|This humorous essay contains comments by one or more Wikipedia contributors. It is not a Wikipedia policy or guideline, though it may contain advice. A potential measure of how the community views this essay may be gained by consulting the history and talk pages, and checking what links here.|
|This page is intended as humor. It is not, has never been, nor will ever be, a Wikipedia policy or guideline.
Rather, it illustrates standards or conduct that are generally not accepted by the Wikipedia community.
Perhaps the most controversial policy on Wikipedia is the policy that instructs users to ignore all rules (IAR). That's right, there is a policy (not an essay such as this one or even a guideline, but a full-fledged policy) entitled "Ignore all rules." (Disclaimer: The full text of the policy is "If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it" and it is a policy that should be applied with extreme caution. Also, don't take what is written below literally).
Now, at first glance, you might be thinking that this sounds like an incredibly convenient policy. The possible applications of IAR are seemingly endless, but the time I have for writing essays is not and neither is the time you have for reading them. Nevertheless, I will provide some instruction for you in the application of ignoring rules, a practice with which some of you may have more experience than others.
We all have our personal beliefs and biases, which are undoubtedly correct and should be reflected in every relevant Wikipedia article. (Of course, your views should actually be reflected in every relevant article, not just the articles here, but you'll settle for these ones since you can edit them.) Unfortunately, some pesky policy such as the Biography of Living Persons Policy or the rule prohibiting original research may get in your way. Furthermore, since you are trying to correct the outrageous fact that an article or articles articles are daring to not conform to your personal opinion, your improvements will likely run afoul of the "Neutral Point of View" rule. Without IAR, all would be lost. But thankfully for you, Wikipedia's four fathers envisioned such a dilemma and left you with the ability to throw out the rule book (except for the IAR rule, of course) and make all the necessary changes to inaccurate articles.
Now, suppose you believe that the Chevrolet Corvair is a dangerous vehicle and that the whole world should be warned about it. (Your probable username, "Ralph Nader", would be a violation of the username policy unless you actually are Nader, but remember, IAR.) You believe the Wikipedia article about the Corvair should thoroughly reflect the indisputable fact that the Corvair is a safety threat (an indisputable fact which was in fact disputed). Now, you are obviously right about the safety issue and you want everybody to be warned, given the significant worldwide market for 40+ year-old cars. You should therefore thoroughly overhaul the article so that it places a strong emphasis on your beliefs and fails to mention practically anything else (you wouldn't want any reader to miss out on your warnings because another part of the article caught his or her interest first).
Your changes may very well run afoul of the requirements about verifiability, although your claims are most definitely fact and no verification of any kind should really be needed. If somebody asks you to provide sources for your information (in this case, your belief that the Chevrolet Corvair is, shall we say, "Unsafe at Any Speed"), you should politely inform him that you know everything and your word is therefore good enough. If he is somehow unable to accept this explanation, he is obviously not very smart and should be blocked for a lack of competence. Under no circumstances, however, should you even consider submitting to the pressure and providing the requested sources. After all, you are right, aren't you? Just keep up the good work and tailor the article as best you see fit, since that is in the best interests of the Wikipedia community, whether or not they agree.
Now, despite the fact that your edits unquestionably improved the article, somebody else who dares to disagree with you might actually have the nerve to revert your work. Of course, you cannot allow such vicious interference, so you undo his undo. Then, he undoes your undo of his undo. You are now forced to undo his undo of your undo of his undo. (If I keep this up, it will be my undoing.) You are now edit-warring, which is against the rules.
An administrator may leave a note on your talk page, warning you stop the edit-warring. As a courtesy to this admin, who obviously doesn't know anything about Chevy Corvairs, you should inform them of the fact that you are ignoring the edit-warring rules to improve the article. The administrator will probably accept this explanation, but in the rare case that he does not and upholds his warning to you, it may become necessary to make repeated personal attacks on the admin. Preferably, these attacks (which should definitely mention the admin's lack of intelligence and must be posted repeatedly in all-caps and extra-large font) will be incredibly harsh and thoughtless (actually, you should give your words plenty of thought so that you can be as mean as possible), with the desired result of causing the clearly dense admin to be so offended that he retires from Wikipedia and throws his computer away. You should apply the golden rule of personal attacks here: Don't say anything that wouldn't be upsetting if it was said about you. Eventually, you will become so intolerable that nobody else will be willing to go near the articles you edit, giving you virtual freedom to do as you please. Either that (which will not happen) or you will be blocked from editing (which will happen). If you are blocked, IAR means you should ignore that sockpuppet stuff and create additional accounts to ensure the correctness of the Corvair article.
Now, while IAR can certainly come in handy during article content disputes, don't get the idea that it isn't useful in other areas of the encyclopedia. Suppose you have created a new article that lists all the automobile accidents caused by Chevrolet Corvairs in 2010 (I imagine that would probably be a stub). Suppose another editor comes along while you are logged out and nominates the page for deletion. By the time you log back in, the AfD has garnered seven delete !votes and the nominator is calling for a snow closure. However, you do not believe in snow closure (seeing as you reside in Arizona), and you know very well that no article created by you should ever be deleted without your consent (which you haven't given). After you report the AfD nominator for starting the deletion discussion when you weren't around (even though he probably had no way of knowing), you should quickly close the AfD as a speedy keep. Furthermore, if you are an admin, you should quickly indef-block every editor who !voted delete during the AfD, as they obviously have a grudge against you and are therefore dangerous to the encyclopedia. Somebody may attempt to get you de-sysopped by ArbCom, which might make it necessary to block every member of that committee as well. Of course, you will probably have broken a plethora of rules (and perhaps a few records too), but you were following IAR, which is more important.
We have now reached the point where most essayists would provide a conclusion. However, in this instance, I'm going to ignore standard practice (which is similar to ignoring all rules) and let you reach your own conclusions.