User:Kendrick7/Evidence of burden

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

(This was a response to an much earlier version of WP:ONUS, as appeared here[1])

With inclusion of articles, the presumption is in favour of keeping a disputed article unless there is a consensus for its removal. The same applies to disputed content within articles. A long-standing guideline on Wikipedia is the WP:YESPOV guideline, and this implies that content may not simply be removed because it represents a minority view. The onus is on the editor(s) seeking to exclude disputed content, to achieve consensus for its exclusion. Anything else would be a POV-pusher's charter. If you want text excluded, it is up to you to gain consensus to remove it, and up to you to persuade others of its insignificance and irrelevance in context.

Common errors include:

  • Removal of reliably sourced content.
  • Assertions that consensus is needed before contentious content may be added.
  • Assertions that contentious material may be removed without prior discussion.

These are common misconceptions, but misconceptions nonetheless. Being cited does not render content immune from restrictions such as undue weight, especially in controversial areas, however WP:YESPOV precludes simply deleting points of view entirely. Wikipedia's policy is that all content should be written from the neutral point of view, and be verifiable from reliable sources. If the neutrality, accuracy, reliability or verifiability of content is unchallenged, then it would be correct to simply assume that it meets these fundamental policies by virtue of being in the article and having some kind of source.

Editors are reminded that they do not own any article, and as the edit box says, If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed for profit by others, do not submit it.

As a corollary, the editor who wishes to add content from an article should first check to ensure that its exclusion has not already been discussed. While consensus can change, repeatedly going round the same loop of argument is considered disruptive and is not conducive to harmonious editing. Where content is added, it is reasonable to expect that a justification be given for its addition, and the editor seeking to add the content engages with those who seek to exclude it. The aim is always to work with others to build an encyclopaedia, not to draw battle lines.

See also[edit]