PhysicsWiki:User pages

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Writings, information, discussions, and activities not closely related to PhysicsWiki's goals
  • A weblog recording your non-PhysicsWiki activities.
  • Extensive discussion not related to PhysicsWiki.
  • Extensive personal opinions on matters unrelated to PhysicsWiki, wiki philosophy, collaboration, free content, the Creative Commons, etc.
  • Extensive writings and material on topics having virtually no chance whatsoever of being directly useful to the project, its community, or an online reference site article. (For example in the latter case, because it is pure original research, is in complete disregard of reliable sources, or is clearly unencyclopedic for other clear reasons.)
  • Communications unrelated to PhysicsWiki, with people uninvolved with the project or its related work.
  • Games, roleplaying sessions, secret pages and other things pertaining to "entertainment" rather than "writing an online reference site". Such activities are generally frowned upon by the community. Games of no educational value relevant to the project are routinely deleted at MfD.
Promotional and advocacy material and links
  • Advertising or promotion of an individual, business, organization, group, or viewpoint unrelated to PhysicsWiki (such as commercial sites or referral links).
  • Extensive self-promotional material, especially when not directly relevant to PhysicsWiki.
Very divisive or offensive material not related to encyclopedia editing
  • Polemical statements unrelated to PhysicsWiki, or statements attacking or vilifying groups of editors, persons, or other entities (these are generally considered divisive and removed, and reintroducing them is often considered disruptive).
  • Material that can be viewed as attacking other editors, including the recording of perceived flaws. The compilation of factual evidence (diffs) in user subpages, for purposes such as preparing for a dispute resolution process, is permitted provided it will be used in a timely manner.
  • Users should generally not maintain in public view negative information related to others without very good reason. Negative evidence, laundry lists of wrongs, collations of diffs and criticisms related to problems, etc., should be removed, blanked, or kept privately (i.e., not on the wiki) if they will not be imminently used, and the same once no longer needed.
Personal information
  • Personal information of other persons without their consent.
  • Inappropriate or excessive personal information unrelated to PhysicsWiki.
PhysicsWiki content not suited to userspace
  • Images which you are not free to use (usually fair use images; see below).
  • Categories and templates intended for other usage, in particular those for articles and guidelines.

In general, if you have material that you do not wish others to edit, or that is otherwise inappropriate for PhysicsWiki, it should be placed on a personal web site. Many free and low-cost web hosting, email, and weblog services are widely available, and are a proper place for content unrelated to PhysicsWiki. For wiki-style community collaboration, you can download the MediaWiki software and install it on your own server if you want full control, or use one of many online wiki farms.

Advocacy or support of grossly improper behaviors with no project benefit

Statements or pages that seem to advocate, encourage, or condone these behaviors:[Note 1] vandalism, copyright violation, edit warring, harassment, privacy breach, defamation, and acts of violence (includes all forms of violence but not mere statements of support for controversial groups or regimes that some may interpret as an encouragement of violence).

These may be removed, redacted or collapsed by any user to avoid the appearance of acceptability for PhysicsWiki, and existing speedy deletion criteria may apply. To preserve traditional leeway over userspace, other kinds of material should be handled as described below unless otherwise agreed by consensus.

Categories, templates that add categories, and redirects

Do not put your userpage or subpages, including draft articles, into content categories. Userpages and subpages may be placed in appropriate administrative categories, such as Category:User essays.

Especially note that templates often add categories themselves. You can prevent this while the article is being drafted, by putting tlx| between the {{ and the template name, like this: {{tlx|stub|any parameters}}.

You can also force a portion of text to be ignored by adding <!-- in front of it and --> after it, or by adding a colon before "Category", like this: [[:Category:Bridges]] to force a category link to act like a plain wikilink.

User talk pages should not redirect to anything other than the talk page of another account controlled by the same user.
However, redirects from userspace subpages to mainspace are common and acceptable.

User pages that look like project pages

Userspace is also not a substitute for project space (PhysicsWiki:...), nor should a userspace page be used as primary documentation for any PhysicsWiki policy, guideline, practice, or established concept. If your user page related to the project becomes widely used or linked in project space, or has functional use similar to a project page, consider moving it into project space or merging it with other similar pages already existing there.

Content copied from mainspace

Old copies of mainspace articles should be deleted. Mainspace material may be copied to userspace for short-term, active drafting or experimental purposes (the template {{userspace draft}} can be added to the top of the page to identify these). Note the requirements of PhysicsWiki:Copying within PhysicsWiki. Satisfactory edits should be promptly incorporated into the mainspace article and the userspace copy deleted (use {{db-u1}}), as content forking represents an attribution hazard.

User pages that look like articles

Userspace is not a free web host and should not be used to indefinitely host pages that look like articles, old revisions, or deleted content, or your preferred version of disputed content. Pages that look like articles outside of mainspace should not be indexed for search engines.

When a userspace page reaches a point where it can be included as an article consider moving it into mainspace or using its content appropriately in other relevant articles. {{Userpage blanked}} may be added to such pages that have not been edited for a considerable amount of time.

Actual fake articles should be deleted as incompatible with the purpose of the project. Pages that egregiously present false information may be tagged with {{db-hoax}}. Blatant promotional may qualify for {{db-g11}} tagging. Clearly inappropriate content created by non-genuine contributors should be tagged with {{db-u5}}. Pages that preserve material previously deleted, without an active attempt to address the reasons for deletion, if left live, may be deleted by tagging with {{db-g4}}. Less blatant cases are routinely deleted at PW:MfD.

Old unfinished draft articles

Unfinished draft articles may be moved to draft namespace or listed at PhysicsWiki:WikiProject Abandoned Drafts for adoption by other editors if the original author no longer wants them or appears to have stopped editing.[Note 2]

Old drafting pages in the userspace of long inactive users:

  1. If suitable for mainspace, move to mainspace;
  2. consider replacing the content with {{Inactive userpage blanked}} or {{Userpage blanked}};
  3. If the material is promotional, or otherwise unsuitable, and the author was never a serious PhysicsWiki contributor, consider tagging for speedy deletion per PW:CSD#U5.
  4. if of some potential but problematic (e.g., BLP issues, reliability issues, promotional issues), then blank during periods of inactivity;
  5. if an actual draft version of a copy-pasted article, redirect or request a history merge; and finally,
  6. if of no potential and problematic even if blanked, seek deletion.

Note: Redirects from userspace subpages to mainspace are common and acceptable. PhysicsWiki:Soft redirect is an alternative considered preferable by some.

In a RfC held in March 2016, the community held the view that drafts have no expiration date and thus, cannot and should not be deleted on the grounds of their age alone. In another RfC held in April 2016, the community made the following decisions:

  • GNG does not apply to drafts.
  • For userspace drafts where notability is unlikely to be achieved, consensus is that they should not be kept indefinitely. However, the community did not arrive at a specified time duration.
  • Drafts can be moved across namespaces or submitted for AfC without the author's explicit permission if it's fit to be an article considering the user is "reasonably" inactive. Again, "reasonably" was not defined by the community.
  • Userspace drafts which do not meet article content standards should not be moved to mainspace in order to seek deletion.
  • Any editor who intends to improve old userspace drafts can move them provided the user is "reasonably" inactive.
  • In case a userspace draft was moved to mainspace but is not fit to be in mainspace, it must be returned to the parent location.

Non-free files

Do not include non-free files (copyrighted files lacking a free content license) on your user page or on any subpage thereof, per the non-free content policy. Non-free files found on user or user talk pages will be removed without warning and, if unused in a PhysicsWiki article, will be deleted entirely. Links to non-free files are acceptable—place a colon before the word "File" as in [[:File:Example.jpg]].

Images that would bring the project into disrepute

There is broad consensus that you should not have any image in your userspace that would bring the project into disrepute and you may be asked to remove such images. Content clearly intended as sexually provocative (images and in some cases text) or to cause distress and shock that appears to have little or no project benefit or using PhysicsWiki only as a web host or personal pages or for advocacy, may be removed by any user (or deleted), subject to appeal at deletion review.[Note 3] Context should be taken into account. Simple personal disclosures of a non-provocative nature on sexual matters (such as LGBT userboxes and relationship status) are unaffected.

Copyright violations

The same rules for copyright apply on userpages as in article space. Text must either be freely licensed or out of copyright; otherwise only a short quote can be used. If you use text from another source on your userpage, it should still be credited to the author, whether or not it is currently copyrighted.

Simulation and disruption of the MediaWiki interface

The PhysicsWiki community strongly discourages simulating the MediaWiki interface, except on the rare occasion when it is necessary for testing purposes. Included in this prohibition are fake user talk notification banners that mislead readers into thinking they have new messages.[Note 4]

CSS and other formatting codes that disrupt the Wikimedia interface, for example by preventing important links or controls from being easily seen or used, making text on the page hard to read or unreadable (other than by way of commenting out), or replacing the expected interface with a disruptive simulation, may be removed or remedied by any user. Inappropriate internal or external links that unexpectedly direct the reader to unreasonable locations or violate prohibitions on linking may also be removed or remedied by any user. Text, images, and non-disruptive formatting should be left as intact as possible. Users of such code should consider possible disruption to other skins and to diffs and old revisions.

Ownership and editing of user pages

This section applies to all pages within your user space.

Traditionally PhysicsWiki offers wide latitude to users to manage their user space as they see fit. However, pages in user space belong to the wider community. They are not a personal homepage, and do not belong to the user. They are part of PhysicsWiki, and exist to make collaboration among editors easier.

Bots and other users may edit pages in your user space or leave messages for you, though by convention others will not usually edit your user page itself, other than (rarely) to address significant concerns or place project-related tags. Material that clearly does not somehow further the goals of the project may be removed (see below), as may edits from banned users. Most community policies including No personal attacks and Biographies of living persons will apply to your user space, just as elsewhere. (Purely content policies such as original research and neutral point of view generally do not apply unless the material is moved into mainspace.)

As with all other edits, user space contributions are irrevocably licensed for copying and reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License and GNU Free documentation license.

Finally, a few specific notices and tags, if placed, may not be moved to a less visible subpage or deleted without discussion.

Removal of comments, notices, and warnings

Policy does not prohibit users, whether registered or unregistered, from removing comments from their own talk pages, although archiving is preferred. If a user removes material from their user page, it is normally taken to mean that the user has read and is aware of its contents. There is no need to keep them on display, and usually users should not be forced to do so. It is often best to simply let the matter rest if the issues stop. If they do not, or they recur, then any record of past warnings and discussions can be found in the page history if ever needed, and these diffs are just as good evidence of previous matters if needed.

A number of important matters may not be removed by the user—they are part of the wider community's processes:

  • Declined unblock requests regarding a currently active block.
  • Miscellany for deletion tags (while the discussion is in progress).
  • Speedy deletion tags and requests for uninvolved administrator help (an administrator will quickly determine if these are valid or not; use the link embedded in the notice to object and post a comment, do not just remove the tag).
  • For IP editors, templates and notes left to indicate other users share the same IP address. This includes schools, military installations, WiFi hotspots, and other shared IP addresses, but not dynamic IP addresses. Very old content on these pages may be removed.

Note: Restoring talk page notices, even if they should not be removed, is not a listed exception to the three-revert rule.

Editing of other editors' user and user talk pages

In general, it is usual to avoid substantially editing another's user and user talk pages other than where it is likely edits are expected and/or will be helpful. If unsure, ask. If a user asks you not to edit their user pages, it is sensible to respect their request, although a user cannot avoid administrator attention or appropriate project notices and communications by merely demanding their talk page not be posted to.

Handling inappropriate content

On your user pages

If the community lets you know that they would rather you delete some content from your user space, you should consider doing so—such content is only permitted with the consent of the community. Alternatively, you could move the content to another site, and link to it.

Although other editors will aim to respect your user space, if corrective action is needed and not undertaken the inappropriate content will eventually be removed, either by editing the page (if only part is inappropriate), by redirecting the page to your main user page (if entirely inappropriate), by community discussion at Miscellany for deletion, or possibly by the application of PW:CSD#U5. Blatant misuse of PhysicsWiki as a web host. Inappropriate content may be removed from any page in your user space, including your user talk page.

On others' user pages

The best option if there is a concern with a user's page is to draw their attention to the matter via their talk page and let them edit it themselves, if they are agreeable. In some cases a more experienced editor may make non-trivial edits to another user's user space, in which case that editor should leave a note explaining why this was done. This should not be done for trivial reasons. If the user does not agree, or does not effectively remedy the concerns, or the matter is unsure or controversial, then other steps in this section can be taken including uninvolved user opinions or proposing the page for deletion.

If the material must be addressed urgently (for example, unambiguous copyright, attack, defamation, or BLP reasons, etc.), the user appears inactive, the edit appears unlikely to cause problems, and you are quite sure the material is inappropriate, then remove or fix the problem material minimally and leave a note explaining what you have done, why you have done so, and inviting the user to discuss if needed. If the entire page is inappropriate, consider blanking it, or redirecting the subpage to the userpage, or to the most relevant existing mainspace or project space page.

Unsuitable pages, media and images in userspace may also be nominated for deletion or (if appropriate) speedy deleted, but special care should be taken as the user may be expecting leeway and take it personally, and there are a few exceptions. Users with a strong editing record and/or most of their contribution edits outside their user space should be given a little more leeway in this regard than users whose edits consist solely or mostly of user space edits or promotional-style activity. See Deleting user pages below.

User pages and leaving PhysicsWiki

When a user leaves PhysicsWiki, their user and user talk pages are usually unaffected and may be edited again at any future time. Some users place the {{retired}} template on their user and talk page to let others know that they are away for an extended period or permanently. A user may blank their user and user talk pages (i.e. overwriting with a blank page) provided non-removable notices (if any) are left intact.

"Right to vanish"

PhysicsWiki's community traditionally offers a "right to vanish" as a social courtesy, to users who are permanently departing PhysicsWiki and will sever all ties with the site.

Summary of key points: While some help can be given, it is not possible for your edits to be removed entirely and account deletion would potentially violate copyrights by allowing for inaccurate attribution and authorship claims. Certain important templates may need to be retained on user and user talk pages. Also pages that may be of value to the wider community or whose deletion is opposed by other users might be undeleted during a deletion discussion. Pages remain licensed for reuse even after deletion, and may occasionally be cited or deemed to contain useful content. If a "vanished" user returns, old pages associated with them may be undeleted or unblanked, and could be linked to any new account they create and disclosed at RFA; if this would be a problem, consult ArbCom by email beforehand. Of course the return of users in good standing or reformed "problem users" is welcomed if they happen to change their mind.

Users who have left PhysicsWiki may be added to PhysicsWiki:Missing PhysicsWiki Staff members after a certain amount of time, usually one year without an edit.

Protection of user pages

As with article pages, user pages are occasionally the targets of vandalism, or, more rarely, edit wars. When edit wars or vandalism persist, the affected page should be protected from editing.

Most user page vandalism occurs in retaliation for a contributor's efforts to deal with vandalism. Administrators may protect their own user pages when appropriate, and are permitted to edit protected pages in user space. Sometimes a non-administrator's user page may be targeted for vandalism. Some of this vandalism is prevented through a filter, as unregistered and unconfirmed editors are not permitted to modify other editors' primary user pages.[Note 5]

In cases in which the filter is insufficient in preventing vandalism to a non-administrator's user page, an editor may create a .css suffixed sub-page containing their user page content within their user space, transclude the sub-page into their main user page, then request that an administrator fully protect their user page. (For instance, create User:Example User as {{User:Example User/userpage.css}}.) This method will completely prevent further vandalism by limiting user page editing to yourself, and administrators since ".js" and ".css" pages in userspace can only be edited by them. Note that the addition of inappropriate content to your user page after locking other editors out is considered a serious offense.

Repeatedly inserting copyrighted content or other inappropriate material on your own user pages after being notified not to do so, or misusing user space following a block (e.g., for personal attacks or tendentious editing) are both considered disruptive and may lead to the pages being protected to prevent further disruption. User pages may also routinely be protected in the event of a ban.

Vandalism of talk pages is less common. Usually such vandalism should merely be reverted. Blocks should be used for repeated vandalism of talk pages, where policy permits. In rare cases, protection may be used but is considered a last resort given the importance of talk page discussions to the project.

Deletion of user pages

If you wish to delete your own page, tag the top of the page with {{db-u1}}, and an administrator will delete it for you. However, note that user talk pages are normally not deleted.

Deleting others' user pages

In general other users' user pages are managed by that user. Except for blatant or serious matters, it is preferable to try contacting the user before deletion (see above). However, unambiguous copyright violations, attack pages, promotional text, and privacy or BLP violations can be speedy deleted using a suitable template, such as {{db-attack}}, {{db-copyvio}} or {{db-spamuser}}, other pages likely to require deletion (or where remedial action is not taken) may be submitted to deletion discussion.

Take special care to speak appropriately and explain the concern; many users will take it as a personal affront or attack if an unknown user announces they are going to delete a userspace image or page and an uncivil or heavy duty approach can discourage new users who are unaware of expectations and might enjoy contributing. Remember that a limited amount of personal information (perhaps a short biography) and a freely licensed tasteful personal photograph or two are usually allowed if the page reasonably complies with other requirements.

Use of a user page as a personal web page unconnected with PhysicsWiki's mission may be a speedy deletion criterion, as is clear advertising and promotional use. A user's contributions that consist solely of a lone edit to their user page should not normally be speedy deleted unless it consists solely of spam or other speedy deletable material. Test edits and the re-creation of deleted material (within limits) are permitted in user space.

Deleting your user page or subpages

You can freely blank any pages in your user space yourself (other than the few items that must not be removed) and request the deletion of your user page or subpages, by adding {{db-user}} to the top of the page. Alternatively, you might consider simply making the page redirect to your user page. This is normally sufficient for most people's needs. Subpages tagged for deletion will be deleted if there is no overriding reason the page must be kept.

Blanking of user subpages is not interpreted as a deletion request, see criteria for speedy deletion G7. If you want it deleted completely then use {{db-user}}.

Your talk page, pages which were moved into your user space from somewhere else, and user talk archives created by page move, may not be deleted in this way. These must be listed at Articles for deletion if they originated as articles, or Miscellany for deletion for anything else. To move them back where they came from, ask at PhysicsWiki:Requested moves.

Deletion of user talk pages

User talk pages and user talk archives created by page move are generally not deleted; they are usually needed for reference by other users. Individual revisions, log entries, and other user space material may be deleted or redacted for privacy reasons, or because of harassment, threats, gross offensiveness and other serious violations. Exceptions to this can be and are made on occasion for good reason. In addition, nonpublic personal information and potentially libelous information posted to your talk page may be removed as described above.

User page search

By default PhysicsWiki's search engine is restricted to the Article namespace. By typing the project page prefix User: (User followed by a colon) will provide search results for the "User namespace". You can also use the Special:Search box below to locate User pages. See Help:Searching for more information.

Notes

  1. Treatment such as excusing, trivializing, or normalizing these issues as tolerable or of little importance (for example, by explaining support of vandalism as being 'humor' or edit warring as being valid for resolving content issues) will generally be seen as having the same effect as condoning the behavior, and may also be removed.
  2. The rule of thumb is to wait at least one year after both the editor who created the page and the editor whose space it is in (should they not be the same) have stopped editing.
  3. The community has taken many nude and sexual galleries to MFD. As a guide:
    • Those created by known and respected long-standing contributors, whose aim is clearly more to showcase our work and PW:NOT#CENSORED and that are not designed for self-amusement or for sexual provocation may be kept but even so have at times been MFD'ed multiple times or closed as "no consensus".
    • Those which use PhysicsWiki as personal webspace, are excessively focused upon sexual material, aim at "pushing the edge" on freedom to use userspace, or make a point, rather than project benefit, especially by editors with a lesser record of positive contribution and cases where non-free imagery is a problem (1), tend to be deleted (2, 3).
  4. In an RfC that concluded in February 2012, the community banned misleading user talk notification banners; see PhysicsWiki talk:User pages/Archive 10#Simulating the MediaWiki interface (joke banners redux). The RfC proposal covered only banners that in both wording and color closely resemble the one listed at #User talk notification. Joke banners that do not mislead editors into believing they have new messages were not included in the proposal. Note that as of 2013, the notification system has replaced the user talk notification banners for registered users. It is still used for anonymous IP users and for registered users who have manually enabled it.
  5. Please refer to PhysicsWiki:Requests for comment/Protect user pages by default and its talk page for community discussion related to a preventative measure for user pages.

See also

Templates