User talk:Gaile Gray/Offensive content discussion

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Offensive content[edit]

moved from User talk:Gaile Gray

Could you please explain your thoughts and motivations behind this edit? The reason I ask this of you is because of the lengthy discussion we already had on the users talk page on this very topic. - anja talk 16:46, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Anja, I received an email about this, noted it, thought it was probably vandalism, and removed the offensive content. Vandalism or not, as a GWW member, I assessed this as inappropriate content and exercised my rights to remove it. Which is what I felt was the right and responsibility of any member. I did not read the discussion page -- why is this even a point of discussion? As a user, I felt there was no way that was appropriate, so I removed it. If we have to spend time looking to see if maybe leaving filthy language on the wiki is somehow in the best interests of this community, well, excuse me, that makes no sense to me at all. Next, if someone posts pornography, or racism, or horrible violent images, shall we talk about it for a while? Or shall we act? --Gaile User gaile 2.png 17:32, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I apologize. Perhaps your point is not that I took action -- for I don't see how that legitimately can be argued, in all honestly (although it certainly was, and for a long time) -- but perhaps your point is that I did not preserve forever the offensive content? Educate me on policy by answering a questions about an extreme: If someone posts child pornography on a wiki, if someone posts "snuff" images, must they be preserved forever? Removed from a page, perhaps, but still archived, still somewhere preserved on the wiki? I don't know the answer to this; perhaps you do. Please know, I am not equating the use of foul language with images of such a horrendous nature, but I am puzzled about policy nonetheless.
And I suppose I can revert the change and leave the flashing words on the screen, but I am quite sure that I see a slippery slope ahead, since the flashing words surely are disallowed by the wiki's own policies. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 17:42, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Did you read the talk page? It is explained quite clearly there why this is a point of dicussion. I ask this explanation of you, as I would have done with any user on GWW which removes content from another users page without making a note/warning first, as it is recommended in our policy. I ask of you to read that talk page discussion, if you haven't already, and explain your view. Act was taken, and reverted, since opinions differed on this content being offensive or not. My point does not relate to content "having to be preserved forever", my point is, please provide your reasoning, because there is disagreement on this matter. - anja talk 17:45, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I read the discussion page. "Opinions vary" is not a validation for allowing offensive language to remain on the wiki. "Opinion vary" about porn, too, and that very discussion page showed removal of a porn link and even a time out for the user as a result of placing the link on the user page. Even the larger wiki will tell you that the words in question are offensive to the majority of members, and the user rules seem, to me, to predicate action based on removing content of that nature. Can you say those words on network television? Can you say those words in public without censure? Are those words allowed by the word filter in our game? The answer to all three is "No."
The user page discussion seems to have become moribund weeks ago, with no action. I think we risk much with inaction, and that taking a position--supported by the GWW's own rule set--is in the best interests of the community. At some point, discussion ends and actions becomes the appropriate step. I took a step that removed disallowed content from the GWW. If that was a wrong choice, you'll need to prove that to me. So far, I fail to see that it was, and GWW precedent and the GWW rules themselves support my action. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 17:59, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Even if you aren't equating the use of profanity with extreme content such as the examples you gave, you are still drawing parallels between them that are very inappropriate and out of place, as they are not even remotely in the same category.
The problem is indeed that you took action removing those words. This wiki intentionally doesn't have a policy that censors profanity, and the discussion on that talk page also resulted in the content remaining there; going ahead and removing that content anyways was not the right thing to do. If you disagree with profanity being allowed on this wiki, please start a discussion about it somewhere, just like we all have to do. It's you that needs to convince the community that the content is out of place, and not the other way around. And yes, reverting your edit at this point would be the correct step to take, since the matter apparently isn't that obvious to the rest of the us as you make it sound.
As for the blinking effect, I'm not aware of any policies that would disallow it (with the exception of GWW:SIGN for signatures). In fact, GWW:USER was recently updated in a much more liberal spirit, with the goal to impose less restrictions on how users design their userpages. --Dirigible 18:08, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah, but I knew this might happen. You are not seeing clearly, for I am indeed not drawing parallels; I am pointing to that slippery slope that we're tottering on, as we drink tea and wring our hands and wonder if we are required to allow that offensive person into our parlour. :) If you're going to take that literally, "our parlour" means "a place where the majority of our members are comfortable." And that means a place that does not have black flashing swear words on it, in my perception and my interpretation of the expectations of this community. And it can be argued--indeed boldly stated--that perception and interpretation are appropriate measures by which we all make our decisions, even while guided, instructed, and informed by the larger policies. In this case policy seems to support my action.
There are standards. There should be standards. I perceive that the content is outside the standards established by this community. You do not agree. You may choose to revert my edit; I believ that is your right as a member. But please understand, with all due respect, I shall not do so myself. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 18:20, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

(Edit conflict) Gaile- I totally agree with you on this one and have stated this several times. How about we go about trying to amend the user policy to include something along the lines of: What is allowed by the FCC for public broadcast between 6am and 10pm (not including cable networks, such as HBO) is allowed. An isolated incident profanity above the allowable levels results in a warning, and outright vulgarity is explicitly not allowed. One wouldn't expect a professing Christian to be one of the most publicly foul-mouthed in a community. There have been posts on Gaile's page in the past from people with children in the room who have happened upon such material. -elviondale (tahlk) 18:10, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

See: http://www.fcc.gov/eb/oip/FAQ.html#TheLaw. While I normally don't like to take examples of how something should be done from government bureaucracies... this one is an exception -elviondale (tahlk) 18:16, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I would think that such a policy would be reasonable. I am also sure that some would argue against it. But then, some think "freedom of speech" applies to something outside its genuine, Bill of Rights, U.S. Constitution intent. (It amazes me how often that phrase is cited, as some sort of rallying cry, for any level of inappropriate behavior, but that's another topic for another day.)
I'd say that rather than holding a month's-long "discussion" about offensive content, we might better hold a brief and productive discussion about policy. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 18:23, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
(Edit conflict x2) Definitely. This has been something thats been shuffled aside for far too long. By discuss, do you mean IRC or a talk page of a new policy proposal, hint hint. -elviondale (tahlk) 18:33, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I think the general wiki community forgets, that Gaile is a defenitive source for action. Her descisions for action supercede policy, if the action she takes, is justified in her opinion. If this is a school, the sysops are teachers, and the ANet staff are the principal. They're authority as I said, supercedes policy in certain situations. - UserDrago-sig.gif Drago 18:19, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
But this isn't a school, this is a wiki. Everyone's opinion matters no matter if you like it or not. If the Staff don't listen to policy why should the admins listen to policy? If admins don't listen to policy why should the normal people listen to policy. Policy's were made with the intent of everyone following them and if someone has a problem with it they should try and get people to help change it. Antiarchangel 18:34, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
You seem to forget where this wiki is located. wiki.guildwars.com. wikipedia is open to all because its owned by the wikimedia foundation. This wiki is owned by a company that has its own policies and, being a subset of its company, this wiki is, to a certain degree, under those policies. -elviondale (tahlk) 18:39, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

seriously, why are we defending that? it is something the sysops should have overridden themselves if they saw it. There is a point when innapropriate content is obvious. Even userpages are regulated somewhat. Obviously offensive content should be 1 of these cases. Personallythe only thing i see wrong is the lack of a temp ban on the user. He was obviously trolling the "lengthy discussions" and his actions if not responded to BOLDLY could be bad for the community as a whole.--Midnight08 18:32, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

(reset indent and edit conflict times a billion) I'm trying to figure out why this is even being discussed. The random swear words do not add anything to the wiki. There's no "freedom of expression" here, this is a privately-owned web space. If the wiki policy doesn't prevent swearing, then I think it should be amended. This is a wiki for information on the game, not some random adult-only spot where you can say anything you please. --Nkuvu User Nkuvu sig button.jpg 18:36, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

You guys said it a lot better than I did. :) --Gaile User gaile 2.png 18:40, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
The content he has posted repeatedly is "generally offensive" and against the user page policy. The user is being repeatedly disruptive on their user page...they are trying to provoke a ban...so why doesn't that just happen? Ban him...he obviously is trying to poke the buttons of the community and get people riled up about it. Just Ban him and be done with it.--Thor79User-thor79.pngTalk 18:41, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

WTH?! This is clearly profane language and as a public official wiki, personally i feel it has no place here it should be deleted and its as simple as that! Salome 18:44, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I agree with Gaile and the others above who say that the removed content doesn't belong to this wiki. Amend the policy if you think that it doesn't disallow content like this. -- Gem (gem / talk) 18:53, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
What is the process whereby we go about doing this? -elviondale (tahlk) 18:57, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
The User Page has been regularly breaking this policy "Do not include any material generally deemed offensive and insulting."....after being repeatedly told not to include cuss words he has reintroduced those words to the page. He even posted clearly misleading message notice that redirected users to Goatcx....he is clearly trying to be offensive to other users of this wiki. At the very least his changes should be reverted because THEY DO DISALLOW CONTENT LIKE THIS....IMO though he is asking to be banned and I for one am scratching my head over why this disruptive user is still here. If the admins can't do their job and remove disruptive users...perhaps they should not be admins any longer. Why we are discussing policy on Gaile's talk page I do not know but the policy is clear to me...the content on his page was offensive to me...and can easily be considered generally offensive and thus against user page policy. I may agree with you on the Hall of Monuments Elviondale...but this is one area I completely disagree with you. Ban the user's IP permanently...he doesn't belong here.--Thor79User-thor79.pngTalk 19:08, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
WHOA hold it- we're advocating the same thing here, but from two different angles- you want to ban him for doing so, I want to have a policy whereby people are restricted from posting stuff like that. You're thinking immediately, which I agree with, but I'm also thinking more long-term -elviondale (tahlk) 19:11, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Now that I re-read your comments Elviondale...yeah I guess you're right. Sorry. I'm obviously all for getting rid of the user...he's not contributing to the wiki in any way that could be considered "positive"...unless you consider the fact that he is spurring action in the community to revise policies to make it more clear what is not allowed on userpages. Yes you are right...policy should be amended to make it completely clear what is allowed and what is not allowed. I think it's clear right now, but yes perhaps it could be made more clear. IMO stuff like this should be treated just like vandals are treated...revert the content and take whatever action is necessary after the fact. If that means discussing the content on the user's talk page, then do that...but in the mean time the content in question should be removed. It should not be left up while people discuss it on the user's talk page it just leaves us with situations such as what happened here...the talk stalled but the content remained...that should not happen.--Thor79User-thor79.pngTalk 19:24, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Just to make it clear, my intention was never to question the action, but to ask Gaile for an explanation since there had already been discussion on the topic. As the discussion stalled, we needed new input to come to a conclusion. I just considered it common wiki courtesy. - anja talk 19:14, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

And I would like to state that if anyone views my action as discourteous, then I apologize. I acted with the most positive of intentions. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 19:29, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with Thor79 compleatly on this issue! Why are we even discussing this? This wiki is a subsidiary of guildwars itself and thus anets policies overule any general rules which may exist here anyway. Also on top of that the existing rules already defined make it clear that this users actions are breaching these policies. However it seems that people are very quick to defend the illusion of freedom of speech which does not exist on a wiki funded by a private company. Such as what i just found out when i deleted the offending material, to quickly be sent a warning by a fellow user for said deletion. This is lunacy. If the admins cant keep control of this wiki maybe they shouldnt be admins at all! -- Salome 19:22, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Now be careful- this discussion doesn't give anyone the right to be a vigilante, especially on pages that are jokes such as the one where Raptors rated that admins. That was created to be humorous and understood by everyone to be humorous and iirc didn't contain anything profane. -elviondale (tahlk) 19:27, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Just thought I'd mention this, and also say that I'd be thoroughly against any policy that tried to regulate what words people can or cannot use in their own userspace. -- AT(talk | contribs) 19:28, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Without limit? Where does that end? Or does it? No regulation means no prohibition against the verbal descriptions of the most grievous of of acts, no blocks on racism or hate speech, no attempt to uphold even the most modest of general community standards. Is that what you advocate? --Gaile User gaile 2.png 19:32, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
(double edit conflict) As admins we cannot do what we want. We are admins to follow the policies and to remind others to follow them, too. If there are any policies which are not clear on some topics we cannot invent something, the policy has to be changed/cleared instead...
You also have to remember that this wiki is not owned by ANet, they host it only (see also GWW:ABOUT). The complete wiki is maintained by this community; all admins are admins because this community has decided them to be.
What I want to say about this topic is that I would have removed it too, but the only thing which is wanted here (as Anja stated again) is a reason on his talk page. Imo the user page policy does clearly say that such content is not allowed (even if there is no one targeted); the user page policy also says that we have to follow the Guild Wars Terms and Conditions and so it should be not allowed. poke | talk 19:34, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Can I suggest we subpage this for now? (And/or potentially move this to a policy talk page if/when someone decides to propose one?) Go to Aiiane's Talk page (Aiiane - talk - contribs) 19:35, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
@ AT: OK then AT, document the game. Last I checked Vekk wasn't dropping the f-bomb anywhere.
@ Poke: As long as ANet owns the domain and control access to the servers, they own this wiki. If they suddenly think its a bad idea, watch wiki.guildwars.com get dropped from the dns record. -elviondale (tahlk) 19:38, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Gaile: I advocate the right to say anything you want on your userpage - excepting only illegal and pornographic content. I am fairly sure that covers child pornography, racism, etc, without telling users what they can say. Of course, I don't agree with people using foul language on their page, but I think they have every right to if they want. Elviondale - userspace is not mainspace. Of course offensive language shouldn't be in mainspace, and I never suggested otherwise. -- AT(talk | contribs) 19:41, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

(triple edit conflict) For anyone who wants to discuss this, lets do this properly on a policy talk page, instead of Gaile's talk page. Guild Wars Wiki talk:No profanity.

Also, something that needs to be mentioned. For everyone who keeps saying that ANet has a right to dictate policies and guidelines on this wiki, please be very careful when you do so. Don't be so eager to hand over the control of the wiki to ANet. Don't forget that when the wiki was first started, the claim was made that they wouldn't interfere with how the wiki is run. Some quotes from GWW:ABOUT:

  • We're offering to provide free bandwidth and servers, but it is our hope that community members will run the wiki, just like community members run Guild Wars wikis today.
  • We hope to agree with the community to some basic guidelines, like "report facts, not opinions" and "the purpose of this site is to document Guild Wars", and then ask the community to administer and moderate the site. The community is already doing an excellent job moderating existing sites like GuildWiki, and we see no reason why ArenaNet's offer to host the site should change the way that the site is administered.
  • We're not asking anyone to change what they're doing. We're just offering to provide free hosting, and asking to use the Free Document License instead of the Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.

So, please, don't use "Because ANet says so" as a reason supporting or opposing any argument, as that is the real slippery slope here. As far as I know, Gaile is commenting on this issue simply as a member of the wiki community, not as a representative of ANet (if I'm wrong, do correct me). --Dirigible

there is no handing over of control to anet, anet already own this wiki, they just allow us to maintain it. However this wiki is still subject to the same policies that naet itself enforce. -- Salome 19:42, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
I am indeed speaking as a wiki member. I acted, as well, as a wiki member. However, I would be derelict as a wiki member not to point out that this wiki is linked from the game, that the game has a rating of "T for Teen" and that the language on the page in question does not fall within the parameters of that rating. It is not in our best interests--as a wiki community--to cause a conflict with that rating, nor to jeopardize hosting because we are not upholding policy as well as we should.
I am incredibly sensitive to issues of free expression and the rights of the individual to express him/herself as is reasonable in normal discourse. I do feel that a policy that establishes certain standards--and I believe/believed that is already in place--is essential, in society and well as in private entities such as this wiki. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 19:44, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
This really has to do with policy now and as such should be moved to a policy page. I have already started a proposal to improve the User Page Policy so perhaps that's where this discussion should go so that Gaile can archive this discussion and move onto more important things that come up on her Talk page. Guild_Wars_Wiki_talk:User_page--Thor79User-thor79.pngTalk 19:45, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Gaile, if the discussion here ends up with the same conclusion as on GuildWiki, to allow profanity to be used, does that "jeopardize hosting" for the wiki? Please make that clear so we all know where we stand.
Thor, this has nothing to do with userpages; it doesn't make sense that one would be allowed to swear on Talk:Ascalon, but not on his own user page. The change being proposed will have wiki-wide consequences if it does get accepted. Please use Guild Wars Wiki talk:No profanity. --Dirigible 19:55, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
This has everything to do with userpages. -elviondale (tahlk) 19:58, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
Not per se, since Guild Wars Wiki talk:No profanity would count for the entire GWW. GWW:USER only counts for the User:-namespace. -- CoRrRan (CoRrRan / talk) 20:07, 15 September 2007 (UTC)
This is discussing what policy should be changed....Some people thing a wiki-wide policy should be made or changed...some (myself) think the user page policy should be changed. It is clearly inaccurate to say this has nothing to do with userpages since this whole discussion resulted from the edit of a userpage. I don't care which policy is changed...but something should be changed or created that will cover Userpages as well since that is the issue at hand.--Thor79User-thor79.pngTalk 20:17, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

(Reset indent) I am moving this to a subpage. Please give me two minutes. Thank you. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 19:48, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Thank you, move complete. I did not elect to move to policy because this discussion is too scattered, and its impetus was the actions of a single member based on policy, rather than a discussion of the policy itself. Obviously, a larger policy discussion is more than welcome and I encourage someone to set that in motion. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 19:50, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Clarification on issues[edit]

I just want to clarify that we have 2 issues here:

  1. Removal of content found to be offensive from someone else's userspace
  2. Amending the user policy and/or creating an offensive language policy to govern obscenities.

-elviondale (tahlk) 19:52, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

A couple of things[edit]

I have just had a brief read of this page before I go to work and there are a couple of points I would like to raise.

  • Saying the admins should have dealt with this differently - The admins do their best with the rules the community decides. I would love to arbitrarily ban raptors for doing what he has done, however that would be mis-using the trust the community puts in the admins. He was however banned for the link to goatcx which was completely over the line.
  • If the community feels that bad language is wrong here then we need a policy for it. So far the existing policies are very ambiguous when it comes to it, and I find it very hard to enforce. You will notice I was one of the first to remove that language from raptor's page when I spotted it, and later after some discussion had to let it go as there was no direct policy infringement as it stood at that time. I encourage everyone to get involved in the policy discussion, hammer out something everyone is happy with, and get it set as a policy we can use. --LemmingUser Lemming64 sigicon.png 09:10, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
"however that would be mis-using the trust the community puts in the admins" I understand that admins would worry about what certain members will say, as almost every action taken here will be protested against, but when I vote in support of a Users Adminship...i do so because i want them to have the confidence to go ahead and delete content that they feel is offenisive, and feel a lot of members would also find offensive. As for this particular case, that content should have been removed as soon as it was placed on the page and been classified Vandalism. Any of the users attempts to re-add it should have been reverted, and if they consistently added it a Temp-Ban followed by a Perma-Ban should have been issued. This is what want Admins to do....not simply 'Discuss' The issue until a new issue comes up and that one is left as it is. IMO for the amount of time that this has been 'Discussed' the user should have been Perma-Banned by now!
On the more general subject a bad language policy is IMO opinion a very risky thing to try and suggest and get an agreement on. Since it would always be situational, and the policy couldn't possibly cover all the situations. I feel that a broader "Offensive Material" Policy would cover things better, and also cover other material rather than just written text. --ChronicinabilitY User Chronicinability Spiteful Spirit.jpg 17:13, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

GuildWarsWiki hosting[edit]

moved from User talk:Gaile Gray

Hello, Gaile. I'm worried that in the stream of yesterday's posts you may have missed my question, hence asking it again here.

You wrote, "It is not in our best interests--as a wiki community--to cause a conflict with that rating, nor to jeopardize hosting because we are not upholding policy as well as we should".

My question is, if discussion and consensus results in profanity continuing to be allowed on this wiki (just like it also is on GuildWiki), does that "jeopardize hosting" for this site? What else would put that hosting to risk? I hope you'll understand why it's very important for us all to know the answer to these questions. Thanks, --Dirigible 18:31, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

I believe that I did not make myself very clear, and for that I apologize. (I had/have a ton to do this weekend, and I was popping in and out to read and respond.) My comment about hosting was about the extremes that I had mentioned that were, again and emphatically, not directly connected with the current issue. For instance, if the wiki were to decide by consensus to allow pornography, obviously hosting would be in question. Issues of profanity are less clear, as they are less grievous. Yet they are, in my opinion as a member, still something that this wiki should address in the here and now. For every day, the wiki grows in membership and in magnitude, and it would be very good for everyone to have a greater understanding of the issue of "offensiveness" and acceptable content. You see, reading policy, I would think that black flashing banners featuring words far more than generally accepted to be offensive would be cause for the banner's removal, and yet, perhaps I am mistaken. If I was mistaken, shouldn't we either clarify the policies or expand them to prevent further incidents of that nature?
I have moving this to the topical page, because it's important to keep the discussion together to have context. Thank you for understanding. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 18:43, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
Actually, let me clarify that further still: In the absurd but necessary example, so as to make this clear, I should say the following: "For instance, if the wiki were to decide by consensus to allow pornography, it seems to me that hosting would be in question." I do not and will not speak for the company as a whole on this issue, at this time. If I do, I will make it clear that I am doing so. I want that to be very clear now that I am speaking as a member and stating that it is my belief that in that extreme and unlikely event, hosting would be in jeopardy.
Forgive me for repeating this, but I must: everything here is unofficial, stated by me-as-member) and the example above should not be extrapolated or extended to suggestions about hosting and curse words. I apologize, again, for any confusion that I caused in my poorly-phrased comments. --Gaile User gaile 2.png 18:52, 16 September 2007 (UTC)
What i don't understand about this whole "discussion" is how come the admin's here on the wiki just don't state that if the texts isn't allowed in the game of Guild wars...it will not be allowed here....in any variation...such as switching the letters around. I brought this up a few weeks ago and never felt satisfied with the results of the discussion...I think there should be a quick and decisive policy created and a true effort to support the policy. I really can't understand why the wiki would allow something that the actual game of GW does not allow. to my point of view the policy is already stated or defined in game!--Coridan 18:39, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
The admin's don't make policy, the community does, the admin's simply enforce it. Also the game does allow you to swear, but you can filter it out through the options. --LemmingUser Lemming64 sigicon.png 20:39, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

policy discussion[edit]

Hi Gaile, I thought I should bring this discussion to your attention Guild Wars Wiki talk:No profanity, in case you wanted to add any comments of your own. --LemmingUser Lemming64 sigicon.png 23:55, 19 September 2007 (UTC)