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What is Vandalism versus Editorials

Thanks to the creation of the page "UsersBlockedFromWikiWorld", I've become curious. What is considered editorialism versus vandalism? I believe the matter of the editing that transpired on the Islam page could be viewed as vandalism, or it could be viewed as editorializing. And Wiki, after all, is all about editorializing.

As for the "Goat Sex" hit we took, I find Ken's challenge a bit out of place. I can understand Ken's anger over what he sees as the vandalism of our home page. However, to yell at someone for editing a Wiki page seemed to be poorly expressed. Wiki is all about editing content. I believe Ken meant to express how setting our front page to the somewhat famous "goat sex" picture was at best a poor joke, and at worst a minor inconvenience (thanks to our set up here). As far as the serious consequences though, at best, we could have informed the pratical joker's ISP about his changing of our content from a relatively family friendly item to one that was improper for our audience, and illegal in several states and countries throughout the world (making it an attempt to do damage to this site through editorial content changes).

Anyways, these are two matters related to the Users Blocked page that I think could use an airing.


The major difference between Vandalism and Editorials is that if the content offends you and a major percent of the sane population, then it's vandalism. Usually you can tell an editorial because it will be in sections like we do it, and even if it is offending you can tell whether it is the person's opinion, or not (usually). Now vandalism, you will find that a person either wiped a page to put it there, or stuck words and changes in the content, like Jim's Islam page. You can really just use your common sense to tell the difference. ;-)
Humm... Common Sense? One of the few things I know, is that Common Sense is not common. It's learned wisdom. Being the living person I am, I am sure that I can express some thoughts or ideas that would irritate the vast majority of users here. Would that be vandalism? No. I can certainly refactor a page in a way, intentional or not, that could alter the meaning of the page very differently from its original meaning. So I do not think we can treat this like the Supreme Court and Pornography ("You know it when you see it"). In the case of the extreme editorializing of the Islam page, I did what I thought best. I notified Jim that someone had altered his page. As I recall, Jim left the changes in, at least for quite some time. (Probably too busy to change it back.) Anyways... it is too easy to express an idea or opinion outside of the mainstream and offend the mainstream of the community, so I do not believe that is a good test for whether something is merely 'vandalism'. Shock does make a useful tool for attracting attention to a matter, if it isn't over used, after all. ---StarPilot
I agree with you, and at the same time I disagree with you. Darn conflicting intrests... :-D. Refactored page to VandalismVersusEditorial.
And yes, you are right I was out of place to put that challenge on the front page. Don't ask why I do things sometimes, I just do. But even if vandalism is just an inconvenience, is that any reason not to deal with it? Should we just ignore it? No--- If we can make things better for the contributing personas of WikiWorld, then we should! --KenSchry
No problem, Kenster. I was just trying to point out we didn't want to communicate that we disliked people editing pages to express themselves. Something for your memory banks, you know? If WikiWorld stays up long enough, well, there is bound to be another such instance. ;-) ---StarPilot
  • Of course there is bound to be people that vandalize the site. No matter what you do, or what your affiliated with, some (Not all) will take advantage of you. It is the HumanAnimal's nature I suppose ;-). As for expression I started that discussion at LimitsToFreedomOfExpression. --KenSchry

Responding in Threads

My complaint (for today) is that the pages are too cluttered, like War. It happens all the time, StarPilot says something, JimScarver responds and you end up with both paragraphs entangled.

Is there a better norm in Wiki for these situations? There is some discussion of that at MeatBall, at

One idea is to use an asterisk system, in which the base response is none, the first response to that is (*), the second response is (**), but I do not know the extent of this system...


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It is a problem. SP and I have struggled with different methods. Sometimes there are so many points to respond to that putting them in a separate section (----) does not seem right. I try to show the interruption with bold, but then what? Someone responds and we have thread mess. The * system may help, but we may also need to indicate when we are interjecting in the middle, like { my comment -- me } or something in addition to the asterisks/indenting. ---JimScarver

I'm in agreement with Jim. When one is replying to a short reply, then a simple (----) suffices, but when someone is responding to a long post/rant/treatise, the simple (----) doesn't work so well. Heck, I don't think the (*) and (**) would work very well. Long rants just aren't conversationally Wiki Friendly, I suppose. Humm... ---StarPilot


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