Wikipedia:FAQ/Article subjects

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Article subjects' FAQ

The information in your article about me is wrong. How can I get it fixed?

Wikipedia is the encyclopedia that anyone can edit, but we generally ask people to try to refrain from editing articles about themselves. That's because, as an encyclopedia, Wikipedia needs to present a neutral point of view, and it's very hard for people to be truly objective about themselves.

However, we want our articles to be accurate, so we are grateful when people point out mistakes or problems with any article. It is generally considered okay for you to edit your own article in certain circumstances:

  • If it contains minor errors, such as an incorrect date, a mistake in spelling or grammar, or an expired link, then please correct those errors.
  • If it contains spam, nonsense, or other sorts of vandalism, then please remove that.
  • If it contains private information you strongly don't want shared, particularly if you are not famous, then please remove that. This might include, for example, your e-mail address or other private contact information, date of birth, religious affiliation, or sexual orientation.
  • If its tone is clearly derogatory and either cites questionable sources or doesn't cite any sources at all, then please remove that (but be careful!).

Be careful as you edit. If people think you are misrepresenting the truth or trying to self-promote, then that can sometimes cause more damage to your reputation than a bad Wikipedia article.

If you don't want to edit, there are other ways to get an article fixed:

  • Click on the tab labeled “talk” at the top of the article page. That will take you to the discussion page for that article. We encourage you to make comments there. Just explain what you feel is incorrect, and how you think it should be fixed. It also helps if you can refer us to sources (such as media stories) that will help us validate the facts.
  • If you don’t want to comment on the talk page, or if you haven’t been able to persuade anyone there to make the change you want, you can try sending the same information via e-mail. Please note that the people who will read your message are volunteers, and may not have even read the article in question.

If the article seems to you defamatory or legally actionable in any way, please see the question about "legal concerns" further down in this FAQ.

Your article about me isn’t exactly bad, but it could be better. How do I get it improved?

We welcome suggestions for improvement to all articles. Feel free to contribute new information or make suggestions on the talk page.

I hate the photo in the article about me.

Send us a better one! Feel free to contribute a good photo under a suitable free content license. Please see here for more information about how to send us photo submissions.

I work in PR, and would like to fix up the article about the person or company I represent. Is that okay?

Possibly, if you do it in a way that respects Wikipedia's goal of being an accurate, unbiased source of information.

Read this and then do it:

  • remove obvious vandalism (see Help:Reverting if you want to do this as cleanly as possible)
  • fix minor errors in spelling, grammar, usage, or facts
  • provide accurate references for information that's already in the article (and we have a strong preference that the reference/citation be a reliable source)
  • add or update facts, such as a person's date or place of birth, a company's location or number of employees, or details of a recent event - and if you do, please add a reference/citation; otherwise, other editors have no way of knowing if the change is true or not
  • upload pictures, or audio files of individuals' speaking, under an open licence
  • declare your interest on the article's talk page and/ or your user page

Never do this:

  • try to use Wikipedia to promote or advertise your client(s) (see our guideline on conflict of interest, for details)
  • remove negative material (exception: material that violates our policy regarding living people)
  • copy-and-paste content from another site, even if you manage the other site (if you personally own the copyrighted text, see WP:IOWN for requirements for copying it)
  • add information that cannot be independently verified, or that isn't significant for an encyclopedia article
  • add, delete, or modify text that's particularly controversial or where facts are disputed (again, with the exception of removing unsourced controversial information about living people, per WP:BLP)

If you're not sure a particular edit will be welcomed, then please ask in advance on the article's talk page.

Please be aware that other people will edit what you’ve written, and that each article's history page is public and will reflect exactly what you have changed. If you aren't willing to accept that, then you should not edit.

Somebody keeps vandalizing the article about me or my company. Can’t you stop them?

If it is truly, obvious vandalism (such as blanking the page or foul language), you can revert it yourself. If you don’t know how to revert, or would rather not, please comment on the talk page or fill out our online form. If an article is being reverted persistently, the Wikipedia community will ordinarily notice that and take steps to stop it, however, if it isn't drawing attention, you can post to the Administrator intervention against vandalism board.

Can I ask the police or someone else to stop it?

No. The fastest and most reliable way to address vandalism is through the avenues described above.

Someone keeps writing negative things about me or my company. What can I do?

It depends whether the information is true, and fairly presented.

If it's uncomplimentary but accurate, there may be very little you can do about it. If you feel the article is poorly-sourced, unduly negative, contains information that is irrelevant or otherwise not worth including, or is particularly hurtful to someone who’s not a public figure, please make those comments on the article’s talk page, or post to the Biographies of living persons Noticeboard to bring the article to the attention of the wider community. While Wikipedia is not censored, the editors do try to maintain balance in articles and abide by a neutral point of view. But information won't be taken down just because it makes you unhappy.

If the information is false, please comment on the talk page saying so. If it's defamatory or legally actionable in any way, please see the question about "legal concerns" further down in this FAQ.

I keep making a change in my article and somebody keeps changing it back. Why?

There are a variety of possibilities. Maybe someone thought your change was self-promoting or biased. Possibly the facts are disputed. Or it may be simply that someone thought your material wasn’t worthy of inclusion, or was written in a style not suitable to an encyclopedia.

To find out what happened, the first thing you should do is look at the history page for the article you edited. This will tell you who changed it, when, and often why. If it says something like “see talk”, then look at the article’s talk page. If you don't find a reason that makes sense to you, politely ask in talk page what happened to your change. Generally, then someone will tell you why your change was reverted.

Can I start an article about myself or my company?

We strongly discourage this. Wikipedia is intended to be an objective resource, and it’s very, very difficult for people to be fully objective about themselves or their company.

If your life and achievements are verifiable and genuinely notable, then sooner or later someone else will probably create an article about you. If you write an article about yourself, the chances are pretty good that it will be deleted, and people may say uncomplimentary things about you on the talk page.

Please note also that anything you write on Wikipedia will be mercilessly edited by others. Sometimes people who write about themselves end up requesting that their articles be deleted because the original piece has, over time, changed in ways they didn’t like.

If you are unsure whether to create an article about yourself, you may consider visiting Wikipedia:Articles for creation and submitting your article for review.

Why can't I advertise my company or product on Wikipedia?

Please see Wikipedia:Why can't I advertise my company or product on Wikipedia?

Who wrote the article about me or my company?

The articles on Wikipedia are collaboratively written by thousands of volunteers. Almost all articles have more than one author. If you want to know who wrote a particular article, click on the “history” tab at the top of that page. That will show who has edited the page. It will display usernames for editors who have registered with Wikipedia, and IP addresses for editors who haven't registered.

How can I get rid of the article about myself or my company?

We generally aim to improve articles rather than delete them. Saying an article is “bad” (or inaccurate, or biased, or badly written) isn’t reason enough for it to be deleted: we would prefer you try to help us make it better. If you truly feel a subject isn’t notable enough to warrant an article, it may be worth saying that on the talk page.

I am mentioned in an article about something else, and I would like the reference to me removed. How can I do that?

You probably cannot. If you think the reference doesn’t belong in an encyclopedia (because it’s incorrect, or not worth mentioning), you can make that comment on the talk page. But editors won’t remove the reference just because you don’t like it.

Also, please don’t just remove it yourself. It’s a bad idea, generally, to write or edit material about yourself.

I would like to sue you for lying about me in your article. How do I proceed?

In cases where you have a major legal concern, we ask you to tell us about it immediately. If there’s a problem, we’d like to try to get it fixed.

Please send e-mail to with "Legal concern" in the subject line. In the e-mail, please be sure to include the exact URL of the article, and tell us what you think is wrong and why.

A couple of things worth noting:

  • Your e-mail will be answered by a volunteer whose goal is to help resolve the problem. That person is very unlikely to have been involved in your article, or even to know about it. There’s no reason to be angry with the volunteer who’s answering your mail.
  • Don't worry: we won't make your e-mail address or the contents of your message public.
  • We will not give you other people’s information, such as the IP addresses of registered users.
  • Please don't send legal concerns to other Wikipedia e-mail addresses: that just slows things down.
  • Please make sure to set your spam filter so you can receive our reply. If you don't hear back, check your junk mail folder.
  • We will not phone you back, even if you ask us to. The people responding to your e-mail are volunteers: they aren't given money for long-distance calls nor are they paid for their time.
  • Wikipedia has received many threats of legal action, but has never yet been successfully sued. Under United States and international law, the Wikimedia Foundation is not considered responsible for defamation posted on Wikipedia. Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation are based in San Francisco, California, USA.

I would like more information on the topics covered in this FAQ.

  • For more information about free content licenses, visit the article on Free content.
  • For more information about wikis in general, visit the article on Wiki.