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Hi McJeff, thanks for introducing yourself. I'll happily open a dialogue and respond to your points. I absolutely don't mean to come across as rude, but as you can imagine I do have strong feelings on some of these subjects.
I didn't say all the staff and all the rules at GTA Wikia (I'll call it that for the sake of clarity) were awful, but those I've had experience with have been inexperienced, unsympathetic, and somewhat arrogant. I particularly refer to WikisEditor, but also those staff that supported him even though he had been blatantly copying content despite being told by Wikia to stop, and even supporting him after he had been demoted. I cannot believe that any decent wiki administrator would say that he should still be treated as staff even though he had his rights forced off him by Wikia because of his gross misconduct. I'm sure you can see that this smacks of staff thinking they're better than everyone else.
The policy "Competence is Required" is purely draconian. How dare your staff suggest that inexperienced users have any less right to edit than some mediawiki whizz-kid. Although it's on Wikipedia, it is NOT policy there - simply an essay by someone suggesting one way they think things could be done.
I'm a little confused that you say we don't have users over here "hu rite lyk dis", because I did run the GTA Wikia for years and we had all manner of people. However our policy was to help them grow, show them how to do it right, manage expectations and correct anything that was done. If people add useful content, it can always be fixed up by other users. If people add irrelevant and useless content, it will be removed anyway. If a user repeatedly adds useless content, then they'll be dealt with for that reason, not because of their bad spelling.
What goes on over at the GTA Wikia is none of my business, but it really breaks my heart to see the site I created, and spent five years building up from nothing, being twisted into an elitist society run by staff who think they are better than the users they're supposed to be helping out.
As for Gregallz5 - I'm not supporting or defending him or anything like that. Like I said, what goes on at GTA Wikia is nothing to do with me. He clearly doesn't like you guys (for whatever reason) and he's blocked over there (for whatever reason). You can block/ban who you like for whatever reason you want, whether it's bad spelling or nazi propaganda. But he's not banned from this site, so he's fine to edit here, that is all that my opinion on the matter was. However, he has since used his account here to argue and swear at The Tom, which is something that I'm not prepared to allow on this wiki, so he has been blocked for 1 day because of that. I'm also keeping an eye on the multiple accounts. I'll deal with him for any problems he causes here, but what you do to him has no bearing on what happens here. I hope you don't think that I'm trying to get him unblocked from your site or anything.
The main reason that people here don't like the staff at the GTA Wikia is because you are going against the community. The entire community agreed by consensus to move here. Any site can move host, it happens all the time. Wikia were entitled to run a copy (before the licencing breaches), but because we had been using the gta.wikia.com domain, most of the traffic still goes to that copy instead of the real site which moved. Your site only exists because Wikia kept the site running after we left, banned half the staff, demoted the rest.
The site moved, that is a fact. The community moved, that is a fact. The people who BUILT the wiki are all over here. The traffic only goes to the old location because Wikia won't redirect it. Why do you support that copy of the site? The excuse that you're stopping it from being damaged is lame - it's more likely that at least some of the staff just wanted the authority and power of a position, or that they wanted to take over the more active site rather than support the community that built it.
I don't know if you can understand what it's like seeing something you spent years building and years making popular ripped apart and taken over by other people? The 4 bureaucrats at GTA Wikia have 5469 edits in TOTAL between them. Here, A-Dust has 28,000 just himself; ZS has 27,000; and I have 25,000 between me and my bot. Of course, most of these edits were made over at Wikia, so the site you are running is built on our hard work.
Our issue is that you still support that site, against the consensus of the community, against all the people who built it. I'm sure most of your staff members would make good staff members here, and your editors would ALL be welcome here (even the screw-ups). Why can't we finish the job, leave Wikia, and all contribute together again? That's all I want. gboyers talk 21:54, 2 September 2011 (BST)
- I can't help but comment on the recent happenings at the GTA Wikia. Dealing with questionable offences by staff members the way you did undermines confidence in the whole system and completely precludes their ability to lead other users. Bunny showed a very reasonable attitude, but you went straight to a very public vote, without even warning or discussing it. You should know that no rule is perfect, and there are always ifs and buts and exceptions; and you always have to think about the wider implications of your actions, not just blocking people indiscriminately - even staff - for minor disagreements. I am really, truly horrified at the way the GTA Wikia is being run.
- I also refer you to this comment where you state that you demoted Spaceeinstein as per a community vote. It's clear that you find the community votes on the community noticeboard binding. Then you must believe that the vote to leave Wikia was also binding. The whole community got a chance to vote, and there was a HUGE majority in favour of leaving, so the wiki moved here. Since this community vote is binding, then you must understand that the community has moved here, and should not still be maintained at Wikia? gboyers talk 00:31, 3 September 2011 (BST)
- Hi, sorry to interrupt, but I've been watching the situation with Greg since he first came here earlier this week. I would just like to add that while I myself have been known to heavily promote this wiki as the legitimate wiki (which I believe it is), I don't actually have a problem with GTA Wikia as a website. I strongly disagree with Wikia staff and their actions over the past year (and a bit more?), but I don't have any problem with the other site, and the community that decided to stay behind.
- However, what I do have a problem with is that no one gets to decide anymore - All evidence of the move and of Grand Theft Wiki's history has been erased, and so most of the community doesn't know about this wiki. I believe that the community discussion should have been retained, and that leaving users should be allowed to mention it on their userpage. One huge reason for this is because it's not uncommon for users to take long wiki breaks. When they come back (perhaps a new GTA game would give them more interest in the wiki again?), they will return to gta.wikia.com, not knowing that the community that they were a part of has moved on. They then may look for the staff and other users who they are familiar with, only to find that our userpages have been deleted, and that we seemingly don't exist. I don't think that this is fair to those users, and it is the interest of the community that I care about, rather than just trying to make the version that I'm a part of sound "cooler". JFletcherTalk (formerly User:Biggest gta fan ever) 07:30, 3 September 2011 (BST)
- I can restore the discussion about why the community moved off of Wikia, that was deleted by WikisEditor with no reason given. I'm also not opposed to posting a page like your Grand Theft Wiki:Move from Wikia (it would probably be located at a page like GTA Wiki:Community Split). Users should feel free to contribute to either or both of the wikis. However, I don't know what sort of content it would have - even when the community at large decided to leave wikia there were dissenting opinions, and some people simply don't agree that the ads are really something to be offended about, or that the Oasis skin is horrible, and some feel that the site left behind ought to be maintained. And I don't see any benefit in addressing let alone trying to debate the claim that GTAWikia is literally illegal - I'm not trained in law, my arguments would be rather uninformed. If the legal case I've seen GBoyers mention he's working on does actually happen and the Wikia-hosted site is found to be illegal in a court of law, that bridge can be crossed when we come to it, as they say - either I'll switch over to this site or ensure that the Wikia site follows the law and the findings of the case to the letter, or both. While I disagree with this community in regards to some of the individual points made about the move, I do agree that users should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to edit this wiki, the Wikia version, or both. (I will, however, continue to revision-delete spam like what MrLanceVanceDance did last night while I was asleep). McJeff 18:21, 3 September 2011 (BST)
It would be good to restore that discussion and maintain transparency as to what happened, even if we disagree on what should have happened. I'm happy to help with that (but I can only edit on this wiki, of course). I agree entirely that users should be able to decide which wiki to contribute to (if not both). The problem at the moemnt is that, because we used gta.wikia.com first, all our traffic still goes there, ends up on your copy, and people are not being told that the people who built that wiki have moved over here.
You're right that the decision wasn't unanimous, but notice that almost everyone said that they would move with us if we went ahead. Most of the people who said "no" thought that the site would close down completely, rather than move.
There were many reasons for moving, not just the skin. The adverts were becoming more and more intrusive, even coming into the content area. You might not have noticed that not-logged-in users on their first visit get a FULL-PAGE advert. Also Wikia consulted with the community over the new skin (including me), and completely ignored all our feedback. The new system limits the control admins/founders have even more than normal, and now you're not even allowed to modify the design apart from a couple of colours and a background image.
The legal dispute is for another reason, not really related to the split - anyone can take a copy of the CC-BY-SA content and run it as a site (I can run this copy, Wikia can run their copy). The problem was with how Wikia came to get GTW in the first place (by making promises they didn't keep) and how WikisEditor's repeated copying of content broke the licence agreements. You can ignore those issues for now, though.
I saw MrLVD's edits, but they did not break any rules or policy; did not fall within the Vandalism policy (not offensive, false, random); he did not link to other sites, and he did not make mass bot edits. He was simply discussing the community split with a number of users who he believed would benefit from being told about it. Several of these users had already been blocked, so he was helping out by redirecting them here instead of back to your site. Although he should perhaps have chosen better wording than "illegal and fake", I don't think that was the equivalent of "hate speech" which is what your blocking policy states would earn longer blocks than the usual 3-day first block for insertion of nonsense. It is also not as duplicate account, as he joined this wiki long after the split and never existed on Wikia.
I think he should be unblocked, and should be allowed to discuss the split with other users should he wish. Going around blocking people because you disagree with what they say is completely wrong and completely against the morals of that wiki which (if you remember) I founded. I hope you remember that you don't "own" the community or the site, and you're just a user nominated to have some extra tools to keep things running smoothly. At the moment, it doesn't feel like that's what's happening. gboyers talk 19:31, 3 September 2011 (BST)
GTA Wiki:Community split
Thanks for making the GTA Wiki:Community split page on Wikia. I think a lot of the anger (and the spamming that sometimes happens) is confusion at what actually happened and what the current situation is. Like I've clarified the situation on our Grand Theft Wiki: About page, this should help clarify it at your end. Could you link to that on your about page or
Just a couple of edits I'd like to suggest for it:
- We didn't "found" a new site, as in build one from scratch. Grand Theft Wiki moved, whilst wikia retained their copy of GTW but changed the name to GTA Wiki.
- After Wikia refused to delete the site once we moved, we attempted to allow both sites to co-exist peacefully, specifically by using the Wikia one as a dedicated modding site and leaving GTW for canon content. However, Wikia vetoed this and banned everyone who tried to help with this.
- Sysops is not a word we use here, could you use staff instead?
- "and posting as many links to grandtheftwiki.com as they could" sounds a bit biased, could you change that to "and attemped to publicise the move"?
- "Most of the users who remain on Wikia disagree with the grandtheftwiki.com's staff that this wiki is an illegitimate copy" that's made-up. You could say "the new administrators" disagree or "some of the community that remain"
- I think you could make it a little clearer that the sites are separate, nothing to do with each other any more, and that any discussion about either site should be held on that site
- The spamming section is a little bit vague - does this mean nobody is ever allowed to mention GTW at all? Or just not post links? or just not post links en-masse?
Specifically, I would hope it's okay for us to:
- Maintain our user pages, and have links to whatever site we choose (just like everyone else can)
- Discuss the move with users, but not mass automated edits to every user page or anything
- It makes sense.
- I've made most of the changes. I rewrote the lede about your decision to leave to match what you just wrote here, mentioned the decision to make GTAWikia a modding wiki and Wikia Staff's veto of that, completely rephrased the sentence about users who remained on Wikia to remove quantifiers, used the term "staff" instead of sysops (which is a good idea regardless since "sysop" is only familiar to people who're fluent in wikipedia-lingo), and tried to make it clearer that the sites aren't affiliated with each other.
- As far as "how much you're allowed to promote" Grand Theft Wiki on GTAWikia, that's not a decision I can unilaterally make. I think it's fair for you to be able to invite users who've already chosen to leave GTA Wikia (for example, Bunnyjoke), to Grand Theft Wiki, but aside from that I'd have to think about where I'd draw the line between legitimate promotion and spamming. And again it can't be just my decision. I'll talk to the GTA Wikia staff about it, probably with the community as well. I'll link the Community Split page from the front page of GTA Wikia so that it's easier for new users to see.
- I'm not willing to undo the blocks the Wikia Staff installed, although I'm not going to renew them once they expire. In regards to editing your userpages on GTA Wikia, here's what I can do. There's a way to edit your user page on Wikia Community Central and then have it reflected on other wikia wikis. I personally don't know the code for that, but I know JFletcher/Biggest gta fan ever does because he did it. Then once you've written your page on Community Central, I can link it into your userpage with the code. Alternately, anyone can directly request I copypaste text into their userpage. Of course I'm not going to allow personal attacks on anyone on userpages. Saying that Wikia was disrespectful and only cares about money (among other things) is fair game, so is insulting Oasis (because frankly it deserves it, the second Wikia makes it truly mandatory is the day I jump ship), but I don't want anything negative about any individual person, even indirectly. And I will block spammers, especially the ones who've made hating Wikia and "trying to destroy GTA Wikia" their persona/gimmick. McJeff 05:05, 4 September 2011 (BST)
Can you let me know how you know that this Mizu101 is not the same as the one on Wikia? Feel free to email me (webmaster at grandtheftwiki) if you prefer. We have a fairly straightfoward process for Wikia users (who edited before the split) to retain or reclaim their usernames here. If the Mizu101 from Wikia leaves a message on my talk page on wikia, saying that he's NOT the same user as this wiki, then I'll be able to rename the user from here. He should also register an account here, so that I can rename him to Mizu101, assign all his pre-move edits to him, and prevent the fake user from re-registering that account. If he doesn't tell tell me and prove it's his username and his edits, then I can't take any action. However, I am also monitoring the use of duplicate accounts (I had CheckUser on Wikia and here). gboyers talk 07:04, 4 September 2011 (BST)
- You are without a doubt a pathetic person, do you have anything better to do than to stalk me? seriously, I am not impersonating him, I just like is username, it's people like you who have nothing to do but to stalk other people, I am not a troll, you're just being a ingorant brat. And by the way there is no user by the name of "The Quiet Man" you're a complete moron, and I'm starting to question on how smart you are. --Mizu (talk) 08:23, 4 September 2011 (BST)