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T-Vox Rules and Regulations/Archive 1

Please note: This page is converted from the former T-Vox wiki as an historical document from T-Vox’s development. It is no longer updated and is archived for preservation.

This page contains all entries in Talk:T-Vox Rules and Regulations prior to 22 October 2006. Please do not add to the content of this page, instead make all new comments on the current talk page. Thank you.

Rule Changes Jane Thinks Would Have Prevented Yesterday’s Problem


So I’m proposing some changes that will hopefully prevent the kinds of problems I caused for you guys. Maybe they should go in a new “Guidelines for Editing The Wiki” section? Or they could be added as new rules. I did my best to stick with quotes from our “discussion” yesterday two but my opinions may have crept in where my glue language involved bad inferences (or I may have juxtaposed things that you meant to stand as independent clauses whose nuances are informed by their distance from each other… Juxtaposing it all may change your intent). Basically, feel free to radically edit the actual proposal below before (and if) you want to copy and paste it into the main page’s content 🙂

These rules seem like they’re the de facto rules anyway so I’ll be following them in suggesting these changes for discussion. In accordance with the suggested rule 9 below I’m requesting that Zoe remove any Americanisms.

(I’ve never learned British English and only know a few of the differences (like Gray/Grey and some of the obvious one’s like color/colour… I didn’t even realize that “Latin America” was an Americanism… out of curiosity, what’s the British term for “countries in the western hemisphere where Spanish is spoken as the dominant tongue which therefore have certain noticeable similarities (like the term for and culture of the ‘transvesti’)”? I asked someone from South America and he thought “Latin America” was the correct term unless you’re including Brazil in which case it should be Ibero-American.)

– Jane S 20:17, 12 October 2006 (BST)

The British term for what you call ‘Latin America’ is South America. Similarly, ‘Oceania’ doesn’t exist in British English, it’s Australasia. I’ll go through your suggestions here one by one but I should point out that this rules page is now only used for the Forum section of the site; the rules for the wiki having been separated and up for discussion in the Policies section of The Snug. –Zoe Robinson 22:12, 12 October 2006 (BST)

Proposed New Rules/Guidlelines

Rule #7 Please make no significant changes to pre-existing content without discussing it first

We always ask that people discuss major changes first using the attached T-Vox message boards along with the discussion pages attached to each Wiki page. Content is edited after discussion. The only exceptions are people filling in the dead links with new pages. That’s okay because it isn’t over-writing pre-existing information

To be honest, factual changes to information in the wiki can be made without discussion if references are added to the document at the same time as changes are made. I say references are neeeded because this allows changes to be quickly and easily checked for accuracy and also removes the possibility of people changing things to what they believe is the general consensus on truth (i.e. it’s false but ‘everyone’ – by which I mean they – think it’s true without looking up whether it is or not). Some people call this truthiness, I call it believing everything TV tells you.

Major changes to the site must always be discussed before implementation. There’s just too much that’s being planned for changes to be made without causing problems. Also, if something big is changed and it’s not discussed the chances are that it will break a lot of things if the change is simply implemented in one part of the wiki.

Filling-in dead links is nice but, again, references are needed and the neutral point of view policy must still be adhered to. T-Vox is linked to by a number of organisations including organisations joined to parts of the Civil Service and the last thing we need is for them to look bad by linking to something that’s wrong or could be taken as being wrong. Besides, opinions should be kept for the forum or, at most, user pages. We want to present the facts and only the facts. –Zoe Robinson 22:19, 12 October 2006 (BST)

Rule #8 T-Vox is British website for international readers

We have sections for Americans, Canadians, Australians and South Africans to name but a few but we do not tolerate the inclusion of Americanisms. If you’re American and don’t know which of your words are part of this dialect of English, please run your text by someone familiar with British Enlgish for copy editing before posting it to the wiki or it will be reverted without discussion.

I see what you’re trying to say here but I think it’s coming across a little harsh. The reason we use British English first and foremost (I’ll be the first to admit that some Americanisms have crept in here and there but we try to remove them whenever they’re found) is because this is a British website. British English uses different spellings and, in places, grammar as well as having a noticeably different word-use. This can lead to confusion and misunderstandings where both British and American English (notably US English since Canadian English is closer to British English) are used on the same website. –Zoe Robinson 22:23, 12 October 2006 (BST)

Rule #9 T-Vox will contain no opinions or advice that is problematic in Britain

Various British organizations (such as support groups within the British Civil Service, the National Union of Students?) use the T-Vox Wiki as an off-site extension of their webisite so they don’t have to duplicate the information and so they cannot be held accountable for the contents and accused of providing certain types of information (as it isn’t located on their servers). Many of the articles are checked and double checked to be accurate such as the pages on support organisations and legal issues. We can’t afford to have any hint of personal opinion where we have to be giving people accurate advice on things for a start – one of the reasons we insist on discussions first.

I think I covered some of this in my response to your proposal for ‘Rule Eight’. Basically, we have a neutral point of view policy and a strict focus on the facts. Personal opinion can be given on the forum or, if it must be, on user pages but not in the main wiki. This is especially true on legal, medical and surgical articles where there is clear reason for there being no space for opinion. –Zoe Robinson 22:26, 12 October 2006 (BST)

Rule #10 Zoë pays for the web space, the web hosting, and the domain name, so I guess she has some say in how it all looks

You wouldn’t visit some-one’s house and start rearranging the furniture so please don’t make changes to pre-existing content without giving Zoe a chance to provide input on the discussion first. This is simply a politeness issue. This doesn’t conflict with the Status of Moderators section below because all of Zoe’s opinions on the general tone of the wiki do “uphold the good standing of the site”. Moreover, the Status of Moderators section means “equal treatment under the rules” but the rules (and simple politeness) are either silent on reversion policy or give Zoe the permission to revert anything she doesn’t like if there’s no initial discussion that includes her.

I feel this is a personal attack and so I cannot see anyone agreeing to this going into the rules. However, I’d like to take this opportunity to explain an aspect of British law that everyone should be aware of while editing content on T-Vox.

T-Vox is hosted in the United Kingdom and thus is subject to British laws. One such law is that the publisher of documentation (be it a newspaper, book, website or whatever) is legally responsible for the content of said document. I am the owner of this website and thus I am legally its publisher. If someone puts up something on this website that could be taken as illegal – or even just offensive (look up our ‘hate crime’ legislation if you want to know more) – then if I’ve not taken steps to remove that content I am seen as endorsing it. A publisher that endorses illegal/offensive/etc material is as liable as its creator.

As such, if there’s anything on this website I think could get T-Vox into trouble it is my legal duty to remove it and I extend this duty to anything that violates the neutral point of view policy because I don’t want to run the risk of setting case law on hate crimes. –Zoe Robinson 22:34, 12 October 2006 (BST)

A Rule Where “T-Vox” Should be Clarified to be “the T-Vox Forum”


This is just something I noticed. It’s less of a big deal and I’m writing it using the American legal terms because I don’t know how British stuff works, but I assume there are similar issues in Britain as what’s called “fair use” in the US. Please don’t jump on me for “adding more Americanisms” just edit them out with the appropriate Britishisms 🙂

This just seems like if someone is reading the wiki they may not know about the forums yet and it would be helpful to be clear about that kind of stuff.

Plus someone from the forums might not realize how unsafe the wiki is by nature and mistakely add private content that they really shouldn’t be adding.

– Jane S 20:17, 12 October 2006 (BST)

I think what you’re referring to comes about simply because the forum policy has been recently split from the wiki policy and this page has yet to be updated to reflect that. –Zoe Robinson 22:36, 12 October 2006 (BST)

Proposed New Rules/Guidlelines

Rule Three: Right To Privacy (CLARIFICATION OF RULE)

All members have the right to post in the T-Vox forum without fear that their views will be transmitted elsewhere or reposted outside of the site without their permission. Members are not permitted to repost material from these forums elsewhere, be it online or in print, or convey material from the forums to a non-member without the express written permission of the material’s creator, unless the material is being passed on to law enforcement agencies in the course of complying with rules 2 and 5.

On the other hand, the T-Vox wiki content is governed by the GNU Free Documentation License 1.2 which means no editors of the wiki should write there if they aren’t comfortable with their writings being (somewhat) freely distributed according to this licence.

The forum is a safe, protected, and guarded by default copyright laws and the added stength of these rules (which you agree to by entering the forum) that prevent even “fair use” of forum content. Keep in mind however that the wiki is the opposite of safe, with a license agreed to by each editor (with every edit) giving away even some of the minimal copyright protections.

Again, I think the problem you’re seeing here is simply the result of the wiki and forum policies diverging but the page having yet to be updated. The forum is covered by copyright law, data protection law, etc. The wiki is covered by a copyleft system that allows its contents, excepting the user pages (covered by UK copyright law and international treaties), to be used elsewhere. Please note that copyleft (GNU Documentation Licences and other licences) is different from ‘fair use’ as copyleft allows more uses of content. –Zoe Robinson 22:40, 12 October 2006 (BST)


I have nothing much to add to what Zoë has said, as I believe she has answered all the points. I agree with what she has had to say and would like to say that I support her comments.

–Jennyemily 23:12, 12 October 2006 (BST)
“Zoë pays for the web space, the web hosting, and the domain name, so I guess she has some say in how it all looks. You wouldn’t visit some-one’s house and start rearranging the furniture so please don’t make changes to pre-existing content without giving Zoe a chance to provide input on the discussion first. This is simply a politeness issue.”

This was me being bitchy, but it wasn’t meant as an attack. I was just paraphrasing or directly quoting things that were said to me on the wiki and in chat… just copy and paste and edit as little as possible for flow. Juxtaposing it with your lip service to equal treatment was maybe a low blow… but you wrote the lip service…

Take it for what you will, but my impression of the wiki admins was: hostile, controlling, angry about change, arrogant, unwilling to see themselves as non-central, willing to accuse decentering critiques as “mere opinions”, and rude. (Well, Jenny was the good cop, and Zoe was the other cop. So maybe I shouldn’t accuse Jenny of that whole list?) I got it in response to actions that any “small wiki operator” I can imagine who took wiki ideals seriously would have been happy and friendly and “how can I help keep this behavior up?” about.

Rule 10 wasn’t an attack (unless it’s offensive to hold up a mirror).

I know I’m not being delicate and deferential here but “polite pleading little girl” but it didn’t get the “let me help you, sweetie” response it might have gotten from a guy or the “oh, I’m sorry, I let my emotions get away from me” response I’d expect from a girl. So I throw a catty snit fit and at least now I’m getting an “I feel this is a personal attack” response. It’s like… Duh, now are you ready to see that there are emotional issues here?

I’m just trying to say, maybe, you know, you might want to think about whose really in charge and responsible for the wiki and what that person or those people really want. Be bold and up front about it and say what you’ll revert without discussion and what you won’t. Then you probably won’t have people like me feeling cheated outed of six hours of their life before realizing their values and yours are *totally* different and their actions aren’t valued by you.

It’s not that your values are bad. Strong people who take their legal responsibilities in a country without proper freedom of expression are, pretty much, nothing but admirable in most circumstances. I just feel like I was suckered into trying to help the wiki and then attacked for it because I didn’t know about the sharp poinky stuff just beneath the surface of a seemingly welcome harbor.

Put some signs up. Say “bad sailing but great fishing!” (Bad for anarchic wiki idealists, good for team players!) Or whatever. That’s all I was trying to offer with these rules. This is how an anarchic wiki idealist sees you’re site in practice, so maybe you’d want to put something in your theory so we don’t bother you.

(Also, “South America” is also an Americanism… for “Panama-ish and south”. It’s a geographic term. Latin America refers to land that’s home to certain certain cultures and includes countries like Guetemala and Mexico which have hispanic cultures but aren’t “south of the bottleneck”. To call Mexico “South America” instead “Latin America” is insulting to Mexico because it’s north of the bottleneck but you’re pretending you’re making geographic distinctions when you’re really’ making cultural distinctions that exclude Mexico as “part of our group”. So if you don’t have to worry about the culture of the western hemisphere maybe you don’t need a clean and respectful term for “the places with hispanic culture” but in the US we do… and as I mentioned up at the top of the page, a term like transvesti would need the “Latin America” category tag… not the South America category tag… unless you want to be insulting our of ignorance… or now that I’ve brought it up out of pride.)

And sorry for not putting this discussion in “The Snug”… I didn’t realize that meant “small room for discussion” but thought from the article title that it was maybe a Britishism for a gaff… which seemed sorta cross dresssery and spooked me. Maybe “Wiki Policies” would be a better name for it? And maybe in general if you’re trying to serve an international community you could shoot for words that have unambiguous meanings internationally?

Or not… rock that British pride! (That’s why I suggested Rule 8.) Just *say* you’re rocking the British pride up front so I’ll know this is yet another regional effort where differences aren’t respected and open to “bridging discussion based on universalist aspirations”.

(Plus you need to edit the front page (both versions of it) where they say: “This is also the place to find the T-Vox Rules and Regulations, which govern the conduct of all members of T-Vox, be they on the Forum, in the Chat Room or here on the Wiki.” That needs a “Forum Policies”, “Wiki Policies”, and “Chat Room Policies” rewriting probably… or “Forum Policies”, “The Snug”, and “Chat Room Policies” if you like the british pub vibe for the wiki.)

Anyway, I know I’m a handful. Sorry for ruffling your feathers. Good luck with your wiki.

– Jane S 05:57, 13 October 2006 (BST)

I still am having difficulty in understanding why you are having so much difficulty in realising that you strolled into what you initially claimed you thought was an “abandoned Wiki” and started changing huge chunks of it without even waiting to gain access to the forum to be able to discuss it, or even discussing it on the Wiki. A lot of what you were writing seemed to take an opinion, which again is something we worked quite hard to avoid on the Wiki.

It is a politeness issue – turning up on Wikipedia and doing the same would actually get your IP address banned from there, so I think we at least are more laid back than the thousands of Wikipedia contributers who would have taken offence at sudden sweeping changes of pages they had been slowly updating carefully over a long time without even any discussion first. Is it so hard to discuss things with people who have been here working on the Wiki for a long time?

What you did was somewhat thoughtless, and I find it hard to believe that you are still defending your attitude that you have some kind of right to waltz into a database, change things willy-nilly and then expect to be thanked for it? Well great – you showed yourself to have been unaware even of large chunks of pages within the Wiki that make it apparent what this project is about, and you admitted you weren’t even aware that T-VOX was more than just a Wiki.

A final little point, that Mexico is in North America, not South America. It’s a geographical thing based on the physical location of a country, not to do with language spoken or particular culture which is a far more illogical system – especially when Latin is a language quite different from Spanish or Portugese.

–Jennyemily 08:28, 13 October 2006 (BST)


Jane_S, you are still making personal attacks, still failing to admit you came in here and vandalised a group project because you failed to read what you were changing. I will not tollerate any more personal attacks so consider this your final warning: cease your tirade or you will be removed. –Zoe Robinson 08:57, 13 October 2006 (BST)