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RS:AEAE.

This is such a tough policy, as we ARE NOT ALL EQUAL. Administrators and Bureaucrats have different powers than regular users, making them unequal in their editing maintenance abilities. This is an undeniable fact. The wiki itself is not one person, but a collection of many different people, all of different abilities and with different things to offer. While the edits that a newly registered user makes may be equal to those that an admin makes, we cannot claim that a totally inexperienced user is just as qualified to run something like the clan chat as a user who has been selected by the community.

My interpretation of AEAE has always been the following:

  1. No user's edits are superior to the edits of another.
  2. No user has a greater voice in any discussion than another.

Recently, AEAE has been applied to nearly everything. Where in this policy does it mention equality in every regard? To me, this quote pretty much sums up the policy.

An editor's status, popularity, attitude, demeanour, or in-game experience may influence the way we think about them. However, there is no person on this wiki that has more authority than another, no matter what, because all editors are equal.
 
RS:AEAE

Ok, so no one has more authority than another. I agree with this point. How does having a crown on your userpage give you more authority? How does having a Hilited name give you more authority? As I see it, it doesn't. The argument people tend to bring up is that it gives the sense of authority. AEAE addresses this however. As the quote says above: "An editor's status, popularity, attitude, demeanour, or in-game experience may influence the way we think about them." User A may choose to see User B as more powerful just because User A has something that User B does not. For instance, an inexperienced user (User A) might see a user (User B) who has their stats posted on their page, and see that User B has 99 fishing. If User A does not, why wouldn't they see User B as superior and more powerful? Should we propose the removal of things like Template:Userbox/99, because some user just might see this as reason that users are not equal to each other? We cannot force users to see everyone as equal, people will believe what they believe.

I'm starting to ramble so I'll end it here. I'm opening this thread so we can hopefully discuss when AEAE should and should not be applied, and what All editors are equal really means. --Aburnett(Talk) 20:55, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Discussion

Comment - AEAE is intended to stop one group from ruling the wiki. It basically prevents the bureaucrats and sysops from having more influence simply because they are bureaucrats and sysops. I agree with you that things like special powers/highlighted names do not relegate any special distinction, and are not in violation of AEAE. AEAE simply means that in discussions, a comment by bureaucrats does not count three times as much as a comment by an IP, assuming both are properly argued. --LiquidTalk 20:59, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I'd have to say that the point "No user's edits are superior to another's," can be confusing. I think that an edit involving numerous technical errors (Grammar, spelling) is less superior than a technically correct article. I agree that no user has a greater voice in any discussion than another user. I believe AEAE can be summarized in this: "No user's opinion is better than another user's until it is decided through consensus." After consensus, the obviously better opinion is accepted. However, before consensus, during the discussion, no user may trump another user by being an admin or by any other means than consensus.  —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Leftiness (talk).

Comment - All editors are equal, some are just more equal than others. JUST KIDDING! I think all editors are equal. But some have to have special abilities, because some things have to be done, but not all editors can be trusted with doing those things. HaloTalk 21:16, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Animal farm ftl. >.< --LiquidTalk 21:19, April 9, 2010 (UTC)
This is, unfortunatly, completely true. As it is right now, when this forum reaches a conclusion, an admin will read through it and decide which points matter the most. That is not equality, that does mean that the admin in question is more "equal" than the people contributing to this forum, since they get to decide which points are "valid". Additionally, that admin will (most likely) have his or her name highlighted in the article history after making the closing edit, to be identified as a user who has been entrusted with more tools than the average editor. This entire wiki is full of inequality, and that is why this policy needs some changing. Ajraddatz Talk 18:10, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Not all editors are equal, but all editors are equally important. Ancient talisman Oil4 Talk 21:19, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Exactly what the spirit is 02:30, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - AEAE gets thrown around a lot more than it should. Common sense should kick in at some point and all the points that Aburnett has raised are correct. AEAE is an important policy, but you cannot make a change to the wiki, such as banning highlighted names, with the sole application of AEAE. The community's voice has to kick in at some point. Andrew talk 21:22, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - In your example involving Users A and B, a person in User A's position won't always think User B is superior because User B has 99 Fishing. Many people don't care if someone has higher stats than them. Of course there are people who would think otherwise, but I think AEAE says that someone with higher stats than you doesn't make his/her opinion more valuable in discussions, and that you don't need to worry about your opinion being disregarded.  Tien  21:26, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

I know, that was purposefully a very extreme example, I was just trying to make a point. --Aburnett(Talk) 21:28, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I'm glad you brought this up. My interpretation of the spirit of AEAE is this. All editors are equal in every way except for the ways decided upon by the community.. In other words, ALL discriminatory (not necessarily in a bad way) actions should, and must, come about from community consensus on the issue. Whether that be automatic clan-chat ranks, automatic rights in IRC channels, or hilited names. Sysop and administrator tools were decided upon by the community (or are more correctly intrisic to a Wikia wiki). Endasil (Talk) @  21:49, April 9, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I see AEAE as what Oli said.  Ranged-icon Zap0i TalkRune scimitar  00:01, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Agree - AEAE isn't just being taken too seriously… people are completely misunderstanding the meaning of it. Perhaps it needs a rewrite. User:C Teng/sig 00:12, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Epic Agree - I totally agree about every single point you made, and was considering myself opening discussion on this policy. AEAE is being blown out of proportion. It really only had one point at the start, and really should still have that point. That admin and bureacrat opinions don't outweigh any other users', unless consensus agrees with it. I think we just need to expand on the point that consensus is more important than this in a policy. Sometimes not having select groups (like the Wikifest Committee) will greatly benefit the wiki, and policies being blown out of proportion should not get in the way. Chicken7 >talk 01:27, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Agree/Support - Whatever you want to call it, I agree. Hello71 02:27, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Administrators and Bureaucrats have different powers than regular users, making them unequal in their editing abilities. This is an undeniable fact.. I'd like to deny that, actually. Sysop and bureaucrat are NOT different from an editing ability point of view. Please state how they are. Fully protected and MediaWiki pages? We mostly stay away from fully protected pages and the MediaWiki thing is administration, not editing. That's really just a technical matter, and doesn't affect general editing. Deleting pages? Again, not really editing as once the links to that page have been removed, it's really just a technical matter to delete it. So from an editing standpoint, sysops are no different than registered users. And what bothers me is that things like hilites are mainly used to differentiate a sysop's edits from the edits of other registered users. Endasil (Talk) @  04:00, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Sorry, That was just lack of clarity on my part. I consider editing to be any action (deleting/moving/protecting/blocking) done on the wiki. You are right, all users have equal power in editng pages. I guess better wording would be Administrators and Bureaucrats have different powers than regular users, making them unequal in their maintenance abilities. --Aburnett(Talk) 04:04, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

A little story - When the founders of America started their revolution, they agreed on a basic, self-evident tenet: that all men are created equal. Yet less than 14 years later, they started ratifying a constitution in which a freed man (a former slave) were counted as 3/5ths of a man when determining representation, and slaves were not counted at all. In other words, they immediately saw fit to say that "obviously, this doesn't apply to black men" and it took almost another century and hundreds of thousands of lives to reverse what could have been reversed by them abiding by their own belief in equality. Then it took another century to get rid of the rest of institutional racism. Yet all of this could have been avoided if they had simply fallen back to that tenet and made exceptions only in justified, carefully deliberated cases (such as, to parallel sysops, giving law enforcement officers extra rights and duties).

Now I'm not trying to equate something as trivial as name hilites or anything else with something as critical as the abolishment of slavery. My POINT is that something as fundamental as equality of editors should be as clear and simple a policy as possible, and be fiercely enforced. Institutionally changing it to "well, editors aren't really equal; just their viewpoints and opinions are equal" is opening the door to tons of things that we can't even foresee yet. That's why I maintain the view that, quite simply all editors should be equal in every single way except those ways determined by the community through consensus. Anything less than that is, I believe, in bad spirit.

And I hate slippery slope arguments, but let me leave you with this quote: "threats to civil liberties only ever come a few dollars at a time." In other words, when we're talking about something as fundamental as a policy of equality, the triviality must not matter. Otherwise, it doesn't take long for those little inequalities to add up to an entire Wiki full of discriminatory activities. Endasil (Talk) @  04:40, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

I hate to be "that history kid", but that's not the reasoning behind the Three-fifths compromise. The Three-fifths compromise was created in response to proportional representation, or representation based on population. Northern states did not want to be out-represented by southern states, when white southerners would treat slaves like dirt but then claim that they should be considered equal to whites in terms of determining population. The Three-fifths compromise was an attempt to lessen an unfair southern influence, not demean African Americans. In short, that example does not apply to this discussion. There's no need to equate this to real-word, historical examples. What we need to do is look at how this should be applied within this community, and figure out when it needs enforcement. You say that the equality of all editors is paramount, and I agree. Nothing that has been implemented on this wiki makes one user's edits lesser than another. Hilited names, crowns, or the ability to delete pages do not change the fact that each and every editor has the same say in a discussion, and has the same force with their edits. --Aburnett(Talk) 18:49, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
Hah, was bound to get some of that wrong I suppose, not being American. But the point is the same. It wasn't to equate the two at all. It is that if you truly believe in something as fundamental as equality, it should be the hardest thing you can do to institutionally break it. Otherwise you really don't believe in it. If they truly believed what they said about equality, the abolition of slavery should have been a condition of joining the Union. Nothing that has been implemented on this wiki makes one user's edits lesser than another. Right out of the gate in that statement you change AEAE from "all editors are equal" to "all edits are equal", and that is in my opinion against the spirit of AEAE. Editors are more than the edits they make, and they should be treated equally in every way (except those ways we agree on by consensus), not just in their edits. Endasil (Talk) @  19:08, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

This is a wiki. It is managed by tons of users who edit it everyday. The only reason that people have higher rights than others is because they have been recognized for their edits and thy deserved it. They also keep order here. There shouldn't be any fighting about this...we all are just editors. -White partyhat Chasingu 05:29, April 11, 2010 (UTC)

Rewrite?

It seems as though some users support the idea of a rewrite of AEAE. Discuss. 02:30, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
I agree it could be re-written, but I don't know what to change. The policy as it stands currently doesn't really say anything wrong, people just seem to me misinterpreting/distorting it. --Aburnett(Talk) 03:03, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Support - What Oli said. Change the name, then re-write it to follow the new title. User:Lil diriz 77/Signatures 03:06, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - I think that this is one policy which is quite well written. I have seen quite a bit of looking up to the admins and 'crats at "greaters". However, I see most of these admins to be my friends, who have always treated me as an equal both on the wiki and during in-game activities. I also oppose the removal of certain items, such as Template:User 99. If a player works to get a 99 skill, they should be able to show it on their userpage. Any more rules against these sorts of things would be putting another limit on what users can do. I have also seen instances where certain admins/forum admins voted in rfr's/rfa's, and when they opposed/supported, people automatically disregarded the other non-admin votes in favour of the "more influential" admins. I have seen people even go as far as to say that those consesus's are doomed because of the 1-2 admins that opposed.--Cheers, Off-hand Ascension crossbowYodaAscension crossbow 03:13, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

It seems your misreading my argument. I was using those as examples of why AEAE is being overextended, and things like that should not be removed. --Aburnett(Talk) 03:16, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
Does he mean consensus was ignored because of 1 or 2 sysop votes? Or that people followed the sysop vote?--Degenret01 03:18, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
I think he means that people followed the sysop votes. --Aburnett(Talk) 03:19, April 10, 2010 (UTC)
Consenus itself goes against the current AEAE; as someone (either an admin or crat) decides which !votes and comments carry more weight than others. Ajraddatz Talk 18:04, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - A complete rewrite or name change is not altogether necessary. It seems to me that the problems stem from the misinterpretation of the policy, so perhaps another section should be added to the policy detailing some popular misconceptions of AEAE being violated. C.ChiamTalk 03:21, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - A clarification of exactly what it does and does not cover would be a good idea. I completely agree with you, saying that crowns or hilites violates AEAE is ridiculous. I suppose that one might next say that C Teng's signature (and I hope you don't mind me using you as an example, C Teng) violates AEAE because it shows a Party hat, which symbolises power and social status. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL]] Talk - Contribs 03:39, April 10, 2010 (UTC) 

Comment - If we are going to be re-writing AEAE, please make sure that we can discuss "committees" or such, such as the proposed in Forum:Wikifest Routine?. Regardless of the outcome on committees, we should address something about them in AEAE. 05:50, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Support - I like Endasil's quote: "all editors should be equal in every single way except those ways determined by the community through consensus." Leftiness 16:26, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Repeating what I said before: Not all editors are equal, but all editors are equally important. Ancient talisman Oil4 Talk 18:34, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Neutral/Idea - I like the idea of changing it to "All editors are equally important" or even "Everyone's opinion matters" to better depict the purpose of the policy. Adding a new section about what it is not may also help. As for a total rewrite, that sound a little extreme. User:Stelercus/Signature 18:43, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I agree that a complete rewrite would be excessive. I think what the policy really needs is clarification, with something like this.

Although no user is superior in their ability to edit the wiki or contribute to discussions, some editors may be granted additional tools, such as Sysop, Bureaucrat, or Checkuser. Users granted these rights may also be given special features that allow for easy identification amongst typical users. Although these tools do allow certain users to perform different functions from the typical editor, they are not superior to any other editor on the wiki.

Honestly though, I don't know if that's the way I want to phrase it. We need something that distinguishes what is equality and what isn't. That's just something I threw together, if someone has a better idea please add it so we can comment. --Aburnett(Talk) 18:58, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Honestly, I want to know why people are trying to put unnecessary limits on this policy. All it will do is weaken it. The policy should be seven words long to keep it simple: "all editors are equal in every way." Then start with the exceptions. I don't understand why people don't see how a very simple rule like this can still be given exceptions by consensus. A draft that shows how easy it is is at User:Endasil/AEAE.

Comment - Under "all editors should be equal in every single way except those ways determined by the community through consensus," all editors would, of course, be equally important. The benefit of saying that all editors are equal except through consensus is that any differences will have to be justified and consensus, of course, will have to be achieved. The detriment of saying "Not all editors are equal, but all editors are equally important," is that editors will have an easier time making decisions such as highlighted user names for admins. I understand that I am asking for a reform of AEAE from focussing on "weight" in a discussion to everything. This is meant to prevent controversial action. Again, I assert that the purpose of this version is to ensure that any differences between users are justified and have consensus in order to prevent controversy. Leftiness 20:02, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Afterthought - "... editors will have an easier time making decisions such as highlighted user names for admins" without consensus. Leftiness 21:08, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Support Agree on re-write/amendment per all Slayer Timwac talk Fire cape 17:57, April 12, 2010 (UTC)

Amendment on misconseptions and the spirit of AEAE

Above a few editors mentioned an amendment might be the way to go instead of a rewrite. Discuss. 23:11, April 10, 2010 (UTC)

Strong Support - This has been the prime problem we have had: people have used AEAE in situations where it does not apply. If we make it clear in the policy where its power ends, these problems would likely stop (and if they don't, those that try to use it for things it cannot be used for will not have a leg to stand on anyway). I could write up the amendment if that helps the cause at all. User:Stelercus/Signature 15:21, May 8, 2010 (UTC)

Issues related to AEAE and editor prestige

I don't know where to add this commentary in this discussion, but I think it needs to be put in somewhere:

An interesting thing about working with an on-line community is the issue of prestige, and I'll argue that a "prestigious" user tends to have more "authority" to act than somebody lacking such prestige. This is an elusive quality and hard to really note where it comes from, but it is a combination of tenure (how long somebody has been editing the community) and participation (how much has that person done within the community). It is by far and away harder to revert or remove an edit from a user with considerable prestige. It is true on this wiki, and I'd argue it is even more so on Wikipedia. Certainly the edit from a brand-new user who has never done any editing on the wiki at all is generally viewed as potentially harmful, although some editors also gain a sort of negative karma where nearly everything they do is also strongly suspect. This is even one way that vandalism is detected and removed.

One interesting thing that also happens, generally, is that those who stick around and do the "dirty work" like creating and maintaining templates, reverting vandalism, and really putting effort into cleaning up the wiki will tend to become admins and bureaucrats. If you are screaming loud enough on the discussion areas, people will eventually listen to you. More important, if the name keeps coming up again and again in one discussion after another, you tend to at least get familiar with the tone and attitude of that person over time.

AEAE is more of a reminder that those who have earned this prestige really should be humbled and that we really need new blood in this project too, where those who have earned this sort of prestige to make things happen should be perhaps toned down a little bit and allow new contributors the chance to join the ranks of the olde tymers and veterans as peers rather than always as a 2nd class citizen. It is an ideal we should be striving for, not necessarily an official pronouncement of what is the actual situation which exists on the wiki. Any amendment or modification of this policy should still try to push for a higher ideal in terms of trying to act as a check on this prestige issue and to try and temper those who might try to abuse the position of trust they have earned due to their previous contributions. In this regard, I hope that others will continue to remind me that all editors really should be equal with each other and that my edits really are just one of many voices on this wiki. --Robert Horning 10:20, April 14, 2010 (UTC)

I'm going to be bold and put in my insane ramblings, I don't really know how adminship and AEAE can coexist with each other, if all editors are equal, then how comes they are given different rights? Admins have the power to block anyone and prevent people from editing certain pages, if all editors are equal, then maybe everyone should have the same rights, so I say, Editors of the same user group are equal is more like the system present at the moment. I don't really think that all editors are equal, there's always something to unequalise them. Explorer&#039;s ring 3Btzkillerv has entered the building! Cape (blue) 15:27, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

Proposed Reform of AEAE

{{Rfc|complete=true}}

As agreed by supporters and opposers, some users have special powers, and some users' names are highlighted. There may be other cases of inequality. However, as quoted from the original proposal:

  • "AEAE is intended to stop one group from ruling the wiki. It basically prevents the bureaucrats and sysops from having more influence simply because they are bureaucrats and sysops. AEAE simply means that in discussions, a comment by bureaucrats does not count three times as much as a comment by an IP, assuming both are properly argued." I hope you don't mind me using your words, Liquid.

I support this belief. However, as attested by countless arguments, some users have a different opinion of what AEAE means. Some users consider having a different opinion to be "blowing it out of proportion." However, I don't think that it's being blown out of proportion. I think it's being misunderstood.

The policy states "All users are equal." Since this is apparently untrue, the policy needs reform. I believe that it should be reformed into this:

  • "All editors are equal in every way except those ways determined by the community through consensus," after which exceptions determined by consensus may be listed.

Hear me out. This does not mean that we de-sysop all of our admins and give everybody administrative powers.

In the highlighted names argument, it was argued that having highlighted names violated AEAE. Arguments ensued. The benefit of adding "except as determined by consensus" is that no unnecessary misunderstanding needs to take place. If a user brings up an issue with AEAE, the policy will clearly support or oppose him, thereby ending discussion about the meaning of AEAE. The only possible dispute will be to propose an exception to AEAE. This streamlined system will be more efficient than a massive discussion because it will be focused on exception or rejection from the beginning.

Please don't misunderstand my position in this section. I am not trying to force my opinion in any matter with a reform in policy. My purpose here is to remove misunderstanding and focus discussion. Known consensus such as having highlighted names and having admin powers would be included in the exceptions to "equal in every way." There is a rough draft of such a reform at User:Endasil/AEAE. Please don't take Endasil's opinions into this part of the discussion, either. Leftiness 22:18, April 13, 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure I'm allowed to edit, since I think I represent my opinions, but I just wanted to say I support this wording since:
  1. It prevents users from making site-wide changes that will one day become controversial without first seeking approval from the community. Thus, less heated arguments later on down the road.
  2. It fulfills the spirit of the rule. Can anybody suggest why users shouldn't be equal in every way by default?
  3. As Leftiness says, it streamlines things since we can all agree that some additions break AEAE, and then just concentrate on whether we agree that the proposal is worth adding an exception to the rule. Endasil (Talk) @  22:39, April 13, 2010 (UTC)

Delurk and Support - I've followed all of this with interest when I've popped in to see how the site is doing. As you can see from my sig, I do have an admin crown in there. Is it because I'm showing off power due to being power hungry? No. If that were the case, I would have gone for 'crat when that was up. To be honest, I can't even remember why I put the crown in there in the first place, probably just copying some else. So yes, I do very much agree that anyone with admin/'crat powers has no more authority than anyone else, but they shouldn't be chastised just because they mention that they are an admin/'crat. Sysop crown Hurston (T # C) 10:46, April 14, 2010 (UTC)

I agree with most of what you just said, except for one thing. "I do very much agree that anyone with admin/'crat powers has no more authority than anyone else" - Administrators and Bureaucrats do have more power than other users, and I'm not talking about maintenance tasks and assigning user rights. These things alone do not constitute more power, simply tools in other areas (such as site maintenance). However, there is one major thing that gives admins and crats more power than other users, and that is RS:CONSENSUS. At the conclusion of every forum, an admin or possibly a crat will go through, and decide which votes carry more weight than others. From there, they will make an informed decision on the topic, whether it passes or fails. I strongly support revision of the AEAE policy, but I thought that I should also point this out. I actually have twice above as well :3 Ajraddatz Talk 13:30, April 14, 2010 (UTC)
Interesting point, but I would argue that power, as in what they can do, is different that authority, which is when one person is considered better than another. I would say that RS:CONSENSUS, is a power, albeit one that is not directly controlled by the wikia codebase. Sysop crown Hurston (T # C) 14:08, April 14, 2010 (UTC)
A little off topic, but it's damn good to see you post, Hurston. 19:09, April 14, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Lets try to get things moving again. I agree with Endasil's proposed revision. If we want to incorporate some sort of proposal that would violate AEAE, we should discuss it and then add it as an exemption to the policy if appropriate. It's always better when things are laid out plain and simple, verses leaving it up to individual interpretation. --Aburnett(Talk) 22:27, April 25, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Per everyone in this section. This seems much simpler, and it allows for easy amendments regarding any exceptions that need to be made, or possibly to quash any commonly mistaken (as agreed upon) violations of AEAE (such as crowns, highlighted names, etc). User:Lil diriz 77/Signatures 03:14, April 26, 2010 (UTC)

Support - It would be nice to have this written clearer. Ajraddatz Talk 18:13, April 28, 2010 (UTC)

Support - Per Ajr.

  1. REDIRECT User:Swizzl3d/Sig 18:51, April 28, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Something about this wording simply doesn't sit right with me. The policy as it currently stands, and the philosophy and concepts that underscore nearly all public wikis revolves around the attitude that there is not supposed to be any sort of special distinction and rank given to certain groups of editors, and in particular admins and bureaucrats. For myself, I hate the special distinction given to admins by giving them another color, but that isn't the point of this thread. There is the issue of prestige I mentioned above that does apply, so far as an "elder statesman" or somebody who has been participating in the community for some time and has traditionally given strong comments might be listened to more than a newcommer, but that isn't the same thing as having the community granting a special honor. That is also true in any sort of democratic debate, where over time some individuals will receive distinction.... not because of their position in life but rather due to what they have done and the respect that they have earned over time. That gives their voices some extra amplification.

Pure and simple, all editors should be considered equal in terms of their edits, and in discussions a well formed opinion grounded in a strong argument is worth considering regardless of its source. In terms of edit wars, the status of one user as an admin should have no special significance over another editor that may even be an IP user (unregistered). Admins and bureaucrats merely have been trusted users, which implies they should also know when to back off and take those edits to a discussion rather than engaging in edit wars. If anything, I expect more tempered behavior and more maturity from admins, and when that isn't displayed I tend to have a jaundiced view towards those admins instead when immaturity is displayed. --Robert Horning 20:09, April 28, 2010 (UTC)

Which part of the wording doesn't sit right? I seem to agree with you on all those points, and I thought the wording served to say that admins, crats, registered users and IPs are still all the same in every way except for the specific tools we give them. Endasil (Talk) @  01:04, April 29, 2010 (UTC)
It is more that all editors are the same regardless of what additional specific tools have been given to them. This very subtle change in the policy sort of undermines the intent, where this particular policy is one that is attempting to set the standard that all edits ought to be considered equal with no respect to any other options or privileges that have been given to that user. There shouldn't be unequal standing in any discussion, and even hinting that admins or bureaucrats are better is the problem I have with this wording change. My opinion, even on this issue, should be wholly irrelevant in regards to what other tools have been given to me on this wiki. --Robert Horning 16:30, May 1, 2010 (UTC)
I guess I don't understand where you're coming from with the wording. ...except in those ways decided... seems to say pretty clearly that even when there are differences (between sysops, normal users, etc), it is restricted to those ways and does not mean that a sysop is different in any other way. Endasil (Talk) @  18:53, May 1, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Consensus overrides policies, including AEAE. The above wording only allows users to be inequal in specific, listed ways as determined by consensus. I believe the wording will streamline any dispute about AEAE by clearing up confusion and focusing discussion. However, there's nothing any wording can do to influence peoples' opinions of prestiege... To be clear, I think your concerns are covered under the proposed wording. Do you think detailed descriptions like yours should also be posted on the policy page to further clear any confusion? Leftiness 23:43, April 28, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I should mention that check user, oversight, and rollback are just a few user groups that are not determined via community consensus. In fact, the first two are not even determined by RuneScape Wiki bureaucrats, but rather the Wikia Staff members. Will the proposed rewrite consider this? User:Stelercus/Signature 01:13, April 29, 2010 (UTC)

wikia doesn't give out oversight, ever. FNYICLBucket detailrwojy 01:14, April 29, 2010 (UTC)
That's not the point. It's still a usergroup that exists that our Bureaucrats cannot give out, but a Wikia Staff member could if the company felt the need to. User:Stelercus/Signature 15:24, May 8, 2010 (UTC)
It should take this into account, yes. Probably worth having a very brief overview of technical permissions to explain why not all editors get them by default, and why the processes are the way they are. Endasil (Talk) @  04:40, April 29, 2010 (UTC)


Oppose - This policy is acceptable as it stands. Based on how it is worded, this revision could eventually allow the community to designate additional authority to some editors. I think that this would significantly weaken the original intent of the policy (that every editor's opinion is equal, no matter what) and would leave open too many loopholes. I agree that some editors misinterpret the policy, as they suggest that it means that "every editor is equal in every way". Under this misinterpretation, displaying adminship in any way (or even having adminship) violates the policy.

However, a closer look at the policy shows that it is concerned only with authority, not technical powers. Since a sysop will not have any more power to alter policies or control content than an editor without sysop powers, having adminship and displaying it are permissible.

To summarize, I oppose significantly rewriting or reforming the policy in any way. I would suggest adding a "misconceptions" section to explain the difference between technical powers and actual authority or ownership rights. This would not be changing the policy, but rather clarifying what it actually does and does not mean. Dtm142 02:17, May 1, 2010 (UTC)

See, this is where we disagree. I don't think it is a misinterpretation of the policy. You used to cite Jimbo saying that it's merely a technical matter that not all users are given sysop. Clearly that explanation hints at an ideal for full equality (in permissions, in everything!), NOT just the authority behind one's edits. I think that sysop tools in general DO violate AEAE, but in a way that I'm fully willing to make an exception for. And I think that we DO need a good reason to visually differentiate between user levels in logs, recent changes, etc, lest we enter into systemic discrimination. Case and point: we made a semi-official clan chat, and sysops were by default ranked in it! Now how does that conform to the spirit of AEAE? It doesn't! Sysops weren't chosen for their ability to moderate a clan chat. Yet because we considered AEAE to apply only to authority in edits, it was deemed fine. My opinion is that equality in every way should be the starting point, and if we necessarily have to break it, then add exceptions without watering down the policy. Endasil (Talk) @  18:53, May 1, 2010 (UTC)
I have argued in the past that sysop tools are simply an extension of editing abilities, that all editors should be able to nominate themselves (or any other editor) for adminship, and that any editor should be given the tools if they desire them and the community members believe that they are trustworthy. I still stand by these statements. In theory, all editors could be given adminship since many of the sysop tools can be used in everyday editing. Obviously, this does not work in practice as some users are lacking in experience, trust, or desire. This is the same reasoning that is employed if a user misuses standard editing powers and must be blocked, or if a user simply chooses not to edit articles because they are not interested in contributing in that way. There is more potential for harm if a user has more editing tools, and this is why we do not grant additional tools without consensus. However, an editor is not valued any less as a community member if they have fewer editing tools than another editor. For this reason, adminship is not an exception to All editors are equal.
Displaying adminship in userpages, page histories, signatures, and the recent changes is a subject of controversy. I understand that some users question the utility of such a feature when we have a page designed for requesting administrator assistance and an easily accessible list of administrators. I am not here to discuss my position on this topic, as it is irrelevant to the purpose of this thread. However, I do not think that it is at odds with AEAE because the colour of one's username does not affect their authority in making decisions that affect the wiki.
The clan chat has been a seemingly endless debacle since we first decided to create one. It should be noted that wiki decisions are not made offsite. This means that policies, including this one, may not apply to the clan chat (and vice versa). Therefore, clan chat ranks are not a violation of AEAE as it is written right now.
The problem with this proposed language, as I indicated earlier, is specifically that it waters down a policy that we should never need to divert from. Dtm142 23:52, May 1, 2010 (UTC)
I think we're seeing two sides of the same coin. Whereas you think it's watering down the policy, I think it's strengthening it. We've had people cite sysop/crat as evidence that AEAE must only apply to importance of edits, since obviously they're not equal. So my purpose in listing exceptions (note that we're not listing classes of exceptions, as in "admins are not equal" but rather instances of inequality, as in "admins happen to be unequal in that they have this precise ability") is to limit the scope of the exception, by saying that "sysops and normal users have been agreed to be different in precisely and only this way...". It's not to say generally that sysops are an exception to AEAE. Perhaps the wording could be more clear on this, because you and Robert keep on making the same point that I was expressly trying to make with this change. Endasil (Talk) @  06:32, May 2, 2010 (UTC)
And about the clan chat; fair enough, and I think that's the ideal, but if it's the truth I'd really like to see that reciprocated and not have clan chat decisions being made onsite. Particularly in the Yew Grove which should be about Wiki-related things. Endasil (Talk) @  06:36, May 2, 2010 (UTC)
Oh, there's something else I wanted to respond to in your original post. I completely understand your position where it seems like this gives license for the community to later add less desirable exceptions. I'll tell you why I took that approach. I've personally always thought that AEAE is akin to a constitution...where later policies can't break it even if achieved via consensus. I presented that policy and was quite sharply rebuffed by people saying that community consensus trumps that policy. So the reason I didn't think that this wording weakened that aspect is because the community seems quite willing to add those exceptions you fear anyhow, since they believe that the policy doesn't affect decisions made by consensus anyway.
If that's what you're scared of (I am too) I think we should be talking about how constitutional-like policies are applied to consensus decisions. Because there's a big flaw with the above assertion: policies like AEAE are decided on and scrutinized by the vast majority of the active community; past, present and future. But consensus decisions that override it may be made by just a few people and not be noticed by the rest. So how do we justify that? And that's what I argued with the name highlights issue, which I'd rather not get into again. Endasil (Talk) @  06:45, May 2, 2010 (UTC)
I am glad that I am not the only one who is somewhat annoyed that there is a long, heated YG discussion every time a troll is kicked from the clan chat.
I understand that your revision would not immediately change anything on the wiki as it stands. However, I think that having an overly broad policy with many exceptions is indeed weaker than a narrower policy with no exceptions. As it stands right now, one could use this policy to question and scrutinize a community decision. We would be making decisions based on this policy, not the other way around. If the essence of the policy was "editors are equal in every way except as determined by consensus", it would be far more difficult to use it to justify one's stance on an issue since we could simply make an exception. As far as I'm concerned, this effectively voids the policy. While it is possible right now to get around policy with consensus, it would be far easier if it was clearly indicated in the policy that "exceptions can be made".
I am not opposed to clarifying what AEAE actually means. My issue with this proposal is that it is not only clarifying, but actually changing what the policy really means. I do not see the need to change the meaning. It has worked fine as long as we have had it and other than some misinterpretations, it is still working. Dtm142 00:17, May 3, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Robert and Dtm. I do support adding a misconceptions section, though. --LiquidTalk 19:19, May 1, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per Liquid. User:Stelercus/Signature 19:23, May 1, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Per RS:AEAE, "We're all equal, and with equality comes equal importance." What I'm trying to point out here is that we are obviously not all equal. I have no problem with us not all being equal; I just want the ways in which we are not equal to be obviously stated in order to prevent misinterpretation and unnecessary argument.

Robert: Per Endasil and per the proposed wording, no edits would be considered unequal, and no discussion would have unequal standing. I don't believe any exceptions to equality would be bad because, per RS:CONSENSUS, consensus is not a majority vote, unanimity, or a walled garden. I have faith that, no matter when a discussion comes up, somebody will be there with the wiki's best interest in mind, and RS:CONSENSUS will back his statements, preventing any detrimental changes to policy.

Dtm: Again, per RS:CONSENSUS, I don't believe any detrimental changes will take place; no loopholes would be left open that are not already open. What I mean by "not already open" is that the community can already designate authority to some editors. Since some editors misinterpret the policy and it requires a closer look to show that it is concerned with authority, this re-wording was proposed. If we start with "All editors are equal in every way," then list specific exceptions, no misinterpretation may occur, and no closer looks need take place. Because it doesn't say that the policy is concerned with authority only, I think it should be stated. Leftiness 13:29, May 2, 2010 (UTC)

But we are all equal. The policy in it self is not wrong. It is that other users are misinterpreting the true meaning of the policy. The only difference between a sysop/bureaucrat and a regular user is their administrative powers. AEAE does not need to be re-written. We just need enforce the true meaning of the policy. Amethyst II Talk 02:19, May 7, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - My issue with the policy is that it allows misinterpretation. Leftiness 02:33, May 7, 2010 (UTC)

Then we should a misconceptions heading in the policy and put what AEAE is not. Amethyst II Talk 11:20, May 7, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I agree that a misconceptions page would work. However, it would work less efficiently; the unnecessary discussion which takes place over a misconception would not be avoided. In the proposed re-wording of the policy, unnecessary discussion would be avoided, and it would focus any discussion towards proposing a change in policy, which users have the right to do. Efficiency is the purpose. Leftiness 14:17, May 8, 2010 (UTC)

And a change in this policy is exactly what could take away a user's rights to propose changes, in the name of efficiency. Maintaining a policy as fundamental to the wiki as this one is far more important than avoiding discussions, which are also necessary for the wiki to run smoothly. I think that if the misconceptions section was properly written, there would be no further issues. Dtm142 03:28, May 9, 2010 (UTC)
Comment - None of us can tell what misconceptions people will make in the future, so no misconceptions page can be written well enough to avoid future misconceptions. However, the re-worded policy can avoid future misconceptions. Also, I don't understand how the policy would remove users' rights to propose changes; I'll use an example. With our current policy, User A believes highlighted names are a violation of RS:AEAE, so many users get together and have a lengthy discussion about the meaning of AEAE before someone finally proposes to reform AEAE, after which consensus is reached. Under the proposed re-wording, User A believes highlighted names are a violation of RS:AEAE, so User B points out that AEAE doesn't say that, and the discussion is streamlined into a discussion about reform, after which consensus is reached, or closure of the discussion. Under the re-wording, the misconception process is skipped, so users quickly realize that they have to prove why reform is necessary or else forget about it. The re-wording skips the misconception, not the right to propose policy reform. Leftiness 03:59, May 9, 2010 (UTC)
As I have said many times, this policy is limited in scope to edits and importance in discussions. Highlighted usernames do not fall under either of these categories and as such, are not relevant to any discussion on AEAE. If any exception to the current policy is made, it means that some editors will lose either their ability to edit or have an equal say in community discussions. This is something that we must avoid, not encourage. "All editors are equal in every way except [insert long list of exceptions here]" heavily distorts the true meaning of the policy, that is "all editors are equally important when changing an article or participating in discussions". A stronger emphasis on what AEAE actually means is what we need here, not a change in the meaning. I am sure that a community of wiki editors that has written nearly 15,000 articles about a single video game is more than capable of clarifying this policy without distorting its meaning. Dtm142 22:19, May 15, 2010 (UTC)
See, but that argument doesn't hold any weight if I disagree with what your perception of the meaning of the policy actually is. Myself, I see virtue in an ideal of equality in every way, because I see destructive tendencies to make sysops something they shouldn't be, even outside of weight of their opinion or edits. From automatic rights in off-site activities to special rights to close discussions, these are things that shouldn't necessarily be correlated to sysop but still have nothing to do with importance of edits or opinion. And the traditional title of the policy support my understanding of the meaning. If you are going to argue for a change, then, you cannot simply assume that everybody has the same perception of the policy's "true meaning", Dtm. Especially when the wording of policy has not historically supported only that opinion. If you think that's the true meaning of the policy, you should probably start applying it here. Endasil (Talk) @  18:02, May 16, 2010 (UTC)
If any exception to the current policy is made, it means that some editors will lose either their ability to edit or have an equal say in community discussions. Please justify that. Nobody has suggested that exceptions allowing that would be valid exceptions. If you're worried about it, we could also change the policy to say that no exception, even by consensus, shall affect the editor's ability to edit or have an equal say in community discussions. The fact is that the exceptions we're talking about already exist. Writing them down doesn't change anything, yet. Endasil (Talk) @  18:05, May 16, 2010 (UTC)
As an example of what I'm talking about, see Forum:Signature colors. If we were to change RS:AEAE to what you're suggesting, Dtm, I could not use it as a defense against that "proposal." But who the hell are we to discriminate against who exactly can use which colors in their signature? It's discrimination that doesn't affect the ability to edit or change your authority, but it's still pointless discrimination. Endasil (Talk) @  18:13, May 16, 2010 (UTC)
Have you read the policy? The first sentence (not the title) is enough to indicate what the true meaning is: An editor's status, popularity, or in-game experience does not affect how they are treated and how their opinion is "weighed" in a discussion. That is all it is really saying. It in no way suggests equality in every way. Titles alone are not always enough to indicate what a piece of writing is about. The novel To Kill a Mockingbird, for example, is not actually about mockingbirds. Historically, the wording of the policy has changed very little. Other than a bit of tidying and the addition of ingame experience, today's revision is almost identical to the original.
The "exceptions" that you listed are not really exceptions to the policy as it stands. Right now, no exceptions exist. I am not the one suggesting changes, nor am I using AEAE in situations where it does not apply. Dtm142 23:00, May 16, 2010 (UTC)
You're right that the wording of the policy is clear about what the most important part of AEAE is. I'm not denying that's the most important part, and I would much rather preserve the strength of that and not make any changes than make changes that do weaken that aspect. I don't think the proposed changes do, but whatever, we can disagree there. I've however always taken the wording to set an ideal, even if not expanded, that all editors are equal, not just isolated to the importance of input. I agree that it would take a change of AEAE to explicitly set out that ideal. But really, more and more I'm finding simply that I'm trying to use AEAE to limit the scope of sysop when maybe I should be taking that to a different policy discussion. Maybe AEAE is good enough as it stands and I can try to fight that battle on another front. Endasil (Talk) @  23:20, May 16, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - I like Liquid's wording, but I was thinking we might also want to add something else. All editors are equal, but we don't all have equal abilities. Maybe it doesn't even need to be added, but that's the underlying message I think the policy is trying to communicate without being abuse and in your face and paired with RS:BB your excuse to get out of anything. HaloTalk 13:55, May 30, 2010 (UTC)

Genius Proposal

This section is closed, please do not comment on this section After skimming through this and taking around 7-8 aspirins while reading, I have came to the conclusion that it would be better if we renamed the policy AEAE (standing for All Editors Are Equal) to AEAE (All Edits are Equal). This way, the acronym stays the same, but the meaning is vastly changed even though I've only removed two letters! Sound good? OK, I'm walking away with my genius now.

Support - As nom. Fruit.Smoothie 01:23, May 9, 2010 (UTC)

That would not solve anything. All edits are not equal. Some are useless or even counterproductive, thus should be reverted. Others may profoundly improve a page, so they should be kept. Dtm142 03:34, May 9, 2010 (UTC)
Way to be a party-pooper. I was hoping my moment of genius would last for a while longer, but noooo. >_> Fruit.Smoothie 04:06, May 9, 2010 (UTC)
the genius will return, just you wait. and when it does... Armageddon. JK Lol Full slayer helmet Evil1888 Talk A's L Dragon platebody 04:10, May 9, 2010 (UTC)

Strong Oppose - I don't hate the idea of changing the name, but I would rather the title be changed to fit the purpose of the policy rather than go even farther away from it. The title "all editors are equal" does not truly fit the purpose, as it simply serves to prevent the administrators from forming an oligarchy by taking over discussions. As of late the purpose of this policy has been perverted to a literal interpretation of the title. This is wrong and frankly, unfair. While I agree that we need to follow the "spirit" of a policy, we cannot expect the millions of people who use our site to read a policy and interpret something that is not even implied. User:Stelercus/Signature 22:48, May 10, 2010 (UTC)

Strong oppose - What Stelercus said. I hope you said something good, Steler, because I didn't bother to read it all. >.< --LiquidTalk 02:01, May 11, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose-If you think about it AEAE is good how it is because if you change it to AEAE meaning all edits are equal...that would be false because all editors are equal, but not all edits are equal. useless spam wouldnt be equal to some one actualy doing somthing good so i think it should stay how it is Fire cape Lucid Savior Talk Abyssal whip 22:56, May 11, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose/Comment - All edit's aren't equal, as stated. I think something needs to be done about the recent idea that somehow the system is biased because sysops choose what the answer is. Have you never read RS:CONSENSUS, yes, the sysop does get to make the decision, yes that would be biased if not for the definition of "rough consensus." I find it very, very, very hard to believe that a sysop could say "ahah consensus!" when they need ~70 % of the people supporting. 98.218.42.245 22:42, May 15, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Admins already loom over everything enough....idk how thats relevent but steler metioned it 04:49, May 17, 2010 (UTC)

Request for closure - No consensus, won't ever be consensus. Ajraddatz Talk 19:40, May 27, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per above Broav pet Rhys Talk Completionist cape 16:49, May 17, 2010 (UTC)

Oppose - Per the part of Stelercus' comment that I read. I'm a regular user and I approve this message.  TLUL]] Talk - Contribs 07:18, May 30, 2010 (UTC) 

This section is closed, please do not comment on this section This section needs no further discussion, please focus your comments on those other sections still requiring closure.--Degenret01 07:43, May 30, 2010 (UTC)

Request for closure

There has been much discussion, but no consensus in any area. I think that this qualifies for closure, as such.

  1. REDIRECT User:C886553/sig 21:12, June 9, 2010 (UTC)

Trivial, yet important question - What happens if time after time, important discussions do not reach consensus. Do we just leave it to be, even if it is a major problem? How do we solve things like that? Just asking 222 talk 10:07, June 16, 2010 (UTC)

If it doesn't reach consensus we don't change it and leave it how it is and whatever the proposal is just not implemented, pretty simple.Hunter cape (t) Sentra246Blue hallowe&#039;en mask 10:37, June 16, 2010 (UTC)
What if it is something that in hindsight needs to reach a 'yes' consensus, but too much disagreement causes no action, but no action cannot be an option? 222 talk 06:00, June 17, 2010 (UTC)
First I don't know when this would happen (can you give me an example), but if you think something needs to be changed in hindsight another thread can be created.Hunter cape (t) Sentra246Blue hallowe&#039;en mask 07:33, June 18, 2010 (UTC)

Comment - Could a neutral sysop please close this. Thanks, HaloTalk 08:03, June 25, 2010 (UTC)

Close - Close please. It's been hanging around for a while... 222 talk 10:16, June 30, 2010 (UTC)

Closed - The discussion is being continued here. C.ChiamTalk 06:27, July 1, 2010 (UTC)

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