This page is an essay on Neutral point of view.
|This page in a nutshell: Editing Wikipedia for the purpose of advocating for, or "to tell the truth about", a national or ethnic issue is not constructive.|
|Be cautious when referencing this page, particularly when involved in a dispute with another editor, as it could be considered a personal attack, or otherwise aggravate the dispute.|
Having a neutral point of view (NPOV) is a core principle of Wikipedia. This means that advocacy for national, ethnic, or similar points of view (or any other points of view) over competing points of view is inappropriate for an editor. If you find that you've come here for the primary purpose of making articles related to a nation or ethnic group that is involved in a dispute more "correct" you may be not here to build an encyclopedia. Editors of this nature often have a single-purpose account and focus exclusively on the nationalism- or identity-related topics.
- Ethnic group, nation, language or dialects do or do not exist
- Ethnic group is or is not the "true" group
- Ethnic group does or does not stem from another ethnic group
- Borders of nation are or are not the "true" historical border
- Nation did or did not commit war crimes, massacres, atrocities, genocide or other forms of violent actions
- Famous person is or is not a member of group
- Nation did or did not make or break a treaty or other agreement
- Nation is more or less populated, successful by some measure, expansive, etc., than reliable sources say
- Group did or did not originate invention, language, script, etc.
- Ethnic group, religion, nation or country is "superior" or "inferior" to others
- Group has or hasn't been under threat from or subverted by other groups, ideologies, forces, conspiracies, etc.
And behaviors such as:
- Referring to or describing an individual or ethnic group through outdated or discredited racial terminology
- Stating it is exigent or morally necessary to represent a view in favor of or against a group
- Using fringe or discredited sources to advocate, promote or spread a certain national or historic narrative
- Manipulating or cherry picking what sources say for content to promote or spread a certain national or historical narrative
- Focusing on the (perceived) ethnic background or identity of editors in talkpage discussions or other edits
- Canvassing or asking for assistance from other editors on "patriotic" grounds
- Calling or implying that other editors perceived to be from the same ethnic group, but who do not agree with a certain viewpoint are "sellouts", "traitors" or other similar terminology
- Insisting that derogatory words, terms or slurs for a certain ethnic group are not offensive and acceptable to use, due to common usage by their or another ethnic group
- Whitewashing characterizations documented to reliable sources
This type of editor often accuses the other editors of being nationalistic or biased, and may genuinely believe they are fighting against nationalism. It is still the same type of editing to take either side of a dispute without proper reliable sources and due weight.
What nationalist editing is not
Nationalist editing is not promoting a view based on reliable sources that another editor disagrees with, or being in the minority in local consensus. Editing on a single topic is not in violation of policy. Having an interest in ethnic groups, nations or countries is not inherently a conflict. Many editors are proud of the place they live in, which means that they make many constructive and well sourced contributions about an ethnic group, nation or country. Oftentimes editors in poorly covered regions are uniquely placed to improve critical articles. Just because an editor only makes edits to articles about a country, or topics related to certain place, does not mean they are breaking policy.
What to do
If you have been doing this, encountering this information is an opportunity for you to decide if you are here to promote a point of view, or are here to build an encyclopedia. Consider editing different topics than the one that drew you here or that you feel passionately about. Consider also approaching any topic from the standpoint of combining reliable sources with due weight regardless of what opinions the field of study may have, even if contrary to your own.
If you suspect someone of advocacy, it is important to patiently explain the problem rather than be confrontational or abusive. As always, assume good faith – and be civil. Inform editors about policy and engage in discussion. Do not accuse editors of nationalist editing without cause. New editors may simply not understand how things work here, so you may want to provide links to relevant policy, guideline and essay pages. If they continue after being warned, or violate discretionary sanctions after being warned, you may wish to seek sanctions such as an official warning, topic ban, or a block, at the administrator's noticeboard for incidents.
Take advantage of dispute resolution and look for reasonable compromise.
If you are new to Wikipedia or if you are unfamiliar with Wikipedia's editing criteria, please read very carefully the following policy and information pages:
- Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not — what is acceptable or unacceptable use
- Wikipedia:Five pillars — the editing foundations of Wikipedia
- Wikipedia:Neutral point of view — the core policy that informs how pages are to be approached
- Wikipedia:Civil POV pushing
- Point of view (POV) forks - POV forks arise when editors disagree about the content of one article, and instead of resolving that disagreement they create another article on the same subject according to a particular point of view.
- Wikipedia:Masking the lack of notability
- Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch
- Wikipedia:Sock puppetry — the core policy covering both users with multiple accounts, and multiple users working together on one "viewpoint" in a debate
- Wikipedia:No personal attacks — some new users may find the "nationalist editing" label to be insulting
- Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers — new members to the project are often unfamiliar with the complexities and culture of Wikipedia, and often become valuable contributors with time and coaching — don't scare people away by immediately assuming bad faith or imposing draconian standards
- Wikipedia:Encourage the newcomers — go a step further and try to help the newcomers
- Wikipedia:Right great wrongs — we are not here to right great wrongs
- Wikipedia:No Nazis - Racists will be blocked indefinitely. Report them on sight.