MicroWiki:What MicroWiki is not
This page documents an English MicroWiki policy.
It describes a widely accepted standard that all editors should normally follow. Changes made to it should reflect consensus.
MicroWiki is an online micronational encyclopaedia and, as a means to that end, an online community of individuals interested in building a high-quality encyclopaedia in a spirit of mutual respect. Therefore, there are certain things that MicroWiki is not.
MicroWiki is not a personal website
MicroWiki is not a personal website: articles are not owned by the users that create or edit them, and users can not prohibit others from making edits on "their" article. Editing is not a free-for-all; articles can not be styled and formatted however an editor pleases, but must follow MicroWiki's policies and style guidelines to ensure uniformity and readability.
MicroWiki is not a dictionary
MicroWiki is not a dictionary, thesaurus or any other similar repository of definitions and similar content. An encyclopaedia is fundamentally different to a dictionary, so please do not use MicroWiki for any of the following:
- Definitions: It's ok to have an article explaining a topic, and most articles will have a short definition in its introduction or some form of 'etymology' section in the article. However, it is not ok to have an article merely defining a particular term or topic.
- Language guides, idioms, slang, etc.: In micronationalism, there are many conlangs (constructed languages) and other topics on linguistics which have articles on MicroWiki. Such articles about languages, dialects or types of slang (like Francillish language and Cheslovian language) are perfectly acceptable, but articles which merely list 'slang' or other terms in language or which simply serve to attempt to teach the reader the language are not acceptable.
MicroWiki is not a soapbox or means of promotion
Given what MicroWiki has been used for in times gone by, there may be some confusion over this. MicroWiki is an encyclopaedia, not an advertising, recruiting or propaganda platform for any micronation, micronational entity or anything else. Therefore, it follows logically that content in MicroWiki cannot be any of the following:
- Recruitment platform: While many micronations are always on the lookout for new citizens and actively advertise themselves, MicroWiki is not the place to do this. An encyclopaedia predominantly exists to provide unbiased and neutral information on the subjects at hand, not to attempt to persuade readers to join a particular micronation or micronational entity. If you want to advertise your micronation, there are many other ways to do that, like starting a blog or website.
- Advertising: Similar to the above, MicroWiki is not a platform for any sort of advertising. While MicroWiki does not require verification by third-party sources like Wikipedia, there is still a fine line between advertisements and information, so please be aware of it.
- Opinion pieces: There are many topics which cause controversy and stir the blood of some people, who may then go on to write an opinion piece on the matter. MicroWiki is not the place to do this - articles must be written in a neutral tone, but opinion pieces written on your own blog or website may be posted in the appropriate place on the Main Page. If you cannot write an article in an unbiased manner, as sometimes happens when the matter at hand is too close to you personally, feel free to ask another editor to assist you.
- Scandal mongering: Things heard 'on the grapevine' or unverified rumours do not usually belong in articles. In some cases, it may be acceptable to include some unverified information if enough verifiable instances can be found, but this is rare and unusual and will often be at the discretion of the wider community or, if disputed, an administrator. Articles on living people should be given particular care and be held to a higher standard to protect their right to privacy and from information that may be libellous.
- Self-promotion: It is sometimes tempting to "puff up" the credentials or information in the article that you're writing, especially if the subject is close to you personally. However, it is important to remember that articles must be written from a neutral point of view, and controversial or unlikely information must be verifiable.
MicroWiki is not a mirror or a repository of links, images, or media files
We are an encyclopaedia - not a wiki farm, file repository or anything else. Files that are simply uploaded to MicroWiki for use elsewhere may be deleted. To this end, MicroWiki articles are not:
- Mere collections of content: Articles that simply list links, pictures or anything similar are not acceptable and will often be deleted without warning. Many articles will have related internal and external links, such as websites, and these may be included in the article, provided they are relevant and placed in the appropriate section of the article ('See also' for internal links, 'External links' for external links, as seen here).
MicroWiki is not a directory
Many articles will legitimately include relevant lists and links. However, what is not acceptable is articles which serve specifically and only to house this type of content other than the List of micronations and directly related pages. MicroWiki articles are not:
- Phone books, directories or guidebooks: If relevant to the article, contact details et al may be included. Articles which serve these explicit purposes are not acceptable and will be deleted.
MicroWiki is not a manual, guidebook, textbook, or scientific journal
Fairly self-explanatory. MicroWiki articles are not:
- Instruction manuals: Tutorials, recipes, guides and the like are not suitable for MicroWiki.
- Travel guides: For micronations, sometimes there is a temptation to include 'travel tips' and the like in the article in order to promote it. However, this is not acceptable on MicroWiki. It is acceptable to include, say, the location of a landmark, but it is not ok to include the phone number of your favourite restaurant or the address of the local park that you like the most.
- FAQs: Article should not include 'FAQ' sections - this information should be included in the article in an encyclopaedic and neutral fashion.
- Academic language: Inclusive language should be used wherever possible, even if the article is related to a particular academic field. This is to ensure that as many people as possible can understand everything being said in the article.
MicroWiki is not a crystal ball
MicroWiki is not a collection of unverifiable speculation. It is appropriate to report discussion and arguments about the prospects for success of future proposals and projects or whether some development will occur, if discussion is properly referenced. It is not appropriate for editors to insert their own opinions or analyses. Also:
- Scheduled or future events: These may not be included as articles unless the event is almost certain to take place and is at least relatively notable. Dates are not definite until the event actually takes place. If preparation for the event is not already in progress, speculation about it must be well documented. It is not acceptable to add future anniversaries, such as micronations' 100th anniversaries or the leader's 40th birthday, nor is it acceptable to add similar content to the articles on each year. Creating years pages far off into the future, like 2050, is not acceptable and the articles will be deleted.
- Speculation and 'future history': While scientific and cultural norms continually evolve, we must wait for this evolution to happen, rather than try to predict it. Any sort of unverifiable speculation is not acceptable in MicroWiki articles. For example, while content related to the responses of micronations during an event is acceptable, content related to the possible future reactions of a micronation of an event is not.
MicroWiki is not a newspaper
Please ensure that MicroWiki articles are not:
- Journalism: Many micronational news services and other similar entities exist, using blogging or other software. MicroWiki is not the place to write articles or first-hand accounts of stories - these can be placed in the appropriate place on the Main Page. On a relevant note, never use the first person pronoun in articles - always use third person pronouns.
MicroWiki is not censored
- See also: MicroWiki:Deletion policy
MicroWiki may contain content that some readers consider objectionable or offensive, even exceedingly so (see MicroWiki:General disclaimer). MicroWiki cannot guarantee that articles or images will always be acceptable to all readers, or that they will adhere to general social or religious norms.
Since anyone can edit an article and most changes made are displayed immediately, inappropriate material may appear before it can be removed. Content which is obviously inappropriate (such as an irrelevant link to a shock site, or clear vandalism) is usually removed quickly. Content that is judged to violate MicroWiki policies (especially neutral point of view) or the laws of where the MicroWiki's server is hosted, will also be removed.
However, some articles may include text, images, or links which some people may find objectionable, when these materials are relevant to the content. Discussion of potentially objectionable content should not focus on its offensiveness but on whether it is appropriate to include in a given article. Beyond that, "being objectionable" is generally not sufficient grounds for removal or inclusion of content.
MicroWiki will not remove content because of the internal bylaws of some micronations that forbid information about the micronation to be displayed online. Any rules that forbid members of a given micronation, organisation, fraternity, or religion to show a name or image do not apply to MicroWiki because MicroWiki is not a member of those organisations.
MicroWiki is not Wikipedia
While MicroWiki may borrow some aspects of Wikipedia (including the idea of this very page), and we have many similarities in policy and organisation, there are some important differences. The most important difference is that of verifiability. While Wikipedia will generally remove any content that cannot be verified by "independent and notable third-party sources", MicroWiki takes a much more lenient approach, owing to the nature and specific aims of MicroWiki. Content is generally not required to be verified or referenced in MicroWiki, unless that content is disputed or controversial. Good articles are also usually required to have reasonably comprehensive referencing. Policies and principles of Wikimedia are not likely to apply here (including MediaWiki's code of conduct), defer to only local policies and principles.
Another important difference is the existence of the MicroWiki Forum. Much discussion has now moved to the forum, including ban appealing and debate on changes to the wiki. While the Community Portal still exists, it is seldom used.
MicroWiki is not an anarchy
MicroWiki is free and open, but restricts both freedom and openness where they interfere with creating an encyclopaedia. Accordingly, MicroWiki is not a forum for unregulated free speech. The fact that MicroWiki is an open, self-governing project does not mean that any part of its purpose is to explore the viability of anarchistic communities. Our purpose is to build an encyclopaedia, not to test the limits of anarchism.
MicroWiki is not a bureaucracy
While MicroWiki has many elements of a bureaucracy, it is not governed by statute: it is not a moot court, and rules are not the purpose of the community. Written rules are not created to set accepted practice, but rather are codifications of already existing community consensus regarding what should be accepted and what should be rejected.
While MicroWiki's written policies and guidelines should be taken seriously, they can be misused. Do not follow an overly strict interpretation of the letter of policy without consideration for the principles of policies. If the rules truly prevent you from improving the encyclopedia, ignore them. Disagreements are resolved through consensus-based discussion, rather than through tightly sticking to rules and procedures. Furthermore, policies and guidelines themselves may be changed to reflect evolving consensus.
A procedural error made in a proposal or request is not grounds for rejecting that proposal or request.
MicroWiki is not a democracy
MicroWiki is not an experiment in democracy or any other political system. Its primary, but not exclusive, method of determining consensus is through editing and discussion, not voting. Although editors sometimes use straw polls in an attempt to test for consensus, polls or surveys sometimes impede rather than assist discussion. Straw votes should be used with caution, and are no more binding than any other consensus decision.
MicroWiki is not a micronational organisation
As MicroWiki is a wiki dedicated to documenting micronations, it is principally operated by people who consider themselves micronationalists. This does not, however, mean MicroWiki is owned by a micronation or make MicroWiki any sort of micronational organisation - although owned by Emperor Jonathan I of Austenasia, this is in a completely personal capacity. MicroWiki is not subject to laws made outside the legal jurisdiction where it is hosted, and does not have specific delegations from any micronations. As a wiki, anyone can create or improve any article in line with the other editing policies, no matter what micronation it concerns. You need not name your wiki account after your micronation, especially considering there can be multiple editors from a single micronation. Refrain from sharing an account with somebody else, even if they are from the same micronation as you.
MicroWiki is not a battleground
MicroWiki is not a place to hold grudges, import personal conflicts, carry on ideological battles, or nurture prejudice, hatred, or fear. Making personal battles out of MicroWiki discussions goes directly against our policies and goals. In addition to avoiding battles in discussions, do not make changes to content just to prove a point to someone with whom you disagree.
Every user is expected to interact with others civilly, calmly, and in a spirit of cooperation. Do not insult, harass, or intimidate those with whom you have a disagreement. Rather, approach the matter intelligently and engage in polite discussion. If another user behaves in an uncivil, uncooperative, or insulting manner, or even tries to harass or intimidate you, this does not give you an excuse to respond in kind. Address only the factual points brought forward, ignoring the inappropriate comments, or disregard that user entirely. If necessary, point out gently that you think the comments might be considered uncivil, and make it clear that you want to move on and focus on the content issue. If a conflict continues to bother you, contact an Administrator. There are always users willing to mediate and arbitrate disputes between others.
In large disputes, resist the urge to turn MicroWiki into a battleground between factions - we had more than enough of that during the Tension Era. Assume good faith that every editor and group is here to improve MicroWiki—especially if they hold a point of view with which you disagree. Work with whomever you like, but do not organise a faction with the main goal of disrupting MicroWiki's fundamental decision-making process, which is based on building a consensus. Editors in large disputes should work in good faith to find broad principles of agreement between different viewpoints.
Do not use MicroWiki to make legal or other threats against MicroWiki or MicroWiki users — other means already exist to communicate legal problems. Threats are not tolerated and may result in a ban.
MicroWiki is simply an on-line encyclopedia set up to catalog and describe information in relation to micronations. While MicroWiki may have features that enable users to communicate with each other, we suggest users should only use them for Wiki-related matters. We do not qualify for the definition of a social media site. We are not a social media site, we do not aspire to be a social media site and we never will aspire to be a social media site.
MicroWiki is not compulsory
MicroWiki is a volunteer community, and does not require users to give any more time and effort than they wish. Focus on improving the encyclopaedia itself, rather than demanding more from other MicroWiki users. Editors are free to take a break or leave MicroWiki at any time.
MicroWiki is not any of a very long list of terrible ideas. We cannot anticipate every bad idea that someone might have. Almost everything on this page made it here because somebody managed to come up with some new bad idea that had not previously been anticipated. In general, "that is a terrible idea" is always sufficient grounds to avoid doing something, provided there is a good reason that the idea is terrible.