Wikibooks:Assume good faith/Unstable

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This page explains why you, as a contributor to Wikibooks, should assume good faith, even when the actions of other users seem to cause harm to the project, or seem to have bad intent. It also explains ways that you can counteract bad actions without assuming bad faith.

To assume good faith is to believe without proof that others have good intentions. Good faith is acting without malice, or trying to do your best. At Wikibooks good faith also encompasses using tools and capabilities to advance the aims of the project and not to damage the project. The assumption of good faith is a fundamental principle on any publicly-editable wiki, including Wikibooks. We provide the "edit this page" feature to anyone on the Internet because we assume that most people who contribute at Wikibooks are trying to help it, not hurt it. If this assumption was false, then Wikibooks would be destined to fail.

Intentions, not actions[edit]

Assuming good faith is about intentions, not actions. Those who mean well do sometimes make mistakes; you should correct them when they do. You should not behave as if a mistake was deliberate. Inevitably, you will disagree with some other users on Wikibooks. Even if another user is clearly wrong, that does not mean that they are trying to wreck the project. Everyone makes mistakes and sometimes a poorly written or poorly considered message can give the impression of bad faith even when there is good faith intent. Assuming good faith does not mean that no action by editors should be criticized, but instead that actions should not be attributed to malice unless there is specific evidence of bad faith.

Dealing with bad faith[edit]

In some cases, bad faith might seem obvious, but it is never necessary to attribute the actions of an editor to bad faith. All countermeasures can be performed on the basis of behavior rather than intent. Administrators can block problematic users from editing this wiki. All users have the ability to revert pages to earlier versions. However, editors are not required continue to assume good faith in the presence of evidence to the contrary. Actions inconsistent with good faith include repeated vandalism, confirmed malicious sockpuppetry and lying.

Correcting errors[edit]

In general, when you find an error, correct it instead of reverting all changes. You should use the the "Summary" field (above the "Save page" button) or the user's talk page to explain. This helps reduce misunderstandings and avoid escalation of conflicts. If a user makes the same error repeatedly, discuss the errors on an appropriate talk page.

Despite this, sometimes it is appropriate to simply revert changes; however, you should generally make an effort to explain reverts unless they are used to repair outright vandalism.

Outright vandalism is NOT good faith![edit]

Sometimes it is necessary to not assume good faith. For outright vandalism, for instance, it is obvious that this is not good faith editing, and you should not waste time trying to see if it really was good faith and was just an error, because the fact of the matter is, it isn't!

Examples of outright vandalism include the blanking of pages and the deletion of whole paragraphs of content without good reason. Addition of inappropriate words, phrases, or comments, or the addition of uninformative or useless material, is also outright vandalism and should be reverted on sight.

If you see outright vandalism, immediately revert it, warn the user, report them, and, if necessary, block them!

Not a shield for bad behavior[edit]

This policy is not a shield for you to ignore your own bad actions. Instead of telling other users to "assume good faith" when they claim that you cause problems, you should also assume that those other users are trying in good faith to help you.

Related policies[edit]

No personal attacks
Neutral point of view (NPOV)
Please do not bite the newcomers

History[edit]

This page is an adapatation of Wikipedia:Project:Assume good faith (28 November 2005), used under GNU Free Documentation License.

External link[edit]