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tl;dr: I am no longer active on this wiki. I once enjoyed editing it but Wikia wikis now stress me out so much that it is really better if I leave before I do something stupid again and get blocked for what would be the fourth time.
My former user page, which is undoubtedly a lot more fun to read, can be found here.
When I first came here in February 2013, I was pleasantly surprised by how welcoming the user community here was. I had been seriously offended by a rather insulting and humourless bit of the Wales article and I found that if I raised my concerns civilly on the talk page rather than leaving angry comments in the article, I would actually be taken seriously. Feeling encouraged by my initial experience, I went on to create three articles and, so I would like to think, noticeably improve many other ones.
One of my articles, Kitty Store, was actually a rewrite of something far more illogical and silly that I had moved to Illogicopedia. I thought it would be proper to link the two articles to each other by means of See Also sections, so I did. However, it appears a rule had been established sometime around then that external links in articles were not allowed, or at least strongly discouraged. I did not think much of the message I saw when I tripped Special:AbuseFilter/17. After all, I had written an entire article and I saw nothing wrong with linking to another version of it in a closely related wiki. But according to SPIKE, any external links, regardless of whether they were to a related wiki, regardless of whether you had written a decent article as well as including the links, must not be included because the rules must be enforced equally. That is, regular, constructive contributors adding relevant links to related wikis should be reprimanded just as severely as single-edit IP users adding links to Youtube videos. I went along with the idea at first, but things did not stop there.
Somewhere in here, I discovered the Welsh version of Uncyclopedia. It was extremely dusty and unused and I sent out a call for help, asking if anyone here could do anything about it. The forum was moved to my userspace and Spike told me that the Village Dump was 'definitely not the right place' for my request. There was nothing he or Sannse could do, they said: 'Celwyddoniadur is not a Wikia property' and I could not get admin rights on it, which I needed to clean it up, by asking for them here. I was encouraged to set up a new version of Celwyddoniadur on Wikia to solve this problem. I considered it - but then I realised there was no way to avoid the Wikia skin and make it look like a regular Uncyclopedia, and I dropped the idea of moving it to Wikia. Rightly or not, I felt as if I was not supposed to talk about non-Wikia wikis here - and that that was why I was being encouraged to host Celwyddoniadur on Wikia, and why the abuse filter had been created - and I should not talk about the (also) non-Wikia mirror/fork I was going to create; this made me angry. I had stumbled on the other English Uncyclopedia around this time as well and I decided to contribute to it instead, as I was not interested in being blocked for incivility. I also noticed that not all those who added external links had been reprimanded for it, as the abuse filter had been implemented relatively recently, and I felt as if I was being unfairly singled out in a manner similar to Welsh Not where only the last Welsh-speaking child in the class wearing the piece of wood is corporally punished. This as well made me decide that I did not want to spend any more time here. So I tried to leave. I also replaced my user page with an analogy between Welsh Not and Abuse Filter #17.
But it didn't work very well. Long story short, I returned to edit here, meaning that I was active on both Uncyclopedias. Things went fine for quite some time after that. Near the end of school in June, I ran into a homework crunch and requested to be blocked for two weeks so I would not keep editing instead of getting work done. Spike carried out my request, something for which I am still grateful. After that, it seems, I began to drift away and focus on other wikis, though initially I had planned to return to my former level of activity. Being gone for two weeks can do that to you.
Around the time of my first attempt at retirement, Spike blocked Multiliteralist for a month for violating the Wikia terms of Service. I reviewed his contributions and apparently his offence was to invite other users to places other than this Uncyclopedia; he had remarked at one point on User talk:Zim ulator that his writing style was better received on the fork, and he had invited Zim ulator to chat on IRC. It seems that one is not allowed to use Wikia's resources to direct traffic away from Wikia. What I do not understand is where you draw the line. Multiliteralist's actions, to me, seem rather innocent - he had mainly just stated his opinion of things, and it is perfectly ordinary and normal to invite other users to chat off-wiki or discuss the relative merits of another related one. The line seems to be in part up to the blocking admins.
Since then I have found many more cases of blocks due to 'Terms of Service violations' across several Wikia wikis, not all related in any way to this one beyond belonging to Wikia, and I am no longer able to go on believing that these blocks and other such actions (e.g. desysopping) are justified. I have seen many wiki communities try to leave Wikia for various reasons and, in every case, the Wikia staff have done nearly everything in their power to prevent the move and to make it appear as if those who left were leaving the community rather than the wiki. Now, I know that Wikia doesn't allow wikis to leave. That is only too clear. But, in my opinion, it should. Being able to change hosts is one of the basic rights of a website and Wikia has, time and time again, denied it. They have their reasons; decent enough reasons in a way, founded on logic, but it is for only their own interests. The more wikis they have, the more business they can get, so they only close wikis when it suits their interests as opposed to those of the community.
Admittedly none of that has happened here - not quite like that - but I have been quite turned off from editing any wiki where Wikia casts a visible shadow. The whole setup, notably the bit where the staff automatically have absolute power over user rights and sometimes abuse it to suit their own interests (though they do not do so here too much, thank goodness), makes me feel like I am walking on eggs. I never know when I might cross a line and find myself reverted or blocked. I am never really sure what I can and can't do. I have seen several signatures that link to other Uncyclopedias and even external sites and similarly I added a link to Welsh Uncyclopedia in mine; Spike removed the link, calling it a Terms of Service violation because it was 'linking to another website that I like better'. This I cannot see as justified no matter how hard I try. It is a link to another Uncyclopedia, something that is often done in signatures both here and on Wikipedia. It is certainly not an external website, but part of the same larger group. But somehow it goes contrary to Wikia's terms.
Ask yourself, if you will - is this right? I do not think so. I see no reason for it to be right, no reason at all, other than helping Wikia. Does Uncyclopedia exist to help Wikia? Apparently, yes, it does - in large part. Once a wiki joins Wikia, it is and will always be a Wikia wiki, from what I can see. It bothers me that Wikia wikis are encouraged to dissociate from non-Wikia wikis to the point where the former is heavily restricted from linking to the latter even when they are part of the same larger family. This means, I think, that Uncyclowikia will progressively drift farther and farther away from the other Uncyclopedias, perhaps even those hosted on Wikia, until it really is an abandoned copy and the other site is significantly more active. On one hand, I admit, I would like that to happen because I dislike both Wikia and the idea of two active nearly-identical wikis. On the other hand, it is always sad when a wiki dies, especially when it is killed unintentionally.
That aside, I have also been drifting away, and now I have decided to leave for the second and last time. I do not want to edit a wiki that is being isolated from other related ones for what is obviously the good of its hosting service. I do not want to honour Wikia by continuing to edit under its rather squishy and overly restrictive rules, and I do not want to do the same work twice which I would essentially be doing if I were to split my time between Uncyclowikia and Enuncyco. Finally, I prefer independence with all its complications to dependence: and so I happen to be both a Welsh nationalist and an anti-Wikia Uncyclopedian who has moved on to the fork.
Spike, Simsilikesims, I don't know if you will read this but I am sorry for giving you grief and being uncivil. Even so, I do not think many of your actions are justified. I do not agree that I should have been blocked for replacing my talk page with a pointer to Meta; I am not here and posting on my talk page at this point is kind of silly, so it ought to give a place one can find me. Again I believe I have been unfairly singled out for doing something that is ordinary and sensible.
I am sad to leave this place. However, I know that I would be even more sad and stressed if I did not leave. This is why I know it is the right decision.
- ↑ See Special:Contributions/126.96.36.199.
- ↑ It is arguable how 'external' a website Illogicopedia truly is, as it is closely related to Uncyclopedia, but for our purposes it is, and for the abuse filter it was because I had linked to it with a full URL.
- ↑ See this section on my talk.
- ↑ The warning states that 'Uncyclopedia is a website for your original comedy writing. We are not a catalog of funny stuff available at other websites.'
- ↑ I should have put it on UnMeta but I didn't know about it at the time. Apparently nobody else realised that either; I was never told what I should have done, only that I did it wrong.
- ↑ Welsh Uncyclopedia
- ↑ I even wrote an article about the external links rule comparing it (humorously) to Welsh Not, though it is published only on the other Uncyclopedia.
- ↑ See: Communpedia, Wackypedia, WoWWiki, Absurdopedia (Russian Uncyclopedia). Specifically, look at the block and rights logs and the edit history of MediaWiki:Sitenotice.
- ↑ Though of course on Wikipedia/Wikimedia the links I mean point to another part of Wikimedia. I think they have a no external sites in sigs rule as well but external sites are only those sites that are not part of Wikimedia. This, I suppose, is a bit like Wikia's rule that links in sigs must be to a part of Wikia (if that is not just Spike's interpretation).
- ↑ I have been told that the two sites have different focuses. I have so far seen no conclusive evidence of that, but in any case I do not intend to edit here any more. Enuncyco is yet another story.