Uncyclopedia:Beginner's Guide/Acceptable admins
|This page is considered a policy on Uncyclopedia.
It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that everyone should follow, unless they don't want to, in which case they are free to ignore it so long as they're not being a dick. Please make use of the standing on one knee position to propose to this policy.
For the most part, Uncyclopedia Admins (administrators, or "sysops") are friendly and will help you out if you ask nicely. Admins are the elite Uncyclopedia editors whose good deeds got punished by getting them maintenance powers and the duty of banning users and deleting stunningly bad articles.
Why contributions get deleted
On some humor wikis, a newbie is instantly accepted if he or she makes an edit that:
- Was full of random ideas and possibly the editor's own opinion, 'cos that's funny, innit?
- Had tons of exclamation points to show how funny you think it was!!!
- Used the names of Oscar Wilde, Adolf Hitler, and several Captains in a single sentence
- Included a link to some other website that shows the article's subject at his very worst
- Was downright unreadable because it imitated the subject's speech impediment or dialect
- Was masterful at telling the exact same joke some other guy told on the line just before.
- Rants about the article's subject.
Unfortunately, on this website, any of the above could get your edit undone. As detailed in How To Be Funny And Not Just Stupid, it is not enough here to tell the truth, tell lies, imitate, ramble, babble, and point the reader to THE FACTS. None of that is funny unless you do actual work to make it funny in a clever new way. "Funny" here doesn't mean funny to you the editor/vandal, but potentially funny to some of our potential readers.
If it happens to you
- Find out what happened.
- If a single edit got deleted, click on History at the top of the article. You will see your own Uncyclopedia user name in the list, and right above it there should be an entry of Him What Deleted You, and usually an Edit Summary that says why.
- If an entire page went away, trying to read it should instead produce a message that it is gone, which should include information on who deleted it and why. ("Who" will be an Admin, whom you don't want to screw with; more on this below.) You can also check the the Deletion Log. (Hint - put the name of the deleted page in the "Title" field and hit "Submit Query".) VFD means it was voted to be deleted.
- Do not freak out.
Do not phone your attorney to file a lawsuit, create a militia, or start calling people names. Instead, take the following steps:
- Contact your adversary by posting a nice, calm message on their talk page. If you don't see a reason for the deletion/removal, request one. If an edit was reverted by another editor, you can ask any active Admin to arbitrate. If an Admin deleted an article, post to that same Admin.
- Wait for the Admin to reply. We know it's hard, as your disquiet is more important than the Admin's day job, but Uncyclopedia does not pay overtime. Give the Admin a day or two.
- Read the reply. If it's wholly unreasonable, you may proceed to The Village Dump or the Complaints Department, or better yet the Ministry of Love where the Admins hang out in a forum, where you may take it up with a larger group.
- Explain what you had in mind.
Some Admins and Patrollers delete-on-sight, perhaps due to a history of blunt head trauma. Deleting a contribution is much easier than repairing it. If your contribution needs help to be truly funny — but also includes grammar mistakes and bad coding — the reviewer may opt to revert rather than repair.
Explaining what you had in mind will convince your reviewer that you and your edit are both worth spending more time on to get it right. The result will be even better than what you wrote originally.
- Do not just bull ahead.
Registered Uncyclopedians are due an explanation, but even if you do not get one, do not feel free to retroactively restore your work.
- If an article was deleted, don't simply re-create it. (Not even with different content.) You might pursue your ideas on a new page in your own private userspace. (See How pages work.)
- If the History shows that any Uncyclopedian undid your work, and explained why using the Edit Summary, don't simply undo that edit.
When one Uncyclopedian provides a reason, and a new Uncyclopedian restores his version without providing a reason or a counterargument, this is really bad. It gives people the impression you think Uncyclopedia is a sandbox of your own, or just a place for you to get in fights and win them. In fact, it's a group writing project where we have to pull together (after a friendly tussle) to produce a pleasing result.
If days pass without a response, consult another Admin than the one who undid your edit.
- Do not cop an attitude.
Undoing your contribution should have been based only on study of your contribution, and you should stick to that topic in discussions about it.
- Do not try to turn the topic to the personality of the person who undid your work: Whether he is power-mad, thinks his tastes are better than yours, or dislikes an entire class of people like you.
- Do not make the excuse that the rest of the article is just as crappy. Someone drawing the assignment to review your creation sees only your creation, and the paragraphs before and after it. He might not elect to rewrite the entire article but simply want to make sure it doesn't grow even worse.
- Do not make the excuse that other articles are just as crappy. We know it; there are over 30,000 articles here of all different levels of quality. But two wrongs don't make a right.
- Do not cite your newness. It is certainly an excuse for not knowing what you did was not helpful, but the thing to do now is:
- Learn what is taught. If an Admin points you to a policy guideline, show good faith and actually read it. If an Admin also does you the favor of teaching you the standard way to sign/date/indent your messages, start doing so without having to be told a second time. Thousands of people have visited since 2005, leading Admins to write down these guidelines. If you start your life here by needing special treatment, before you even show you can write a funny article, no one will have time for it.
- Humility goes a long way. Self-promotion is fashionable on social media, but discussing an editorial disagreement is not the place for it. Working with other verbal artists requires compromise and consideration for the other person. Do not think so highly of yourself as to overlook common courtesy.
- Do not be a pest.
You are welcome to post to anyone's talk page asking them about articles they have written or about Uncyclopedia in general. (You might have better results posting to the page of someone who has been on the site in the last year.) Everyone, to some extent, is here to get his stuff read by others, ideally by getting it voted onto the website main page (a process that, at the extreme, is called being an "attention whore"), and we have a proud tradition of responding to serious dialogue unseriously. If really necessary, you can open a Forum (a thread) at the Village Dump.
However, if you post about content to the exclusion of ever writing your own content, if you create junky new pages that someone has to follow you around and delete, if "posting" turns into "pestering," and if you flagrantly refuse to learn what is taught (see just above) but make a habit of breaking the same rule over again, then Admins may decide that they and others risk spending so much time babysitting you that writing funny stuff will suffer, in which case you will have to be gotten rid of.
This line is fuzzy, but most of the people who cross it go way across it. A modest first step, if you are getting the impression someone thinks you are a pest, is to pester someone else. There are users here of all different levels of immaturity and you might actually find collaborators such that twelve of you can write one good article.
Admin goals and basic rules
The goal of the Admins is to encourage users to keep writing funny stuff. One way is to show people that there are stable rules that defend their work. Admins try not to act out of whim or with impunity, nor to give the impression that they did.
- Admins try to be consistent, but have the ultimate right to maintain the site as a useful place on which to contribute, and this allows bans for misbehavior even if not covered by a Rule. The website has a Ban Policy to encourage Admins to react to misconduct consistently. Nevertheless, no rule can cover all unwanted behavior, and Admins sometimes use their own judgment.
- Admins do make mistakes. Users have the right to question the decisions of Admins, and Admins have the right to ban users for questioning their authority. On any wiki, no edit, no page deletion, and no ban is irreversible.
- Admins should justify any ban. An Uncyclopedian who has registered a user name has the right to know what he did wrong, not just in the Ban Log, which he might not know how to look up, but on his talk page, which he can read during his ban. If there is some policy that he violated, the message on his talk page should point to a page he can read. This will help leave the impression that the ban was nothing personal.
- Admins should act in concert. Admins should not (usually) unban users whom they did not ban. An Admin banning a constructive user should inform other Admins and agree on the best course of action. A user who is banned by Mommy should not go running to Daddy to get unbanned, nor set Admin against Admin to get the best result he can. If at all possible, interact directly with the Admin what banned you.
- Admins are not above the rules. No one is above the rules. Though there are probably no Admins who believe they are above the rules. We wouldn't have opped them if they did, right?
- Admins are vital to maintaining Uncyclopedia's quality. Users write funny stuff, and Admins prevent anarchy and rap knuckles with rulers, and may also write funny stuff if the former leaves any time for it. Both groups need one another, and therefore should be civil to one another. Some users think they want to be Admins, but that comes from the naïveté of not being one. Some day you will be one, and even later you will wish you had had another year of not being one, like paying your own rent.
There are many complaints around the Internet that some of the Admins we have here are real bastards. There is one reason for that: because it is pointless to complain about Admins we no longer have here. However, it might help put it in perspective to read about Uncyclopedia administration in the old days, from the Admins' point of view:
- See the Deletion Policy for further information.
- Don't even think about filing lawsuits. Like regattas and golf tournaments, it is a basic rule not to try to redress a loss here with a win in District Court. You are not even allowed to sue at Wikipedia, and we copy their policies, whenever we are not ridiculing them. Also: your opponent is anonymous, and probably in a foreign country.
- That last bit was a joke. But seriously, please do not act as though preserving your honor or winning a piss-fight were more important than writing funny stuff, or were so important as to justify pulling other Uncyclopedians off writing funny stuff. Making your life here a campaign against individuals or against the website is eminently bannable.