|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.|
The purpose of Wikipedia is to create a high-quality, free-content encyclopedia in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual respect among contributors. Doing so requires that participants in the project act with an appropriate level of professionalism towards our readers, towards other participants, and towards the subjects of our articles.
Towards our readers
Our readers come to Wikipedia expecting to find a serious and reputable intellectual resource. We must strive to meet these expectations by ensuring that our articles are neutral, accurate, and well-written; that advocacy, propaganda, and other artifacts of outside political or ideological struggles do not intrude into the encyclopedia; and that the internal affairs of our project do not act to the detriment of our content or bring it into disrepute.
We must maintain high standards of transparency, continuing to make the editorial histories of articles and the debates surrounding them visible to readers. Editors with conflicts of interest in their editing must openly declare them, so that readers may be aware of potential outside pressures affecting the articles they view. We must avoid succumbing to campaigns by external groups to manipulate our content for their own purposes.
Towards other editors
Our editors participate in the project expecting to be treated with courtesy. We must maintain high standards of decorum appropriate to an intellectual project. Attacks, smears, and threats directed against our colleagues must not be tolerated. Participating in Wikipedia can be fun and exciting, but editors who lack the maturity and self-control needed to take part in a fundamentally serious undertaking must be firmly asked to leave.
Editors must seek to resolve disagreements by polite discussion rather than through threats or harassment. Dissent is to be welcomed so long as it is presented calmly; vituperative rhetoric, on the other hand, must be curbed even if it espouses popular viewpoints.
Towards the subjects of our articles
The subjects of our articles expect to be written about fairly and accurately. We must avoid becoming a tabloid for rumor, innuendo, and sensationalism, and must ensure that our biographies treat their subjects with due regard for privacy and basic human dignity. Complaints about the content of our articles on living persons must be treated with the utmost attention and urgency, and our editorial standards on such articles must be the most exacting we can muster.