Wikipedia:Be excellent to one another
This is an essay on conduct policy.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
|This page in a nutshell: Civility isn't a sufficient standard. Wikipedians should treat each other with kindness, compassion, respect and understanding — at all times.|
Wikipedia is built by a community. We share a common goal: we want to create a high-quality, freely-accessible, freely-editable encyclopedia, in which all notable and verifiable human knowledge is contained. As a community, we work together towards that goal, inching ever closer day by day.
Assuming good faith has long been a cornerstone of Wikipedia. Requiring civility is a similarly important policy. However, civility is insufficient to work together properly as a community. Civility is a baseline — and, all too often, even that baseline is not sufficiently met — but if we want the community to prosper, it is essential that we do not settle for just that baseline. Wikipedia itself deserves more than that, but more importantly, we deserve better than that.
Wikipedians should be excellent to one another. This doesn't just mean avoiding calling one another names, or not shouting and swearing at each other, but it means — as it says — being excellent. Being a part of this community should be something that anyone can hold up as a thing to be proud of. Wikipedians should be exemplar in their interactions, both on and off Wikipedia, showing compassion, respect, and understanding. This means that a good Wikipedian should always:
- Act in good faith
- Assume good faith on the part of people they interact with
- Treat others as they would like to be treated
- Accept, respond to, and learn from criticism
- Speak kindly, even when other people are not
- Be willing to explain their actions to others
- Understand that everyone has good days and bad days
- Admit when they are wrong
- Take a break if they feel that their ability to be compassionate is running thin
A good Wikipedian should never:
- Deliberately try to hurt others with their words or deeds
- Insult others, whether through edit summaries, talk pages, or any other means
- Discourage someone from constructively attempting to edit Wikipedia if they exhibit a willingness to learn and take on board criticism, even if there are questions over their competence
- Attempt to shy away from criticism of their actions, or disregard it because of the person who communicated it
- Shame someone for their mistakes
If you've read through these lists thinking "I mean, yeah, that's basic civility" — congratulations, you are probably already being excellent to your fellow editors. Continue doing the right thing!
If you've read through this and ended up thinking "All these snowflakes are ruining Wikipedia" — you may wish to consider whether or not your behaviour might be part of the problem.