Wikipedia:Don't be rude

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When a discussion on a talk page becomes heated, it is easy to confuse being rude with sharing your opinions. We want to get our points across, so we try whatever we can to get another person to agree with us. Also, the stress of editing and trying to improve Wikipedia can sometimes get the better of us. Other times, people are intentionally rude so they can receive a reaction and make the other person frustrated. This kind of behavior is inappropriate, immature, and can be very hurtful, especially to newcomers. On the other hand, if you don't know if something will hurt or offend someone else, don't say it.

People get their feelings hurt when you are rude to them!

Why being rude is inappropriate[edit]

Being rude means speaking or acting in a way that is impolite or discourteous, usually in an intentional way. This might include personal attacks, edit wars, hostile comments, and being prejudiced toward certain users. However, most people don't need an explanation of what's rude and what isn't; we already know. There are reasons why rudeness is inappropriate on Wikipedia:

  1. It keeps away newcomers. Newcomers are new to Wikipedia, and still have much to learn about how Wikipedia works. By attacking or insulting them, you tell them that they are not welcome to contribute to Wikipedia. Also, someone might take these attacks personally and be very hurt.
  2. It damages the encyclopedia. Editors who are rude deter other editors from challenging their edits. Editing Wikipedia is a voluntary occupation and editors may choose to move away from a disagreement rather than engage with someone who is abusive. This can result in articles of poorer quality because debate about them is stifled.
  3. It establishes bad manners. There are reasons that most people don't slurp or make noises while eating: because it shows bad manners. By attacking or using obscene language, you are telling someone that you don't care enough about Wikipedia to keep insults and prejudice to yourself.

Being rude is often cyberbullying[edit]

Often, being rude on Wikipedia can fall under many definitions of cyberbullying. Really, think about it. Whether you call this behavior being rude, being mean or cyberbullying, it is inappropriate on Wikipedia and all other places.

Use common sense[edit]

It is obvious that being rude is unnecessary and uncivil. When deciding what to say to people on Wikipedia, it is important that we use common sense. Instead of saying anything, we should ask ourselves, "Would this offend or hurt me if someone said it to me?" Just say what you know is reasonable!

Outside Wikipedia[edit]

This advice applies to most situations, inside and outside of Wikipedia. Trying not to be rude applies just as much (and maybe even more so) outside of Wikipedia. Having someone attack you to your face is often more hurtful than someone insulting you on the Internet. Therefore, it is crucial that everyone be considerate to others in all situations.

See also[edit]