Duty Statement Letter

This document is considered out of date and is not currently representational of the state of the SCP Foundation site. This document is retained for its historical value alone, and it should not be used as a reference for the current rules, attitude, and position of the site.

I can think of absolutely no good opening line for this, or even how to really describe it. It’s going to be the bastard offspring of an essay, rant, and proposal, so please stick with it, and forgive me if and when I wander.

There has been talk of doing away with the voting system. The arguments for this are that it is a form of crutch, is unprofessional, can give new users an over-inflated sense of worth (“But my first entry is at +5!”), and is less helpful than comments. The arguments for retention of the voting system are that it allows for quick isolation and review of crummy/wonderful articles, allows for a wider gauge of public opinion, and generally provides a quick gauge of public opinion.

At the moment, I am firmly on the fence in regards to this issue. I can see the merits in both arguments; however I feel there are other issues in need of addressing before we start to work on this issue. Kondraki brought up the point that Admins and Mods have been lax, and I am forced to agree. It’s not that we are lazy or incompetent, I feel it has more to do with the fact that the “rules” have never really been spelled out. We have all done as best we can, but without a guide to refer to, we are handicapped.

Thus, I (finally) get around to making my point: I feel we need to table the voting module discussion for the time being, and address the issue of duties first. Once we’ve gotten that sorted out, I think we can address the voting issue from a much stronger position.

We have a few major duties, which break down in to three categories: Content, Community, and Site. Content is the actual stories, entries, and all the stuff that makes up the SCP Wiki. Community includes the chat, forum, and all the places where users to speak out and speak up. Site is the actual guts of the site, the formatting, page structure, and working condition of our Wikidot page.

Currently, we all do what we can, in our own way. Some of us are excellent at producing and monitoring content, while others are good at keeping folks calm and directing conversation in the community. Still others, who may not be the best at these other categories, can keep the site running like clockwork, and try to boost it’s performance when possible. Specialists are always welcome to do whatever it is they do best, however we need a set of “base line” rules and duties.

I could go on and expand on the possibilities of making some kind of “division of labor” between the three sections, but I feel that’s something better addressed at a later date. Right now, setting up a system of ground rules and duties is paramount. Thus, I propose the following idea. I am not saying this is what needs to happen, but rather that I feel something of this nature would be beneficial to the site. View it more as a visual aid then a full proposal.


Users: As a user, you are entitled to the following rights, and held to the following obligations.

Rights-

  1. You may comment however you wish on any entry, provided it is done so in the spirit of constructive criticism or conversation, and not as a personal attack or “troll post”.
  2. You may vote however you wish on any entry, provided it is done so as an honest expression of opinion, and not an attempt to artificially boost/reduce an article’s position as part of a “group strike”.
  3. You are allowed to post your entry, provided it is done so in the correct location.
  4. You may request assistance/comments/review by other users and staff, with the understanding that they are under no obligation to do so, and that the choice is wholly voluntary on their behalf.
  5. You may question the actions of other users and staff as long as it is done in a calm, mature fashion.
  6. You may edit any entry, with the understanding that the original author may undo those edits at any time

Obligations:

  1. You are to be a mature member of the community. Heated arguments, vandalism, trolling, and general immaturity will not be tolerated.
  2. You are to be open to criticism, and to tolerate the opinion of others whom you may not agree with. If you feel a commenter is being unnecessarily harsh, please contact a mod.
  3. Entries may be edited/moved/deleted at any time. As an original author, you may undo edits if needed, and appeal for the reverse of deletions.
  4. If a mod or admin says a discussion is over, it is over. If you continue, you are now open to any punishment deemed necessary.
  5. If you receive multiple comments calling for editing, please do so. If you choose not to, please state the reason.
  6. If you constantly have entries deleted, undergo major edits, and be decommissioned, please stop and consult an Admin or Mod before continuing.
  7. Respect the Mod and Admin staff decisions. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, please appeal to a different staff member, and they will review the situation. If the situation is deemed “fair”, please do not continue to appeal to other staff members in hopes of getting a different response.
  8. Suggestions for editing by Mods and Admins should be given careful consideration.

Mods: You are held to all the above mentioned items, in addition to the following.

Rights:

  1. You may vote/call for the deletion of any page
  2. Kick/ban users from the chat, provided a valid reason is given
  3. Delete forum threads
  4. Delete of pages (within guidelines)
  5. Call for the mass review of a particularly good/bad entry
  6. Call for a “Stop.” Order on a conversation
  7. Nominate users for banning/tempbanning

Obligations:

  1. Try to maintain an objective viewpoint at all times
  2. Keep the community civil, and attempt to defuse arguments
  3. Report any and all major actions, such as deletions
  4. Give warnings/punishments in proportion to the offense

Admins: You are held to all the above mentioned items, in addition to the following.

Rights:

  1. Banning of users
  2. Deletion of pages (with minimal guidelines)
  3. Accepting member applications
  4. Making alterations to the site format after review
  5. Act as a “supreme court” in regards to issues brought up by users and Mods

Obligations:

  1. Provide comments and decisions from an objective viewpoint at all times. Always keep the best interests of the site and community in mind, even if it may run counter to your personal feelings
  2. Always attempt to be as reasonable and fair as possible
  3. When forced to act quickly, or without staff approval/review, please state the reason and course of action as soon as possible
  4. Maintain the site, and attempt to improve it whenever possible

It is also hereby stated that any and all of these rights and obligation are subject to alteration, deletion or addition after review by the Staff.


Once again, I’m sure I’ve made a merry mess of all this, but try to just look at it as a visual aid. Something of this nature, I think, would provide a lot of backing for the staff, and allow us to be more effective. Now, we have a set of rules we can fall back to, and avoid some of the “you’re just doing this because you hate me!” bull crap. With things spelled out like this, we can respond with “Yes, personally I do not find you pleasant to be around, but that isn’t the point. The issue is you have stepped out of bounds as detailed here, and therefore need to be brought back in line.”

There, I’ve said my peace. Please let me know your thoughts and feelings, and hopefully we can move forward to a better moderated site, with a wealth of kick-ass content and a strong, healthy community.

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