Wikipedia:Rules for Fools

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While April Fools' Day can be fun, there are several rules you need to follow to avoid disrupting the encyclopedia.

April Fools' Day has historically been a contentious day on Wikipedia, and the limits on how editors may play jokes and pranks on other users and the encyclopedia have been disputed for some time. While there is no consensus on a complete April Fools' Day joke ban, editors are advised to use common sense.[1][2] To help settle the debate on what is and is not allowed on April Fools' Day, several rules have since been established based on this request for comment in 2013 and this request for comment in 2016 for users who choose to play jokes on April Fools'.

The rules[edit]

Wikipedia policies and guidelines still apply on April Fools' Day, especially the policies on edit warring, no personal attacks and biographies of living persons.[3][4] Rules #1, and #2 are exempt from the Main Page:[5]

  1. All jokes and pranks must be kept out of the article namespace[6] and the help namespace.[7] Jokes that affect articles, including files, categories and templates that are used in the article namespace,[8] will be treated as vandalism. Depending on the nature, you risk having your account possibly blocked from editing.
  2. All jokes must be tagged using {{Humor}} or similar templates, or the inline template {{April fools}}.[9]
  3. All jokes must not be hateful, discriminatory, or intended to make others feel unwelcome.[10] This should go without saying, if you think your joke might be taking it too far then DON'T do it.


Please keep the following in mind if you are considering creating a joke AfD on April Fools' Day in order to minimize disruption to Wikipedia:

  1. You must immediately remove the line "{{REMOVE THIS TEMPLATE WHEN CLOSING THIS AfD}}". Otherwise, a bot will add the deletion notice to the article.[11]
  2. Do not use Twinkle to create the nomination page, as doing so automatically adds a tag to the mainspace article.[12]
  3. The AfD log for April 1 is to contain a separate section for joke nominations.[13]

Additional notes[edit]

  • There is consensus for "Did you know" entries on the Main Page that are "clever puns rather than poop jokes and sexual innuendos".[14]
  • Editors who revert non-harmful jokes should be assumed to be acting in good faith and should not be sanctioned[15] as such edits may appear to be vandalism. However, editors should generally avoid reverting jokes that comply with the above rules and are made in the spirit of April Fools' Day.
  • Vandalism, including inappropriate joke edits in article space, should be treated in the usual manner as vandalism on other days of the year. A vandal should not be blocked immediately simply because the vandalism occurred on April Fools' Day.[16] If an editor is blocked, the excuse "but it is April Fools day..." is not considered a valid reason for unblocking.
  • Make sure that the general formatting in deletion discussion log pages is not changed, to prevent automated or semi-automated processes from breaking. In particular, the "<!-- Add new entries to the TOP of the following list -->" comment at the top of the AfD log must not be changed or removed.[17]
  • Be aware that an ArbCom case arose around a 2016 April Fools' Day piece in The Signpost, objections to it, and reactions to those objections.[3]
  • In the past, joke AfDs with low participation have been deleted per CSD G6 after April Fools' Day is over.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools'#Ban all April Fools jokes
  2. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools' 2#Just get rid of them - proposal (by AlasdairEdits)
  3. ^ a b In 2016, a dispute involving, among other things, an April Fools' Day joke in The Signpost reached the Arbitration Committee, which passed a principle affirming that April Fool's Day jokes are not exempt from the biographies of living persons policy.
  4. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools' 2#New section at Wikipedia:Disruptive editing (alternative text)
  5. ^ Affirmed at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools' 2#Revoke the Main Page's exemption from the restriction on articlespace jokes (by Rhododendrites)
  6. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools'#April Fools jokes should stay out of article space
  7. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools' 2#Exclude the Help namespace from April Fools (by Rhododendrites)
  8. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools' 2#Limit jokes to userspace and non-essential project space (by Ansh666)
  9. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools'#Require all jokes other than the main page to be tagged
  10. ^ Wikipedia:Civility
  11. ^ Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Archive247#How to keep AfDs off the actual articles
  12. ^ Wikipedia talk:Rules for Fools#Use of WP:Twinkle on April Fools' Day
  13. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools' 2#Separate XfD log sections (by Ansh666)
  14. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools'#More creative DYK hooks
  15. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools'#Ban interference with non-harmful jokes
  16. ^ Wikipedia:Requests for comment/April Fools'#Automatic sanction for article-space vandalism
  17. ^ See the history of the 2017 1 April AfD log.
  18. ^ Wikipedia talk:Articles for deletion/Archive 70#Relisting AfDs that were created 1 April