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Friends, Rapturians, contributors, lend me your ears. I've been seriously considering a potentially large change that will impact the BioShock Wiki and I need your input.
All Wikis have optional features that impact the user experience including enabling/disabling things like polls, blogs, forums, etc. One of these Features is called "Require All Contributors to Log In;" it's exactly what it sounds like:
- Do you want all contributors on your wikia to be logged in? When this feature is enabled, no anonymous visitors will be allowed to edit pages or participate in comments, Forum or Message Wall without logging in. Anyone can still create a Wikia account to join your community!
I've seen many Wikis that have this Feature turned on, the question is do we want to count ourselves among them? Recent events have prompted me to say "yes," but this is not a dictatorship and I don't want it to be. Please, please, PLEASE share your thoughts, feelings, and concerns regarding this proposed change below. Soon an official poll will be posted and I encourage all of our users to participate. A decision will be reached in about 1 month's time.
Activating the feature would increase accountability and decrease vandalism.
This site, like many, is routinely hit by trolls and vandals. Your average vandal is motivated by simple, childish antics. They do this because the anonymity of this site afords "a Wikia contributor" the ability to make quick edits without consequence. If you make them go through the hassle of logging in, then it's less likely they'll make the bother. Logging in puts a name to the actions, which again would discourage your average troll.
This feature helps to permanently blocks users who break the rules
Please see the discussion marked "A Recurring Problem" on Mainframe98's and my Talk Pages. In it we deal with a user who had violated site policy, and who had routinely edited under various IP addresses despite repeated requests to sign in when he edited. It's unclear whether he did this in an attempt to make it appear that people agree with his viewpoints, to prevent blame from being directly linekd back to his main account, or because he simply (repeatedly) forgot to log in. Regardless, because he used a variety of IP addresses instead of a registered/named account, it was unnecessarily difficult to block him.
The Argumentum ad Populum Logical Fallacy becomes much harder to carry out
Tying into the example above, some users use multiple unregistered accounts to build up false support for a cause or change on a wiki. A while back, a contributor attempted to edit the Booker DeWitt article. They wanted to highlight Booker's Native American heritage in the opening paragraph of the article. While the intentions might have been noble, it was decided that the mention in the History section was sufficient and that highlighting his heritage in the first paragraph was an unnecessary spoiler, so the edit was undone.
This quickly devolved into an edit war when the user refused to listen to reason and kept repeating the edit. Other accounts were used to claim support for the change (interestingly enough, using the exact same wording as the original editor). This logical fallacy is the Bandwagon Approach
No real privacy is lost
An argument against this proposal (and included below) is that users should be allowed to edit without registering and thus be able to maintain their anonymity. I would argue however that even by registering a name, a contributor is able to maintain their anonymity. I value my privacy, that's why even now my Talk Page reveals very little about my personal life. Whether an edit to our site is made by "Unownshipper" or "A Wikia Contributor," said editor is still able to maintain their privacy.
Longtime anonymous users WILL be affected
While instituting the Log-In Feature would solve the anonymous vandals issue, it would also impact anonymous editors who occasionally contribute; these individuals will be unable to edit. It's not fair that people who have done nothing wrong will be punished alongside the pernicious users.
Wiki's (And wikia's too) were designed with the idea in mind to allow anyone to contribute, whether they prefer to be anonymous or not. This point was brought up by Mainframe98, and he's right that we should assume good faith no matter if a change is made by an anonymous user, an new user, or a long time editor. The anonymity afforded by this site is not something that should be discarded without reasoned consideration.
OFFICIAL POLL COMING SOON
Should the BioShock Wiki be set to Log-In Only?
- I'm all for instituting the Log-In Feature, I want the site better protected from trolls and vandals.
- I'd prefer to leave the Wiki as is, it allows for more privacy.
- I have no strong feelings for or against this proposal.