Content Policy

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At WikiTide, our Content Policy is designed to help us maintain a safe, welcoming, conducive, and productive environment for everyone. We'd like to kindly remind our wiki requesters, reviewers and administrators to be familiar with this policy and apply it when handling new requests or overseeing their wikis. Wiki administrators play a crucial role in ensuring that on-wiki content complies with these guidelines -- repeated policy violations without local administrator action may result in wiki closure or Steward conservatorship.

Now, we understand that our community is diverse and dynamic, so this policy isn't just for leadership. All our editors should also make an effort to adhere to this policy, as well as any additional local content policies that might be in place on the specific wikis they contribute to. Together, we can make WikiTide a fantastic place for knowledge-sharing and collaboration!

Primary Restrictions

1. The primary purpose of a wiki cannot be for commercial activity.

We're a free service so it's not nice to try to monetize off us. You can't use WikiTide as a storefront, for any commercial activity (including using third-party advertising), to host spam, or for search engine optimization ("SEO") maneuvering (like "spamdexing"). However, you can have limited fundraiser-type sales or provide an informational site supporting a commercial activity (e.g. a wiki describing characters from a commercial work of fiction).

2. No spreading insults, hate or rumors, or promoting violence or harassment against a person or group of people.

When talking about people or organizations, wikis must make sure that their content is fairly balanced, meaningful or substantiated by independent referencing. Wikis which have a clearly identifiable comedic or satire value are exempt from needing to substantiate claims as these provide a meaningful value in terms of relevant content.

However, exceptions for comedy/satire do not cover language which promotes violence or hatred against people or groups of people based on factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, age, disability, or other marginalized groups. Derogatory language based on these factors is not allowed except when relevant to documenting an event, e.g. controversy about the inclusion of derogatory terms in a book.

3. Wikis can't engage in any purposefully deceptive, fraudulent, or misleading activities.

This includes disseminating disinformation or purposefully misrepresenting information with the intention of deceiving or defrauding individuals. Wikis are also not allowed to conceal their true identity to mislead users about their intentions. Impersonation of any individual or organization is strictly forbidden. Additionally, any misleading health claims that could pose a significant risk to individuals' health or public well-being are also prohibited. Please note that while this list highlights some deceptive practices, it's not exhaustive and serves as an example of the types of behaviors that are not tolerated.

Wikis which make it clear that their intention is not to deceive (which may include fantasy world, role-playing, etc.) would not fall into a violation of this policy.

4. Don't use us as a file sharing service.

We're a non-profit on a budget. Files on wikis should be used to build the wiki, not to serve as your own file hosting or sharing service. Note that this does not affect 'Commons'-type wikis that serve multiple wikis on WikiTide that are part of a group or network.

5. A wiki must not create problems which make it difficult for other wikis.

Communities and wikis which have a tendency to draw unwelcome attention to WikiTide (such as those with 'doxing', excessively violent content, hate speech, harrasment of users, repeated personal attacks, references to self-harm, or places in which illegal activity is discussed) can create conditions that unfairly penalize other wikis, either in downtime, domain blacklisting, SEO troubles, reputational issues, and more. They also penalize WikiTide by hurting trust in the farm and requiring excessive Steward, Global Sysops, or Site Reliability Engineering intervention and policing. Local administrators should ensure that their communities do not fall into these behaviors and should not ignore, enable, or purposefully do little to stop it.

6. WikiTide does not host wikis whose primary purpose is sexual content.

Whether content is of a sexual nature will be determined by reference to all the circumstances and descriptions. Content includes written content, real images and animated or fictional images.

Wikis which focus on fetishes that are sexual in nature are not allowed. This includes written, real images and animated/fictional material.

An exception to this rule is that wikis whose primary purpose is sexual in nature but seeks to inform or has academic value. For example, a wiki dedicated to "LGBTQ+ History" likely covers topics that are sexual in nature but is an exception because it seeks to inform users about the history of a particular group.

7. Direct forks of WikiTide wikis are not allowed.

We understand disagreements between editors may prompt the idea but forks hurt communities by splitting them and penalizing them in SEO. If there is a disagreement between editors, please try to mediate it first. If that fails, contact Stewards who will assess the situation and decide if a fork is acceptable.

7.1. Wikis with the same or a substantially similar topic to another existing WikiTide wiki are prohibited.

Wikis that share the same or very similar topics with another WikiTide wiki are prohibited. If a wiki is discovered to have a duplicate topic, it may be subject to closure. If you have a legitimate reason to create a wiki on a similar or identical topic, please reach out to Stewards who will assess your case and may grant an exemption if deemed necessary. It's important to note that this rule does not apply to wikis that specifically focus on subtopics within a larger subject.

In the event that a wiki violates this provision and is slated for closure, Stewards will give ample notice before closing down the project and will provide an XML dump of the wiki's content. Stewards will evaluate each case individually and may consider exemptions when both projects have substantial content, making closure impractical and unwise, and for other reasons at the discretion of Stewards.

7.2. Forks of Wikimedia Foundation-hosted project are not allowed.

As we have finite resources, certainly not enough to replicate Wikimedia, direct forks (forks which seek to recreate or emulate a Wikimedia project by copying all of their content from there) and forks where a substantial amount of content is copied from a Wikimedia project are prohibited. If you believe you have a valid reason to fork a Wikimedia project (such as to save a project which is closing), please contact a Steward who will be able to grant an exemption to this policy depending on the circumstances.

A wiki's scope (as defined in the initial wiki request) must not be radically and completely changed without obtaining approval from Stewards.

Users who radically change the scope of their wiki without approval may be restricted from requesting other wikis. To report a change, please visit Steward requests.

A wiki whose scope has been radically and completely changed may be closed by a Steward. Stewards will attempt to remediate the issue first but if the new scope of a wiki violates this policy, it may be closed.

Additional Restrictions

Wiki creators may assess requests on standards not covered in this list.

Wiki-hosting is an evolving process, if certain genres or topics of wiki prove consistently problematic, additional limitations may be placed on new requests beyond those listed in the main content policy. This sort of deviation could take the form of topic bans instituted by community approval, or may be instituted by the WikiTide board of directors at their discretion.

Currently Enforced Bans
  • "Personal use only" wikis -- a wiki must have a clear topic
    • i.e. a wiki requested to serve as a personal diary, for testing MediaWiki or writing random things is not approvable, a wiki for a worldbuilding project may be approvable.
    • This restriction is primarily a resource consideration and may be lifted in the future
  • Reception Wikis -- See page for example characteristics, no exceptions will be made for this ban
  • "Single Individual" wikis (also known as vanity wikis or individual biography wikis)
    • limited exceptions can be made when documenting a larger body of work by the individual, e.g. A wiki about an author with several published works may be permissible, if the wiki plans to also document the plot/settings of the books.
  • Worldbuilding wikis centered on content derivative of existing IPs
    • Wikis documenting personal TTRPG campaigns which may include derivative content due to setting do not fall under restriction
  • New -ball and -human genre wikis
    • Existing communities looking to migrate from other platforms will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis
  • New wikis whose primary purpose is to host fanon and fan-fiction content
    • Existing communities looking to migrate from other platforms will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis
  • Wikis whose primary purpose is to act a social platform without a specific topic
  • 'free-editing' wikis where anyone can write anything on any topic
    • This includes wikipedia-style 'encyclopedias of everything'
  • Object Show/Battle for Dream Island genre wikis, including related spinoff projects
Exception Reviews

When requesting an exception review for migration of an otherwise topic-banned wiki, candidate communities should ideally (but are not required to) have the following traits for the greatest likelihood of success:

  • An active community of at least 8-10 members
  • An established code of conduct and content policy that is enforced
  • An admin team with a track record of taking appropriate action when problems arise
  • A substantial body of content that otherwise complies with our content policy
  • A healthy community culture, largely free of personal attacks/doxxing/other forms of toxic behavior

If you feel your community's wiki has a reasonable case for a topic ban exception, please reach out to a Steward to set up an interview for your request.

Administrator Obligations

Public wikis are encouraged to familiarize themselves with our policies, and develop their own content policy.

This page is a bare minimum of what WikiTide will accept on our network. Our Terms of Use covers some legal aspects (such as not hosting anything illegal in the United States) which administrators should get acquainted with as we expect they help police its enforcement. Please familiarize yourself with our policies, such as the Dormancy Policy, to avoid any confusion.

Most wikis will want to keep their content focused on a particular topic, and may want to limit "off-topic" discussion to varying degrees. For this reason, most wikis will want content policies more restrictive than what is presented here.

Where there is concern that a wiki is unable to meet its obligations in enforcing the Content Policy or other global policies, a wiki may be placed under a conservatorship.

Under a conservatorship, Stewards would assume joint administrative control of a wiki alongside local administrators and Stewards would seek to help the community develop in a healthy manner that allows for effective self-governance and leadership to enforce all global policies and tackle local issues. Stewards would temporarily assume a role of bureaucrat or equivalent and would consult the local community and administrators on proposed changes to local policy, practices, and convention, in order to help the wiki. While there is no set timeframe for a conservatorship to end, it will be Stewards' goal for it to end as soon as possible. Stewards will determine when a local conservatorship should conclude, but may also be petitioned by local administrators or the community on the Stewards' noticeboard. Conservatorships for other circumstances may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Local administrators may petition Stewards to place their wiki under a conservatorship. Under special circumstances, Stewards may place a wiki in a conservatorship if they believe that local leadership is unable (or unwilling) to address global policy enforcement concerns adequately and where previous remediation efforts involving the local administrators have failed (this includes where local administrators are chronically inactive and where reaching out to them has failed). While under these circumstances, Stewards will attempt to work alongside local administrators but if they refuse to cooperate positively or engage in self-sabotage of the wiki, Stewards may disregard them in wiki administrative affairs.

In extreme cases of uncooperative, overly hostile, and/or sabotaging behavior, Stewards may demote a local administrator from any extended local permission they hold. Stewards will only do this in extreme circumstances where other remediation efforts involving the local administrator in question have failed and where demotion is a necessity to ensure project stability.

Violations of this policy

There are two types of violations of this policy that can be observed
  • Individual violations: A single page or a few pages may violate this policy. In that case, the issue can easily be resolved by removing the violating content and if necessary warning the user(s) who added it and taking further measures if they continue adding violating content. The wiki as a whole cannot be said to be violating this policy.
  • General (or systemic) violations: If the entire scope of a wiki or a large amount of pages violate this policy, it is considered that the entire wiki is in violation of the policy. In this case, local administrators must attempt to resolve the systemic issues and remove the violating content. If this is not done so within a reasonable period, Stewards may close the wiki for violating this policy.

Effective date of this policy:

  • 21 June, 2023. Last modified 19 September, 2023.