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Creatures Wiki:Guidelines/Biographical Content

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Revision as of 19:48, 14 October 2014 by R Saiga (talk | contribs)
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Editnorn.png This page contains a proposed guideline on the Creatures Wiki.
It is currently up for discussion as to its merit before being made official.
  • Title: Biographical Content
  • Summary: Biographical content on the Creatures Wiki must be accurate and respect subjects' privacy and dignity.
  • Proposed: R Saiga 16:58, 12 October 2014 (EDT)


As the Creatures Wiki is about the Creatures community, the wiki will inevitably contain information about figures in the community. Due to the often personal nature of biographical content, material must be treated sensitively while following a high standard of quality.

Guideline text[edit]

Standards and maintenance[edit]

Biographies are not user-pages. Biographical content is subject to the same policies and standards as other content on the Creatures Wiki. Content must be informative, verifiable, up-to-date, and comply the wiki's policy of No Personal Attacks. The subjects of biographical articles must have made note-worthy contributions to the Creatures community. Biographical articles must contain biographical content—a biographical article should not be indistinguishable from an article on a project worked on by the subject.

Subjects should be referred to by the identity they use in the Creatures community. If Janna, a human figure in the Creatures community, uses the moniker "Breadburner" and presents herself as a toaster who prefers the pronoun "it", then the wiki must refer to Breadburner, a toaster, and use the pronoun "it".

Privacy of personal information[edit]

Biographical content may NOT include mailing addresses, home addresses, or business addresses. Email addresses are only allowed on pages of development ideas, future projects, projects in development, and user-pages. Real names may be posted to the Creatures Wiki only if the subject has participated in the Creatures community under their real name. This participation must be cited.

Personally identifiable information unrelated to the Creatures community (eg. the name of one's pet, state of residence, physical appearance, nationality, etc.) may be deleted at the subject's request. Such requests should be sent to sent to an administrator.

It is perfectly acceptable for biographical articles not to be illustrated. If images are used, they must comply with the wiki's image use policy. Additionally, photographs and realistic likenesses of actual persons may be posted to the wiki only if the subject is of 18 years of age or older. Unrealistic likenesses of persons (eg. fan art of creatures, photographs of inanimate objects, etc.) may be posted regardless of the subject's age. Any image depicting a person, realistic or not, must be immediately taken down at the subject's request. Requests for deletion should be sent to an administrator.

External links to pages containing personal information and media are allowed only if the pages are explicitly Creatures-related and comply with the Creatures Wiki policy of No Personal Attacks.

Deletion of biographical articles[edit]

Biographical articles may be deleted only with the approval of community consensus. Deletion proposals are to be discussed on the discussion page of the respective article. Generally, deletion proposals should be based on the (lack of) quality of the article, not on a desire to remove personal information. (Please see the section, Privacy of personal information.) Biographical information present on other articles (eg. on fan-created content) may be removed along with the deleted biography if they do not add to the quality of the other articles.

Deleted content may be restored only with the approval of community consensus.


The above guideline may be discussed in the space below. When a consensus is reached, the guideline will be either rejected or put into effect. Sign your comments with four tildes (~). You can indent by putting a colon (:) before your comment.

Great to see this is being discussed. How does the deletion guideline (delete only with consensus) intersect with the idea of courtesy vanishing? What are the general principles that need to be taken into account when deciding whether a biographical article should be deleted? --ScoobyGambit 18:02, 12 October 2014 (EDT)

The matters that need to be considered while deciding whether to delete biographical article should be the same matters for any other article on the Creatures wiki: relevance to the Creatures community, and quality. If the subject of the article has made no contributions of note anywhere in the Creatures community, then the biography is superfluous. If the subject has made notable contributions but zero to no biographical information is available on the subject (eg. the biography is largely indistinguishable from the article on the person's project), then the biography is superfluous.
In the case of a biography mostly containing personally identifiable information that puts the subject's personal safety at risk, the subject should go to an administrator to request the deletion of that information. Any other information in the biography that can't be used to personally identify the subject ("Breadburner developed the Cookie Ettins", versus "Breadburner is a blonde 34-year-old woman") should remain. The community can then decide on whether the biography is substantial enough to remain on the wiki or should be deleted.
A courtesy vanishing would mostly affect the records of the person as a wiki user (user pages, contribution logs), not the biography. The biggest effect a courtesy vanishing would have on a biography is the removal of any references to the subject's role on the wiki (links to user pages, the statement "Breadburner is also active on the wiki"). Courtesy vanishing is not a way to remove personally identifiable information from one's biography; Stephen Colbert can (and has) edited Wikipedia, but if he had a courtesy vanishing that doesn't mean Wikipedia should delete their articles on him!
Thank you for bringing these matters up. I'll edit the proposed policy to make it clearer on these matters. R Saiga 19:02, 12 October 2014 (EDT)
Thanks for the clarification - I broadly agree with 'if the biography is largely the same as the project, then the biography can be deleted', and the principle of redacting publicly available personally identifiable information. I wonder if it would be possible or desirable to use a variant of revdel to aid in this. I'm not sure I agree with you about the courtesy vanishing, though. The difference there is that Steven Colbert is a public figure - most of the wiki editors who might also have biographies about them here are not. In the past, a blanking of the article by the subject of the article has been enough to warrant a courtesy deletion. While this system might have had some room for error (when the subject is not as infamous as k9norn but might otherwise be a threat), it can help to spare embarrassment for youthful behaviour. --ScoobyGambit 19:30, 12 October 2014 (EDT)
From my understanding, a courtesy vanishing is taken by users who no longer want to be associated with the wiki at all. Remorseful editors who would like to make valuable contributions should make a clean start: retire their old account and make a new account. R Saiga 20:10, 12 October 2014 (EDT)
What if the editors want the courtesy vanishing to apply to their biographical article in the wiki? An editor blanking their page (whether it be their User: page or the biography page) has been interpreted as a 'courtesy blanking request' in the past. For example - say someone joined the CC when they were 15, and editors (and hopefully the subject as well) wrote their biography. In as little as five years time, that 15 year old is a 20 year old, who might be applying for jobs etc, and they have noticed that they're googleable on the Creatures Wiki under their CC name - or that their CC name is their real name (because they used them interchangeably). They might blank the article. How might this be addressed? --ScoobyGambit 20:24, 12 October 2014 (EDT)
If the person in question participated in the Creatures community under their real name, then I think the best course of action would be for administrators to change both the wiki username and the name present in related articles (biography and projects), remove personally identifiable material from related articles (including external links to certain pages), and use a revision deletion feature to redact logs, page histories, and contribution histories. That would preserve information beneficial to the Creatures community while allowing the person privacy, and if they so wish a clean start. R Saiga 23:08, 12 October 2014 (EDT)

Maybe, the other thing would be to consider it an ok thing for biographies to be unillustrated - and to prefer avatars etc. to photos? Most of our biographies are about community members, and even if the subject is over 18 and there are photos publicly available (e.g. through Facebook) they might not want their photo to be on their article. --ScoobyGambit 19:30, 12 October 2014 (EDT)

That's a really good point. I think that should be elaborated in the wiki's image use policy instead of here, though. R Saiga 20:10, 12 October 2014 (EDT)
I think it could be reiterated in both - because some folks will look for it under here, and some folks will look for it under the image use policy. Could we make it stronger by putting the non-requirement for biographies to be illustrated right at the front of that paragraph? --ScoobyGambit 20:24, 12 October 2014 (EDT)
I think it would be too unwieldy to reiterate the image policy here. I've moved the reference to the image policy to the beginning of the paragraph, though. I've kept the reminder that biographies do not need to be illustrated at the end of the paragraph, but worded it to make it stronger. R Saiga 20:33, 12 October 2014 (EDT)
I meant reiterate the 'ok for biographies to be unillustrated' part - in both the biography page and the image use page. The other concern I have is that by saying 'requests should be posted here, here and here' is that it effectively raises the profile of the image, and makes the process more unwieldy for novice editors. I would rewrite it as follows:
It is perfectly acceptable for biographical articles to be unillustrated. If images are used, they must comply with the wiki's image use policy. Additionally, photographs and realistic likenesses of actual persons may be posted to the wiki only if the subject is of 18 years of age or older. Unrealistic likenesses of persons (eg. fan art of creatures, photographs of inanimate objects, etc.) may be posted regardless of the subject's age. Any image depicting a person, realistic or not, must be immediately taken down at the subject's request. Requests for deletion can be posted on the image's page, the image's talk page or an administrator's talk page.
Hope this helps. --ScoobyGambit 20:57, 12 October 2014 (EDT)
Oh, that sounds great! I'll change the paragraph right away. R Saiga 21:06, 12 October 2014 (EDT)

Major guideline revisions[edit]

I've made this section so the community doesn't have to dig through an edit history full of minor wording changes just to see what's changed.