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This consensus track entry is for discussion and voting on the proposal submitted by Sebolto on March 31, 2020 to require all contributors to log in to a valid Wikia/Fandom account before editing on the wiki or posting in the Discussions forum.

Voting ended at midnight on April 15th, 2020. The proposal was successful, with a final tally of twenty-six users voting in favor, two voting in opposition, and one abstaining.

Proposal

Summary

This proposal will prohibit all users from editing on the wiki and posting in the Discussions forum until they have created and logged in to a valid Wikia/Fandom account, in order to both reduce casual vandalism perpetrated by anonymous contributors and address the disparity in editing capabilities between registered users and good-faith anonymous contributors.

Discussion

The question of whether to require users to log in to registered user accounts before contributing is tacitly a question of whether to prohibit editing by so-called "anonymous contributors," users who edit on a wiki under a publicly visible IP address rather than a confirmed Wikia/Fandom user account. This dilemma has long been the subject of intermittent debate on Star Wars Fanon since its inception, particularly during times of increased vandalism. While there have been unregistered users who have edited in good faith and even contributed to the policing of the wiki and the enforcement of policies, most one-off acts of casual vandalism have historically been perpetrated by anonymous contributors rather than by registered users. The ease with which anyone can edit pages on the wiki, mediated by means of the fact that contributors do not need to register accounts to edit, empowers casual vandals to submit small, unobtrusive edits to pages that introduce intentional misspellings, foul language, or random incomprehensible gibberish. Some anonymous vandals have even introduced seemingly minor changes to the coding of infobox templates, negatively affecting not only the templates themselves but also all pages transcluding these templates. Star Wars Fanon's administrative team is comparatively smaller than it was a decade ago, and even with the use of abuse filters and patrolling tools like PageCreator/LastEdited and RCM, many acts of vandalism go uncaught.

Furthermore, those few anonymous users who desire to contribute as good faith editors are ill-equipped to do so with the base functionality offered to unregistered users. Anonymous contributors cannot receive Message Wall notifications when users reply to their threads or attempt to post on their walls, nor can they configure email notifications to alert them to cases wherein other users edit, delete, or move their pages on the wiki. They do not have access to Special:Preferences, leaving them unable to define their preferred page editors, draft custom signatures, adjust their preferred category styling, set default landing pages, or configure custom CSS & JavaScript. They cannot upload images, move pages to new titles, edit certain protected pages, post in the Discussions forum, or visit Chat. Further, those anonymous users who contribute under dynamic IP addresses or proxies may even find themselves hampered in their attempts to edit their own pages. Due to the constantly changing nature of dynamic IPs, such users cannot always prove to members of the administrative team that they are the original authors of the pages they edit. As such, these contributors may find their revisions reverted for being perceived as impermissible content edits violating the Editing Policy, leaving them frustrated and likely to abandon any further attempts to contribute to the wiki.

Creating a user account solves all of these problems. By contributing under a registered account handle, users can edit their pages as desired without hassle or fear of reversion. They can interact easily with administrators and members of the community on their Message Walls, configure email notifications, and customize their site experiences as desired in their Special:Preferences. They can vote in consensus track threads, participate in community discussions on the Discussions forum, upload images, move pages, visit Chat, and generally edit without inhibition. From the perspective of the administrative team, the ability to associate articles with recognizable usernames makes vandalism reversion and policy enforcement that much easier overall. Informing users of relevant site policies and documenting such discussions on users' Message Walls is simplified when the user can receive notifications of new threads in real time and reply accordingly. Additionally, the hassle of creating a user account will dissuade most casual vandals from defacing pages, thus limiting the amount of uncaught vandalism that would otherwise slip through the cracks.

Some might argue that having the unrestricted ability to edit without an account provides anonymous users with the opportunity to "test out" the functionality of the wiki and familiarize themselves with the editing process prior to registering. This may be true, but it comes at the cost of a great many headaches for administrators seeking to enforce site policies and community members looking to edit their pages without outside interference. For every potential long-term contributor interested in test driving the page editor prior to account creation, there are countless other casual vandals who are more than happy to take advantage of their unrestricted ability to deface other users' pages simply because they can. User accounts solve all of the problems faced by the administrative team and good-faith anonymous contributors by placing everyone on an equal footing, providing all users with usable avenues of communication, critical editing tools, and personalized customization options. Furthermore, the requirement that users create accounts to edit will likely dissuade the vast majority of casual vandals from defacing articles, reducing headaches for everyone and contributing to fewer cases of uncaught vandalism on the wiki. As such, Star Wars Fanon should introduce a restriction requiring all users to log in to a registered Wikia/Fandom account prior to editing.

Voting

How to vote

Voting will end on April 15, 2020. All users who are deemed eligible to vote under the terms outlined in the Voting Policy are encouraged to submit a vote on this issue and/or participate in any associated discussion. Ineligible or unsigned votes will be struck from the record by members of the administrative team. Please sign your name under the appropriate Support/Oppose heading following the format shown below and update the related counter accordingly.

#Your optional comments here. ~~~~

Support (26)

  1. As the proposer. SeboltoTalk 21:27, March 31, 2020 (UTC)
  2. After thinking of it it would be a good idea and prevent accidents. Aynett 23:42, March 31, 2020 (UTC+1)
  3. Simply the fact that there is a way people can get away with vandalizing should be a hint of the problem. Even if people would get upset, the admins need the accessibility to do their job. Sir Ummelord 22:12, March 31, 2020 (UTC)Ummelord
  4. Now we will enact a new policy - a strong policy, one that will not let our tragedy continue. -MPK, Memelord of the Sith 22:50, March 31, 2020 (UTC)
  5. This would be a very good thing to the Star Wars Fanon community - less vandals and more productive, creative writers! Captain Ricky (talk)
  6. Anakin Nakamura - (Personal Comlink) 03:25, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
  7. In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, SWFanon will be reorganized to require user registration, for a safe and secure society? Oke-doke. -I'm the Chosen One
  8. Sounds good to me, I've seen multiple examples of nonsensical edits and page creations submitted by anonymous users that are obviously examples vandalism. Wardie1993 (Talk) 04:10, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
  9. A very good idea. It will protect the wiki and prevent anonymous clutter building up from authors who aren't committed to the wiki. Enigma24
  10. "My lord, is that illegal?" I will make it illegal! - Lars Oebeles
  11. I support this. -  Superjokertv (Talk) 09:45, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
  12. I hate to do anything that might limit the potential creativity of the people in the community that might actually just want to contribute, but, that said, allowing unregistered users to edit now feels simply too great a risk. Arkius Doomer/Kalsyrys Talk At Me 09:48, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
  13. I've had this feature turned on in a previous Fanon wiki I moderate. To be completely honest, it has definitely helped our team in limiting the amount of spam or overall troll accounts flooding the site. Besides, registering a Fandom account really ain't rocket science and if a user really wishes to contribute to a wiki - I feel they won't think twice about registering.  LordOfTheNeverThere (Talk) 10:53, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
  14. I've seen many people abuse the anon status on other fanon sites who's only goal is to bring trouble and bad time with where ever they go. I'm all in for it, though it's sad if it'll bring down the pull on new members that're actually willing to put in some effort and be part of this community.  Revan180193 (Talk) 11:37, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
  15. I agree wholeheartedly. I always thought it was way too easy to edit a Wikipedia article. Over the years, I have become fascinated with all the wonderful things that can be done on different Wikipedia sites and all the hard work that is put into user's works. I think such intellectual property should be adequately protected and respected. This is a step in the right direction. General B.H. 110:08 April 1, 2020 (UTC)
  16. I approve. The Mazrocrat (talk | contribs) 17:43, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
  17. Boomdodger (message wall) 18:42, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
  18. Yes.-- Hihawk (Talk) 23:46, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
    I approve - BLUEDOG164 (Vote stricken: Per the Voting Policy, users must have at least 50 mainspace edits to vote. SeboltoTalk 10:54, April 15, 2020 (UTC))
  19. As someone who has been vandalized in the past by an anonymous user on a different wiki. I approve!  Psyqhical (Talk) 10:06, April 2, 2020 (UTC)
  20. Having myself been vandalised in the past, I do agree with this idea. Admiral Caon | The Code Wizard 17:25, April 2, 2020 (UTC)
  21. I believe this is will help curtail vandalism. I approve.  MistAtom (Talk) 02:57, April 3, 2020 (UTC)
    I agree. This should be a rule to bring to an end of unauthroized edits by non-users. This has happened to me on other wiki's before. This shoud've been done a long time ago.-- Master DA (Talk) 03:44, April 3, 2020 (UTC) (Vote stricken: Per the Voting Policy, users must have at least 50 mainspace edits to vote. SeboltoTalk 10:54, April 15, 2020 (UTC))
  22. I agree with MistAtom. This should help curtail page vandalism. I also approve. -- WW2Buff2018 (Talk) 15:14, April 3, 2020 (UTC)
  23. This is a very good idea-The Grand Chewbacca (Talk) 20:02, April 3, 2020 (UTC)
  24. -- J.D Tresherslider (Talk) 18:09, April 4, 2020 (UTC)
  25. I'll admit that I created my very first three articles on here as an anon user, but that was mainly because I forgot my password for the existing wikia account and because I needed to re-learn some wiki stuff. Considering how much more work there is to do in order to curtail vandalism and that registering requires not much more than a viable EMail address I think disabling anon editing rights is viable.  Sephiroth0812 (Talk) 08:43, April 6, 2020 (UTC)
  26. For all the reasons stated in the proposal. SakarosTalk 14:02, April 8, 2020 (UTC)

Oppose (2)

  1. I have to disagree only because my first page, which I'll admit was absolutely terrible when first written and was quite awful all around, was made while I did not have an account. As you mentioned it allowed me to get acquainted without putting a name behind the writer, I of course eventually created an account once I was comfortable with it, and of course, since then have written off and on in this wiki and I personally and I imagine somewhere out there, there are others like me, could have been put off if it were not for the freedom to post without an account. Varino Dynasty 18:53, April 1, 2020 (UTC)
    I am in strong opposition to this idea as well, because, while this would make things easier, people can still see who made the edits, so this whole thing to me sounds kind of mute. (Vote stricken: Per the Voting Policy, anons may not vote. SakarosTalk 19:26, April 11, 2020 (UTC))
  2. I thought carefully about whether I wanted to vote “neutral” or oppose on this. I'm voting to oppose, ultimately, because that's the position I personally hold. I'd rather keep the wiki open to encourage new users and let them join without jumping through hoops immediately. Foster an environment of creativity rather than rules, etc. That said, the other reason I decided to vote oppose is because it's clear the community feels otherwise, and I'd not be the single vote to overthrow large support. Had this been a vote of 15 support vs 15 oppose, I'm not sure I'd have been comfortable relying on merely my preference to overrule a large group. As it stands, the community clearly feels it would be better served with this proposal, so my vote here stands as ceremony and record rather than any strong opposition. Savage1138 23:21, April 12, 2020 (UTC)

Discussion

The prohibition could likely scare off potential editors and draw them away from taking further steps, which registering an account is one of. We are not accessed to thorough statistics upon the specificts of editing anonymously, and neither are the administrators. Taking into account the above, I approve of the postulate so long as it is introduced in terms of a test, one that will soon yield either positive or negative results, being a solid base to weigh which direction seems to be more optimal upon.

As I have not left my signature under either option (for/against), may my vote be regarded not cast. ~Mustafar29 (talk) 13:38, April 4, 2020 (UTC)

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