SmashWiki's intent is to collect information on the Super Smash Bros. franchise and act as a thorough and dynamic repository of such information, as written and maintained by its many contributors. However, this also means that all articles on SmashWiki are owned by SmashWiki, and not by any other parties, whether on or off SmashWiki.
All articles on SmashWiki belong to SmashWiki itself. No editor, administrator, or outside community member may claim an article as property of themselves, regardless of who initially wrote the article or uploaded information to the article. Furthermore, people or groups who are covered in an article do not gain ownership over said article.
As a result of users lacking ownership of articles, editors are not allowed to subvert any of SmashWiki's policies on articles that they believe belong to themselves. For instance, they may not revert edits more than once, nor can they remove delete tags from articles they have created. Furthermore, they may not attempt to exert greater control on what is posted on the article, such as by frequent reverts, directly telling other users to avoid editing the article, or similar measures.
While some users may initially seem possessive of articles, always remember to assume good faith. Some users may simply be unaccustomed to the idea of a article not belonging to themselves, and all disputes should be discussed with the user in question first instead of immediately involving an administrator.
Note that offences of SmashWiki:Ownership are not strictly considered blockable offences; rather, the editor's actions taken as a result of believing he or she has ownership of a page, such as edit warring or other disruptive behaviour, are considered blockable offences.
When a mainspace article is created, regardless of the subject, it belongs to SmashWiki and not the editor who created it. As a result, editors should not expect to have greater control over articles they have created.
Smasher articles involve information about a notable real-life figure. Regardless of either the editor's or subject's intentions, smasher articles are considered part of SmashWiki, and again, no one person or group may claim ownership of articles. Smashers are still free to edit articles about themselves, but they should not expect to be able to subvert SmashWiki's policies in regards to what gets posted on their Smasher article, nor should they become involved with edits that involve a conflict of interest. Smashers may remove unwanted personal information from their article up to and including their real names, location (leaving a more general location such as "United States" in place of "Tampa, Florida"), and birthday; however, an edit summary or a talk page post explaining this should be included, and smashers on IPs or unverified accounts need to verify with an admin that they're behind the edit. Constantly removing information without providing valid reasoning and verification can be considered disruptive behaviour.
- See also: SmashWiki:User pages
While user pages follow a slightly different, less restrictive ruleset compared to other articles, user pages are also considered part of SmashWiki when they are created. While the user page's owner may have the greatest control over what is featured on his or her user page, any editor ultimately has the freedom to change another's user page, particularly if a policy has been broken, or other problems exist, such as having an abundance of broken images or having personal attacks on their user page. Editing another user's user page for any other reason is generally considered poor form, and is discouraged. It is recommended that editors leave a talk page message explaining why they have edited another's user page.
Images and audio
Like articles, both image and sound files uploaded to SmashWiki are considered to belong to SmashWiki. As a result, users should not expect images or sound files to necessarily only be used on specific articles, nor should they expect other users to not upload over such files. A general exception is user images, which should be treated under the same category as user pages.
Conflict of interest editing
SmashWiki believes all contributors are valuable, and though it may seem unusual, editors are allowed to edit articles if the article covers themselves. If this case happens, however, editors are expected to avoid conflict of interest editing, or, editing that involves editors changing articles to fulfil their own interests or the interests of others over the interests of SmashWiki. Examples may include deleting unflattering information, changing wording to suit their own tastes, or similar changes. Users suspected of conflict of interest editing may have their edits undone, and persistent attempts to subvert SmashWiki's policy can result in blocks being levied against the editor.
Examples of ownership behaviour
Below is a list of behaviour that is generally consistent with an editor who may believe an article belongs to themself. If such behaviour occurs, remember to assume good faith, and try to inform the user of how ownership works on SmashWiki. Avoid immediately bringing an administrator into the matter unless the editor continues to persist in disruptive behaviour.
- Making claims that the article belongs to themselves, including the use of self-referential words in regards to the article, such as "my page" or "my article"
- Bringing up claims that the editor "started" or "created" the article, or claims that the editor "wrote the most" or "did the most" for the article
- Consistently disputing edits on an article, regardless of how minor they may be
- Constantly reverting edits to an article without an appropriate edit summary
- Removing portions of articles without an appropriate edit summary
- Persistent violations of policy involving a single article
- Asking editors to avoid editing an article, requesting that editors consult them before editing the article, or questioning their qualifications for editing the article, either with or without personal attacks
- This can be excused in certain contexts, such as highly complex tables or templates that require extensive knowledge of coding, especially those that are widely used on SmashWiki, or articles involving precise technical data that require specialized knowledge. Note that these are cases where anyone with the proper experience should be able to contribute, and not excuses to set a "bar for entry" so high that only one user is "qualified" to edit an article.