Wikipedia:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point
|This page documents an English Wikipedia behavioral guideline.|
It is a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense, and occasional exceptions may apply. Any substantive edit to this page should reflect consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.
|This page in a nutshell: When you have a point to make, use direct discussion only.|
When one becomes frustrated with the way a policy or guideline is being applied, it may be tempting to try to discredit the rule or interpretation thereof by, in one's view, applying it consistently. Sometimes, this is done simply to prove a point in a local dispute. In other cases, one might try to enforce a rule in a generally unpopular way, with the aim of getting it changed.
Such behavior, wherever it occurs, is highly disruptive and can lead to a block or ban. If you feel that a policy is problematic, the policy's talk page is the proper place to raise your concerns. If you simply disagree with someone's actions in an article, discuss it on the article talk page or related pages. If mere discussion fails to resolve a problem, look into dispute resolution.
Practically speaking, it is impossible for Wikipedia to be 100 percent consistent, and its rules will therefore never be perfect. If consensus strongly disagrees with you even after you have made proper efforts, then respect the consensus, rather than trying to sway it with disruptive tactics.
- If someone nominates one of your favorite articles for deletion...
- do explain why the subject meets inclusion criteria, providing reliable sources to support your assertion.
- do not nominate an article for deletion that you don't really believe ought to be deleted, giving the same rationale.
- If you have nominated an article for deletion, and others favour keeping it...
- do participate in the discussion, basing your argument on policies and guidelines.
- do not create an article on what you consider to be a similarly unsuitable topic, with hopes that others will make the same arguments for deletion.
- If someone deletes from an article information which they call "unimportant" or "irrelevant", which you consider to in fact be important to the subject...
- do explain on the article's talk page why you feel the material merits inclusion.
- do not delete most of the remaining article as "unimportant".
- If you think someone unfairly removed a reference to a self-published source...
- do explain why the use of the source in question was appropriate in that instance, or find a better source for the information.
- do not summarily remove all references to sources which appear to be self-published.
- If you think someone unfairly removed "unsourced" content...
- do find a source for it, make the referencing clear if it was already present, or explain why the content in question shouldn't require a cited source.
- do not summarily remove from the page everything which appears to be unsourced.
- If you feel that it is too easy to add misinformation to Wikipedia...
- do watch recent changes and fact-check anything that looks at all suspicious.
- do not create an elaborate hoax with hopes of getting publicity for it.
- If you feel that a particular source does not meet Wikipedia standards...
- do express your concerns on the talk pages of articles which cite it, or at the reliable sources noticeboard.
- do not add even more references to the source, with hopes of provoking opposition to its use.
- If you think that the Arbitration Committee has conducted inappropriate CheckUsers...
- do express your concerns on one of the CheckUser policy talk pages or at a relevant Arbcom page.
- do not suggest another frivolous or inappropriate CheckUser.
A commonly used shortcut to this page is WP:POINT. However, just because someone is making a point does not mean that they are disrupting Wikipedia to illustrate that point. As a rule, editors engaging in "POINTy" behavior are making edits with which they do not actually agree, for the deliberate purpose of drawing attention and provoking opposition in the hopes of making other editors see their "point". Merely describing such hypothetical behavior is fine and does not go against this guideline. For example, saying By that standard, we ought to remove all the cited sources on this page is okay, but actually doing that just to make a point is not.
- Past decisions by the Arbitration Committee regarding this guideline
- Wikipedia:Avoid instruction creep, to minimize potential motivations for point-illustrating
- Wikipedia:Disruptive sanctions
- Wikipedia:Gaming the system
- Wikipedia:Tendentious editing