Wikipedia talk:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point

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Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate pointillism.

This guideline keeps instruction creep in placeEdit

Can we please get rid of this guideline? What it forbids is a necessary line of defense against a bad "consensus". It likely keeps a lot of instruction creep in place, by preventing it from being exposed. (talk) 08:16, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

If you wish to expose instruction creep or bad consensus, then use discussion and reason, not disruptive behaviour. OrangeDog (τε) 11:22, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Retain While having been tempted to make a point in the past, I agree that discussion is the better approach. I do not disagree that there is instruction creep occurring, but do you have a specific example where a point would be the best solution?--SPhilbrickT 12:39, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Better to bone up on your debating skills rather than to disrupt Wikipedia to show up poor policies and guidelines. WP:POINT is useful and necessary. Fences&Windows 15:27, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Debating with who? As WP:CREEP notes, "Editors involved at a policy page are not always an accurate sampling of the community at large—this is why instruction creep can persist." However, actively applying a policy you don't agree with in ways that others won't agree with would be a sure way to get more editors involved in the policy discussion and sort out what the community consensus actually is, except at present you will get WP:POINT thrown in your face instead. (talk) 18:24, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
The proper thing to do would be to debate policy you disagree with, calling an RFC to bring in outside opinion if necessary. Disruption never helps one's case. --Cybercobra (talk) 20:04, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
After reaching a consensus among those participating in policy discussion, you may decide to "roll out" a change into active use (or trial use) without the consent of all editors. Some of those editors might be upset, spurring further discussion. This could be seen as an invocation of POINT, but it's a normal part of the policy implementation process - it's not practical or efficient to ask everybody in the world beforehand. Dcoetzee 09:24, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

What if a long-standing part of a policy is largely not representative of accepted practice, but editors won't agree to change it, even when an RfC is opened? What recourse is there, other than applying the flawed policy in a way that will result in an outcry against it? (talk) 15:13, 18 May 2011 (UTC)

That's exactly yhe behavior this guideline is intended to prevent. Most of of us have had the exact same thought as you. Of have wished to make a point about another editors argument by showing how absurd it would be in practice. Yet if we all did that with abandon there'd be chaos.   Will Beback  talk  22:03, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
But we're not just talking about arguments, we're talking about policy. If a policy is out of line with accepted practice, simple discussion on the policy's talk page is usually not enough to make the community at large aware of it. There is also nothing to compel editors participating in such a discussion to really think their positions through. If we were just talking about local arguments over matters not addressed by any policy or guideline, that would be a different matter (and from the page history, that appears to be the situation WP:POINT was originally intended to address.) (talk) 03:58, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Virtually every policy and guideline can be applied in some absurd way in order to show their weaknesses. But we're not here to write better policies - we're here to write an encyclopedia. If you can suggest improvements to policies then that's swell. But don't harm the encyclopedia just for the sake of better policies. That'd be cutting off your nose to spite your face.   Will Beback  talk  04:08, 19 May 2011 (UTC)
Enforcing a policy should not harm the encyclopedia; if it does, the policy is flawed. Better policies will allow for better articles, so we should be able to do whatever is necessary to improve policies, including applying flawed policies in ways that will provoke widespread opposition to them. (talk) 17:29, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Here's an example of bad policy being kept in place by this guideline. For about three years, WP:ABOUTSELF stated that material cited from questionable sources should be relevant to their notability and should not be contentious. Eventually, these restrictions were removed, not because community consensus had changed, but because they were flawed from the outset. [1] [2] [3] If not for WP:POINT, any editor skeptical about these restrictions could have put them to the test simply by enforcing them consistently, and consequently these flawed rules would have been fixed a lot sooner. The argument against allowing this is that the encyclopedia would be harmed. However, the changes to articles could and almost certainly would have been reverted by those who opposed them. Yes, some people's time would have been taken up, but on the whole time would have been saved, as there wouldn't have been as many discussions about the policy. So can we please overturn this guideline now and allow policies to be rigorously tested? (talk) 18:12, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

I suspect that the guideline is unnecessary. “Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point” is a ridiculous thing to say; “Do not disrupt Wikipedia at all” makes sense, but then that's covered elsewhere. “Never boldly apply any policy or guideline whose merit you doubt” is probably all that needs to be said here, but again, that can fit in elsewhere. Uniplex (talk) 19:38, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I've always found it odd that we have a guideline against WP:Disruptive editing and then another one against "disruption to illustrate a point". However, the ip appears to be advocating that we simply scrap the principle and more or less allow the kind of point-making which this page is against. PSWG1920 (talk) 22:09, 29 November 2011 (UTC)

No extremismEdit

We must not falsely accuse people of WP:POINT yet we shouldn't refuse to believe it exist. WP:POINT is written very much to accuse others (or be used as a reason to accuse others). We need to have a little balance. So let's keep it 99.5% accusatory and 0.5% non-accusatory by using language such as....

Furthermore, policies, guidelines, and actions should be applied to all articles as evenly and fairly as possible. When done in a non-disruptive fashion, working towards consistent and fairly deliberated Wikipedia editorial decisions is permitted. Assorg (talk) 03:36, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

The first part of the "Important note" section already does this adequately. This piece of text is too general, and could easily be put under any policy. I'd like to note that Assorg inserted this text, which would appear to be against consensus, 3 times so far: [4][5][6]. Equazcion (talk) 08:28, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I must admit that I don't quite understand this guideline. Here is one situation I find odd that seems to be accepted as normal: Editor A performs change 1, citing policy X. Editors B, C and D revert change 1 and argue that policy X does not apply to change 1, and only applies in the specific case Y, of which change 1 is not a part. Editor A claims that policy X makes no mention of only applying in case Y, but after a heated discussion/editwar on change 1 without an emerging consensus, gives up on change 1, and instead decides for the sake of clarity and consistency to edit the policy X page to explicitly specifically only apply to case Y. This change to policy X that makes explicit B, C, and D's interpretation of policy X, gets reverted by editors B, C, and D, who claim that Editor A is violating WP:POINT. Thus editors B, C, D have both avoided the need to gain a consensus on the policy X page that policy X only applies to case Y, and applied their non-consensus interpretation of policy X in blocking change 1. Blackworm (talk) 05:29, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
This is partly why the italics part is useful. WP:POINT can and is used to justify that your change is voted down irrespective that similar guidelines are rejected elsewhere. The italics part is a moderate way of saying not to POINT but then also to treat everything equally. POINT is often used as a veiled personal attack. The italics seeks to calm all sides, which is what Wikipedia should be (not a battleground). Assorg (talk) 06:08, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any mention of clarifying policy as a result of experiencing a practice being deemed a POINT violation. That happens all the time -- we get more specific in policies based on what we experience the practice as being. It could be POINTy, though, to make a bad-faith policy edit with the intention of highlighting caveats that make the policies you don't agree with look nonsensical and call them into question; or to simply make your opponents look foolish by describing, within a policy, what they're doing in a negative way. IF you're concerned your edit will be perceived that way, it's probably better to suggest the edit on the talk page first, and explicitly cite the example you experienced. Equazcion (talk) 17:49, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Assorg, I suppose I simply haven't accepted that this encyclopedia prides itself on having contradictory interpretations of policy in different articles (or even different parts of the same article). How can you "treat everything equally" when you find that doing so (treating article A like article B was treated) can get you accused of violating this guideline, and gets your treatment of article A gleefully reverted on that basis ("POINT! POINT!") by the same editors who argued that the logic you applied to article A applied to article B -- with the effect of masking the problem with article B's faulty (but "consensus", or "local majority") interpretation of policy? I value consistency of the encyclopedia as a whole as more important that the whims of whichever small group of editors controls which article, and it seems that is in opposition to Wikipedia's stated guidelines (i.e., this one). As many editors seem to have a few articles or topics dear to them and don't really care how policy gets applied elsewhere, the chilling effect of this guideline on the consistency, uniformity, and yes, neutrality of the encyclopedia seems glaring apparent. How can one say the encyclopedia is neutral if two articles interpret policy in contradictory ways to form the content? After all discussion and reason fails, an editor who applies to an article an interpretation of policy consistent with the consensus in another article is doing the encyclopedia good IMO, this even if they still disagree with the other consensus and/or are doing it sarcastically; because at worst it has the result of drawing attention to the contradiction and possibly getting it resolved by a consensus composed of more editors. If we fatalistically accept that Wikipedia is internally inconsistent and we like it that way, then essentially we are saying that you can interpret policy any way you want as long as the people who happen to be editing the same article as you agree. That seems the antithesis of WP:NPOV. Does WP:CONSENSUS override NPOV, or are there a group of editors, like me, who believe that neutrality flows more freely in an environment where policy must be applied the same way in all articles, even if a few feathers get ruffled along the way? If each small group only cares that their interpretation of policy applies to "their" article, what you get is a POV mess. Blackworm (talk) 07:33, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

Other similar wikispace pages define what to do and not to do. For example, civility explains what is civility and what is not civility. Similarly, we can say what point is and what unpoint is. Moderation is the key. Assorg (talk) 06:31, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

The reminder to apply this rule fairly is utterly pointless. All rules are to be applied as fairly as possible, but that being said, nothing on Wikipedia is fair. Please don't restore it without reaching consensus. So far 3 editors including me don't think it should be there. Edit warring is not the right way to make the point. Toddst1 (talk) 03:29, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Remove redirect Wikipedia:POINTY to here?Edit

When people complain about POINTy behaviour it is usually not about what POINT forbids. So, perhaps it is time to write up a new essay/guideline describing what POINTy behavior actually is. Count Iblis (talk) 15:52, 19 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree. I suggest: POINTy behavior means behavior where one is correct, but all other opposing arguments based on policy have failed. Accusations of pointy behaviour or content may also be weak attempts to suggest the material opposed fails WP:NPOV without actually claiming the material is non-neutral, and thus not requiring any evidence of the claim. Blackworm (talk) 14:25, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
There is a large discrepancy between this guideline and the usage of POINTy in debate. Often POINTy just means the opponent is making a point provocatively, which is not what this guideline is about, it is about not, e.g. mass nominating articles for deletion, to make a point. Sandman888 (talk) Latest PR 14:46, 25 August 2010 (UTC)
Because of the concerns expressed here, I tried to further clarify this guideline's purpose, and was reverted. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:55, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
This guideline is about disrupting Wikipedia to make a point. I'm unclear on how the comments above relate, other than there is some agreement that POINTy might mean something different. --Ronz (talk) 17:11, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
The point (no pun intended) is that anyone who is really "disrupting Wikipedia to illustrate a point" is doing or advocating for things which he or she doesn't actually agree with. It is quite possible to be disruptive while making edits you do agree with, but then WP:POINT is not the applicable guideline. PSWG1920 (talk) 18:45, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
"is doing or advocating for things which he or she doesn't actually agree with" I don't agree. As I said in my edit summary, this "doesn't represent (the) entire guideline." I'd add that it doesn't appear to represent the ideas expressed in this discussion either, but then again I'm not clear what those ideas are that go beyond this guideline. --Ronz (talk) 18:50, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Reading the guideline through, I don't see anything which would contradict the clarification I added. Things which would have contradicted it were long ago removed from the page as the consensus was that they were off-topic. Hopefully we will hear more from the above three editors. PSWG1920 (talk) 22:55, 26 August 2010 (UTC)
Why do you think it clarifies anything? Why do you think it's related to the discussions above by other editors? --Ronz (talk) 23:51, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

I agree with this edit. No disruption = no violation. I will go further and state that one should make edits they disagree with! It is a basis for WP:WFTE and WP:CONSENSUS -- if a strong consensus exists that something should be done, editors should consider countering disruption by editing attempts to counter the consensus, even if the editor does not agree with the consensus. They can make their objections clear in discussion. Their honourable actions might even help some reconsider their arguments. Blackworm (talk) 00:18, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I made the edit mainly in reaction to Sandman888's comment. I was definitely not trying to say you shouldn't make edits you disagree with, just that you shouldn't do so as a way of arguing (according to this guideline), and whether someone is using such a tactic is the test of whether the behavior is POINTY, since the question of what actually constitutes "POINTY" behavior is what started this discussion. PSWG1920 (talk) 00:29, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

I will note that I revised my clarification and was reverted again. The comments at the top of this thread definitely lead me to believe that some sort of clarification is wanted and needed, but it appears there is not even agreement as to what this guideline's purpose actually is. PSWG1920 (talk) 03:32, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

Examples are not all inclusiveEdit

I'd hope this would be self-evident. --Ronz (talk) 20:22, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

My wording stated that "behavior should only be considered "POINTY" when someone is trying to prove a point in a manner akin to the above examples". That is most certainly not saying that WP:POINT violations are limited to the specific actions described in the examples.
Also, the example you just added would not be "disruption to illustrate a point", as nothing is being illustrated. WP:GAMING would seem more applicable to that action. PSWG1920 (talk) 20:43, 30 August 2010 (UTC)
It's a way to prove a point common to young children - they try to change the rules to their benefit. --Ronz (talk) 00:20, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
And how exactly is that an attempt to prove a point? PSWG1920 (talk) 02:17, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
By changing the rules, they remove anything that goes against their point. --Ronz (talk) 03:11, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't see how that situation involves any point. An agenda, yes, but they are at least being direct about it. PSWG1920 (talk) 06:16, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

For reference here is the version prior to all the rewriting. While I think we've become more focused, I think the meaning has changed and the examples and discussions are too narrow. --Ronz (talk) 15:42, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

That version was a bloated mess. It appears from the edit history as well as the talk archives that new ideas which didn't neatly fit elsewhere were liberally added to this guideline. "Gaming the system" now has its own page, and WP:IDIDNTHEARTHAT is now part of WP:DE. Most likely, the presence of such off-topic material led to off-topic examples. PSWG1920 (talk) 18:02, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Could you point me to the consensus that the material was off topic? --Ronz (talk) 18:05, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Here and here. PSWG1920 (talk) 18:15, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the links. I don't see the consensus. I see discussion on what this guideline is about, and I see unrelated editing of the guideline. The editing seems to have been made without understanding the discussions. I don't see any connection.
I'm not sure if futher discussion along these lines will be helpful.
This version has been pointed out as the last one before the guideline became bloated. As with the version I pointed out, I think we've changed the meaning since this version as well. --Ronz (talk) 23:03, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I'm pretty sure we're not going to get anywhere this way. What we need are opinions from more editors. PSWG1920 (talk) 03:26, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Nutshell, etc.Edit

In regards to [7], changes were discussed at that juncture. I would also point back to discussions which began here, as the page seems to be losing its way once again. PSWG1920 (talk) 02:37, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

(edit conflict)
I've reverted the nutshell, before finding the discussion here. Sorry about my edit summary.
As I mentioned then, it looks like we've whitewashed this guideline. "Illustrate" is being interpreted very literally, and relevant examples have been removed (specific examples, as well as approaches).
From my perspective, "State your point—do not prove it experimentally" summarizes this guideline properly. This guideline is not only about certain types of experimenting, but experimenting rather than discussing and experimenting in a way that's disruptive. --Ronz (talk) 02:40, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
I would agree that "State your point—do not prove it experimentally" is a good summary of this guideline. But what does "prove" mean? Was that being interpreted too literally as well? In the example you added, one is not trying to prove any point, regardless of whether the action is appropriate or not. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:06, 31 August 2010 (UTC)
For one, proving a point disruptively is not the same as "disruptively applying reasoning with which you disagree." --Ronz (talk) 00:21, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Instead of "prove" how about "further," "advance" or "promote?" --Ronz (talk) 03:19, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Those three words are decidedly different in meaning from "illustrate", which has been in the page's title ever since it was created in 2004. For that matter, how would one "further a point", "advance a point", or "promote a point"? PSWG1920 (talk) 03:41, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Maybe the title is too misleading then? I think changing the title is a good idea, once we settle on the details.
So we agree that "disruptively applying reasoning with which you disagree" is not the equivalent of anything in this guideline at all?
I'm trying to find better wording. I didn't suggest a context, only an alternative to "prove" after you brought it up. --Ronz (talk) 03:51, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
In Wikipedia, disruptively applying reasoning with which you disagree is not an acceptable way of discrediting it is representative of most if not all of the current examples. I don't think it's perfect as a summation, but a bit better than If you think you have a valid point, causing disruption is probably the least effective way of presenting that point. A third option would be to turn what is currently the first section header into the nutshell: State your point—do not prove it experimentally. It would probably need to be tweaked a bit in order to stand by itself, but I would support keeping "point" and "prove".
I would not support changing the title of this guideline, as I think Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point accurately expresses the meaning which was originally intended. PSWG1920 (talk) 04:09, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Let's stop referring to the current version of the guideline as if it is sacrosanct. It's not.
We agree that at minimum, some clarification is necessary. Let's clarify then.
What does "disagreeing" have to do with proving a point experimentally and disruptively? --Ronz (talk) 15:27, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
As the first section notes, if one disagrees with either an existing rule or just the way it's being applied, it can be tempting to turn around and apply the reasoning you disagree with somewhere else, proving it wrong from your perspective. That is the connection between disagreeing and proving a point. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:11, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation. I find it unnecessarily limiting, and in contradiction with this guideline prior to your changes to it. Yes, there's some sort of disagreement that will be involved, but "apply the reasoning you disagree with somewhere else" doesn't follow (nor does "somewhere else" for that matter). --Ronz (talk) 17:38, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
"Somewhere else" could mean somewhere else in the same article, and is not in the nutshell anyway. PSWG1920 (talk) 17:50, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Then let's ignore "somewhere else."
While there's going to be a disagreement at the heart of any POINT problems, such problems are not necessarily the application of applying reasoning you disagree with. --Ronz (talk) 17:53, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Regarding page protection and edit warringEdit

I'm going to attempt to mediate a little here since I think page protection is just as disruptive as edit warring:

User:PSWG1920 and User:Ronz, I'd like to draw your attention to Wikipedia:CONSENSUS#Consensus_as_a_result_of_the_editing_process and WP:BRD. In particular, rejecting edits simply because they don't have consensus is a poor reason to revert. Discuss why you disagree with the change, beyond the fact that it was not discussed first. WP:BRD should come into play any time you revert a bold change - if you revert, both parties should discuss at that point - and more bold changes may happen rapidly - these sort of changes aren't edit warring - even though they look like it to an outsider. Try to respond with another change - trying to move towards a compromise - this even goes for policies and guidelines, even though they do require more care than articles - Bold editing can be just as much a tool to reach consensus as discussion itself. If it gets too heated, give it a break, or get additional opinions - don't keep hitting the revert button. Triona (talk) 03:58, 1 September 2010 (UTC) User:Toddst1 Please consider lifting of your protection of Wikipedia:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point or at least significantly reducing the duration - While there's a conflict here, most of it appears to be WP:BOLD editing, with one editor trying alternatives and another editor reverting them simply because they weren't discussed. Protecting the page, although a quick fix, doesn't solve the problem - even though both editors were walking a thin line around 3RR, counseling them towards seeking some kind of dispute resolution would be a better solution, and that's what I'm trying to do above. Triona (talk) 03:58, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Glad to unprotect if the EW is over. This is a behavioral guideline, not an argument over the color of someone's shoes on the Banana Splits and a lousy place for an edit war. {{editprotected}} works very well. Sort it out or sit it out, fellas. Toddst1 (talk) 04:35, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
Keep it protected. I'll help with anyone who wants unrelated changes made. --Ronz (talk) 15:32, 1 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree that it should stay protected. Any needed change can be made by an admin. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:14, 1 September 2010 (UTC)

Has this guideline been reduced without consensus?Edit

I've argued that the scope of this guideline has narrowed, without any consensus to do so. First, does anyone disagree that the scope has narrowed? Anyone disagree that there was little or no consensus backing these changes? --Ronz (talk) 16:22, 2 September 2010 (UTC)

Dispute tag.Edit

{{editprotected}} While this page is protected due to an edit war, this page should have an appropriate dispute tag such that anyone reading the guideline can review the dispute. Triona (talk) 06:08, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

  Done, although I would prefer to unprotect it and instead block those who are edit warring. — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 08:47, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

PSWG1920's editing has dropped to nothing in the past day. I see no need to keep the protection. Until we resolve this, I'll limit my editing to this article to 1RR and focus on the discussing my concerns on the article talk page. --Ronz (talk) 17:19, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

  Done Toddst1 (talk) 17:36, 3 September 2010 (UTC)

This guideline is not limited to "applying reasoning with which you disagree"Edit

Relevant, past discussions: June 2006 July 2007 June 2008-Feb 2009. --Ronz (talk) 17:02, 5 September 2010 (UTC)

I concede that that nutshell may have been a bit too narrow, and I don't have a big problem with the current one. Beyond that, I suppose that the actual subject of this guideline depends on the selection of editors actively involved here at a given time. PSWG1920 (talk) 04:26, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

This guideline is about disruptionEdit

I think we need to be very clear that this guideline is about types of disruption, rather than any experimentation at all. Experimentation is allowed, encouraged, and expected. What we don't want is experimenting to prove a point in a disruptive manner, especially when involved in dispute resolution related to the point. --Ronz (talk) 15:48, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

I will note that with recent changes, experimentally no longer appears in this guideline. Any opinions on whether it should return? PSWG1920 (talk) 06:48, 3 November 2010 (UTC)

Editing in bad faith to make a pointEdit

I've reintroduced my example, slightly reworded here. Yes, it's an example of bad faith editing and gaming the system, but editing a policy to prove a point in a dispute elsewhere is disruptive to concensus-building. --Ronz (talk) 16:25, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

I really have trouble following your reasoning here, which is why I stopped responding earlier. Editing policy "to remove those aspects with which you disagree" could be done disruptively, but is not inherently disruptive. As far as "editing a policy to prove a point in a dispute elsewhere", what point exactly would one be trying to prove by doing so? This example seems flawed and extremely off-topic. PSWG1920 (talk) 04:12, 29 October 2010 (UTC)

Nutshell againEdit

Regarding this revert, I don't see how I was "changing the basic definition from general to specific". If anything, "in an attempt to prove that you are right" would seem more general than "to get a point across to others". PSWG1920 (talk) 23:11, 16 December 2010 (UTC)

The point may not be about being right. --Ronz (talk) 00:13, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I'm fairly certain that it would be about being right. Otherwise, why would one be making it? PSWG1920 (talk) 01:35, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
To prove someone else is right or wrong. --Ronz (talk) 02:01, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
One trying to prove that someone else is right must agree with that person, and one trying to prove that someone else is wrong must disagree with that person. Either way, they are also trying to prove that they themselves are right. PSWG1920 (talk) 07:47, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
I prefer guidelines be straightforward, rather than requiring convoluted explanations to make sense of them. --Ronz (talk) 16:31, 17 December 2010 (UTC)
So do I, which is why I made that edit. I actually think that "Do not play games in an attempt to prove that you are right" is bit more straightforward than "Do not play games to get a point across to others". PSWG1920 (talk) 03:27, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
"rather than requiring convoluted explanations..." Perhaps this is a cultural misunderstanding? --Ronz (talk) 16:31, 18 December 2010 (UTC)
I think I understand what a "convoluted explanation" is, I just don't agree that the wording in question would require one. PSWG1920 (talk) 23:32, 18 December 2010 (UTC)

Again, I'm not sure how adding mention of other people with "others" or more specific motives "prove others wrong" is helpful. --Ronz (talk) 02:09, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Others or people has been in the nutshell since 2 November 2010. Also, the wording which you are restoring, "get a point across to others", refers to motives. PSWG1920 (talk) 19:41, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

Not disruptiveEdit

  • If you have added a reference which someone then removes because the source is self-published.
  • do explain why the use of the source in question was appropriate in that instance, or find a reliable third-party published source for the information
  • do not remove all references to self-published sources from an article
  • If you think someone unjustifiably removed "unsourced" content
  • do find a source for it, make the referencing clear if it was already present, or explain why the content in question shouldn't require a cited source
  • do not remove all unsourced content on the page

The above two examples are not disruptive. Removing unsourced or self-published material is never frowned upon. Marcus Qwertyus 03:46, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

This is a gross oversimplification and misses the point entirely. You are WELL within your within policy to remove unsourced content, but it is best to attempt to find a source first and add it or at least tag it as unsourced. Additionally, self-published sources are permitted in some instances. — BQZip01 — talk 15:44, 4 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Marcus. Those two examples should be removed. While I understand BQZip01's reasoning, it would require too much elaboration for these examples to be correct, since the usual case is that self-published sources should be removed, and unsourced content should be removed. So while there are exceptions to WP:V and WP:SELFPUBLISH - and deleting article text covered by those exceptions would be disruptive - we should cover general cases, not complex hypothetical cases. --Surturz (talk) 03:07, 6 September 2011 (UTC)
Remove these two examples along with the rest of the page. Enforcing policy and asking for consistency are not bad things. (talk) 20:06, 6 September 2011 (UTC)

These examples make sense in the context of the guideline. The lead section says that it is disruptive to try to enforce a rule in a generally unpopular way, with the aim of getting it changed. Why would we tell people not to enforce policy? Because of their reason for doing so. Same with the two examples in question. PSWG1920 (talk) 05:27, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

If such examples "make sense in the context of the guideline", that just shows how asinine this guideline truly is. Enforcing policy should never be frowned on. If enforcement of a content policy causes a problem, fix the policy, don't punish the one enforcing it. (talk) 17:33, 4 May 2012 (UTC)

How do I fight Hypocrisy without making a POINT?Edit

There is no absolute truth and everything depends on each person's point of view. No one is neutral, not even the moderators. Sometimes making a point is the only way to make the other side see something the way you do. TFighterPilot (talk) 17:59, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

That's a great point! It would helpful to be able to make some enduring ground-rules for contentious subjects as to what sources are considered RS, and exactly how the article is going to be structured. There is no good tools for dealing with dummies other than throwing up your hands and walking away. Editing to make a point is a last-resort way to show someone of the logical consequences of their argument. If it doesn't work it could be reverted. Or you could leave the absurdity as a red flag to readers and future editors that this article is not to be trusted. Just thinking out loud here, but we really do need some better tools. Brmull (talk) 03:05, 14 July 2011 (UTC)
This is why WP:POINT needs to be overturned as a guideline. As long as it exists, we are deprived of an important safety net when faced with flawed "consensus". (talk) 17:32, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

Remove the WP:POINT shortcutEdit

I agree with the sentiments expressed by others above: WP:POINT is used far more often as a weapon to try to quash debate than for it's intended purpose—"Joe is just trying to make a WP:POINT [so his argument is invalid]" or "here's WP:POINTY Joe again [with obviously no useful contribution to make]". Yes, Joe might counter with WP:NOTPOINTY but the damage is already done: attention has successfully been diverted away from the matter-in-hand. Why facilitate such shenanigans? The simple and quick solution is to remove the WP:POINT shortcut. (For future consideration: "Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point", "Oh; so it's okay to disrupt Wikipedia for other reasons?") Uniplex (talk) 08:57, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Seems a bad idea regardless. --Ronz (talk) 15:58, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
The most immediate piece of evidence is the fact that it has been necessary to add the ‘Important note’ section of the article, which is just an attempt to hold things together with sticky-tape, not addressing the root cause of the problem. Why do you think it's a bad idea? Uniplex (talk) 16:13, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
The other obvious piece of evidence is that the people above would like to see it removed completely; this is probably because it's being mis-applied. The proposed change should substantially reduce the number of mis-applications. Uniplex (talk) 16:20, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I'm having to guess as to your concerns; here's a compromise suggestion however: rename the shortcut to EDITPOINT. Whereas a POINT may be good or bad, and may be raised in discussion or illustrated by disruptive editing, this guideline relates only to the latter. POINT by itself is far too general; EDITPOINT adds enough specificity to prevent most out-of-context usage. In summary, the message of the guideline is: don't edit to make your point: discuss to make your point. Another positive consequence of this change is that the guideline is simplified: the Important note section is no longer needed. Uniplex (talk) 09:14, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

Hah! How ironic that you should propose this! WP:POINT exists for a very good reason, one of which is to minimise contentious content, edit warring and rambling, fruitless discussions by editors who don't wish to collaborate. Next you'll ask to abolish 3RR or AIV! Radiopathy •talk• 19:55, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

What a strange and unhelpful comment. No, it's not about abolishing guidelines, it's concerned with a shortcut—the clues's in the section title. And no, the guideline in question is not about edit-warring etc. (for that, see WP:EDITWARRING; again, the clues are there). Uniplex (talk) 11:39, 6 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Restated the proposal below due to apparent confusion, in part due to my changing it half way through. Uniplex (talk) 20:39, 5 November 2011 (UTC)
I think it's really silly to expect that renaming this guideline will stop anyone from mis-citing it. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 01:48, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Rename the WP:POINT shortcut to WP:EDITPOINTEdit

As discussed above ("Remove redirect Wikipedia:POINTY to here?"), and as highlighted by the "Important note" section of the guide, the WP:POINT shortcut is frequently misunderstood and referenced in an incorrect context. Whereas a POINT may be good or bad, and may be raised in discussion or illustrated by disruptive editing, this guideline relates only to the latter. The problem is caused by the word POINT by itself being too general; EDITPOINT however would add enough specificity to prevent most out-of-context usage. In summary, the message of the guideline is: don't edit to make your point: discuss to make your point. A positive consequence of this change is that the guideline can be simplified as the Important note section would no longer be needed. Uniplex (talk) 20:39, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

  • Support. If allowable, we could then direct WP:POINT and WP:NOTPOINTY to a page which explains the circumstances that led to this. PSWG1920 (talk) 14:11, 15 November 2011 (UTC)
No, the existing shortcut is well known and widely used. I have no objection to an additional shortcut - but wiping out the existing shortcuts would cause confusion and be a disruption in itself.
Additionally, a change to such a widely used shortcut (at least 1100 existing uses of WP:POINT), a broader audience for the discussion is needed. Possibilities might be WP:RFD or WP:RFC. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 05:21, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Whilst, of course, considering what disruption such a rename might cause is important, I think PSWG's idea covers this nicely. The fundamental issue is that POINT is (or has become) ambiguous; PSWG's idea is effectively for POINT to point to a disambiguation page—i.e. standard practice for the very similar circumstances of a title rename. Uniplex (talk) 06:12, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment I'm still waiting for some actual evidence of the problems described. At this point, I have to wonder if there is any. --Ronz (talk) 17:37, 17 November 2011 (UTC)
  • That we value clear and unambiguous expression is evident from the WP:MoS and WP:POLICY. That POINT without adjective or other context is ambiguous (unlike say, CCC, or NPOV), is obvious (good point, bad point). That said, two pieces of evidence that it is being used out of context: a previous discussion here on the matter, and the "band-aid" Important note section that has been added to try to address the problem, were mentioned above. Also, the user towards the end of the previous section, who believes that POINT refers to edit-warring and long discussion, is further evidence of the confusion that this badly-chosen shortcut causes. However, the recent change to the Important note section, suggests that what is being referred to might better be described as 'protest' editing—this may imply a better name for both the shortcut and the project page. Uniplex (talk) 17:02, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
"Protest" could be severely misconstrued as well. I can just imagine people saying "Don't WP:PROTEST" in response to many legitimate actions. PSWG1920 (talk) 17:29, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
You're right; on its own, PROTEST could be just as bad. Unless there are any other suggestions, we can stick with the proposed EDITPOINT, which is close enough to the substance of the guideline. Uniplex (talk) 17:41, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm still not seeing any value that outweighs the disruption caused by such a change. Feel free to create an additional redirect - but eliminating the old one is problematic in itself. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 17:46, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
A suggestion to avoid any disruption, which sounds fine to me, was made above. Uniplex (talk) 17:50, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Whatever would have been submitted to a new landing page can just as easily be incorporated into this existing article, pending consensus - with the bonus that doing it on the existing page does not cause any extra disruption or confusion from existing usage. The existing note seems adequate, although it could be moved up further on the page. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 18:03, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Moving it up might well help, but it doesn't seem as clean as using a new landing page since a) there would still be stuff on this project page that would be historical only, off-topic to most readers, and b) having it on a separate page would allow it to be designated as a "dead" page to which no links should ever be made (cf. a redirect page that may remain after a page move) and for it to have page stats which might be used as an indicator for possible future deletion. Uniplex (talk) 19:04, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
I'm not following you on point A, and I disagree with point B. Moreover, as I pointed out before, a change in usage to such a well-known and widely used redirect needs to have a broader audience for the discussion. Possibilities to achieve this could be WP:RFD and/or WP:RFC. --- Barek (talkcontribs) - 19:09, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose: The rationale for the rename isn't particularly logical. Anyone bent on mis-citation of this guideline for abuse in fallacious debate tactics won't be deterred by renaming. Piped links can be bent to whatever use you want to put them, such as footage of kittens being stomped to death by people who want to rename guideline shortcuts. I don't see any evidence that WP:POINT is in fact abused frequently, and on one level it really can't be abused, since anyone can read the guideline and see whether it actually applies to the discussion in which it has been cited. What I do see is an enormous number - thousands upon thousands – of uses over many years that would suddenly make no sense to anyone reading them after such a change. Sweeping things under the rug doesn't clean anyone up. If someone is mis-citing this guideline, they should be called on it. Simple. I think what's probably behind this is that a few people have had WP:POINT used against them, and were offended that someone didn't like their tactics. Whether they were called out for being POINTy on the basis of actual disruptive behavior or simply as a form of ad hominem attack is old news about something that happened on one talk page somewhere. I.e., coming here to change one of the best-known guideline shortcuts on the entire system seems to be an exercise in axe grinding. And, well, it seems kind of inherently POINTy, as a matter of fact. This "landing page" idea smacks of disclaimer-itis. Wikipedia doesn't go there. PS: "POINT without adjective or other context is ambiguous" is unimportant and is true of every shortcut that just uses a word. People are expected to read our guidelines if they're going to be involved in debates that bring them up. WP:NOTABILITY, WP:CONSENSUS, WP:SOAPBOX, etc., all have this same non-problem of being "ambiguous". (Is notabiity important? Is Wikipedia based on voting instead of consensus? Is Wikipedia a soapbox?) — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 02:01, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
  • You're completely missing the WP:POINT ;) This isn't about those who are "bent on mis-citation"; it's about clear and unambiguous expression: a highly valued characteristic of writing for both an encyclopedia and its guidelines. WP wants new editors and it doesn't want them to have to learn their way around a lot of confusing jargon (something explicitly shunned in the MoS). The words Wikipedia & intuitive don't currently make happy bedfellows; Jimbo complains that WP should be looking to the future, not the past—"it's always been that way" is not justification for blocking improvement. The POINT page is not an easy read in itself; it has to resort to a bunch of examples to try to make its point. If someone in discussion says, "he's just not getting the WP:POINT", then yes, everyone involved could go and read the guideline and try to get their head around it; the claimant may well be just as confused. But why should anyone go and read the guideline? "he's just not getting the WP:POINT" seems self-explanitory: he's not getting the point and WP deems this to be bad. "disclaimer-itis Wikipedia doesn't go there" The proposal is to move the current disclaimer, the Important note section, to the current redirect page (no new landing page is required) and change the redirect to be an ordinary page (a bit like a dab page, extremely common practice in article-space). Let's try one of your examples: "he just doesn't get that WP is a WP:SOAPBOX": it's just not in the same league; no one's ever going to take it seriously. Uniplex (talk) 07:27, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Not been looking at all, but happened to spot this one today: Uniplex (talk) 18:20, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Condensing and merging with WP:DEEdit

As Uniplex and I discussed above, it seems rather nonsensical to have a page titled "Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point" when we already have a guideline which strongly discourages disruption of any kind. I am fairly sure that the important points of this page could be covered in one or two paragraphs, which could be a subsection of WP:Disruptive editing. The shortcuts to this page would then redirect there, so that wouldn't be a problem. But what about the examples? I will do what the last example suggests, and opine that most of them are unnecessary and not particularly helpful. At least two of them are somewhat controversial as well. Imho the most helpful examples are the ones which are currently first and sixth, and those could be restated in paragraph form.

Before people start voting, at this time I am not so much proposing a merge as I am considering how it could be done. PSWG1920 (talk) 02:49, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

I think a single paragraph in WP:DE should be sufficient to describe the principle. Examples are indicative of either there not really being a principle, or an inability to express it clearly, so they should be kept to a minimum. Maybe:
  • If the spirit of a rule is unclear or seems incompatible with the project goals, then actively discuss with a view to clarifying or correcting the rule. While discussion is ongoing, it is best to avoid applying the rule in question. If, after discussion, doubts remain, then apply the rule at most tentatively—to do otherwise could be seen as disruptive.
Would following this simple advice prevent the (undisputed) problems that the current project page is trying to prevent? Uniplex (talk) 09:02, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
Though that may be good advice, I don't think it captures the principle of this page very well. I would begin with what is currently the first paragraph of the lead section. A POINTy editor is trying to do something unpopular, to show why a rule or argument is wrong. PSWG1920 (talk) 14:42, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
I just reorganized a bit. I would suggest making the current lead section into a subsection of WP:Disruptive editing. Once it was there, it could perhaps be trimmed to remove redundancy to the rest of that guideline. The current first example could be kept as is, but the others could be scrapped. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:53, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
I've gone ahead and made a subsection of WP:DE regarding point-illustrating. Redirecting this page to there would obviously require consensus. PSWG1920 (talk) 15:05, 5 December 2011 (UTC)


The examples here should involve actions that people are likely to think up on their own, otherwise we are giving people ideas. This example's "do not" does not seem like something that would occur to most people to try. PSWG1920 (talk) 01:18, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Given the many concerns on the clarity of this guideline, I think we ignore BEANS in favor of making a well-written and easily understood article. --Ronz (talk) 02:03, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure how this example makes the guideline easier to understand. Other examples communicate the principle as clearly if not moreso. The recent concerns about clarity center around the WP:POINT shortcut. PSWG1920 (talk) 02:28, 12 December 2011 (UTC)
So we're back to edit-warring. This time it's over BEANS vs IAR! Classic. How about we leave this guideline alone? --Ronz (talk) 16:51, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
I explained why we don't need to ignore WP:BEANS. Namely because other examples communicate the guideline's principle just as effectively. PSWG1920 (talk) 22:32, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
An explanation does not mean consensus is changed, nor is it an excuse to start edit-warring. --Ronz (talk) 01:46, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Who knows what the consensus might be? The entire list of examples has been objected to in the past, and an editor recently suggested that this entire guideline be reduced to a single sentence or paragraph. Many previous examples have been removed, some for being WP:BEANSy. As for edit-warring, see WP:KETTLE. PSWG1920 (talk) 15:33, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Please just stop the edit-warring. Thanks! --Ronz (talk) 16:42, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
Again, WP:KETTLE. You yourself have made three recent reverts on the page, so don't complain about "edit-warring". PSWG1920 (talk) 17:09, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I will continue to point it out whenever I see editors trying to change policies and guidelines without consensus through edit-warring, which is the case here. --Ronz (talk) 18:26, 14 December 2011 (UTC)
I would dispute that I have edit-warred in this case. When you reverted me the first time, I started this discussion. I then answered your objection, and waited a while without getting a further response. In other words, I followed WP:BRD. True, no clear consensus to remove this example had been established, but other BEANSy examples have been boldly removed from this page without objection. PSWG1920 (talk) 22:00, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

"Important note" wordingEdit

I don't agree that this wording is clearer than what had replaced it. Though I was the one who added it originally, I found "for the purpose of discrediting a policy or someone's reasoning" to be quite awkward; I only used it because at the time I couldn't think of any better way to convey the idea. POINTY edits are intended to be unpopular, and upon further reflection that seemed like a good thing to emphasize. PSWG1920 (talk) 06:46, 12 December 2011 (UTC)

Language of examplesEdit

The first two examples listed are:

  • If someone nominates one of your favorite articles for deletion...
do explain why the subject meets inclusion criteria, noting any examples of similar article subjects which have been found to be legitimate
do not nominate another similar article for deletion, giving the same rationale
  • If you have nominated an article for deletion, and others vote to keep it...
do participate in the discussion, noting any examples of similar article subjects which consensus has rejected.
do not create an article on what you consider to be a similarly unsuitable topic, with hopes that others will make the same arguments for deletion.

The sections highlighted in bold appear to me to be very bad advice, given that anyone following their suggestion will be slapped with WP:OTHERSTUFF within moments. Could we perhaps replace these examples with something more appropriate? Yunshui  12:10, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

This is indicative of the problem with this guideline as a whole. That one making that kind of argument would get slapped with WP:OTHERSTUFF shows why you should be able to illustrate your point by putting the opposition's arguments to the test. Let's overturn this guideline. (talk) 01:46, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
So very much not what I meant at all. WP:POINT is a very valuable behavioural guideline, since adherence to it minimises disruption to the encyclopedia. My issue is purely with the phrases in bold above, which are contrary to WP:OTHERSTUFF when applied to deletion discussions. I've reverted your edits, which removed both these examples in their entirety and a few others - examples like this, especially with regard to AfD, are an extremely useful shorthand for guiding editors. Since AfD is probably the place where POINTy behaviour is most common, deleting the explanation of how (not) to behave in an AfD discussion is somewhat counter-productive. Yunshui  08:49, 12 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks! --Ronz (talk) 16:44, 12 January 2012 (UTC)

SOPA blackout mentionEdit

I am not sure if the editor who first inserted this was opposed to the blackout or supported it, but stating in the guideline that it is ever acceptable to disrupt Wikipedia to prove a point is completely inappropriate. Anyone who disrupts Wikipedia to prove a point thinks it is an important point and this material only gives such editors additional ammunition to excuse their actions.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 15:58, 7 March 2012 (UTC)

Given the overwhelming support for the blackout, I would question whether this guideline really is representative of community consensus. If it's OK to disrupt Wikipedia to call attention to a proposed law, why is it not OK to disrupt Wikipedia on a much smaller scale to call attention to a questionable policy or guideline? I was going to raise that here at the time, but RoyLeban beat me to it, and I suspect that he beat others to it as well. PSWG1920 (talk) 16:39, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
Well, I and many other editors opposed the blackout due to that very fear of it being seen as a precedent for disrupting Wikipedia when editors think they are making the "right" point. However, I think supporters of the blackout might argue that the blackout was making a point about something outside of Wikipedia and therefore not covered by its guidelines.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 17:16, 7 March 2012 (UTC)
It wasn't a disruption made by editors, so irrelevant. --Ronz (talk) 05:13, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

[Original editor here] My edit was completely serious and appropriate. It was also WP:BOLD. Wikipedia guidelines are not rigid and it is not a surprise that's true here. The fact is that Wikipedia was disrupted to prove a point and that shows clearly that sometimes it is ok. WRT Ronz's comment, everyone's an editor here, including the people who work for Wikipedia itself. This is a pretty core principle.

I thought very carefully how to write the paragraph with an NPOV. Since The Devil's Advocate says they don't know if I was in favor of or opposed to the blackout, it appears that I succeeded. Good. I made the edit on January 19th and it was on Wikipedia for 45 days before The Devil's Advocate removed it. This page is a very important page. During that time certainly hundreds, possibly thousands of people read it without thinking it was inappropriate. Therefore, my edit is the stable version of the page and the argument really should be whether it should be removed or modified, not whether it should stay. I am restoring the edit and encourage people who think it should be removed to provide reasons on this Talk page.

In a discussion of whether this should be part of the guideline, I would also suggest that the following matters be discussed:

  • Is it only ok for certain people to disrupt Wikipedia? (Ronz's comment)
  • Is it only ok to disrupt Wikipedia when making a point about something outside Wikipedia? (The Devil's Advocate's comment)
  • Why is it ok to disrupt Wikipedia this way but not in other ways? (PSWG1920's comment)

From my viewpoint, a precedent was absolutely created. We can't put the cat back into the bag. It IS sometimes ok to disrupt Wikipedia. Now, the guideline needs clarity for the future rather than having people pretend it didn't happen.

RoyLeban (talk) 08:33, 8 March 2012 (UTC)

You are right that many people probably looked at the page during that time. I was one of those people. However, I didn't notice it until a few days ago. This change to the guideline was substantial and shouldn't have been made without discussion. Just because I was the first person to notice it and remove it does not mean it has any sort of "silent consensus" as most people probably did exactly what I did.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 16:16, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
"everyone's an editor here, including the people who work for Wikipedia itself." (RoyLeban - 08:33, 8 March 2012) I disagree. Wikimedia Foundation is not an editor, nor is it expected to act like one. --Ronz (talk) 16:47, 8 March 2012 (UTC)
Sans a guideline that says Wikimedia employees are exempt from guidelines, I'll stick with my position. Administrators don't get to ignore guidelines because they are administrators. Rather, they help make sure guidelines are followed. Wikimedia employees, in general, they have the same rights and responsibilities as other editors. If anything, they have a greater responsibility to follow guidelines. RoyLeban (talk) 01:53, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
The organization, Wikimedia Foundation, is not an editor. Nor was this the act of any editor editing Wikipedia in any way. --Ronz (talk) 07:16, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

The Devil's advocate added an "under discussion" tag in the page. Good idea. I feel very strongly that the SOPA blackout absolutely must be mentioned on this page. If it's not, it will come up again and again. I feel less strongly about what it actually says, though I did try to write a short, simple, fair, NPOV paragraph. Right now, it is the case that the SOPA blackout was in violation of this guideline. How is that explained? How can we update the guideline so that the SOPA blackout was not a violation? RoyLeban (talk) 01:53, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

In regards to updating this guideline to allow for the SOPA blackout, I don't think we can do that in an honest way. The principle of this guideline was violated here; the blackout blatantly disrupted Wikipedia to illustrate a point. The best we can do is to say that this was an exception, but even that is problematic, since a valid exception to a rule normally occurs when the rule's intent is still respected. The best, most honest solution imo is to repeal this guideline. As I said above, given the overwhelming support for the blackout, I tend to doubt that this page really is reflective of a broad consensus. When someone goes overboard trying to illustrate a point, chances are that they are violating other policies and guidelines, which could be used to deal with them. PSWG1920 (talk) 03:47, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
It was an exception not caused by editing. It's outside the scope of any policy or guideline about editing...--Ronz (talk) 07:16, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Short: Per User:Ronz. Longer: Basically, the Wikimedia Foundation declared war on SOPA/PIPA, and Wikipedians showed "patriotic" support en masse by briefly setting aside wiki-normalcy and volunteering for "duty"; it wasn't even a draft. Trying to use what amounts to supra-WP:OFFICE action, backed by the community in exceptional solidarity, as evidence against one of our most stable behavioral guidelines, as it operates day-to-day, is total crap, verging on wikilawyering. "Doubt that this page really is reflective of a broad consensus"? Go do something broadly disruptive, and enjoy your free mandatory wikivacation. WP guidelines do not trump Foundation-level actions. The end, period [Commonwealth: full stop], game over. If it becomes a perennial topic of venting, we just create a special archive page for it, with a shortcut, like WP:SOPANOTAPOINT, and refer people to it. — SMcCandlish   Talk⇒ ɖ∘¿¤þ   Contrib. 17:19, 9 March 2012 (UTC)
To User:SMcCandlish, your attack on User:PSWG1920 who doesn't agree with you is inappropriate. Be WP:CIVIL.
I take issue with "Wikipedians showed patriotic support en masse ...". There was definitely some bullying going on. Those who didn't support it were brushed aside. To those who disagree with the last statement, you can't disagree with this one: Those who didn't support it felt like they were brushed aside. If it wasn't a draft, why wasn't it the case that the blackout only affected supporters. If you believe the draft analogy is reasonable, it was a draft. You can't say this was both a Foundation action (and therefore not subject to guidelines) and then say it was justified because it was supported by Wikipedians as a whole (which isn't actually true, a tiny subset of editors voiced their opinions). If the Foundation needed the support of Wikipedians, then this guideline should apply. If no support was needed, why was it asked for?
At this point, we have a version of the page that some people disagree with. Yes, it was a bold edit by me. A handful of people have commented. There is no clear majority of this small number of editors to remove an edit that stood for a month and a half on a very well read page. Someone who disagrees with the current version of the page should solicit opinions in an NPOV way, or take this to a forum where additional feedback can be obtained, again in an NPOV way. Until a consensus is reached, the current, stable version of the page should remain.
I'll reiterate my most important point. If this policy is to be considered valid, it cannot ignore the largest and most important disruption in Wikipedia's history. To do so makes a mockery of all Wikipedia policies.
RoyLeban (talk) 03:13, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Please let's not waste time by focusing on editors and taking comments personally.
Easy for you to say. I wrote the original edit to be as NPOV as possible. The fact that other commenters here did not know my opinion on the blackout is a testament that I succeeded. You just replaced my NPOV edit with your POV (not agreed to by others here) with this comment "removing undiscussed generalizations of editors pov - replaced with brief comment and inclusion of relevant policy". I edited it so that it now says "Other editors believe that WP:OFFICE takes precedent..." I don't like this edit as much as my original edit, but it is definitely NPOV. RoyLeban (talk) 03:57, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
Please address WP:OFFICE. Given that this article is a Wikipedia guideline, disputed additions need consensus and the discussions should address and relevant policies.
Please address my concern that it is the type of disruption that cannot be done by any editors. --Ronz (talk) 04:07, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
In the meantime, I've rewritten the content to be agreement with WP:OFFICE, and removed the generalizations not discussed here about what opinions editors may have about the incident. Still, no one has yet made a good argument for including any mention of it at all. --Ronz (talk) 04:15, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Reading through WP:OFFICE, I am not seeing how it applies here. Your edit says that "WP:OFFICE takes precedent over guidelines such as this", but I don't see that stated at WP:OFFICE. PSWG1920 (talk) 20:44, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
What don't you understand? Do you think the SOPA action wasn't an office action? --Ronz (talk) 21:00, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I guess in a way it was an office action, but I see nothing at WP:OFFICE to support your statement that "WP:OFFICE takes precedent over guidelines such as this". PSWG1920 (talk) 21:58, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
"I guess in a way it was an office action" Let's be perfectly clear. How could anyone think it was anything other than an office action? --Ronz (talk) 23:02, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I agree with PSWG1920. I do not see how WP:OFFICE applies. The action was not an edit or change of any sort. It was a takedown. For WP:OFFICE to apply, it needs to be changed to indicate that it applies to a much broader scope of actions than anyone has previously believed.RoyLeban (talk) 03:57, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
You agree then that is was an office action? If it's an office action, WP:OFFICE applies, right?--Ronz (talk) 06:50, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
From your comments it seems you are upset about the blackout as being a form of disruption. As a result your insertion of the material here seems to be about making a point about the precedent set by the blackout. That it is inherently disruptive to implicitly encourage people to be disruptive means you are using the guideline on disrupting Wikipedia to make a point as a way to disrupt Wikipedia to make a point about disrupting Wikipedia to make a point. This is totally meta.--The Devil's Advocate (talk) 18:01, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
My personal opinion for or against the blackout is irrelevant. Fact: The blackout was a disruption, the largest in Wikipedia's history. Fact: This page is the policy on disruptions. Fact: Before my original edit, this page did not discuss, at all, the largest disruption in Wikipedia's history. That is wrong. It must be discussed, even if it is to say "Jimbo and company can disrupt Wikipedia" or "Jimbo and company can disrupt Wikipedia if enough editors agree" or even "This was an exception, never to be repeated". My major point is not what it should say, but that something must be said. It is also possible to edit WP:OFFICE to address this (it doesn't currently, despite what User:Ronz says) and then point there. But banning a mention, as if it wasn't a disruption, or the event didn't happen, makes a mockery of the policy. Why is user X not allowed to disrupt random page Y if they have a really good reason? Or if enough people agree with them? RoyLeban (talk) 03:57, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
In response to SMcCandlish, an editor getting blocked for "POINTY" behavior would not prove that WP:POINT represents a broad consensus, unless the block were overwhelmingly approved by hundreds of editors who had been fully informed of the situation. PSWG1920 (talk) 18:34, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Can you elaborate. I don't understand what you're referring to nor how it applies. --Ronz (talk) 21:01, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
I was responding to SMcCandlish's retort to my suggestion that the overwhelming support for the blackout was evidence that WP:POINT is not representative of a broad community consensus. Responding to RoyLeban's concerns, I had suggested that repealing the guideline was an option. PSWG1920 (talk) 21:49, 11 March 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying. The conclusions are based on completely unsupported assumptions. --Ronz (talk) 23:02, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

I don't believe that it's necessary to mention the blackout, for the following reasons:

  1. This is a behavioural guideline, not an editorial policy. It is a standard that editor should attempt to follow, common sense permitting, not a blanket diktat that must be obeyed at all times and without question. Thus, occasional exceptions are to be expected, and need not be individually listed on the page, whether they feature individual articles or the encyclopedia as a whole.
  2. The guideline's purpose is to govern the behaviour of editors. Whilst it is expected (as outlined above) that individual Wikimedia employees should constrain themselves to the same standards of behaviour as volunteer editors, the Wikimedia Foundation owns Wikipedia - they can, to be frank, do what the hell they want with it, policy notwithstanding. That they rarely exercise this privilege without community support is irrelevant; had he wanted to, Jimbo had every right to take Wikipedia offline even if every user on Earth opposed the blackout. As a guideline for editors, WP:POINT does not apply to office actions like the blackout.
  3. The blackout is irrelevent to the purpose of WP:POINT. Since no user (barring Jimbo) has the ability to take the entire encyclopedia offline, there's no point specifying that this action might constitute a breach of the guideline. It doesn't set any precedent (well, actually it does, but not one that's related to WP:POINT) that would encourage other editors to disrupt the encyclopedia in a similar way, because they can't.
  4. Finally, WP:IAR - we don't catalogue every instance where rules were ignored, because it's enshrined in policy that doing so is sometimes ok. Are we going to edit every policy and guideline to cite all the occasions when they were set aside for the greater good? Thus, even if this guideline was applicable to the blackout, there's still no need to mention it here.

My two cents, take it or leave it. As for the idea of repealing the guidline, frankly that's nonsensical - WP:POINT exists to prohibit a particular behaviour, which despite the assertions above, is not always covered by other policies. Yunshui  08:22, 12 March 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the very clear and thorough explanation of why SOPA is irrelevant to this behavioral guideline. If no one can find consensus that there were behavioral problems with the SOPA action, I think the discussion should be closed and the information removed from the guideline. --Ronz (talk) 16:52, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
My response to User:Yunshui
  1. The SOPA blackout was not an "occasional exception". It was the largest such exception in Wikipedia's history, by many orders of magnitude. Were there another equivalently large exception, whether by foundation staff or others, I would expect it to be mentioned here as well.
  2. Are you saying foundation staff are always exempt from all policies? I hope not! If so, where does it say that? Also, I can find no definition of behavioral guidelines that says they do not apply to the foundation or foundation editors. If they don't, you'd think it would say so somewhere, don't you? Why have no foundation employees responded here if that is the case? Or do they just ignore all policies because they don't apply to them? (yeah, I'm being a bit silly)
  3. A DoS attack or other hack could absolutely take all or significant parts of Wikipedia offline.
  4. The SOPA blackout was not an "occasional exception". It was the largest such exception in Wikipedia's history, by many orders of magnitude. Were there another equivalently large exception, whether by foundation staff or others, I would expect it to be mentioned here as well.
I agree repealing the guidelines is dumb.
RoyLeban (talk) 19:35, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
That doesn't address any of the concerns. So, are we done then? --Ronz (talk) 22:42, 12 March 2012 (UTC)
If you mean that User:Yunshui's comments don't address the issues of the importance of this information, then sure. Let's wrap it up and leave the page as it is now. Otherwise, no. I suggest you reread the four points above responding to Yunshui, which address Yunshui's concern's one by one. The argument for some inclusion on the page is amazingly obvious. I am still astounded that anybody would want to prevent any policy page from even mentioning one of the most significant events in Wikipedia's history, as if it just didn't happen. The edits do not violate any Wikipedia policy (i.e., it's not COI or POV) -- you just disagree that it belongs here and you claim it belongs nowhere. To block this from Wikipedia, which is what you're doing here, you need more than a few opinions in favor of blocking. You need to either get a significantly larger number of editors here (and not through a POV process), or you need to bring this issue to a significantly larger audience than will come here.
Ronz, on your talk page you mentioned being bullied. I echoed that I've been bullied too. I'm feeling that way now. Eventually, I'll give up because I don't have as much time as other editors, and Wikipedia will lose out. I end up sad almost every time I try to improve Wikipedia. RoyLeban (talk) 01:23, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I've removed it then.
The SOPA blackout was not an editing action of any kind, but an office action.
It was not a behavioral violation of any kind, but a decision made by the Wikimedia Foundation, resulting in an office action.
This guideline is not the place to protest the SOPA blackout. --Ronz (talk) 03:01, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
I'm not trying to protest the SOPA blackout! (sorry for shouting) I'm trying to get whatever it was that happened embodied in Wikipedia policies. You want to pretend the disruption didn't happen. Since you think WP:OFFICE applies, which it absolutely doesn't, I have added a mention of it to that policy. My edit there is only a start, as the policy now contradicts itself -- it says only certain changes and edits, for certain reasons, constitute office actions, and then it says that some editors believe any Foundation action is an office action.
If it survives (and I fully expect that it won't since you all have far more time than I do), then I would be happy with a single sentence here that points to WP:OFFICE. If not, expect this issue to come up again and again. It's never good to stick your head in the sand. Censorship (which is itself a disruption) never lives in the long run. It's just sad in the meantime. RoyLeban (talk) 05:11, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Response to RoyLeban's rebuttal:
  1. Orders of magnitude are irrelevent here. My point is that all behavioural guidelines can expect exceptions, and they don't document these except in instances where it is necessary to prevent inappropriate use of such instaces as precedent. Since editors don't have the power to blackout Wikipedia, there's no reason to record such an exception here.
  2. Yes, you are being silly. The Wikimedia Foundation owns Wikipedia - editors don't. As such, yes, they are exempt from policy if they choose to be.
  3. A hack would not be an editorial action, therefore would not be governed by this guideline.
  4. See point 1.
You claim that you are not protesting the blackout, but rather are trying to get the blackout enshrined in policy. My question is, why? Given that Wikipedia policies govern editorial actions and behaviour, not actions by the Wikimedia Foundation, what purpose is served by mentioning in policies events to which those policies are entirely irrelevent? Yunshui  08:33, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
My impression is that when a clearly valid exception comes to light, editors try to adjust the policy or guideline to allow for it. The "order of magnitude" makes that rather difficult to do in this case, but that doesn't mean we should ignore it.
If the Wikimedia foundation had implemented the blackout unilaterally, there would be a better argument that this wasn't done by editors and thus isn't subject to guidelines such as this one. However, the blackout was in effect an action by editors, who voted overwhelmingly in favor of it. If the community had gone the other way, then presumably the blackout wouldn't have happened (else why would editors have been asked about this at all?)
I don't know about RoyLeban, but I personally agreed with the blackout, so I am not protesting it here. If this guideline remains, however, it should address the blackout, which definitely did disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point, with overwhelming support from the community. PSWG1920 (talk) 14:48, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
Nobody seems to have mentioned that the office justification for the blackout was that it was SOPA that was disrupting us. There was risk that if SOPA passed then it would be the end of Wikipedia. .froth. (talk) 04:13, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
Perhaps so, but SOPA was certainly not disrupting Wikipedia to make a point!
And for the record, my opinion on the blackout is irrelevant. I will say that I did not publicly express an opinion either way before the actual blackout. I am not attempting to protest or make a point. But I do get really annoyed when people want to exclude relevant information from Wikipedia, whether it's in an article or policy. RoyLeban (talk) 07:40, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

How is it relevant to this behavioral guideline for editors?Edit

Please be clear and address the concern. --Ronz (talk) 21:09, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

Editors supported the blackout. If they hadn't, it most likely wouldn't have happened. PSWG1920 (talk) 21:34, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
So editors were involved in making the decision, but this has nothing to do with those editor's behavior. The action was not from editors, but from the foundation. So how's this relevant? --Ronz (talk) 21:43, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
It was behavior that editors indicated they approved of. PSWG1920 (talk) 22:27, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
This guideline is not about all behavior. This guideline is about editors' behavior. So how is it relevant to this specific guideline? --Ronz (talk) 00:29, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
In effect it was editors' behavior, since they made it happen. PSWG1920 (talk) 13:27, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Nonsense. --Ronz (talk) 20:12, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

Get some consensus that it's somehow relevant. Thanks! --Ronz (talk) 20:12, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

To preempt any complaints about canvassing, I'd like to point out that the current tide is a result of such. [8] [9] [10] [11] PSWG1920 (talk) 18:18, 15 March 2012 (UTC)
Very tacky. So PSWG1920 and I don't know each other and agree. It looks like everyone else is colluding. Care to respond?
As to the point, you can't claim it was an office action so it shouldn't be here (even to say it was an office action) and at the same time say that the office action page shouldn't somewhere say that office actions can encompass things other than changes and edits, when the current version of the page is very explicit in what an office action is. Quoting the current (3/14) version of that page (emphasis mine):
Office actions are official changes made on behalf of the Wikimedia Foundation, by members of its office. These are removals of questionable or illegal Wikimedia content following complaints. Office actions are performed so that the end result is a legally compliant article on the subject. Neither this policy nor actions taken under it override core policies, such as neutrality.
Because "official edits" may seem strange in the context of an openly editable encyclopedia, some common causes for confusion should be clarified:
  • Office actions are extremely rare.
  • Office actions only occur by formal complaint made off-wiki (e.g. postal mail, electronic mail, telephone, or personal meetings).
  • Grievances must be grounded in the law or be violations of Wikimedia standards. Requests for preferential treatment or attempts at intimidation are not heeded.
  • The vast majority of cases are libel, unjustifiable invasion of personal privacy, and copyright infringement. Since these are all inappropriate on Wikimedia anyway, office actions are preventable: if you see such a violation on a wiki, correct it or delete it and there will be no cause for complaint and no need for an "office action".
Nothing there says that something which is not a legal action or something which is not a change to Wikipedia constitutes an office action. If you think I'm missing something, cite the relevant part of [[WP:OFFICE]. If it doesn't say it and there is consensus that this was an office action, then the guideline should say it. And if it wasn't an office action, this page should definitely explain it. End of story.
RoyLeban (talk) 07:40, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
"It looks like everyone else is colluding." I suggest you look more closely. I'm not involved in any canvassing. Perhaps others as well?
It looks like User:The_Devil's_Advocate asked four people to comment on this page. Two of them did (Yunshui, SMcCandlish). You (Ronz) were not one of them. Sorry for any offense. RoyLeban (talk) 09:11, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Maybe WP:OFFICE needs some clarifications in light of the SOPA action?
That would be ok with me. It seems amazingly clear that the current version of WP:OFFICE did not/does not apply to the blackout. In fact, I can't see any possible way to interpret the quoted text above as applying to the blackout. For that explanation to work, WP:OFFICE needs to be updated to change the definition of office actions to encompass blackouts and other non-editing changes by the Foundation. I'd also recommend that a discussion of the voting/consensus gathering that occurred prior to the blackout be included. Here [12] is my attempt at that edit, rejected by Yunshui. If that happens, then I would be ok with a small note on this page, perhaps at the bottom, that says something like "The Wikipedia blackout of 2012 was not a disruption as discussed in this guideline. See office actions" 09:11, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
I don't see any progress in demonstrating that the SOPA action is relevant to this behavioral guideline. --Ronz (talk) 18:50, 16 March 2012 (UTC)
We disagree on that, but I can live with the disagreement as long as this is addressed somewhere and a minimal cross-reference is added here (otherwise, it'll get added again in the future). RoyLeban (talk) 09:11, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
I've started a discussion at WT:OFFICE. Let's continue this there. --Ronz (talk) 16:52, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Including a discussion of the SOPA blackout here is just inviting trouble, and it's unclear what actual problem including it in this guideline is supposed to solve. This screams to be filed under WP:BEANS. Sławomir Biały (talk) 11:18, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Example questionEdit

Not a problem or criticism, but with regards to this example:

  • If you have nominated an article for deletion, and others vote to keep it...
    • do participate in the discussion, basing your argument on policies and guidelines.
    • do not create an article on what you consider to be a similarly unsuitable topic, with hopes that others will make the same arguments for deletion.

Surely this is actually productive contribution if it meets the criteria under which the previous page was kept, even if the underlying intention is bad faith? --Tyrannus Mundi (talk) 03:10, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

The same argument could be made in regards to many other examples. Someone could unintentionally improve the encyclopedia by removing unsourced content, removing self-published sources, or nominating an article for deletion, even if the intent was just to illustrate a point. However, I dislike the example in question for another reason, discussed above. PSWG1920 (talk) 21:29, 18 July 2012 (UTC)

Commonsense editsEdit

I have made some commonsense edits to the shorcuts and use of the word POINT and POINTy that I think should clear up any further confusion about this guideline. Although, WP:POINT and WP:NOTPOINTY will still work, the change to the better WP:POINTy and WP:NOTPOINTy should be very useful in stopping any incorrect application of this guideline to stifle a user from making there possibly valid point.

New exampleEdit

I'm not sure how this example fits under the scope of this guideline. Such comments could be disruptive, yes, but what would they illustrate? It also sounds rather specific for an example. PSWG1920 (talk) 18:49, 25 March 2013 (UTC)

The idea is that someone can comment about a policy (or guideline or governance) on an unrelated talk page, under the pretense of contributing to that discussion, while in fact actually airing a grievance that should be discussed in the context of the policy. Such disruptions would serve to illustrate inconsistencies by drawing attention to other drama obliquely related discussions. In other words don't hijack an unrelated discussion to make a point. (Admittedly, the example is pretty specific, but it is similar to other examples that occur at RfA's.) - MrX 19:09, 25 March 2013 (UTC)
Could we at least change the example a bit? At present, it isn't even clear why someone would try the "do not". PSWG1920 (talk) 00:02, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
The example actually happened (diffs available upon request). I'm receptive to changing the example though. What did you have in mind? - MrX 00:38, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, please do provide the diffs. PSWG1920 (talk) 00:59, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Here is the sequence of events:
  1. Pointy comment at an RfA (you may have to read some of the surrounding text to understand how out of place his comment was)
  2. Talk page discussion
  3. Follow up RfA comment by the same user
  4. The user changes his RfA !vote
I think this is a fitting example of how WP:POINT can apply to non-content areas of the encyclopedia. - MrX 01:31, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
OK, I see that someone frivolously suggested a CheckUser to make a point about CheckUsers. Even though that happened in this instance, it is probably not something that most people would think to do. Thus WP:BEANS applies. Moreover, novice editors reading this page may not even be aware of CheckUser, so that example wouldn't help them to understand this guideline. PSWG1920 (talk) 04:12, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
Fair point. We already have several examples for new users, so I think this example is more helpful to experienced users (or metapedians). If anything, I think it would be useful to have a couple of more examples that apply to Wikipedia namespace. - MrX 14:41, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
I simplified the example. I still have doubts about it, especially in regards to WP:BEANS, but we can wait for a third opinion. PSWG1920 (talk) 15:54, 27 March 2013 (UTC)

I guess the example is fine, but I still don't see why we need to "clarify the scope" in the first section. It is clear from the examples that this can occur in deletion discussions. The Checkuser example shows that it can occur elsewhere. The reason I said that this sentence disrupts the flow is because it takes the discussion away from the tactics themselves. PSWG1920 (talk) 13:57, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Seems a useful summarization, if a bit wordy. Editors shouldn't have to look to the examples for such information. --Ronz (talk) 22:40, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
The trimming is an improvement, but it seems too brief now. --Ronz (talk) 16:47, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

press mentionEdit

See the New York Book Review article here: [13] SarahStierch (talk) 02:39, 30 April 2013 (UTC)

Odysseus illustrationEdit

Odysseus made his point to Polyphemus in the most unpleasant way. Don't be like Odysseus. Consider other possible courses of action before you poke someone in the eye with a stick.
  • opposecyclops is not not some sort of project. Arguably, Odysseus did IAR, which is commendable. --Francis Schonken (talk) 05:39, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
Tell that to Polyphemus! But fair enough, point taken. KDS4444Talk 14:18, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Adding new exampleEdit

Addition of a new example to this guideline is discussed at WP:VPP#Requesting closing statements for archived discussions (subsection: "Rationale") --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:03, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

Some issues with this page and its misuseEdit

WP:NOTPOINTY points out that just because someone is making a point does not mean that they are disrupting Wikipedia to illustrate that point. However, this isn't the most common misconception about this page, which would be this part: editors engaging in "POINTy" behavior are making edits with which they do not actually agree. Basically, I believe that the page's scope is much smaller than simply "disrupting Wikipedia" - it's quite possible and common for people to "disrupt Wikipedia to make a point" without "making edits with which they do not actually agree". In fact, the vast majority of the cases I've seen involving the improper invocation of WP:POINT are reactions to impolite (of course, to various degrees depending on the editor) edits by someone with whom the editor disagrees - often uncivil, sometimes disruptive, and rarely ever specifically what's described in this page - doing something opposite to what they believe.

As the talk archives show, chronic misuse (and potentially abuse) of this page has been noted since at least 2005. I believe that the misapplication arises for two connected reasons: 1) people don't read pages closely, relying on the given shortcuts, title, and/or nutshell; and 2) the shortcuts, title, and nutshell do not adequately describe the behavior outlined in this page. Now, for the shortcuts, we can't do anything, since they're so ingrained in the culture here, but the other two we can. I think that part of the reason the title is so broad is because the content now at WP:GAME and WP:IDHT was once here; they've now been moved to other pages. However, this leaves us with a title which overreaches the scope of the page - something noted in the talk page sections above (from 2010). Since this page is so heavily known, would it be a good idea to move it to a more descriptive title? I feel like it would cause some hand-wringing, deserved or not. And, there would still have to be a different title to move to. I don't know, but I feel like in its current state, this is not working. ansh666 10:20, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Featured articlesEdit

There seems to be a POV that pointing at a Featured Article and asking if it should be deleted based on similar logic would be disrupting Wikipedia to prove a point. I'm not sure I understand the logic behind that and WP:OSE would seem to be on my side. Siuenti (씨유엔티) 19:13, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Also WP:ATA says "While comparing with other articles is not, in general, a convincing argument, comparing with articles that have been through some kind of quality review such as Featured article, Good article, or have achieved a WikiProject A class rating, make a much more credible case." Siuenti (씨유엔티) 19:26, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Consistency and perfectionEdit

"Practically speaking, it is impossible for Wikipedia to be 100 percent consistent, and its rules will therefore never be perfect."

The funny thing about that is, if you are on the wrong side of the rule, they will say, "The rule says such-and-such! We need to apply the rule!" If you argue, "We don't need to apply the rule consistently; the rule isn't perfect," they'll say, "If you don't like the rules, you can leave Wikipedia and post your content elsewhere. The door's that way."

But if you try to apply the rules consistently, they hit you with, "Practically speaking, it is impossible for Wikipedia to be 100 percent consistent, and its rules will therefore never be perfect." So basically, it's another way of saying, "We do whatever we want, and justify it however we want, and it's the prerogative of the users who make up the 'rough consensus' to be as consistent or inconsistent as they want."

As I was pointing out at Wikipedia:Don't just cite a page of rules; cite the relevant part of the rule and explain how it applies to the specific situation, people will often say, "Go read WP:XYZ." Yet, if you want to do something POINTy, you can't just say, "Go read WP:XYZ"; you have to respect the community's prerogative to ignore the rules as it sees fit. If you, the individual editor, enforce the rules consistently, you're being disruptive; on the other hand, if you, the individual editor, disobey the rules, you're also being disruptive.

So really, disruption just means going against the flow; it means ignoring the complexities of all the self-contradictory ways in which the wind is blowing. It means exposing hypocrisy and trying to do something about it unilaterally.

It's kind of like how in the U.S., if you break the law, you can't argue to the cop or the judge, "I should be allowed to break this law, because the laws aren't perfect." But if the government breaks the Constitution, and you bring this up, they'll say that it would be impractical to follow the Constitution to the letter. For example, there are two parts of the Constitution that say that the trial of "all crimes" or "all criminal prosecutions" shall be by jury, but in misdemeanor cases, it's routine, and the default, for the case to be heard by a judge instead.

So, those in authority, or in the majority, cite the importance of the rule of law when it suits them, saying that without it, we'd have anarchy, tyranny, etc. Yet, when it doesn't suit them, they cite the need for flexibility, practicality, etc. St. claires fire (talk) 15:35, 24 April 2017 (UTC)

This doctrine is used for nothing more than people with power (mods, admins etc) over other pages, groups or users to get away with hypocrisy and ride roughshod over any opposition by labelling their other side as disruptive'. It's a shortcut cheat to develop their own consensus by banning their opponents from the discussion. It really should be deleted and sent into oblivion. Macktheknifeau (talk) 08:28, 14 September 2017 (UTC)


This article basically seems like WP:OTHERSTUFFEXISTS but without the handy note that using the "other stuff" argument that that argument should actually be taken serious if applicable (though many "professional" editors might still use that argument to dismiss what the page they themselves link to assesses), anyhow these pages are so similar that they could be merged, or at-least this page could become a mere paragraph, the WP:RULES should not become too repetitive.

-- (talk) 03:17, 23 May 2017 (UTC)

The first rationaleEdit

"If someone nominates one of your favorite articles for deletion... do explain why the subject meets inclusion criteria, providing reliable sources to support your assertion. do not nominate another similar article for deletion, giving the same rationale. "

Why is this unacceptable behavior. If an article doesn't meet some kind of community established guideline. Shouldn't you take action to police said guidelines if another article doesn't meet them.--Prisencolin (talk) 03:11, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

A tad late, but to any future readers, this would hardly be an insane response. In fact, it's functionally what we actually use as a rebuttal to Other Stuff Exists. Nosebagbear (talk) 09:23, 7 December 2020 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point".