Wikipedia talk:Assume good faith

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AGF and Copyrights[edit]

A fail to see why this section is necessary. The whole text is applicable to each and every rule. For example, about citing your sources:

"When dealing with possible WP:RS violations, good faith means assuming that editors intend to comply with site policy and the law. That is different from assuming they have actually complied with either. Editors have an obligation to provide adequate references, and material may be deleted if the references are inadequate. Good faith corrective action includes informing editors of problems and helping them improve their practices."

Unless there is a solid evidence of AGF-based civility conflicts due to copyrights, I move to delete this section as pointless instruction creep. Staszek Lem (talk) 01:20, 3 November 2016 (UTC)

RFC: A common abuse of AGF in AfDs[edit]

The consensus is against including the proposed text in the guideline. Cunard (talk) 05:09, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

@Czar and Rubbish computer (see #Faith and verification above)

There is a fairly frequent argument in AfD discussions that goes like this: "There's a source of this article, but it's print/behind a paywall, so we have to AGF that it demonstrates the notability of the subject". I would like to add the following statement to this guideline, at the bottom of the section "About good faith", making it clear that this an incorrect application of AGF. —swpbT 16:43, 15 November 2016 (UTC)

Good faith and inaccessible sources[edit]

The act of adding a source does not imply an assertion that the source supports a case that the article meets the general notability guideline; i.e., that the source is reliable, independent of the subject, and offers significant coverage of the subject. Assuming good faith does not entail assuming that sources meet criteria which the editor adding the source has not explicitly asserted they meet.


  • To elaborate on what I said above, yes, there is a confusion that AGF means "take claimants at their word" instead of "assume good intentions". As part of the fallible editing process, editors (including myself) have interpreted and paraphrased sources incorrectly. We're closer to trust-but-verify in this way—in the spirit of verifiability, I try to make scans of offline sources available for verification purposes when requested by fellow editors. Imagine the implications otherwise. For example, I quote an offline source and no one checks the ref or feels that they can ask → no one catches my error in interpretation. Another example: I cite a pull quote from an Amazon page as proof that the item was reviewed in some specific journal → if no one checks the actual source, we're believing an unreliable source rather than the actual material. We have a good precedent in giving other editors good faith and the benefit of the doubt in at least not assuming malice on their behalf. But we would be quite lost if we "assumed on faith" that other editors are beyond reproach and that their due diligence is the final word, or something that should go unchecked. I am no longer watching this page—ping if you'd like a response czar 18:09, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
So that's a support? This is a different issue from "trust-but-verify that a source supports given content". In this case, there is no claim, even an implicit one, for AGF to adhere to; this isn't about whether a source supports adjacent content (which would be expected), but whether it counts toward GNG, which individual sources are not required or expected to do. We could add language about the relationship between inaccessible sources and content, but I'm primarily interested in the first point: that the mere presence of a source does not imply notability under AGF. This is an "it shouldn't have to be said, but apparently it does." —swpbT 20:09, 15 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support This seems reasonable. This policy is about the intentions of editors, not the veracity of their claims. While I don't really like the need to insert this, it clearly exists, so... Tamwin (talk) 04:58, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Support. I have come across fake reference hundreds of times. Some article creators, especially those who have a COI (paid advocates, other spammers, rappers) assume no one is ever going to check up on the veracity of the sources. Particularly barrel-scraping source-bombers who think it will take too much time and trouble for anyone to check them all.Kudpung กุดผึ้ง (talk) 23:01, 16 November 2016 (UTC)
  • strong oppose - instruction creep. If the source is inaccessible and there is a doubt about anything the source is claimed to say, WP:V requires that the person who added it (or whoever else) provide a quotation to prove it says whatever it says. We can assume AGF on anything up until the moment something is challenged. The editor acting in good faith may mess up almost everything. AGF is a behavioral guideline to prevent bitter fights upon honest accidental mistakes, but it is not the content guideline. Staszek Lem (talk) 02:43, 17 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose instruction creep, because it's unrelated to this guideline, and because the rationale for adding this language seems to be a support for deleting articles at AfD when the available sources are paywalled, which runs against WP:V (there's no requirements that all readers can access a source, only than some can; it's no different from an offline reference). As Staszek Lem stated, the proper procedure in AfDs would be to request someone to quote the most relevant portions of the article (which should be clear fair use). If there is no one who can access the source at that particular time, the AfD should be paused until someone can do it later; we are not in a rush. Diego (talk) 10:23, 22 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose  I don't see any examples of the problem, so it is not possible to review the underlying issue.  The fact that sources don't in and of themselves speak to WP:GNG doesn't change any evidence that they do speak to WP:GNG.  So this text would only be used to note that we don't assume that all sources contribute to WP:GNG, which is irrelevant in a context in which there is evidence that a source does contribute to WP:GNG, and is unhelpful anyway because we already know that not all sources in an article contribute to WP:GNG.  Unscintillating (talk) 18:06, 25 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I agree with other editors that this becomes instruction creep. And it really just seems to me to be a case of imprecise choice of words. If someone disagrees with the paywall argument in a particular discussion, it's not like they are going to be taken to ANI for an AGF violation (at least not successfully). As noted, just ask someone with source access to provide a quote. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:53, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. While I agree with the sentiment AGF can get misued in this instance (that's for editor actions, not sources), there isn't a concise why to codify against it, and it does appear to be unneeded instruction creep. If someone asks for a quote from someone who does have access, and they simply respond by saying please AGF, that isn't valid in any AfD discussion. We already have WP:PAYWALL, which is policy. If there is a reasonable suspicion that the source does not support the content (or a question of notability for AfD), then a quote should be provided from the source for talk page discussions. If someone really wants to curtail misuse of AGF here, paywalled/inaccessible sources would be better addressed at WP:V or WP:GNG. Kingofaces43 (talk) 21:36, 27 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose: Clear instruction creep. While I can understand the reasoning, I think it is misplaced. Assuming good faith is a criteria found in the fundamental principles of Wikipedia under Editors should treat each other with respect and civility. WP:GNG states "If a topic has received "significant coverage" in reliable sources that are independent of the subject, it is presumed to be suitable for a stand-alone article or list.". If there is only one source, behind a paywall or not, there is a good chance notability is in question. If content related then such content may not conform to a neutral point of view, or other policies and guidelines. Even some community supported essays might carry weight. An error in judgement can certainly be made in good faith, and we can all make errors without malice, so questioning notability, or article content, does not in any way breach good faith as long as there is civility. Wikipedia has many dispute resolution procedures already in place. Concerning GNG; remember, ""Presumed" means that significant coverage in reliable sources creates an assumption, not a guarantee, that a subject should be included". This, as well as article content, is governed by consensus and BLP's are scrutinized more carefully. Otr500 (talk) 12:08, 28 November 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose While we can all (mostly) agree that this is something that should not be done, i.e. using AGF to defend inclusion of an article with inaccessible sources by GNG—it's also important not to bloat the AGF page with every possible case to which it does and does not apply. I don't see a compelling reason to make an exception for this specific case. I believe the proper procedure would be to inform users that this argument is a misapplication of AGF. AlexEng(TALK) 19:25, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Comment from 101ramsumer[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Dear Sir,

Why have you stated that pasi caste occupation is pig rearing. In India whereas different states has different types of pasi caste. As I am kayasth pasi caste, it means I have also in occupation in pig rearing. What have modified in my pasi caste page is correct and hence delete the humiliating word of pig rearing with immediate effect. Who has given you evidence that all pasi caste is untouchable. How many proof you want about pasi caste. Pasi caste were of royal clone in old age and were emperor of a particular region. Maharaja Bijalee pasi KILA is exist just can see as evidence. Maharaj Lakhan pasi had established which is now capital of UP. and many more like this. At old age because of Muslim assailant on Hindu caste they safe life to rear the untouchable pets at home. Now these habits have been stopped. So I request you delete the unwanted word that humiliate the my pasi caste.

Regards 101ramsumer — Preceding unsigned comment added by 101ramsumer (talkcontribs) 08:58, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Request for Comment: make AGF a policy[edit]

Clear opposing consensus, AGF should not be made policy. - FlightTime (open channel) 21:49, 27 June 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Should "assume good faith" be made a policy? ProgrammingGeek talktome 01:32, 8 June 2017 (UTC)


Assumining good faith is a central tenet of the encyclopedia. Without it, none of the project could really function. A view expressed when this page was demoted to a guideline was that editors can't force good faith on people, but we do this every day. We remind editors to AGF when (as the original 2004 revision puts it) the edit war gets hot.

Similar to WP:IAR, this guideline tells editors to AGF within reason. Replacing the picture in Donald Trump's infobox with a picture of Hitler is a funny joke[sarcasm], but because the editor was (according to any reasonable person) acting in bad faith, we don't AGF.

Some editors claim that AGF is fine as a guideline, but by upgrading to a policy it would remove any doubts about its applicability.

To conclude, by making AGF a policy, I believe that it would help editor interactions without causing harm. ProgrammingGeek talktome 01:32, 8 June 2017 (UTC)



  1. As proposer. ProgrammingGeek talktome 15:21, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
  2. Certain aspects related to dealing with people who cuss out making accusations when there's barely a significant issue, such as over minor qualms, should be disciplined by an Admin. Those aren't things that involve "mind reading" or other unenforceable things. Such as my case over here [1]. Despite my attempt to cite WP:UNCIVIL and WP:IUC, which recommends requesting the person who swear to strikeout his comment, or to resort to an Admin to take action; nothing was done about it. DA1 (talk) 21:11, 17 June 2017 (UTC)


  1. AGF is important, but its largely a question of good judgement. Trying to enforce AGF as a policy strikes me as more likely to cause drama then reduce it. Making it a policy would disregard the very good advice from WP:PACT. Monty845 21:35, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
  2. Unenforceable. For a third person to decide whether someone is acting under AGF requires either reading one's mind or having AGF themselves. Either way this is straight into a battleground. I.e., AGF is valuable basically as a self-discipline, and every person may have a different view on a particular case: e.g., a "drive-by" wiki-peace officer may see is as bad AGF, but a person who sits deep into it may see a slow-churning trolling. Staszek Lem (talk) 00:59, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
  3. It's nice as a general goal, but terrible as a prescriptive policy. For example, It would make illegal most of the activities of arbcon and many of admins, plus most of those of the noticeboards, which basically involve assessing a situation rather than a requirement to "assume" something which is contrary to the evidence. North8000 (talk) 02:39, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
    The requirement is not to assume. The requirement is that assumptions, when made, give the benefit of the doubt. The presence of evidence makes assumptions (and, therefore, AGF) unnecessary. Essays like WP:PACT underscore the profound misunderstanding of what assuming good faith actually is and isn't. But I agree that its promotion to policy won't happen, and even if it did, WP:CIVIL is one of the five pillars but its sporadic and often misapplied enforcement makes WP look sophomoric enough. The last thing we need is another "principle" that is mostly ignored. Primergrey (talk) 10:05, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
    In Wikipedia, wp:civil and wp:agf are used as weapons of warfare.North8000 (talk) 17:13, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
    Well put, North8000, I agree completely. Compare also the essay Don't link to WP:AGF. Bishonen | talk 20:32, 19 June 2017 (UTC).
    @Bishonen: Thanks for telling be about that one. It points out the specifics of common misuses. Including that linking to wp:agf is a common violation of wp:agf. :-) North8000 (talk) 11:32, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
  4. WP:POLICIES says that policies are "standards" while guidelines are "best practices." I'm not sure which category AGF falls into, but I'd say it's a "best practice" rather than a "standard". Bright☀ 12:02, 17 June 2017 (UTC)
  5. Fine as a guideline, but it would be impossible to work as a policy. It isn't possible to block someone for failing to assume good faith, and breaches of policy should be blockable. Aiken D 12:13, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  6. Oppose I simply can't see how whether or not a editor acted in good faith can be objectively determined. While good in theory, this proposal would be nearly impossible to enforce in practice. --Joshualouie711talk 15:58, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  7. Oppose - AGF is not a death pact, it is a matter of common sense that should be employed in general. That's the definition of a guideline, not a policy. Carrite (talk) 18:15, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  8. Oppose as something that would be impossible to enforce as a policy. Its a behavioral guideline that is important in Wikipedia and in real life, but I don't see it at policy level. TonyBallioni (talk) 22:09, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  9. Oposse: AGF is a important guideline when interacting with newbies, but it shouldn't be enforced anyway. KGirlTrucker81 huh? what I've been doing 23:29, 18 June 2017 (UTC)
  10. Oppose - There's already a tendency to use WP:AGF as a righteous sledgehammer in any situation where an editor has what is to them sufficient reason to be suspicious of another editor's status, purpose, or commitment to improving the encyclopedia. Upgrading it to a policy would only increase this tendency, to the general detriment of the project, which benefits when these suspicions are talked out and not suppressed. Beyond My Ken (talk) 07:36, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  11. Oppose As others have mentioned, making this policy is a bad idea because enforcing it would be impossible. The AN and ANI noticeboards and other areas already get enough charges of "AGF violation". If this was policy, there wouldn't be room for anything else. Also, it is naive at best and enabling at worse to AGF in certain situations. Experienced admins and editors tend to figure out when those situations occur, but encoding the limits of that into policy would be onerous. Eggishorn (talk) (contrib) 16:36, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  12. Oppose I don't AGF. I don't think most editors should. Chris Troutman (talk) 21:29, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
  13. Oppose An AGF policy would be unenforceable, it is more of a best practice. Music1201 talk 02:19, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
  14. Oppose. I don't see how it could be enforced as a policy; it seems more of something behavioral. —MRD2014 ( T / C ) 18:14, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
  15. Oppose. It is an important guideline/practice and usually comes up as part of a pattern of issues with an editor, but it would be hard to objectively enforce as a stand alone policy. Kierzek (talk) 18:28, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
  16. Oppose. makes no sense when interacting with "civil" POV pushing for starters. Cas Liber (talk · contribs) 09:59, 21 June 2017 (UTC)
  17. At this point, there isn't much that I can add about how it would be unenforceable. But I'll just put in my personal opinion that it's unfortunate (albeit apparently inevitable) that, short of sort-of enforcing unambiguous NPA violations, there is not a better way for all of us to be civil to one another (and to keep a sense of humor at the same time). --Tryptofish (talk) 00:32, 22 June 2017 (UTC)
  18. Oppose Well we should often give people the benefit of the doubt, when someone is obviously here to disrupt the projects we should not assume good faith. Now that WP is "famous" / "popular" a lot of companies are trying to take advantage of our good will and readership. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 23:45, 23 June 2017 (UTC)
  19. Oppose. AGF makes sense until the editor demonstrates that they're not acting in good faith. Elevating AGF to policy will put editors in the Orwellian position of assuming, even more than is currently expected, that obvious bad faith actions are motivated by good faith. Coretheapple (talk) 21:24, 27 June 2017 (UTC)


  1. Calling out someone for not AGFing can sometimes be construed as a lack of AGF in itself. While making AGF a policy could make typical users take it more seriously, any attempt at enforcement would be bound to create endless drama. DaßWölf 02:51, 20 June 2017 (UTC)
  2. I'm not sure. It is true that links to WP:AGF are often misused: telling an editor who disagrees with you to "assume good faith" gives the impression that you are assuming that they did not assume good faith, which could be construed as a lack of AGF on your part – see WP:AAGF. In most discussions, we didn't need to mention AGF at all. This practice is unfortunately so common on Wikipedia that I understand why others are leery about elevating this to policy. With that being said, it is difficult to understate the importance of assuming good faith as a fundamental principle throughout all of Wikipedia. I also see it as core to the functioning of Wikipedia. It's true that AGF isn't a death pact, and the page expressly clarifies that assuming good faith is not required in the face of clear evidence to the contrary. In cases where there is doubt, I do see AGF as a "standard that all editors should normally follow". Mz7 (talk) 19:30, 20 June 2017 (UTC), modified 21:41, 20 June 2017 (UTC)


ProgrammingGeek, looks like the whole majority opposes the upgrading proposal. May you please withdraw this and close it? Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 08:12, 21 June 2017 (UTC)

Looks like it's probably time for early closure. Mz7 (talk) 06:15, 24 June 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.