|Policies and Guidelines|
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The Sims Wiki has adopted rules governing the use of alternate or multiple accounts to edit the wiki. As a general rule, each person is allowed to control only one account at any time. Unauthorized usage of alternate or multiple accounts is often unacceptable and may result in blocks.
Any person may edit The Sims Wiki freely without creating a user account. However, certain rights and responsibilities are reserved for editors who choose to create an account before editing; these include the ability to create a user page, edit semi-protected pages, participate fully in on-wiki discussions and user promotion discussions, and request additional user rights and abilities. Users who create an account can fully interact with other editors, and this interaction creates a community built on trust and honest cooperation. The creation and use of alternate or multiple accounts for the purposes of breaking wiki rules or acting in bad faith undermines and erodes this trust and threatens the stability of the community.
- All alternate or multiple accounts (AMAs), regardless of whether the accounts are used in good faith or bad faith, are prohibited unless specifically allowed, (see "Legitimate uses" below for exceptions) or approved by the administrators on a case-by-case basis;
- Sockpuppetry—the use of AMAs for malicious purposes—is strictly forbidden (see "Sockpuppetry" for more explanation);
- No person may own and/or control a bot account on The Sims Wiki without administrative approval (see "Bot accounts" below for more information).
Legitimate uses of alternate or multiple accounts
Although generally alternate or multiple accounts (AMAs) are prohibited, there are limited circumstances where their use is allowed.
- Users are allowed to create and use an alternate account for security, such as when they use a public computer. This alternate account cannot hold any special user rights or permissions.
- Users may create doppelgänger accounts to prevent impersonation or to "reserve" a username for future use. These alternate accounts may not be used for editing.
- Users may own "test accounts" in order to test tools or interfaces; or to take screenshots, such as for a help page. These accounts should not be used to edit the main namespace of the wiki.
- Users may own multiple accounts from other wikis. However, only one account should be used to edit The Sims Wiki.
- Users may create a new account in order to have a "clean start." Clean start accounts cannot be created to evade scrutiny or to bypass active blocks, editing restrictions, or other on-wiki sanctions. Users choosing to make a clean start must cease editing The Sims Wiki with their older account.
- Users may create a new account in order to change their username, though users are strongly encouraged to rename their account instead of starting a new account from scratch. If a user chooses to start a new account for this purpose, they should stop editing from the old account and edit only from the new account.
- A user that is blocked from editing The Sims Wiki because of an inappropriate user name may create a new account with an appropriate user name; this instance does not constitute "sockpuppetry" as defined below, but only in cases where the block against the account was because of an inappropriate user name.
- Users may own alternate accounts in order to operate Bots (see Bot accounts below for more information).
- Users may create AMAs for reasons not listed here if explicitly approved by the administrators through a request on the administrators' noticeboard.
AMAs should always be identified as such on their user pages, except where doing so would defeat the purpose of the account.
Sockpuppetry (also called sock puppetry) is defined as the bad faith use of alternate or multiple accounts. "Sockpuppet" refers to the "fake" accounts that are set up by the account owner, who usually has a "main account" or "primary account," which is usually the first account that they edited with when they joined the wiki. This term also applies to accounts set up by other people at the request of a person in order to aid in an on-wiki discussion or disagreement; this specific arrangement is often referred to as "meatpuppetry".
All forms of sockpuppetry and meatpuppetry are strictly forbidden on The Sims Wiki.
Sockpuppetry includes the creation of or use of alternate or multiple accounts to:
- Mislead, deceive, or disrupt;
- Create the illusion of greater support for a position;
- Stir up controversy;
- Evade a wiki Chat ban;
- Evade a wiki block, or;
- Circumvent wiki policies, editing restrictions, or any other restrictions.
Editing while logged out
Registered users can sometimes edit the wiki while logged out. This often happens by accident; a user may edit the wiki without realizing that they are logged out. People who own an account are encouraged to log in before making edits to the wiki; users are not strictly required to do so and may have valid reasons for editing without logging in. However, account owners who deliberately edit while logged out in order to engage in any form of editing in bad faith, (such as those listed above) are guilty of sockpuppetry and subject to appropriate penalties.
Bots are programs used to make repetitive, minor and/or routine edits to The Sims Wiki. Bots are often run through designated bot accounts. The operation of a bot on the wiki, whether or not it is operated through a designated bot account, must be approved by the administrators through a request on the administrators' noticeboard. When requesting permission to use a bot, users should specify whether the bot will operate through the regular user account or a designated bot account. Bot accounts are given a special "bot" flag, allowing edits from that account to be automatically hidden in Special:Recentchanges. Bot programs that edit frequently or heavily should run primarily through designated accounts to prevent overwhelming the recent changes list.
The Alternative and Multiple Account Policy is strictly enforced on The Sims Wiki.
- Alternate or multiple accounts that do not have an approved purpose (either listed above or approved by the administrators) may be blocked. Administrators in some cases may warn you of a potential policy violation and ask you to explain or correct the situation before blocking the account(s). In cases where alternate or multiple accounts are blocked, those blocks will not extend to the "main" user account.
- Malicious use of alternate or multiple accounts (aka Sockpuppetry or meatpuppetry) will result in the indefinite blocking of all alternate accounts, and potential sanctions against the main account which may include temporary or indefinite blocks, as determined on a case-by-case basis. Sockpuppet accounts confirmed through a CheckUser request will not be given talk page editing privileges and may not appeal blocks.
- Bot accounts that are not approved by the administrators may be blocked to prevent them from causing unintended damage or disruption to the wiki. Bot owners who use a bot account maliciously risk being blocked from editing from both "main" and all "bot" accounts.
Administrators will use their best judgment in implementing these penalties, and may choose to forego issuing blocks on a case-by-case basis. A long-term block on a main account as a result of unauthorized alternate or multiple account usage should be discussed by the administrators before is is implemented.