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Fan-made Fallout wiki struggles with host Fandom over autoplay videos

By Cal Jeffrey · 5 replies
Jun 20, 2018
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  1. Nukapedia is one of the largest and most comprehensive sources of information on the Fallout franchise. It hosts over 25,000 articles ranging from the original Interplay Fallout all the way through to the latest news on Bethesda's Fallout 76. To say it is the goto wiki for Fallout details would be something of an understatement. So it is no surprise that fans and admins are stirred up over a controversy regarding autoplay videos on the site.

    According to Kotaku, Fandom, the for-profit company that hosts Nukapedia, tried placing video ads amidst the wiki pages last year. That move did not go over well with the administrators of the site. They said the videos were of poor quality and they had received negative feedback over them from the community. They shared this information with Fandom and the company backed off, and removed the videos.

    Now it is trying it again. This time the videos are at least Fallout related trailers and such (preceded by ads of course) and are of better quality, but the admins and community still do not like them on the pages. The main complaint this time is that the videos are set to autoplay.

    “While users may like the content of some of the videos, literally nobody likes autoplay videos," wrote one fan. “So when a service forces them on you, it shows that service has absolutely no respect for its users.”

    “Super-admin” Chad writes, “Our relationship [with Fandom] has risen and fallen over the years, but we think it’s safe to say it’s either at, or near, an all-time low. We no longer take it for granted that what is good for Wikia is good for us, and are alarmed about the direction they are taking in many areas.”

    A Fandom representative responded to criticism by pointing out that the videos were getting a 73-percent satisfaction rating across the board and a score of 87-percent on the Fallout 76 videos alone. So it appears that Fandom is less willing to bend this time around. This unwillingness to work with the community and admins of the wiki has resulted in tensions that have the content creators evaluating their options including finding another hosting alternative or closing shop altogether.

    Chad fell short of saying that the wiki would be packing its bags, but clearly, there is a dysfunction here that cannot last without something breaking. Nobody wants to see the Fallout wiki go away, but that will primarily be up to the content creators.

    As Kotaku points out, “The wiki on Fandom as it exists already gets priority in search results. The same cannot be said for an entirely new wiki, even if they’re bringing over a dedicated community of editors and contributors.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing - click on the rock below.. Posts: 3,913   +1,156

    Auto-play is as stupid as running around in a bull's pasture with a red handkerchief tucked under your belt. "87" might find autoplay 'ok', but consider the stink from the offended "13". Fandom would be wise to accept a 'copper mine' rather than stressing for a 'gold' one.
  3. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Maniac Posts: 321   +246

    Auto-play is terrible. I hope it eventually becomes as easy to block as other forms of obnoxious ads. I'd rather have the ads than autoplay.

    This is especially a problem on slow internet connections or less powerful computers. You will start reading an article and then, BOOM!, autoplay will come roaring in and you need to go back and mute the video.

    Especially on a wiki page, there shouldn't be gimmicks towards quick monetization. Autoplay is almost as much about inflating 'views' as it is about actually engaging people. Even on media sites.
  4. Jeff Re

    Jeff Re TS Addict Posts: 143   +105

    Are they hosting the site for free?? That's the only way I can see this being okay.
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  5. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 827   +438

    I think Chrome already blocks autoplay videos that use sound. So it should be only a matter of time before the main browsers (or at least Chrome) block all autoplay videos and then just get everyone onto those browsers. There is also a plugin on Chrome to block HTML5 autoplay videos.
    There is also plenty of information online about how to block autoplay videos of any kind. While I doubt the wiki admins can publicly encourage users to use these methods (Fandom wouldn't be happy), the users certainly can of their own free will.
  6. Cal Jeffrey

    Cal Jeffrey TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 1,643   +397

    I'm not positive, but I do believe that Fandom does host Wiki's for free, but it has always had other forms of monetization as I understand it (banner ads, etc.). That's what the admins and community are complaining about. They would rather just have banners and whatnot rather than the videos.

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