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aSK talk:Membership

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Creating articles

"non members cannot create articles" is patently wrong. I just turned up and here I am, merrily creating away. That phrase should be re-worded. JustSimon 11:11, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

At least someone is reading this page! It was my intention that new people not be able to create pages, but as you found, it's not the case. For now at least, I've just removed the statement. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 12:11, 25 March 2009 (UTC)
I would like to be considered for membership rights once it is felt that my edits merit promotion. Historian 06:54, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

"Non-Member" Label

It might make more sense to use a term like "Probationary Member", "Associate Member", "Junior Member" or "Trial Member" instead of the term "Non Member"? The latter would seem to apply to anyone viewing the site without registering on it. "I'm leaning towards "Trial Member" because it's concise and emphasizes that full membership needs to be earned. --DinsdaleP 15:58, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree with this. Non-Member makes it a bit confusing. Trial Member is a good idea. It suggests a trial on both sides. Will the member fit in well enough to contribute? Does the site fill the members needs? Patrickr 16:02, 26 March 2009 (UTC)
Would someone like to make drafts (perhaps even off-line) of the ask:Membership, ask:Administration, and ask:User rights pages (just off the top of my head; wherever members are discussed) just to see what the implications would be. As I mentioned I tried changing it, but ran into problems. I'm sure that they are solvable, but it will take a little bit of work. Things like saying that only members can do certain things, which is fine if only referring to Members and Senior Members, but which would become ambiguous or incorrect if "trial members" or similar was included. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:00, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Alternative Title Suggestions

Just rambling for a bit, brainstorm style.

So far for suggestions we have;

  • Probationary Member
  • Junior Member
  • Associate Member
  • Trial Member

Personally I would avoid using "Member" in the term for someone who is technically not a member as the double-barrel term implies a subset (BTW it makes no sense to me that Pluto is a dwarf-planet but not a planet). That would still leave;

  • Probationary
  • Associate

as the only two from that list that still make sense. I don't know that Probationary captures the sense anyway, as many users may be happy to simple edit indefinitely. Associate works fine for me, but I think it may have corporate connotations to some. Intern is a similar possibility; someone here for the experience. There is also "Adherent"; we use this at my church for regulars who have not become members; we say it refers to the people who are just sticking around. I thought of "dismember" but that may just have been a misfire in my brain.

We could go with the rather obvious and non-suave "Registered Editor", or "Registered User". BradleyF (LowKey) 06:04, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

No offense intended, but all these divisions don't make much sense. Is there a prevailing paranoid attitude towards people who "sign up", or something? ħuman Number 19 05:54, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
We are actually just trying to label one division (but have suggested several labels). The reasons for the division are good enough, but the current name is thought to be little "clunky". BradleyF (LowKey) 06:39, 2 April 2009 (UTC)


This says non-members can become members "By holding active membership for a minimum of one month," but it doesn't elaborate on what the threshold for active is or is not. Could I ask for a specific(ish?) number? Javascap 03:33, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

Three points in response, and the third should be noted by others as a clarification of the matter in question.
  • The "one month" bit is for Members to become Senior members, not for non-members to become members. (Also, that may not be hard and fast, especially while we are very new.)
  • I did wonder if putting how Members become Senior members in the Members section rather than the Senior members section (and similar for non-members becoming Members) would be confusing. It seems it may be.
  • My rational for some of these requirements is as follows:
    • Requiring a certain time period could result in a person sitting around waiting for that period to expire, so that's not a good criterion.
    • Requiring a certain number of edits could encourage people to make lots of trivial edits, or discourage them from using the preview button, simply in order to build the numbers up. It also discriminates against those who make fewer but more substantial edits.
      • For both these reasons I don't consider the auto-confirmed group to be a great idea (despite requiring a combination of both) (although I'm not saying it's entirely useless), and I don't like Wikipedia's number-of-edits criteria for being eligible for adminship for the same reason.
    • So I went with using human judgment. The criteria really is that you can be promoted when enough other (senior) members believe that you deserve/warrant it. However, as some sort of guide to the members making that decision, the one month of active membership was included. It will therefore be up to the individual members to decide whether a candidate meets that criterion, and to make clear that one month of inactive membership is not enough to qualify.
I hope that clears it up.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:17, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Alrighty then, thanks for clearing that up. Have a good day. Javascap 14:30, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Please to make me a member. I feel so... abased... subjected... as a "non-member". You can trust me. ħuman Number 19 05:56, 2 April 2009 (UTC)


Should nonmembers request here, on the talk page, or should we send an email at the link provided. Is that email address even good? I sent a RfM about a week ago, and have gotten nothing in reply. Theemperor 00:49, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

That currently comes to me and is good, and in your case I simply overlooked it, sorry. I'll reply by e-mail shortly. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:38, 31 March 2009 (UTC) (P.S. it was only about 4½ days ago.)

I hereby apply for membership. --Acionyx 00:54, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

See the instructions on this project page. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 11:38, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Speedy delete

Two edits would be alright for a redirect, but someone intent on vandalising properly might take a few edits to do it. Wouldn't raising the senior members deletion to say 5, be a bit better? Also from past experience you might want to prevent anyone (except maybe you) from deleting pages with more than 500 or 1000 edits because of the strain that puts on the database. Π 12:47, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps we'll adjust it as time goes by. It seems that the only setting for this is delete and bigdelete. There's no hugedelete or whatever, so I don't think I can restrict such deletions and still allow deletions of ones with a medium-length history. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:32, 31 March 2009 (UTC)
I reckon Nx would be able to give you some MySQL code to do it. Π 01:44, 1 April 2009 (UTC)

Vandal Blocking

Should we have some guidelines on block lengths for vandalism? BradleyF (LowKey) 05:06, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

I would support instituting such guidelines, although with regard to the recent case, I venture to predict that Fall down will be making quite a few more sockpuppets in days to come; he has carried on his assaults on RationalWiki for a number of months, despite being blocked whenever he shows up. ListenerXTalkerX 05:30, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
Actually that block was relatively short. There has been another vandal blocked (and ironically also created a page that Fall down created) but the block length was different because the blocker was different. Although it is possible that the new vandal is the old vandal. I just want to be consistent.BradleyF (LowKey) 05:35, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
It's hard to know what's appropriate. Presumably an outright vandal has no intention of contributing constructively, and could be blocked indefinitely. But then they might have vandalised on the spur of the moment and later regret it. One idea floating around in my head was to block for a month for a first offence, a year for the second, and infinite for the third. Looking at Wikipedia, their vandalism blocks seem to be all over the place (but perhaps for reasons that are not obvious from the block log), ranging from 31 hours to indefinite.
The three-month block I gave was spur-of-the-moment decision, but unless anyone has any better ideas, perhaps the block lengths above, which I've got no real basis for, will do. (This is for outright vandalism, nothing else.)
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 08:52, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
I would have thought an hour or two would be sufficient to make most vandals lose interest and go somewhere else. Most vandals no doubt act out of boredom, and on another occasion that boredom might lead to constructive contributions, spelling corrections and the like.--CPalmer 09:07, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
As for Fall Down, my view is that he's an attention-seeker, so a good approach might be not to react immediately, but wait an hour or so before reverting the damage.--CPalmer 09:10, 2 April 2009 (UTC)


Am I "known to the management"? I've been a fairly harmless user on CP for a while (I even said something to LowKey! Small world...), and I was a sysop and bureaucrat on RW... uh, several times, actually. Is prominence on RW considered enough to be known? (Bear in mind that, unlike many other members of RW, I have never dabbled in necromancy) New3.pngPink(Inertia presides over burnt modernist strides) 10:02, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

If you are requesting membership according to method 1, then I can't say that you are known to me (despite me once unblocking you on Conservapedia). However, if another senior member knows you well enough to vouch for you (which doesn't include the Wiki-editing equivalent of having simply met you), Membership can be granted. If this is the case, you would also need to verify that you are the same person as Conservapedia's HKing, which you should be able to do by e-mailing from that account. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 13:42, 2 April 2009 (UTC)
1. I don't know any of the (three!) senior members, unfortunately. However, I do know a couple of the regular members from RW, if only vaguely. 2. Actually, I'm not blocked on CP, so I could just put something in my user page to the effect of "This user edits aSK". New3.pngPink(Inertia presides over burnt modernist strides) 08:38, 3 April 2009 (UTC)
Putting something on CP would verify that you are the same person, but we still have the problem of someone knowing you. From what you've said, it seems that your only option is method 3, which we're not quite set up for yet, unfortunately. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 07:56, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Opposition to membership

This page seems to imply that any member can oppose another user's nomination for membership without an explanation. In my opinion, a member should be required to provide a legitimate reason for their opposition. What do others think about this? --OscarJ 08:20, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

That seems reasonable. But who decides what is a legitimate reason? --WesleySHello! 10:43, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps we could specifically make a list of legitimate reasons and also reasons that are not acceptable. If a member provides a reason that is not on the list, other members could discuss the matter and decide if it's valid. --OscarJ 11:48, 22 July 2009 (UTC)
That seems a bit bureaucratic. I'd expect people to give reasons if they oppose, but I don't think they should be compelled to. As a general rule I'm in favour of trusting people to behave sensibly rather than legislating, and that should work particularly well in a (so far) small community like this one.--CPalmer 12:38, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

Apart from agreeing with CPalmer's comments, I think my rationale for this was that it is a straight vote, and in any voting/election type situation, people are not required to give reasons for voting for or against. This is not to say that there's anything wrong with providing a reason. The process provides for the Membership Review Committee (me at the moment) granting membership even if there are more than 10% no votes. If the Committee was to make a decision in such cases, then 'no' votes without stated or obvious reasons would probably be ignored by the Committee quite readily. Keep in mind too that (once we are going with the required ten votes) a single 'no' vote is not enough to stop membership. That is, if someone gets the required ten supportive votes and one opposing vote, they've met the requirement. It would take two opposing votes in this case to jeopardise membership. Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 00:02, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

I think pure undiluted democracy doesn't work very well. It makes sense that Philip has provided for democracy, but also some checks and balances. This is analogous to what we do in the real world (i.e. have representative rather than direct democracy, a court system with the power to strike down unconstitutional legislation, constitutional entrenchment with extraordinary proccesses for amendment, etc.). So, his provision of a Membership Review Committee is a good example.
I think an important goal, besides democracy, is rational governance. That means, when decisions are made, reasons are given for decisions, rather than refusing to give them. We avoid this in the real world by a two-level decision making process — the general public can vote for whomever they want, and no reasons are required; but then the legislators they elect are expected to give reasons for their votes. So that is part of how we try to harmonise (however imperfectly) these two competing goals (democracy and rationality) in the real world.
Which raises the question, what kind of voting system do we have here? Is it more like a general election, or more like a vote in a legislature? If it was a general election, there is no expectation of voters having to justify how they voted to anyone (indeed, with a secret ballot, no one knows how they voted). If it is a vote in a legislative body, then there is a strong expectation (but not a legal requirement) that voters give reasons for how they vote. Which kind of voting system is this? The fact that it has a small number of participants, and is not secret, suggests it should follow the legislative body model rather than the general election model. Maratrean 00:14, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
No real disagreement there. At the risk of repeating myself, membership voters are not required to give a reason, but if the decision goes to a review committee, a reason will help them make their decision. If the review committee is unable to find a reason to deny membership, they should allow it. If members who vote no don't give a reason, they can't complain if the review committee can't find a reason. If they think the review committee should deny the membership, they should be willing (but will not be required) to help the committee out by providing them with a reason.
It would be unrealistically bureaucratic to have every membership application go to committee, so I decided on a vote as a quick-and-easy way to admit to membership everyone for whom there would be no real question, and leave the tougher or disputed ones to a committee. If we had enough people voting and didn't have members voting against on ideological grounds, that should work well. Unfortunately, neither has really eventuated.
Philip J. Raymentdiscuss 03:02, 4 June 2011 (UTC)
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