විකිපීඩියා:Please do not bite the newcomers

(විකිපීඩියා:BITE වෙතින් යළි-යොමු කරන ලදි)
මෙම ලිපියේ අඩංගු කරුණු සැකෙවින්: Don’t be hostile toward fellow editors; newcomers in particular. Remember to assume good faith and respond to problematic edits in a clear and polite manner.
Tiger biting a ball in water
This ball does not mind being bitten, but most newcomers do.

Wikipedia articles are improved through the hard work of both regular editors and newcomers. Remember: all of us were new editors at Wikipedia once, and in some ways (such as when editing an article on a topic outside our usual scope) even the most experienced among us are still newcomers.

New members are prospective contributors and are therefore Wikipedia's most valuable resource. We must treat newcomers with kindness and patience—nothing scares potentially valuable contributors away faster than hostility. It is very unlikely for a newcomer to be completely familiar with Wikipedia's markup language and its myriad of policies, guidelines, and community standards when they start editing. Even the most experienced editors may need a gentle reminder from time to time.

The first edits of many now-experienced editors were test edits, or unsourced and unencyclopedic additions to articles. Communicating with newcomers patiently and thoroughly is integral to ensure they stay on Wikipedia and ultimately contribute in a constructive manner.

Please do not bite the newcomers

  • Understand that newcomers are both necessary for and valuable to the community. By helping newcomers, we can increase the range of knowledge, perspectives, and ideas on Wikipedia, thereby preserving its neutrality and integrity as a resource and ultimately increasing its value. In fact, it has been found that newcomers are responsible for adding the majority of substantive edits, i.e. lasting content; while insiders and administrators are responsible for a large number of total edits, these often involve tweaking, reverting, and rearranging content.[1]
  • Remember, our motto and our invitation to the newcomer is be bold. We have a set of rules, standards, and traditions, but they must not be applied in such a way as to thwart the efforts of newcomers who take that invitation at face value. A newcomer brings a wealth of ideas, creativity, and experience from other areas that, current rules and standards aside, have the potential to better our community and Wikipedia as a whole. It may be that the rules and standards need revising or expanding; perhaps what the newcomer is doing "wrong" may ultimately improve Wikipedia. Observe for a while and, if necessary, ask what the newcomer is trying to achieve before concluding that their efforts are wanting or that they are simply "wrong".
  • If a newcomer seems to have made a small mistake, e.g. forgot to put a book title in italics, correct it yourself but do not slam the newcomer. A gentle note on their user page explaining the Wikipedia standard and how to achieve it in the future may prove helpful, as they may be unfamiliar with the norm or merely how to achieve it. Remember, this is a place where anyone may edit and therefore it is each person's responsibility to edit and complement, rather than to criticize or supervise others. If you use bad manners or curse at newcomers, they may decide not to contribute again.
  • A newcomer may save a tentative first draft to see if they are even allowed to start an article, with plans to expand it if there is no backlash. If, within a few minutes, the article is plastered with cleanup tags, assessed as a "stub" or even suggested for deletion, they may give up. It is better to wait a few days to see how a harmless article evolves than to rush to criticize.
  • If you feel that you must say something to a newcomer about a mistake, please do so in a constructive and respectful manner. Begin by introducing yourself with a greeting on the user's talk page to let them know that they are welcomed here, and present your corrections calmly and as a peer. If possible, point out something they've done correctly or especially well.
  • Remind newcomers we save everything. When their edits are reverted, they may panic, start an edit war, or leave Wikipedia entirely, mistakenly assuming that hours of work have been irretrievably deleted. Let them know they can negotiate with other editors on talk pages and, if all else fails, they can request undeletion.
  • Newcomers may be hesitant to make changes, especially major ones, such as NPOV-ing and moving, due to fear of damaging Wikipedia (or of offending other Wikipedians and being flamed or blocked). Teach them to be bold, but of course, be cautious.
  • While it is fine to point a new user who has made a mistake towards the relevant policy pages, it is both unreasonable and unfriendly to suggest that they stop taking part in votes, Articles for Deletion discussions, etc., until they "gain more experience". This both discourages new editors and deprives Wikipedia of much-needed insights. Let newcomers express their opinion and remember that you can support your argument when the discussion is happening.
  • When giving advice, tone down the rhetoric a few notches from the usual Wikipedia norm. Make the newcomer feel genuinely welcome, not as though they must win your approval in order to be granted membership into an exclusive club. Any new domain of concentrated, special-purpose human activity has its own specialized structures, which take time to learn (and which benefit from periodic re-examination and revision).
  • Do not call newcomers disparaging names such as "sockpuppet" or "meatpuppet". You can point them to those policies if there is valid cause to do so. For example, if a disproportionate number of newcomers show up on one side of a vote, you should make them feel welcome while explaining that their votes may be disregarded if it violates basic policies regarding content. No name-calling is necessary. Similarly, think hard before calling a newcomer a single-purpose account. Besides, it is discouraged to label any editor with such invidious titles during a dispute (see Wikipedia:Don't call a spade a spade).
  • Sometimes newcomers forget to sign their talk page posts. Use {{unsigned}} to fix unsigned posts, and use {{uw-tilde}} on the user's talk page to remind the user who forgot.
  • There are some times when users add in new discussions to talk pages, despite the discussions already being ongoing. Often, the newcomers wouldn't be aware that there has already been a discussion on the topic, even if it is very recent, so please guide them with it.
  • Assume good faith on the part of newcomers. They most likely want to help out. Give them a chance!
  • Experience or associated privileges shouldn't be misguidedly interpreted as a reason for default acquiescence from other members, and no Wikipedian is above any other Wikipedian. Editors who exercise these privileges should provide unambiguous clarity as to why, based on policies.
  • Remember Hanlon's Razor. Behavior that appears malicious might be from ignorance of our expectations and rules. Even if you are 100% sure that someone is a worthless, no-good Internet troll, vandal, or worse, conduct yourself as if they are not. Remember that the apparent test editors have the potential to be tomorrow's editors. By giving a polite, honest and noncondemning answer to newcomers, you have the opportunity to teach them Wikipedia policy. By being calm, interested, and respectful, you do credit to your dignity, and to our project.
  • It is polite to point out to newcomers little details about editing on Wikipedia, such as the fact that one can sign one's name on userpages by leaving four of the tilde symbols (~), or pointing out that a wikilink can be achieved by putting double square brackets around a word or phrase.
  • Remember that you too were once a newcomer. Treat others as you were treated (or, probably, wish you had been treated) when you first arrived.
  • Remember: "Do what's right; don't bite. Being a friend is all right!"

How to avoid being a "biter"


Newcomers' ideas of how things should be handled within Wikipedia will largely be out of context. It's a jungle in Wikipedia, and it may take some time before a newcomer becomes accustomed to how things work here. Keeping that in mind may help you avoid becoming a "biter". To avoid being accused of biting, try to:

  1. Improve, Don't Remove. If something doesn't meet Wikipedia's standards, try to fix the problem rather than just remove what's broken. (Nothing stops new contributors from coming back like having all their hard work end up in the bit bucket.)
  2. Avoid intensifiers in commentary (e.g., exclamation points and words like terrible, dumb, stupid, bad, etc.).
  3. Moderate your approach and wording.
  4. Always explain reverts in the edit summary, and use plain English rather than cryptic abbreviations.
  5. Avoid sarcasm in edit summaries and on talk pages, especially when reverting.
  6. Strive to respond in a measured manner.
  7. Wait, i.e. calm down first.
  8. Be gracious.
  9. Acknowledge differing principles and be willing to reach a consensus.
  10. Take responsibility for resolving conflicts.
  11. Reciprocate where necessary.
  12. Listen actively.
  13. Avoid excessive Wikipedia jargon. When linking to policies or guidelines, do so in whole phrases, not wiki shorthand.
  14. Avoid deleting newly created articles, as inexperienced authors might still be working on them or trying to figure something out.
  15. Even the most well written and helpful deletion template message may seem frightening or unwelcoming to new users. Consider writing a personalised message.
  16. Don't fill the page with maintenance templates or join a pile of people pointing out problems. Having multiple people tell you that you did something wrong is unfriendly and off-putting, even when each individual comment is gently phrased and kindly intended.
  17. Avoid nominating user talk pages for deletion.
  18. Remember that it's okay to make mistakes—we're all only human.

Standard welcome or warning messages are both cordial and correcting. Consider using these templates for welcoming, or the first two here for warning.

Strive to be a responsible Wikipedian. By fostering goodwill, you will neither provoke nor be provoked, and will allow new Wikipedians to devote their time and resources towards building a truly collaborative encyclopedia.

Ignorantia juris may excuse


The principle ignorantia juris non excusat (Latin for: "ignorance of the law does not excuse") is incompatible with the guidelines of "do not bite" and "assume good faith". In this case, ignorance of Wikipedia's guidelines can or may excuse the mistakes of a newcomer. Furthermore, you yourself violate Wikipedia's guidelines and policies when you attack a new user for ignorance of them.

Try instead to follow the points set forth in this article to relieve new editors of their ignorance. Keep in mind that this is not the way many other things work, and even seasoned editors fail to follow—or are simply unaware of—our guidelines from time to time.

To a newcomer, the large number of Wikipedia policies and guidelines can be overwhelming. Ignorance of the rules can often be expected, but willfully disregarding them and disrupting the editorial process of constructing our online encyclopedia is quite another. If you exclude editors without barnstars and the like from your circle you probably diminish the final product.

In all cases though, we ought to interact with our fellow editors with gentleness and respect. This is the most important thing to stress.

What to do if you feel you have "bitten" or have been bitten


If you have bitten someone, or feel that you have been bitten, considering the following points could help ensure that it doesn't happen again.

  1. Choose to learn from the incident.
  2. Apologize if you realize you have bitten another user.
  3. Consider alternatives to biting that could have achieved a better response. If you encounter a similar situation in the future, choose one of those alternatives instead of repeating history.
  4. Find something of value in the experience. Extract the wisdom that may have been unintentionally veiled.
  5. Be reasonable. Explain why you were offended, but learn to recognize when the message cannot be received. The recipient may be unable or unwilling to accept fault, and it may be better to move on to other things than to dwell on the bite.
  6. Move on from it!

Common newcomer errors


One common error among newcomers is to create an article in mainspace about themselves, their garage band, or about their original hypotheses on a certain topic. One way to deal gently with this is to userfy the article, and leave a note saying why. {{nn-userfy}} is designed for userfying autobiographical articles. The remaining redirect can be flagged for deletion using {{Db-rediruser}}. Userfied articles on bands could be tagged with {{PROD}}, since they tend to hang around. New articles about a person's original research and hypotheses could have a note appended explaining WP:OR. It is sometimes helpful to direct new users to alternative outlets.

Another common newbie error is to violate the three revert rule. There is no reason to expect that a newcomer would know about this rule, so it is a good idea to inform them of the rule on their talkpage after their second revert.

  1. Swartz, Aaron (2006-09-04). "Who writes Wikipedia? (Aaron Swartz's Raw Thought)" (HTML). සම්ප්‍රවේශය 2009-04-21.