Dormancy Policy

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Sometimes, people forget about their wikis or purposefully abandon them. Unattended wikis can become breeding grounds for lingering spam and vandalism that may not be detected for years, if ever. Idle or empty wikis also continue to use up WikiTide's resources, so removal of abandoned wikis frees up space to accommodate other wikis that wish to join the platform.

To codify this removal process, WikiTide has implemented a wiki dormancy policy which addresses what happens to wikis with no activity. We recognize some wikis may not be abandoned at all but by their nature, they may receive a low number of edits or only be edited seasonally. As such, exemptions to the Dormancy Policy exist and may be applied for on the Steward requests board.

Process

If 45 days (a month and a half) have passed and a wiki records no activity[1], a sitenotice is placed on the wiki to remind users to make an edit and check in on the wiki. If 15 more days (for a total of 60 days of inactivity) pass, the wiki is set in read-only mode ("closed"). Wiki bureaucrats are alerted via email (if one is confirmed in Special:Preferences). At this stage, any user may request the wiki be reopened (see #Reopening). If the wiki isn't reopened at least 120 days after it was set in read-only mode (for a total of 180 days/6 months of inactivity), it will be hidden from public view[2]. Two weeks after that, it will become eligible for permanent deletion.

The time before going to the next step (usage → inactive → dormant → closed/locked → deleted) should increase if notices are not placed appropriately. Users will have a minimum time after each notice to fix the problem if they wish. Here is a table for reference:

Stage Minimum time since last notice Minimum total time Minimum time if 0 contributions
Wiki Created N/A N/A N/A
Inactive Warning 45 45 15
Closure 15 60 N/A
Eligible for deletion 120 180 30
Deleted (when required) 14 194 30

Wikis with no contributions

Empty wikis which have never been edited may be eligible for deletion as quickly as 30 days after the wiki was created. This is because these users likely forgot about their wiki and WikiTide all together, and the wiki serves no purpose at all and has no content. 15 days after a wiki was created, if there are no contributions whatsoever, a sitenotice will be placed on the wiki to warn users. If after another 15 days there are still no edits, the wiki will be hidden from public view and marked as eligible for permanent deletion.

Exemptions from the Dormancy Policy

Not all wikis are alike. We understand that some wikis may not be abandoned but rather, because of their nature, they may naturally recieve little, if any, edits. If your wiki meets the requirements below, you may apply for a Dormancy Policy exemption at Steward requests.

In order to be eligible for a Dormancy Policy exemption, the following prerequisites must be met:

  • The wiki must meet at least one of the reasons below:
    • The wiki is made to be read, where a lot of information is already on wiki and doesn't need to be actively edited.
    • The wiki is made for time-based gatherings, i.e. wikis used to plan bi-yearly or yearly events.
    • Other exceptions. Stewards hold ultimate discretion to grant exemptions based on other factors as they see fit.
  • The requester must have local rights on the wiki.
  • The requester must have been involved significantly in the current state of the wiki.
  • The requester must show some sign of activity globally
    • This can include a message to a Steward or other global advanced permission holder on Meta, a note on Steward requests, or local contributions to the wiki in question.

Each case is dealt with on a case-by-case basis and Stewards hold ultimate discretion. Wikis granted an exemption will be listed at Dormancy Policy/Exemptions. Wikis may be granted varying degrees of exemption (i.e. different time periods for allowed inactivity, different requirements to meet activity guidelines, or complete exemption from the rule).

From time to time, Stewards may review exemptions and inquire if they're still needed or remove them if it is obvious they are not. Stewards may use a series of factors (such as viewership if a wiki claims an indefinite exemption as it's read) to determine if an exemption is still required and hold ultimate discretion.

Exceptions to the Dormancy Policy

Similar to the exemptions above, there are several wikis that are considered exceptions to this policy. The Dormancy Policy doesn't apply to official WikiTide wikis such as WikiTide Meta (metawikitide), official WikiTide projects such as WikiTide Commons (commonswikitide), wikis required for technical purposes, or wikis used for internal coordination by teams. Stewards, System administrators, and the Board of Directors may declare a wiki exempt from the Dormancy Policy provided they fall into one of the aforementioned categories.

Deletion

If the wiki isn't reopened at least 120 days after it was closed (for a total of 180 days/6 months of inactivity), the wiki is hidden from public view[2]. If no one requests it be undeleted in 14 days (two weeks), the wiki becomes eligible for permanent deletion. Wikis aren't automatically deleted on the dot, as soon as they hit the 6-month mark, they are deleted periodically at the discretion of system administrators so deleted wikis may very well linger for many more months until finally deleted but it is best to play it safe and request undeletion as soon as possible if you notice your wiki was deleted.

After a wiki is deleted from our servers, it is not recoverable. Any efforts to continue that wiki must start over or have a backup (if one exists) imported. WikiTide backs up public wikis to Archive.org every month so it is possible we have a copy of your public wiki if it was deleted though note that this does not include images.

Reopening and adoption

On the request of any good-faith user at Steward requests, a wiki may be reopened if it has been closed. The requester must have some sort of activity on WikiTide and must provide a reason for requesting the reopening. If the wiki is private, the requester must have reading permissions on the wiki. While there is no maximum amount of wikis that one can request to reopen, a Steward may decline to reopen a wiki if the user has requested opening a large amount of wikis in a short period of time.

If a request to reopen is approved, the requester is not automatically granted administrator permissions as wikis can't be adopted per se, permissions are instead granted on a case-by-case basis, see Local elections for more information.

Special cases

A wiki that was closed for reasons outside of the Dormancy Policy (i.e. by a local bureaucrat) may be reopened following the outlined process above unless there was a local public community consultation favouring closure.

Private wikis may only be reopened at the request of a good-faith user who previously held reading permissions on that wiki when it closed, notwithstanding private personal wikis wholly or substantially about the originally requesting user where ruling by community consensus would be entirely inappropriate.

Wikis created for as public personal e-portfolio, curriculum vitae (résumé), blog, or narrowly construed similar wikis of a single user are exempt from the reopening process of Dormancy Policy as it does not make sense to allow a community of users to hold a local discussion to change the administration of someone's personal public e-portfolio or similar wiki.

Notes

  1. A good rule of thumb is that anything visible in Special:RecentChanges (excluding account creations and renames) count as activity)
  2. 2.0 2.1 We refer to that as 'soft deletion'. During this phase, a wiki is simply hidden from public view but its data is untouched.

Policy last edited on 2024-01-22