Hello, your friendly neighborhood night owl here. As one of the most active users on this wiki, I have decided to take the step of applying for admin. It is not an attempt I take lightly, but I feel I am qualified.
Why I Want The Position
Over my almost two years of activity on this wiki, I have become deeply invested in its operations. I have made friends on this wiki, edited countless pages, and given advice to new users.
Additionally, I have been involved in trying to shape wiki policy. As a Rollbacker, I have been vigilant in policing user activity, issuing warnings when appropriate and getting admins to issue bans as necessary. I have also made several suggestions for wiki policy, some of which may not have been the best but others of which have been adopted.
One of the reasons I have decided to seek adminship is so I can have a direct interface with the rest of staff. I believe I currently have a working relationship as a Rollbacker with the admins, but there is only so much I can do in my current position. Being an admin would allow me to ban users and delete pages without calling in an admin, make site suggestions without having to relentlessly pester Cleric for a clear yay or nay, etc.
Must have been active on the wiki for 6 months.
My join date is officially December 18. 2013, but I only stopped by to ask some questions and wasn't active back then. I posted my first story here in July of 2017 and consider that to be my real date of joining the wiki. I have been very consistently active on this wiki since at least December of 2017, and have been active as a Rollback since August 2018.
Must have 800 edits including 600 article edits.
As of this application, I have almost 3500 edits, almost 1600 of which have been on articles.
Must know how to categorize pages.
I know the genre listing and category rules.
Must know how to move files and pages.
I have done so routinely as a rollback.
Must know how to delete pages and files.
I was an admin on the Some Ordinary Gamers Wiki in its heyday and made many deletions over there.
Must know how to block a user for an appropriate amount of time.
I have read and re-read the Blocking Policy and blocking guidelines on individual rule pages, as well as the talk page templates.
Must be familiar with the layout of the wiki.
I must confess, I still learn new things about this place on a frequent basis. Still, I know my way around and I know the important places to be able to refer users to, and I know the general breakdown of the different namespaces.
Other Things I Bring To The Table
In addition to being a Rollbacker since August of 2018, I have been a Discussions Moderator since mid-November of 2018. I specifically requested this role because I have an eye for noticing spam comments and misuse of the forums. Besides Deleting almost 200 spam comments since I have been given the DM role, I also spent about a month or so combing through all the posts on the Writers' Showcase board to update them with the Showcase template, move or remove posts that didn't belong there, remove posts showcasing stories that had since been deleted, etc. (by the way, I also read through most of the showcased stories on the whole board)
Other things I have done on the wiki:
- I was present during at least two mass spam attacks while admins were absent and helped with damage control.
- I was instrumental in developing the terms for our current spam edit filters in the wake of several mass spam attacks.
- I suggested a rule against leaving story feedback on Showcase posts since such replies artificially bump the thread. My suggestion resulted in Underscorre writing a revised set of rules for the Showcase board, which I then tweaked and posted with Cleric's permission.
- I have made other suggestions that have been implemented or considered, such as suggesting to Cleric to tell people not to quote the OP on admin proposals.
- I have guided many users toward policies and helpful pages.
- When the M4R category starts to fill up, I have been known to cull through it to edit stories and recommend deletion or remove the M4R tag as appropriate.
- I am currently working on a Content Hub for this wiki to help users engage the content this wiki has to offer on a deeper level than just grazing the recent activity feed.
Deadline: June 22nd, 2019
- Support -
- Neutral -
- Oppose -
Please sign your replies!
Neutral - with an almost tilting lean at Oppose - While it is the undeniable truth that your contributions to the wiki have been numerous, not all of them have been beneficial: adding surplus/unneded categories, comment deletion, and some retitling issues. Along with that, your overall attitude feels kinda... robotic. Nothing personal, but I have some uncomfortable memories with a certain user that behaved similarly (albeit on a much larger scale) and I fear you may grow to become like they, as it may reflect negatively on the wiki.
As I've said, it's nothing personal, and as ridiculous as this may sound, you could do more good to wiki by just being a rollback/mod.
- To get to the issue of categories, I'd like to ask about your reversion of my category edit to Where the Birches Lean. Removing Places I can understand since the "place" in question only appears sporadically and only makes an appearance outside of dreams in the final act, but I don't see how it should not be under Gods or at least Beings, since deities are absolutely central to the story.
- Also see my detailed response to Empy below for more on that (I collapsed it due to length.)
- As for retitling, all my renaming of pages has either been at the request of the author, recapitalizing to bring the title in line with our wiki's naming conventions, or retitlings of my own stories.
Neutral - To be honest I'm on the fence here. You have been instrumental in helping the site out with edits and a lot of the things you've mention before, but there are a number of issues here that make me worry. A number of these issues are things I uncovered while looking through your edits to determine if you'd be a good fit for admin.
Starting with categorization, there have been a number of times when you've added categories to stories where it wasn't really necessary or implied a misunderstanding of the category's purpose like here (Do the reality and history really fit here? Is the story referencing a specific event in history?), here (the places category is for stories that take place in a certain location and the horror arrises from that, like the Tower of London, Sedlec Ossuary, etc.), and here.
More concerning is the retitling of a Atropha to Atrophos where I cannot seemingly find anywhere where the author requested the change, your original title change was reverted, and their comments suggest they chose that title as they wanted it to be a nod and less of a direct reference. I've messaged FilmCriticFrog to verify if they requested the change, but haven't heard back yet. I would suggest providing a screen grab or other verification if you have it as this is not a very good look if you did re-title an author's story without their permission. Respecting authors' stylistic choices and form is essential for this site.
Then there's the comment removal. While a lot of them have been beneficial like removing spam, roleplaying, and harassment, some of it looks like they were done without reason. I'm going to include a screenshot of two. While one is on the pointless side, I can't really find any section of the commenting policy that directly restricts joking around. While it is beneficial to remove spam, ads, harassment, etc., we should be explicit with our reason for deletion.
These two examples do make me worry quite a bit as I really can't see the reason behind removing a comment for giving a rating or deleting someone's attempt at a joke (using that logic, a majority of the comments on The Slender Man, The Rake, and other popular stories would be deleted and I don't think that's necessary and find it to be a bit subjective.
I'd like to say that those are things that we can watch, but if we're being honest, I don't have the time to devote to this site as I once had. I'm a year into an accelerated veterinary medical program and I can't necessarily look into every edits, deletion, and comment removal. While it would be nice to have another pair of hands with the activity level we currently have, but it would be detrimental if some of these things went on without another admin being present to resolve the issue quickly. Those are the three main reasons why I'm neutral and leaning towards opposing right now. I think a little more time while avoiding these issues and helping QS stories would make me lean more towards approval. EmpyrealInvective (talk) 12:19, June 15, 2019 (UTC)
- The author of that story indicated a desire for the story to be renamed in their Showcase Post.
- I'll work on having more restraint with deleting comments, but there have been several times when a user rapidly leaves low-value, borderline spam comments on several stories at once, in which case I'm more likely to delete ones that are on the border than if it had just been a single comment by a user.
- I can get more into my category-adding habits later, when I have more time, but honestly yes I do believe my category edits to A Modest Proposal were beneficial. Although looking back I do think it would have been better to just add Historical Archive/PD, but at the time I had forgotten that non-admins can add that category.
- Alright, I'm back. Starting with categories, I think my edit to A Modest Proposal would be a good example for discussion.
- "Do the reality and history really fit here? Is the story referencing a specific event in history?"
- It centers around a specific historical condition/state of affairs, and just as a story about slavery in the United States would be under History even if all the characters and events were fictional, I feel the same goes for this piece. I would further argue that to the author's audience who lived in the context of this work, it would absolutely be received as a historical piece. The whole essay is a hyperbolic allegory for the impoverishment of the Irish people at the hands of the English since the 16th century and is chock-full of references to specific policies of the time, such as discrimination against Irish Catholics, the land laws requiring Irish tenants to endlessly subdivide their land each generation, making their living and working conditions little better than plantation slavery, etc. Philosophical works by authors like Swift and Burke helped inform the Irish national consciousness and later directly or indirectly influenced the Irish independence movement and later Irish Republican movement.
- I added the Reality category because the piece is an infamous work of satire dealing with human nature and relationships, so there you go.
- Furthermore, and this may get to the crux of the issue over my usage of categories, the way I see it categories on this wiki are not supposed to be just be tags to tell people what the story is going to be about before they read it. They are a vital tool to connect users to stories they may be interested in. So, would someone looking through the History category because they are interested in history-based stories be interested in something like A Modest Proposal. I would argue that they likely would. That's why this wiki has topic/genre-based categories as opposed to other creepypasta sites and forums that just have a handful of basic tags or flairs.
- As for my usage of the Places category, eh, I see what you mean, but hear me out. My take on the category has always been that it is applied not just to stories about specific named places, but also to stories that rely heavily on sense of place and descriptions of place to set atmosphere and tone. So, for example, I put my story On Thin Ice under Places because, even though it could take place at any community ice rink, the ice rink in the story is certainly unique and the whole piece centers around the sense of atmosphere of a child left alone in a place like that. This story incorporates vivid descriptions of the photo lab in its final act to signal that it is unlike any other photo lab, so that's why I added the Places category.
- Now you could say I'm wrong on this, but the Places category is our second most popular genre category, behind only Beings, at almost 1500 pages. I could almost guarantee that if one were to cull through all or even a couple dozen of them, one could find just as much precedent support for my interpretation as for the more narrow one. For example, this story was put under Places even though it doesn't take place in any specific town.
- Now Bank Job is not a story I would normally have been inclined to put under Places, but the thing about that story is that it had only one other genre category and the author specifically said he did not want it under Video Games or Computers and Internet for fear of spoilers, so I added it mainly so it wouldn't have just one genre category.
- Now getting back to my comment deletions, like I said in my previous response, there have been several times where I notice a new user leave a rapid string of nonsensical and spammy comments, either on multiple stories or on the same story, usually as responses to several very old comments in the latter case, and I end up deleting all or almost all of them and leaving a notice on their talk page warning them against such behavior. The screencap with the rating comment is actually from such a user, and you can see the notice I left them on their Talk Page. It's quite possible I didn't even realize it was supposed to be a rating since there is no slash between the two "10s" and it would have looked like just another nonsensical comment by that user.
- As for the Smiledog comment, the reason I deleted that IIRC was because I felt it was important that the comments sections of popular creepypastas not be treated like YouTube where you can just comment whatever pops into your head on a whim. The comment in question may not have been spam, but it was at least a shitpost. That said, I realize I overstepped my bounds in that case and will make an effort to delete only in clear-cut cases of spam or rule violations.
- One thing I realized while taking another look through my deletion log is that there are a few deletions in there that are of my own comments. For example, the latest deletion is my own comment on Mirrored Closets from way back in 2013, my first contribution on the wiki actually, because I was embarrassed at my sloppy wording. I don't know if you realized that but that may explain a couple of the more dubious-appearing deletions.
- Thank you for pointing out where the author requested a title change as I was unable to find it on the story itself, comments, or messages. I noticed your comment deletion and while I don't agree with the idea of removing your comments as it could be re-worded instead, I have noted other users doing that by blanking comments they made a while ago so I don't have much issue with it (unless it's being done to alter event perception).
- As for the comments, I don't think that approaching it in that way sets a good standard. It results in a feeling of subjectivity when you look at their other comments and see similar lines that are not removed. When you go beyond the commenting policy, it muddies the water and creates a disconnect between what is allowed and what could end up with a ban due to seemingly random caprices (for example, you said 'it was at least a shitpost', but how do you know with 100% that that was a shitpost and not genuine or that their other comments weren't in comparison? Inferring intent is relatively difficult on the internet so it's best to avoid assumptions) of admins. Additionally, those two were the most notable ones, but this issue was brought up in the past with other admins so it is something that does need work.
- Onto the categories, I'm going to disagree here ("My take on the category has always been that it is applied not just to stories about specific named places, but also to stories that rely heavily on sense of place and descriptions of place to set atmosphere and tone."), as that could be fairly subjective depending on the author and users editing them. We had to remove the "People" category due to misinterpretation of similar reasoning for stories involving human nature ("It involves people, it belongs in the people category." / "I detailed the place, it should be in places.") so I'd like to avoid similar approaches. We had similar issues of loose interpretation with the "Death" category which led to its over-application so I'm hesitant to get behind something that could weaken the overall use-fullness of categories (if someone's looking for stories of a similar ilk, I'd rather have them be grouped more selectively than multiple nebulous classifiers due to a story having loose references).
- Fair enough about the comment removals, but the issue of new users showing up and leaving a bunch of comments at once that maybe just avoid being outright spam individually but collectively add up to borderline spam behavior is something I think needs to be addressed sooner or later in some way. It's such a frequent pattern of behavior that I've even considered creating a talk page template for it. Like I said, examples include digging through ancient comments on popular stories and replying to a bunch of them with non-sequitors that don't really add anything to conversations that happened years ago, or stopping by the first ten or so popular pastas they can think of to leave such comments. In either case such comment sprees are accompanied by flaming at one or more users for either being to critical or too praising of a story at least 50% of the time.
- With OctoManicBoi, you have to keep in mind that those comments I didn't delete are the least spammy comments that I likely left alone because I wanted to err on the side of not deleting every single one of their rapid-fire comments. If I went through and restored all their deleted comments, the ones that were worse than what you see in their contributions now, it may become clearer why I mass-deleted most of their comments and why I have done so with multiple other users, plus that user in particular had previously been warned for creating at least one spam page as well. I'll try pointing it out to you next time I see a user do it to show you what I mean, and it happens often enough that I don't think I'll have to wait long.
- All that said, the importance of the fact that concerns over my comment deletions have been raised multiple times among the sysops is not lost on me, so I'll try to cool it for now. I was actually concerned that such a thing might happen before I asked for the DM role because I thought I could be giving myself an impossible mandate by volunteering to police comments and forums. Since the Showcase Moderator role was created as an ad hoc position on the wiki rather than a standard role, there's no clear body of policy or precedent governing the application of the DM powers. It was originally envisioned that people given the role would focus really only on policing the Showcase board, but I also wanted it so I could police comments because I felt the admins didn't have time to (and because I happened to be reading through all the stories on Showcase at the time so I figured I may as well try to fix up the board along the way, since all the other Showcase Mods had since gone inactive.) The issue of spam-like comment sprees is something I noticed long before I asked for the role though, and before I became a DM I used to point it out to admins to have them warn the users. Christian Wallis did so for me once or twice.
- Regarding the places category, all I can say is I guarantee a large chunk, if not half, if not the majority of users here including established regulars have been using it exactly the way I have. Like I said, there's no way all 1500 pages in the category are stories about highly specific named locations along the lines of Happy Sun Daycare, and even Mr. Widemouth is under Places despite the exact location being vague.
- HopelessNightOwl (talk) 23:23, June 16, 2019 (UTC)
Support - Seems like a good fit to me, plus he's more active than most of the current admins and has been consistently active for an impressive amount of time. The issues brought up seem like minor nitpicks that can be easily smoothed out through communication if need be. Owl seems like a fairly reasonable guy. (And to be completely fair to Owl, I've always thought the Places category was pretty vague, almost to the point of being People-tier.) LOLSKELETONS (talk) 19:28, June 16, 2019 (UTC)
Support - For the as long as I could remember, you have been on this site and doing the same basic things. I know that you give good advice and I don't know of any issues of your choices that were negative. That being said, I'm not active on this site as much as I used to be, but I still drop by from time to time. Each time I've come back, it what must have been three years, you were active and busy keeping the Wikia up to standards. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JohnathanNash (talk • contribs).