User:Orlady/Getting your way at Wikipedia

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Getting your way at Wikipedia isn't hard if you emulate certain behaviors that are known to work well at Wikipedia -- although the positive results are often temporary. Words of wisdom to follow when one has content to own or a POV to push:

  1. If you don't like the message, shoot the messenger. That is, if another user criticizes your work or ideas, assassinate that user's character. Given the willingness of certain users to believe conspiracy theories, this often is much easier than formulating a coherent argument for your position. WP:NPA is unlikely to be invoked unless you use dirty words.
  2. Revert now, discuss later. Because Wikipedia WP:CONSENSUS discussions can be annoying and time-consuming, make as many changes as possible before you initiate discussion, then point to your new creations as "existing standards".
  3. Divide and conquer by initiating discussions of minor points of content on different people's user talk pages rather than attempting to have a content discussion on an article talk page or noticeboard. When the discussion is divided up in small pieces, few users will see the big picture of what you are trying to accomplish. And if you hold discussions on a user talk page, there will be many fewer participants than on a general noticeboard, so it is much easier to control the discussion. As a bonus, if you use your own talk page for a discussion, you can remove the comments of users who disagree with you.
  4. Emulate the intellectual approaches of successful fringe theorists. When you are challenged to verify an unorthodox view that you are pushing, try citing short strings of text out of context. Citations to snippets from esoteric primary sources (such as legal briefs and historical texts in archaic forms of English) can be particularly effective for this purpose -- although your original interpretation can be criticized and it is not possible to convincingly demonstrate that you are correct, it is often equally difficult to convincingly demonstrate that you are wrong. You are likely to convince some of the people some of the time -- and that likely will be enough to demonstrate that there is "no consensus" against whatever it is you are pushing. If you happen to make an obvious error (such as describing a source as being about Wisconsin when it's really about Michigan), that's no big deal, since the users you need to convince know even less about the subject than you do.
  5. Blow your own horn. Deflect criticism by touting your personal qualifications on the topic under discussion. Be liberal in your claims of academic degrees, professional certifications and licenses, job titles, awards, "formal training", royal warrants of appointment, Good Housekeeping Seals of Approval, and other credentials. Since we're all effectively anonymous on the Internet (even if your account is associated with a real identity, no one can be entirely sure who you really are), you can claim to be pretty much anything you want. Other users are supposed to tediously insist on minutiae like reliable sources for the claims you make in your content, but most other users are too lazy to check sources, so you can win a lot of support simply by claiming to have superior credentials. It worked for Essjay (for a while).