- For the disambiguation issue, see WP:PRIMARYTOPIC; For the essay on using objective sources, see WP:Objective.
|This unofficial guidance essay contains comments and advice of one or more Wikipedia contributors. It is not a Wikipedia policy or guideline, though it may be consulted for assistance. It may contain opinions that are shared by few or no other editors; potential measure of how the community views this essay may be gained by consulting the history and talk pages, and checking What links here.|
The closest thing Wikipedia has to a prime directive, according to its co-founder Jimmy Wales, is to:
- "Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing."
- – Jimmy Wales, quoted in Slashdot (2004-07-28)
Wales reinforced his prior statement in 2012, saying that "'Imagine a world [..]' is the closest thing we have to a Prime Directive..."
The issue of Wikipedia's prime directive is often relevant to discussions about Wikipedia (and Wikimedia's) goals and purpose. The above quote from founder Jimmy Wales has been quite often[weasel words] referenced as a kind of de facto statement about what Wikipedia is here for, and what it's supposed to do.
When it comes to some of our most controversial topics, it is not always clear what we should do. In cases where we feel we should try to find a fine balance between sensitive issues, it may help matters to refer back to Wikipedia's primary mission/directive, which is to provide a free and global resource of some substantial degree of quality.
Keep in mind that the literal inclusion of "the sum of all human knowledge" on Wikipedia is explicitly prohibited by its core content policies on notability and verifiability, and may also be prohibited by Florida law (where Wikipedia's servers are located). The prime directive does not overrule or negate any existing policy or guideline.