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The Dragon Age Wiki strives to reach consensus when it comes to editing. While it does not mean achieving unanimity, it is not the result of a vote either. This means that decision-making involves an effort to incorporate all editors' legitimate concerns, while respecting the wiki's guidelines and policies.

Achieving consensus Edit

Editors usually reach consensus as a natural product of editing. After someone makes a change to a page, others who read it can choose either to leave the page as it is or to modify it. When editors do not reach agreement by editing, discussion on the associated talk pages continues the process toward consensus.

A consensus decision takes into account all of the proper concerns raised. Ideally, it arrives with an absence of objections, but often we must settle for as wide an agreement as can be reached. When there is no wide agreement, consensus-building involves adapting the proposal to bring in dissenters without losing those who accept the proposal.

Reaching consensus through editing Edit

Any edit that is not disputed or reverted by another editor can be assumed to have consensus. Should that edit later be revised by another editor without dispute, it can be assumed that a new consensus has been reached. In this way the encyclopedia is gradually added to and improved over time. An edit which is not clearly an improvement may often be improved by rewording. If rewording does not salvage the edit, then it should be reverted.

Any such revert should be explained. One option is to leave a clear edit summary stating why the particular edit is not considered to be an improvement to the article. Further discussion should then be undertaken on the article discussion page. Edit summaries that explain the objection clearly are preferred. Substantive, informative edit summaries indicate what issues need to be addressed in subsequent efforts to reach consensus on the matter. Alternatively, the edit summary may be used to point the users to your longer explanation of concerns on the talk page. Repeated reversions are contrary to our edit warring policy, except for specific policy-based material and for reversions of vandalism. Frequently, a minor change in wording can end arguments.

Reaching consensus through discussion Edit

When agreement cannot be reached through editing alone, editors should open a section on the talk page and try to work out the dispute through discussion, by trying to persuade others, using reasons based in policy, sources, and common sense; they can also suggest alternative solutions or compromises that may satisfy all concerns. The result might be an agreement that does not satisfy anyone completely, but that all recognize as a reasonable solution. Consensus is an ongoing process on the Dragon Age Wiki; it is often better to accept a less-than-perfect compromise—with the understanding that the page is gradually improving—than to try to fight to implement a particular "perfect" version immediately.

When editors have a particularly difficult time reaching a consensus, editors are encouraged to:

  • Start a thread on the forums, which must be used to make site-wide changes that will affect editing
  • Tag the article as {{unresolved}} to obtain comments
  • Ask an administrator to step in as a mediator. Keep in mind, however, that administrators are primarily concerned with policy and editor behavior and will not decide content issues authoritatively. They may block editors for behaviors that interfere with the consensus process (such as edit warring, socking, or a lack of civility). They may also make decisions about whether edits are or are not allowable under policy, but will not usually go beyond such actions.

Consensus-building Edit

Be bold, but not foolish. In most cases, the first thing to try is an edit to the article, and sometimes making such an edit will resolve a dispute. Use clear edit summaries that explain the purpose of the edit. If the edit is reverted, try making a compromise edit that addresses the other editors' concerns. Edit summaries are useful, but do not try to discuss disputes across multiple edit summaries; that is generally viewed as edit warring and may incur sanctions. If an edit is reverted and further edits seem likely to meet the same fate, create a new section on the article's talk page to discuss the issue.

In determining consensus, consider the quality of the arguments, the history of how they came about, the objections of those who disagree, and existing documentation in the project namespace. The quality of an argument is more important than whether it represents a minority or a majority view. The arguments "I just don't like it" and "I just like it" usually carry no weight whatsoever.

Limit talk page discussions to discussion of sources, article focus, and policy. The obligation on talk pages is to explain why an addition, change, or removal improves the article, and hence the encyclopedia. Other considerations are secondary. This obligation applies to all editors: consensus can be assumed if editors stop responding to talk page discussions, and editors who ignore talk page discussions yet continue to edit in or revert disputed material may be guilty of disruptive editing and incur sanctions.

Inappropriate consensus-building Edit

Canvassing Edit

In general, it is perfectly acceptable to notify other editors of ongoing discussions, provided that it is done with the intent to improve the quality of the discussion by broadening participation to more fully achieve consensus.

However canvassing which is done with the intention of influencing the outcome of a discussion towards one side of a debate is considered inappropriate. This is because it compromises the normal consensus decision-making process, and therefore is generally considered disruptive behaviour.

Sock puppetry Edit

Main article: DA:SOCK

Determining consensus Edit

Consensus is determined by the quality of the arguments given on the various sides of an issue. We generally ask to wait a week for any kind of proposal, as it should give enough time to gather feedback. It is possible to extend this if the discussion is currently unresolved.

Level of consensus Edit

Consensus among a limited group of editors, at one place and time, cannot override community consensus on a wider scale. For instance, unless they can convince the broader community that such action is right, participants in a WikiProject cannot decide that some generally accepted policy or guideline does not apply to articles within its scope.

Dragon Age Wiki has a higher standard of participation and consensus for changes to policies and guidelines than to other types of articles. This is because they reflect established consensus, and their stability and consistency are important to the community. As a result, editors often propose substantive changes on the talk page first to permit discussion before implementing the change. Changes may be made without prior discussion, but they are subject to a high level of scrutiny. The community is more likely to accept edits to policy if they are made slowly and conservatively, with active efforts to seek out input and agreement from others.

Consensus can change Edit

Consensus is not unchangeable, and matters that have been discussed in the past can be raised again, especially if there are new arguments or circumstances that were not properly considered before. On the other hand, if a subject has been discussed recently, it can be disruptive to bring it up again. As a practical matter, "according to consensus" or "violates consensus" are weak reasons for rejecting a proposal; instead, the reasons for objecting should be explained, followed with discussion on the merits of the proposal.

As such, pages that have been deleted in the past may be tagged for speedy deletion as a decision has already been made. However, if there are relevant new points that had not been raised at the time of deletion, editors are welcome to discuss this on the talk page before creating the page again or ask for a restoration.

No consensus Edit

Some discussions result in no consensus. "No consensus" means that there is no consensus to take an action, but it also and equally means that there is no consensus not to take the action. What the community does next depends on the context.

  • In deletion discussions, no consensus normally results in the article, image, or other content being kept.
  • In discussions of textual additions or editorial alterations, a lack of consensus results in no change in the article.
  • When actions by administrators are contested and the discussion results in no consensus either for the action or for reverting the action, the action is normally reverted.
  • In article title discussions, no consensus has two defaults: If an article title has been stable for a long time, then the long-standing article title is kept. If it has never been stable, or has been unstable for a long time, then it is moved to the title used by the first major contributor after the article ceased to be a stub.
  • In disputes over external links, disputed links are removed unless and until there is a consensus to include them.

See also Edit