Wikipedia talk:Five pillars/Archive 1

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Archive 1 | Archive 2


I like the middle pillar, because it looks like Princess Leia's hairdo. As for the content itself, it seems fairly clear and logical. However, what's with "perfection isn't required"? I'd say perfection would be desired. --Mark 02:09, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Thank you :) For your queston, see Wikipedia:Editing policy#Perfection not required, or the joy of editing. --Neutralitytalk 05:10, May 5, 2005 (UTC)

On Offending

Does anyone think that the title of this page might be offensive to Muslims? Personally I don't think it would, but since it's linked from Template:Welcome I thought I'd ask since I don't want to potentially be offending new contributors. --JYolkowski // talk 23:58, 5 May 2005 (UTC)

Ooh. I never even thought about that. I doubt it would offend anybody. --Neutralitytalk 00:07, May 6, 2005 (UTC)
I think anyone who is easily offended at that is probably not going to be a good wiki citizen. It's flattery, really, not parody, IMO. --Phyzome is Tim McCormack 00:50, 2005 May 10 (UTC)
It's not offensive to me, though I find the name eye-catching. --Eagle 21:10, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
let's find five another pillars and rename it to Wikipedia:Ten Commandments. Maybe not the most neutral title possible IMHO. --FoeNyx 16:16, 28 November 2005 (UTC)

Personally I like it. I'm not Muslim though, so I dunno... K. Lastochka 19:59, 25 May 2006 (UTC)

I see where you're coming from, but remember there are other articles that may offend others. I disagree that we should alter content or even titles just because it might offend someone. Besides, "Five Pillars" is definitely an appropriate term. Horncomposer 21:17, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

I am a Muslim, I find no problem with the Pillars of Wikipedia. Neither do i believe any other Muslim would. Pillars existed before Islam. Just dont make any nasty cartoons(joke)!

Protection, or, the Wiki Way

This is very important page. Shouldn't it be protected? --Charlie123 10:51, 20 May 2005 (UTC)

No. ;-) Can you figure out why? --Kim Bruning 12:38, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Uhh, could it have anything to do with the fifth pillar? (or maybe this [1]? --Slrubenstein | Talk 17:54, 20 May 2005 (UTC)url= ]women addidas[/url]
Why isn't this page protected? It seems very important and official?

Sixth pillar?

Isn't Wikipedia:No_original_research an equally core policy? And thus shouldn't it be six pillars? --ChrisG 22:41, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

That falls under the first pillar: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and encyclopedias don't publish original research. --Neutralitytalk 23:36, May 30, 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia is Neutral Point-Of-View:

Wikipedia is good grammar? --Pcb21| Pete 22:57, 30 May 2005 (UTC)

 :) ... "WP has a NPOV"...? --Dmcdevit 05:05, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
WP adheres to a NPOV policy perhaps? gkhan 08:49, July 28, 2005 (UTC)

Numbers of policies and guidelines

This page says 28 policies and 35 guidelines. But when I click on the links, I see 29 policies and 60(!) guidelines. Are some discounted for some reason? --Dan100 09:02, Jun 4, 2005 (UTC)

Not sure where those numbers come from, but there must be more than 60 pages in the Wikipedia namespace that could be described as guideline pages. --Pcb21| Pete 10:55, 4 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Is there even a point in having a statement like that that will need continual updating? How 'bout just say "over X" and stop it now. --Dmcdevit 08:29, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

firefox rendering bug: Looks fine during preview, does not look fine on the actual page

Ok, in Firefox (win32, 1.0.4) when this page begins with a shortcut and the three right-floating images, it will render appropriately in the preview with the text wrapping as it should. However, when you go and view the actual page itself, the right-floating images will overlay the text. Removing the shortcut fixes this. --Jared81 06:38, Jun 5, 2005 (UTC)

Five pillars?

Are two of them invisible? Proteus (Talk) 20:40, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

Title of article

This could be viewed as very offensive to Muslims, and should be avoided. ~~~~ 12:34, 16 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't know why we should care about "could be." I think we have many Muslim editors. Have any of them complained? If any have, then this certainly would be something worth discussing. Slrubenstein | Talk 20:29, 16 July 2005 (UTC)
I say we call a vote. Whether the name should remain, or become something along the lines of The 5 Laws of Wikipedia? Something like that anyway. Greaterlondoner 21:34, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

The Pillars of Wikipedia are of no issue to Muslims. Go ahead and spread knowledge and may Allah(SWT) bless you all. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

I say we don't ;-) Wikipedia is not a democracy Kim Bruning 16:03, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
The title is fine in my opinion. I don't think Muslims or any other group would have a copyright on or a special right to any of the words. The term pillar is being used all over the world. Assume the objection was not against using five. :) Peter 15:53, 20 August 2005 (UTC)
Yeah guys, no need to call a vote. Leave it how it is. Have any Muslims said it causes them offence yet?..............thought not. Wikiwoohoo 20:59, 2 October 2005 (UTC)

Missing obvious pillar?

Hello? The whole wiki thing? "Anyone can edit"? That isn't a pillar? I suggest we reword pillar 4 into something like "Wikipedia follows Wiki-procedures", and that ofcourse includes the pillar as it stands. gkhan 21:41, July 17, 2005 (UTC)

It's probably fine the way it is - since you need an account and it's possible to be banned from the site, I don't know if we truly can say that everyone can edit it. It works the way it is now, doesn't it? Imdwalrus 20:08, 25 August 2005 (UTC)
fulfilled by the fifth pillar - wikipedia does not have firm rules - be bold. -- Zondor 17:35, 15 November 2005 (UTC)

No firm rules

As the fifth pillar appears to be a firm rule (see "five unchangeable pillars" in first sentence), I have changed the wording of it from "Wikipedia doesn't have firm rules besides the four general principles elucidated above" to "Wikipedia doesn't have firm rules besides the five general principles elucidated here". It may read funny for the first time, but it is I believe actually correct due to the word "besides". So the 'no firm rules' rule is a firm rule as it is excluded from itself...

I'm glad someone else noticed this. Pillar Five: There are no more than five pillars, so please observe the previous four pillars, plus this one. Pillar Six: See Pillar Five. Pillar Seven: I thought I told you kids there are only five pillars, four of which are firm, one of which is a restatement of the previous four, and the last two being completely silly! (Continue until spanked.) Seriously, perhaps pillar five should read, "Wikipedia encourages everyone to engage in bold editing, moving and modifying articles." Paul Klenk 16:39, 22 August 2005 (UTC)
Good point, Paul! If we are ready to part with 'no firm rules', I would word the fifth pillar as follows: "Perfection isn't required from Wikipedia contributors. Be bold in editing, moving, and modifying articles." But I like your version, too, with perhaps the inclusion of the original 'joy' clause at the end. Peter 04:08, 23 August 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia is free content edits

I've tweaked the Wikipedia is free content to better reflect the way things are and the legal status of various things. Before:

Wikipedia is free-content: Wikipedia is free-content, licensed under the GFDL, and may be freely distributed and linked. Recognize that articles are owned by the community at large and not by a single person or group so that any writing you contribute can be mercilessly edited and redistributed at will by the community. Do not submit copyrighted work without permission.


Wikipedia is free-content, with the GFDL the license shared by all original work not in the public domain, and may be freely distributed in accordance with the terms of that license and linked. Recognize that articles can be changed by anyone and no individual controls any specific article, so that any writing you contribute can be mercilessly edited and redistributed at will by the community. Do not submit copyright infringeements or works licensed in a way incompatible with the GFDL.


  1. GFDL isn't the only acceptable license so better describe its status as the minumum acceptable level of redistributability. Others include PD and any license comaptible with the GFDL.
  2. the work can't be freely redistributed; must be in accordance with the terms of the license. Clarify the ambiguity in the meaning of free.
  3. the ownership page makes it clear that articles do have owners (their authors, the copyright holders) so clarify what ownership means here: no exclusive control of the content of an article.
  4. permission isn't needed to submit copyrighted works, since fair use is accepted here. Reword to better reflect actual policy and practice, since both fair use and licensed works compatible with GFDL are fine.

I considered adding wikipedia respects the moral rights of authors and follows copyright law, the former because it's inherent in both the GFDL attribution requirement and the way we track every revision and exactly who wrote what (most fundamental moral right is the right of an author to be associated with their work), and because we do strive to follow copyright law. Any thoughts on this part? Jamesday 23:19, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure how you had "described its status as the minimum acceptable level of redistributability", so I hope I didn't undo that aspect of your edits. From other reading I did I understood the GFDL to be a minimum and PD to be the obvious other common "license" so I wanted to keep those explicit. It didn't seem to me that the "minimum acceptable level" idea was clearly represented, and I don't think I improved the situation any with my edits. Is there a better link for "Wikipedia is free content" that might explain the licensing issues in more detail? A page more directly relevant to the overall licensing would be better and we have GFDL link. It could be pushing the "overly-detailed" threshold to describe the "minimum acceptable level" here.
I changed the wording because I couldn't quite understand "Wikipedia is free-content, with the GFDL the license shared by all original work not in the public domain, ..." I think "the license shared...," was an elucidation of "the GFDL" but without punctuation to indicate so. I added parentheses but the result felt odd so I kept editing until it was smooth yet kept the meaning. Hope I succeeded.
I expanded GFDL to "GNU Free Documentation License" because readers of this page could be running across it for the first time (considering the intended audience). I included a parenthetical initialism because GFDL is used later in the article. Linking to the text of the GFDL seems unnecessary. Raymond Keller 01:22, 28 August 2005 (UTC)


Shouldn't this be protected? It is the OFFICIAL Page.

Nope, this isn't even policy, just description. Dmcdevit·t 02:06, August 28, 2005 (UTC)

Five unchangeable pillars?

I think "unchangeable" is kind of a bad word here. Granted, the pillars will remain. But they can, did, and will change (just look at the edit history). Ashenai 10:29, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree, and I have removed the word "unchangeable" accordingly. m:foundation issues are the fundamental unchangeable rules. This "five pillars" page differs from the foundation issues in at least two significant ways: "doesn't have firm rules" is not a foundation issue, and Jimbo as final authority is a foundation issue that is not included here. --Tabor 02:41, 22 January 2006 (UTC)


Shall we group this five pillars as the five principles of Wikipedism, if it ever exists or will exist in the future?I.H.S.V. (talk) 08:25, 26 October 2005 (UTC)

Two comments

First, the Buddhism-esque idea of the "five pillars of Wikipedia" seems odd to me. Perhaps that suggests that less secular individuals are involved in Wikipedia (which is good, all sides need equal representation).

Second, I think the idea of democracy is one of the underpinnings of wikis in general.I mean, the whole idea is that everyone can contribute, right?

<political diatribe>

It's more democractic than the United States in my opinion (30% voter turnout is pretty poor). Politicians can only succeed with large campaign funding (ergo, political positions are unintentionally reserved for the rich). I personally would call it a Republican-oligarchy, not a democratic-Republic. Which is why it is only natural that Republicans should be our infallible leaders, right? Ok, I'm getting off topic.

But the whole idea of wikis was thought up by a U.S. citizen, Ward Cunningham, so it is only natural that it should embody western ideologies such as democracy and dissent. (Even though "Western" is a misnomer in this sense; The Acient Greeks originated the so called "Western" values, and yet geographically they're more in the center.) The Greeks also believed in seperation of church and state, which has slowly been eroding over the last few decades, at the beshest of religious individuals involved in politics. In France, they take their law seriously, and won't allow religious partisans into government. They have even been known to challange the peaceful teachings of Chirst by using the guillotine.

</political diatribe>

Perhaps this notion of a democratic Wikipedia should be incorporated in this article. We need to restore the traditional moral values of the Ancient Greeks, such as not murdering people, being rude on the subway, or beating thy neighbor for the crack money he owed you.

Fuzzform 05:07, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a democracy Kim Bruning 08:36, 3 November 2005 (UTC)


I may be alone here, but... anyone else think we should go Corinthian order for the middle pillar? Deltabeignet 06:13, 12 November 2005 (UTC)

status; links

The five pillars page is not policy and does not have the benefit of consensus. In particular, there is no consensus that these particular five items are the most important "pillars" of Wikipedia; nor is there consensus that these particular items are unchangable, or that they are the only unchangable items.

I have removed links from policy and guideline pages the direct here because I feel they are inappropriate unless and until this page attains consensus. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 02:50, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

This page is a summary of wikipedia guidelines, which tries to capture as much of the guidelines in as little possible words. It's the best summary to date. If you hate it, go write your own.Kim Bruning 03:34, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
This isn't policy, but it's not meant to be. It's like Wikipedia:Introduction, a good synopsis of our policies. I think it's always been thought of as a useful guide, no more or less. It's placement in links is helpful for newbies. Perhaps if someone seriously disputes it, but I think it should stay. Btw, look at the five pillars. The particulars may be subject to change, but they themselves are not (WP can't not be an encyclopedia, can't not be NPOV, etc.) Dmcdevit·t 03:47, 3 December 2005 (UTC)
True. Though note that if you violate any one line, you will almost certainly be banned from wikipedia for multiple counts. Kim Bruning 03:51, 3 December 2005 (UTC)

Five Pillars of Islam

Doesn't anyone think this name will needlessly piss off some amount of Muslims? I'm not trying to be PC, I just don't want to turn away some % of possible editors just by using {{welcome}}. — BRIAN0918 • 2005-12-10 22:57

yes, you are being hysterically pc. Joeyramoney 01:37, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

status again

This page is not policy and for the reasons I stated above I have removed the policy tag from it. The Uninvited Co., Inc. 14:47, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Sixth pillar again

I thought "Jimbo has the last word" was an invariable policy of Wikipedia. Ashibaka tock 04:34, 2 January 2006 (UTC)


I think a voting would be a good thing to close an edit war that was startet by two or more editors. Elmagnon

Voting allows for a "tyranny of the majority". Discussions are better. See: m:Polling is evil Ashibaka tock 18:03, 23 January 2006 (UTC)


This summary is good because it mentions the "freeness" aspect of Wikipedia: the free-as-in-speech license, and that articles can be edited by anyone. The "policy trifecta" and "eight words" ones don't really cover that. — Matt Crypto 13:01, 27 January 2006 (UTC)

a point of view on "point of view"

Shouldn't truth and accuracy trump neutrality? For example, it was a neutral point of view in post-Nazi Germany that the Holocaust "never happened," but that is not the truthful pov. A plethora of less insiduous instances of this exist.

They are not mutually exclusive. Articles should be both accurate and neutral. --Coyoty 04:09, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

One of the problems is determining what is "true and accurate." In parts of the world, Holocaust denial is generally accepted as truth. If a Wikipedia in that region only published what was "true" and not the dissenting (if repressed) point of view readers would be disserviced. The trick is realizing that there is no real neutral point of view. The post-Nazi POV of Holocaust denial was a particular POV (not "the NPOV"), and there were again dissenting views, even then. The NPOV is a combination of those perspectives, endorsing neither and letting the reader decide based on verifiable info (sometimes contradictory) in the article. This is not to say that there can only be two views. A true NPOV article will not create a false dichotomy like that. I suggest you read Wikipedia:Neutral point of view if you haven't already; it explains for better than I. Superm401 - Talk 02:46, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Redirect from Five pillars

Does anyone object to changing the target of the Five pillars redirect to the Five pillars of Islam article? Redirects from the main space to project space should be used sparingly. Plus, there is already a convenient shortcut (WP:5P) to Wikipedia:Five pillars, so the Five pillars redirect does not serve that purpose. There are fewer than ten pages linking to the redirect, so changing the target will not result in a terrible amount of unnecessary labor in this case. --TantalumTelluride 04:55, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Since there's no objection, I shall proceed with the change. --TantalumTelluride 21:29, 14 April 2006 (UTC)
Yes, that was a sensible change. Good for you!-- Derek Ross | Talk 03:03, 20 April 2006 (UTC)

Why merge?

I don't see why this should be merged. These are two different pages, and explain Wikipedia in separate ways. Ashibaka tock 00:24, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I agree, I think it's good to have different explanations of Wikipedia and I think they can remain separate. JYolkowski // talk 01:48, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
And I think this one is much better than either of the other two. Merchbow 06:20, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
  • As Merchbow says, this one is much better (hence the other two should be merged into this one). The point is that there's way too many pages explaining Wikipedia in a short way (three phrases, five pillars, eight words, fill in the blanks), and they're divergent. One of the intents is to make WP less confusing for newbies; one such page does that nicely, but several of such pages only make it more confusing. Radiant_>|< 12:58, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
    • We don't have to point a newbie at all of the pages. — Matt Crypto 13:02, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
Agreed. We can have several different descriptions; it's undesireable to merge. — Matt Crypto 13:01, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
We'd like to rewrite policy starting sometime soon, I'd like to keep the summaries around as core seeds. Everyone: Please use the talk page at WP:SR as the central page for this discussion. Don't start forestfires, Radiant! Kim Bruning 13:02, 27 January 2006 (UTC)
I am not sure either about the need to merge. ≈ jossi ≈ t@ 00:54, 28 January 2006 (UTC)