- 1 Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines
- 2 Wikipedia:Etiquette
- 3 Wikipedia:Civility
- 4 Wikipedia:Editing policy
- 5 Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Linking
- 6 Wikipedia:Dispute resolution
- 7 Help:Edit summary
- 8 Wikipedia:Edit warring
- 9 Wikipedia:Talk page guidelines
- 10 Wikipedia:No angry mastodons
- 11 Wikipedia:Consensus
- 12 Wikipedia:Canvassing
- 13 Wikipedia:Sock puppetry
- 14 Wikipedia:List of policies
- 15 Wikipedia:Image use policy
- 16 Wikipedia:Guide to image deletion
- 17 Help:Archiving a talk page
- 18 Wikipedia:Username policy
- 19 Wikipedia:Administrators
Wikipedia's editors should treat each other with respect and civility
- Explain yourself. Insufficient explanations for edits can be perceived as uncivil. Use good edit summaries, and use the talk page if the edit summary does not provide enough space or if a more substantive debate is likely to be needed.
2. Other uncivil behaviours
- (e) quoting another editor out of context to give the impression they hold views they do not hold, or to malign them
- Disputes, and even misunderstandings, can lead to situations in which one party feels injured by the other. There's no loss of face in apologising. We all make mistakes, we all say the odd hurtful thing, we all have bad days and bad moments. If you have a sneaky feeling you owe someone an apology, offer the apology. Apologising does not hurt you.
- Remember, though, that you cannot demand an apology from anyone else. It will only get their back up and make it either less likely to happen, or to be totally insincere if you do get an apology. Never be too proud to make the first move when it comes to saying sorry. That kind of "pride" is destructive. An apology provides the opportunity for a fresh start, and can clear the air when one person's perceived incivility has offended another.
- Be helpful: explain your changes. When you edit an article, the more radical or controversial the change, the greater the need to explain it. Be sure to leave a comment about why you made the change. Try to use an appropriate edit summary. For larger or more significant changes, the edit summary may not give you enough space to fully explain the edit; in this case, you may leave a note on the article's talk page as well. Remember too that notes on the talk page are more visible, make misunderstandings less likely and encourage discussion rather than edit warring.
- Before making a major change, consider first creating a new draft on a subpage of your own user page and then link to it on the article's talk page so as to facilitate a new discussion.
- Do use a link wherever appropriate, but as far as possible do not force a reader to use that link to understand the sentence.
- The text needs to make sense to readers who cannot follow links. Users may print articles or read offline, and Wikipedia content may be encountered in republished form, often without links.
Focus on article content during discussions, not on editor conduct; comment on content, not the contributor. Wikipedia is written through collaboration, and assuming that the efforts of others are in good faith is therefore vital. Bringing up conduct during discussions about content creates a distraction to the discussion and may inflame the situation.
Focusing on content, and not bringing up conduct, can be difficult if it seems other editors are being uncivil or stubborn. Stay cool! It is never to your benefit to respond in kind. When it becomes too difficult or exhausting to maintain a civil discussion based on content, you should seriously consider going to an appropriate dispute resolution venue detailed below; but at no juncture should you lose your temper. Wikipedia is not like a lot of the Internet: we expect editors to be polite and reasonable at all times.
Most situations are not actually urgent; there are no deadlines on Wikipedia, and perfection is not required. At all stages during discussion, consider whether you should take a break from the dispute. Taking a deep breath and sleeping on it often helps. You can always return to the discussion later, but at least you will return without an inflamed temper.
Take a long-term view of the situation. You will probably be able to return and carry on editing an article when the previous problems no longer exist and the editor you were in dispute with might themselves move on. The disputed article will continue to evolve, other editors may become interested, and they might have different perspectives if the issue comes up again. Even if your position on the article is not accepted, it might be in the future.
Disengaging is particularly helpful when in dispute with new users, as it gives them a chance to familiarise themselves with Wikipedia's policies and culture. As of 21 May 2019, there are 5,860,451 articles on Wikipedia. Focus your contributions on another article, where you can more easily make constructive edits.
- Avoid inappropriate summaries. You should explain your edits, but without being overly critical or harsh when editing or reverting others' work. This may be perceived as uncivil, and cause resentment or conflict. Explain what you changed, citing the relevant policies, guidelines or principles of good writing, but do not target others in a way that may come across as a personal attack.
- Avoid incivility. Snide comments, personal remarks about editors, and other aggressive edit summaries are explicit edit-summary "don't's" of the Wikipedia Civility policy.
- Be clear about what you did, so that other editors can assess your changes accurately.
- Use neutral language.
- Remain calm.
- Don't make snide comments.
- Don't make personal remarks about editors.
- Don't be aggressive.
- Once it is clear there is a dispute, avoid relying solely on edit summaries and discuss the matter on the associated talk page, which is where a reviewing admin will look for evidence of trying to settle the dispute. It may help to remember that there is no deadline and that editors can add appropriate cleanup tags to problematic sections under current discussion. When discussion does not produce a conclusion, bringing wider attention to a dispute can lead to compromise. Consider getting a third opinion or starting a request for comments. Neutral editors aware of the dispute will help curb egregious edits while also building consensus about the dispute. If these methods fail, seek informal and formal dispute resolution.
- Administrators decide whether to issue a warning or block; these are intended to prevent, deter and encourage change in disruptive behavior, not to punish it. Where a block is appropriate, 24 hours is common for a first offense; administrators tend to issue longer blocks for repeated or aggravated violations, and will consider other factors, such as civility and previous blocks. Where multiple editors edit war or breach 3RR, administrators should consider all sides, since perceived unfairness can fuel issues. According to WP:Administrators, "Administrators should not normally use their tools in matters in which they are personally involved (for example, in a content dispute in which they are a party)."
- Sometimes editors perceive a personal attack where none actually exists. Usually this confusion happens when an editor misreads a personal attack into a detailed post about a content disagreement.
- On one hand, making "you" statements does stir the pot; a better way to phrase the same position is to not personalize it: Better to remove personal pronouns entirely. But, on the other hand, the person feeling attacked has a responsibility to avoid "mock outrage", the insistence that something is a slight when the writer clarifies that was not intended as such.
- If you feel yourself getting red in the face and skimming rather than reading, take a break.
- Edit summaries are useful, but do not try to discuss disputes across multiple edit summaries; that is generally viewed as edit warring and may incur sanctions. If an edit is reverted and further edits seem likely to meet the same fate, create a new section on the associated talk page to discuss the issue.
- In determining consensus, consider the quality of the arguments, the history of how they came about, the objections of those who disagree, and existing policies and guidelines. The quality of an argument is more important than whether it represents a minority or a majority view. The arguments "I just don't like it" and "I just like it" usually carry no weight whatsoever.
- Editors who ignore talk page discussions yet continue to edit in or revert disputed material, or who stonewall discussions, may be guilty of disruptive editing and incur sanctions.
- Contributors with good social skills and good negotiation skills are more likely to be successful than those who are less than civil to others.
- Off-wiki discussions. Consensus is reached through on-wiki discussion or by editing. Discussions elsewhere are not taken into account. In some cases, such off-wiki communication may generate suspicion and mistrust.
- Canvassing, sock puppetry, and meat puppetry. Any effort to gather participants to a community discussion that has the effect of biasing that discussion is unacceptable. While it is fine—even encouraged—to invite people into a discussion to obtain new insights and arguments, it is not acceptable to invite only people favorable to a particular point of view, or to invite people in a way that will prejudice their opinions on the matter. Using an alternative persona ("sock puppet", or "sock") to influence consensus is absolutely forbidden. Neutral, informative messages to Wikipedia noticeboards, wikiprojects, or editors are permitted; but actions that could reasonably be interpreted as an attempt to "stuff the ballot box" or otherwise compromise the consensus-building process are considered disruptive.
- Because it is less transparent than on-wiki notifications, the use of email or other off-wiki communication to notify editors is discouraged unless there is a significant reason for not using talk page notifications. Depending on the specific circumstances, sending a notification to a group of editors by email may be looked at more negatively than sending the same message to the same group of people on their talk pages.
- Apart from canvassing, these include forum shopping (raising an issue on successive discussion pages until you get the result you want).
- Images, audio and video files must be uploaded into Wikipedia using the "Upload file" link on the left-hand navigation bar. Only logged in users can upload files. Once a file is uploaded, other pages can include or link to the file.
- It is customary to periodically archive old discussions on a talk page when that page becomes too large. Bulky talk pages may be hard to navigate, contain obsolete discussion, or become a burden for users with slow Internet connections or computers. Notices are placed at the beginning of the talk page to inform all editors of an archive.
- The talk page guidelines suggest archiving when the talk page exceeds 75 KB (or 75,000 bytes), or has multiple resolved or stale discussions. However, when to archive, and what may be the optimal length for a talk page, are subjective decisions that should be adapted to each case. For example, ongoing discussions and nearby sections they reference should generally be kept intact.
- Administrators are expected to have good judgment, and are presumed to have considered carefully any actions or decisions they carry out as administrators. Administrators may disagree, but administrative actions should not be reversed without good cause, careful thought, and (if likely to be objected to), where the administrator is presently available, a brief discussion with the administrator whose action is challenged.