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This page documents an official policy on Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus.
When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.

Plagiarism

Plagiarism[1] is restrictively not allowed on Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki, especially any words or article from Wikipedia or Transformers Wiki.[2] A violator will receive a warning for first time. This violator may get banned if he or she continuing plagiarizing.

Teletraan 1 is not Wikipedia

No Wikipedia Articles

Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki's users have decided against using Transformers articles from Wikipedia. There are several reasons.

  1. Audience — Wikipedia is general Transformers information for people interested in Transformers in a general way. Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki is incredibly specific, detailed and comprehensive Transformers information for fans and creators who love to wallow in the strange, obscure and disturbing back corners of Transformers.
  2. Formatting — Wikipedia has completely different article formatting, markup and structure than we do. An article literally cannot simply be cut-and-pasted from Wikipedia. It will end up with little, red invalid links and error messages all over because the Transformers articles on Wikipedia use layout templates for presenting information that would be impossible to use on Teletraan 1 without simplifying the information to the point it it would no longer be useful.
    Example: The Wikipedia {{character box}} allows you to list a character's 'Alternate Modes'. Optimus Prime's box lists 6 (one of which is "a variety of Cybertronian trucks.") He's had over 30.[3]
  3. Quality — Bluntly, a lot of Wikipedia's Transformers content is vaguely worded summaries of how the writer remembers it happened, sections of slavish detail alternating with glossed-over simplification and lists. (We hate lists.)
  4. Copyright — Though Wikipedia's articles are available for anyone to use or edit under a GNU Free Documentation License, we still require that all article content be written specifically for Teletraan 1 to meet Teletraan 1's different standards and unique needs. Taking a Wikipedia article and reformatting it to match our layout and structure does not change the fact it was written to a different standard of quality for a different audience. To prevent this, Teletraan 1 requires that the copyright on all submitted article content be held solely by the uploader.[4]

Mostly this is a legal justification for a policy motivated by reasons stated above, however.

Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki uses some Wikipedia layout templates we've judged to be useful, but layout is a question of form rather than content, and the above policy is about content.

Humor

"Turns Out I'm A Wikipedian"

—It's got the perfect mix of retentive detail and irreverence., Pablo Hidalgo, Lucasfilm website content manager, on this very wiki


The most fundamental guiding principle of Wikipedia is WP:NPOV, requiring all articles to be written in a neutral point of view in order to represent the subject fairly and accurately, which Wikipedia founder Wikipedia:Jimmy Wales calls "absolute and non-negotiable."

That is a laudable goal. Unfortunately, the scope of WP:NPOV has been expanded far beyond its original intent, and it is now used to require that all articles be not just neutral and fair, but humorless and boring.[5] Wikipedia even includes a notice in its Humor template warning users that this template should never appear in an article because articles should contain only factual and encyclopedic information.

Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki has chosen to allow humor within its articles, provided that it does not get in the way of delivering accurate information.

In Images

Most of this humor is restricted to the captions of images because the consensus was that it is fundamentally pointless to caption of picture of Megatron in Megatron's article with "A picture of Megatron." That is obvious to anyone with two neurons to run a spark between.
A joke or humorous observation is better than a needlessly redundant description. Jokes can be about the article text, some element of the character, his toy, an actor who has portrayed him/her, an obscure or notorious event, song lyrics (usually source uncredited), puns, in-jokes, snark, an unrelated familiar or obscure quote that is humorous juxtaposed against the image (also usually source uncredited), meta-commentary about fans or fandom, or simply something completely random.
For further information, see: Project:Caption
Important Distinction: Humorous captions are encouraged because 95% of the time a descriptive caption is considered redundant. However in the 5% of the time when captions are actually used to convey useful information they should never be replaced because it makes the article less useful and is considered vandalism. Use your head.

In articles

Humor is much less tolerated in the articles themselves. In general, humor in an article can be:
  1. An ironic contrast — such as creating a link to another article with a humorous or whimsical connotation. Example: The Forbidden Zone article links to the out-universe article about safety testing.
  2. Inappropriate or selective detail — The Skids article includes a lengthy write-up of his role in the animated series, where he was a non-speaking background character that appeared twice. Alternately, the Sunstreaker article goes to great lengths to point out every instance of Sunstreaker being a jerk, no matter how small, since being a colossal jerk is his distinguishing character trait.
  3. Restricted to the opening write-upScattershot's profile contains an extended joke about the coloring book Decepticon Patrol, but it is used in a manner that still illustrates his personality.
  4. Non-intrusive — The Wheelie article is written entirely in rhyme, to reflect the character's speaking style. It is a completely functional article, covering all his appearances, abilities and distinguishing characteristics...written entirely in rhymed couplets.
In summation, humor should be used with great restraint (if at all) in an article body. If it misleads, confuses or gets in the way, it has to go. The article's functionality comes first.

We Hate Lists

Lists are barely a form of content. Would you read the phone book to learn what the people in your neighborhood were like?

Lists may sometimes be a necessary evil, tolerated because they are useful, but they are never a virtue (except on year pages).

Multiple user names

Contributors are strongly encouraged to register their account on Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki, creating a permanent username to identify themselves instead of being an anonymous IP User. This allows other users to keep track of who's doing what more easily.

Registering multiple user accounts? ...not so cool. Virtually every instance of multiple accounts in Teletraan I's history has been used for Sockpuppet abuse—typically pretending to be another person who supports support your own point of view, verbally attacking others, or simply evading a ban. (Often all three at once.)

Wikipedia: has a exhaustive exploration of the issues surrounding Sockpuppets on their policy page. While Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki is not necessarily bound by the policies and due process outlined there (they apply only to Wikipedia) it does present an accurate picture of our general feelings on the manner.

Sysops, as expected, act unilaterally in dealing with sock puppets, often enacting a permanent ban of all accounts associated with that user. Evading this ban by registering another account or editing anonymously is, needless to say, also punishable by ban.


If a Sysop banned you for using multiple accounts by mistake, you can attempt to convince them you aren't the other person by posting on your own talk page, which you can edit even while banned.

If your talk page has been locked from editing because you were being abusive... then you do not have our sympathy.


The only officially sanctioned duplicate account on Teletraan I is User:DiagnosticDrone, a maintenance bot run by Sysop User:Steve-o.

No other multiples are officially given permission to exist. If for some reason you have registered multiple accounts, their user pages should include a highly visible notice indicating they belong the same person. Sysops will will deal with such accounts as they see fit.

Profanity

Because Teletraan I does not follow WP:POV, Wikipedia's policy that all articles be dry and humorless, the language used in articles can sometimes become somewhat...spirited.

Generally speaking Teletraan I permits language which is coarse, vulgar, or indecent, but not offensive. Since language's "offensiveness" is highly subjective, the Random House Offensiveness Quotient for Sensitive Language is recommended for resolving disputes.

Common swear words are not automatically offensive.

Rule of thumb: If you can say it in prime time or a PG-13 movie, you can say it here.
Having said that: Profanity is the last resort of an ignorant man. You can probably say it better and funnier without the 4-letter words.

Language always inappropriate for articles includes[6] the f-bomb, the c-bomb, and their derivatives.

The above applies to articles only. Talk pages, user pages, etc., not being intended for general viewing, have no language restrictions. But please, at least try to be civil with one another.

Glossary

De-snarking

De-snarking refers to the process of curbing or altogether removing humor or sarcasm from an article.

De-snarking is necessary when excessive humor or sarcasm in an article interferes with the information the article is supposed to be delivering. Examples include:

  • Sarcastic statements (saying the opposite of what they mean) open to being taken literally.
  • Unnecessary, convoluted section structure in service of a joke.
  • So much humor that the signal-to-noise ratio of the article drops.
  • When the snark in question refers to a real-life person, no matter how unpleasant they may seem to some. Making fun of Starscream is okay, making fun of Pat Lee is not.

Humor should be used sparingly, if at all, in articles outside of image captions (where it is usually encouraged.)

The #1 cause of de-snarking is new users. New users often become so excited by Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki's policy of allowing/encouraging appropriately humorous tone (unlike many wikis) that they add many more jokes to articles without adding any content to go along with it. The #2 cause is dogpile edits.

Reverting an edit when the only change was to replace one joke caption with a new, unfunny one is also commonly called de-snarking.

Dogpile

Dogpiling (verb or noun) occurs when multiple users make successive edits to an article (usually in a short period of time) that causes one aspect of the article to grow, then bloat, then spread like cancer. That which was once a good part of a balanced article has grown out of control and become unpleasant.

Dogpiling can cause one joke to spread through an article (each user only adding one or two instances of it) until it becomes unreadable. Less frequently, gentle jabs can turn nastier and unpleasant, and eventually toxic. The Fandom article began as a light-hearted poke at fans' sillier (and stupider) tendencies and slowly became a hate-fest that caused considerable conflict. (The entire article was cauterized down to a stub and has re-emerged in its present, dryly factual form.)

IP user

Activity by unregistered users on Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki shows up as an IP address, an anonymous string of numbers. Some internet service providers don't provide their users with "fixed" addresses, so many different addresses can represent a single user.

Dubious or unsupported claims by IP users ("Optimus Prime (Animated) will have a different voice actor in Australia") are usually deleted out-of-hand without asking why. IP users include the lion's share of Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki's cranks and trolls. While their contributions are appreciated when helpful, there is very little patience towards them when annoying.

IP users involved in heated discussions on talk pages will often be told to register for an account (they never do, but we keep asking) because it's very difficult to tell who's who, and arguing with "a number" makes regular users cranky. This is not merely elitism on the part of regulars; changing IP addresses and making unsigned posts can make it incredibly confusing to sort out to whom an anonymous post belongs.

SIGN YOUR POSTS

The all-caps request that another user SIGN YOUR POSTS on talk pages indicates that they've probably been asked before, and it's beginning to get annoying. Simply type four ~'s (~~~~) at the end of a post, and Mediawiki will convert it to a name and timestamp. (Derik02:57, 30 August 2007 (UTC)) It makes everyone's life much, much easier, so please do it.

Signal-to-Noise

Signal-to-Noise is the measure of:

  1. How much information an article conveys per its length.
  2. A user's contributions to site content vs. their non-content edits. (Jokes, etc.)

Ideally, articles should have a high signal-to-noise ratio, being very informative. An article which is a stub with a joke image caption has a low signal-to-noise ratio.

Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki wants its users to contribute to the wiki. Writing or expanding articles, checking facts, making corrections, sorting, categorizing and generally increasing the informativeness of Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki is good. Adding (or removing) jokes, making funny edits, and complaining about wiki policy on talk pages without regard for the consensus are both deconstructive and bad.

Definitions

This is somehow distinct from the above glossary section despite having a similar title.

Toy-only/Comic-only...

Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki has a category for Toy-only characters, as well as several other single-media categories.

A toy-only character is defined as having never appeared in a story, anywhere. The character may have a place in fiction, but a tech-spec/profile book/box-back is not, for the purposes of this category, considered an "appearance". Meanwhile, a non-speaking, single-panel cameo is, and would disqualify them from this category.

(Note: The jury is currently out as to whether or not a character being merely mentioned but not seen would count as an appearance. (Probably yes.))

Basic Conduct

For further information, see: Help:Introduction

Legal Issues

Copyrights

For further information, see: Transformers Wiki:Copyrights

Attitude towards authority

Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki operates on a "house rules" basis, as in "he who owns the house, makes the rules." In this case that means both the community, who has been working here and forming a policy consensus for two years now, and the web site host Wikicities Wikia.

Users may disagree with the policies formed by the community, you may even engage in discussion about changing them... but no individual user may dictate to the community and demand it be changed. If you do that you will be asked, or possibly told, to leave. You want a site that's run your way? Start one on your own! All of Teletraan I's content is available for anyone to use under the License, you are welcome to it!

Likewise, both users and the community as a whole is beholden to a basic level of respect towards the people who host our site; Wikia. That means understanding and showing a respect towards the User Agreement which we agreed to when we signed up, being sensitive to Wikia's business and community needs and goals and trying to work with them rather than against them as they implement changes. Even though the community may disagree with Wikia's methods at times, they are our host, and a basic respect must exist. This is their site, and the Terms of Service are clear; if we don't like the way it's is being run, then we are free to leave and start our own.

(And so, we are!)

Footnotes

  1. Or "Copy-and-paste" called by some people
  2. Maybe some of you will ask: "Why some articles on TFwiki bear so much resemblance with Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki, that's because an "Exodus".
  3. See various articles in this wiki.
  4. You may notice a few articles on Teletraan 1 (such as Cyclonus) that appear very similar to their Wikipedia counterparts. They are not based on the Wikipedia articles; the Wikipedia articles are based on original text written by and © people who gave Wikipedia permission to use it, and but also rewrote that text for Teletraan I: The Transformers Wiki.
    Lawyer-to-English Translation: The complete content of the original Wikipedia article was written by a user (probably McFeely) who subsequently took the time to rewrite it to Teletraan 1's standards. That user holds the copyright on his original work, and though he has given Wikipedia the right to fold, spindle and reuse it, he has given the same right to Teletraan 1 separately, and our use of that text is is no way beholden to the terms of redistribution of Wikipedia's GNU License. They are instead subject to the identical terms of redistribution of our GNU License. Confused? Good!
  5. It is worth noting that nowhere in WP:NPOV, WP:NOR, or WP:VERIFY (Wikipedia's 3 guiding principles) is humor mentioned, let alone proscribed.
  6. Includes—but is not limited to!

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