This page lays out a set of guidelines on how Halo Alpha staff should conduct themselves, both on Halo Alpha and elsewhere. All members of the Halo Alpha staff should behave according to these guidelines, and no staff members - not even Administrators or Bureaucrats - are exempt.
Be Friendly and Welcoming
Halo Alpha aims to be a friendly community, where Halo fans of all opinions, beliefs, ages and backgrounds are welcomed with open arms. Members of Halo Alpha staff are expected to lead by example, and should, even in the face of hostility, maintain an amicable attitude towards all users, regardless of past issues said user may have been involved in.
Remember: the staff are regarded by many as the face of Halo Alpha, and they should act accordingly.
The Halo Alpha staff must act with maturity at all times on Halo Alpha. They should not be involved in petty conflicts, but rather should be the ones attempting to resolve them. Furthermore, they should be able to ignore attempts to annoy them, as such attempts are commonplace for staff. Finally, Halo Alpha staff are asked to keep their emotions and personal opinions out of the equation when dealing with issues, or failing that, to postpone dealing with the issue until in a better frame of mind.
Despite the extra permissions afforded to them, Halo Alpha staff are not above the law; they still must conform to Halo Alpha policy, just as all other users must. In areas where staff are afforded some leniency so they can better perform their duties, this will be clearly stated in the policies themselves. Staff should not assume that their rank automatially grants them immunity to the rules.
In short, the rules and policies are in place for a good reason: to protect and encourage the growth of the wiki and the community built around it. Halo Alpha staff who break policy, regardless of the reason, will be dealt with in the same manner as all other breaches of policy, and could result in the staff member being stripped of their rank.
Dealing with Issues
Prevent, Don't Punish
When dealing with any issue on Halo Alpha, the primary goal is always to prevent further damage or disruption, and this should be the first order of business for any staff when resolving an issue. For example, if an account is currently spamming an advertisement on the forums, a block without warning is an appropriate response, as it prevents the account from continuing to spam, and hence protects the forums from further disruption. Then, the staff member handling the situation should contact the account via their message wall to explain why they have been banned.
However, it is important to note the difference between preventative measures such as that mentioned above and punishment. Blocks, bans, kicks and similar actions should always be used as methods of prevention, not as a way to punish users. Case in point, if a user were to break the Chat Policy in the forums but the incident is a one-off occurance, it is not grounds for a block (although the user should be warned about breaking policy), as the user will likely not intentionally repeat it. On the other hand, if the user then continues to routinely break Chat Policy in spite of warnings issued to them, they should then be blocked both to prevent further flaunting of the rules and also to help discipline the user into following the policy, in future.
Assume Good Faith
- Main article: Help: Assuming Good Faith
When dealing with issues, Halo Alpha staff should always assume that any persons involved are or were acting with good intentions, excluding in very clear cases of vandalism or spam. In the majority of cases, the user will have had good intentions when they acted, but they were simply unfamiliar with the policies or the platform, hence why their post or edit hurt more than it helped.
As a result, staff should not act with hostility towards users who have caused issues or are involved in them. Instead, they should maintain a friendly attitude, and help the user correct their mistakes by showing them what was wrong, or linking them to a relevant Halo Alpha policy or help page. This way, the issue is unlikely to arise again in the future.
Also, remember that blocks, kicks and bans are only rarely required. Most issues could (and should) be resolved amicably, by simply talking to the users involved.
Representing Halo Alpha Externally
Staff are asked to remember that their rank on Halo Alpha does not inherently grant them authority, respect or bragging rights elsewhere in the Halo community. The ranks on Halo Alpha are not positions to be championed, but simply a glorified toolbox handed to users judged to be capable enough to handle them. If a staff member is found to be citing their rank on Halo Alpha on external sites for their own personal gain, it would call into question whether the user should be a staff member at all. Note that if the discussion is about Halo Alpha, then it is acceptable for staff to mention that they hold a rank here, as it implies a deeper knowledge of Halo Alpha's inner workings.
For example, imagine a hypothetical discussion on the Halo Waypoint forums about whether a specific edit to Halo Alpha would class as vandalism. It would be acceptable for Wiki Moderator to say "As a wiki mod on Halo Alpha, I can tell you that yes, I would class that as vandalism." However, on the other hand, in a debate about the fate of Admiral Cole, it would be out of order for an Administrator to say "Cole is definitely dead. Trust me, I know this stuff; I'm an admin on Halo Alpha."
Additionally, staff should refrain from acting as if they are ambassadors for Halo Alpha. If there is ever a need for Halo Alpha to communicate in any official capacity, the Administration will discuss it as a group and reach a consensus on what the content of the message will be. Individual Halo Alpha staff members should never claim to represent any larger group of Halo Alpha users, unless they have explicit permission to do so, from that group.
To reiterate what was said under the first subheading, the staff are the face of Halo Alpha, and are expected to act accordingly, even on other sites. They are asked not to sully the reputation of Halo Alpha by implicating it in any of their own discussions or debates.
Abuse of Power
Abuse of Power is defined by Halo Alpha as a member of staff using the tools their rank grants in a way that does not conform to policy and/or is not in Halo Alpha's best interests. One example would be banning or blocking someone merely on the basis that they dislike the person, not in response to any issue the person has caused. Abuse of Power is strictly forbidden on Halo Alpha, and is regarded in a very serious light. Staff who abuse their power are liable to be demoted, as well as even blocked or banned.
As a result of this, it is imperative that all Halo Alpha staff only use their additional tools in a way that abides by the policies of Halo Alpha and is in the best interests of the site. Staff must know the policies well enough not to accidentally abuse their power, and also must take care not to let their emotions or personal opinions influence their judgement.