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Forums: IndexCommunity discussionsAmendment to voting policies | Forum new Post

In light of a few recent issues regarding votes on The Sims Wiki, I would like to propose the following changes to The Sims Wiki:Policy/Participation Policies.

  1. Rename the page to The Sims Wiki:Voting policy for sake of clarity.
  2. Eliminate the standard voting format listed in the policy.
  3. Remove the administrators/bureaucrats-only limitation on initiating votes.
  4. Eliminate the strict two-week duration on wiki votes, replacing it with a five day minimum vote duration.
  5. Prohibit the use of the Poll feature in official voting.
  6. Clarify and organize the page.

I've written up some draft language for the policy with amendments included, as well as some polishing and reorganization of the policy itself. You can see the draft version here.

What do you think? -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 18:00, October 2, 2014 (UTC)

Explanation of reasons

This is a point-by-point list of the proposed changes. If you're curious as to why I'm proposing these points, read this section. Otherwise, feel free to skip it and go into the discussion below.

  1. The current name doesn't make it clear what the policy is for. Naming the page "Voting policy" makes it pretty unambiguous what the policy is about.
  2. The vote format as is currently written works only on certain methods of voting and to resolve certain questions. However, there are different and sometimes more effective ways of managing a vote, so having a formal procedure limits flexibility on a case-by-case basis.
  3. Making vote initiation admin-only creates a divide between admins and regular non-admins. As we have been pushing recently to close this gap, it only makes sense to do so here as well. Additionally, there are many trusted non-administrators who are more than capable of starting votes but are currently limited by the admins-only policy on the books.
  4. Two weeks in the terms of a wiki is a very long time. And while the idea of instituting the 2 week minimum was to ensure that all viewpoints are heard, a fourteen day vote can sometimes border on the insanely long, especially if everyone interested in the vote voted within the first couple days. The five day minimum was chosen because that's the minimum discussion length on an RfA and RfB. This rule doesn't stop someone from making a vote with a longer duration, if they so choose.
  5. The Poll feature is especially vulnerable to tampering, does not allow users to give their justifications for/against an option, and allows non-registered users to vote (which is specifically disallowed in current policy). This is also a codification of current practices, since polls have never been treated as official methods to vote in my entire time on the wiki.
  6. Miscellaneous changes to make sure the policy itself makes sense.

-- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 18:30, October 2, 2014 (UTC)

DiscussionEdit

This proposal is fairly understandable and certainly makes the voting area of the wiki a lot simpler. It's a good thing that non-admin users are allowed to start a vote as it is fairer. I support this amendment and hope the community does so too. Beds (talk - blog) 18:39, October 2, 2014 (UTC)

Support Votes are mostly used to decide on stuff that consensus has failed to resolve, or for stuff that really can't be decided by consensus (like the wiki theme, as LiR ranted about on #wikia-sims). Thus reforming our voting policy will push us to be more prepared when situations like this happen in the future. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 19:44, October 2, 2014 (UTC)

Oppose The 5 day vote duration is too long and using polls is still a viable method to gain consenus. Ѧüя◎ґ (talk) 20:25, October 2, 2014 (UTC)

What length of time would you suggest? And, if polling is a viable method, how do you prevent poll tampering, especially considering you can't see who is voting (thus you can't see who is tampering)? -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 06:12, October 4, 2014 (UTC)
@Auror Andrachome: Perhaps it's a bit late, but it specifically says at Help:Poll that Votes are registered under either your username or, if you're not logged in, your IP address. This means the poll does not take a reliable count of unique individuals, and it should not be used for important purposes. Polls are an insecure and a ludicrous way to gain consensus. They are easily manipulated and they can attract tons of random strangers to vote blindly without fear of being looked at, because polls are purely anonymous. If a bunch of strangers that don't even edit the wiki or hardly even read the wiki vote, what sort of "consensus" is that? --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 02:40, October 21, 2014 (UTC)

I support this amendment. It appears that the current policy we have has some flaws, especially regarding to the issue where only admins may start a voting procedure. It should be noted that although regular users can start a vote, admins should still moderate it so that the procedure is not overused. Do the voting requirements remain unaffected? Nikel Talk Vote! 08:08, October 5, 2014 (UTC)

In my draft version of the policy, at least, the requirements are folded into the rest of the policy. -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 08:11, October 5, 2014 (UTC)

It has been over a week since anyone has commented here. Auror above mentioned concerns with the proposal, so I'd like to know if others share her concerns. Remember that this is a collaborative process, so if there's something you don't like about the proposal, suggest a change. I'd rather compromise in order to pass needed changes, than stand on principle and oppose all changes to my proposal. As well, I'd rather people recommend changes or accept compromises in the proposal, rather than vote it down because it contains a few elements out of the whole that they don't like. Being biased, I think the proposal is ideal as written, but I'm open to compromise and change, as long as others are open to compromise as well.

Let's work this out. -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 17:49, October 14, 2014 (UTC)

Here are my current opinions as to which users should be allowed to start votes in addition to admins.
  • Rollbackers - Support
  • Regular autoconfirmed users - Weak support (leaning towards neutral)
  • Unregistered users - Oppose
Here are my current opinions as to which users should be allowed to vote once the voting has started. Any user groups that aren't listed below have my full support.
  • Unregistered users - Neutral (leaning towards weak support)
-- C.Syde (talk | contribs) 07:10, October 15, 2014 (UTC)
The current policy says that you have to be registered and have at least one edit on the wiki before voting; the amendment I've proposed doesn't change that. I personally feel that unregistered users should not be allowed to vote. As for creating a vote... I would personally say that the requirement for creating a vote and participating in a vote should be the same. My proposed version, for instance, states that the requirements for voting and starting a vote are the same.
Again, that's just my personal take on this. -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 07:17, October 15, 2014 (UTC)
That works for me. -- C.Syde (talk | contribs) 07:21, October 15, 2014 (UTC)
I do sort of feel that it might be a good idea to keep some sort of maximum vote length like the two week rule we have at the moment just to ensure that a vote doesnt stretch on too long but I wouldnt call it a huge priority, but if this is the case I'd also like to see something in regards to ending votes early if they have an overwhelming majority, just to speed the process along a bit. Essentially what I'm trying to get across is "votes must be a minimum length of x (three-five days?) and a maximum length of y (again, keeping it at the current two weeks seems fair, but then again I can barely recall seeing a single vote need to go for this long), but in the case of an overwhelming majority (we'd need to make some sort of definition of this, ~80%+ one way?) a vote can be closed early." I feel like this would make voting more efficient while at the same time allowing for more time for thought on important issues. In addition, in regards to who can start a vote, I'd lean towards administrators, trusted users (in most cases this is just rollbacks) and contributors who have had a large say in the discussion. Everything else looks fine to me, at least. ђ talk 06:25, October 23, 2014 (UTC)

Bumping this thread, as this is an important discussion I would really like to get this over with and I can't really see any clear consensus, especially in regards to points 3 and 4 and to some extent 2. ђ talk 02:16, October 29, 2014 (UTC)

Personally I'm okay with 5-day long voting process, but I still think it's a short time to me. It's just short, not too short. I think one week is ideal. Two weeks is far too long. We don't usually extend the length of a vote, unless it desperately needs inputs from users, but usually if it's too long, people will have already lost interest in it anyway, so I don't think extension to two weeks is necessary.
As for voting creation... I don't have much to say. I'm just considering the potential that it could be abused. Even if a trusted or familiar user starts a vote, sometimes admins might rebut this action saying it's not needed yet and nullify the vote, making the voting creation ultimately requires admin's consent / consideration. I assume this proposal is to eliminate this, so that users can take responsibility and be given more freedom to act, at which point admins should be prepared for (probably unnecessary) voting creations without their intervention. Nikel Talk Vote! 14:23, October 30, 2014 (UTC)

BumpEdit

Has this come to a conclusion yet? -- C.Syde (talk | contribs) 22:42, November 24, 2014 (UTC)

On some points, like points 1 and 2, there seems to be support, or at the very least no opposition. There is still a question pending on Point 3 regarding whether extending the right of vote creation will allow it to be misused, so that issue is as of yet undecided. Discussion on point 4 seems to stem on whether five days is too long or too short of a period, and whether there should be a maximum vote length implemented or not, and thus point 4 is also undecided. Regarding point 5, so far only Auror has expressed an issue with banning use of the poll feature for official votes, so it would appear that there is support for that part of the policy. It seems like we may be able to move on to another stage of this discussion and conclude that points one and two are agreed to as written. Now we can focus on deciding the rest.
So to clarify, as of right now:
  • The policy will be renamed to "The Sims Wiki:Voting policy"
  • The policy no longer requires a standard voting format.

-- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 07:31, November 28, 2014 (UTC)

Vote on use of polls for votingEdit

Icon yes check v
Issue is resolved
On a vote of 1-7, The Sims Wiki will not allow official votes to be conducted using polls. Using polls for non-official purposes is still allowed and encouraged.

Point 5 - the use of the <poll> feature to hold wiki votes - is a matter of some importance which is yet to be solved. To facilitate a solution, I am starting a vote.

Question: Yes or no - Should The Sims Wiki allow "official" votes (i.e. votes for consensus or binding votes) to be conducted using the Poll feature?

Please cast your vote below for one of the available options. - LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 07:31, November 28, 2014 (UTC) Voting has concluded

YesEdit

  1. Ѧüя◎ґ (talk) 21:39, December 2, 2014 (UTC)

NoEdit

  1. - LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 07:31, November 28, 2014 (UTC)
  2. ђ talk 09:24, November 28, 2014 (UTC)
  3. Nikel Talk Vote! 11:44, November 28, 2014 (UTC)
  4. Beds (talk - blog) 20:47, November 28, 2014 (UTC)
  5. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 14:55, December 1, 2014 (UTC)
  6. -- C.Syde (talk | contribs) 05:48, December 2, 2014 (UTC)
  7. Icemandeaf (talk) 08:21, December 2, 2014 (UTC)

ConclusionEdit

On a vote of 1-7, The Sims Wiki will not allow official votes to be conducted using polls. Using polls for non-official purposes is still allowed and encouraged. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 05:00, December 5, 2014 (UTC)

Vote length discussionEdit

I think we should expand a bit on the remaining issues highlighted above. The first remaining issue is vote duration. Currently the policy is two weeks unless otherwise stated (in other words, admins can set the vote to whatever length they choose). I proposed a duration of five days; some said five was too long, others said it was too short. Additionally, a few users expressed a desire to see a maximum vote length instated, as well as the ability to end a vote if the results of the vote appear to be a foregone conclusion.

Personally, I feel like a minimum of 5 days and a maximum of 14 days is a good benchmark. I also feel that votes should be ended early if there is clear consensus for a particular option, but I don't know what sort of minimum time, if any, should be set before doing this. I think it would best be left to the discretion of admins. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 05:00, December 5, 2014 (UTC)

I don't think I've ever seen a vote need to go for longer than 5 days barring exceptional circumstances. I believe it might be a good idea to use the same rules we use for RfA's, as shown here. There are a few benefits to this, namely it provides a decent time limit of 5 days with the potential for it to be extended in the case of a controversial issue. In addition, I like the idea of using this system as it would standardize voting across the wiki, as rights requests and other votes are the only two types of votes I can think of from memory. By standardizing the lengths of the two it would reduce confusion and also provide a sense of unity for lack of a better term. ђ talk 03:42, December 28, 2014 (UTC)

Vote starting discussionEdit

There's some disagreement on who should be allowed to initiate votes. Speaking personally, I feel we should allow all users who are eligible to vote (i.e. registered users with at least 1 edit on TSW) to also start votes. But we should also allow administrators the right to modify or cancel votes that are wholly unnecessary, unfair, badly-written, or that violate policy. In other words, administrators would serve as the enforcers, to make sure that any votes that are started are legitimate. I am personally not a fan of allowing vote creation by rollbackers but not regular users, as we have many capable users on the wiki who are not rollbackers. What does everyone else think? -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 05:00, December 5, 2014 (UTC)

Yes, the administrators should serve as the enforcers and be given the right to modify or cancel votes that are unnecessary, unfair, etc.
Yes, we should allow users that aren't rollbackers to start votes, since there are many capable users out there that aren't rollbackers. My thoughts were probably just there to support the allowances of more experienced non administrators to vote - but then we get new users that are already experienced from other wikis. I for one don't have rollback rights outside this wiki, but that doesn’t automatically make me less experienced, and more importantly it doesn’t make others less experienced as well.
So yes, all auto-confirmed users should be allowed to start votes. -- C.Syde (talk | contribs) 05:38, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
Um, that should be "all registered users with at least one edit" as LiR proposed. Autoconfirmed requires the account to be at least four days old and have made at least 10 edits. Autoconfirmed status also appears to be shared across all of Wikia, so a vandal that happened to stay on a small, unmonitored wiki made 10 edits and stayed there for four days would be able to start a vote here, which is undesirable. They should have one local edit here. Unregistered users should not be allowed to vote (as it's very easy to manipulate the votes just by changing IP addresses and using proxies and all that). --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 12:00, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
Of course administrators should be enforcers in votes and such. However, I feel that rollbackers and registered users should not be able to start a vote. They may be capable and this is not a trust issue, I just think that role should be for those who have "authority" on the wiki. Beds (talk - blog) 18:00, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
(edit conflict) (slight off-topic) Experience applies to more than just editing the wiki, it also applies to interactions with the community. I have over 10,000 edits on The Sims Wiki, but I have no experience editing Wikipedia. If I were to go there I would be inexperienced with their methods even if I am a rollback/admin/bureaucrat on other wikis. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 18:08, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
(added) Also, please be sure to comment on the section above this one, regarding vote length. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 18:09, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
@ Beds - I disagree that rollbackers and registered users shouldn't be able to start votes. I have full confidence that myself and other active non-admins can be trusted to start votes. And I don't think it should be left to those who have "authority". While not all users have the same user rights, we are all wiki editors who want to help improve it. And all users are in most circumstances, equal. So I think non-admins should be given the chance.
I have some level of experience editing wikipedia, but I remember when I was inexperienced. Also I don't really have anything to say on the section above this one. All vote lengths are fine with me, for now. -- C.Syde (talk | contribs) 21:21, December 5, 2014 (UTC)
Bumping this thread from the abyss with my opinion. I think that for a user to be able to start a vote they should have at the very least one edit here and there shouldn't be any other requirements. However, I believe I may have mentioned this elsewhere in another thread but I'll say it again anyway: I believe that the user should have participated in the discussion before starting a vote. This might be my own opinion but I don't see it as a good idea for a user who hasn't been involved in a discussion to start a vote as they might not know all the facts, know the reason for the discussion or something similar. Finally, I feel that all votes should be treated the same, and, if necessary, can all be controlled by admins as said above. I'd like to make a point that if an admin makes a vote another admin doesn't agree with that the second admin would be allowed to act the same in there somewhere as well, although maybe add some sort of note about discussing it via talk pages in the event of this situation; while this will probably never happen, and as a result isn't a very high priority in my opinion at least, I feel its a good idea simply to state this to reinforce the "all users are equal" ideal we try to portray. ђ talk 03:33, December 28, 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it is a good idea to state this to reinforce the "all users are equal" ideal we try to portray. I personally dislike the idea of only allowing admins to start votes, because I feel that gives the impression that admins are in charge of the wiki. The way I see it, all auto-confirmed users should be allowed to start votes, but the administrators should be the enforcers in votes etc. I know that I'm basically repeating what I've said above, so I think I'll just leave it at that...... -- C.Syde (talk | contribs) 04:02, December 28, 2014 (UTC)

Slight change to what I said above after it was brought up on IRC: "I believe that the user should have participated in the discussion before starting a vote" wouldn't apply in certain circumstances where a neutral admin is needed to start a vote in an attempt to get consensus or kickstart a dead discussion. ђ talk 04:10, December 28, 2014 (UTC)

I think that's a good idea. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 18:31, January 1, 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. Ѧüя◎ґ (talk) 22:50, January 31, 2015 (UTC)

Vote to adopt policyEdit

We've discussed a lot of stuff here, and frankly it would be disappointing to see that work and effort go to waste, without an effort to ratify these ideas into policy. To that effect, I have brushed up the draft policy based on what was discussed here, and now present it for a vote.

To clarify what has changed, I present the same list I included at the top of this thread, with changes notated:

  1. Rename the page to The Sims Wiki:Voting policy for sake of clarity. - Done
  2. Eliminate the standard voting format listed in the policy. - Done and reflected on the draft policy.
  3. Remove the administrators/bureaucrats-only limitation on initiating votes. - Reflected on draft policy. No formal vote was held to determine this point, but it seems that consensus is in favor of it. Also added a point agreed-to above, limiting vote creation to neutral admins or users who were actively involved in the discussion
  4. Eliminate the strict two-week duration on wiki votes, replacing it with a five day minimum vote duration. - Reflected on draft policy. There was no consensus regarding a specific maximum duration, but that's something that can be added on at a later date if needed
  5. Prohibit the use of the Poll feature in official voting. - Done and reflected on the draft policy.
  6. Clarify and organize the page. - Done on the draft policy

Overall, I think any lingering little issues can be ironed out after the main policy is adopted. And, it would be nice to finally be able to wrap up this discussion.

So, I'd like to put this matter up to a vote. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 00:33, February 11, 2015 (UTC)


Question: Do you support adopting this draft Voting Policy as official policy for The Sims Wiki, to replace the current voting policy - yes or no?

Duration: This vote will last for at least seven days. Time remaining:

Please cast your vote below, along with reasoning.


YesEdit

  1. Support I feel this debate has dragged on for a tad bit too long, so seeing a conclusion is the light at the end of the tunnel. So far, there are no glaring issues with the current proposal. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 00:37, February 11, 2015 (UTC)
  2. Support (obviously) - As I said above, even if the draft isn't 100% perfect, it makes a couple significant and, in my opinion, necessary changes that will ultimately make the policy better-fitting for the wiki. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 00:40, February 11, 2015 (UTC)
  3. Support - To be honest, I'm a little surprised this debate is still going. I have nothing more to say about this proposal, other than that I support it. -- C.Syde (talk | contribs) 01:36, February 11, 2015 (UTC)
  4. Support I know I haven't been involved in this discussion much as I haven't really had much to say, but I have been following it. I don't see any issues with this proposal. -- Icemandeaf (talk) 04:22, February 11, 2015 (UTC)
  5. Support Looks fine to me, covers more than the last one. ђ talk 04:46, February 11, 2015 (UTC)
  6. Support Nikel Talk Vote! 10:42, February 11, 2015 (UTC)
  7. Support -- Everything seems to be good. ~ Beds (talk - blog) 17:15, February 11, 2015 (UTC)

NoEdit

  1. Ѧüя◎ґ (talk) 21:43, February 11, 2015 (UTC)
    Auror: Why do you oppose? --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 21:47, February 11, 2015 (UTC)

ConclusionEdit

This policy was adopted a week or two ago but this thread still remains open so I'm going to be closing it for now. The new voting policy can be viewed in its entirety here. Thanks to all who contributed. If someone has an issue with this policy, please create a new thread and we'll go from there. ђ talk 10:12, March 6, 2015 (UTC)

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