Wikipedia:Our social policies are not a suicide pact
This is an essay on conduct policy.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
|This page in a nutshell: The Assume good faith guideline does not require that editors extend good faith in instances where there is clear bad faith.|
Our social policies are not a suicide pact. They are in place to help us write the encyclopedia. ... We need to take due process seriously, but we also need to remember: this is not a democracy, this is not an experiment in anarchy, it's a project to make the world a better place by giving away a free encyclopedia ... We can cut some serious slack to administrators who are doing the good work of defending us from nonsense.
The inspiration was likely the American political phrase, "The Constitution is not a suicide pact". Since 2005, the words "not a suicide pact" have been commonly quoted in relation to Wikipedia's policies, particularly "assume good faith". "Our social policies are not a suicide pact" is essentially a restatement of Wikipedia:Ignore all rules as applied to editor behavior: "If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Wikipedia, ignore it."
Remember this principle is an exception to allow admins to protect the encyclopedia without getting bogged down in bureaucracy, not a general invitation to breach our behavioral guidelines. Quoting this essay is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.