The Sims Wiki:Please don't bite the Newbies

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Community Guideline
This page represents a community guideline, based off past precedent and discussions. It is not a binding policy, but should be acknowledged when making decisions and followed unless there is a sufficient reason not to follow it. Please suggest changes to this guideline on the talk page.
This page in a nutshell
Be nice to new users, especially when they make mistakes. Help them correct and learn from their mistakes; don't attack them for making mistakes.
Please, don't bite the Newbies!

The Sims Wiki is improved not only through the contributions of many regular, experienced editors, but also by many newcomers (or 'newbies'). It is important to remember that these newbies most likely are not well-versed in policies, guidelines and best practices, or formatting guidelines. These users may make edits which go against wiki style, and these edits may even be deemed as vandalism by some. However, such actions may simply be a misunderstanding of wiki editing or honest accidents, not deliberate attempts to cause harm to the wiki. In time, a user will learn the rules of wiki editing, but not unless they are given the ability to correct and/or learn from honest mistakes. Users who are instead treated with strict application of the rules may likely never return to make positive contributions, and may even retaliate with hostile action that causes further damage. Administrators and users responding to bad Newbie edits should therefore be clear, polite and considerate to the needs of Newbies. In short, don't bite the newbies!

The Basics[edit source]

  • Newbies are important. New users bring new insights into the various topics of the wiki, and are often major contributors of new content.
  • Being BOLD is encouraged. It is important that every user, regardless of longevity, feel free to make positive contributions to any article. If an edit violates our guidelines or style, it is worth considering that it may be the rules, not the new users, who are 'wrong' in a particular situation.
  • Don't pick at small mistakes. EVERYBODY makes mistakes in editing from time to time. The edits of Newbies should not be over-scrutinized or subjected to higher standards than other editors.
  • Be polite when telling a Newbie about a mistake. If you must correct a Newbie on their talk page, please start with a friendly welcome and a greeting. Present your corrections calmly and politely, without accusation.
  • Don't just link to policy. If a user violates policy or guideline, explain how they did so and explain how to avoid doing so in the future.
  • Tone it down. Engage users as if they are welcome, not as if they need to impress you. Don't apply labels to users (like Sockpuppet, Vandal, etc), even if you believe they are.
  • Don't mistake ignorance for malice. Behavior that seems out-of-line might simply be caused by a misunderstanding of the rules or our expectations. Even if you are convinced that a user is a troll or vandal, do not treat them as such when talking to them.
  • Everyone was a Newbie once!

What to do when you've bitten[edit source]

If you feel that you've bitten a Newbie, consider the following:

  1. Learn from the incident
  2. Apologize to the user
  3. Consider alternative responses to the response you pursued
  4. Extract wisdom from the incident
  5. Be reasonable

"Ignorance is no excuse"[edit source]

The idea that ignorance of the rules is no excuse for violation of them is incompatible with assumption of Good Faith and other fundamental principles of the Wiki. Don't punish accidental and innocent violation of the rules by users who simply don't know any better. Instead, educate those users of our rules so they can avoid performing the same action again.

See Also[edit source]

Wikipedia logo silver.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Wikipedia:Please don't bite the newcomers. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with The Sims Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.