wikiHow:IRC Pow Wow

Collaborative Solutions Process

STOP PRESS! - Please see new question below re "flooding" (as at Dec 2nd, 2007) And as at Dec 3rd - Notification


This is a living document that, like all wiki docs, is supposed to grow and be enhanced. It is hoped that through this document, everyone can add their ideas on how we can all work together to maintain a wikiHow IRC that is conducive to friendly relations, civil exchanges and productive discussions.

EditA. Interaction Guidelines

Outline: There appears to be a desire to create some sort of guidelines to ensure that interaction on IRC remains civil, courteous, friendly and respectful. It is accepted that some people feel there is no need for anything at all but given that there is both real and perceived incivility, the suggestion here will be to develop a simple set of "Interaction Guidelines" that can be referred to for support and assistance in interactions on IRC.

'We started our discussion with this:

1. wikiHow's IRC is intended to be a place of productive, supporting and friendship-building chat. Its purpose is to allow wikiHow users an opportunity to share ideas, information and to knit their friendships together in a kind, caring and civil way.

2. What's good for wikiHow is good for wikiHow's IRC:

  • yes to civility, respect, courtesy, tolerance and good faith

What's not good for wikiHow isn't good for IRC either:

  • no to rudeness, disrespect, discourteous exchanges, bad faith and intolerance

3. It is assumed that making a decision about bad faith on behalf of an IRC user requires the same considerations as on wikiHow - exercising good judgement, being fair, assuming good faith and having evidence of trolling or bad faith behaviour.

4. Arbitrary kicks and blocks without clear explanations and without parameters for invoking them is unfair, a denial of natural justice and frequently inconsistent. Parameters for invocation of a kick or a block should be in place to prevent arbitrary misuse.

To You:

  • A.1 - How can we build on this to make guidelines for IRC participation? Please refer to relevant numbers when commenting below.
  • Elocina 1. Agree with that statement, but I think a solution should be created for off-topic chatters -- maybe an offtopic channel for wikiHowians that isn't on Freenode -- possible the beebo solution Cal suggested in IRC 2. Although it seems obvious, I think rudeness needs to be defined, especially in terms of what's flooding and what isn't. I also think there needs to be some guidelines as to now newbies are treated. 4. Agree that parameters need to be set up -- possibly a three kicks and you're out policy in terms of blocks.
  • Zack A. Off-topic conversations are appropriate on irc #wikihow (as are on-topic conversations) so long as those conversations are civil and respectful. The channel was created so we could get to know each other, not just discuss articles and patrolling problems. If you move everyone out of #wikihow, the channel will be silent and empty. The solution is continue to use the channel as we have done. If anyone needs to chat "on-topic" they should open a new channel, announce it in #wikihow and invite others to join.
  • Jack H I agree with all 4 points.
  • Maniac - Agree with all, nothing to add, but I think that IRC can fit both on-topic as well as off-topic content. Otherwise, it's good.
  • Harold R I agree with all 4 points. I also agree with Zack's point that off-topic (the topic being wikiHow and associated tasks) conversations are certainly allowed. But Nicole has a point that we might want to find a solution in which we can have two places for on- and off-topic conversations. Similar to Village Pump and General Chat.
  • Tom Viren I hate to be the spoiler, but I think the IRC should be abandoned. It already is diverting valuable resources away from wikiHow's mission to support something that is making no contribution. I understand we don't have the right to remove #wikiHow from freenod, but I think it should be stated that it is not an official wikiHow institution and any participation on the channel in no way reflects either the position or view of wikiHow.
  • Fruit Boy A. These sound good to me. I don't think the should be changed. But a place for off topic chatters would be helpful.
  • Cipher_nemo 15:35, 19 November 2007 (GMT) : I agree with the entire A section, and I also support all of Zack's comments above regarding off-topic conversations.
  • Chicablog ... I agree with all of the points, as well as what Zack said about offtopic conversations. That's pretty much the way it is now, although probably have of the topics are about wikiHow. I oppose to abandoning #wikihow IRC, because were would we send chatters?
  • Horses4Ever 13:36, 1 December 2007 (GMT) : I agree with all of the points, but I also agree with Zack and the others that off-topic conversation is perfectly fine, as long as it isn't interrupting a wikiHow-related conversation. Another channel for on-topic only might be a good solution, maybe with its own web client so that people don't have to try weird clients and portals to reach it.
  • Sexy_Trina_1980 00:27, 3 December 2007 (UTC -6) :

    • 1.) I generally support Maniac's and Zack's comments, however, I see no need to create additional channels.

      IRC allows both private messaging and "on the fly" user creation of channels (at least as of mIRC 6.x); this provides the nescessary flexability of users to create additional channels and invite people to them as they see fit.

      Also, what is "off-topic"? How do you define "off-topic"? If the purpose of the channel is to provide an opportunity for "friendship-building" and to "share ideas, information"; then the chat-rooms "topic of intent" is informal conversations of the type one might have outside of a formal setting. Really, the only concern for regulation of chat should be:

      • Conversations which interfer with the ability of other users to use the chat for the purpose described above.

      • People who "wander into" the channel. Meaning, those who enter the channel through the IRC server's room list; and who otherwise have no interest in, or connection with, WikiHow.

    • 2 & 3.) Generally agree, however, the chat-room by virtue of it's nature should be treated in a less formal manner that the rest of WikiHow.

    • 4.) Agrees.
  • Shaiaqua I think that these rules are good, though I would add that the main wikihow channel should only be spoken in english, and that ops need to take action. They've been a bit... lenient lately.

  • Pwhdavey My complete roll up of IRC, in no specific order, but with reference to the Pow Wow project:
    • With recent events I partly agree with Tom Viren's point on discouraging use on the channel. Spending time on IRC does detract user's abilities from taking part on wikiHow, and does waste time. It also appears to influence strongly, including negatively, on people's personal lives. I admit myself that IRC has gotten the best of me, and wasted time which could have been spent elsewhere.
    • We also have "representatives", I should say, from Wikimedia and beyond occasionally visiting the channel during times of unrest. It is rather embarrassing, leaving behind a negative image and impression on the channel, as well as setting a bad example to wikiHow from external sources - who could be willing to contribute. I am not saying immature behavior frequents the channel non-stop, however. This issue was recently brought up in the forums.
    • I agree with Zack's statement on off-topic conversations - but I am strongly opposed to the continual chatter about people's personal lives which is always being dragged up and down #wikihow.
    • I do not necessarily agree with wikiHow guidelines being incorporated into the IRC channel, either (but in saying this, wikiHow is laced with numerous links towards the CGI hosting service of #wikihow). The Freenode hosting service is NOT wikiHow, and to raise good behavior and retain it, I suggest IRC users find an easy way to remain civil and develop a formal policy on the channel once and for all by looking at examples of IRC channels such as #wikipedia and #defocus, etc, as well as reading the topic heading and IRC guidelines once and for all.
    • As for bans, I suggest the policies should be short and sweet. I believe any mention of personal life (perhaps personal issues/conflicts can be introduced if certain users feel a need, for the rest of the group to support and/or remedy) deserves a "mini-warning". Rude language in general is also a "mini-warning" - if this rude language is personally targeted however, it is a proper warning for them (if the abuse if very intense and destructive, a boot wouldn't go astray). Banning results in the resistance to comply with guidelines, or coming back to the channel repeatedly immediately after a kick.
    • Flooding-spamming, etc, I guess would be a warning. An example of a formalized IRC policy may go somewhere along the lines of this: A warning, another warning - next violation = kick. That is a very simple diagram of a possible system.
    • No specific mention of certain users, but personal or "pet" bots must remain outside of the channel at all times. There are tons of channels out there specifically designed for bot testing, etc. Bots such as the log-recording one (Record_bot) are acceptable.
    • IRC Forum/Bulletin Board. No. 1. Seal up the IRC in a package and put it a safe storage place for later. Open it up in a year where wikiHow has (hopefully) raised its aesthetic and ethical standards significantly. Only then will the channel be ready for a productive attitude. 2. Enforce crackdowns on stricter policies within IRC. One of these two points must go ahead, I think. Most would agree with the latter - but yet #wikihow remains some sort of MSN replicate. So wheres the belief for that?
  • Esteltalk 05:03, 8 December 2007 (GMT) - I'm going to disagree with Pwhdavey and Tom's point r.e. the "counter-productiveness" of an IRC channel. Detracting from the amount of time that a user spends actually editing really should be irrelevant: this is not a work environment, and everyone here is a volunteer who can choose to spend as little or much time either on IRC or editing as they wish.
    • I agree with all the points; though I'd like to make a general comment that doesn't seem to fit: I think that IRC needs to have a "church and state" sort of separation. Whilst the same moral guidelines should be held for each, I really don't think that the route we've taken of IRC being a primary advised support method as being a good one. Threads shouldn't be popping up in forums about IRC, because... the nature of IRC encourages a degree of independence.

EditB. Decision on Kicks and Bans

Role of ops and parameters of decision-making by ops. In an open society, anyone with authority is subject to boundaries. Judges, governors, teachers, executives - anyone in a position of authority over others - must exercise any powers with responsibility and with reference to key rules that rein in any excesses and also help to guide those with authority. It is no different in an online community. While we have peer observation and expectations, and trust that we will all act appropriately, we also have guidance in the form of the key principles of good faith, civility and an expectation to exercise reasoned judgment when we undertake decisions on wikiHow. We also have many discussions and understandings about behaviour on wikiHow which drive how we behave on the site. It should be no different in IRC. It is considered that there is a need for some form of checks and balances on the use of authority in IRC. along with assurance that those subject to decisions in IRC are given an opportunity to be heard and respond and for the concern to be treated with respect and seriously.

Key elements:

  • Respect
  • Transparency
  • Certainty of outcomes & fairness
  • Responsibility
  • Sound decision-making
  • Treating kicks as a game unacceptable
  • Stop referring to "punishment" as part of a hobby; this sacrifices wikiHow's foundational principles of good faith, civility and caring for and supporting one another.

In considering these, please remember that your moral standards, while important, are not the sole arbiter of how to respond. In and of itself, proclaiming your own standards of morality is a form of overriding others' ideas, which is why we need to collaborate on a generally agreed basis for when we act on uncivil and irresponsible behaviour in IRC. Also keep in mind that just because you may not have experienced a kick/ban or seen one that you consider to have been unfair, this has not been everybody's experience and here is where everyone's experience counts.

To You: please answer:

  • B.1 - How do we create guidelines by which both ops and all other contributors are treated fairly when kicks and bans are enforced?
  • B.2 - What is an action resulting in a warning?
  • B.3 - What is an action resulting in a kick?
  • B.4 - What is an action resulting in a ban?
  • B.5 - What lengths for bans? Who should decide on bans in IRC - individual or op?
  • B.6 - How can a banned person appeal?
  • Elocina 1. I think that we should treat the creation of the IRC policy like the creation of any other policy on wikiHow -- post something to the Forum, ask for input, have people vote. 2. I think types of warnings should be looked at before we look at what people should be warned for. Sometimes I find the warnings to be unnecessarily uncivil or childish sounding -- often the equivalent of "stop it, so-and-so!". If someone is typing gibberish and hitting enter a lot (which is my definition of flooding, more so than writing 4 lines in a row on IRC), engaging in a personal attack or being rude in general they should be warned. 3. Kicks should be employed when warnings do not work -- especially when people blatantly ignore warnings and make a big deal out of ignoring the warning. 4. I think if you've been kicked twice and you're about to be kicked for a third time, the third kick should be a kickban. If people get several kicks/kickbans, I think people should be blocked from wikiHow for short periods of time to give the message that how you behave on #wikiHow has implications for wikiHow as a whole. 5. I think maybe a day is a good starting length for IRC bans and it can be increased from there as needed. I think it should be at least a day, regardless of appeals from the bannee. I think both the individuals who use IRC and the ops should have say into who gets banned. 6. I think IRC ban appeal should function similarly to the process for appealing a block. There should be a set email address or IRC user to contact to appeal a block.
  • Maniac - B.1 I think that the wikiHow guidelines work best -- Everyone is used to them, so majority of the users should know and understand them. Using multiple peoples logs (three or four different people) could verify the situation and what happened. B.2 I think anything which is inappropriate should start with a warning -- Warnings should be given before kicking or banning. Things such as excessive swearing, linking to inappropriate things, trolling, etc. would fit in here. B.3 I think that a kick should be the next step in punishment to rowdy users. Also, more severe rule-breaking should probably start here. B.4 I think that impersonation, continued rule breaking, and severe trolling fit in here. B.5 I think that bans should be depending on the rule broken. An hour for the first ban seems sufficient, then maybe a day, and then finally, permanently. After receiving a warning, a kick, and two temporary bans, if a person continues to break the rules, I think that they can and should be permanently banned. There could be a list, private to OPs only, so that every OP knows who is on what step and why. As for deciding, I think that it should be the OPs decision. If multiple users (3+) are complaining, then it would encourage, but it should still be an OPs decision on what to do. B.6 I do not feel that a banned person should be able to appeal the ban. With the steps I mentioned, the first two bans would be small amounts of time, therefore, there would be no need to appeal -- And if they continue to break the rules thereafter, as I previously said, after receiving at least 4 punishments, I think they still haven't learned. Thank you.
  • Harold R B.1 Guideline creation should be a function of the community by way of our suggestion-discussion-proposal method. But to the point of ensuring that all contributors are treated fairly, we should probably get a better handle on who has ops and who doesn't, and develop a method by which we actually know who is who they say they are (link IRC to wH login?). B.2 A formal warning? I think any activity that is belligerent to another individual should receive a warning. We want to promote a civil atmosphere where all are welcome. Warnings can be given by anyone, but should be enforced and followed up by ops. B.3 A kick should be given to someone who has ignored a warning more than twice (in other words three strikes and you're out). B.4 Bans should be given when someone has ignored two or more warnings (each resulting in a kick) and does the same or similar a third time. B.5 Bans should be for 2 weeks, doubling each time someone gets banned again. Example: Susie Nogood is banned once for 2 weeks. She is kicked twice and then banned again for 4 weeks. And so on... Ops should decide bans. B.6 Perhaps another forum for IRC administration should be created in which anyone can appeal their own ban (or someone else's). Other community members can weigh in on the situation rather than ops in the IRC, providing greater community oversight.
  • Horses4Ever 14:12, 1 December 2007 (GMT) : B.1 With IRC having so many more outlets for misbehavior and so many varied circumstances, I don't really think a really, really detailed IRC guideline page would be practical... but a page with at least the main points would be a good idea. As for what we expect in terms of behavior, the already-present wikiHow guidelines should work. B.2 Pretty much anything that isn't civil, flooding, or other things such as using nicks that are similar to other users just to annoy them (ex. Someone changing their name to Horses5Ever or Ever4Horses). Even if there is not technically an official rule against something (such as that nick abuse), if it's annoying someone, it should be stopped. B.3 If someone has been given several warnings, which they are either blatantly ignoring or stopping for a few minutes and then resuming the behavior, they will be kicked. B.4 If someone has to be kicked over and over and over, and it's obvious that they're not planning on stopping whatever they're doing anytime soon, they get banned. B.5 Well, seeing as the ops are the ones doing the banning, the decision as to how long to ban for should be mostly theirs. However, sometimes, in cases where there might be something unclear, or we think the rest of the channel should offer some input, we'll discuss it. We usually do end up discussing bans as a whole channel, but ultimately, the ops make the final decision as to the length. B.6 Well, briefly, we tried discussing a ban in a channel called #wikihow_appeal, but that ended badly... with one of the IRC regulars going on strike from the channel for a few days, actually. Personally, I don't like the idea of having a "courtroom" where people appoint themselves to certain positions, and where not everyone can participate (you can't get to the channel from the web client). So, if someone actually might have grounds to appeal their ban (if it's obvious that what they were doing was meant to be annoying, uncivil, or mean, then there's really not much discussing to do...), they can contact an op on their talk page (with a civil message -- I don't think we should response to screaming, insulting, and empty threats), or email one. Maybe creating an email address specifically for appealing IRC bans (like banned@wikihow.com) would work too.
  • Chicablog 00:44, 7 December 2007 (GMT) : B1: I agree with Maniac. Logs from 2+ people should be used. B2: Saying one or more of the seven dirty words, aiming any swear at a person, trolling, *bad link*, and flooding. B3: Ignoring two warnings. B4: Continual bad behavior after two kicks. B5: I think that 75% community consensus would need to be reached on the length after the person has been banned. It'd have to depend on severity, IRC Ban history, logs, and the person's story. B6: I think someone made "#wikihow_appeals", where those whom have been banned can appeal...
  • Shaiaqua B.1 - We should vote on it on the forums, molding wikiHow policy to fit the IRC. B.2 - Spamming, flaming, trolling, excessive cursing, B.3 - The third warning, B.4 - The third kick, B.5 - 3-4 hours for cooling down, else a week, else a month, else 3+ months, and if they still don't stop, permaban. , B.6 - blocked@wikihow.com.
  • Esteltalk - I have little to add to these points. 1) WP:DICK 6) IRC users when banned from a channel are not banned from joining the server. A preferable method to email would be to PM some of the ops who are in the channel at the time and ask. Email would be harder to manager: and blocked@ would be a pain, because being able to justify any decision would likely require access to details of what happened.
  • Sexy_Trina_1980 09:27, 8 December 2007 (UTC -6) :

    • B2, B3, and B4.) This is going to sound like a strange answer, but if you think about what I am saying I think you will understand.
      Also, consider Tom Viren comments in Section A as you think about the following.

      On enforcing rules for the IRC channel, we should take a step back and ask ourselves,
      "Is all this purposed Micro-Managment really the best thing?".

      Take a "tip" from a Basic Network Manament cource I attended in 2005.

      During one of the classes, our instructor told us:

      "Simple Network Manament Protocal (SNMP) allows for a wide range of tools you can use to manage traffic. And each of these tools creates traffic in order to do this. In order to manage bandwith, SNMP uses bandwith.
      Time and time again, I evaluate networks owned by corporate executives, organization presidents, millitary officers, ect.; people who might be experts at leadership, but don't know a damn! thing when it comes to "Stop Micro- Managing".
      And they all say the same thing, "But, we instructed our people to employ every SNMP tool we could get our hands on, from every computer we own, 24/7. Why is our network so slow?".
      And my answer is always the same, "It's slow because you instructed your people to employ every SNMP tool you could get your hands on, from every computer you own, 24/7. You are managing your network into the ground."

      Seriously. It's a chat room, come on people.

      Users who make the room un-usable, or create a harrasing or offensive environment for others, should be kicked and/or banded if nescesary. This much is true.

      But having a complex, "Draconian" policy, a big book of "Thou Shalt Not...", itself makes the chatroom less useful, and creates a harrasing environment, by interfering with the kind of freedom benificial to the creative process.

      Really, it's the timing, intent, and effect of a persons behavior (not the specific actions themselves) that matter. With greatest emphisis on "intent" and "effect".

      "Flooding" is only flooding if it makes the room difficult to read or use. There should not be a set number of lines used to define it.
      "Trolling" is a matter of percetion. Where do you draw the line between "trolling", "Playing Devil's Advocate", and bring-up a point others don't see?
      And comments are only offensive when the people who are there to read them feel offended.

      This having been said, lets take a look at some things I saw other users say above:

      • Horses4Ever, "...using nicks that are similar to other users just to annoy them...Even if there is not technically an official rule against something...if it's annoying someone, it should be stopped..." - I agree whole heartdly, both with what you said, and, what you didn't say.

        By this I mean: Harrassment is harrasment, it doesn't matter if there is actually a rule against the activity or not. If it make you feel harrased, or creates an unwelcomed environment, it is automatically unacceptable.

        At the same time, we don't need specific rules against specific things. Everything in chat should be a matter of intent, context, and effect. If you use Slutty_Trina_1980 once, and you are a friend, I might think it's funny myself. But, if you keep doing it, and for whatever reason my mood changes...then my only responsibility is to let you know I no longer like it. Once I have, your responsibility is to stop.

      • Elocina, "typing gibberish and hitting enter a lot". - When the room goes silent the most convienient way to see if my client is working properly, is to hit enter after typing a period, random characters, or the word "testing".
        Does gibberish which communicates a point, does not interfere with your ability to use the room, or was posted for a purpose still deserve a ban?
        By the way, define gibberish?

      • Chicablog, "Saying one or more of the seven dirty words" - I read this list of "seven dirty words". I also noticed a statement in the article,

        "...In follow-up rulings, the Supreme Court clarified that the words might be acceptable [for public broadcasting] under certain circumstances, particularly at times when children would not be expected to be in the audience..."

        This having been said, in what silly over-sensitive world (outside of grade school) are any of these words so horrible that no one ever uses them? I can understand not using them in an article who's subject does not involve the words themselves, because articles should be written with an intellegent tone. But in a chatroom?

        The first 4 have an actual meaning, and only become offensive when used outside of their actual meaning.

        5, I would agree could (I didn't say should) be banned, only because #wikihow is not the time and place for the kinds of conversations where its proper use would apply.

        As for 7, since when is "tits" a dirty word? This one is news to me. I can understand why I might deserve a ban if, say for example, I asked someone about the size of thier's; because that might be sexual harrasment, and I would be wrong to do it if they were offended. But as for my own, they are 36C, and I am very proud to have them. I think they are lovely.

      • Chicablog, "*bad link*". Maybe I don't understand you? Do you mean links which are dead or don't lead to a page? This might just be a mistake. If you mean links which lead to bad content, yes I would agree, depending on what you mean by bad content. If you meant links which cause your computer to be attacked when you click on them, yes these should be banned, and I agree whole heartedly. But, I am not sure exactly what you mean by a "bad link", please specify?

      • Esteltalk, "...[don't be a] WP:DICK..." - Don't be one in the chat room to others. And don't make so many rules against those who are, that the rules themselves seem to have been made by one.

  • B5.) Ultimatly Ops should. However, ops need to take into consideration who is in the room and how they feel. Really, the only people who matter are the people in the room, at the time, who are affected by it. What is offensive or inappropriate to some, might be acceptable to others. Since only the people in the room at the time are affected, their feelings should be the primary consideration of whether or not the activity was acceptable. It is all about how it affects the people who it pertains to, not how it might affect someone who is not involved.

  • A few final notes:

    Really, for somethings, before warning is issued, the first step should be for the person(s) affected, not an op or a rule book, to tell the alledged offender publicly that they don't like what the person is doing in that particular situation.

    Sometimes, people don't mean any harm in what they do...but end up becoming beligerent once they are treated like they did mean harm (example, recieving warnings for rules that are silly under the circumstaces) because they feel offended at being treated that way when they weren't really doing anything all that bad.

    But, if you just let them know you don't like it, they will stop because they didn't mean anything by it to begin with.

    If something offends someone, the first person the offendee should tell is the offender.

"Mind over matter - If I don't mind, it don't matter."
~ Net Admin of a "registered members only" Internet Anonimity Proxy in Seoul, Korea

"Relax Guys!!!"
~ Multiple characters from an episode of [South Park].

~ Trina

EditC. IRC Dispute Resolution

Outline: There appears to be a need to have in place means for resolving disputes when IRC participants feel that something is unfair or that an argument has arisen. It is impractical and beyond the remit of the Mediation Team to take on this role. There must be an internal mechanism for quick and fair resolution of the majority of disputes. While it is hoped that less disputes will arise in the implementation of civility guidelines, it is important to make suggestions for how disputes will be resolved here.

It is proposed that if we have in place sensible and caring guidelines for behaviour in IRC, disputes should not arise. If we have in place clear parameters for when warnings, kicks and bans are appropriate and when they are not, as well as an avenue of appeal for those who are banned, then it is considered that there will be less need for "dispute resolution".

To you:

  • C.1 - So, are you willing to give the role of guidelines and parameters a go to try and reduce the dispute element in IRC?
  • C.2 - It is noted that some of the behaviour and discussions in IRC are simply a matter of being disrespectful and behaving immaturely. Are you willing to take on a level of self-responsibility to ensure that you do not contribute to such discussions? In what ways will you kindly point out to others that the conversation has stooped to this level and needs to cease or move on to a better level?
  • C.3 - Are you willing to practise "STOP" if things get heated or out of control?

    • Stay out for a brief time when it gets heated and talking only adds fuel to the fire
    • Talk civilly with others, even if they won't do so with you on return
    • Offer to try and see the perspective of others, rather than getting annoyed with them
    • Practise good faith, civility and respect rather than making assumptions, having suspicions and resorting to "punishing" others
  • C.4 - What are some really good ways to make it clear to someone that their behaviour is undesirable without resorting to kicking and banning? Consider how being non-confrontational might work in the IRC context.
  • Elocina 1. Yes. 2. Yes. 3. Yes. 4. Asking them to please not behave a certain way? I'm really not sure. Often my warnings don't seem to get listened to.
  • SudoKing 1. Yes 2. yes 3. Yes 4. Warnings, however, if they continue to do it, there is nothing left to do except kick or ban.
  • Jack H Yes to all
  • Maniac - 1. 2. 3. Yes 4. I think that warnings are best, however, it appears that many warnings are ignored. Normally a kick is sufficient, so I think that a kick should be after a warning or two.
  • Harold R 1-3 Yes. 4. I think a communal ignore is best. Ignore-Warn-Kick-Ban should be our steps of solution. If people practiced the art of ignoring a belligerent more often (as we all tend to do in real life), we might get a better response when the offender has no one to talk to.
  • Horses4Ever 14:21, 1 December 2007 (GMT) : 1-3: Yes. 4. We can give them public warnings, we can try private messages. I suppose if people don't like the idea of actually removing someone from a channel, we can simply silence them a time or two (setting it so they can see what's going on, but not talk) -- I have started telling offenders that if they don't stop, I'll silence them... I think it might sound less harsh than kicking. But after a while, if they continue to do whatever they were doing, we have to resort to a kick or ban.
  • Chicablog 00:44, 7 December 2007 (GMT) : C1: Yes. C2-C3: Yes... I can patrol RC ;) C4: Three warnings, then silencing, giving them 5 minutes to cool down.
  • Shaiaqua C.1 - Sure, why not. , C.2 - Yes, remind them gently, else contact op. ,C.3 - Not really, I think we should head straight into the warnings, then kicks, then bans. , C.4 - Tell them directly, then resort to warnings, kicks, and bans.
  • Esteltalk - Yes, Yes, Yes. Talk to them :s. Isn't that standard practice, whether on the wiki or in IRC? It needn't be harsh, just a quiet conversation; authoritarian I'm warning you: please don't do that again is more likely to rile someone up than just grinning at them. Change the topic? Dance with someone? I've seen them all work...
  • Sexy_Trina_1980 09:27, 8 December 2007 (UTC -6) :

    This one is too simple, suggest another place for them to argue.

    Inform them that their argument is disrupting use of the room for others who are not involved, and suggest they take it somewhere else. (example, private IRC channel, an unrelated room, another chat site, their private e-mail, MSN, ICQ, Yahoo!, any where else on the internet.)

    This would be the internet equivelent of telling two "B!tches at the Bar" to "take it outside", so that they don't intefere with bar owners buisness or the enjoyment of the other patrons.

    Generally speaking, a person in an argument would rather do this anyways; because the rest of the chatroom does as much to interfere with their argument as their argument does to interfere with the rest of the chat room.

    There is no need to go about "silencing" people and "5 minutes to cool down"? That's the kind of sillyness a grade school teacher comes up with.


EditD. Technical & Related Issues

Outline: There are several technical issues running through the forum thread that should be addressed here for the sake of certainty.

  • D.1 - Should we split the chat threads?
  • D.2 - Should we have bots? Why or why not? If we do, what for?
  • D.3 - Should we have multiple IDs? Why or why not?
  • D.4 - Should we have non-wikiHowians on? Why or why not?
  • D.5 - Should logs be maintained? If so, for what purpose?
  • D.6 - How to we balance general talk and wikiHow "teaching"/discussions if desired? Should there be a "booking system" in place for those who want to hold wikiHow learning/talking sessions?
  • Cal D.1 No, being that things would get rather confusing D.2 Bots make things easier, but remain largely unused. The only bot is The_Dean D.3 Multiple IDs become confusing, but many users like having a few different names D.4 Although being in the room without being a contributer is frowned upon, it's no reason to kick/ban D.5 Yes, because logs come in handy with disputes. Another user and I both have clones that take logs D.6 General chat and learning should all take place in the channel, as all the contributers can take part and help out. We don't need a booking system
  • Khluvr621 D1. No. D2 No. One user is currently using one, for the purpose of games and to determine the last time someone has logged in. I personally see no reason why #wikihow needs one, as it has no relevance to the site. D3. No. I again, see no point with this. Why would one person need to be logged in with two or more names? It's nonsense and unnecessary, plus it raises confusion to new people. D4. I would support this; it welcomes "outsiders" to join and participate/interact with others. D5 It should be up to the individual, as this is a client feature/option and can not be disabled by the community/rules. D6. #wikihow has been fairly well on helping others/newcomers if a question may arise, despite if it cuts into a conversation. I don't think there should be a "booking system".
  • Elocina 1. Possibly. The chat threads get kind of long so I think points get missed. 2. I think we should have a policy where if a bot isn't used for a certain amount of time, it should go. Otherwise, it skews the numbers and confuses people. Sometimes, it's hard to tell who is/n't a bot and that's on top of frequent username changes. 3. No. It gets really confusing. I also think that we shouldn't allow people to change their username more than 3 times in a five minute period, especially when the name impersonates that of another wikiHowian. 4. Yes. First of all there are people who may be new to the site or people who go into the channel to learn about the site. Also, there are wikiHowians who go into channels for other wikis they aren't as active on, like people who hang out in #wikipedia. 5. Yes, to track things like kicks and bans for one and the behavior that lead to them. Yet, I think there should be a page somewhere that lists the people who are logging. 6. I think general chat should take place if people are interested, if other people aren't interested than the topic shouldn't be pressed. Simple common sense. I don't think there needs to be a booking system but maybe it'd be good to use wikiHow for group discussion during set time periods. I know we were going to use Skype for this, but it's not happening and not everyone can use Skype.
  • SudoKing D1. - No. D2. Yes, provided that they do not flood and/or users abuse them. D3. - Yes, as long as the nick is owned by them or they plan on registering the nick. D4. - Anonymous wikiHow contributors are definitely okay, but it just wouldn't make sense to have a user who doesn't use wikiHow to be in the channel, specifically if the channel is about wikiHow. D5. Yes, so that in some cases one may appeal their case of being banned/kicked. D6. Ah, someone just brings up a question?
  • Jack H
    • D1 - Maybe. It could make sense to have an off topic chatroom in the same way we have "general chat" in the forums. If the stuff on GC was in the Village Pump, many of us would go nuts. So it might make sense to have a designated channel to talk about whatever you want.
    • D2 - I don't know enough to know.
    • D3 - No. I would go a step further to say that your IRC name should resemble your wikiHow user name or real name. wikiHow works based on trust and relationships created over time via a unique ID. To allow multiple IDs makes this system impossible to function.
    • D4 - Yes. One of the prime uses for the channel is to help brand new users learn the ropes. IRC is linked to from the help pages, welcome messages, and the wikiHow tour. We should welcome outsiders and offer to help them learn their way around wikiHow. Showing newbies the door runs completely counter to wikiHow values.
    • D5 - Yes, we should have a bot that records logs and makes them available to anyone who wants to read them. This transparency will make it quite easy to see who troublemakers are. The truth is that each user has their own logs. Having a set of logs that anyone can access will make things more equal for those who don't keep their own logs.
    • D6 - No. Let's let's keep this informal. Improtu teaching sessions shouldn't be discouraged.
  • Nik
    • D1 - No, it makes things confusing, and it would make each channel have only 2-3 people in it, so nothing would ever get done.
    • D2 - Yes, they are useful, mainly to ops though, and as i have seen, normal users don't like the_dean, because of his kickbanning feature. So, in an attempt to make him more friendly to regular users, I will add some new features to him, like a weather function, Google search, and so on. (Don't worry, these will all be in PM's, so no flooding will happen)
    • D3 I use multiple nicks, I have 3-4. One logs, and is used to talk on that computer, since i use 2 for IRC, one is a bot (I could combine these 2 if you guys wanted,) one is for use on my normal computer, and the optional one is one that I use to test addons that will go onto the_dean.
    • D4 Yes, we should, because its wikihow IRC, and if the same rules for wikihow apply, anyone can come here, anons included.
    • D5 This should be done on a personal basis, there are some people on this channel who log, and noone knows, although, i could make it where my logs automatically post on wikihow, if anyone wants.
    • D6 Well, I think that general people asking questions should be allowed, but I think that classes shouldent be held until wikihow college opens up, we even have a special room for the college classes, but it is locked until the college opens up again.
  • Harold R D.1 Perhaps. As stated above, an on-topic and off-topic thread might be more appropriate so we can understand special wikiHow issues immediately, but also refresh ourselves with fellow community members in the off-topic thread. D.2 I don't like the idea of bots. Seems too much like "big bot is watching". Bots should be approved by the community, perhaps in the IRC administration forum or in the Village Pump on an individual basis. D.3 No. Creates identity issues. It would be really cool if we could link the user name in wH to the IRC. D.4 I could take it or leave it. We allow anonymous users on wikiHow, so why not the IRC? This would be a way to encourage people to sign up too. D.5 I've never understood logs. They allow a history to be kept, but of what and for what purpose? I've only ever seen them used to make someone look bad. D.6 Interesting idea. I think having a separate chat thread would be more appropriate. That way people can participate whenever they want and join the session.
  • Cipher_nemo 16:16, 19 November 2007 (GMT) : D.1 (split chat threads): No, we shouldn't do this officially at all. Anyone can create their own channels for specific conversations. D.2 (bots): Why not? I see no harm in having bots, so long as they're useful and supported by the community. It becomes a gray area if they are intrusive. D.3 (multiple IDs): No. It detracts from the sense of community and is more of a burden than a help. There's nothing wrong with using a different screen name than your wikiHow account, but don't expect anyone to recognize you. D.4 (non-wikiHowians): How would anyone plan to control this? Of course, anyone is welcome, because we have anonymous visitors to wikiHow anyway. I think this is a silly question to ask. If anyone wants only wikiHowians there, good luck trying to control that: it's nearly impossible. D.5 (logs): Absolutely. An official bot that keeps a log would help; one that can dump the log every day or so. Users should be able to message the bot for a private response of log display options so that anyone can see the log if they missed something earlier, or if someone was causing problems. D.6 (vague question on general talk and teaching): I'm not sure what we mean to "balance" the two. Is there some problem with it as it stands?
  • Horses4Ever 14:48, 1 December 2007 (GMT) : D.1 As I stated before, perhaps we should have one seperate channel for on-topic conversation only... other than that, splitting would be really confusing. D.2 Well, some bots are useful (for the ops, anyway), so I hesitate to ban them completely. However, we do not need game bots, we do not need bots that insult people, we do not need bots that relay messages to people through the bot (I would like to think we're smart enough to tell someone thanks directly instead of telling the bot to send them a message), or anything else of that nature. Nik mentioned people not liking The_Dean because is bans people... so what? Ops ban people too (and I know that some people don't like ops too much either), but we can't exactly just get rid of the ops, can we? Personally, I like KB'ing people through The_Dean because you can set an accurate ban length, thus removing the need to unban manually. I don't think we should get rid of The_Dean just because people don't like that it can punish people. I do like the (useful) bots, but we were fine before they came, so if they leave, we won't all die. :P So, either way works fine with me... whatever the community wants. D.3 In most cases, users should use their wikiHow name as their nick. I recently started using another name, but it was introduced fairly slowly, and everyone seems to know who I am. In my opinion, using a new name is only a problem if you change your name several times during one IRC session, or you get into the habit of using a different name every time you come in. That's when it gets annoying and hard to follow. D.4 I don't think we should try to limit the channel to wikiHow users only. For one thing, that would mean interrogating every unfamiliar user that comes in, which is rude and could drive newbies away, and for another, by letting people in from other wikis (for instance, some people from #illogicopedia that drop in sometimes), we could gain more users. Non-wikiHow users are not nearly as much of a problem as the wikiHow users these days, so getting rid of them would not make a difference in the behavior in there. D.5 Logs are good -- they can provide "evidence" when someone wants to appeal a ban or needs to justify banning someone and you can look back at them as "notes" telling you new things about using wikiHow. However, I think we should be careful about publishing and giving out logs -- users shouldn't give logs to whoever asks, without a good reason. I'm pretty sure this is mentioned in the Freenode guidelines somewhere... something along the lines if "most users in IRC do not like the idea that every word they say is carved in stone and can be used against them later". So, I don't think we should give out logs unless it is absolutely necessary. D.6 No booking system necessary. If the conversation is off-topic, and someone comes in needing wikiHow help, the conversation will usually either stop while we help the person, or we will at least be able to help them while other people talk about something different. This only becomes difficult when the channel is really busy, in which case we can private message the person who needs help.
  • Sexy_Trina_1980 05:53, 3 December 2007 (UTC -6) :

    • D.1) No, there is no need to "split" the thread. Whether it was intended to or not, at present the rooms value comes from the fact conversations can wander freely. So long as the wandering does not disrupt the room's usefulness "over-regulation" should be discouraged; not suggested. As for thread readability, so long as users are not being intentionally disruptive, good visualisation and imagination skills should be sufficient to make the threat readable to people.

    • D.2) Bots should be minimized, but not eliminated. I can see the usefulness of having specific bots for specific purposes. However, one thing I encountered recently was a user (who was also an established member of the WikiHow community) treating it's chatroom as if it where a place to showcase his technical toys. Much to the disruption of useful conversation. When I asked him, "why don't you take your bots to a hackers room (or other room who's purpose is discusion of programming)", his answer was that he doesn't have any friends outside of WikiHow (gee, I wonder why?).

      The bottom line is this: There is a right time and right place for everything.

      WikiHow's namespace is it's "front office". The time and place for formal, public, posts consistent with WikiHow's policies.
      WikiHow's forums are it's "back office". The time and place for activities which benifit the support, administration, and managment of the "front office".
      #wikihow is its "break-room"/"smoking area"/"bar-club-restraunt-pub afterwork". The time and place for brainstorming, socializing, and informal discussions between each other.
      private IRC channels/Yahoo!/MSN/ICQ are the time and place for conversations not appropriate to the places above. And, if you don't agree with me, it is where we can fight out our "personal attacks" until we reach an "understanding". We can pull each others hair and call each other names, until it's out of our system and we are ready to act like civilized human beings again.

      #wikihow is not an "IT symposium". It is not the time and place to show off your bots. And if your bots repeatedly disrupt the room by arbitraily kicking people, banning people without thoughtful process (i.e. accidentally, or based on a policy without concious thought), automatically turning every idle comment into a link, saying "thank you" for me (if I wanted to thank you I would thank you myself, I don't need a robot forcing me to celebrate thanksgiving whether I like it or not), or otherwise create unnessisary disruption and "techie-drama"; then they're more of an embarrasment than a testimant to the programmer, and they're really not worth showing-off anyways.

      The discriminating judgement when deciding if a specific bot should "stay or go" is this:

      • Is the bot serving a specific, useful, purpose in support of the goal of the chat room? (ex. logging the rooms activities for a moderator)
        If it doesn't, then why is it here?
      • Is the bot serving it's purpose, without disrupting any other function of the room?
        If it can't or doesn't, either the bot (or the programmer) needs to develop more before it can return.
      • Does the bot do things you would repremand a human for doing? Such as insulting people?
        This should be common sense. If you would ban a person for doing it, why are you letting the bot do it?
      • Is the bot redundant? Are there other bots which serve the same function for the same person?
        If multiple bots are serving a purpose which could just as effectivly be served by one bot alone, only the best bot for the job (I don't care how cool its programmer thinks the gaming features are) should stay.

    • D.3) As with bots, there is sometimes a purpose to having other names. And othertimes not a useful purpose.

      • If multiple names are used, their purpose should be specific and they should be treated as seperate entities owned by their users. Just as bots would be. Users should generally stick to one name at a time for chatting as themselves. It would also be useful if "alternates which serve a purpose" were identifiable in some way. Example, ~&~Channel Logger 1~&~. Instead of being indistigushable from normal users.
      • I see nothing wrong with "transitioning in" a new name if you don't like your old one. Outside of WikiHow I have used, and continue to use, multiple names for different purposes accross the internet. The very name I use here, Sexy_Trina_1980, was created in 2003 as an "alternate" id; allowing Autumn_Lady_Z to remain "sweet & innocent", while Sexy_Trina_1980 actively participated in internet sites geared towrds paganism, spell casting, computer hacking, unpopular political beliefs, drug legalization, lesbian cybersex, BDSM, WS, multi-partner...you get the idea.
        But then something interesting happened, Sexy_Trina_1980 had trouble establishing intimacy because she lacked the dimensions of a real person; Autumn_Lady_Z was virtually ignored because she was "just the plain girl at the bookstore". So, I allowed Autumn to reveil some Trina qualities, Trina to reveil some Autumn qualities - the next thing I knew Sexy_Trina_1980 had become my primary name, and Autumn_Lady_Z had somehow gotten absorbed by her.
        Dr. Jeckell was replaced by Mr. Hyde.

        The bottom line is this: Usernames are like clothes and perfume, they are a matter of individuality and personal expression. If I can change my clothes and perfume, I should be able to change my username.

      • To eliminate confusion, let people know who you are. If the intention is to simply change expression, the new name would best be a variant of the old name. If the intentions is to completely conciel you identity for personal reasons, one might as well create whole new second identity. At which point, the new self should follow the same policies concerning usernames that a new, seperate, person would. Most importaintly, people should not be allowed to abuse this for the purpose of evading responsibility for wrong doing. And names which impersonate other users, even when meant in good fun, are at best frustrating and at worst open the door to malicious behavior.
      • I am against limiting the number of times a person can change names. But, if your going to do this, please make sure the policy is enforced by a human being and not a bot. A variant of a name designed to show status (ex. Sexy_Trina_1980 to Sexy_Trina|Away) is not the same thing as completly different name. Bots may not realize this. I shouldn't have to worry about being kicked from a chatroom because I happened to answer the phone, check dinner, and then pee in a 5 minute period.
    • D.4) I think non-Wiki-ers should be just as welcomed as WikiHow users and people from other Wiki's. Many of my reasons have already been stated above by others. However, I would like to add that this is really a matter of advertising - when you want to make something more popular, you don't close the door to new-comers.
      Limitations should be saved for a.) when the place becomes crowded beyond its useful capacity, b.) specific individual cases of "IRC nomads" wandering in through a random search for any channel they can find, and abusing the place at the expense of its productive use to others. In the second case, it is simple enough to subject all non-wiki-ers to the same rules we have for WikiHow users.
    • D.5) Why not log. Logs are a great tool for recording, monitoring, verifying, and later reviewing activity within a room. Why not public logs? If you didn't want others knowing later why did you post it in the room now?
      The very nature of chat makes preventing logs impossible anyways. Someone stated above that logging is a natural function of IRC. I would like to add, even technologies designed to discourage logging cannot completely prevent it. Chatropolis.com, for example, is designed such that anything said in the room disappears once the session is over. However, the nature of chat means the information must be delivered to my node during the session. So I wrote a utility to sniff the source code as it is delivered to browser. By doing so, I not only log everything which happens, I log it in full color, graphics and all, and can even trace people to the sites they use for image hosting and other activities.
      My point here is that logging is not a controllable function. Making a rule to prohibit it, besides the fact that logs are useful anyways, would only serve to drive the activity underground. It's like prohibition in the 1920's; it didn't stop people from drinking alcohol, instead, it caused buisnessmen to open speak-easies and compliment the drinking with prostitutes.

    • D.6) These things balance themselves naturally. What do you mean?
  • Chicablog 00:44, 7 December 2007 (GMT) : D1: No. No, no, no, no, NO. D2: Yes, I think so. Bots can be helpful. I think that if there is one, it should only be used for logging and kickbanning. Personally, I don't like the Google search feautre, or the weather feature. I've been personally attacked via the Google feature, and I don't feel safe checking the weather for my town. No offense, Nik ;) D3: Yes. I set my name to Chica|Away when I'm away to avoid any confusion. I have "Flapper" for when I'm using ircatwork.com or when IE glitches on me. I have a couple others, for when I need a change (EX: Chica|Cardboard) I don't change my name often. Maybe thrice in six hours? D4: Yes. These people might want to get a glimpse of what wikiHow is like before joining. Which, is also why we need to behave. Set a good impression for ourselves. D5: Yeah... if somebody misses an event, or they want to check a log, they should be able to. D6: I agree with Horses4Ever. The conversation is usually dropped when someone asks a wikiQuestion (err... sorry :P)
  • Shaiaqua D.1 - We should have #wikihow for english on-topic, and #wikihow-lang for non-english (on topic). Off topic discussions longer than a few lines should go somewhere else, just like in wikihow. , D.2 - Yes, bots are awesome! seriously though, a bot that autocompletes links within wikihow (!wh Main Page would give the same effect as Main Page), a log or two, and maybe a bot that lets ops ban people through it with reasons and expiry times, like on wikihow. , D.3 - NO, it should be the same as your wikihow ID and that's it. , D.4 - Only if they are considering joining in the very near future, or behave almost-perfectly. , D.5 - Yes, for settling disputes, and for future reference. , D.6 - One could use PM's, username: message, or let two conversations run at once. Hopefully conversations will remain on topic, so it shouldn't be much of a problem.
  • Esteltalk - 1) No. wikiHow isn't big enough to justify this, it would be a waste of time and resources for all involved, with minimal to no gain. 2 No. Opped bots who can preform janitorial tasks are a security liability (as has been shown), non-opped bots don't do anything interesting and aren't worth being there in the first place. 3 Multiple IDs? Assuming you mean name changing: it is annoying, but I don't think it's logical to legislate against. People can change if they want... it's their problem. 4 Yes, unreservedly. It's a community, and as a community, wikiHow prides itself on being welcoming; to kick anyone who's not a wikiHow contributor would be silly. Who cares anyway? 5 Officially? No. With log bots? No. It's redundant, enough people genuinely leave their computers on constantly and happen to take logs that it's really unecessary to have complete logs. Publishing them is a privacy concern which is against Freenode suggestions (unless you advertise the publishing in the channel). It's lame, and they're never read by anyone unless they're an op (or concerned other) just looking for a previous... transgression. 6 If people want to hold lessons it's probably easier to create a temporary channel for whatever they want. People can talk about what they want when they want; or at least should be able to. If someone proposes another topic and no conversation kicks off... perhaps noone wants to talk about it?

EditE. Defining "Flooding"

  • E.1 - What is your definition of "flooding"?
  • E.2 - When do you think someone should be kicked/muted/banned for it and why?
  • Kalsikum 02:11, 3 December 2007 (GMT) E.1 In my opinion, flooding, should be defined as repetitive meaningless speech that causes despisal to all of the other users in a chatting room. E.2 Every word in italics is an integral part of the definition and I want to express emphasis on the phrase "to all of the users". That simply means that everybody in the IRC should have a unanimous decision on whether to or not to kick, mute, ban anybody. Everybody has different views on to how much flooding is serious enough to kick, mute or ban somebody. Another emphasis on "meaningless speech": Emoticon is not a meaningless speech. Imagine in a real life situation, if somebody were to smile at you, will you get angry? Of course not! What I mean by meaningless is, random character typing like for example "kakjvakva". On a last note, do know that people make mistakes, so that is why I added, "repetitive". Maybe, they accidentally pressed on a character and then the button "Enter". A flood is not a flood if it is not repetitive.
  • Sexy_Trina_1980 06:05, 3 December 2007 (UTC -6) I agree whole heartedly with Kalsikum's comments above. On both points.
    However, I would only support banning in the case of someone who's obvious intent was denial of service by either intentionally disrupting conversations, or making useless to others.
  • Khluvr621 20:56, 3 December 2007 (GMT) -- E.1 I believe that flooding should be defined as more than two to three lines (or more) of complete unnecessary things. If a person has something to say, I think it should at least be on the same line. There's no need to hit the return/enter key more than once. E.2 Muting or "silencing" a person is more effective for arguments and the most effective way to 'silence' someone or people to give them notice and to let them calm down before letting them talk again. Kicking should only be done after warnings. Banning should be only done after kicks.
  • Harold R 18:21, 5 December 2007 (GMT) -- With little knowledge of this actual event, I would say that Khluvr621's thoughts about this topic mirror my own.
  • Chicablog 00:44, 7 December 2007 (GMT) : E1: IMO, flooding is when someone copies and pastes more than three lines. E2: I think they should be silenced if they ignore one warning, or if they flood more than 8 lines. 5 minutes.
  • Shaiaqua E.1 - Posting more than a line every five seconds, or repetitively posting the same or a meaningless thing. , E.2 - Freenode has a flood guard - use that. otherwise, follow usual warn-kick-ban/mute.
  • Horses4Ever 14:36, 8 December 2007 (GMT) : E.1 Flooding is posting gibberish over and over, posting more emoticons over and over, or talking like this: I (ENTER KEY) Think (ENTER KEY) Puppies (ENTER KEY) Are (ENTER KEY) Cute. There are some users that do that, and they may think it looks cool, but it's unnecessary and annoying. E.2 If someone is flooding, I first give them a warning. If they keep it up, I warn them again. If they ignore me and continue, I silence them. If I unsilence them and they keep it up, I kick them. If they come back from the kick and keep it up, I'd probably give them a short ban.

  • Sexy_Trina_1980 14:44, 8 December 2007 (UTC -6)

    • E1.) - "Flooding" is intentionally interfering with the ability of other users to chat, by rapidly posting large amounts of information, designed to block the reading of other posts.

      This definition is based on the origional use of the term, in the early 1990's, when flooding was used as a "Denial-Of-Service" attack, before some of the other users here where even born.

      Although relatively new internet users, these days, create confusion when they misuse the term "flooding" to mean any number of posts they personally don't like, flooding is not any of the following:

      • Any specific number of posts - For multiple posts to constitute "flooding", they must be sufficient to interfere with other users ability to chat or otherwise make the room unreadable.

      • Using more than one line to make a statement - Some clients, and servers, limit the number of characters in a line. This was originally intended to prevent Denial of Service; by forcing users to "break-up" a single, extreemly long line (the origional meaning of the term "flooding") into several smaller ones not long enough to block others from using the room. Ironically, it creates a need to "hit return/enter key more than once", when statements relevant to a conversation exceed the allowed number of characters. When this is the case, it is not flooding.

      • Copying and pasting multiple lines - In and of itself, this is not flooding.

        When the copied and pasted material communicates meaning, and does not intentionally deny other users the ability to chat, it is not flooding.
        When it communicates meaning, but accidentally denies others access, it is not "flooding" per se; but is rude and requiares an appology.
        Only when the poster knowingly does it to deny others the ability to chat, does it then become "flooding".

      • Meaningful content - Posted by someone who thinks fast enough to create soemthing useful more than "once every 5 seconds", is never flooding and never will be. We call thinking faster than one statement every 5 seconds intellegence.

      • Placeing each word on its own line (example, I (ENTER KEY) Think (ENTER KEY) Puppies (ENTER KEY) Are (ENTER KEY) Cute.) - Depending on how it is used and the circumstance, this may be cheesy. It may sometimes express emphasis on the words, and other times be annoying. It is often lame, not always.

        But, one word lines are easy to read past.
        They are not the same things as rapidly filling the same number of lines with so many letters that it blocks the room from others.

        Only when short lines are posted with sufficient number and speed to prevent others from chatting, by causing the room to scroll, do they become flooding.

    • E.2) If we go by the origional meaning of the term "to flood", then this is a form of "Denial of Service" and should be quickly stopped. With few warnings rapidly leading to a ban. Although very lame, it is a form of hacking, and should be treated as such.

      However, things are always changing. Who are a few "old timers" to resist the changing of the times, right?

      So, if you go by what seems to be the "newbie" (from my perspective anyone who started on the net after 1994 is a "newbie") definition of "flooding". Then it depends on situation and purpose, as I have repeatedly said of much of the other activity discussed in this document.

      Ultimatly, if it interferes with the productive use of the room, creates a hostile environment (for the people present at the time), or otherwise harrasses someone --- put a stop to it.

      Otherwise, meditate on the key phrases "tolerance" and "good faith" --- and leave it alone.

"And, if it harm'th none, then do as thou will."
~ The Wiccan Reed.

~ Trina

EditF. Notification Procedures for IRC

How would we best served to notify one another of issues in IRC? Such as who is banned, why, for length of time; who is in need of assistance on IRC; issues needing talking through about IRC etc...

  • F1. An IRC Forum Thread of Its Own
  • F2. An IRC Bulletin Board like the Admin Board
  • F3. Other
  • Khluvr621 05:22, 4 December 2007 (GMT) I will full on support any kind of notification between OPs. This means support for the forum thread, bulletin board, ... anything that the OPs can communicate. There's way too many confusion when someone gets banned or kicked, but the message does not go through another OP. There's 4 fully active and 2 semi-active OPs. The biggest confusion for me is banning time length. Again, not everyone is on the same time someone gets banned - so do we unban a day later than when it happened or do we follow wikihow's rules?
  • Khluvr621 01:50, 7 December 2007 (GMT) update on 12/06 : I feel like the person that did the banning should be the only one that records it on the notification board. I seriously oppose anyone else logging the information down. If they were not in the situation (logged in afterwards or was away from the computer during), they should not be allowed to input anything. They don't know the real reason the person got banned -- all they "really" heard or saw was the banning taking place or who banned who. I honestly don't appreciate my name being put down by another person. I have the information logged on paper, and when I know it's officially okay to use any kind of notification board, etc -- I will.
  • Nickzeke 00:28, 5 December 2007 (GMT) As mentioned in my forum post, I think that all of the bans should be cleared and re-instated if the banned users make a fuss. When these bans are re-instated, the ban should be logged to a forum post. I think that a separate fourm section would be helpful. In this post, the user should list the ip address, reason, date, date to be unbanned and their username. This would end the confusion.
  • Harold R 18:28, 5 December 2007 (GMT) I worry that we might be taking IRC too seriously on its own. It's supposed to be a tool of communication through wikiHow. However, I completely understand the need for ops to communicate off the main channel to indicate bans. Such a forum should be public and viewable by all (even, potentially, the banned/kicked party themselves). Such a venue of discussion would allow anyone to call into question the kick/ban itself and allows for more transparency in this, at present, shadowy and mystical process. I fully support any idea the community feels is appropriate: a forum thread, a notice board (my preference), or otherwise.
  • Chicablog 00:44, 7 December 2007 (GMT) : Yes, yes, and yes. Forum for appeals and other IRC things maybe, the bulletin boards for important announcements (like a party) and a sticky on the IRC forum for an ongoing list of bans.
  • Shaiaqua F1. An entire forum for IRC seems unnecessary. , F2. An IRC Bulletin Board like the Admin Board Would work, if it were constantly monitored by competent IRC channel ops. , F3. No comment.
  • Horses4Ever 14:40, 8 December 2007 (GMT) : F.1 While a whole forum for IRC does seem a bit overboard to me, I do think it would have its benefits. I'm inclined to go with whatever everyone else decides on this one. F.2 This is a little more practical. I would support a notice board or ban list on the site. One suggestion, though... we might want to protect it so than anons can't edit it... vandalism on that page with dates and names being messed up could cause a lot of confusion. F.3 Nothing.

Article Info

Categories: Using the Forums