YPPedia:Vanity guidelines

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These vanity guidelines are intended to assist YPPedia users in determining exactly what is and what is not to be considered vanity information within YPPedia, which is not suitable copy material for YPPedia article pages. Vanity information is considered to be any information which was placed in any YPPedia article which might create an apparent conflict of interest, meaning any material which presents the appearance of being intended to in any way promote the personal notoriety of the author, or one of the close associates of the author. Vanity information can sometimes present itself in the form of an entire YPPedia article (a vanity article), or sometimes it can present itself more subtly in the form of various types of vanity information. Once any such article or individual edit within an article has clearly been identified as such, it is normally either reverted out of an article, or if an entire article, the article is then usually submitted for deletion.

Most often, vanity edits are edits about the editors themselves or their personal associates. While an article about a little-known flag, say, should not automatically be taken as a vanity article, it is preferable for the initial author not to be a member of the flag; likewise, an article about a little-known pirate should preferably not be by the pirate, a crew member, a hearty, etc. Articles on very little-known subjects are often of debatable value for our readers, so if you write a new article on one it is particularly important to express the facts in a neutral way and as much as possible to cite sources that are credible, neutral, and independent.

As explained below, vanity by itself is not a basis for deletion, but lack of importance is.

Examples of vanity information

Vanity information can come in many forms. It can come in the form of an entire article, or it can come in more subtle, but equally unencyclopedic advertising links, personal page links in articles, personal or semi-personal photos, or any other information that appears to be intended to distract readers away from the main topic of any article towards the promotion of personal or commercial interests. Such information usually detracts from the direct illumination of the central topic of any article. Usually the types of information that are found to be vanity information are the types of information that belong more properly on YPPedia user pages.

Vanity articles: an example

Is <Pirate> 'typical' or 'noteworthy'?

<Pirate> joined YPP in February 2004 and is an officer of The Crew. His best puzzles include carpentry and navigation, and he's currently single. His greenie dream was to become an captain, but now he dreams of being a blockade navigator.

Looking more closely at <Pirate>'s activities

Nothing against <Pirate>, but his in-game activities just aren't highly noteworthy, nor useful for YPPedia. These activities might appear to be the activities of a good, but rather typical pirate. This list of activities doesn't include any especially noteworthy work he has done, and it does not explain why an article about him should exist in the first place. Furthermore, even in the cases of decidedly famous people, these people's unrealized aspirations and thoughts are seldom included in YPPedia, unless they are directly salient to the pirate's game life and, preferably, verifiable. With such stringent standards being applied to even decidedly famous people, obviously they also apply to <Pirate> and any edit or article that might be considered to describe him.

Vanity edits: examples

In addition to vanity articles themselves, there are other certain types of edits within non-Vanity articles that may be deemed as vanity edits. Vanity edits can include:

  1. The insertion of links that appear to promote products or services by pointing to obscure or not particularly relevent commercial sites. (Also called commercial links.)
  2. The insertion of links that appear to promote otherwise obscure players by pointing to their personal pages. (Vanity links.)
  3. The insertion of photographic materials that may appear to be unneccessarily promoting products or players which may not be the central topics of any given article. (Vanity photos.)
  4. The insertion of any textual personal biographical information within an article which does not significantly add to the clarity or meaning of the article. (Vanity text edits.)

As YPPedia aspires to be an online encyclopedia of quality, accuracy and integrity, the best rule of thumb while determining whether or not any such edits may contain vanity materials, is to ask one's self, "Would this same type of material normally be found in a print encyclopedia?"

How can an article not be vanity?

An article is not "vanity" simply because it was written by its subject. Articles about existing crews, flags, islands, and businesses are not "vanity" so long as the content is kept to salient material and not overtly promotional. The YPPedia policy limits player pages to those who hold (or have previously held) positions of monarch, governor, captain; players who have won familiar contests; and players who have designed one or multiple islands. Players who have made significant accomplishements or achievements or who have obtained a high level of notoriety may also be listed, however these pirates need greater justification in the article to remain listed in the YPPedia. Articles that are poorly written or lacking in any serious substance may be deleted, no matter how notable the pirate in question may be.

Effectiveness of vanity articles

Vanity posters may post with the motive of increasing their own personal fame, or recognition of some group they are a part of. For this purpose, vanity articles are relatively ineffective. Most vanity articles receive few hits per day until nominated for deletion, and are possibly only seen by the user who nominates one. A vanity poster could theoretically increase traffic to his or her page by adding more links to it, and this is sometimes done—but it may risk earlier deletion of the page.

Problems with vanity articles

The most significant problem with vanity articles is that they often discuss subjects that are not well-enough known for there to be multiple editors. Additionally, they are often "experimental" articles to which the author never returns. The quality of a YPPedia article is often presumed to be proportional to the number of edits, so if an article is doomed to be a one-edit article, it should be deleted.

In some cases, YPPedia users write articles about themselves when the more appropriate action would be to create a user page. In these cases, the article is normally moved into the User namespace rather than deleted.

Another danger is inherent in auto-biographical articles. Users might write articles pertaining to their own work or in-game accomplishments. While the authors of such articles might not consider them "vanity" articles, they are in violation of the soft policy against writing articles on one's own accomplishments.

Policy regarding vanity articles

Main statement: Policies

Vanity articles that make no plausible claim of notability are usually judged a candidate for speedy deletion shortly after creation. Those that offer some claim of notability, however remote, are usually sent to a voted deletion. Deletion of the article normally ensues, although sometimes it may be moved to the user's user-page.

If you judge an article to be a vanity article, and thus prone to the problems associated with such articles, you should request its deletion.

The user who created the article is most often a new, or newer user. If there is nothing particularly offensive about the page, please be kind to the wiki-greenie. Suggestion: before beginning any deletion procedures on a vanity article, it is sometimes found that by simply politely informing the creator of the article that this appears to be a vanity article, and by pointing him or her to this page first, that the author him or her self will sometimes easily agree to the deletion him or herself, thus saving much waste of time and energy on the parts of all concerned parties.

Usually, vanity articles are not recreated after being deleted. It is believed that the majority of vanity article creators forget about their vanity articles and do not revisit at all; this is evident in that they rarely defend the article during the deletion debate.