Wikipedia:Third opinion

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Third opinion (3O) is a means to request an outside opinion in a content or sourcing disagreement between two editors. When two editors do not agree, either editor may list a discussion here to seek a third opinion. The third opinion process requires observance of good faith and civility from both editors during the discussion in order to be successful.

The less formal nature of the third opinion process is a major advantage over other methods of resolving disputes. For more complex disputes that involve more than two editors, or that cannot be resolved through talk page discussion, editors should follow the other steps in the dispute resolution process such as the dispute resolution noticeboard or request for comment.

How to list a dispute[edit]

Before making a request here, be sure that the issue has been thoroughly discussed on the article talk page. 3O is only for assistance in resolving disagreements that have come to a standstill. If no agreement can be reached on the talk page and only two editors are involved, follow the directions below to list the dispute. Otherwise, please follow other methods in the dispute resolution process such as the dispute resolution noticeboard or request for comment. 3O is usually flexible by allowing a few exceptions, like those involving mainly two editors with an extra editor having minimal participation. Further guidance is available in Third Opinion frequently asked questions.

It is recommended that the filing editor notifies the second editor about the post here. If the second editor disagrees with this process, the first editor still has the right to receive a third opinion; however, since this is non-binding, the second editor is free to ignore the third opinion if they wish to.

Some disputes may involve editor conduct issues as well as issues regarding article content. In such cases, the third opinion request should be framed in terms of content issues, even if the conduct of an editor is also at issue. For disputes that are exclusively about an editor's conduct and are not related to a content issue, other forums may be more appropriate such as the administrators noticeboard. If in doubt, post your request here at third opinion and a neutral editor will help out.

Instructions[edit]

No discussion of the issue should take place here – this page is only for listing the dispute. Please confine discussion to the talk page where the dispute is taking place.

Follow these instructions to make your post:

  • Edit the following "Active disagreements" section on this page to begin a new entry in the section. Your entry should be at the end of the list if there are other entries, and the first character should be a # symbol to create a numbered list. This preserves the numbering and chronological order of the list.
  • Your entry should contain the following:
    • a section link to a section on the article's talk page dedicated to the 3O discussion.
    • a brief neutral description of the dispute – no more than a line or two, and without trying to argue for or against either side. Take care (as much as possible) to make it seem as though the request is being added by both participants.
    • a date, but no signature. You can add the date without your name by using five tildes (~~~~~). (Note: your name will still be shown in your contributions and edit history.)

Requests are subject to being removed from the list if no volunteer chooses to provide an opinion within six days after they are listed below. If your dispute is removed for that reason (check the history to see the reason), please feel free to re-list your dispute if you still would like to obtain an opinion.

Active disagreements[edit]

After reading the above instructions, add your dispute here. If you provide a third opinion, please remove the entry from this list.
Example entry
# [[Talk:List of Cuban Americans#List Clean-up]]. Disagreement about notability of names added to list. ~~~~~


Providing third opinions[edit]

  • Third opinions must be neutral. If you have had dealings with the article or with the editors involved in the dispute that would bias your response, do not offer a third opinion on that dispute.
  • Read the arguments of the disputants.
  • Do not provide opinions recklessly. Remember that Wikipedia works by consensus, not a vote. In some cases both sides may have presented valid arguments, or you may disagree with both. Provide the reasoning behind your argument.
  • Provide third opinions in the relevant section of the disputed article talk pages following the discussion of the dispute. Sign your comments with four tildes, like so: ~~~~.
  • The {{3OR}} template is handy for inserting a third opinion on the talk page. For a shorter alternative, {{3ORshort}} can also be used. Usage: {{subst:3OR | <your response> }} or {{subst:3ORshort | <your response> }}.
  • Write your opinion in a civil and nonjudgmental way.
  • Consider keeping pages on which you have given a third opinion on your watchlist for a few days. Often, articles listed here are watched by very few people.
  • If it's not clear what the dispute is, put {{subst:third opinion|your_username}} on the talk page of the article. This template will post sections for the disputing editors to summarize their opinions.
  • For third opinion requests that do not follow the instructions above, it is possible to alert the requesting party to that fact by employing {{uw-3o}}.
  • When providing a third opinion, please remove the listing from this page before you provide your third opinion. Doing so prevents other volunteers from duplicating your effort. Mention in the summary which dispute you have removed and how many remain.

Respondents appreciate feedback about the outcome of the dispute, either on the article's talk page or on their own talk page. We want to know whether the outcome was positive or not, helping us to maintain and improve the standards of our work. If a respondent's third opinion was especially helpful or wise, you might want to consider awarding {{subst:The Third Opinion Award|your message}} on their user talk page. It can also be given once for diligent service to this project which is generally any volunteer who has more than 50 edits to this page. For more information see its documentation and Wikipedia:Third opinion/Service award log.

Active contributors who watchlist the page, review disputes, and update the list of active disagreements with informative edit summaries, are welcome to add themselves to the Category:Wikipedians willing to provide third opinions. If you support this project you may wish to add the {{User Third opinion}} userbox to your user page, which automatically adds you to this category.

Declining requests[edit]

If you remove a dispute from the list for any reason, it is good practice to also leave a message on the dispute talk page explaining what you have done. The message should: