Wikipedia:Assume bad faith

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Can you direct me to the railway station? asks the stranger. Certainly, says the local, pointing in the opposite direction, towards the post office, and would you post this letter for me on your way? Certainly, says the stranger, resolving to open it to see if it contains anything worth stealing.

Amartya Sen

Everybody is acting in bad faith except for me and my monkey (and I'm not too sure about him).

Here are a few things that, if you ever find yourself thinking them, are probably signs that you should take some time off away from edit wars, or at the very least, a nice cup of tea and a sit down. It may also help to remember the maxim "Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They Aren’t Out to Get You".

Examples[edit]

This line is quite a normal thought when you are involved with the Mediation Cabal.
  • "This is all to promote the ________ agenda!"
  • "Go fry your hat; I have more edits than you do."
  • "Anyone who edits my words is committing censorship."
  • "The other editor is only doing this because they hate me."
  • "If I compromise, they'll know it's a sign of weakness."
  • "You must have intentionally made that little innuendo."
  • "Only partisans of attack sites would have that opinion!"
  • "I can do whatever I want, even if policy goes against me."
  • "This editor edits in a way that I don't like. They must DIE."
  • "I don't like that quoted passage - I'll rewrite the quote!"
  • "Well, yeah, I make up my references. Don't you do that too?"
  • "This editor moved pages quickly, therefore they must be a vandalbot!"
  • "If all else fails, I'll complain to Jimbo. That'll shut them up."
  • "Goddam it, Justin Bieber on Twitter is notable because I say so!"
  • "I didn't breach the 3RR policy! My edits were over 24 hours and 1 minute!"
  • "I don't care if NPOV is a policy, that admin is just bullying me!"
  • "I don't care if NPOV is a policy, that IP has something against me!"
  • "Prove it." (As soon as you do I'll raise the bar a little higher).
  • "I have my own Prime Directive: Ignore all rules."
  • "If three editors revert my edits it's not consensus. It's a cabal."
  • "If an administrator joins them it's an abuse of power."
  • "Everybody is wrong, crazy, retarded or all of the above. Except me."
  • "OH! I'm at 2 reverts, they're at 3, so 1 more revert, and they go over!"
  • "Policy was misused against me and even if it wasn't, the policy sucks."
  • "That policy page is wrong because it doesn't describe what I do. I'll fix it."
  • "While I'm at it I'll alter another policy that I'll cite as precedent."
  • "My opinion becomes encyclopedic if I keep repeating it on the talk page."
  • "That editor is an utterly pretentious bastard, a bledger and old fart, a worthless steaming pile of cow dung, figuratively speaking."
  • "I assumed you were neutral party. Since you disagree with me, apparently you are not."
  • "Don't you people have anything better to do than to keep asking for sources?"
  • "Terible grammer and spelling is what you hav. 4 u I fizxed the whol artical."
  • "I can still accuse you of original research if I don't read your citations."
  • "I'll find an obscure publication using google books, then cite that for my own POV."
  • "It isn't original research if I vanity publish and then cite myself anonymously."
  • "I don't like where you moved this page, so you were doing it to provoke an edit war."
  • "I know! I'll do the most trollish, evil, and/or assholish thing I can, because it'll be funny!"
  • "Instead of driving to the library and looking up that page number, let's just quarrel for weeks."
  • "Filling a user's talk page with the word 'fuck' 1800 times will persuade them to my point of view."
  • "How many people really fact check a citation? I'll make up some footnotes for my beliefs."
  • "That was a false consensus! I couldn't participate because I was blocked for reverting and disruption."
  • "That's not the consensus version, only my version can be the consensus version. I know, I'll revert!"
  • "Somebody with similar opinions to yours was a troll that got banned. Therefore, you're a troll too!"
  • "An article formerly here was deleted, so this new article must be a re-creation of deleted content!"
  • "That editor knows NOTHING about what they're writing about, what business do they have with this article?"
  • "If I change this . to a , in WP:OMGTMDTLA, section 2.3 2nd paragraph line 12, policy will cover my ass!"
  • "Policies are only guidelines! Unless they support my position, in which case they are, of course, set in stone."
  • "I can disguise my own history of blocks and warnings if I just keep accusing the other editor of breaking policy."
  • "If you can't cite it via a web link, it's an unreliable source and should be removed! Dead trees are for grandpas!"
  • "This 'copyediting' idea is wonderful: those other editors don't know what a gerund is. Now I can write things my way."
  • (If an admin) "My foes need a lesson in humility. Their user pages shall be replaced with long strings of insults, then locked."
  • "How dare you accuse me of quoting from memory! Just because I keep misspelling the author's name and can't give a page number..."
  • "That so-called 'fact' presented is just the author's POV. After all, truth is a whole, and on the whole, only I have the truth."
  • "Anyone who wants to contribute positively would have registered an account; therefore, all edits by anonymous IPs should be reverted."
  • "Somebody already put a footnote at the end of this paragraph. Sweet! I can write anything I want here and it will look referenced."
  • (If an admin) "I feel ok permblocking somebody because they won't personally work with me even though there's a whole section of the site devoted to this issue"
  • "You apparently live in the same arm of the Milky Way galaxy as a notorious banned troll, so you're probably one of their meatpuppets."
  • "That editor who's supporting my opponent is either a puppet or a friend called in to help. After all, could more than one person oppose my natural good sense?"
  • "If I cite this to a book that doesn't have a web link, I can make up absolutely anything I like and cite it. Nobody ever checks book references, after all!"
  • "If two editors revert my edits they must be violating WP:OWN. Never mind that I refuse to counter their references or respond to them on the talk page."
  • "Lots of people think my article should be deleted. I'll post sockpuppet tags on all their talk pages and then go nominate articles they've created for deletion."
  • "I categorically reject your analysis of my advertising DVD's in Wikipedia articles as false and itself biased! Wait till my "organization" gets a hold of you...."
  • "They're a disruptive troll! I'll follow them around to warn others about their disruptive trolling!" (Please ignore the fact that I have no proof of them being a disruptive troll.)
  • "This experience [of having my POV edits reverted, and getting blocked for a 3RR violation] has severely tainted the image of Wikipedia and unless justice is served I doubt I will ever use Wikipedia again."
  • "If a featured article has 70 footnotes to 26 different sources and I disagree with one footnote (but don't have any citation of my own to refute it with), then the integrity of the article is compromised by too much reliance on a single source."
  • "Wikipedia should accept my claims without reliable sources because my local library is too small to cover the subject. If someone suggests I try interlibrary loan or concede the point, then they're violating WP:CIVIL by calling me lazy."[1]
  • "This editor made a few dozen edits to one article in one day right before they submitted the page for a good article nomination, but I'm in a dispute with them. I'll cite that number of edits as evidence of trollish behavior."
  • "If someone asks me to assume good faith twice, then the appropriate response is to insist that I obviously can't communicate with them because they keep throwing policy at me. It is also appropriate to call the request a defense mechanism."
  • "Yes, I'm an irrational troll. And yes, any third-grader chosen at random could see that my edits are made with a desperate need to control my surroundings and browbeat all opponents into submission. BUT YOU CAN'T DRAW THAT CONCLUSION! YOU HAVE TO ASSUME GOOD FAITH, OR YOU'RE AN EVIL MONSTER!"
  • "Wikipedia should accept my claims without reliable sources because the universe is too small to cover the subject. If someone suggests sticking to topics where there is some trace of existent reference materials, then they're violating WP:CIVIL by calling my work original research."
  • "This [having links I inserted to my own Web site removed and getting blocked after re-inserting them] is just another case of an abuse of privilege. You feel that since you have power over someone who disagrees with your policy that you are entitled to discard rationale and impose your will. By chance, are you a communist or related to Fidel Castro?"
  • "I see what you're doing there. By changing one letter in my article, you have hereby performed something tantamount to slander of my good name, and therefore, you should be distrusted, nullified, and, from here on out, sacrificed to the Total Perspective Vortex. I might recommend a cup of tea, mate."
  • "If I don't like a well-referenced article I'll nominate it for deletion and call it fundamentally unencyclopedic. If the consensus decides to keep I'll slap the article with a POV flag. If an editor requests an explanation for the POV flag I'll explain nothing for two weeks, but revert instantly if they remove the flag."
  • "If all of Wikipedia doesn't shape up and remove everything that doesn't reflect the truth as I know it, and change all of its policies and structures to ensure that none of the stuff I don't like ever makes it back again, it's certain to get sued and/or prosecuted for libel, slander, defamation, product tampering, DUI, global warming, treason, blasphemy, buggery, defenestration, and/or genocide. And, no, this is not a legal threat."
  • "Obviously all those editors who disagree with me must be sockpuppets. I am so completely, obviously, gigantically, and undeniably right that even one dissenting opinion is shocking; two or more are totally unthinkable. On the other hand, anyone perverse enough to disagree with me and my magnificent rightness is exactly the kind of sneaky snivelling wretch who'd stoop to running a sock farm."
  • "This page is unencyclopaedic! Hot damn it, it's just not notable! I don't like it anyway! It's got no reliable sources! You can't verify a single goddamn thing in it! Right, that's it, I am officially losing my temper over this and I'm nominating this crock of crap for deletion, and so help me who ever gets in my way! Get rid of this rubbish! Now! Now! It's just not funny. What do you think this place is anyway - Uncyclopedia or something? This place is supposed to be a serious matter! And get those kittens out of my face before I scream my head off and climb the Reichstag dressed as Spiderman so you can all hear me!"


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Nobody actually goes to the library to research Wikipedia articles anyway, except for User:Drmies—trust me. And even he doesn't have a pass for the British Library, because nobody's that obsessed by reliable bloody sources.

See also[edit]