Wikipedia:No soliciting of cliques
|This page is an essay, containing the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. Essays are not Wikipedia policies or guidelines. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.||
Wikipedia gets hundreds of new users every day, and sometimes they have been solicited to participate in debates (e.g. Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/The Game (game)).
Meatpuppet is a Wikipedia term meaning one who edits on behalf of or as proxy for another editor.
While Wikipedia assumes good faith especially for new users, the recruitment of new editors to Wikipedia for the purpose of influencing a survey, performing reverts, or otherwise attempting to give the appearance of consensus is strongly discouraged. A new user who engages in the same behavior as another user in the same context, and who appears to be editing Wikipedia solely for that purpose, shall be subject to the remedies applied to the user whose behavior they are joining. The term meatpuppet is considered to be derogatory and should be used only with care.
It is considered highly inappropriate to advertise Wikipedia articles to your friends, family members, or communities of people who agree with you, so that they come to Wikipedia and support your side of a debate.
If you feel that a debate is ignoring your voice, then the appropriate action is to avoid personal attacks, seek comments and involvement from other Wikipedians, or pursue dispute resolution. These are well tested processes, designed to avoid the problem of exchanging bias in one direction for bias in another.
Wikipedia has policies and processes to mitigate the disruption caused by meatpuppetry:
- Consensus in many debates and discussions is not based upon number of votes, but upon policy-related points made by editors. Newcomers are unlikely to understand Wikipedia policies and practices , or to introduce any evidence that other users have not already mentioned .
- In votes or vote-like discussions, new users tend to be disregarded or given significantly less weight, especially if there are many of them expressing the same opinion.
- For the purposes of dispute resolution, the Arbitration Committee has ruled that when there is uncertainty whether a party is one user with sock puppets, or several users acting as meatpuppets, they may be treated as one entity. However, just because a new user shows up with knowledge of Wikipedia's workings, does not mean they are a sock puppet – remember that in situations like schools/colleges/universities or corporate terminals, someone probably edits Wikipedia and knows about its workings – they could very well be a friend of that editor.
This leads to accusations that a user is a sock puppet, which is not always true – just because a new user knows about Wikipedia markup or Wikipedia policy and culture, it does not mean they are a sockpuppet – a friend could well have introduced them to participate here. Assume good faith.
It is more likely they could have introduced their friend to the site, taught them everything they need to know.
Basically, it is wrong to solicit meatpuppets here – so don't do it.