Wikipedia:Silence means nothing

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Some editors assume that silence equals consent and consensus in Wikipedia. The logic goes that if nobody disagrees right now, we will at least act as if everyone agrees right now.

But "silence" may just mean that nobody has seen the edit or proposal in question, or that they are too occupied with other matters to give it consideration. Silence may also mean that other editors are choosing to ignore the edit in question. This could be because they prefer not to get involved in protracted debate about a poorly thought out suggestion. In that case, silence means "polite disagreement," as in the old adage:

If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Unfortunately, if you do not act on the edit in question, it will remain standing, until you or someone else changes their mind and acts. So it's better to act or say unnice things (as politely as possible, of course) than to continue to tolerate a bad situation.

Fortunately, even long standing edits may be challenged. Consensus can change. Repeatedly challenging such long-standing edits when others disagree may be more problematic.

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