Wikipedia:Don't revert due solely to "no consensus"
|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays may represent widespread norms or minority viewpoints. Consider these views with discretion. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines.|
|This page in a nutshell: If the only thing you have to say about a contribution to the encyclopedia is that it lacks consensus, it's best not to revert it.|
Sometimes editors will undo a change, justifying their revert merely by saying that there is "no consensus" for the change, or by simply asking the original editor to "first discuss". This is not very helpful or informative, and, except possibly on pages that describe long-standing Wikipedia policy, should probably be avoided. After all, that you reverted the edit already shows that there is no consensus. But you neglected to explain why you personally disagree with the edit, so you haven't given people a handle on how to build the consensus with you that you desire.
Next to that, the behaviour discourages bold contributions, which are essential to building Wikipedia. Moreover, if you can't point out an underlying problem with an edit, there is no good reason to immediately revert it. Finally, there may in fact exist silent consensus to keep the change. Consensus is not unanimity, and is thus not canceled by one editor's objection.
Wikipedia encourages contributors to be bold in editing articles. Reverting a bold contribution solely on the basis of "no consensus" is a sign that the reverter simply did not like the edit. Keep in mind that no one can own an article. Moreover, if one editor favors a new addition (i.e. its contributor), and another opposes it (i.e. the potential reverter), consensus is no closer to being against it than for it until more editors comment or edit, or until the two editors in question can move toward a compromise, preferably through editing.
It is best to first consider whether there is a substantive problem with the edit in question. If it added unsourced or poorly-sourced information, try to find said information yourself, or failing that, note that in the revert summary. If it made the presentation of material awkward, edit to make the presentation less awkward. If it added a biased statement, try to find a way to recast it into a neutral mode. If it added instructions on how to do something, explain that Wikipedia is not a manual. If it removed content with no explanation or an unconvincing one, note that you are restoring valid content, and why the explanation is unconvincing (if the edit summary box is too small for this, continue on the talk page).
If you feel that an edit should not stand, but you can't point to any specific reason, stop and think before you act. (Never make any edit without a reason!)
- Stop. Think.
- Try to edit the page to better incorporate the edit in question.
- If you really can't find a way to incorporate the edit, revert it.
- Explain in detail what you tried, and why it didn't work. Even if the reason seems obvious to you, it will not always be obvious to someone else.