Wikinews:Don't disrupt Wikinews to illustrate a point

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Green check.png This page is an official policy on the English Wikinews. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision reflects consensus. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page.

State your point; don't prove it experimentally

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Don't disrupt Wikinews
  to illustrate a point

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Three revert rule
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Etiquette

Discussion, rather than unilateral action, is the preferred means of changing policies, and the preferred mechanism for demonstrating the problem with policies. This means that an individual who opposes the state of a current rule or policy should not attempt to create in Wikinews itself proof that the rule does not work.

In the past, many contributors have found their Wikistress levels rising, particularly when an issue important to them has been handled in a way they consider unfair. The contributor may point out inconsistencies, perhaps citing other cases that have been handled differently. And the contributor may postulate: "What if everyone did that?"

In this situation, it may be tempting to illustrate a point using either parody or some form of breaching experiment. For example, the contributor may apply the decision to other issues in a way that mirrors the policy they object to. These activities are generally disruptive: i.e., they require the vast majority of nonpartisan editors to clean up after the "proof".

In general, such illustrative edits are not well-received and are strongly opposed by those who believe them to be ineffective tools of persuasion. Many readers consider such techniques to be spiteful and petty, as passers-by are caught in the crossfire of edits that are not made in good faith, and which, indeed, are designed to provoke outrage and opposition. As a general rule, points are best expressed directly, without irony or subterfuge. Direct statements are the best way to garner respect, agreement and consensus.

Gaming the system

Gaming the system is the use of Wikinews rules to thwart Wikinews policy. In many cases, gaming the system is a form of disruption.

A simple example would be obstinately reverting an edit exactly 3 times a day, and then "innocently" maintaining that no rules are being violated. The three-revert rule should not be construed as an entitlement to revert, and doing so is regarded as a disruption of Wikinews operations. In fact, gaming the system in this way, over a prolonged period of time, is likely to lead to sanctions, and, in extreme cases, a permanent ban.

Examples

  • If somebody suggests that Wikinews should become a majority-rule democratic community...
    • do point out that it is entirely possible for Wikinewsies to create sock puppets and vote more than once.
    • don't create seven sock puppets and have them all agree with you to prove him wrong.
  • If someone creates an article on what you believe to be a silly topic, and the community disagrees with your assessment on Wikinews:deletion requests...
    • do make your case clearly on WN:DR, pointing to examples of articles that would be allowable under the rules the community is applying.
    • don't create an article on an entirely silly topic just to get it listed on WN:DR.
  • If someone lists one of your favourite articles on WN:DR and calls it silly, and you believe that there are hundreds of sillier legitimate articles...
    • do state your case on WN:DR in favour of the article, pointing out that it is no more silly than many other articles, and listing one or two examples.
    • don't list hundreds of non-deletable articles on WN:DR in one day in order to try to save it.
  • If an article you've nominated for deletion on WN:DR is not deleted...
    • do reconsider whether your nomination was justified.
    • don't frivolously put the article up as lead.
  • 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 feel that a particular attack should not be called "terrorist"...
    • do argue on the article's talk page that the term "terrorist" is biased and should be removed.
    • don't add the word "terrorist" to articles on dozens of other incidents, which only some people believe constitute "terrorism".

Egregious disruption of any kind is blockable by any administrator. Editors involved in arbitration are likely to find that violating the spirit of this guideline may prejudice the decision of the Arbitration Committee.

Hoaxes

On a related note, please don't attempt to put misinformation into Wikinews to test our ability to detect and remove it; this wastes everyone's time, including yours. See Wikinews:Hoaxes for more on this.

This page is based on a Wikipedia policy, Wikipedia:Don't disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point, which is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License (history). It is not licensed under the CC-BY license as Wikinews story content unless and until completely rewritten.