The Sims Wiki:Snowball clause

From The Sims Wiki, a collaborative database for The Sims series
Jump to navigation Jump to search
International flags politics policy.png
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.

The snowball clause is a guideline that encourages The Sims Wiki editors to avoid unnecessarily bureaucratic behavior. The snowball clause is:

If an issue does not have a snowball's chance in hell of being accepted by a certain process, there's no need to run it through the entire process.

The snowball clause is meant to prevent editors from getting tied up in long, bureaucratic discussions or procedures over things that are already foregone conclusions. The snowball clause can be used as justification in concluding a discussion ahead of a predetermined "minimum length" or deadline, if it is clear that further discussion will not change the outcome of the discussion. In these cases, continuing a discussion simply for the sake of adhering to procedure is counter-productive, so the best course is to "break the rules" and end the discussion early.

The snowball clause is not a wiki policy, and there may be good reasons for continuing with a particular discussion or procedure, even if at the outset it appears to be unnecessary. The snowball clause should be seen as a polite request not to waste everybody's time.

Cautionary notes[edit source]

The Sims Wiki editors, engaged in unnecessary discussions

It is important to distinguish between true snowballs, and merely those ideas that are a "long shot" or an "uphill battle." In cases of genuine contention in The Sims Wiki community, it is best to settle disagreements through discussion and debate, even if the outcome seems (to many) to be obvious. Allowing a process or discussion to continue to its conclusion may allow for a more reasoned discourse, and allow all arguments to be fully and fairly expressed.

The snowball clause may not always be appropriate if a particular outcome is merely "likely" or "quite likely", and there is a genuine and reasoned basis for disagreement. This is because discussions are not votes; it is important to be reasonably sure that there is little or no chance of accidentally excluding significant input or perspectives, or changing the weight of different views, if closed early. Especially, closers should beware of interpreting "early pile on" as necessarily showing how a discussion will end up. This can sometimes happen when a topic attracts high levels of attention from those engaged (or having a specific view) but slower attention from other less involved editors, perhaps with other points of view. It can sometimes be better to allow a few extra days even if current discussion seems very clearly to hold one opinion, to be sure that it really will be a snowball and as a courtesy to be sure that no significant input will be excluded if closed very soon. Cases like this are more about judgment than rules, however.

See also[edit source]

Wikipedia logo silver.png This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Wikipedia:Snowball clause. 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.