Replacement filing cabinet

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This is the Admin Portal Talk Page, abbreviated as the APTP. This page is used by administrators to discuss administrative action, responsibilities, and tasks.

While non-administrators are more than welcome to read, browse, and link to discussions on this talk page, they cannot actively take part in discussions. If you wish to contact an administrator, or if you require assistance with anything else that is administrator-related, please start a thread at the administrators' noticeboard.

These rules have taken effect as of July 31, 2014. Before this date, regular community members were allowed to participate in discussions on this page, so you may see non-administrators posting here. The proposal and discussion can be found here.

Global Navigation header

There is currently a discussion going on about the incoming Global Navigation header. The discussion is not resolved yet but the prevailing opinion seems to be opposition to the new Global Navigation bar; there has so far been no support on that post for the new feature. As the wiki now has a Site Feature Policy, the will of the community needs to be heard. To that end, the policy specifies that we - the administrators - " take any step, short of violating Wikia's Terms of Use, to ensure proper adherence to [the Site Feature Policy]". The policy is silent on how to apply that directive, but it seems in this case the likely answer is to put in a Special Contact to Wikia Staff.

In the event that the discussion does indeed result in a rejection of the Global Navigation menu, I think we as admins should decide what message we want to send to Staff, and whether we are going to select a single admin to send the message or have individual admins send their own messages. Of course, the SFP does not limit an individual admin's options (except as it relates to Wikia's TOU), so each admin could choose to send their own message or pursue some other method of advocating for the community. However, I think we would benefit from having a cohesive message and a clear goal in our communications with staff.

So, I think we need to decide how we're going to contact staff, and what we're going to say in our contacts. -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 03:03, September 29, 2014 (UTC)

We should cite our Site feature policy and ask Wikia to give us time for our community to discuss the change, and then we'll present them the thread, the consensus, and the outcome of the discussion. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 11:02, September 29, 2014 (UTC)

Update: The outcome of the thread is clearly and unanimously (at the time of writing) opposed to the new Global Nav bar. As a result, I've drafted a suggested message for Wikia Staff. I'm not sure if we should all send the same message, but regardless I think the things included in the message below are a good place to start. Should we use one cohesive message, or should different admins write their own? Additionally, how many administrators should attempt to contact Wikia Staff? -- LostInRiverview talk ~ blog 07:07, October 11, 2014 (UTC)

Draft message
To whom it may concern,
I am an administrator on The Sims Wiki, contacting you in an official capacity on behalf of the editor community on The Sims Wiki. We have held a wiki discussion (located here: regarding the pending changes to the Wikia Global Navigation header (as announced at: As a result of this community discussion, are formally requesting that The Sims Wiki be exempted from changes to the Global Navigation header.
While we respect Wikia's desire to update its theme, there are numerous legitimate concerns that the new header will be detrimental to The Sims Wiki and other Wikia wikis. Primary concerns include the inability for local wikis to customize the appearance of the header, a use of the term "wikia" to refer to the local wiki (i.e. the header incorrectly says "search this wikia" instead of the proper "search this wiki"), and concerns that the header is too large and obtrusive. Ultimately, the desire of Wikia to update its global navigation header should not outweigh the right of local communities to determine the look and feel of their wikis, the terms and names used to describe their wikis, or the ability to control how their wiki functions.
We are also seeking an exemption due to our official wiki Features Policy (readable here: Under this wiki policy, all new Wikia features must be disabled by default, unless the changes are due to an update to MediaWiki itself. This policy exists to protect The Sims Wiki's right to determine its own function and appearance and to protect community consensus and community choice on our wiki. Ignoring this request for an exemption is ignoring wiki consensus, as an official wiki discussion (linked above) has shown that The Sims Wiki editor community is overwhelmingly opposed to these changes.
In closing, I politely but firmly request that Wikia abides by the wishes of The Sims Wiki's community, and allow The Sims Wiki to be exempted from the upcoming changes to the Global Navigation header.
Thank you for your consideration,

I don't think having three administrators all send the same message will work. Sure, it might get the message out, but it will probably be more of an annoyance to Wikia Staff, rather than a request. I think the draft message above pretty much sums up our point. So the problem now is... who will send the message to Special:Contact? Do we draw lots? --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 14:15, October 11, 2014 (UTC)

User:EmiEm64 / User:Snauspi

Both these accounts are operated by the same person. I have not blocked either account because the account owner is not trying to disguise the connection, and the account owner has not acted in bad faith. I have advised the account owner via EmiEm64's talk page of our rule against sock puppetry, and await a response. If there is no response, we'll have to figure out how we want to proceed. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 19:10, March 4, 2015 (UTC)

I don't feel that using {{Warning}} was a good idea, especially for a good faith user. A hand-written warning with emphasis on AGF would have been more appropriate. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 20:19, March 4, 2015 (UTC)
I think we should allow the user to continue editing, albeit just with one account. They haven't made any bad-faith edits, and just had an unawareness of the sockpuppetry rule, so it should be okay. ―The Tim Man (Infinite HistoriesGalactic CruciblesThe Sims WikiHallows MaleficentWhy I'm here in the first place) 22:50, March 4, 2015 (UTC)
I stand with WikiBuilder's notion. No need to block both accounts when the user is most likely a good faith user. MILK FOR THE UNYUUFEX, FLAT CHEST FOR THE CUTENESS THRONE, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL PROBES (user talk:Mathetesalexandrou) 23:58, March 4, 2015 (UTC)
If a block is issued on the unused account, use {{Socksoftblock}}. I disapprove of blocking both accounts, because the user has made no harmful edits. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 00:04, March 5, 2015 (UTC)
At the moment, I feel it's best to notify the user about multiple accounts ownership with a message instead of a warning template. They should, at least, understand that they remain consistent with one account. Blocking the other account may seem unnecessary, but I think it still has to be enforced even if the user hasn't done any bad-faith edits. Nikel Talk Vote! 12:51, March 5, 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to wait for further input from the user themselves before doing anything but as long as they're not doing anything malicious I don't think the main account should be blocked. ђ talk 10:03, March 6, 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── From the history for those accounts, it appears that the user may have considered shifting to a different username, then either decided against it or realized that that wasn't how to do it. All contributions for User:Snauspi are on March 4, and that userpage was blanked on March 4 at 18:40, after which the user continued editing as User:EmiEm64. Between that and the user's history of good-faith edits, I think {{Warning}} was unnecessary. I've left them a message pointing them to the process for requesting a username change. Dharden (talk) 13:18, March 6, 2015 (UTC)

I think everything I wanted to say has been said above. The warning was a bit unnecessary, but as of yet, the user hasn't shown they have issues with it, so we should be thankful for that. A softly written message would be better suited. If the user wishes to continue editing under User:EmiEm64, they should perhaps look into getting User:Snauspi deleted or globally blocked; which they can request, via Wikia themselves. They should also keep us updated with their decision. ~ Beds (talk - blog) 14:10, March 6, 2015 (UTC)

Commentadder and Cubisticmage911

Icon yes check v
Issue is resolved
Both accounts have been globally blocked. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 01:19, March 22, 2015 (UTC)

I suspect that both Commentadder and Cubisticmage911 are sockpuppets of Cubistic.mage: Both Commentadder and Cubisticmage911 have been issued warning from the GTA wiki, and both have been seen uploading gif images to the Disney wiki, when an admin from the said wiki told commentadder not to. I have blocked Cubisticmage911 for 12 hours, please confirm sock and hardblock if needed. MILK FOR THE UNYUUFEX, FLAT CHEST FOR THE CUTENESS THRONE, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL PROBES (user talk:Mathetesalexandrou) 01:29, March 21, 2015 (UTC)

In addition, the user Cubistic.mage has been blocked on Disney wiki for vandalizing stuff regarding Lilo and Stitch, and while Commentadder and Cubisticmage911 haven't overtly vandalized them, they have made edits on articles dealing with the said subject matter, and as stated above Commentadder has been told not to upload gif images and Cubisticimage911 has been seen doing the same. MILK FOR THE UNYUUFEX, FLAT CHEST FOR THE CUTENESS THRONE, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL PROBES (user talk:Mathetesalexandrou) 01:35, March 21, 2015 (UTC)

After looking into this, I suspect that you are correct, at least as far as Commentadder being the same person as Cubisticmage911. Regarding whether they are the same person as Cubistic.mage, that would be difficult to prove and ultimately not relevant, as controlling two accounts is sockpuppetry in and of itself. I'll put in a CU request. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 01:43, March 21, 2015 (UTC)
I suspect that they are the same user because of the copy and pasting of the block notice from Commentadder to Cubisticmage911's talk page. I guess we'll just wait to see what the CU says. -- Icemandeaf (talk) 21:19, March 21, 2015 (UTC)
Both users have been globally blocked on Wikia. That, as well as the other evidence presented, pretty much confirms that they are socks. At this point, since both accounts are globally blocked, there's nothing more we need to do. - LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 01:20, March 22, 2015 (UTC)
What do you know, I've earned my keep as admin for once. MILK FOR THE UNYUUFEX, FLAT CHEST FOR THE CUTENESS THRONE, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL PROBES (user talk:Mathetesalexandrou) 03:14, March 22, 2015 (UTC)

AlexConnorBrown and VonBraun

I suspect that the user VonBraun is a sockpuppet of AlexConnorBrown. Whilst neither account has technically made any bad-faith edits, VonBraun did blank AlexConnorBrown's userpage, which I reverted just in case. I recommend issuing a soft block to AlexConnorBrown's account, as it is probably so that this user wishes to use the VonBraun account in the future. ―The Tim Man (Infinite HistoriesGalactic CruciblesThe Sims WikiHallows MaleficentWhy I'm here in the first place) 23:15, March 21, 2015 (UTC)

I shall leave a message for him to check and confirm. MILK FOR THE UNYUUFEX, FLAT CHEST FOR THE CUTENESS THRONE, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL PROBES (user talk:Mathetesalexandrou) 00:03, March 22, 2015 (UTC)
AlexConnorBrown was created on March 20, 2011, and has 21 total edits across Wikia. VonBraun was created on August 5, 2014, and has 1,324 total edits across Wikia. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 01:24, March 22, 2015 (UTC)
The fact that they share the same name is probably a coincidence? Nikel Talk Vote! 08:18, March 22, 2015 (UTC)
It's possible that it's coincidence, but VonBraun's header says "aka Alex Brown". Also, AlexConnorBrown's profile says "I am Alex Brown i am 11 years old", but that edit was made on April 2, 2011. I suspect that this user either left or was "escorted out" for being underage, and may have forgotten the login for AlexConnorBrown by the time he decided to return. I think a soft block for AlexConnorBrown is probably a good idea. Dharden (talk) 14:18, March 24, 2015 (UTC)
So we all good for a soft block for ACB? ―The Tim Man (Infinite HistoriesGalactic CruciblesThe Sims WikiHallows MaleficentWhy I'm here in the first place) 23:12, March 25, 2015 (UTC)

Possible socks discussion

Icon yes check v
Issue is resolved
Confirmed sock and blocked. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 22:32, March 25, 2015 (UTC)

I chose not to put the user names in the header, in case the named users would happen to see the header name pop up in recent changes or wiki activity. But there is a matter of some importance regarding a few editors here that is worthy of discussion.

Sweet&Innocent (talk · contribs · editcount · block · modify rights · logs · block log) created an account on TSW yesterday, and the *very first place* they edited was the noticeboard, where they left this message:

EPICMINECRAFTER and Chrissy Brown who is ILoveTheSims5 have the same profile pic see: I think she is a sock puppet of ILoveSims5. Sweet&Innocent (talk) 15:50, March 24, 2015 (UTC) [Links added by me]

This message was sent less than a day after I received a pair of messages on ModTheSims from "Lover1219." The first message was very much like the one above; here it is in its entirety:

The truth about User:EPICMINECRAFTER101 is that she is a sock of User:ILoveTheSims5 See:
She has of same profile pic as Chrissy Brown who is ILoveTheSims5

The second message from "Lover1219" is what gives me pause, however:

I have truly changed and I regret what I did. I'd like to apologize to everyone. I am being honest. I truly just want to be you guys friend. I want to help you guys improve your wiki and help the whole wikia community. I'd like to be a VSTF because I want to help wikia. It's my favorite site. I am done doing bad things I promise. I will get all my accounts globally disabled. I truly have had a change of heart. I regret everything I did in the past. It was a horrible mistake and I've learned from it. I will never sock or troll or vandalize again. I just want a chance to prove myself to you guys. I am a worthy and useful contributor. I really just want to be a good user. I wish I could take everything back. Please forgive me.

Then, as if this all wasn't confusing enough, I received another message on MTS about an hour later, from a different account, "ChissyAnna Brown", which is as follows:


I find it very hard to believe that Sweet&Innocent is not "Lover1219" of ModTheSims, and I'm also reasonably sure that this person is also in control of the "ChrissyAnna Brown" alias on MTS. Whether this person is in fact ILS5, I cannot say. If S&I is indeed telling the truth - if EPICMINECRAFTER101 is a sock of ILS5 - then it makes little sense why this person would tell us. I am very doubtful of their motives, especially since they seem to display the same traits that ILS5 herself possesses, particularly a propensity to make contact through outside channels, and a higher-than-normal level of understanding of TSW's processes. If S&I is indeed "Lover1219," then it would seem that they are ILS5, in which case, why on earth would ILS5 be reporting one of her own socks?

To be honest, I think this is a monster that we are partially responsible for. We go about hunting down and tracking sockpuppets as if it is an important function of our jobs. I myself have warned another user for sock-hunting, and I think it might be time to institute a policy against regular users making sockpuppet accusations. While in C.Syde's case he was trying to be helpful, the situation here shows that such accusations can cause tons of confusion, and in any case are hardly in standing with an assumption of good faith. /rant

So, what shall we do? - LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 16:08, March 25, 2015 (UTC)

I, too, have gotten those same messages and in a similar place as you. There is something very suspicious about this, but no solid proof to block anyone. On the same token, this sort of sock-hunting is disrupting as well. I know something needs to be done, but I don't know what to do either. -- Icemandeaf (talk) 16:23, March 25, 2015 (UTC)
C.Syde65, via Chat, has shared some information with me about this issue. He, too, has received a message about something similar to this situation. Here is his message;
"I noticed a discussion going on at the Admin Portal talk page. I doubt that the user on ModtheSims really is the real ILoveSims5. They are probably ilovethesims199 in disguise, because they actually sent a message to me on their plan to rid ILS5 sock-puppets. But I have no desire to get involved in any more activities surrounding ILS5."
Now, if this happens to be true, then I think we are being meddled with. My personal opinion is that this is probably a completely new troll, trying to bring some old drama back up to this died out flame. That's just my opinion. Of course, Sweet&Innocent could be telling us the truth. For now, this situation just confuses me. ~ Beds (talk - blog) 19:56, March 25, 2015 (UTC)
I think C.Syde may be correct... looking at this now, it does start to really seem like a sock of Ilovethesims999, not ILS5. If that's the case, then this whole thing starts to make more sense. By making a sock accusation, ILTS199 probably thinks he is getting back into our good graces. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 20:41, March 25, 2015 (UTC)
I'm sorry that I didn't report this firsthand. I also got the very same PMs on MTS like LiR (2 from Lover1219, 1 from ChissyAnna Brown). I then checked User Creation Log to see if the same usernames were created that day, but I couldn't see any, so I only reported the PMs to MTS admin because they're almost very certainly socks.
Then I got a PM from Sweet&Innocent. I checked it just now, and didn't realize he did make a sock account here. And then he PM'ed me as K6ka1999. I don't think I really need to share his PM contents here. The last PM from him is swearing. So yeah, we probably need to keep an eye on more of his socks. Nikel Talk Vote! 14:26, March 26, 2015 (UTC)

Issues editing wiki navigation menu

Due to custom css styling on the wiki navigation menu, we are unable to edit the menu. Right now, the style applied to the menu increases the Level 1 menu beyond the maximum width, so that even if no changes are made, the editor warns that the menu is too wide and refuses to let you publish any edits to the menu. I temporarily removed the css style applied to the menu and was then able to successfully make edits to the menu, so that is definitely the culprit here. Knowing that, we have a few options. We could try editing the menu to reduce the width of the level 1 menu, but I don't think that's practical. We could try finding a way to redesign the theme so it doesn't make the menu as wide; it could work, but it would be tedious. We could simply remove the styling from the menu whenever we want to edit the menu, though again it would be tedious. Or we could simply remove the styling from the menu altogether, which would be the simplest solution, but we'd also lose the style that is applied to the menu. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 14:29, April 5, 2015 (UTC)

MediaWiki:Wiki-navigation has a width check when you attempt to save the page. Normally, this width check is supposed to prevent issues with the navbar, such as menus that are too big, so text spills out, or having too many tabs that won't fit. However, this width check is dependent on the web browser and not the actual settings for the wiki. So if your browser happens to supersize the text, tough luck — the width checker will think the tabs won't fit when they do.
There are ways to bypass this width check, however, as mentioned at w:Thread:734913. Examples include:
  • Copying the following code into your personal CSS page:
/* Special thanks to User:452 for this! Original taken from */
/* This thing fixes the broken width check in MediaWiki:Wiki-navigation */
.ArticlePreviewInner .WikiHeader li.nav-item a {
  /* Because the width check is broken. */ 
  margin: 0;
  padding: 0;
Keep in mind that removing the width check also increases the possibility of you messing up the navbar (much like drugs that weaken the immune system reduce the chance of organ rejection after a transplant, but increase the risk of infection). It would probably be best to test changes to the navbar on a test wiki before saving the real thing. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 15:32, April 5, 2015 (UTC)

UndeadEuan & Euan Del Rey

These two users have exactly the same avatar, and visit some of the same wikis. Both accounts joined TSW quite some time ago, so I'm surprised this wasn't noticed. I believe that one of the accounts is a sock of the other. As with AlexConnorBrown and VonBraun, I recommend a soft block to one of the accounts, preferably UndeadEuan, as EDR is probably the one this user wishes to use in future. ―The Tim Man (Infinite HistoriesGalactic CruciblesThe Sims WikiHallows MaleficentWhy I'm here in the first place) 12:38, April 6, 2015 (UTC)

Left messages on both talk pages, we'll see what they choose to do. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 14:09, April 6, 2015 (UTC)
They are owned by the same person. They are choosing to use Euan Del Rey from now on, so I've left a note on UndeadEuan specifying the connection. I did not block UndeadEuan, since there is nothing here to suggest any bad faith actions on their part. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 20:08, April 6, 2015 (UTC)

Reduce policy page protection?

I think we should consider reducing the protection level on our policy pages, down to semi-protection for editing (while maintaining sysop-only levels for page moves).

Policies are meant to evolve over time, and aren't meant to be treated as hard and constant rules, at least most of the time. Allowing autoconfirmed users to correct issues on policy pages, and make modifications to those pages if relevant, would help to encourage those policies to evolve over time. Additionally, we have enough admins and rollbackers on the wiki to combat any vandalism that might occur. - LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 18:12, May 5, 2015 (UTC)

I'd be up for this. I don't really see any problems with it. As long as they are autoconfirmed users, and they agree to not vandalise or remove important information from the page, then I see absolutely no problem with it. ~ Beds (talk - blog) 19:21, May 5, 2015 (UTC)
Support provided that there is a notice added to the top of policy pages that tells users that "Changes made to the policy pages should reflect consensus," much like Wikipedia does. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 19:30, May 5, 2015 (UTC)
Agree with K6ka's point. {{Policy}} can easily be modified to reflect that language. -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 19:56, May 5, 2015 (UTC)
Any more input? -- LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 06:29, June 20, 2015 (UTC)
Bump --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 02:28, July 25, 2015 (UTC)
I support this as well. -- Icemandeaf (talk) 02:33, July 25, 2015 (UTC)

Weak oppose, mainly because I am of the opinion that policies are something that should be discussed before changes are written on the slate. I am also of the opinion that our long-standing users are often well informed of the be bold clause of our policy, which already makes our policy more of a loose one than a strict one. However, I am all for allowing registered users to make changes to the policies after all discussions are made. MILK FOR THE UNYUUFEX, FLAT CHEST FOR THE CUTENESS THRONE, SKULLS FOR THE SKULL PROBES (user talk:Mathetesalexandrou) 01:03, July 26, 2015 (UTC)

Any controversial edits made to the policy pages that have not been approved by consensus can always be reverted immediately and the user advised to seek discussion to obtain approval from the community. Reducing page protection does not change that fact; even if I decided to amend the policies myself without consensus, I would certainly be reverted. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 01:25, July 26, 2015 (UTC)


Red x cross uncheck bad
Discussion closed
User is unlikely to stop socking anytime soon, and having this discussion is probably just feeding them. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 11:50, June 2, 2015 (UTC)

Today, ILoveSims19 (talk · contribs · editcount · block · modify rights · logs · block log) (previously known as "ILoveSims199") came to the IRC channel and asked to have their wiki block lifted. They stated that they've given up on trolling and sock puppetry, and wish to contribute in good faith.

I'm not sure that ILS19 is being genuine, but I feel I need to AGF in this case. I'm not sure I support an immediate unblock, however, given this person's history. It might be justified to deny the request at this time, with the assurance that it will be reconsidered at a later date as long as they uphold their promise to stop creating sock puppets. Ultimately, it's up to us how we want to handle this. - LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 19:53, May 28, 2015 (UTC)

I'm sure we're all aware that this isn't the first time ILS19 has requested for unblock and promised to behave. He's been rejected several times, and he acted even worse from MTS PMs for example. Don't forget about the previous discussion about him. I'm sure you remember that and you've said that you want to AGF, but IMO, I'm not feeling very supportive about this after all. Nikel Talk Vote! 04:02, May 29, 2015 (UTC)
I'm normally up for assuming good faith, but in this case I cannot. With the evidence they have provided, and from past experience with this user, I cannot bring myself to agree with them being unblocked from the wiki. And I can honestly say that nothing they will do, whether it is highly appropriate and good natured, will change my mind on this. ~ Beds (talk - blog) 22:28, May 29, 2015 (UTC)
Given that this person has created another sock despite promising never to do so ever again, I can safely say that I retract any support I may have had for another chance. Assume good faith only applies when there isn't strong evidence to suggest someone acting in bad faith. With this person, there is ample evidence that proves an ongoing history of bad faith. Oppose unblock. - LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 03:35, June 2, 2015 (UTC)

Topnav menu issues on smaller displays

It appears as though the wiki navigation menu is displayed incorrectly when the wiki is viewed on a lower resolution, such as on a tablet. Namely, the 'Interaction' tab on the navbar is "wrapped" down to the second line, so it collides with the secondary menu text and makes the Interaction menu inaccessible. Any thoughts as to a possible solution? - LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 03:07, June 22, 2015 (UTC)

Well, technically we've been violating the navigation all along. Under normal circumstances, the current navigation cannot be edited and submitted unless we make a workaround. It was an odd decision since the navigation looked just fine and all the menus fit pretty well, but I guess it turned out we overlooked this case? Aside from that, I don't have any idea for a solution other than to follow the normal navigation width rule by removing some menus. Nikel Talk Vote! 11:15, June 30, 2015 (UTC)
Nikel, that seemed to be more of a bug (or at least, a very bad update) on Wikia's end. I say this because it was broken on the latest version of Google Chrome, but I tried using an older version of Chrome (and on Firefox) and it apparently worked fine. The page has a width check that's entirely dependent on the browser, and each browser is different. --I am k6ka Talk to me! See what I have done 12:33, June 30, 2015 (UTC)

Discussing a new approach

This might seem a bit out of place considering we have (recently) been quite lucky to be free of the most of the repeat sockpuppeters. I hope that this lasts, but my fear is that it is a momentary lull. And, if we assume that the good times will not last, then we assume that there will come a point when the "usual suspects" will return to their ways. I would like for us to agree on a different approach to handing these issues moving forward. Simply put, I think our attitude at present towards sockpuppets and puppet-masters does more harm to the wiki than it mitigates.

We've been dealing with a relatively constant onslaught of sock puppets, and that has put us in a warzone mentality. We often block users based solely on their username, without any benefit of the doubt or assumption of good faith, without an honest attempt to perform a CheckUser, and often before the user has even made their first edit to the wiki. I have argued in private with others that this it is a mistake to react in this way, as it gives the puppeteers exactly what they are looking for. Consider: do you think that a puppet master would create an account that is an obvious sock, unless they intended to be blocked? The natural response to this question would be, "well, if they're knowingly breaking the rules (which they are), then isn't blocking them exactly what we should be doing?" I think that the answer is "no."

How would not blocking them solve our problem? Well, for starters, I'm not arguing against all blocks, I'm simply arguing against blocks issued only because of multiple account ownership. What would this do? Consider an example:

Let's say that an account named "ILoveTheSims20" is created on The Sims Wiki. Currently, this name rings enough bells to bring about a permanent block, even if ILTS20 doesn't actually make an edit on the wiki. Under this new "doctrine," judgment would be reserved until that user starts to edit. If they make positive edits, then under this idea, they would not be blocked. This is a good thing, since TSW has gained an editor that makes positive contributions. Alternatively, ILTS20 could choose to attack a user or vandalize the wiki, in which case a block dependent on their actions would be justified. Currently, even if we give the benefit of the doubt to a suspected sock in the first place, they're essentially on two-strikes already because we know or strongly suspect a sock; once they do anything to "reveal" themselves, the punishment is swift and permanent. I would argue that we should treat them just as we would any other first-time violator.

So to boil this down, a sock is born and can either 1) become a good member, and stay or, 2) be a bad member, at which point our normal warn/block cycle can take over. I should add that this whole concept hinges on one other idea.

Indefinite blocks should be incredibly rare, and should almost never be without the choice of appeal. I would argue that we should reform our appeals system to prevent abuse, by mandating that a user cannot appeal for a certain length of time after the beginning of a block. This is because an appeal is not usually used to allege a lack of wrongdoing, it's used to request clemency. We could write in something to the effect that users alleging that a block is unjustified may appeal at once (and provide sufficient proof to that point), but users who simply want to ask for a second chance must wait for an assigned period of time before doing so.

By no means do I think what I'm proposing will fix things. But right now I feel as though we need to do something. The warzone mentality I've mentioned before is damaging to the wiki as a whole. We are so apprehensive of new users, and we've grown to doubt even our more established users for fear that they could be colluding with trolls and sock puppeters. We've taken to creating secret wikis, making lists and tracking data, and "sock hunting" against these users. We're allowing these few users to dictate how we administrate the wiki. We're allowing them to orchestrate a game, with us and them as opposing players. Unfortunately I don't think this is a game we can win; they have unlimited extra lives, cheats, and an unending boredom, and they will play the game as long as we continue to play with them. By enacting some reforms and making some changes, I think we can end the game. - LostInRiverview talkblogcontribs 02:17, August 5, 2015 (UTC)

That has been my own personal policy when dealing with "possible" sockpuppets. Unless I had proof that the user was truly a sockpuppet, I wouldn't issue a block. However, it seemed that vandalism would usually occur before such proof surfaced and would result in a block for vandalism instead. This is probably why I don't issue many blocks. Needless to say, I do agree that this war zone mentality needs to end. I admit that it is because I started getting that mindset that I was hesitant when a brand new user asked me to adopt them. While it is true that I did eventually accept that request, it wouldn't have taken a couple of days to verify that the user was indeed genuine had it not been for that way of thinking. How many new users have been pushed away because we assumed they were wolves in sheep's clothing? -- Icemandeaf (talk) 07:01, August 5, 2015 (UTC)
I wholeheartedly agree with this proposal. At the moment, our judgmental policy on socks makes us seem like some police state à la Stalin-era USSR. That is most certainly not who we are. We are simply a community of Sims fans ranging from fanatics to casual gamers who come together to compile information and stories surrounding our favourite games. If we want our impression to be just that, we must be more careful when dealing with violations of our by-laws or sockpuppets. As said before, this wiki is not a war zone. This is not a "war on terror". We are not the Bush government. I think I'm going around in circles now, so I'm just going to stop here. —The Tim Man (IHGCTSWAHContribs) 09:02, August 5, 2015 (UTC)
I do think we have been a bit harsh in our approach, blocking users who have yet to make an edit just based on an assumption appears unwelcoming as well as having the risk of catching someone who wasn't involved in an accidental block. I would prefer CheckUser results instead of the way things are being done at the moment. As for not blocking potential socks who are making constructive edits, I am opposed to this. I feel that it makes a mockery of our ban system, and I could probably go even further in that if we didn't block socks, people could just make a complete mess on one account, make a new one, and start over, which completely removes the point of blocks and I can't see it doing anything but spiraling into chaos and removing user accountability. This goes back to what I said above, though - these socks shouldn't be blocked instantly, and only if we've got enough evidence for a CheckUser which turns up positive. If a banned user makes a sock and doesn't ever get caught, that's something that is beyond our control and I suppose that raises more questions, especially if they become a respected contributor/admin and are found out then. Regardless, yeah, something about the current situation does need to change. ђ talk 09:48, August 5, 2015 (UTC)
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