Editing First Posts and Wiki Etiquette

Editing First Posts

As most of you might already be aware, there’s an issue with the forum software—and therefore out of the moderator’s or the staff’s control—that prevents users from editing the first post in their threads. So far, this issue has only appeared in the #hosted-games:works-in-progress category (most likely because it’s the only place where first posts are edited with any regularity). In working with authors on this issue, we’ve found that the only solution with a 100% success rate is to make the post a ‘wiki’.

Instead of the normal pencil icon, wiki posts will have an ‘Edit’ button, like so:

What wiki-ing a post does is make it perpetually editable, but this comes at the cost of giving other, non-OP users editing power as well. Even with this potential risk we still highly recommend this solution to authors experiencing being locked out of their OP, because it’s the only surefire way to fix things and because our community normally respects the WIP author’s right to control their OP content. We’re confident that, until such time that this issue is resolved, this is a satisfactory solution to those having trouble editing their posts. So—

If you’re a user who needs help editing their original post or for anything else, please message any moderator and we’ll get back to you ASAP.

Now that we have that covered, I would also like to discuss…

Wiki Etiquette

Outside of the #hosted-games:works-in-progress category, most of the wiki posts users will come across are indexes, such as this social media master list, which are usually free to be edited by all users. In these contexts, as long as the original poster has given permission, it’s perfectly fine for users to, say, update links, add new information, change labels, edit misspellings, label the dead links (but not remove them), and generally just be helpful! This is perfectly fine, and we’re happy to see users participating in these kinds of posts.

However, this is not the kind of behavior we want to see in wiki posts in works-in-progress/WIP threads, no matter how much we appreciate it outside of that category. These opening posts are not simple indexes or the like, they’re actually a hybrid of a sales pitch, proof-of-concept, and FAQ. As such, they’re highly personalized to each WIP by each author as they see fit, and were it not for this software bug, they wouldn’t even be available to edit to anyone but them. So it is for this reason that I want to make one thing abundantly clear:

Unless an author has given you explicit permission, never edit any posts that do not belong to you.

What does permission look like?

Hi @username, would you mind editing my post?

If I spelled anything wrong, please feel free to fix it. I really appreciate it.

I may not be on often, so @username has my permission to edit this post as needed.

Of course you can edit my OP, @username, thank you for asking.

Hi mods, just letting you know that @username has my permission to edit my OP.

Preferably, we would like to see this permission given in public on the thread itself or, failing that, a PM thread that a mod has been added to (no screenshots), but it must be on the forum. We have no way of verifying authorization outside of the forum—not everyone’s usernames are the same, we don’t always have access to authors, usernames and posts can be edited without us knowing, screenshots themselves can be easily faked, etc—so we can’t accept any proof not native to the forum.

We are automatically notified any time a wiki post is edited, so we will immediately know if someone besides the author has edited it. If we can’t find proof of permission anywhere, the edit will be revoked and the author will be notified. Any users found editing posts without an author’s permission will be punished.

TL;DR

:exclamation: If you’re a user who needs help, please message any moderator.

:exclamation: Wiki posts are the only surefire solution if you can’t edit a post.

:no_entry_sign: Unless an author has given you explicit permission, never edit any posts that do not belong to you.

:bangbang: Users who edit wiki posts without the author’s permission will be punished. :bangbang:

:exclamation: If you plan on letting anyone edit your post for any reason, please let us know beforehand.

:no_entry_sign: Permission given outside of the forum will not be accepted.

:question: We don’t know when this issue will be fixed. As long as this post is up, it has not been resolved.

26 Likes

I am disappointed that this issue came up in this community, and I know I speak for other moderators when I say this.

For many years, the trust between authors and the general community members was something that made this space on the internet better than others. In over 5 years worth of time, not once, to my knowledge was the Original Post of a WiP thread changed without the author’s consent.

The fact that many authors are shutout of editing and updating their OP by the Discourse forum software, has caused moderators and staff to try to find an acceptable work-around. Until this past week, turning the OP into a Wiki was a solution supported by everyone, and for good reason – it kept the author in control of their own work.

This “common-sense” and long-supported tradition among our community allowed feedback threads to be opened and run without constant staff and moderator oversight. Leaders and moderators were able to focus on other issues, making it easier to improve the community as a whole.

The community feedback is essential for all who wish to publish a Hosted Game title; it is part of the requirements to even be successfully published.

My personal disappointment that this long-held trust has been violated is deep.

I have a question for everyone: What, if anything, are your expectations regarding these wiki posts?

11 Likes

My optimistic expectations are that people who don’t have permission to edit don’t.

My pessimistic expectations are that trolls will see this as an opportunity to take advantage of author’s posts and make changes to embarrass/harass them or nuke their posts by deleting what they wrote.

3 Likes

Could wiki editing be locked behind trust levels? For instance, maybe members and up can only access that feature? I know currently Basic permissions encompass wiki editing powers.

Quote:

Or is this not possible with how the current forum software is set up?

2 Likes

Could the staff fix this issue by increasing the global own-post edit window? Or is the cause of this issue unrelated to that? Some kind of bug?

For this forum at least, letting users edit their own posts indefinitely seems less prone to abuse than having a bunch of wiki posts floating around.

1 Like

Thats very sad to hear…

I still hope that in 95% of cases no one who shouldn’t will edit the posts. I personally haven’t seen any trolls here (but I’m not a mod, so I wouldn’t know). So I would hope everything is ok?

1 Like

I can’t think of any trolls, only people who tend to type before they think. The only editing I’ve ever done is edit the titles of a couple of threads to fix grammatical errors.

2 Likes