The TV IV:Policies
The TV IV is an informational resource about all things related to television. It's just that simple. As a result, there are very few policies and rules, and most of them are basic common sense.
We welcome participation. We welcome feedback. We welcome discussion. Most of our policies can be boiled down to three rules:
- Don't be a jerk.
- Don't be more trouble than you're worth.
- Contribute anything you want, provided it's accurate, informative and relevant to the subject at hand.
To avoid confusion and answer questions, below is a list of specifics as to what we mean by that.
Violating one of these may get you blocked, or it may just result in a cranky message on your user talk page from one of our admins, sysops or bureaucrats. Most of them boil down to common courtesy, however, so when in doubt, just be courteous and make your edits in good faith, and you'll probably be fine.
- Don't Be a Spammer or a Vandal: There's no hard and fast rule as to what constitutes a "spammer" or a "vandal," but our sysops and admins are reasonable, intelligent people most of the time, and we're pretty good at knowing it when we see it.
- Be Courteous to Your Fellow Users: In the course of discussion, disagreements will come up. Feel free to argue your point, but there's no need to resort to insults, name calling or flame wars. If you find a discussion getting heated, take a deep breath and remind yourself that you're getting this upset about what someone on the Internet said about a TV show. Go outside. Get some fresh air.
- Be Courteous to Sysops, Bureaucrats and Admins: Our administrators are regular people with jobs, friends, families and hobbies. We're here to make this site run smoother and provide a better, more useful, more entertaining resource. We do not sit around and think up ways to oppress your right to free speech or your pet theory about what's happening on Lost. If you disagree with one of our policies or actions, feel free to let us know on talk and discussion pages or by contacting us. But don't antagonize us, harass us, insult us or flame us. Remember, if we've spent hours of our lives arguing with you and being insulted by you and see no end in sight, it only takes us a few seconds to click the "block" link and be done with you forever.
- Don't Post Anything That Would Get Us in Trouble: Please don't post anything libelous. Please don't post anything that you know violates fair use copyright. Please don't post anything illegal.
- Make Your Edits Legible and Pleasant to Look At: Take a moment to proofread before clicking that "Submit" button. Try to use proper spelling, grammar and punctuation. Definitely spell people's names, character's names and TV show or episode titles correctly. If you're writing a long thing, put some paragraph breaks in there. Use bold and italics where useful and proper. Link things that should be linked—TV show titles, episode titles, people's names. If a page gets to be huge and there's a way you can break it down into separate pages, do so. If several small pages can be combined into one, do so.
- Check Your Facts: Make sure what you're posting is true. Do not post your own speculation. Do not post something you read on the Internet unless it's from a very reliable source—like a show's official Website. Do not post rumors you heard from the barista at Starbucks.
- Avoid Edit Wars: If an administrator or other editor has reverted an edit you've made that you thought was useful, there's probably a reason. Feel free to ask on the user talk page or on the discussion page. Try to get a consensus or reach a compromise before re-editing.
- If a Sysop, Bureaucrat or Admin Tells You to Stop Doing Something, Stop Doing It: In most cases, if you're asked to stop doing something, it's because what you're doing is in violation of one of these policies or is otherwise disruptive or unhelpful. We will almost always provide an explanation. If you believe our request or policy is unreasonable or unfair, discuss it in a civil manner. Do not flagrantly disregard the request.
- Sign Your Discusssions but Not Your Edits: Please sign any note left on a discussion or a talk page with your namestamp by entering four tildes at the end, like this: ~~~~. Please do not sign any edit made to a regular page that is not a discussion, talk or project page.
Remember, the administrators are human. We make mistakes. We have bad days. There have been incidents where we have been unnecessarily harsh or banned someone who didn't deserve it, then thought better of it or had another administrator or editor told us we overreacted. It happens, and we're really sorry. If you feel you have been blocked, temporarily or permanently, in error, feel free to contact us and state your case. Just remember that we will correct things we do wrong, but the only thing we've done to you is prevented you from discussing a TV show on one Internet site for a little while. There's no need to get vicious about it.
The TV IV Is Not Wikipedia
- You Don't Need to Discuss Most Edits with Other Contributors Before Adding Them: You don't need anybody's permission to add useful information about a series cast or an episode plotline. You don't need a consensus on whether such-and-such a quote or episode or moment is "Memorable." If there's a disagreement, then go to the discussion page, but don't be afraid to make a useful, informative and relevant edit.
- There's No Set NPOV Rule (But Try to Be As Objective As Possible): If you're filling in episode guides for all 86 episodes of The Sopranos, chances are you think it's a good show. Chances are you have some strong feelings about this or that episode. A certain amount of that is unavoidable. There are even sections of the wiki which encourage some relative judgements to be made ("Memorable Moments" on episode pages, for instance, or "Notable Episodes" on season pages). However, try to be objective. An episode is "Notable" because it's a major turning point in the series, was nominated for a significant number of awards and/or is frequently cited by professional critics and fans of the shows on "Best Episodes" lists. It's not "Notable" because it's the first one you ever saw. It's fine to post what "critics say" if critics actually say it—if it has been a topic of discussion in newspapers and magazines or on debate shows. It's not fine to post what "critics say" if the only critic saying it is you.
- Original Research Is Fine for Most Things: Go ahead and post info for an episode you just watched. You don't need to cite academic journals about it. However, again, try to get your facts right. If there is a controversy over some of your information, please be prepared to discuss it.
- We Do Not Have a Process for Blocking You: We would prefer not to block anyone, but we will block anyone who is troublesome or doing harm to the site. Just because you do not violate any of these specific guidelines does not mean you can be a jerk or an idiot. Just because you are acting within the letter of the law does not mean you are acting within the spirit of the law.
Other Things the TV IV Is Not
- It's Not Television Without Pity: Please limit your discussion of TV shows and episodes to factual matters regarding a TV show and the best method of presenting those facts on this site. Avoid posting your own speculation, opinions or reactions.
- It's Not CraigsList: We're not selling anything. We're not buying anything. If you want to buy a DVD set, the best we can do is provide an Amazon link. We currently have advertising agreements with a few sites. If you'd like to discuss mutual advertising agreements with us, e-mail the admin mailbox. Note, however, that we reject most offers unless we feel it's beneficial for the site.
- It's Not Actors Access: If you're an agent or manager, please don't use this as a place to promote your clients. We'll remove bios that are blatantly promotional, and we seriously frown upon posting multiple headshots—particularly for an actor with few TV credits. Keep credits on actors' pages within the preferred format for this site. "Guest Star" and "Co-Star" credits should be limited to people who were credited for an episode in almost all cases. Please don't post uncredited appearances barring certain extreme instances.
- It's Not the Internet Movie Database: We understand that the TV industry and the film industry are intricately linked—as are, for that matter, the music, home video, video game, publishing and comic book industries, along with the Internet. However, as much as possible, try to limit discussion on this site to anything with direct relevance to television or a television show.
- It's Not E! Entertainment: Actor pages are not intended for keeping track of concert appearances or stage performances unless extraordinarily relevant. Discussion pages are not intended for debates as to which celebrity is more attractive or whether or not someone is a vegetarian or a smoker or a Republican unless extraordinarily relevant. Gossip about a celebrity's personal life is very rarely extraordinarily relevant.
- It's Not The Daily Kos/Polipundit: While "NPOV" is not a rule, keep the political debate off the site. This is not the place to discuss the liberal, anti-American bias in The Daily Show or whether or not Bill O'Reilly is an idiot and a liar. (It is, however, totally fair to say that The Colbert Report is a parody of ultra-conservative talk show hosts like O'Reilly, or that Saturday Night Live spoofs Hillary Clinton as an overly slick and emotionless politician.)
- It's Not a Network, Station, Production Company, Studio, Home Video Distributor or Agency, Nor Is It Affiliated with Any: Copyrights on images and files appear here under fair use doctrine and are copyright their respective owners. The TV IV does not have any affiliation with anyone who produces, distributes, airs, writes, directs or appears in any television show. We cannot help you contact anyone who does, nor will we if asked to do so. We cannot get your script or episode idea to anybody, nor will we if asked to do so.
- It's Not a File Sharing Site, Nor Is It Affiliated with Any: We will work to get any file sharing site shut down if it uses falsified versions of our domain names and logos.