Guild Wars Wiki talk:No personal attacks

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Removal of NPA violations[edit]

I hereby propose changing the policy so it no longer allows removing policy violations. Many times the violations, while by definition disallowed by policy and generally unproductive, are required so the discussion can make sense. Once the offender has been punished, it should be of little difficulty to read his words. -- Armond WarbladeUser Armond sig image.png 10:39, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with that for main Talk pages, but with user talks where that user is personally attacked, I would rather that user had the right to choose whether or not to remove the violation. --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ Talk 15:02, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
Current policy allows anyone to remove violations, does it not? (This originated at User talk:Backsword#FYI.) -- Armond WarbladeUser Armond sig image.png 21:39, 12 February 2008 (UTC)
How would replacing personal attacks with a "Removed as per GWW:NPA" notice cause existing sections to no longer make sense? Wouldn't just knowing that it was an insulting statement or words be enough to tie things together? But personally, I'd rather just remove only the offending portions of a sentence, rather than a whole edit. Maybe that needs to be clarified. -- User Sig.png 02:47, 13 February 2008 (UTC)
The current policy allows users to remove any personal attacks from their own user talk pages, and allows sysops to remove personal attacks at the request of the targets of those attacks. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 06:08, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

Change the name of the policy[edit]

No stating FACTUAL INFORMATION on a WIKI that makes ArenaNet, its fanboys, or the sysops look bad unless it's on your own talk page.

Yeah, the NSFIOAWTMAIFOTSLBUIOYOTP policy. ~Shard User Shard Sig Icon.png 06:29, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Do you really want to start this again Shard? --Wyn's Talk page Wyn 06:31, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Is it really that hard to complain about game design and balance decisions by targeting the decisions themselves rather than the people responsible for them? -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 06:52, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Lets see should we complain about how bad Bush has been as president of the U.S in regard to the economy or just complain about how bad the policies were that happened while he has been in office?~>Sins WDBAssassin-tango-icon-20.png 22:35, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Good god people! Let's start with an easy question so it can develop from there and please no randomness...Just answer this. Is there a benefit of changing the name of the policy?--ShadowFog 22:44, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Some people (usually, the ones that get banned) complain that the policy is called "no personal attacks" and thus claim that they can "attack" as long as it's not personal. Some others claim that they can "state factual but out of context information" about individuals also since it's not an "attack". Either way, the people that work with the policy (meaning, admins) have proven already knowledge on the meaning of it, so i find no reason for changing the name really.--Fighterdoken 22:48, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Quite simply this is Shard's way of expressing his displeasure at being banned for stating what he claims is fact, regardless that it's a personal attack. Until he really gets the fact that what he does is a violation of this policy, he will most likely continue to violate it regardless of what we name it. I don't believe he posted this question in the hopes of producing any sort of constructive discussion, he just wanted everyone to know he was unhappy. --Wyn's Talk page Wyn 23:21, 20 November 2008 (UTC)
Aye, that and he was just trolling. --LemmingUser Lemming64 sigicon.png 00:41, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Maybe I'm missing something. I must not know English, because apparently if I attack someone's actions or their job, it's considered a person. It's commonly known that arenanet sucks at a lot of things...I think IGNORING their mistakes is the LAST thing we should do about it. If you put mistakes in peoples' faces, they will see them. If you don't, they won't. This isn't rocket science.
NPA is there to prevent people from spamming "you gay idiot," "you nigger," and "gtfo fatass" on the pages. It was not supposed to prevent people from telling arenanet what they're doing wrong or from asking "who's the person who actually fixes things." I've been banned for violating NPA before, then I stopped, and if I actually was violating NPA, I wouldn't make a big deal about this. You banned me because I talked negatively about how arenanet is handling the game and being right about it. They just...i didn't want to use this word but there isn't a better one...they just fail at everything they do so much that any mention of their actions looks negative.
Some people complain that the policy is called "no personal attacks" and thus claim that they can "attack" as long as it's not personal.
No, I'm claiming that because that's not only what its name implies, but it's also what the policy fucking says. IT EVEN SAYS "comment on the content, not the contributor," which is EXACTLY what I'm doing. ~Shard User Shard Sig Icon.png 04:36, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

(Reset indent)

Calling someone's work bad is like calling someone's child bad: it reflects back to them and their power--or lack thereof--to do...whatever the hell they do. --TalkRiddle 06:02, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
If your child is a murderer and I said that was bad, that's a personal attack? Wow. Obviously, I'm not seeing this like you guys are. I'll stick to your "no negatively enlightening information no matter how relevant it is" policy if it gives you that much of a hard-on. ~Shard User Shard Sig Icon.png 06:07, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Ehh, I was talking more along the lines of "Little Tommy is bad at soccer!" Usually the parent of Little Tommy doesn't go "Be a man, Tommy!" but rather punches the insulting person in the teeth, despite the fact the Tommy may actually be bad at soccer. --TalkRiddle 06:15, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
This is why I thank God for putting blunt people in the world along with those who push being politically correct.~>Sins WDBAssassin-tango-icon-20.png 17:55, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
If you've got a problem with the policy, you can propose that it be toned down or repealed and try to convince the community that the change would be a good idea. It would be hypocritical to keep the policy as-is but let certain people get away with violating it because of their popularity. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 01:02, 22 November 2008 (UTC)
You mean Auron? Or me? I just don't understand how, not only do I get blocked for saying things that are borderline NPA, but other people (and actually myself) can put as many personal attacks on our own userpages with no consequence. This isn't 1400 CE where people thought the world and the sky had different physics. If you're not going to allow something, disallow it everywhere for everyone. ~Shard User Shard Sig Icon.png 06:39, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
The first part was directed at both you and Sins. What do you want? A policy which has different rules for personal attacks directed against current and former ArenaNet employees? A policy which allows regular users to complain about eachothers' job performance and call for them to be fired? The second part wasn't referring to anyone in particular, it was criticising "User X shouldn't be blocked because I / we like him / her." arguements (and, indirectly, "User X shouldn't be blocked because I / we agree with him / her." arguements) in general. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 07:35, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
The policy does disallow personal attacks for everyone; it's just a case of enforcement. It's not feasible to view, and subsequently enforce policies on, every page, even if there were a hundred sysops - enforcement's carried out as violations are noticed or pointed out. Also, grey areas exist, so not everything can be solidified in policy. If you know you're violating policy and putting personal attacks on your userpage, for example, why don't you remove them (and why are you putting them there in the first place)? --User Pling sig.png Brains12 \ talk 17:59, 27 November 2008 (UTC)


Something should be added against baseless accusations. Something like: "...accusations against the integrity of a person, if not backed up by proof or facts, is also a personal attack..." because it's very hard to defend against half-truths, lies and, best of all, the 'everybody knows'/'I'm not gonna spooneed you evidence (because I don't have any)'. Gaile clearly showed that's she considers them a personal attack, so I'd say it should at least be open for debate. 20:53, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

So every time someone says Gaile has failed in every aspect of her job, they'll be expected to paste in a few hundred lines of GWG links and screenshots? -- 20:55, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Completely disregarding the fact that ANet has no say over wiki policy, if your only reason for bringing up a policy proposal is "Gaile/Izzy/anyone on wiki at all says this", you may be advised not to bring it up at all. The idea of a proposal is to garner consensus, not to discuss any possible addition any one person might think of. -- Armond WarbladeUser Armond sig image.png{{Bacon}} 21:24, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
That said, the concept of libel is certainly one that could be discussed. As far as I know, GWW does not currently have an equivalent of W:Wikipedia:Libel, though it might fall under sysop discretion. Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 01:23, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Just so it's on record, I think we should delete this policy and leave the entire thing up to sysop discretion. Writing out what is allowed and what is not like this tends to lead to people working around it and great drama ensuing in an attempt to figure the person in question has broken policy. -- Armond WarbladeUser Armond sig image.png{{Bacon}} 03:58, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
/agree --TalkAntioch 04:12, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
I wouldn't necessarily say that deleting the page is the right idea, lest a new user believe that the wiki is unmoderated. I could however potentially see a change that simply stated that sysops have the discretion to request alterations of posting style/content etc. in order to preserve order on the wiki, or something of that nature (as opposed to attempting to define it). You'd probably want to get others involved in this discussion if you're pushing for such to actually happen, however. Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 05:24, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
IMO we should have a policy or guideline which explicitly states that personal attacks and trolling can get you in trouble and includes a list of common examples of personal attacks. If we keep the current policy, I think it would be reasonable to add unverifiable accusations to the current non-exhaustive list of examples of unacceptable personal attacks to mitigate drama. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 06:33, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
No. It doesn't matter if it is true or not. If it is a personal attack, it doesn't belong on the wiki. Backsword 21:35, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
A baseless accusation is not the same as a personal attack. And sysops should not be the ones deciding about the truth. "Gaile fails at her job" might or might not be true (and the answer is likely to differ when asking different people), but it is not something that should fall under this policy. Compare the clear personal attack "Gaile, you are a failure". --Xeeron 22:29, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
IMO it should be considered a personal attack if it's directed at someone. They're considered personal attacks on Wikipedia. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 00:31, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
Funny story. This isn't wikipedia. —ǥrɩɳsɧƴɖɩđđɭɘş User Grinshpon blinky cake.gif 00:35, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
I was just using the Wikipedia community as an example of a group which considers unfounded accusations directed at people to be a form of personal attack. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 02:37, 24 June 2009 (UTC)
At the moment, I have only 1 issue with the current policy and that's although it is written in a includes but not limited to this way, many people treat it as includes and is thus limited to this. Which results in people getting very creative at insulting people. Just compare the example mentioned a few posts above this one: "Gaile fails at her job" and "Gaile, you are a failure" both mean the same, with the same (obvious) intent behind it, yet they are treated differently. That creates a lot of confusion to say the least. The same goes for "Player X bought his rank on Ebay." and "Player X is a cheating, sneaky person." Without any evidence whatsoever, the first statement is little more than a personal attack - it is discrediting the character of a player and it is not a statement you can agree or disagree with, because there is absolutely nothing to discuss or think about - just that one, very suggestive statement. Sysop discretion would be preferable in situations like that. 18:29, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Responding to personal attacks[edit]

Currently, this section only presents options for the targets of personal attacks. IMO it should also present options for third parties and sysops. Should personal attacks be tolerated if the target doesn't complain, or should they always be considered unacceptable? -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 06:41, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

The "What is considered a personal attack?" section implies that some personal attacks are unacceptable in any circumstances, the "Consequences of personal attacks" section implies that repeated personal attacks can get someone in trouble even if no one complains, and the "Responding to personal attacks" section is vague about how people should respond to personal attacks which they are not the target of. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 06:59, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Given that "friendly" personal attacks have the potential to become disruptive to the wiki (see: wafflez), and that people just loves to get involved (AGF'ing on their involvement), i think it would be best to just allow sysops discretion for removing them. I am not so inclined to give permission to non-admin third parties for such removal, though, given the broad set of criteria on the userbase for what is and is not offensive for them. A simple report on the noticeboard should work for third parties.--Fighterdoken 07:01, 23 June 2009 (UTC)
Maybe we could just cut the section. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 09:57, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
Anyway, I've placed an RFC to get more input. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 10:25, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
I personally think it's a given that sysops should provide warnings to users they feel have crossed the line whenever/however they come across them as well as issuing bans if those warnings go unheeded. Otherwise what is the point of this policy to begin with? I also feel it is well within the rights of any/all users to report what they feel are violations to that admins on the Noticeboard, and then leave it up to sysop discretion as to what actions are taken. I don't believe it takes the "target" of the attack to complain for warnings/bans to be appropriate, as many people simply do not want to become embroiled in wiki drama, or may not even realize that such things are in violation of policy (new users especially). If something is intended to be a 'joke' between friends, it needs to remain within the boundaries of the policies that have been established by the community. Most of these "attacks" happen on user talk pages, which, while they are associated with a particular user, are in fact, in the realm of the entire community (thus the restrictions on comment removal etc), which is again, something that a lot of users do not seem to understand. -- Wyn User Wynthyst sig icon2.png talk 11:56, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
On another note, could someone tell me why this was even brought up in the first place (not to mention resurrected and placed on RfC)? NuVII User NuclearVII signature 3.jpg 12:43, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
It was probably brought up in the first place because I hate poorly written policy. As for why this was brought up again, it's been on the back burner for a while, and I was planning on bringing it up again after I was finished with the block reviews, however an email request to deal with personal attacks prompted me to start dealing with this earlier. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 09:10, 22 November 2009 (UTC)

You know...[edit]

This policy could be a lot simpler if we simply disallowed negative comments about individuals period, outside of administrative discussion on specific pages (admin noticeboard/talk, arbcomm, and RfA/elections). The maxim "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything" works pretty well, honestly. Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 09:26, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

(Edit conflict) I believe the intent of this policy on wikis where it is strictly enforced is to limit discussion purely to edits and content. I do believe though that if you try to enforce that spirit rigorously it would involve banning 90% of the user base all the time due to the age level and less serious nature of the content of this site in comparison to other wikis. Misery 09:29, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Wouldn't necessarily have to involve bans. Reverts would work fine for 99% of cases. Edit: and yes, in general the aim of the policy is to focus discussion on edits/content. Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 09:30, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
I would be more of a fan of "if you can't say something smart, don't say anything." It would improve all facets of the wiki quite a bit. -Auron 09:44, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) You know, I think most of what you are talking about is already covered within the policy, it's just not enforced. For example invalidating someone's points with the claim they are bad at the game doesn't actually invalidate their point at all, yet it is pretty common practice on this wiki and almost every site that has anything to do with Guild Wars. I don't know how much people actually want these things enforced, they are pretty bizarrely and inconsistently enforced at the moment, but you won't have any success at all trying to enforce people being nice. Misery 09:46, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
Histroicl note: The wiki culture was quite different in 2007, and people were blocked for any infraction. There was a bit of a blowup about that 'round new year. Backsword 13:55, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
That is a stupid awesome idea, I disagree with everything said in this section. --Cursed Angel Q.Q 10:11, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
My personal preference would be to tell everyone to harden up and never enforce it ever, but I don't think that is a level many people would be comfortable with. Misery 11:29, 29 June 2009 (UTC)
That's mainly because you'll create an environment where people won't listen to you unless you have a Hrank 12+ picture on your userpage due to the many you're-not-good-at-the-game 'counterarguments'. I enjoy having discussions based on content, not popularity or debating tricks. 06:00, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
Your argument is flawed because I am a shitter, but no one has ever actually used that against me in a discussion ever on this site. I'd like to think it is because I make some sense. Misery 13:58, 1 July 2009 (UTC)
IMO there's another important factor to consider: prohibiting personal attacks gives sysops a drama-mitigating excuse to nip flame wars in the bud. -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 09:15, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty sure there is a policy that already prevents personal attacks called Guild Wars Wiki:No personal attacks. See how you can be a total jerk without breaching that policy? I'm pretty certain the policy in combination with discretion allows sysops to stop flame wars already. Misery 09:21, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I know, by "prohibiting personal attacks", I meant "having a policy which prohibits personal attacks, such as the one we currently have". -- User Gordon Ecker sig.png Gordon Ecker (talk) 11:20, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Ok, that makes more sense then. So we aren't just talking for the sake of it, could anyone who wants the policy to be changed elaborate on what changes they would like to see? Misery 11:49, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Someone wanted policy changed? I was more just musing. :) Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 17:02, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
Cool beans. Misery 17:06, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
You're an exception to the rule Misery. 10:59, 7 July 2009 (UTC)

Move to edit definition section[edit]

Insulting or disparaging an editor is a personal attack regardless of the manner in which it is done.

Yeah, not really. The entirety of the definition section is "if it would land you in jail irl, don't do it" - which is a fine thing for this policy. The first word in this sentence, however, throws that completely out the window (and is the exact reason why personal attacks have been handled horribly since this wiki's inception).

From a new reader's point of view, this is actually pretty confusing. "Ok, don't blow things up, can do, don't call everyone in sight a chink nigger faggot-dick, can do, don't threaten to sue someone because of their edits, etc... fine and good. Wait... if someone's acting like a troll, I can't call them a troll because they might be offended? What?"

I move to change this sentence as follows:

Disparaging other editors is unacceptable due to its nature clashing with the atmosphere with the wiki despite a seeming lack of personal attacks. Insults (for example, "Armond is an idiot") may not be personal attacks, depending on context and reaction - though this does not automatically make them acceptable.

I argue that the inclusion of this line has caused excessive amounts of trouble in the past from users who either see it as a way to scream "NPA!" about any little thing or honestly believe that a random passing user who makes them feel insulted is reason to ban that user, even though it wasn't said user's intent. I also argue that, with the current level of both trolling and idiocy on this wiki, maybe we need to be able to point out peoples' failures without having to worry about offending them every now and then. (Not bringing up PvXwiki because it's completely unrelated. If you're planning on countering my argument with "look at PvX and how terrible it is", please remember - think, post, that order.)

tl;dr: spirit of policy over letter, "offended" standard is terrible and un-normalizable, serious offenses = bad.

-- Armond WarbladeUser Armond sig image.png{{Bacon}} 14:53, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

I have searched the policy and not found any use of the word "offended". The word "offensive" is used once, but there is no suggestion that that is to be judged by the person at whom the comment is directed, and it's talking about judging the severity of an attack rather than whether an attack exists or not. In fact your wording, "depending on context and reaction," would open the door to such an interpretation. If someone posts "Armond is a moron," I don't care if you think it's funny; it's a personal attack. By the same token, if you tell someone that something they've posted is obvious, wrong, poorly-written, etc, as long as your comments are about the post and not about the person, I don't care how offended they get; it's not a personal attack (though it might be trolling, if you're purposely trying to offend them). It has nothing to do with what someone feels about it; it's about what it is. The whole policy really is as simple as the second sentence of the page: "Comment on content, not on the contributor." - Tanetris 20:34, 20 August 2009 (UTC)
Nice nitpick. There's a reason I put offended in quotes.
Other than that, I refer you to Jette's textwall on my talk.
-- Armond WarbladeUser Armond sig image.png{{Bacon}} 20:38, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Frankly, no matter how you go about defining what is/n't a personal attack, you're going to have issues. If, on the one hand, you simply made a policy which said not to be a dick, you'd have people bitching and moaning that such and such was being a dick because different people have different ideas about what constitutes a dick, and admins would have to use their discretion to decide one way or the other. If, on the other hand, you provide an extensive list of examples, you're going to have people nitpicking and attempting to find loopholes. Again, admin discretion would be required. However, with that said, I think the line that it may be worth removing the line that Armond cites for the simple reason that it creates potential confusion when compared to the guiding principle, "comment on the contribution, not the contributor." Let's say you're a new user. You post a comment about WoD saying that it's horribly underpowered. Auron comes along and systematically annihilates the post. I think you could forgive the new user for being thoroughly disparaged by Auron's post, even if there weren't any personal attacks. Point is, I don't think that that line adds anything to the policy, and it is, at least potentially, a source of confusion. On a related note, as per Auron, "User X is an idiot" is a personal attack. In fact, it's pretty much the definition of an ad hominem attack. — Defiant Elements +talk 21:18, 20 August 2009 (UTC)


What if, hypothetically speaking, the problem is not the content, but the contributor him/herself? We don't have a "GWW:Don't be an immature twat" policy, so attacking the person is kind of hard to avoid when the person is the problem. What do then? –Jette User Jette awesome.png 22:07, 11 October 2009 (UTC)

Use discretion and ban them for being a dickhead/disruption? – Emmett 22:18, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
Maybe as an admin. But if your a regular contributer, report and just ignore the dickhead. It's that simple, for me atleast. - J.P.ContributionsTalk 22:22, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
At this moment, nobody can be banned for not listening to anyone who tries to reason with him, resgrettably X( Koda User Koda Kumi UT.jpeg Kumi 22:31, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
And how does that make any sense? O.o
People get banned because they don't listen others and don't follow the rules of the wiki :P - J.P.ContributionsTalk 23:08, 11 October 2009 (UTC)
If you truly have a problem with an individual user, you might consider asking a third party to mediate between you (whether that be an arbitrary editor or a sysop). If things become so out of hand that you think they are truly causing problems for the wiki but the rules don't seem to apply, you could consider asking ArbComm to intervene; however this is usually resolved for rare cases. Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 12:16, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
But I was the third party asked to intervene for somebody else. –Jette User Jette NotAwesome.png 12:35, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
I wonder how a sysop (or anyone else for that matter) can convince someone through just a piece of text on the internet. Especially when none of the involved have broken any policies. Koda User Koda Kumi UT.jpeg Kumi 12:42, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Words are powerful. Regardless, if people can't play nice, people get banned. In rare cases, they're told to stop being stupid and then banned when the stupidity doesn't cease. None of the sysops are paid to babysit. It isn't worth the time or effort. -Auron 12:50, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

If any sysop is interested, this is what Jette is talking about. NuVII User NuclearVII signature 3.jpg 18:29, 16 October 2009 (UTC)