Wikiquote:Don't disrupt Wikiquote to make a point

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Wikiquote Policies and Guidelines

State your point; don't prove it experimentally[edit]

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

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

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

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

Gaming the system[edit]

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

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


  • If somebody suggests that Wikiquote should become a majority-rule democratic community...
    • do point out that it is entirely possible for Wikiquotians to create sock puppets and vote more than once.
    • don't create seven sock puppets and have them all agree with you.
  • If someone creates an article on what you believe to be a silly topic, and the community disagrees with your assessment on Wikiquote:Votes for deletion...
    • do make your case clearly on VfD, pointing to examples of articles that would be allowable under the rules the community is applying.
    • don't create an article on an entirely silly topic just to get it listed on VfD.
  • If someone lists one of your favorite articles on VfD and calls it silly, and you believe that there are hundreds of sillier legitimate articles...
    • do state your case on VfD in favor of the article, pointing out that it is no more silly than many other articles, and listing one or two examples.
    • don't list hundreds of non-deletable articles on VfD in one day in order to try to save your own.
  • If an article you've nominated for deletion on VfD is not deleted...
    • do reconsider whether your nomination was justified.
    • don't frivolously nominate inane quotes from the article for Quote of the Day.
  • If someone deletes a quote you consider to be important from an article, calling it unimportant...
    • do argue on the article's talk page for the quote's inclusion, pointing out other examples of where similar quotes have been included.
    • don't delete all the quotes from the article, calling them unimportant.
  • If you wish to change an existing procedure or guideline...
    • do set up a discussion page and try to establish consensus
    • don't push the existing rule to its limits in an attempt to prove it wrong, or nominate the existing rule for deletion
  • If you feel that a particular attack should not be called "terrorist"...
    • do argue on the article's talk page that the term "terrorist" is POV and should be removed.
    • don't add the word "terrorist" to articles on dozens of other incidents, which only some people believe constitute "terrorism".

Egregious disruption of any kind is blockable by any administrator — for up to one month in the case of repeat offenses that are highly disruptive.


On a related note, please don't attempt to put misinformation into Wikiquote to test our ability to detect and remove it. See Wikipedia:Hoaxes.