What can I not have on my user page?
Generally, you should avoid substantial content on your user page that is unrelated to WikiDoc. WikiDoc is not a free host, blog, or webspace provider or a general hosting service, so your user page is not a personal homepage. Your page is about you as a Wiki Doc. Examples of unrelated content include:
- A Blog relating your non-Wikidoc activities
- Extensive discussion not related to Wiki Doc
- Excessive personal information (more than a couple of pages)
- Personal statements that could be considered polemical, such as opinions on matters unrelated to Wikidoc
- Opinion pieces not related to Wikidoc or other non-encyclopedic material
- Games, roleplaying sessions, and other things that fall into "entertainment" rather than "writing a reference encyclopedia," particularly if they involve people who are not active participants in the project
- Communications with people uninvolved with the project
- Images which you are not free to use (see below)
In general, if you have material that you do not wish for others to edit, or that is otherwise inappropriate for Wikidoc, it should be placed on a personal web site. Many free and low-cost web hosting, email, and weblog services are widely available, and are a good alternative for content unrelated to Wikidoc. You might also want to consider Wikia for wiki-style community collaboration.
The Wikidoc community is generally tolerant and offers fairly wide latitude in applying these guidelines to regular participants. Particularly, community-building activities that are not strictly "on topic" may be allowed, especially when initiated by committed Wiki Docs with good edit histories. At their best, such activities help us to build the community, and this helps to build the encyclopedia. But at the same time, if user page activity becomes disruptive to the community or gets in the way of the task of building an encyclopedia, it must be modified to prevent disruption.
Redirecting your userpage to another page (other than your talk page or a subpage of your user page) is frowned on by some people. Doing so makes it difficult to follow links to your userpage and thus to leave you messages or to look at your contributions. The exception, of course, is if you redirect the userpage for an older account of yours to the userpage of your current account.
Do not include non-free images (images uploaded to WikiDoc without the permission of the copyright owner, or under licenses that do not permit commercial use) on your user page or on any subpage thereof (this is official policy and the usual wide user page latitude does not apply. Non-free images found on a user page (including user talk pages) may be removed (preferably by replacing it with a link to the image) from that page without warning (and, if not used in a Wikidoc article, deleted entirely).
Do not put your userpage or subpages, including work-in-progress articles, into categories used by Wikidoc articles. Be careful of templates and stub notices that put a work-in-progress article into categories.
Ownership and editing of pages in the user space
As a tradition, Wikidoc offers wide latitude to users to manage their user space as they see fit. However, pages in user space still do belong to the community:
- Contributions must be licensed under the GFDL, just as articles are.
- Other users may edit pages in your user space, although by convention your user page will usually not be edited by others.
- Community policies, including No personal attacks, apply to your user space just as they do elsewhere.
- In some cases, material that does not somehow further the goals of the project may be removed (see below).
In general it is considered polite to avoid substantially editing another's user page without their permission, but feel free to correct typos and other mistakes. Some users are fine with their user pages being edited, and may even have a note to that effect. Other users may object and ask you not to edit their user pages, and it is probably sensible to respect their requests. The best option is to draw their attention to the matter on their talk page and let them edit their user page themselves if they agree on a need to do so. In some cases a more experienced editor may make a non-trivial edit to your userpage, in which case that editor should leave a note on your talk page explaining why this was done. This should not be done for trivial reasons.
Use of page protection for user pages
As with article pages, user pages are occasionally the targets of vandalism or, more rarely, edit wars. When edit wars or vandalism persist, the affected page should be protected from editing. Protected pages in user space should be listed as a protected page along with the rationale for protection.
Most user page vandalism occurs in retaliation for an administrator's efforts to deal with vandalism. Administrators may protect their own user pages when appropriate, and are permitted to edit protected pages in user space. Sometimes a non-administrator's user page may be the target of vandalism. Such pages should be listed at Protection request and may then be protected by an administrator.
Note that repeatedly inserting copyrighted content on your own user page after being notified that doing so violates our policy is also considered vandalism, and may result in it being protected.
Vandalism of talk pages is less common. Usually such vandalism should merely be reverted. Blocks should be used for repeat vandalism of talk pages, where policy permits. In rare cases, protection may be used but is considered a last resort given the importance of talk page discussions to the project.
Protected pages in user space should be unprotected as soon as practical.
If the community lets you know that they would rather you deleted some or other content from your user space, you should probably do so, at least for now - such content is only permitted with the consent of the community. After you've been here for a while, and written lots of great articles, the community may be more inclined to let you get away with it. Alternatively, you could move the content to another site, and link to it.
If you do not co-operate, we will eventually simply remove inappropriate content, either by editing the page (if only part of it is inappropriate), or by redirecting it to your main user page (if it is entirely inappropriate).
In excessive cases, your user subpage may be deleted, subject to deletion policy. Please do not recreate content deleted in this way: doing so is grounds for immediate re-deletion. Instead, please respect our judgement about what is and is not appropriate.
How do I delete my user subpages?
Alternatively, you might consider simply making the page redirect to your user page. This is normally sufficient for most people's needs. There may however be a reason for the page to be kept.
Only tag for deletion your own personal pages, and only if you have a genuine reason for requesting a personal subpage of yours be deleted.
Pages which have formerly been in a different namespace and moved to a subpage of the user namespace may not be deleted in this way.
How do I delete my user and user talk pages?
Where there is no significant abuse, and no administrative need to retain the personal information, you can request that your own user page be deleted. Most frequently, this occurs when a longterm contributor decides to leave. If there has been no disruptive behavior meriting the retention of that personal information, then the sysop can delete the page straight away in order to eliminate general public distribution of the history containing the information. If the deletion occurs immediately, others may request undeletion if they feel there was in fact a need to retain the page. In such a case, the page should be undeleted and listed on Miscellany for deletion for a period of five days following the deletion of the user page. If a user page were deleted because a contributor left, it may be restored by a sysop if the contributor returns, particularly if the history contains evidence of policy violations.
As a matter of practice User talk pages are generally not deleted, barring legal threats or other grievous violations that have to be removed for legal reasons; however, exceptions to this can be and are made occasionally.
What other information is accessible to others from my user page?
In addition to the usual information accessible from an article page such as page history, "Discuss this page" and the like, other users at WikiDoc can also, at the bottom of the page (or in the sidebar), click "User contributions" to see what contributions you have made at WikiDoc over time. See MediaWiki User's Guide: User contributions page for more.
Visitors to your user page can also click "E-mail this user" if you have opted in User preferences to be able to send and receive email.