This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments or questions on this topic should be made in a new Senate Hall page rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. Advanced Jedi Training Droid 6(Talk to my master) 06:00, October 26, 2016 (UTC)
Hello everyone, I am posing this question because it has become a major issue on the Assassin's Creed wiki, of which I am a major contributor. I wanted to learn the stance that Wookieepedia has in regards to this issue so that I may better understand what is a good guideline. You guys may tell me that the Assassin's Creed wiki community should develop their own policies, but most of its contributors are inactive at this point, and even the administrators have not really dealt with this issue, so I feel the need to ask for the advice from a wiki community as experienced as Wookieepedia. I do have a bad habit of being long-winded, so please excuse me if I do fail to be brief.
Assassin's Creed is a very philosophically-charged franchise that can invite fierce debates on the ideologies of either sides. From its onset, it established itself as a series that revolves around perspectivism and moral ambiguity. (A lot of the principles of the Assassins, interestingly enough, are the exact principles that we as wiki editors uphold: namely NPOV and free exchange of information). As a result, there's a enormous expectation there that the ideologies of the two primary factions: the Assassins and Templars are thoroughly explained. However, I am conflicted because I found it difficult to explain their ideologies in a purely "objective" manner. I strove hard to cite each and every last sentence where I describe Assassin ideology, and even to ensure that I was speaking from the voices of in-universe characters: what they stated, not what I think while leaving out my own personal, further extrapolations from the Assassin code. Now, maybe I did a decent job and to the best of my ability in the end, but the issue extends far further.
One player, who thought that the Assassins, as the heroes, should have their moral ground "neutralized" created a "Controversy" section that was littered mostly with his personal rants rather than unbiased analysis. I requested that this section be removed, as I thought that it was based purely on personal opinion rather than objective reasoning or any citations, but the position of the other contributors is that the section should stand. Their perspective is that the Assassins, as the heroic faction, should have a section dealing with their errors to balance out their popular reception by fans, though I believe strongly that this mentality doesn't so much promote NPOV as two polarizing biased viewpoints. Since they desired for the section to be kept, I instead reworked it entirely such that it factually notes cases where the Assassins deviated from their philosophy or when an Assassin turned to the dark side while doing my best to remove personal opinions on those cases.
Nevertheless, I remain skeptical that I am approaching this correctly. I know that if the AC wiki community desires the "Controversy" section, then it shall remain, and I made the best of it, but even in spite of that, there remains debates over which cases should be mentioned, whether certain cases constitute abuses or deviations from their philosophy or not, and I am simply of the opinion that we are relying too much on our own personal interpretations.
So here is the question I wanted to ask. I have noticed that the Jedi articles either seem to lack ideology sections altogether, much less a "controversy" section, though the Sith article does include a Philosophy section, but not a section dedicated to their atrocities. I wanted to ask what is the policy and stance that Wookieepedia has on explaining the ideologies of factions? What are your perspectives on having a "controversy" section? And most importantly, where should the line be drawn in explaining factions' philosophies since it can become difficult for editors to not leak their own personal interpretations into the articles. I'm sure this issue was far fiercer in Wikipedia, but I think that it is better to ask of Wookieepedia as we are dealing with fictional factions with less sources, not real-life ones. I know it may be weird that I am asking for advice from Wookieepedia for an issue in a different wiki, but at the moment, I am practically the only one working on the articles of issue, and I'm not experienced enough to know what is the correct way to go about this. I'm fearful that I'm imposing my own personal judgments on something contentious. Sol PacificusTelepathy 13:30, September 25, 2016 (UTC)
If I can offer an opinion: I think that allowing "Controversy" sections is a terrible idea, as the only path that can go down is anarchic edit-warring between people with opposing points of view. If you intend to be encyclopedic, a "Controversy" section should only cover verifiable real-world controversies (the Unity debacle, for instance). Discussion and debate is fine, as long as its kept to its appropriate venue—not crept into articles that are meant to be factual descriptions and explanations.
I don't know your community or its moderation policies, so please forgive me if I'm reading you wrong, but it sounds to me that you may be in need of a stronger hand enforcing a 'neutral point of view' policy. Wookieepedia has had such a policy in place for quite a long time now, in no small part because it helps to avoid exactly the sort of opinion-based writing you're talking about—and it gives both editors and administrators a codified/legitimate reason for editing or removing things that are clearly just someone's opinion. Editors here, for instance, would be fully justified in changing "the terrorist pilot fired the torpedos which destroyed the greatest military facility ever constructed" into "Skywalker fired the torpedos which destroyed the Death Star." Broadly speaking it's always been the view of this Wiki that discussion and editorializing are fine as long as it doesn't compromise the neutrality of the article. In the immortal words of Detective Columbo: "Just the facts, ma'am." — DigiFluid(Whine here) 15:04, September 25, 2016 (UTC)
Thank you very much for your helpful response! :) I agree that I'd much rather not have that section at all for those exact reasons. :( You are correct that we probably are in need of a stronger hand enforcing the NPOV policy, though I think part of that owes to editors there perhaps being inexperienced at understanding the nuances that NPOV should entail (and that does include me) and also because as far as I can tell, almost every administrator is inactive except to combat vandalism. If a character does something that clearly violates his moral code, i.e. cause a huge firestorm that gets civilians killed when his code explicitly forbids the murder of innocents, but it is not commented upon by other characters as a case of corruption or a violation of his code, though it clearly is, do you think should it be noted as corruption and/or a violation? Part of my confusion is also in cases such as these where we can logically deduce that something is in violation of a tenet, but it's not mentioned as such by in-universe characters or any sources. There are a lot more examples out there where it's far more debatable (such as indirectly risking civilian lives by galvanizing them into an uprising), and this is where I don't understand where I draw the line. I can factually state that these events occurred, but listing them under a "Corruption" section (I forgot to mention I did change it to a "Corruption" section instead) implies a personal judgment, and I'm not sure if I should only list cases where other characters have clearly said "this member violated our way and must be punished or denounced" and not otherwise. How much leeway are we allowed in logical deductions that are unsourced? (This question applies not just to AC wiki, but Wookieepedia as well and in general).Sol PacificusTelepathy 05:31, September 26, 2016 (UTC)