From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In politics, when different candidates are vying for a single nomination, it is considered a good practice for a losing candidate to give a concession speech. In Wikipedia, conceding that you have lost an argument is also a good practice; although you don't need to give a speech. (Pictured is Mike Huckabee giving a concession speech at the 2008 presidential primary.)

In the course of editorial discussions, the concept of a concession means simply to be courteous and to explicitly "surrender", rather than leave a lost argument and indicate a concession only through implication, or by allowing idle time to pass. A concession need not be a speech, and can be signalled with the simplest of notation, such as

  • [[WP:CONCEDE|concede]]
  • [[WP:FINE|fine]]
  • [[WP:WHATEVER|whatever]]

Making a concession signals to others that adversarial debate has closed and parties can then move on toward constructive tasks.

Making explicit concessions also shows good faith. Often in the course of arguments we encounter valid counterarguments. Rather than be antagonistic or adversarial, concede what is valid to such counterarguments. This shows not only good faith, and civility, but that you are oriented toward achieving consensus, and in fact it makes your argument stronger if you can respond effectively to every such counterargument. Naturally there will be cases in which you find a counterargument to be superior to your own, and such counterarguments may in fact change your own thinking. Rather than simply walk away, give concession to your opponent(s) by stating clearly that they have won the argument through logic, reason, and clarity of concept.

Concessions help in a number of ways:

  1. Marks the resolution of particular editorial discussions
  2. Moves the discussion onto new issues
  3. Moves the edit-discussion process along from discussion into actual editing
  4. Generates good faith and collegial atmosphere
  5. Dissipates antagonistic conflicts

See also[edit]

  • Wikipedia:Apology – If apart from merely being wrong, you have already become antagonistic, you can also add that you're sorry.
  • Wikipedia:Mutual withdrawal (second form) – If after being shown that you were wrong, and realizing that it might be good to say that you're sorry, you want the whole thing (or at least the worst part) to literally go away, this may also be technically possible.