Wikipedia:List of policiesThis page includes a summary of official policieson the English Wikipedia which are set out in detail elsewhere. Policies have wide acceptance among editors and are considered standards that all users should follow. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision is consistent with the underlying policies. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page. Shortcut:
WP:LOP Wikipedia policyArticle standards Neutral point of view
No original research
Biographies of living personsWorking with others Civility
No personal attacks
No legal threatsGlobal principles What Wikipedia is not
Ignore all rules
See Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines for a general overview of what policies are about, how they are made, and why we have them. You can also access all policies, without descriptions, at Category:Wikipedia official policy.
Every current policy falls into one of the following five categories:
- Behavioral: standards for behavior on Wikipedia to make it a pleasant experience for everyone.
- Content and style: which topics are welcome on Wikipedia and give quality and naming standards.
- Deletion: the body of policies dealing with the issue of article deletion.
- Enforcement: what actions authorised users can take to enforce other policies.
- Legal and copyright: law-based rules about what material may be used here, and remedies for misuse.
- 1 Policies
- 2 See also
- Ignore all rules
- Every policy, guideline or any other rule may be ignored if it hinders improving Wikipedia.
- Programs that update pages automatically in a useful and harmless way may be welcome, as long as their owners seek approval first and are careful to keep them from running amok or being a drain on resources.
- Being rude, insensitive or petty makes people upset and stops Wikipedia from working well. Try to discourage others from being uncivil, and be careful to avoid offending people unintentionally. Mediation is available if needed.
- Editing policy
- Improve pages wherever you can, and don't worry about leaving them imperfect. It is advisable to explain major changes.
- Edit warring
- If someone challenges your edits, discuss it with them and seek a compromise, or seek dispute resolution. Don't just fight over competing views and versions.
- No legal threats
- Use dispute resolution rather than legal threats, for everyone's sake. We respond quickly to complaints of defamation or copyright infringement. If you do take legal action, please refrain from editing until it is resolved.
- No personal attacks
- Do not make personal attacks anywhere in Wikipedia. Comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks damage the community and deter users. Nobody likes abuse.
- Ownership of articles
- You do not own articles. If you create or edit an article, know that others will edit it, and within reason you should not prevent them from doing so.
- Sock puppetry
- Do not use multiple accounts to create the illusion of greater support for an issue, to mislead others, or to circumvent a block; nor ask your friends to create accounts to support you or anyone.
- Three-revert rule
- Do not revert any single page in whole or in part more than three times in 24 hours. (Otherwise an administrator may block your account). For exceptions, see WP:3RR#Exceptions.
- Choose a neutral username that you'll be happy with. You can usually change your name if you need to by asking, but you can't delete it.
- Vandalism is any addition, deletion, or change to content made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia. It is, and needs to be, removed from the encyclopedia.
- Wheel war
- Do not repeat an administrative action when you know that another administrator opposes it. (Applies to administrators only)
Content and styleShortcut:
- Attack pages
- A Wikipedia article, page, category, redirect or image created for the sole purpose of disparaging its subject is an attack page. These pages are subject to being deleted by any administrator at any time.
- Biographies of living persons
- Articles about living persons, which require a degree of sensitivity, must adhere strictly to Wikipedia's content policies. Be very firm about high-quality references, particularly about details of personal lives. "Unsourced or poorly sourced contentious material — whether negative, positive, or just questionable — about living persons should be removed immediately and without discussion from Wikipedia articles, talk pages, user pages, and project space."
- Naming conventions
- Generally, article naming should give priority to what the majority of English speakers worldwide would most easily recognize, with a reasonable minimum of ambiguity, while at the same time making linking to those articles easy and second nature.
- Neutral point of view
- Articles, including reader-facing templates, categories and portals, should be written from a Neutral Point of View.
- No original research
- Articles may not contain any unpublished theories, data, statements, concepts, arguments, or ideas; or any new interpretation, analysis, or synthesis of published data, statements, concepts, arguments, or ideas that, in the words of Wikipedia's co-founder Jimbo Wales, would amount to a "novel narrative or historical interpretation."
- We cannot check the accuracy of claims, but we can check whether the claims have been published by a reputable publication. Articles should therefore cite sources whenever possible. Any unsourced material may be challenged and removed.
- What Wikipedia is not
- Every day thousands of Wikipedia articles are edited, and every day millions of people search and read Wikipedia articles. Wikipedia is first and foremost an online encyclopedia. Please avoid the temptation to use Wikipedia for other purposes.
- Category deletion policy
- Deleting categories follows roughly the same process as articles, except that it is described on a different page. Categories that don't conform to naming conventions can be "speedily renamed".
- Criteria for speedy deletion
- Articles, images, categories etc. may be "speedily deleted" if they clearly fall within certain categories, which generally boil down to pages lacking content, or disruptive pages. Anything potentially controversial should go through the deletion process instead.
- Deletion policy
- Deleting articles requires an administrator and generally follows a consensus-forming process. Most potentially controversial deletions require a three-step process and a waiting period of a week.
- Office actions
- The Wikimedia Foundation office reserves the right to speedily delete an article temporarily in cases of exceptional controversy.
- Page revisions can be deleted for legal reasons.
- Proposed deletion
- As a shortcut around the Articles for Deletion ("AfD") process, for uncontroversial deletions an article can be proposed for deletion, though once only. If no one contests the proposed deletion within five days, the article may be deleted by an administrator.
- Appealing a block
- Rules for having a block lifted.
- Arbitration policy
- Rules for how the Arbitration Committee decides Requests for arbitration.
- Banning policy
- Extremely disruptive users may be banned from Wikipedia. Please respect these bans, don't bait banned users and don't help them out. Bans can be appealed to Jimbo Wales or the Arbitration Committee, depending on the nature of the ban.
- Blocking policy
- Disruptive users can be blocked from editing for short or long amounts of time.
- Most editing decisions are made by a continually evolving rough consensus among editors.
- Mediation policy
- Rules for how the Mediation Committee conducts formal mediation.
- No open proxies
- Open proxies may be blocked from editing for any period at any time to deal with editing abuse.
- Protection policy
- Pages can be protected against vandals or during fierce content disputes. Protected pages can, but in general shouldn't, be edited by administrators. Also, pages undergoing frequent vandalism can be semi-protected to block edits by very new or unregistered users.
- Resolving disputes
- The first step to resolving any dispute is to talk to those who disagree with you. If that fails, there are more structured forms of discussion available.
Legal and copyright
Outside of policies, such as those below and the office actions policy, Wikipedia does not censor itself of content that may be objectionable or offensive, or adopt other perennial legal proposals, so long as it obeys the law of the U.S. state of Florida. Legal issues are raised by filing a formal complaint with the Wikimedia Foundation.
- Material which infringes other copyrights must not be added. The legalities of copyright and "fair use" are quite complex.
- Copyright violations
- Wikipedia has no tolerance for copyright violations in our encyclopedia, and we actively strive to find and remove any violations.
- Image use policy
- Generally avoid uploading nonfree images; fully describe images' sources and copyright details on their description pages, and try to make images as useful and reusable as possible.
- It is Wikipedia policy to delete libellous revisions from the page history. If you believe you have been defamed, please contact us.
- Non-free content criteria
- The cases in which you can declare an image "fair use" are quite narrow. You must specify the exact use of the image, and only use the image in that one context.
- Reusing Wikipedia content
- Wikipedia material may be freely used under the GFDL, which means you must credit authors, relicense the material under GFDL and allow free access to it.
- Text of the GNU Free Documentation License
- This is the license under which all contributions to Wikipedia are released. Any re-use of the work must also be released under GFDL.
- Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines
- Wikimedia Foundation policies
- Wikipedia:List of guidelines
- Wikipedia:How to create policy
- All recent changes in policy pages.
Overview of our foundation
Synopsis of our conventions
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