Wikipedia:Userbox policy poll

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(In this case specifically, there was no consensus for support (61%).)

A workable userbox or user template policy[edit]

Slightly tweaked from User:Pathoschild/Projects/Userboxes/Policy, based on an earlier proposal by Doc glasgow.


A. Foundational to Wikipedia is the neutral point of view. Jimbo has said that 'here we are Wikipedians, out there we are advocates'. Although many editors would prefer that expression of POV be discouraged on user pages, many others believe that bias is better declared. There being no consensus on the matter, there should be no prohibition; prohibition is, in any case, unenforceable. Users should be permitted relatively free expression on their userpage without censorship or other hindrance. They may, if they so desire, declare their point of view, and may arrange the space as they wish (including the use of any userboxes). These should be limited only by the usual policies relevant to user pages, those regarding no personal attacks, civility, copyright, legal considerations, not bringing wikipedia into disrepute, no deliberate trolling, and the caveat that wikipedia is not a free webhost.

B. Wikipedia is a neutral encyclopaedia, not a vehicle for political advocacy. As such, the main template and category space and the server resources involved in transclusion should only be used to further the encyclopaedia. User templates should only exist in so far as they assist in that aim.

Userbox Policy:

  1. Userboxes should generally be permitted as free expression (subject to the caveats in A).
  2. Templates designed for use in userspace should only be permitted where they are of benefit to creating an encyclopaedia, and are general enough in scope that they are likely to be used by a reasonable number of editors. Userboxes existing as templates should be those useful to declare a relevant skill, speciality, editing interest, or membership of a valid wiki-grouping. Advocacy or POV declaring are specifically excluded.
    • This provision should be interpreted fairly liberally, and would likely include templates related to language, expertise, geographic or national focus, wiki-status (admin etc.), project membership, editing interests, and wiki-tasking (mediator etc.).
    • 'Editing interest' would allow templates that specify an interest in US politics, for example, but not membership or support of a particular party. For example, 'user Christian theology' but not 'user Christian believer', 'user abortion articles' but not 'pro-life', or 'scientology article editor' but not pro- or anti-.
    • All userboxes that define a point of view, belief, extra-wiki affiliation, user-specific subject, or joke would be allowed unimpeded in the user namespace. Note that a user subpage that is transcluded without substitution by multiple users is considered a 'template'. This would be subject to the caveats of principles A and B.
  3. Categories of users should only be permitted where they are of benefit to creating the encyclopaedia, interpreted as per above, and explicitly excluding categorizing by POV.


  1. Speedy deletions of userbox templates should cease, except as follows:
    1. Userboxes that are blatant infringements of applicable Wikipedia policy, such as No personal attacks, should be speedy deleted.
    2. Existing templates which do not meet the above criteria should not be immediately deleted. These should be substituted onto user pages, or users notified to substitute them onto their user pages. These templates should be deleted after a period of four weeks grace or once all instances have been substituted.
    3. Templates created after this policy comes into effect which do not meet the criteria may be speedily deleted. Any template that might debatably meet the criteria must be sent to TfD, where the sole criterion would be 'utility to the project'.
    4. Userboxes that don't comply with template requirements may be copied onto some special pages, from which they may be cut and paste (hard-coded) onto userpages as desired.
  2. If Jimbo is in agreement, WP:CSD T1 (at least for userbox templates) might be replaced with userbox templates that obviously do not conform to the agreed userbox policy.

As some people seem a little confused as to what this might mean for userboxes, I've offered a little commentary here.--Doc ask? 14:23, 23 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

This section only attempts to clarify the meaning and end-result of previously added words. This has been discussed on the talk page. No changes to the above policy are found in this section.

  1. Users will be free to place whatever they wish on their user pages; this proposal makes no restrictions on this.
  2. All userbox templates that show a POV or are not directly related to wikipedia will be deleted after a period of time. Note that a user subpage that is transcluded without substitution by multiple users is considered a 'template'.
  3. Templates that are deemed helpful to the encyclopedia will be kept.
  4. Nothing in this policy prohibits a list of userboxes, like Wikipedia:Userboxes, which is used for copying, rather than transclusion.