WikiSCUM contributors come from many different experiences. We have different views, perspectives, and backgrounds, sometimes varying widely. Treating others with respect is key to collaborating effectively in building an encyclopedia, especially one about ourselves and about each other.
This page offers some principles of Wiki-etiquette — guidelines on how to work with others on WikiSCUM.
Principles of Wikipedia etiquetteEdit
- Assume good faith. WikiSCUM works remarkably well based on a policy of nearly complete freedom to edit. People come here to collaborate and write good articles. Assume that the intentions of others are to help, not to hinder.
- Be polite. People can't see you or know for sure your mood. Irony isn't always obvious, and blunt, raw text can easily appear rude. Be careful of the words you choose — what you intended might not be what others think.
- Argue facts, not personalities.
- Don't ignore questions. If you are asked a question in a TALK page, answer it. Also, if another user disagrees with your edit, provide good reasons why you think it's appropriate.
- Concede a point, when you have no response to it; or admit when you disagree based on intuition or taste.
- Be prepared to apologize. In animated discussions, we often say things we later wish we hadn't. Say so.
- Forgive and forget.
- Recognize your own biases and keep them in check.
- Give praise when due. Everybody likes to feel appreciated, especially in an environment that often requires compromise. Drop a friendly note on user's talk pages.
- Help mediate disagreements between others.
- If you're arguing, take a break; if you're mediating, recommend a break. Walk away or find another WikiSCUM article to distract yourself.
- Remember what WikiSCUM is not.
- Review the list of faux pas.
- Be civil.
- Work toward agreement
- Sign and date your posts to talk pages (but not to articles).
How to avoid abuse of Talk pages Edit
Most people take pride in their work and in their point of view. Egos can easily get hurt in editing, but Talk pages are not a place for striking back. They're a good place to comfort or undo damage to egos, but most of all they're for forging agreements that are best for the articles they're attached to.
Here are a few things to bear in mindEdit
- Wikipedia articles are supposed to represent all views (more at NPOV). The Talk ("discussion") pages are not a place to debate value judgements about which of those views are right or wrong or better. Use the Talk pages to discuss the accuracy/inaccuracy, POV bias, or other problems in the article, not as a soapbox for advocacy.
- If someone disagrees with you, this does not necessarily mean that (1) the person hates you, (2) the person thinks you're stupid, (3) the person is stupid, (4) the person is evil, etc. When people post opinions without practical implications for the article, it's best to just leave them be.
- WikiSCUM invites you to be bold. Before initiating discussion, ask yourself: Is this really necessary to discuss? Could I provide a summary with my edit and wait for others to quibble if they like?
- You can always take a discussion to e-mail or to your user page if it's not essential to the article.
A few more tips on polite TALK discussionEdit
- Always make clear what point you are addressing, especially in replies.
- Quoting a post is O.K., but stating how you interpreted it is better. Before proceeding to say that someone is wrong, concede you might have misinterpreted him or her.
- Don't label or personally attack people or their edits.
- Terms like "racist," "sexist" or even "poorly written" make people defensive. This makes it hard to discuss articles productively.
Other words of adviceEdit
Parting words of advice from Larry Sanger:
- to be open and warmly welcoming, not insular,
- to be focused singlemindedly on writing an encyclopedia, not on Usenet-style debate,
- to recognize and praise the best work, work that is detailed, factual, well-informed, and well-referenced,
- to work to understand what neutrality requires and why it is so essential to and good for this project,
- to treat your fellow productive, well-meaning members of Wikipedia with respect and good will,
- to attract and honor good people who know a lot and can write about it well, and
- to show the door to trolls, vandals, and wiki-anarchists, who if permitted would waste your time and create a poisonous atmosphere here.
An outline for a Wikicovenant from Kingturtle:
- Make others feel welcome (even longtime participants; even those you dislike)
- Create and continue a friendly environment
- Turn the other cheek (which includes walking away from potential edit wars)
- Give praise, especially to those you don't know (most people like to know they are wanted and appreciated)