevant to performing their duties. Checking talk page histories is an annoying process, particularly when heavily edited pages are considered. You apparently do not have enough Wiki experience to know that. I do. And believe me, it's very annoying.
  3. Reverting the policy will only serve a marginal number of users, the aforementioned man-children that can't take criticism. Almost every user has no problem following rules and understanding that keeping their talk page intact is a sign of good will towards fellow editors.
  4. Communities aren't about giving clean slates. Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 12:38, August 11, 2012 (UTC)
Whereas keeping the rule burdens everyone, man-children included, just because of a minority who want break rules.
Regarding my experience in talk page history - again, you seem to think that I'm an imbecile who can't function an extremely simple thing. Tedious, perhaps, but not the oh-so difficult task that "poor widdle admins" have to suffer through. It's literally as easy as clicking the mouse a few times. Click on history, click on revision, click on older edits and cycle through until you find it. Viola, if you so badly want to know a user's history which is easily accessible in a log anyway, then that's the way to do it. Instead we have people being chastised for removing welcome messages or wanting a fresh start, which is silly and a real waste of admin's time when they have to follow up on this sort of thing.
I do believe that this community is about giving second chances. Take a look at Energy X - used to be a vandal and rule breaker, is now an exceptional administrator. Users are allowed to try at rights applications as many times as they want. Hell, people are entitled to a revote if they lose their rights. So frankly, that argument is baseless.
And I'll make the point again - if an administrator loathes having to do their job so much that they'd rather make a rule to prevent them from having to use the Wiki's tools, then why in God's name are they an admin? Once I went through Fallout Answers and personally deleted over a thousand spam questions that were made one night by hand, and although it was annoying, it was something I had to do. Looking through talk page history is nothing compared to that.
As for your justification of how long you've been a whatever on whichever site, all in all we're equals and it doesn't make your view any more correct than mine. At the end of the day, if the community wants the rule, they want the rule. If they don't then too bad. Simple as that. Yes Man defaultUser Avatar talk 13:23, August 11, 2012 (UTC)
How is the "Majority" burdnened in any way? Not deleting stuff requires absolutely 0 effort.
On the other hand Yessie, your talk page has had 500 edits since 5 Feb 2012. On any one of those edits a warning could have theoretically been overwritten. With the no removal rule I have to only check 8 pages - your main page and your 7 archives. With the removal rule it isn't dozens of pages I need to check, but more than 500 to get me to the start of the year.
A Second chance is a fair thing to ask for where its relevant; but a second chance has to be earned, not created by muddling up your own history. Agent c (talk) 13:31, August 11, 2012 (UTC)

YM, regarding "They want to hide that fact, because they never meant any harm, so they clear their talk page for a fresh start. Suddenly they get another warning. They give up because they're threatened with a ban when they were just trying to help to begin with.", the solution seems to me to convince the staff to be more tactful when enlightening somebody of the rules, not reducing the number of rules in an effort to diminish the number times staff has to interact with the users. This is a sub-optimal solution because it only addresses the symptoms, not the cause of the problem you're pointing out (ie staff threatening well-intended but clueless users). The underlying problem here, if there is one at all, is an excessively heavy-handed enforcement of the rules, not the rules themselves. Limmiegirl Lildeneb Talk! ♪ 14:56, August 11, 2012 (UTC)

Yessie, you know how much I respect you, and many of your opinions stated here are well justified concerns. But I would like to ask of you to stop calling the Administration who approve of this policy as lazy. I refer you to some of my previous wording: "Some of you might call it lazy, but who are all of you to pass such judgment? The simple truth is, there's a difference between being lazy, and not wanting to do things the unnecessarily hard way." And don't you agree that you're slightly twisting around the truth by saying it only takes a few seconds to look through someone's talk-page history? This might be true considering newer users, but there's an exuberant amount of users here that would take at least 15-30 minutes to go through all of their history. I know this well, because there's been times where I've had to reinforce bans of mine doing exactly that. (Saxony and Lugatiam are two perfect examples right off the top of my head.) And let's all be thankful many of the Administrators here stick to archiving their pages instead of blanking them, because there's been times where I've needed information from previous arguments/debates to reinforce newer arguments/debates. (Gunny, Myself, Jspoel.) Can you not imagine how much hell it is to sit there going through the history tab, trying to find the one piece of information you need, when it already takes forever just going through their archives? Anyways, while we're on this subject, I'd like to take the chance to address some of your most recent points:

  • "When you're getting threatened with bans over something that you didn't mean to do in the first place, it doesn't exactly fill you with confidence or motivation to edit."
    • I understand perfectly well how impossible this is, in most cases, but it's the users responsibility to familiarize themselves with the policies and guidelines at each individual wiki. If a user refuses to do so, and ends up becoming frustrated because they've been called out over it, then that's not really our fault. Sometimes Admins can be a little heavy-handed with their enforcements, but this can easily be fixed by other Administrators taking them aside, like we already do.
  • "It's literally as easy as clicking the mouse a few times. Click on history, click on revision, click on older edits and cycle through until you find it."
    • This is not necessarily true. You have to take into account that many users here don't have a computer that can handle a lot at once. Constantly refreshing something like a wiki page puts a lot of effort on the system. (I would know, it was almost impossible for me to edit this wiki until I got my laptop.) I also refer you to my opening paragraph and self-quote.
  • "Instead, we have people being chastised for removing welcome messages..."
    • This I agree with. If someone wants to remove their welcome message, then I say let them. I don't think I've seen any administrators reverting such removals though. If I see anyone doing that, then I'll make sure talk to them about it.
  • "Take a look at Energy X - used to be a vandal and rule breaker, is now an exceptional administrator."
    • Bad argument. If you read through the earliest comments on this forum, you'll see that Energy himself brought up his history and said even he'd find it unacceptable to blank it.
      • Just to explain, I wasn't actually much of a vandal, yet someone who was... misguided. Too bad the NUN idea came later, else the trouble I caused would have been avoided... Energy X 19:01, August 11, 2012 (UTC)
  • "Once I went through Final Fantasy Answers and personally deleted over a thousand spam questions that were made one night by hand, and although it was annoying, it was something I had to do."
    • This is not an acceptable comparison. You or someone else was forced to do so, and there more than likely wasn't a better solution. In this case, we have an opportunity to makes things a little easier and transparent for the wiki. It's not being lazy. It's being smart, and not wanting to spend forever doing something that should be simple.

Dragon Leon Skål! 16:26, August 11, 2012 (UTC)

To add on Garoux, the spirit of the rule is to prevent the removal of relevant information from the staff, so things like welcoming messages or the talkback template are obviously moot for this and should be freely removed. That's just common sense, and I'm not personally aware of any instances in which an admin threatened to ban an user over removing the welcoming messages. But if they do happen, then in those cases it suffices to have a little talk-to with him about good sense, not outright removing the rule. Specially since that would still do nothing to address the underlying issue.
Regarding the need of having a fresh start, I can certainly sympathize with that. Perhaps we could make an amendment to allow a premature archival of TPs in certain cases for instance. Again, outright removing the rule is throwing the baby along with the bathwater, accomplishes nothing to solve the true issues, and is generally nothing but a step backwards. Which is exactly why I feel this re-vote, specially without the usual preliminary discussion, was an utterly bad move. Limmiegirl Lildeneb Talk! ♪ 17:55, August 11, 2012 (UTC)

I understand where you all come from. Really, I do. And I'm not trying to cast administrators in a bad light or anything, because I know how hard all of you work. But I do see an issue in administrators making a rule that benefits only administrators. There are 9 admins on the site; there are probably tens of thousands of users, if not more. The rule exists to help those nine people, while the rest have yet another restriction.
Administrators exist to help the community. They're given tools, access to logs, and they're elected because of their experience and ability to access things that new people don't know exist (i.e. page history). All these things are made obsolete when you can pass a rule which makes all of a user's mistakes transparent. Lazy isn't a good descriptor, but complacent certainly is. An administrator should be happy to go the extra mile rather than alter the already adequate rules in an attempt at speeding up a process which doesn't happen nearly as often as some are arguing. It's actually less work in the long run when you don't need people moderating these things, getting into revert-wars with the owner of the talk page, or having to ban potential new editors for not following a rule which doesn't jeopardise the Wiki in the slightest. Honestly think: How many times have you gotten into an argument with a user who wanted to remove a message, or how many times have you seen it happen? And how does it usually end? The persecuted user usually insults someone then leaves the Wiki for good, or persists and gets banned, maybe even making a sockpuppet which requires even more work.
The easy alternative is to let them think they can remove the message forever, and if something ever comes up, just check their talk page history and viola - instant access to whatever they wanted to hide.
I apologise if I came off as hostile the other night in my response to Tagaziel, but some of his claims that I fail at operating simple tasks were frustrating. Yes Man defaultUser Avatar talk 23:16, August 11, 2012 (UTC)

YM, like you said, there are tens of thousands of users, and only 9 admins. Do you really think it's reasonable to expect those 9 people to wade through the history of everyone of those we have to deal with, in search of something that may or may not be there in the first place? Wasting time that could and SHOULD be better spent editing, and doing other administrative work? The benefits for the administration (not just the admins ourselves) are enormous, but it's essentially a non-issue to the users. Also, to be quite frank, if a user is such a trouble maker as to insult the admins and then proceed to make sockpuppets just because they can't erase their TP, he is going to cause trouble down the line over something else eventually. Limmiegirl Lildeneb Talk! ♪ 03:14, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
Time to weigh in my 2 bucks. In a general sense, talk page content that was removed can be retrieved back using the history tool, this means that the removed content is never lost. It's saved through the page's edit log known as "history of the page". This means that if you couldn't review a performance of a user because he/she removed content from his/her talkpage, you can just use history to retrieve the lost entries and review it yourself. But on some reasons of the user per se, if he may have some remnants of his bad history or reputation here that's saved through his talkpage, he can just remove the entries that remind him of his bad past or reputation here just to "start again".
Other than that, the thing that have rustled my jimmies (do gauss rifles have jimmies?) is the consequences: a ban which is clearly illogical and complete nonsense. Why? Everyone has the right to remove some content on their talk pages in order to "move on" because of bad reps and history. Plus, it's their own talk page. It's their own personal page, and the place will enforce a rule that removing content from their talk pages would earn them a ban that is clearly illogical? Everyone has the right to forget and move on. Removing content from talkpages is clearly different on removing content from pages.
TL;DR? - I don't like the rule, everyone has the right to "forget and move on", they can just use the history tool to review the performance of the user. With all this points, I don't like the rule. Obliterate it. Applejack"С нами Бог. Remember, no ponies."
Maybe I'm just being daft, but I just can't wrap my mind around this idea of catering to people who break the rules and question authority on a regular basis. If a user gets a warning, ban notice, or even just a little advice on how they can improve their edits/attitude, then they should be mature enough to take it in stride and learn from the experiences. Hiding it just shows how immature the editor is, and how they can't cope with a little criticism. Because I'm sorry to tell you, but there is no such thing as starting off with a clean slate. This is a utopian belief, and in no way should we embrace this style of thinking. Especially when trying to erase your past can have consequences at a place like this. I've already explained this multiple times now, but I'll say it again: If a user erases their history, managed to avoid a ban so far, and has their actions caught by another editor who's never seen them before, then they won't know how to properly gauge the situation. You all say to look through the talk-page history, but how would the moderator/administrator know to do this if they didn't see the user(s) in question removing warnings and notices? And like I've said before as well, this is a wiki. We should be spending our time improving the content here, not spending a ton of unnecessary time looking through countless user's talk-page history. It's asinine to even suggest this.
  • TL;DR? - Why should we cater to troublesome users, while making life more difficult for the moderators/administrators when they could be spending their time doing something more important? Dragon Leon Skål! 02:44, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
It's sad when troublesome users spoil it for the rest. I'm only against it because I don't think people should be hounded for removing a message. I think a personal message could be removed, while ban message has to stay. Detroit lions Hawk da Barber 2012 - BSHU Graduate 03:16, August 12, 2012 (UTC)

My compromise would be this:
Do not remove any warnings from an administrators/moderator/chat moderator. It's simple, it allows for people to archive whenever they want to remove messages, it allows admins easy access to the important stuff and everything else is fair game for the owner of the talk page. If they don't comply, just lock their talk page to administrator only editing for an hour to prevent edit warring, which means they can still edit the Wiki but not remove messages. That's how it should have been from the start.
As it stands, the rule has good intentions but restricts everyone from having ownership of their talk page just because of a minority who are unable to follow guidelines. Yes Man defaultUser Avatar talk 04:42, August 12, 2012 (UTC)

I can't see where a ban on an edit involving a removal of a paragraph in your own talk is an offence.It's what editors do to writers books every day of thw week.Neither do I see it as being attempts made by others to hide their past,for what man or woman does not meke every attempt to alter their past, it's what humans do'its what it mens to be human.A ban on this is goijng against the very fabric of what humanity is about Improving oneself.
If this kind of logic was crried into into Presidential candidatess, why then the USA would never have find a President and Fallout NV would require a histiory book on Kibmball for the Wanderer to read before deciding whether to kill him of not. --1000HrsFallout3 (talk) 08:23, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
I hate to sound critical of your opinion, but this was absolutely nonsensical. Dragon Leon Skål! 08:27, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
I think there is some sense in there, but it is absolutely wrong. In every election each candidate is required to stand on their record. Candidates with little to no experience are criticised for it; Candidates with a scandal in their past have this brought to the forefront. Every action that the candidate and the peeople close to them have ever made is scrutinised and played endlessly on the 24hr news networks.
Editors do not expunge unwanted things from history. When things like that are attempted they are quickly criticised for doing so.
One cannot improve ones self by simply hiding and lying about ones own past.
In short, one cannot rewrite history and we should not support attempts to do so. Agent c (talk) 14:02, August 12, 2012 (UTC)

Arbitrary header because this page is too long

@Yesman's comment:One of the reasons I made the {{Notice}} template was so that we had a vehicle for "official" communications that would clearly stand out on a user's talk page. I considered adding something along the lines of "Do not remove this notice from your talk page" to the tempalte, but since we had the talk page rule already I felt it was unnecessary. If the rule is removed, we could easily add that note to the "official" notices. I personally have no problem with a policy that states "official notices" can't be deleted. Or for that matter, a subpage of the user's space where copies of official notices are posted. I also agree with those that feel anything that starts with User:The Gunny/ is in my userspace and is mine to do what I wish, infractions of policy notwithstanding. Simplifying the talk page rule so that only "official" notices can't be removed, or making some space for them to be put seems the least intrusive way to accomplish what both sides of this argument desire. The Gunny  380px-USMC-E7 svg 13:51, August 12, 2012 (UTC)

This would require verifying every negative byte edit to a talk page to ensure no official notices are removed. Again, loads of work piled on the admins for no real reason. The rule currently in effect is simple and easy to follow. Personal_Sig_Image.gif Tagaziel (call!) 14:12, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
Actually, what I'm thinking is a little less convoluted than that. We could make a sub-page in the subject's userspace, e.g. User:Dude1183/Notices. When an official notice is placed on the user's talk page, you would also place a copy on the notice page. I understand that's a little more work up front, but when you do need to find those notices, it will be a lot less work. They will all be on one page, not archived 3 pages back, so you won't even have to search for them at all. The notice page could be locked to admin only so we don't have to worry about rules regarding removals, but this could be problematic with messages from chat mods. Either way it meets the criteria of solving the problem as presented: Users deleting warnings from their talk pages. It also meets the criteria of the opposing camp, leaving the user's talk page in their hands. It's the only solution I can see that gives both sides of the argument what they desire, and even improves an admin's ability to find these notices. The Gunny  380px-USMC-E7 svg 14:58, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
I believe that this suggestion would serve the intended purpose better and would withdraw my support of the existing policy if this were to replace it. The only problem is how to ensure people read them as that page wont be followed by default - like the TP (is there any way to force this?), but that can be gotten around by copying any notice to both pages. Edit: 2nd issue, can it be made open to Mods/Cmods too? Agent c (talk) 15:00, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
It would require posting on both pages or else the user will not get the notification of their talk page message. Think of it like so: On their talk page, you've called them into the office "Have a seat...." and then after you chastise them, you put a record in the personnel file (the notice page). It's not a perfect solution, and it will require more work up-front, but it will speed finding those notices when you really need them. I will see if there's any way the process of adding the notices to the "notice" page can be automated. The Gunny  380px-USMC-E7 svg 15:06, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
Well, I can already foresee a problem with this: We have tens of thousands of users and the anonymous visiting this site on a daily basis. That's even without a game currently popular or on the near horizon. So we're banning or warning troublesome users on an almost hourly basis. As much as I like the idea of having a page where we can keep track of users here, can you imagine how long it would get just after a month or two? It would easily get to the point where it'd take longer to go through the page archives than it would be to go through individual user's talk-page history. Just my thoughts on the matter. Because if we can find a way to properly implement a page such as the one we're talking about here, then I would more than happily throw my support behind it. Dragon Leon Skål! 18:36, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
My understanding Leon is that each user has their own permenent "Record" page, not a general record page for everyone. Agent c (talk) 18:44, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
Sounds tedious. :P I would want a trial period and a certain quota limit to see how it'd work out first. Dragon Leon Skål! 18:48, August 12, 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── You know what feels tedious to this Swede? That, before we take action against a troublesome user, we need to see if this page exists, by typing it in to the search bar - which is fucking horrid now a days. This, in turn, takes us to a search results page, from which I need to navigate to this page - if it even exists. That is, roughly, 5 or 6 page loads, and my computer translates that into a huge "Fuck You" to me, so that would take a considerable amount of time. I'd rather just have a policy where administrative messages can't be removed. Hugs MadeMan2 "Say 'ello to my little friend!"

That fixable. Make the address format the same each time so you need only navidate to the user page and then add /warnings to the end (like you might locate someone's sandbox by doing something similar). Agent c (talk) 19:04, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
... thanks for making me feel like an idiot, Chad :p - Hugs MadeMan2 "Say 'ello to my little friend!"
Im sorry if it came across that way. Agent c (talk) 19:14, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
No, no, don't worry, I just feel dumb for not thinking about that myself. Hugs MadeMan2 "Say 'ello to my little friend!"

Even if we are to implement such a measure, that has nothing to do with this. Either way, the current policy should stay as it is, and only after the new measures are proven to work, we take the current one down. Otherwise we will be back to square one. That's my biggest beef with this revote, just because you want a different implementation doesn't mean you have to vote against the current one, that's just a retrogress. Limmiegirl Lildeneb Talk! ♪ 19:52, August 12, 2012 (UTC)

Well the poll is over now so the bureaucrats should be back with a decision on this matter soon. The votes are up to interpretation, and whether they choose to retain, remove, or amend the policy is up to them and I will respect their decision. --Skire (talk) 22:47, August 12, 2012 (UTC)

Hmm. The majority vote is in favour of keeping this policy. (Although, many are wanting a few improvements down the road.) At the same time, many high-profile editors are against this policy. It's definitely going to be a close one. Truth be told, I think we should keep this policy and start thinking of ways to improve upon it. I fear just throwing it out will discourage this idea ever making it here. (Even with better conditions.) Guess we'll see what happens after the 'crats talk it over. :) Dragon Leon Skål! 22:51, August 12, 2012 (UTC)
Could be that they are discussing (somewhere) what they should do. I don't think we had a poll with such results. Energy X 08:07, August 13, 2012 (UTC)
To those that say Gunnys suggestion is tedious, I have to disagree. Firstly, the effort you put in at the front end (leaving the message) is saved at the back end (trying to find the warning messages). Example; admin 1 leaves a warning message to User talk:username, then copy and pastes said same message to User talk:username/warnings. Admin 2 comes along a month later with another warning, all they need do is read User talk:username/warnings prior to leaving there message. Instead of skimming the talk page and archives trying to find warning messages amongst normal conversations. Perfect example of this would be me, yes I have had warning messages in the past and I have never deleted anything from my talk pages since I started here. So my talk pages already fit the perfect example of following this rule before it was even implemented. So to those that say the suggestion is tedious, I suggest you go find out how many and for what I have been warned for in the past. Then consider that compared to having a single page with all my warnings and nothing else to read through.
Plus if we did take this route, there is a few modifications we could do to the site to make it easier. Firstly with a bit of JS, we could add in a Warnings tab to the user pages. So it would be Profile, Talk page, Blog, Contributions, Warnings. So it would be easy enough to navigate to and discover if they had any previous warnings. Plus we can highlight such pages in Special:RecentChanges, so it wouldn't be missed if someone edited such page and tried to remove warnings. You got to think about how many times user talk pages are edited compared to how many warning are given out. This way you do not have to check every user talk page edit, to see if they are comply with the current rule (another saving in time)
Finally, the current ruling has one flaw in it. You have to catch the removal of information at the time. If it is missed and since no one is checking the users page history prior to giving a warning, because of this rule, it would never be taken into consideration again for future infractions. And I have witnessed missed page removal in the past. Since the warning page would be edited a lot less and highlighted in Special:RecentChanges, the chances of it being missed are greatly reduced. User avatar tagUser Avatar talk 12:49, August 13, 2012 (UTC)

If anyone is interested in seeing the script in action to add the warning tab to the user pages, just add the following code to you common.js page

if (!window.WarningTab) {
var WarningTab = true;
function addWarningTab () {
   var theText = 'Warnings';
   if( skin == 'oasis' ) {
      if ( wgNamespaceNumber == 2 || wgNamespaceNumber == 3 || wgNamespaceNumber == 500 ) {
         $('<li data-id="warnings"><a href="/index.php?title=User_talk%3A'+encodeURIComponent(wgTitle)+'/Warnings" rel="nofollow" title="Warnings"">'+ theText +'</a></li>').appendTo('#WikiaUserPagesHeader > .tabs-container > .tabs');
      else if ( wgNamespaceNumber == -1 ) {
         var url = window.location.pathname;
         var UserName = url.substring(url.lastIndexOf('/')+1);
         $('<li data-id="warnings"><a href="/index.php?title=User_talk%3A'+UserName+'/Warnings" rel="nofollow" title="Warnings"">'+ theText +'</a></li>').appendTo('#WikiaUserPagesHeader > .tabs-container > .tabs');


The majority say it stays, so it stays. However, since the voting was so close and some valid points where raised, I think it might be worth while discussing amending the policy to better suit both sides. User avatar tagUser Avatar talk 12:18, August 13, 2012 (UTC)

( As I see it, the policy as it stood was working fine. From the time it was implemented till now, due to my daily time spent here, I've noticed most removals of talkpage content. 95% of the removal was 'OR' removing a warning 'OR' removing the welcome message (new users). Policy says the admin 'has the right' to revert blankings. So both cases can have a pretty clear and easy solution. First removal is not allowed, second one the admin can permit (I would) as it means no harm. This adding of a warnings-tab reminds of the bantab sandbox set up by Leon a few months back won't work in my opinion. It may even scare users off (I'd rather have a warning on my talkpage than an extra warning tab to be always confronted with. Just leave things the way they were if you ask me, don't make things more complex than necessary. Jspoel Speech Jspoel 16:27, August 13, 2012 (UTC)

Just a few things J. Firstly, I have seen you reprimand an admin in the past for archiving their talk page when it was just a few k short of the policy requirements. Is that really in the sprite of what this rule stands for or is trying to prevent. Also, if it is at the discretion of the admin to follow this policy, then why is it even a policy in the first place? As for the warnings tab, that can be restricted to only be viewable to those with certain user rights i.e. admins, chat mods, patrollers etc. What is more off putting for new users, is getting told off for an innocent action that they where not aware of (and I have seen it happen). User avatar tagUser Avatar talk 17:28, August 13, 2012 (UTC)

I didn't say anything about the archive rule but it's about good as it stands now I think. If we didn't have the policy people would be able to archive after a few talkpage comments and that would create unnecessary small archive pages. Same thing for yes or not allowing removal of talkpage content. Before we had no policy to back up our revertal, and now we have. I don't really see the need for a warning tab, but we'll see what people want on the follow up thread. Jspoel Speech Jspoel 18:24, August 13, 2012 (UTC)