User:Teles/Essays/Small wikis and non-local users

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The following text is neither a policy nor a guideline. It is just an essay and you are invited to change it freely.

Small wikis, in a general view, are wikis with a small number of regular users and sysops. Usually, they are recent wikis in development. At the beggining, it is expected some support from non-local users to have technical assistance like vandalism combat and administrative actions. Although anyone may help, some groups are supposed to do that, like global rollbackers, global sysops and stewards. Undo obvious vandalisms, delete pages, and block users are some of the usual tasks of a non-local user.

However, it is important to remember that a non-local user have to interfere as minimum as possible in a small wiki and preferably only when such interference is urgent. Given time, local communities will create their own rules and local users will acquire experience, becoming more and more independent from external help. Good faith mistakes are part of the growth process of a small wiki and might be an opportunity for learning. A local community that is able to solve their own problems is the desired condition and the global community should provide the basic environment for this achievement. So, if you want to act as a non-local user, avoid make any controversial change and make sure that this couldn't be done timely by a local user.

Global user groups[edit]

There are some global permissions granted after community approval to an user that wants to act on different wikis and have shown that is qualified for that. These permissions are not granted separatedly; they are included on the existent global user groups. Local community can interfere on the way non-local users will act. For example, a local community can disallow a global sysop of acting on a project if there is consensus against it or it can allow global bots, which prevents broadly trusted users from making unnecessary repeated bot requests on every wiki. Following a community decision, a steward may allow or disallow a global group from interfering on a given community by defining wikisets. Even if a permission is granted on a wiki, non-local users have to use it carefully and if you are not a local user you shouldn't behave as if you were. When an act needs knowledge of local language, is not urgent. If there's an indication that a local user would do it, using your global permission is not a good idea and is probably not your job.

IRC channels[edit]

Don't be imperative[edit]

Primum non nocere[edit]

The phrase above is used to remember us that, even when acting in good faith, an user might commit a mistake and make something bad. Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. When not sure about the consequences of an action, do not do it, instead of taking the unnecessary risk of doing something wrong. Most of the actions performed by non-local users are obvious enough as to not generate any doubt and if you have some, you are probably not dealing with a non-local user task. And if you are unconfortable with doing "nothing", you can also perform other actions to diminish your doubts. You can ask for other user's opinions, especially from more experienced global or local users available.

On the other hand, local users should assume good faith of non-local users and remember that, when facing a mistake of an user, it is probably enough to request him/her to not do it anymore. It is implicit that local users allow actions from non-local users and it is up to them the decision of keeping it or not. Knowing that, a global user will understand such a request and will avoid repeating similar actions without local consent.

See also[edit]