Policy proposals

Enforcement against personal attacks proposed

Hoping to find a more receptive atmosphere for his ideas, Snowspinner announced last Thursday a renewed effort to push through several policy proposals to address conduct on Wikipedia.

In all, Snowspinner offered three policies, an enforcement proposal to support the No personal attacks policy, a definition of trolling, and a page called Wikipedia:Don't be a dick. The last of the three he called "a joke with serious content", specifically mentioning that it deliberately had no means of enforcement.

The personal attacks amendment to the blocking policy was previously discussed and voted on last August. Meanwhile, the "What is a troll" page was part of an earlier effort to establish a policy that would have allowed administrators to block "obvious trolls" (see Wikipedia:Dealing with trolls). According to Snowspinner, this authority was no longer contemplated, as he explained, "The sole use of this policy, in its new form, would be to allow the arbitration committee to, should they be inclined, sanction users for trolling."

At the time, both previous proposals had majority support from those participating in the discussion, but each also had significant opposition, either on principle or based on the particular formulation. Since they lacked consensus support, they were placed into the category of semi-policy instead.

For this attempt at authorizing blocks for personal attacks, the proposed policy was revised to bring it more into line with existing policies such as three revert rule enforcement. The original proposal, which could have allowed for blocks of up to a week in some situations, was revised to no more than 24 hours, and language was added emphasizing the need for warnings before imposing a block.

No timetable was set for any kind of voting or ratification process for the two serious proposals. Instead, plans are to allow for a period of discussion before deciding how to proceed.

The "Don't be a dick" policy struck some people as being juvenile, however, and the page got nominated for deletion on Friday. The response was decidedly mixed, with a number of people who appreciated the message and wanted to keep it, but many others didn't find it particularly funny or worthwhile. At the suggestion of Mindspillage, along with Jwrosenzweig, who noted that similarly wry humor with a serious undertone existed on the Meta site, the page was ultimately moved there.

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