Wikipedia:Don't feed the nabobs
|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: If something you're about to do could make Wikipedia look silly to non-Wikipedians, think twice before doing it.|
We, the few, the proud, the Wikipedians, know that our project is worthwhile and will, someday, be the ultimate repository of the sum total of human knowledge. Unfortunately, we're the few and the proud; there's a lot of people out there who point fingers at Wikipedia and laugh at every opportunity, enjoying the chance to point out "inaccuracies" and "errors", and who would like nothing better than to see Wikipedia die.
Don't feed them.
The nattering nabobs of negativism get plenty of fuel from clueless edits and vandalism. But even good-faith efforts to improve the encyclopedia can wind up merely adding fuel to the fire for those who would mercilessly mock our efforts. For instance, suggesting that a photograph to be deleted due to copyright could be replaced by a hand-drawn sketch of the aircraft, or that the article on a major river valley of historical importance is unsourced and, therefore, clearly not notable and should be deleted. Both suggestions made in the best of good faith; both suggestions that, if carried out, would lead to more late-night talk-show hosts adding to their "top 10 reasons Wikipedia is silly" sketches.
Of course, sometimes the bullet must be bitten and tough decisions made regardless of what "they", the nabobs, will think of "us", the Wikipedians. But when the fence is being straddled, consider whether or not doing something would make Wikipedia look silly to those who don't "get" Wikipedia like we do. And if it would, in that case, the likely answer is: don't.