Wikipedia:Catch Once and Leave

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Wikipedia is often host to debates and discussions which seek to find a consensus amongst its editors. These discussions see many different, often wildly opposing viewpoints. An unfortunate consequence of this is that they frequently turn into pitched battles, with all sides throwing policy pages at each other frantically.

A way to combat this is to imagine all the potential contributors are stood in a circle. The person who starts the debate (by nominating an article for deletion, say) throws a football into the circle. The game is meant to be that you catch it, throw it to someone else, and then sit down. Games get so complicated though...

Catch Once and Leave - An editor confident in his/her stance would present their case, quoting the relevant Wikipedia policies and guidelines, in a calm and civil manner, and then take no further part in the debate, safe in the knowledge that consensus will see the day through.

Don't Stand There Bouncing the Damned Ball - Some editors respond to a deletion nomination with a HUGE great diatribe of why the article for a minor TV actor should be kept, and then respond to any and every "delete" vote with the same "Yes, but they are notable" argument ad nauseam, and will respond to every single word of every single other contribution to the debate, making a closing admin's otherwise simple job an all-night reading exercise. Give someone else the damned ball, and sit down.

Sponsoring the Match Ball Doesn't Mean You Get to Dictate What the Score Will Be - As we know, conflicts of interest are unwelcome. Therefore, if you have a connection to the article in question, front-up with it. Bear in mind that your judgement will be clouded if you are too close to the subject. Consensus will decide the outcome, your opinion is welcome but will matter no more than that of anyone else: you don't own the article.

Try to Keep the Ball Out of Next Door's Yard - "Such-and-such has an article, why can't this guy?" "We deleted article X, therefore article Y should go too." Really, most articles differ at least in some other way from any other article. Let's just discuss this one for now shall we..?

Don't Kick the Ball Skywards Hoping It Will Come Out of the Clouds Covered in Fairydust - You probably won't change long-standing Wikipedia policies on notability in one AfD paragraph, so quit saying the encyclopedia is biased against your new sport, the encyclopedia should be supporting every new band, the encyclopedia needs to be thinking laterally and expanding its mind, etc. Ain't gonna happen.

Don't Steal the Ball and Take It to a Different Park - don't canvass! If other editors and closing admins see a ton of !votes from single-purpose accounts because you've plastered all over blogs and forums that the fascists at Wikipedia are gonna delete your article about your town's celebrity choir-master, it's a) really obvious and b) really annoying.

Don't Pop Our Ball - with uncivil, mean-spirited remarks against other editors, against someone who's nominated for deletion, against anyone. It makes you look bad, and doesn't help your case.

Don't Bring a Satsuma Instead of a Ball Sometimes arguments are just in the wrong place.

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