Wikiquote talk:Assume good faith

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Call for endorsement[edit]

On the village pump, Aphaia has requested comments on and endorsement for this guideline. A very brief history, for those not already aware:

  • Back in January 2006, Essjay copied this from Wikipedia, made some Wikiquote changes, and (prematurely) marked it as policy.
  • Aphaia recently changed it to a draft policy and updated it with material from the then-current version of w:WP:AGF.

That said, I agree with her suggestion that this be considered a guideline (as a recommendation for user behavior, rather than the more strict "policy" form), and endorse the current version for our first truly official version of this standard Wikimedia ethic. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 20:21, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

I don't think that we need formal policies here in the way there is on WP. We're a small community and don't need the bureaucracy. I endorse it as it stands.--Cato 21:36, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Support this draft.--Jusjih 14:42, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Now we can say "three users explicitly support this draft and hence this is now considered our official guideline"? --Aphaia 05:11, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

I've posted a "last call for comments" at WQ:VP, so if we don't get any signficant objections, I plan to update the banner to declare this an official policy sometime after 18:00, 30 July 2007 (i.e., 7 days from now). ~ Jeff Q (talk) 18:01, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Looks good. This is one of the most important ideas on a wiki so I'm glad to see it now endorsed whether as an official policy or guideline. :-) FloNight 18:09, 23 July 2007 (UTC)
Not that you need it, but I'll offer another support comment for this policy draft. ~ UDScott 18:31, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

I've copied the follow votes from Wikiquote:Village pump#"Assume good faith" policy ratification imminent, with the edit links included for verification:

Agreed. :) Cbrown1023 talk 16:13, 24 July 2007 (UTC) [1]
Agreed. When others never talk about it, they never care about it, so if no one opposes after allowing a lot of time, just interpret as a consensus. The same things also applies in Chinese Wiktionary, Wikisource, and Wikiquote where I administer with even fewer active users than this site.--Jusjih 17:40, 25 July 2007 (UTC) [2]
  • Note: Jusjih already gave his/her support above, but I included this post to be thorough.
Agreed. --Herby talk thyme 18:12, 25 July 2007 (UTC) [3]
Agreed, wholeheartedly. Phaedriel - 20:25, 26 July 2007 (UTC) [4]
Agreed Tyrenius 03:35, 27 July 2007 (UTC) [5]

Adding these to myself, Cato, Aphaia, FloNight, and UDScott above, InvisibleSun's support below, and no dissent, this is perhaps the most support we've ever had for a policy! I do believe we have ratification. I've updated the banner to reflect this. Thanks to everyone for participating. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 18:06, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. But on the top of this discussion we agreed it should be a "guideline" instead of policy? Did you turn your mind? --Aphaia 19:14, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Oops! It did slip my mind that this was a guideline ratification. I just changed the {{policydraft}} tag to {{policy}}. I've fixed that by replacing it with {{guideline}}. Thanks for calling attention to my error, and sorry fot the confusion. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 19:36, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Don't mind, we're assuming good faith, eh? :D --Aphaia 02:44, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Can willful ignorance be considered good faith?[edit]

I support this article as well, but I have a question in the matter of assuming good faith. Every day we get new articles which consist of only the article title and a quote. No intro. No formatting. No sourcing. No links. Just a quote or two dumped on a page, with no followup. There are two possible things that we can reasonably assume here: 1) that the person doesn't know the guidelines and isn't interested in finding them out; or 2) that the person knows the guidelines and couldn't care less. I don't think it would be reasonable to make a third possible assumption, which is that the person is unaware there might be guidelines. In either case, we have someone who is blissfully or willfully ignorant about following procedures. Faced with such an article, another editor will come along and do whatever needs to be done: intro, formatting, tags, etc. Although willing to do this, I am often nagged by the misgiving that I am rewarding someone for his laziness.

Where, then, would the assumption of good faith figure into this? Isn't habitual ignorance, taking it for granted that others will clean up a mess, a probable sign of bad faith in a contributor? Or should we adopt a sort of maxim for these situations, a variation on Hanlon's law, which would say: "Never assume a contemptuous attitude when laziness will suffice?" But this, to my mind, still leaves the question unanswered: isn't the habit of lazy ignorance a form of bad faith? - InvisibleSun 00:39, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Partly I agree. There are editors who ignore the guideline and hence articles which don't follow the guideline, e.g. Warhammer 40,000. Some of those editors were noticed by our basic set of guidelines, but this articles hasn't been improved for months. I think we can consider their behavior as willful ignorance.
But I think not every such "ignorance" is willful ignorance. On other projects, specially on Japanese Wikipedia I have seen some people who have difficulties to understand policies. They break policies unintentionally and cause disruption consequently. But still on their parts they behave well following their common sense. Lack of maturity or understanding and their good faith can combine, so I would say "assume good faith" is not straightly means "hence their presence on the project should be welcome without reservation". Such troublesome editors were banned at last. --Aphaia 06:42, 24 July 2007 (UTC) 
I think the probable explanation for a lot of such cases is that some people have more enthusiasm than technical capability. I often find that a help page is needed to understand a help page. A lot of such pages (I speak mainly of WP here) are technically impeccable and totally user-unfriendly. I tended to look at a featured article and copy what had been done there. It would be good then to be able to point new users to a model article and say, "copy that". Experienced users should not underestimate the labyrinthine complexity of negotiating wiki protocols. This is not helped when established editors do not even necessarily agree on e.g. certain crucial points of formatting, as I discovered when I was first editing WQ! Tyrenius 14:32, 24 July 2007 (UTC)