Wikipedia:Don't be obnoxious

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Don't be obnoxious. Webster's dictionary defines obnoxious as being "unpleasant in a way that makes people feel offended, annoyed, or disgusted".[1]


Reasonable, considerate and cooperative behavior is a fundamental principle on Wikipedia. Even though we may feel that we are right about our position in a discussion, that does not give us the right to be obnoxious, rude, inconsiderate, uncooperative or offensive. We should be aware that an editor can behave civilly and still appear to be obnoxious, abrasive and uncooperative to others. For example repeatedly drawing attention to good faith spelling and grammar errors, especially if English is not the editor's first language, could be perceived as obnoxious and nonconstructive behavior. We should always show respect and consideration for other editors, even when we disagree with them. Engaging in pleasant and constructive dialogue will also have the effect of disarming an opposing editor and making them more receptive to what we are trying to communicate to them.

Giving feedback to others[edit]

Name calling and confrontation is upsetting to other editors and reduces the chance that our message will be heard. Instead a gentle approach, and speaking to them as a friend who sincerely wants to offer help, will generate much better results. Focus on the behavior, not the editor. We should let them know that we appreciate their contributions to the project and that our intent is only to support them in becoming an even better contributor. However, keep in mind that our assessment of the situation may be impaired by our own personal bias, language, culture or Wikipedia experiences. We should always assume good faith and approach others as we would like them to approach us in a similar situation.

Receiving feedback from others[edit]

If several editors have implied that we are behaving in an obnoxious, unreasonable and uncooperative fashion, then we may want to reflect on that feedback and consider if there is some truth in their statements. The first step to improving our behavior and becoming a more productive member of the community is to become aware of any behaviors that may be alienating others or giving them a bad impression. Inquiring with an editor whom we respect, and asking them for an objective opinion of our Wikipedia behavior and how we may improve, can be a big step forward in becoming a more productive member of the Wikipedia project.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Obnoxious". Merriam-Webster. Retrieved November 19, 2013. 

External links[edit]