Wikipedia:Avoid the word "vandal"
|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.|
|This page in a nutshell: Vandals are people who deliberately attempt to damage Wikipedia, not those who make adverse edits.|
One problem newcomers and inexperienced editors have on Wikipedia, is using popular terms in a wider variety of circumstances than is appropriate. One such word is "vandal".
According to Wikipedia:Vandalism, vandalism is "any addition, removal, or change of content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of Wikipedia." This definition is excessively over-broad, even for the purposes of broad policy coverage. It goes on to restrict what constitutes "vandalism", however, saying emphatically that "any good-faith effort to improve the encyclopedia, even if misguided or ill-considered, is not vandalism."
Note that the definition does not mention:
- Edits that push a particular point of view
- Edits you don't like
- Edits contrary to your objectives
- Edits that are, according to you, "clearly wrong"
- Edits that stop you from doing The Most Important Thing Possible.
As a result, the word "vandal" should not be used in reference to any contributor in good standing or to any edits that can arguably be construed as good-faithed. If the edits in question are made in good faith, they are not vandalism and the contributor should not be called a "vandal".
Non-vandalism disruption may also occur. Instead of calling a person committing such disruption a "vandal", you are better off discussing his or her specific edits with him or her. Comment on the content and substance of his or her edits or arguments, not his or her person.
- Wikipedia:Assume good faith
- Wikipedia:Assume the assumption of good faith
- Wikipedia:No personal attacks – people may consider the term "vandal" an attack
- Wikipedia:Don't call the kettle black (WP:KETTLE)
- Wikipedia:Don't template the regulars
- Wikipedia:Passive Aggressive
- Template:Uw-notvand A warning template for users who misuse vandalism warning templates.