Forum:Ownership/Conflict of Interest editing

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Forums: Index Proposals Ownership/Conflict of Interest editing

There has been a growing trend of professional players joining SmashWiki to edit their own Smasher pages. By itself, there is no problem with this. After all, SmashWiki is not complete and everyone chipping in to help out is always welcome. Plus, it's not exactly a new trend. Four of our own admins have pages (Omega Tyrant, Toomai, Clarinet Hawk, and Semicolon), some members of our userbase have their own pages (BlueNinjaKoopa, Kadano), and we've had a number of other smashers edit their own articles with no real negative consequences, such as Zinoto and Rickety. Nothing wrong here.

However, it is concerning that some smashers seem to be under the impression that their respective Smasher pages are "their's". Two obvious examples would be Here and here, and some implied examples of players thinking their pages belong to them can be found here and here. This is from what I've found, mind you; I'm sure there have been numerous other examples, just that these ones stuck out in my mind first.

Ultimately, while smashers editing their own articles or articles related to themselves should not be considered an offense, SmashWiki should try to make it clear to all editors that all pages on SmashWiki belong to SmashWiki, not their subject matter, nor the person who created them. Furthermore, we should make it clear that smashers should not partake in "conflict of interest" editing that can jeopardise NPOV and similar guidelines. We already have a similar ruling concerning userpage ownership, but no such guidelines exists for Smasher pages, nor do we have anything covering conflict of interest editing (except for this frankly insignificant section on our Smasher article guidelines); even our page on creating new articles doesn't mention how pages don't automatically belong to the author.

I see several ways as to how SmashWiki should address ownership of pages and/or conflict of interest editing:

  • Add a ruling to our Smasher guidelines about how players do not own their pages. However, I don't actually like this idea, since I feel it should be clear that ALL pages collectively belong to SmashWiki; that said, our user page guidelines, again, do discuss ownership, so that is something to consider for this route.
  • Create a page similar to Wikipedia:Conflict of Interest, which states that editors should not edit articles for their own best interests or in the best interests of others. This covers players editing their own pages, but it doesn't really cover ownership and it might be a bit overkill for a Wiki of our size, since we're probably not going to deal with CEOs, government officials, or terrorists editing pages (all of these have actually happened on Wikipedia, for the young'uns in the audience). However, this is still something to consider, as changing pages to make one sound better can be considered a conflict of interest.
  • With some overlap with the previous idea, create a singular guideline page that clearly outlines ownership on SmashWiki, like SmashWiki:Ownership or something similar. It could outline SmashWiki's ownership of pages and maybe some info on image copyrights and the like.

Just lobbing some ideas around, because I myself am unsure of what the best direction should be. Suggestions welcome, except for "we don't need this". This trend is only going to increase if we don't have a hard, fast ruling, or at least a guideline of some sort somewhere on the Wiki (and no, constantly giving a lecture on ownership on talk pages is not the way to go).

--- Monsieur Crow, Author Extraordinaire, 01:44, 17 June 2017 (EDT)

The difficult part is that in many cases, the players themselves are the most reliable source of their own accomplishments, especially for regional and smaller events where the documentation is patchier or for international scenes (I'm pretty sure almost all of our coverage of the Argentina scene is via Joaco and Daraen). As you pointed out, we already have notes about "ownership" for user pages (as well as images), but I don't think it warrants its own whole policy page. Perhaps a section on SW:NOT ("SmashWiki's content does not belong to individuals", or something similar) would be sufficient? Miles (talk) 13:35, 17 June 2017 (EDT)
If I wasn't clear enough earlier, there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with players editting their own pages, and I'd like to make it clear that even if we did go through with an Ownership and/or Conflict of Interest policy, I would want it to clearly state that there is nothing wrong with Smashers doing such edits. There is only a problem if a conflict of interest occurs, potentially stemming from the idea a smasher page belongs to the smasher himself or herself.
Now, I did consider merely adding a note to SW:NOT, similar to what you're saying, but I feel the nuances between the different types of pages we have (mainspace, Smasher, User, Image, etc.) would make this sort of route too "narrow", since most SW:NOT guidelines are intended to be concise and to the point. Each space, I feel, has sufficient differences between each other that a full-on policy would not seem too overkill.
Of course, I'm always open to further input.
--- Monsieur Crow, Author Extraordinaire, 17:29, 17 June 2017 (EDT)
I'm just throwing this in here, the first example provided (the SW:AN one) doesn't seem to be taking ownership; rather, the user is pointing out that it's "their" page in the sense that it's about them (it's like saying the book "I've Been to the Mountaintop: From A Call to Conscience" is Martin Luther King Jr.'s biography; the book itself doesn't belong to him, it's just about him).
As for the rest of this proposal, I have to agree; people should be able to edit their own pages, just not be the only ones who edit it. Nor, for that matter, should they be the ones who get the final say in what info is and isn't on there (i.e., it wouldn't be acceptable for one to say "no, I don't want that info on my page" for no reason whatsoever). AidanzapunkSig1.pngAidan, the Wandering Dragon WarriorAidanzapunkSig2.png 18:48, 17 June 2017 (EDT)
I agree that we don't want them to be obsessively controlling over their page, but at the same time, there's a form of respect that needs to be involved. Take the Meredy example Crow used. As a human being, doesn't she have the right to deny the usage of her image in a public manner? I don't know that that was what was going on there, but it's something that could happen. Other Smasher pages have various forms of personal information on the Smasher listed; do the Smashers have the right to request the removal if they would prefer the article not to refer to their personal lives? A policy of this manner should, in my opinion, leave it open for us to respect the Smasher's wishes where reasonable. ---Preceding unsigned comment added by you. Or maybe DatNuttyKid. 19:00, 17 June 2017 (EDT)
I've said this twice now: There is absolutely nothing wrong with smashers editing their own pages. Futhermore, any policy, if written, would make it clear that provided a conflict of interest or similar matter doesn't arise, players can freely edit their own articles. The main thing I want to avoid, however, is smashers ignoring guidelines or subverting other editors because they believe the page is "their's.
For the Meredy example, yes, she does have the right to ask us to remove various information from the page. Absolutely nothing wrong with that. However, the immediate removal of information without warning seems to suggest that the smasher in question, Meredy, believed she was at liberty to freely make significant changes without so much an edit summary, simply because the article was about her. This sort of editing is exactly why I want a policy on it: so that we have some degree of "insurance" if a smasher complains about how an article is their's.
--- Monsieur Crow, Author Extraordinaire, 19:14, 17 June 2017 (EDT)

Bumping this, for great justice. I'll probably start a draft in the coming days, but some more input to help me out would be appreciated as well.

--- Monsieur Crow, Author Extraordinaire, 01:39, 22 June 2017 (EDT)

Go ahead and make your draft then. I'll give my input on any improvements that can be made, as well as my stance on the whole thing when that's done. Serpent SKSig.png King 01:52, 22 June 2017 (EDT)