For user documentation about the MediaWiki feature, see mw:WikiLove.
This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are notWikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
An impression of the abstract concept of WikiLove.
WikiLove is a term that refers to a general spirit of collegiality and mutual understanding among wiki users. It was coined over time on the mailing lists. Because people coming from substantially different perspectives work on Wikipedia together – religious fundamentalists and secular humanists, conservatives and liberals, et al. – it is easy for discussions to degenerate into flamewars. But we are all here for one reason: we love accumulating, ordering, structuring, and making freely available what knowledge we have in the form of an encyclopedia of unprecedented size. Wikipedia is not just another discussion forum, it is a project to describe and collect what we know.
If we keep this common goal, this love of knowledge, in mind, if we concentrate on achieving a neutral point of view even when it is difficult, and if we try to actually understand what the other side has to say, then we can reach the state of "WikiLove". If we fail to achieve WikiLove, this will only mean that the encyclopedia and its mission as a whole will suffer. Constant flamewars will scare contributors off, biased articles will drive readers away, and both will harm our reputation in the long term.
There is no secret formula to achieve WikiLove, but here are some key components:
Forgive and forget – remember, this is the Internet. Don't allow yourself to be hurt; do try to accommodate other people's views. Rather try to follow the spirit of Ahimsa: neither mentally, verbally, or physically do injury, whether by doing it oneself, getting it done by others, or approving it when done by others.
Remember that your fellow editors are not part of your operating system, or 'genies in a lamp', etc., everyone likes to feel appreciated. When making a comment, it's often good to start with a thank you or something positive when there is a reason for it, and maybe end with a thank you if making a request. Some examples:
"Hi, thank you for your comments on my edit, which you reverted. I would appreciate it if you would please look at this version (...) Again, thank you for your time."
"Hi, and thank you for contributing to the article on Bird migration. However, I believe you are mistaken about (...) I have edited it for factuality, would you mind reading it again when you can? Thanks again."
"Cheers on your good work on Clothing! Since you seem knowledgeable on the subject, could you explain what you meant by (...) I read it, but the meaning wasn't clear from the context. Perhaps you could make it more understandable to the layman, or provide some links for further study? Thanks!"
Happy editing, and spread WikiLove all over the Internet!
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