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Wikipedia is so amazing Avoid editing wars. When there's been a tussle over some portion of an article, I remind myself that it's just Wikipedia. In my last salvo, I make my best case, and explicitly encourage opponents themselves to edit the article to my satisfaction. If they do, I've convinced. If not, the article stands as desired by the community. Many articles have watchers numbered in dozens. When I've spent my all, I trust other editors to carry on if it's justified.

What is "not an improvement"?[edit]

I sometimes use "not an improvement" to explain my reversal. The article is just better the way it was, in my opinion. It's reversing an edit without going into detail as to why, because it's a nuanced argument that I can't fit into the edit summary, or more often because I have no clue how to explain myself.

It offers other editors the opportunity to bear the burden of deciding. Usually, my "not an improvement" reversals go unchallenged. If any editor reasserts the edit, I accept it as evidence that they've taken an interest in the article, and reflected on whether or not the edit is indeed an improvement.

I am but a cog[edit]

When reverting, a bold editor is admirable, but I am sometimes a coward. If I'm hesitant that I could justify an edit if called on it, let another editor or inertia deal with it. Wikipedia is crawling with editors, so it might be wise to see if somebody else is bolder and wiser. Also, why should I do all the work? Where an article is watched by only a few people, I try to be a little bolder in my stewardship. I respect the emergent nature of Wikipedia's power.

unsourced, unexplained[edit]

Some think that Wikipedia aims to provide objective truth. It does not (see WP:Verifiability, not truth). Wikipedia seeks to provide only knowledge that can be traced to reliable sources. Enough information should be given that any doubtful and diligent reader can follow a path and be convinced that the knowledge is true.

Durable edits rely mostly on two things: sources and explanations. If an edit is properly sourced (see WP:Verifiability), it stands a good chance of staying in Wikipedia. If not, it might achieve persistence by explaining why Wikipedia was changed in this way (see Help:Edit summary).

Without a source or an explanation, any valuable contribution is vulnerable to being wiped away with the explanation "unsourced, unexplained". If it's not a big deal, accept the rejection. If it's sort of a big deal, repeat the edit with an account of where you got the information from -- if not a formal citation, then something in the edit summary. If it is very important that Wikipedia speak the truth about something, you should be ashamed if you repeat an edit without explanations and sources. The truth will be reverted again, and people won't know.

Would that we could include you[edit]

Discussions that refer to policies and guidelines of the Wikipedia community often use "we" and "our". Does this mean "we, the Wikipedia community, but not you"? or "we, the Wikipedia community, including you"? Especially when discussion addresses a user that is new to Wikipedia, the ambiguity takes on a meaning correlated to the perception, in that user's mind and in all readers' minds, of how much of an outsider the user is.[clarification needed] Some languages have a simple grammatical way of distinguishing between "we, excluding you" and "we, including you".[citation needed] Would that English had that, too.


Miscellaneous things[edit]

  • 20:50, 30 June 2015: There's nothing wrong with this format, but let's admit that it's awfully tempting to change the time of day to "50:20".
  • Anomalously persistent vandalism: This IP ( has been used exclusively for vandalism from its first edit in March 2011, over a diverse range of articles, persisting in short spurts between a six month block, followed by a one year, then another two year block, and now another one year block (see the talk page). I can't decide whether this IP is high maintenance or low maintenance. I guess dealing with it once every year or two isn't so bad. (posted October 2015)
  • Incompetance: Don't worry about mispelling 'incompitent', because any deviation from the currently correct 'incompetent' can be readily defended as ironic.
  • Made it better: The algorithms of ClueBot NG are mysterious to me, but we both seem to sense that an edit summary of "made it better" is a sure sign of shenanigans. (Note: This is a statement about Wikipedia edits, not politicians.)
  • Cahoots: If more than one editor opposes you, using similar lines of reasoning to arrive at similar conclusions, they may all be in cahoots. What are the chances that all those editors could reflect independently and come to the very same conclusion? It’s more likely that they’re conspiring against you. If in doubt, consult an administrator about cahoots.

Cheers, Willondon (talk).

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