Hattiesburg Memory:Rules

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Here are a handful of rules and guidelines regarding the Wiki.

Rule #1

Rule #1 is don't be a jerk. Corollaries include don't be stupid, don't be lame, don't be childish, don't be a bully, don't be a vandal, and don't be a loser.


  • Don't post copyrighted material without permission. See the Copyright and licenses section below for more info.
  • Don't spam. If you want your business put onto the wiki then that's fine, but don't abuse the wiki to advertise.
  • Don't post opinions.
    • Don't post "reviews." The Wiki is not the place to post your review of the burger you ate last night.
    • Don't post "political" stuff. A page about someone running for some local office is fine, but DO NOT use the wiki as a campaign tool, and DO NOT post personal opinions about anyone, whether positive or negative.
  • Don't post personal information. Posting the addresses of public businesses is fine, but do not post things like personal addresses, phone numbers, etc.
  • Don't post anything obscene or vulgar or dirty (a possible exception is quoting a source with some dirty words, but please use common sense).


  • Be accurate!
  • Use proper grammar and spelling.
  • Cite your sources.
  • Properly quote your source if appropriate (copying-and-pasting from another source, even Wikipedia (which uses an incompatible content license anyway), without making it known that it's a quote is plagiarism).

Copyright and licenses

All text is released under the Attribution 2.5 license without exception. If the text you want to add cannot be released under this license then do not post it.

Media (pictures, sounds, movies, etc) are normally released under the same license as the rest of the content of the site, but exceptions are allowed (for instance, a particular image can be released as "public domain," or even a more strict Creative Commons license). But all copyrighted media must be posted either under fair use or come with explicit permission from the copyright holder. (see Category:Image_copyright_tags) When possible, try to use a more liberal license. For example, a "public domain" license is preferable over a "Creative Commons Attribution" license, and a "Creative Commons Attribution" license is preferable over a "Creative Commons No Derivatives" license.

Licenses that the Wikimedia Commons prohibits, such as the Creative Commons Non-Commercial licenses, are heavily discouraged.


Respect the privacy of individuals, both alive and deceased. Be particularly careful about including information that may adversely affect someone's reputation. Wikipedia says:

Many Wikipedia articles contain material on people who are not well known, even if they are notable enough for their own article. In such cases, exercise restraint and include only material relevant to the person's notability, focusing on high-quality secondary sources. [...] Material that may adversely affect a person's reputation should be treated with special care; in many jurisdictions, repeating a defamatory claim is actionable, and there are additional protections for subjects who are not public figures.

When deciding whether to include information about an individual, consider the following:

  • Is the information true and well documented in other sources?
  • Is the information relevant and necessary?
  • Is the information damaging to the individual's reputation?
  • What is the individual's expectation of privacy? Consider:
    • Is the individual a public figure (such as someone holding public office, a celebrity, etc), or is the individual relatively unknown?
    • Is the individual alive or dead?
    • How old is the individual? As a general rule, information about individuals under the age of 18 should only be included in the rarest of circumstances.

See Wikipedia's policy for more guidance. Basically, if you aren't sure whether a bit of information belongs on the Wiki, err on the side of privacy.

Other stuff

  • If you see a link that goes to a blank page (in other words, a link that's red colored) don't create the stub unless you have at least a little bit of information on the page.
  • Use the summary box when you make a change to a page.
  • Use the "preview" button to preview your changes. Try to minimize the number of saves you do on a page when you're editing it.
  • If you have comments on a particular page, or something regarding something on a particular page, use the appropriate Discussion page to leave your comments. Don't hold discussions on the article page itself.
  • The Discussion pages are for discussing the article itself, not the topic the article covers. In other words, the discussion page for the article about XYZ Burger is not for discussing XYZ Burger itself, but only for discussing ways to improve the article, etc.
  • Admins and moderators have final say in any dispute. They have the power and authority to ban a user without warning if the admin or mod decides that that user is behaving in a way detrimental to the health of the wiki, whether that be due to vandalism, spamming, trolling, being abusive, or any other negative behavior not mentioned here.

See also