Wikipedia talk:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3


Okay. We've had a lengthy two-week poll that I should never have started in the first place, now archived at Wikipedia talk:Don't disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point/Pollicy. There is obviously no consensus to make this official policy, so I'm classifying this as a guideline and hope that's okay with everybody. Radiant_* 08:49, May 27, 2005 (UTC)

Proposed new example

  • If you believe that hundreds of articles of a particular type should all be deleted...
    • do nominate one or two test cases, and/or set up a discussion page to try to hammer out a consensus.
    • don't begin a crusade by flooding VfD.

Now that this is no longer being voted on, what do people think about this example I added a while ago? Seems to me to fall well within the spirit of the "State your point, don't prove it experimentally" rubric. Lupin 13:01, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

The main reason I would not support a change in wording on this is that there is significant disagreement on whether the recent mass listing of school articles was in fact disruptive behavior. I think it was mildly disruptive at most and I was glad when it stopped, but I don't think it was worth using as an illustration here because of that significant disagreement, and it would tend to lessen the broadness of agreement that WP:POINT is a useful guideline. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 13:24, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  • I tend to concur with Tony, this might actually be better as advice for newbies to Vfd (but also useful for out-of-touch arbcom members LOL). Kappa 15:30, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Agree with Tony and Kappa. However, in the spirit of improving the GVFD, 'shared nominations' are quite possibly appropriate if you feel the need to nominate half a dozen schools, or members of some republican army, or characters from Tolkien, etc. Radiant_* 20:33, May 27, 2005 (UTC)

I strongly disagree with this because, instead of each item being considered on its merits, shared listings encourage voting "on principle", pretty much like the kind of voting we've seen recently on schools. Really if you want to delete a lot of articles there's nothing wrong with listing them at a reasonable rate--for some widely agreed value of "reasonable". It's more important to Wikipedia that the right result be achieved eventually than that a result of some kind be achieved at once. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 21:24, 27 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Okay sorry, schools are a bad example in this context. What I meant was things like Wikipedia:Votes_for_deletion/Half-decent_articles - it nominates three pages that are strongly related, and while I could have put each up for a separate vote, I think it's more appropriate to combine the three. Radiant_* 10:38, May 29, 2005 (UTC)
VFD is a poor place to try and forge new policy. If you believe a whole class of articles that have so far been tolerated should be got rid of, you are very unlikely to get consensus by listing them all at once. —Morven 04:11, May 28, 2005 (UTC)
  • If you believe a whole class of articles that have so far been tolerated should be got rid of, you are very unlikely to get consensus period, no matter where you try it. Radiant_* 10:38, May 29, 2005 (UTC)
Note that the proposed example does not preclude listings on VfD at a "reasonable" rate - it says that flooding VfD is a Bad Thing. Lupin 13:04, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Yep. VFD has tripled in size over the past year, btw. Not good. Radiant_* 10:38, May 29, 2005 (UTC)
Does that indicate too many VfD's or too many bad articles being created?--Mmx1 16:43, 12 April 2006 (UTC)


I tried to summarise the likely consequences of imprudently going against this guideline. In the section on arbitration I've taken the liberty of referring to some specific cases. But perhaps naming the individuals involved is unfair to them. What do other editors think? --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:15, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I think it's fundamentally duplicitous to assert the existence of precedent that we are not willing to demonstrate. And, given the status of this as a guideline, I can think of little guidance more effective than pointing at someone like John Gohde and saying, "Yeah, see that? Don't do that. Be nothing like that." Snowspinner 14:25, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
I agree. In the spirit of openness, if someone is involved in a RFA that involves WP:POINT, they need to be able to see the precedents for themselves. All past cases are recorded, so it's merely a question of whether we make it easy for people to find them. — Asbestos | Talk 14:31, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I think it might be better to add a link to the RFAr archive, without mentioning names right here, because this page is an often read page. I am a bit uneasy placing the names of banned users on a page like this because it reminds me of a pillory with a big sign above it saying "Behave or else you shall face the same fate as these users." Sjakkalle (Check!) 14:41, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)
That sounds reasonable. I'm changing the wording and giving a single link to the archive. It isn't hard to find cases where WP:POINT is unanimously affirmed; I found these three examples in the first four articles I looked at. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:25, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

First of all, there is no established consensus as to this page. It is certainly not policy. In the cases which were mentioned in the "Consequences" section, you have to think... was it the "making a point" part that was punished? No. Punishments are more often for the disruption - take a look at Wikipedia:Arbitration policy/Precedents#Civility / disruption / reasonableness where WP:POINT references are rare compared to more general types. I suspect also that the ArbCom, seeing the pollicy vote are going to be less inclined to make this part of their decisions. -- Netoholic @ 14:54, 2005 Jun 10 (UTC)

I suspect you're 100% wrong, as much of the arbcom thought the policy vote was a travesty that should never have started. Snowspinner 14:57, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
Only because the measure failed. So many, including you, voted early, and only complained when the results started becoming apparent. -- Netoholic @ 15:04, 2005 Jun 10 (UTC)
Bullshit. I objected to there ever being a poll because the matter was already clear. And it's still clear. The fact that a couple of malcontents decided to try to push the issue does not change the simple, transparent fact that behavior that disrupts Wikipedia will get you removed from Wikipedia or put under heavy sanction. And you of all people shouldn't be so dense or querelous to miss that subtlety. Snowspinner 15:06, Jun 10, 2005 (UTC)
The matter may have only been clear in the minds of you and similarly heavy-handed admins. You should stop being so insulting to your fellow editors, a lot of good people opposed this as policy, and they are not dense or querelous. You said it right... "behavior that disrupts Wikipedia" may get you removed, not "making points". -- Netoholic @ 15:17, 2005 Jun 10 (UTC)

I raise this question because I thought it might be unfair to individuals--everybody should read this guideline but I think it's unfair to prominently link individuals with their past behavior; people should be given every chance to reform without having the Wiki equivalent of a scarlet letter. I've replaced the references to individuals with a general reference to the arbcom archive, which is full of recent examples of the unanimous affirmation I mentioned in the consequences section.

You're quite right to say that it's the disruptive behavior that is the problem, not the fact that it's done to make a point. I think the sense of the article is "well it's a wiki and we've all been tempted to make our point by demonstration instead of by words, but doing so is not considered wise because it can be disruptive." --Tony Sidaway|Talk 15:35, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It's a wiki and we've all been tempted to make our point by demonstration instead of by words, but doing so is not considered wise because it can be disruptive.

Now there's a piece of wisdom. This is what this page should say (possibly all it should say), but instead it talks about government of Wikipedia, blocks, bans, what is tolerated and what not, etc... It's exactly this language (plus the way it has often been quoted) that makes it divisive. Zocky 20:26, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Another reason for not making "protest votes"

Take a look at this VFD debate. The article was kept, in part because of a "protest" keep vote. Sjakkalle (Check!) 11:09, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

It's not clear to me that there are any protest votes there. On the face of it, this article about a rare example of a surviving early Australian church survived on the merits. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:07, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Abuse of this "guideline"

I've noticed that people seem to disregard the fact that this is a guideline, rather than a policy. If this doesn't matter to the people who make the decisions, why make the distinction? In addition, I worry that some influential admins use this "guideline" to punish users who make statements with which they disagree. Voting against an RFA because you disagree with RFAs isn't disrupting Wikipedia to make a point, DELETING the entire contents of the RFA page is. Explaining in an RFA why one thinks that comments should be moved down isn't disrupting the encyclopedia, it's just expressing a concern. In this edit, User:Radiant calls this an example of disrupting Wikipedia to illustrate a point. We need to raise our threshold for "disrupting". Disrupting is something that seriously harms the project, like vandalizing things in the article namespace, or blanking pages, or deleting without process, etc. We must stop using this "guideline" as something else with which to whack "malcontents" over the head. Thanks. kmccoy (talk) 19:59, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'd agree; there seems to be a chronic and troubling misunderstanding of "Don't disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point" as "Don't attempt to make a point that might potentially change something about Wikipedia." Sometimes things in Wikipedia need to change, and throwing WP:POINT at folks who have valid criticisms of the way we tend to do things doesn't help anything at all. -- Seth Ilys 21:59, 26 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Although I agree with the underlying premise of this concern, I think that it may swing too far. Voting against an RFA because you disagree with RFAs does not disrupt Wikipedia if you explain your motivation. Voting without explanation would be disruptive because editors spend time trying to understand the vote. To my mind disruption arises from any edit that knowingly causes other editors to waste time. Since we cannot assess intention I refine that to any edit that might reasonably be expected to waste time. If an editor disagrees with a process, let them say so on the the talk page of that process. If that does not get enough attention go to the Village Pump. A less pithy phrasing of this guideline is "do not behave inappropriately to make a point". I imagine that anybody committed to the project would accept that, and it is the definition of 'inappropriately' that presents a challenge.—Theo (Talk) 28 June 2005 10:30 (UTC)
  • Theo, you are getting this out of proportion. Voting without giving a reason is certainly not disrupting Wikipedia. It may be concerning or puzzling to those who are voted against but it is most definitely not disrupting the encyclopedia. If one chooses to waste time contemplating and searching for possible reasons then that is an individuals choice. If a prospective admin truly knows of no probable reason why a vote is against him, he can always state that fact below the negative vote. If an editor continually fails to give reasons, even when pestered to do so, then that is his choice and other editors can and will draw their own conclusions. Giano | talk 28 June 2005 16:30 (UTC)
    • You are right. My illustration is inappropriate. I regret that it diverted your attention from the thrust of my point.—Theo (Talk) 29 June 2005 06:23 (UTC)
  • Thank you Theo, but what is it exactly that you now consider inappropriate editing other than those obvious things which carry a ban anyway? Because short of continued vandalism etc., which takes time to revert, and is already a defined "crime" I can think of no example of "any edit that might reasonably be expected to waste time" I am concerned you are leading this to suggest further rules and regulations which will encompass vague or careless editing which will be unenforceable due to the vagueness of the subject they concern, which in themselves will prove to be time wasting, and ultimately drive editors away Giano | talk 29 June 2005 08:14 (UTC)
    • Your concerns about my intentions are groundless. Everything that I said is already covered by Wikipedia:Don't be a dick. This covers unexplained anomalous behaviour, vexatious argument, and other distractions that waste the energy of the well-meaning whilst falling short of vandalism. No new rules, regulations or similar are required. —Theo (Talk) 29 June 2005 13:31 (UTC)
  • Perhaps I'm being very dense here but what is it then Theo that is concerning you, what is the thrust of your point? Giano | talk 29 June 2005 17:45 (UTC)

I will note that there have been a (thankfully) limited number of admins who have tried to use this guideline as a sort of general-purpose way to complain about users they do not like. This has always been a problem, albeit a small one. But "don't disrupt" remains an important principle, because really disruptive behavior by established contributors does so much damage to the Wikipedia social fabric. The key elements that must be present for an action to fall under this guideline are: absence of good faith, and an intent to prove some sort of point unrelated to the actual matter at hand. If someone makes a bad-faith vote on RFA because they don't like the nominee, that's not "disruption to prove a point." On the other hand, if someone makes a bad-faith vote on every RFA nomination because their own nomination was turned down, that's disruption to prove a point. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 28 June 2005 16:47 (UTC)

  • Were an editor to behave in such a way because his own nomination was turned down that would indeed be unfortunate, but would it be disrupting the encyclopedia? - I really don't think it would, there are hundreds if not thousands of editors beavering away writing the encyclopedia, never visiting RFA for whom all these political happenings go unnoticed - and a good thing too, because that is Wikipedia. Were an editor to behave in the way you suggest the best thing (as with all things childish) is to ignore it , the candidate concerned merely writes below the comment "I am unaware of a valid reason for this vote" and the great machine grinds on. The important thing here is to write an encyclopedia and as much as possible avoid squabbles and daft behaviour. Presumably most editors are adult so lets treat them like grown ups and just ignore those that need to mature a little more, rather than impose judicial laws forbidding protest, unless it is abusive, obscene or truly unpleasant containing unfounded personal attacks. Giano | talk 28 June 2005 18:04 (UTC)

Accurate attribution of POV

I clarified the following do/don't example to specify that the relevant standard used in the example is that of western, primarily American people. The Muslim world population is roughly equivilant to the Christian world population. To say only "a minority of people" consider certain acts terroristic can only be true if the minority is measured as a portion of the minority to and for whom this encyclopedia is written. Writers of this encyclopedia have scant knowledge about that the majority of the Muslim world thinks, and have demonstrated little interest in finding out, or for including the views of Islamic people when constructing neutrality. The result is a point of view that is decidedly pro-western, American and often Christian. If that is the point of view represented, it is easy enough to use accurate language to explain whose point of view is represented. In this case, the reference is obviously to the point of view of Americans, and does not accomodate the point of view of the majority of the Islamic world, which officially and colloquially often considers American military tactics to comprise terrorism. WizUp 09:57, 5 August 2005 (UTC)

  • If you feel that a particular attack should not be called "terrorist"...
    • do argue on the article's talk page that the term "terrorist" is POV and should be removed.
    • don't add the word "terrorist" to articles on dozens of other incidents, which only a small minority of Americans believe constitute "terrorism".
As an editor from Britain, I don't see why I should take a survey of Americans to find out who they think of as terrorists. Yes, there is a Western bias in Wikipedia, but it's not one which we should try to enforce in policy: any policy that singles out the views of a particular group of people is by definition POV. Policy is expected to be prescriptive, not descriptive. But your point doesn't make sense anyway: if a majority of people think that a particular person or group is a terrorist organization, then that fact should indeed be mentioned on that group's page, whether or not only a minority of Americans believe it to be so. Your example is disingenuous — hyperbole aside, I think you'd have to dig deep to find a survey that suggests that the majority of people in the world would label the US military as a terrorist organization. — Asbestos | Talk 11:07, 6 August 2005 (UTC)
Let's put it this way, objectively a terrorist is someone or a group that engages in violent acts targeted against a civilian population with the aim of creating terror and thus affecting political change. They are called terrorists for a reason because they spread intimidation, mayhem and terror among civilian populations. This postmodern p.c. nonsense that you cannot call a spade a spade is absurd.
Also terrorists engage in deliberate attacks against civilians. Using your rationale, would you consider the bombing of German cities during World War II terrorism or the
In American history, the Sons of Liberty, objectively were terrorists because they used fear and intimidation tactics to upset the order in the Massachusetts Bay Colony prior to the American Revolutionary War. I'm an American, not British.
To stop this b.s., let's simply agree upon an objective definition of terrorism and apply that wherever it fits. Terrorist groups almost always rely upon guerilla tactics. Lets stop the postmodern POV.-- 19:47, 22 September 2006 (UTC)

Guideline page a mess?

Is it me, or is this guideline page a mess? It needs a lead section at least, and possibly further refactoring to make clear what behaviour we are asking people to avoid. At the moment the title provides a strong clue, but the text seems a bit messy. Pcb21| Pete 16:54, 8 August 2005 (UTC)

  • Good point. Might I just say, {{sofixit}}? Also, the way this page is usually cited is not reflected by its actual content: for instance, opposing every RFA and not giving a reason (...) is said to violate WP:POINT and it does run counter to its spirit and the examples at the bottom. However, casting a vote is not 'disrupting' Wikipedia by any definition of the word. Maybe a rename is in order. Radiant_>|< 12:10, August 15, 2005 (UTC)
I had placed a simple statement of the rule in a big box at the top. Another user removed it, saying "That isn't what WP:Point means, however much you'd like to think so." I'm not sure what was controversial about my change, but I just don't do edit wars. Someone else can put it back if they like. Stevage 22:00, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Does anyone mind?

  • I've decided to take up a radical, fundementalist, interpertation of WP:POINT, in order to suit my own needs, does anybody mind this?-- 06:27, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

Illustrating a point is a way of showing what you mean by actually doing it - instead of merely describing it.

Being uncivil to illustrate incivility

A contributor may suggest that "everyone is entitled to their own opinion" as a justification for violating the Wikipedia:no personal attacks rule or the Wikipedia:avoid personal remarks guideline. It might be possible to convince him that (a) it's actually a good rule and (b) he has been violating it, in a disruptive way by (c) swearing at him and insulting him.
This might work, if it comes from a usually restrained and polite contributor. The reaction it evokes might be, "Huh? Why did he do that? That's so unlike him. I gotta figure out what point he's trying to make. ... Oh, he's being uncivil to show me how disruptive incivility can be. Hmm, I can see that this is true. I guess I better clean up my act."
On the other hand, it might backfire mightily, so use this approach with caution!

I orginially wrote the above, in a carefree moment when I thought it might be worth trying in one case. Apparently it did not work, and in hindsight, I can now see what anyone else I might have asked before trying it would have readily seen: don't insult someone to make him feel what an insult is like! Uncle Ed 01:33, September 9, 2005 (UTC)


I reverted this edit. This page should not be encouraging people to accept inconsistency if they feel it's harmful, it should just encourage them to find non-disruptive ways to reduce it. Kappa 00:22, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

  • This information has been part of this page almost since its inception, and has been looked at, and presumably approved of, by a goodly number of editors. I trust you read it carefully before you decided to revert my revert. I believe it is important for editors to appreciate that Wikipedia is inconsistent, and in what ways it typically is. Doing so can do much to alleviate Wikistress. If you believe this is an inappropriate place for this information, what would you see as an appropriate one? Denni 00:01, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Looks like Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines needs to mention inconsistency. However I don't think all of the material has consensus, in particular the part that says inconsistency in deletion isn't a big problem. Kappa 00:39, 12 October 2005 (UTC)
      • I think this is something we can both agree on. I think the last sentence of the paragraph to which you refer is an opinion, and probably should not be included. What remains is a straightforward statement of fact, and, I think, should be retained. I have posted the text, with that revision, to Wikipedia talk:Policies and guidelines#Wikipedia is inconsistent. I hope you will contribute your comments. Denni 02:19, 12 October 2005 (UTC)

"which only some people consider to be terrorism".

"Which only some people consider to be terrorism"...? Oh, plese. That's complete bollocks. I do not considder 9/11 or the Bali bommings or realy any-thing terrorism becuz I despise the term. For that reson, any givven event is an event "which only some people consider to be terrorism". How about:

"Which most people don't consider to be terrorism"? Even tho I despise the term, and there fore that exampl, I think that the wurding I hav suggested is much more rational and sensiccal than that previusly used.

--Node 12:11, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Why on earth are there discussions about terrorism here? Stevage 22:02, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
I've removed the terrorism example as being an NPOV, rather than a POINT, issue. Feezo (Talk) 13:42, 12 January 2007 (UTC)


I may be guilty of having violated this policy with my edit to the article Phenol. Actually, I think it is perfectly fine to mention the (mis)use of phenol in concentration camps; what I would really like to do is discuss the way in which policy differences in different-language Wikipedias can result in differing content that has nothing at all to do with language. But I have not been able to find a more appropriate place to start this discussion--turning myself in might be a start, though, if someone could point me in the right direction.--Bhuck 12:44, 23 December 2005 (UTC)


With the dos and don'ts, are we not violating the idea expressed on the "Don't stuff beans up your nose" page? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:16, 26 December 2005 (UTC)

That's exactly what I thought. Perhaps theres a way to illustrate the idea of this page without tons of examples? --IG-64 15:43, 25 December 2006 (UTC)


I factored the paragraph about hoaxes into Wikipedia:Hoaxes, a new article about hoaxes on Wikipedia. Quarl (talk) 2006-01-02 23:03Z


All across Wikipedia lately I have seen people exploiting the definition of this "policy (not actually a policy anyway, is it?)." I have seen several times when users have accused other users of violating this point when in fact what they are saying doesn't come anywhere near to what is said violates this guideline on this article. Several users I have seen have stretched the definition of this far beyond what is stated on the article and interpreted it far too literally. I think it should probably be made more clear what is actually considered disrupting Wikipedia to make a point and actually just stating a point. bob rulz 09:35, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Propose expansion of WP:point to... "don't make edits intended solely to express your deep thoughts"

An anecdote and a thought experiment:

Anecdote: I just ran into a noob who self advertises on his talk page as a philosophy student... I won't say who because I am assuming good faith, but this person put a merge template on Conscience article and tried to merge it to Consciousness. On the talk page, the comment was something to the effect of.. but what is the difference between these, REALLY. My first thought was OMG, this person is trying to make a WP:Point about how morality is really just a function of consciousness or something. It doesn't matter if this was the intention or not... but this is a good lead in to my Thought Experiment.
Thought Experiment. Joe Philosophy student.. could be any Wikipedian really... is tempted to challenge other wikipedians' preconceived notions about some issue, say Aristocracy by proposing that it be merged with oligarchy... because after all... "aren't aristocracies really just oligarchy in disguise?." This person is making a kind of WP:POINT that is not described in the WP:POINT article. To where might I direct this Wikipedian to educate him on why his attempts to expand my mind are noble but misguided?

Should we add some form of "don't make edits intended solely to express your deep thoughts" to WP:POINT? MPS 05:17, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

  • I don't really think that happens often enough to be worth a specific mention - why don't you try pointing them to WP:NOR and asking them to provide reliable sources to back up their deep thoughts? Kappa 05:36, 16 February 2006 (UTC)

Now what?

I wasn't the one to violate this in the Rudy Gay article, but I've nevertheless read the guideline and thus pose the question: now what?

Okay, so my own point of view has been brought up (that even though a sports player is yet to become 'professional', so to speak, he is still deserving of his own article if he is significant enough. My argument was that Tom Hawkins, due to play AFL football for the Geelong Cats next year, is in the same boat as a college basketballer like Rudy Gay, who is also due to play professional basketball next year, yet has his own article. Apparently a contributor suggests that Hawkins is undeserving of an article, yet Gay is - inconsistency).

Does this site have any intention of correcting anything? Or is it simply content with having people's views outlined, then sitting back again? Boomtish 05:35, 13 March 2006 (UTC)\

Comments on this policy

While in theory this seems sound, the fact remains disrupting Wikipedia to prove a point is actually quite effective and productive in many instances. Plus, I think we can all agree it can be quite entertaining to watch. --NEMT 17:30, 25 March 2006 (UTC)

Depends on how seriously you take it. Could you name a place that it has been productive, and not simply a waste of editing time. Ansell Review my progress! 04:03, 19 May 2006 (UTC)

"How to quote this guideline"

Hello. People say that "Don't disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point" has been violated very often, but then forget to actually specify how come. People also quote the policy as "WP:POINT", which is, of course, a WP:WOTTAvio ;-)

Somehow the use of the abbreviation seems to inhibit peoples actual thinking about the issue.

It's frustrating, and it's come to the point where I actually find myself starting to ignore all posts that contain the dreaded "This is a massive WP:POINT" or words to that effect. Oops. That's something I probably shouldn't do.

So here's two tips:

  • Write out the name of the policy in full. WP:WOTTA is not just a good idea. It actually forces you to think a little harder.
  • Explain what disruption has taken place.
  • Explain what point the person was trying to make with it.

Don't try to psycho-analyse by the way. If the point isn't blatantly obvious, then it wasn't a violation of Don't disrupt wikipedia to make a point. Other policies, sure, likely, but not this one. :-P

Kim Bruning 10:18, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Everyone "uses" this guideline wrong, so...

We should change it. Fully 82% of the time1 this is referenced with respect to some action, the person isn't doing something they don't want but are instead doing something they want (or at least wouldn't mind) in a disruptive manner. Rather than continuing to "correct" people, this guideline should be changed to reflect the actual way that people are using it. - brenneman {L} 02:44, 11 June 2006 (UTC) 1. 90% of statistics are made up.

Huh? This whole policy talks about when people are doing what they want in a disruptive your point? pschemp | talk 15:22, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
But the correct version of this is exactly what we're trying to educate people about... WP:POINTing is a powerful way to make an argument in some cases and is especially attractive to the sort of personalities we have on Wikipedia, but it can easily get out of control and cause a lot of damage, which is why we advise against it. ... Perhaps we should rename the policy? Any other suggestions for making it more clear? --Gmaxwell 03:32, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Aye, I agree that we still want to discuss the "oh yeah! So take this..." version, but the much-more common version is doing something you do want done in a highly disruptive way on purpose. Sometimes it's to get attention, sometimes out of simply bloody-mindedness, but almost always as a short-circuit on further discussion. Highway page moves anyone? Since this is the page that everyone points to (incorrectly) when it happens, I'd propose that we merge that meaning in. - brenneman {L}
We call that WP:DICK. :) We don't need yet another special page to tell people not to be jerks... if the few we already have aren't enough... --Gmaxwell 04:11, 11 June 2006 (UTC)
Notice that WP:DICK is now a soft re-direct? So saying it in that manner appears to have fallen out of fashion. Please watch this space for a proposed re-write veru soon. - brenneman {L} 09:58, 12 June 2006 (UTC)
It's a fair point, "don't want" should more accurately be "aren't really trying to achieve", or even "don't really care about". The policy is about acting in good faith - don't pretend you really want 30 templates deleted, when all you want is your template undeleted. Stevage 15:40, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Quite right. Oh well, Brenneman seems committed to removing this policy... when he does I'll celebrate it with a recursive WP:POINT, I'll run a bot creating rambot style articles for every tower in the FCC radio tower database... Millions of articles, protesting both the creation of articles on trivial but verifiable things (non-notable intersections, towers, etc) AND also protesting the repeal of WP:POINT. ;) --Gmaxwell 15:56, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
This is a useful guideline, written with great clarity and, with its copious examples, easy to grasp and apply. I'd hate to see it messed up to match some misconception. If we did that, then if nothing else it would make it harder to distinguish those editors who are willing to read for comprehension from those who are not. This is a guideline, not a policy. Guidelines are supposed to be read and applied by intelligent people who are familiar with the appropriate use of the gray porridgy substance in the cavity between their ears. --Tony Sidaway 02:12, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
  • The first thing I'd change is the list of examples. Besides the obvious beanage it's simply excessive: If people don't understand after one decent example (in prose) they aren't going to understand ten. - brenneman {L} 02:41, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Brenneman seems committed to removing this policy... Err, not sure where that came from. I've suggested that this page, like all policy and guideline pages, is a much descriptive as proscriptive. People's conception of what constitutes point is "wrong" so often that it makes sense to expand this page to cover the most common use. - brenneman {L} 02:48, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
The most common use is completely incorrect. There is no problem with making a point. --Gmaxwell 03:54, 16 June 2006 (UTC)


If I read the section on gaming correctly, it is possible for one to engage in activities which will be considered "gaming the system", without being disruptive. Is that permissible? Folajimi 16:16, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

It's not very nice. Ashibaka tock 02:18, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Agreed; but that does not answer the question at hand. --Folajimi 10:40, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
See WP:DICK. Although, In general I don't think we could really call any action which is completely without disruptiong 'gaming the system'. Wikipedia is not policy bound, so if you do something which is in violation of either the letter or spirit of policy but your actions remain non-disruptive and beneficial, then there is no problem. --Gmaxwell 13:49, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Could you please rephrase your reply? I found it rather incoherent. Folajimi 14:33, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
You were rather vague in your initial query, this makes it hard to be specific in a reply. I'll break it down for you:
  • You're not allowed to be a jerk. See WP:Dick. So if by "gaming the system" you would be being a jerk, you should not do that.
  • You asked what if you "game the system" but aren't disruptive, but I don't see how thats really possible... unless you don't understand Wikipedia:
  • Wikipedia isn't bound by policy, which means that if you do something which violates the letter or even the spirit of policy (this is what is often called gaming the system, where you violate the spirit of a rule but not the letter), so long as the action is beneficial you are in the clear. If your actions are not beneficial then it becomes hard to say that the action isn't disruptive.

I hope that made it more clear. --Gmaxwell 14:41, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

This question I asked was a hypothetical. The tone of your responses has deviated from the abstract nature of the initial question — which is why it may appear to be vague — in the hopes of keeping the focus on the issue. Using the word "you" ten (10) times in an adversarial or confrontational manner is unappreciated. Folajimi 15:11, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Huh? I don't know you from Jack. I'm not alleging that you've done anything wrong. There was nothing adversarial or confrontational intended about my reply. For all I know there is someone else who's behavior you're concerned with and you're trying to figure out if they are in the wrong or not. Please don't assume people are having an hostile or otherwise emotional reaction in the absence of concrete evidence. --Gmaxwell 15:24, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
If that is the case, you could have used a neutral term. "Editors", "contributors" or "Wikipedians" would have worked just as well in any of those cases. Folajimi 15:42, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Two handy rules to live by on Wikipedia: one, do not be annoying; two, do not be easily annoyed. May I suggest that you have failed to observe rule number two? Kelly Martin (talk) 15:52, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Congratulations. You killed this conversation. Good day. --Folajimi 16:25, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

Why is gaming the system listed on this page anyway? It is a different concept, probably more appropriate to the Wikipedia:Wikilawyering page. the wub "?!" 09:43, 13 July 2006 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Wikilawyering is an essay, not a policy or guideline. So it does belong here. --Barberio 13:46, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

'ban' links to wp:bp

isn't it confusing to newcomers that the word ban links to the article about our banning policy, considering that the two terms are already commonly confused due to people using the terms interchangeably? 13:34, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

Rouge Admins vs Process Fetishists

The first was there already, I just added the second. Originally from the process essay in progress, but I realised it would fit here. I was most pleased to find the first was already here. Thoughts?

  • If you wish to change an existing procedure or guideline...
    • do set up a discussion page and try to establish consensus
    • don't push the existing rule to its limits in an attempt to prove it wrong, or nominate the existing rule for deletion
  • If you're upset someone didn't follow process in making a change...
    • do find out why they did it and attempt to convince them otherwise
    • don't reverse an arguably good change for no reason other than "out of process"

(And yes, there are admins who do the latter way too much. The encyclopedia is more important than any process designed to protect it, and making a bad change to protect a process is a disruption to illustrate a point. The "do" needs rephrasing.)

- David Gerard 13:47, 20 September 2006 (UTC)

Some of the worst Rogue Admins (as in rogue, without any need for relativizing irony) are Process Fetishists, at the same time. 00:30, 15 November 2006 (UTC)

What the heck!

Disruption? What's that? -- Chris 01:35, 3 November 2006 (UTC)


When loading this page, Windows Live OneCare told me it had malicious software. It could not be cleaned and had to be placed in quarantine. Er...what the heck? 10:23, 21 December 2006 (UTC)

Just to let ya'll know, it did it when when I went on to this page again. 10:31, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Then how did you get here? I wonder, though, if it has to do with the little ad that they've been putting at the top of the page, trying to get you to donate money for wikipedia's Swiss bank account. Wahkeenah 11:34, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
Oh, it let me load the page, but a file that got downloaded couldn't be cleaned, or something. It hasn't happened on any other page and it happened again when I came to this page to see if anyone had replied. Take a look. 17:19, 21 December 2006 (UTC)
It's still doing it. 09:13, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
I can't really read it. What does it say the virus is? Wahkeenah 09:17, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

A file is being opened that appears to caontain a virus. To help protect your computer, Windows Live OneCare did not allowed this file to open. Click Clean File to allow Windows Live OneCare to try to remove the virus.

File name: Wikipedia_Do_not_disrupt_Wikipedia_to_illustrate_a...

File location: C:\\Documents and Settings\Aaron\Loc...\IWDOGPWA\

Virus name: VBS/MB.A

Learn more online (Hyperlinked)

Then at the bottom:

For more information on how to access the file and other options, click [Advanced options] (Hyperlinked)

That what you want? 16:57, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Apparently it's spyware or adware of some kind. I have trouble believing it's coming directly from wikipedia. I think you'll have to research "VBS/MB.A" in Google. Just be careful. Wahkeenah 18:22, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Ok, thanks. Wish me luck. XD 23:19, 24 December 2006 (UTC)
Apparently, it's a Dropper. At least, so this says. 23:39, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Arbitration committee?


Does this refer to editors in general violating the guideline or just the ones involved in the ARB.COM.?

"Editors involved in arbitration are likely to find that violating the spirit of this guideline may prejudice the decision of the Arbitration Committee. " 03:40, 31 December 2006 (UTC)