"Antagonist fussing" is trying to put a very specific label on a character as to what kind of antagonist or protagonist they are. This occurs more with antagonists than protagonists, but the term will apply to both.
When discussing a character, descriptions of what they do, their behaviors and what they say should be included in the main body of the page. Labels of "antagonist" and "protagonist" are discouraged and other words like "character", "leader", "villain", "enemy" and "friend" should be used instead.
If antagonist or protagonist are used, the description must be kept simple. Do not go any further than "main" or "minor", as in "main protagonist" and "minor antagonist". If several characters are more-or-less equal in status, qualifiers like "one of the main" or "one of the minor" may be used.
Attempting to use more specific qualifiers like "secondary" or "tertiary" is prohibited because they are subject to interpretation and lead to edit wars.
When adding categories, only use the base levels of "antagonists" and "protagonists". Leave any qualifiers or modifications on the main part of the page. Attempting to get around antagonist fussing on the main part of the page by using categories instead also counts as antagonist fussing.
Labeling characters as an antagonist or protagonist inside a list of characters or actors is prohibited.
Violators are subject to being blocked as described below.
Why this is prohibited
- It's a type of edit war. Can occur within minutes, hours or days, or can occur over several months.
- It is more important to know what a character does and who they are than to try an pin them down with a label.
- Mis-used words. The definitions of the words being used are for actors, not characters.
- Made-up words. Words are being invented for the really minor antagonists (usually the fourth level down or even further down) and there is no consistency to the words they make up.
- The labels being used are overly-complex and have built-in doubts about their validity by using words like "probably" and "maybe".
- Wikipedia's Manual of Style on films discourages using labels that are subject to interpretation.
- The people who are antagonist fussing can't make up their minds. The exact levels people are attempting to pin on a character are subject to interpretation.
- Some of the people who are doing this contradict themselves and continue to the point where it becomes vandalism.
- People that focus on antagonist levels often do not make any other kind of edit, so they are not helping to build the wiki.
- The edit war often continues into the Trivia sections of the page with statements of "other people think the character is (antagonist level), but they are really (different antagonist level) because of (reason)".
An analysis of the edits for one character was performed. Short summary of that analysis: 161 different kinds of antagonist labels were discovered, the antagonist fussing led to edit wars, and one out of every three edits was wasted antagonist fussing or reverting it.
A more thorough explanation of these reasons can be found at Antagonist fussing policy/reasons.
Examples of antagonist fussing can be seen at Antagonist fussing policy/examples.
A few examples of antagonist fussing in a real-world setting can be found at Antagonist fussing policy/realworld.
Definitions of valid words are located at Antagonist fussing policy/definitions, showing why they do not apply to characters.
The first instance of antagonist fussing will result in a warning. The second instance will result in a two-week block. Any further instances will result in the block being doubled.
After the fourth instance, which is a three month block (the standard setting available after one month), the administrator is allowed to use their discretion to decide if a much longer block is warranted, up to and including a permanent block.
Instances are typically grouped by day. For example, five edits involving antagonist fussing on one day is considered one instance. However, if a warning is given on the user's Talk page or Message Wall and they continue after posting that warning, those edits can be considered a new instance.
If it is necessary to get the user's attention to make sure they read the warning, a short block such as for 5 minutes can be used. Include in the block reason a notice like "read the message on your Talk page" so they will see it when the wiki notifies them they cannot edit at this time. Blocks like this do not count as a continued infraction.