Comparing Miraheze to Fandom

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This page is not official and simply serves as a guide for users to better understand the differences between Miraheze and Fandom. The community makes no guarantee that this page is always up-to-date and is not biased towards ourselves.

In order for users to be able to compare Miraheze to Fandom and decide which one they prefer:

Aspect Fandom Miraheze
Core principles Fandom has been rebranding itself to "Fandom" since 2016, marking a shift in the company's image and attitude towards its communities. https://www.fandom.com is filled with clickbait articles centered around fan theories and the entertainment industry. When Fandom first started, it was to be a wiki hosting service that accommodated all wikis, regardless of scope and subject, thus allowing both entertainment wikis (centered around games, movies, and TV shows), lifestyle wikis (centered around food and health), and more scholarly or serious wikis (for example, wikis about mental health or historical events) to develop. With the "Fandom" rebranding, the platform is now completely and utterly biased towards entertainment wikis, with annoying features such as the "Fan Feed" located at the bottom of every article containing links to clickbait titles under the Fandom website. The name "Fandom" does not reflect Meta's goals to provide a knowledge base of information and instead makes us look like a third-rate fansite that promotes player theories rather than fact. Miraheze is focused on being a wiki hosting service; their primary focus is on keeping the technical workings of the site going. They support all wiki communities equally, do not bias themselves towards a certain genre or topic, and any features or events that they release or hold accommodate all wikis, rather than just the "most lucrative" ones. Miraheze focuses on accommodating all wikis and allowing all wiki communities to flourish equally, and their focus is on making things friendly for editors, rather than on selling branded merch to people who win some arbitrary reward. Miraheze's goals are compatible with Meta and allow us to more accurately reflect our mission.
Software Legacy wikis on Fandom used MediaWiki version 1.19.24, which went out of support in May 2015.[1] (As of 2020, wikis running on Fandom are being migrated into a new technology platform called the Unified Community Platform (UCP). UCP has a few fixes and changes, including new feature releases such as being able to edit pages on mobile. Wikis running on the UCP platform uses MediaWiki version 1.33.3)[2] Fandom heavily customizes their version of MediaWiki, to the point where a version upgrade will be extremely difficult.

As of January 2021, all wikis have been migrated to the new software. While this does seem like a good idea on paper, since it fixes some of the problems with Legacy, it breaks many outward features and leaves wikis looking more like social media sites. It also allows even less space for content that isn’t advertisements.

Miraheze uses MediaWiki 1.35.2 (ed5e229) and constantly updates its software, as seen in Special:Version. It strives to upgrade to the latest stable release of MediaWiki whenever possible to ensure that all communities are able to enjoy new features to the wiki software.
Skins Fandom only offers one skin for desktop, called Oasis, and one for mobile, called Mercury. Fandom used to offer Monobook, but this was removed in May 2018.[3] Miraheze offers six skins by default that users can enable as they please in Special:Preferences, and users may request additional skins to be added. In addition, Miraheze utilizes the MobileFrontend extension, which delivers a rich, easy to use interface on mobile devices.
System messages Fandom does not allow free editing of the MediaWiki namespace, only allowing a select whitelist of pages that can be edited by administrators. Changes to any other system message must be reviewed by Staff. Fandom cites "security issues" as the reasoning. Miraheze allows all wiki administrators to edit the MediaWiki namespace freely by default, allowing for virtually unlimited and unhindered customizability of the site's appearance.
JavaScript pages JavaScript code that is submitted to community JS pages (which load JavaScript code for all users on the wiki) must be reviewed by a review process before they take effect. This process can take several days. Only JavaScript pages in the MediaWiki namespace are freely editable by administrators. In the userspace, users may only edit the common.js, Wikia.js, or global.js pages; edits to any other JavaScript pages in their userspace are denied. Miraheze does not enforce any restrictions on how administrators can edit the community JavaScript pages on the wiki. Changes made to these pages take effect immediately after being saved. Users can edit any JavaScript pages in their userspace freely.
Advertisements Fandom uses banner advertisements, usually injected at the sides of articles or at the very top of page. Inline advertisements have also been reported. Advertisements on Fandom are described as being annoying, disruptive, distracting, and at times malicious, as there have been reports of advertisements redirecting users to inappropriate websites. Miraheze does not have advertisements whatsoever, and rely on a donation model for funding. Because there are no advertisements, there is no chance of having bad ads redirect you to inappropriate places. Having no ads also improves site performance significantly for those without adblocking software.
Extensions Fandom offers around 18 extensions by default, and around 13 extensions upon specific request. Fandom does not allow local administrators to customize the extensions they can and cannot have. Extensions not on their list of extensions are generally rejected and not installed. Miraheze offers over 150 extensions that can be enabled by local wiki managers simply by checking a checkbox. This is in addition to the large number of extensions already enabled by default (too many to count). New extensions can be requested.
Namespaces Fandom offers the standard 16 editable namespaces that ship with MediaWiki by default, along with the "Forum" and "Forum talk" namespace for wiki-style forums. Custom namespaces can be created, but only by request, and limited to a maximum of three.[n 1] Miraheze offers all of the standard namespaces and the wiki-style forum namespaces, and allow for custom namespaces to be created using a web interface. There is no limit to the number of custom namespaces that can be created. This means that Meta can create as many namespaces as it needs, whenever it wants.[n 2]
Files and images Fandom doesn't offer any sort of shared file repository, so if you want to use an image, you have to upload it on the wiki you want to use it for. If you want to use the same image on multiple wikis, you have to upload that image to every single wiki you want to use it on. Fandom offers no real support for Ogg files; as such, playback of these files depends entirely on the web browser or on third-party plugins installed on the user's system (as Internet Explorer and Legacy Edge don't support Ogg files, they are unable to play these files). Multiple files can be uploaded at a time, but drag-and-drop is not offered, so users must click on every individual file they want to upload. Fandom does not allow MP3 files to be uploaded, even though the patents for this file format expired in April 2017. Miraheze allows users to use files hosted on the Wikimedia Commons, granting access to over 50 million+ free to use images, videos, and other media files, all without having to reupload them on the wiki. Miraheze also runs its own repository called the Miraheze Commons. Miraheze uses the TimedMediaHandler extension to play Ogg files, allowing everyone to be able to play these files. Drag-and-drop is offered on Miraheze, so users can upload multiple files simply by dragging them into the wiki editor. Miraheze allows MP3 files to be uploaded.
Editing Fandom offers two editors: VisualEditor and formerly their classic editor. Although their VisualEditor was developed in collaboration with Wikimedia, it frequently has bugs and issues and often doesn't load correctly, even on modern browsers. Additionally, the VisualEditor was forcefully rolled out to all wikis, without community input. Their classic editor remains usable but is no longer being actively developed. Their raw wikitext editor, called the "source editor", uses the 2006 editing toolbar, which was removed from mainstream MediaWiki releases and is horribly outdated. Miraheze offers the 2010 WikiEditor, which is also being used on Wikipedia. Their version of VisualEditor was developed directly by Wikimedia and is in active development. VisualEditor is also an optional feature that local wiki communities can choose on their own accord whether or not to enable.
Footnotes If <ref></ref> tags are added to a page without <references /> or {{Reflist}} at the bottom of the page, references will be displayed at the very bottom of the page. When editing and previewing a section with <ref></ref> where <references /> or {{Reflist}} does not exist in the same section but elsewhere in the article, a "Preview of references" section will appear at the bottom of the preview followed by references, although said section will not actually appear once the page is saved. This may confuse inexperienced users. If <ref></ref> tags are added to a page without <references /> or {{Reflist}} at the bottom of the page, the contents of the footnotes will appear at the bottom of the page. When editing and previewing a section with <ref></ref> where <references /> or {{Reflist}} does not exist in the same section, the footnotes will appear below the previewed page content. The cite error message will still be shown if <ref group="n"></ref> tags are used without a corresponding <references group="n" /> tag.
Accounts Fandom's accounts are global across all Fandom wikis. When a user registers for an account, an entry is created in the account creation log only on wikis where the user first registered their account in, meaning that if a user creates their account on Wiki A and then visits Wiki B, the account creation log on Wiki A will record their account creation, but not Wiki B. Users can see which wikis they've contributed to at Community Central. Miraheze's accounts are global across all Miraheze wikis. Miraheze uses the CentralAuth extension that Wikimedia also uses. When a user registers for an account, an entry is created in Special:CentralAuth that lists the date and time their global account was created; this global account is what users log in to, and will be connected to any local account on individual wikis that belong to the owner of the global account. If a user visits a wiki while logged in where they do not have a local account on yet, the CentralAuth system will automatically create a local account on that wiki for that user to use. These local account creations are logged in the account creation log on every wiki where a local account was created. A user's global account status, along with any local accounts they have attached to that account, are listed in Special:CentralAuth and is publicly viewable by anyone.
Staff Fandom employs full-time paid staff that are not selected by the Fandom community at large. Staff members say they only intervene with local wiki communities in certain circumstances, such as ToU violations, although they have been known to take actions outside of that scope, including forcibly enabling extensions without community input, changing URLs for SEO purposes without notification,[4] and even removing local wiki administrators that object to forced changes.[5] Wiki communities are not considered to have control over their own site; if they migrate, they are not permitted to redirect the old site to the new one. Fandom Staff may appoint new administrators after removing old ones if a wiki community migrates, as is the case with the Runescape Wiki. Fandom Staff will find ways to forcibly continue to run a wiki even if the old community leaves. Miraheze does not employ any full-time staff. Most staff members focus on the technical, behind-the-scenes operations of the wiki farm and generally do not involve themselves in on-wiki issues. Stewards generally fulfill many of the roles that Fandom Staff taken on; they are also unpaid and are elected by the community at large. Because Miraheze is a non-profit, there is no reason for them to trap communities inside their ecosystem.
Attitude Fandom has been known to adopt aggressive tactics as of late to remove content that they or their advertisers do not agree with. As such, "free speech" is much more limited on Fandom due to pressure from advertisers not to host content they disagree with. They have been known to employ SEO tactics, sometimes against community consensus or without notification, to boost search engine rankings for their own benefit or to inject more advertisements into their pages. Miraheze is a non-profit and doesn't run ads, so there is no pressure from advertisers to police the service outside of illegal content. Miraheze Staff focus on the technical, behind-the-scenes aspects of the wiki and leave each individual wiki community to decide upon their own policies on how they want to operate, as well as letting the community decide global policies in Requests for Comment.
View Permission Fandom only allows wikis that are publicly accessible. Miraheze gives users the option of private wikis, and they get to decide who has access to them.
  1. For technical purposes, the Fanon, Fanon talk, Game guide, and Game guide talk namespaces on The Sims Wiki on Fandom have namespace IDs 112, 113, 114, and 115, respectively.
  2. For technical purposes, the Fanon, Fanon talk, Game guide, and Game guide talk namespaces on The Sims Wiki on Miraheze have namespace IDs 3000, 3001, 3002, and 3003, respectively.