Wikipedia talk:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point/Policy

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The poll below should serve as a prime example that polls can get out of hand, and that great care should be taken before calling a vote on any issue. In general it is better to hold a discussion to find out where objections lie - polls polarize. Remember, a vote cannot create consensus. It can merely show existing consensus, if any.

Suggested reading material:

Policy or not?

The old poll and discussion about it has been archived. You may want to read Wikipedia talk:Don't disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point/Archive. This is a new poll, intended to decide whether or not WP:POINT is policy. It shall run for TWO WEEKS, until 09:00, 27 May 2005 (UTC) and shall be considered to pass if 75% of all non-abstaining votes are to support.

Note: There is already consensus that WP:POINT is good advice.

(oh and as should be obvious from the introduction, this vote is closed)

Support making it "official Wikipedia policy"

  1. zen master T 08:14, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  2. Carbonite | Talk 10:11, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  3. Tεxτurε 16:52, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  4. Jonathunder 17:42, 2005 May 13 (UTC)
  5. Zscout370 (Sound Off) 17:47, 13 May 2005 (UTC). This has been used many times to tell people what is going on. I think it should be sutable for WP Policy.[]
  6. Svest Wiki me up™. It will serve on so many open issues. There's a need for it.
  7. I see the meme used almost every day on VfD. In my opinion it should either be policy or not, rather than a "semi-policy". If we agree it's not a shooting offense the first time, that can be discussed in the guidelines; "official policy" does not equal "violation causes automatic banishment." Barno 18:11, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  8. Agree with Barno. I would not support this being a cause for immediate blocking; any allegations should be handled through the arb committee. nevertheless, people should follow it. Meelar (talk) 18:15, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
  9. With the understanding that no one gets banned for single offenses, only for patterns of offenses. -- Jmabel | Talk 18:27, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
  10. IMO this vote merely serves to clarify a situation that is confusing to newcomers. It doesn't forbid commonsense, rather it both expresses and encourages it. PS and it certainly doesn't forbid or discourage wikilove. MWOT Andrewa 19:00, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  11. It's already fairly policy-like. --Carnildo 19:01, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  12. Gamaliel 19:08, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  13. --kizzle 19:29, May 13, 2005 (UTC) - Do we really want to promote the converse?
  14. Neutralitytalk 20:12, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
  15. DJ Clayworth 20:15, 13 May 2005 (UTC) The alternative is an invitation to mischief.[]
  16. Andre (talk) 21:22, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
  17. Ben Brockert (42) UE News 21:47, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
  18. Jwrosenzweig 21:59, 13 May 2005 (UTC) (although I feel as "semi-policy" it serves a very useful purpose...essentially this vote indicates that I am comfortable with this as policy, though I'm not sure there is any pressing need to alter its status)[]
    Golbez 22:36, May 13, 2005 (UTC) - It should always be against policy to disrupt Wikipedia period, regardless of the motive. A pox upon both your houses, there seems to be far more complexities and controversies to this poll than I'm willing to expend brain time to attempt to comprehend.
  19. androidtalk 02:39, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
  20. Arm 03:31, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  21. Snowspinner 04:33, May 14, 2005 (UTC) though I think this poll is a joke.
  22. Johnleemk | Talk 06:45, 14 May 2005 (UTC) What Jwrosenzweig said. There's a difference between a demonstration and a riot; likewise, there is a difference between simple discussion and technically illegal action. I don't see anything wrong with this policy.[]
  23. Pavel Vozenilek 11:59, 14 May 2005 (UTC) (Though I think it would have zero effect on people with bad behaviour in practice.)[]
  24. Dunc| 15:12, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    MikeJ9919 15:57, 14 May 2005 (UTC) I was under the impression it already was policy, and I certainly agree with making it official.On second thought, moved my vote to "ridiculous, querulous, and irrelevant."[]
  25. Tabor 16:09, 14 May 2005 (UTC) An editor should consider how strongly he or she wants to make a point. If an editor feels so strongly about making their point that he or she is willing to disrupt Wikipedia to "prove" it, the strength of conviction should at least be above a threshold where the user is willing to accept consequences for doing so. Having a policy in place deters casual decisions to pursue this course of action.[]
  26. Dalf | Talk 21:45, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  27.   Pt (T) 22:01, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  28. Postdlf 05:36, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  29. A good thing. Jayjg (talk) 06:29, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  30. Deliberate disruption should be a blockable offense. Angela. 16:38, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
  31. Cymydog Naakka 04:24, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  32. Without a doubt. Rhobite 07:43, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  33. In the time it's taken someone to illustrate their point and revert the article back to its correct form, hundreds of people could have received misinformation. Sayeth 13:46, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  34. Since most disruptions would probably be a violation of some other policy anyway I suspect this is redundant, but I support it anyway to make a point. :) Bryan 23:23, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  35. In most cases a variation on vandalism, but this policy would catch the subtler but just as disruptive forms. --bainer 13:27, 17 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  36. I agree that this should be official policy not just good practice and should help curb some abuses Trödel|talk 15:54, 17 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  37. Bratschetalk random 03:29, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
  38. Sn0wflake 21:56, 18 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  39. With the understanding that it won't be an immediately blockable offense. Deltabeignet 00:20, 20 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  40. --MaxMad 12:31, 22 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  41. --nyenyec  13:39, 23 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  42. This is a great policy, it really serves a good purpose. Gkhan 11:27, May 25, 2005 (UTC)
  43. Agree with Barno, Meelar, and Tabor. Wholeheartedly support. --bainer (talk) 00:12, 27 May 2005 (UTC)[]

Oppose making it policy, but support keeping it semi-policy

  1. No need for change. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 08:52, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  2. This is often cited as part of "bad behaviour", but by itself, it shouldn't be a blockable offense unless done repeatedly. Therefore, semi-policy is fine. --Deathphoenix 14:01, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  3. Mikkalai 17:58, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  4. As per Tony's 2nd comment. El_C 19:15, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  5. I'm not actually entirely sure on what "policy" vs "semi-policy" means. I want this around to point some people to, but don't want to use it as a hammer, and I don't want it to take on a life of its own, like the words "troll" and "vandalism" have. moink 21:26, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    Clarifying my vote: After reading Wikipedia:Semi-policy and its talk page (I hadn't realized before that someone had attempted to define such a thing) I find semi-policy an odd thing. Whatever happened to guidelines? Guidelines are things one should generally do, but not always do, right? Since I don't want to make a new heading called "oppose making it policy and oppose keeping it semi-policy but support calling it a guideline" I will leave my vote here. And I'm beginning to feel this whole debate is descending into semantics. moink 03:36, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  6. Keep as semi-policy. While I believe that in general it is a good rule to follow, I don't think that it ought to be as strict as something like the 3RR, and I don't think it should be used as a weapon against a user in arbitration. — Asbestos | Talk 21:38, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  7. Should not be a blockable offence. It's something that should be discouraged. may come in handy one day:p --Silversmith 02:23, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  8. Agree with Moink. olderwiser 02:41, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
  9. Semi-policy is fine. People can get blocked for disruption already whether or not they're making a point doing so. JYolkowski // talk 02:47, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  10. I don't object, in principle, to making this into policy, but the way it is currently presented to the reader doesn't strike me as suitable for being elevated. Though the title is clear, the text takes a fairly roundabout path in explaining what people should and shouldn't do. Policy should be clearly summarized within the first paragraph, and then examples and deeper explanations given. An editor shouldn't have to endure a history lesson in civil disobedience in order to get guidance about good wiki ediquette. Dragons flight 07:22, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
  11. To be policy, the guidance would have to something about which a yes/no call could be made. I don't think that 'disruption to make a point' is something that everyone would agree on all the time (or nearly all the time). In the one case I've been involved in, the guidance was used in an arbcom case: the issue at hand was trivial; the behaviour wasn't abusive or destructive; but the overall tenor of the dispute needed this statement as a measuring stick about how a Wikipedian is expected to behave. Noisy | Talk 15:42, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
  12. I like the current state of affairs. It's too murky to be a full policy, but good enough to be a strong guideline. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 03:30, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
  13. Agree with Stevie. Humus sapiensTalk 08:04, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  14. While I would support making it official, it needs some work. It should be clarified as to the blockability of the rule. Also, the whole "If you must" section seems contradictory. So if it was more definitive and unambiguous in general it would make much more sense as a policy ad not just a guideline. Maybe later. --Dmcdevit 03:30, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  15. Until it is renamed and better written, I can't support it as "official" policy, but do support its general intent. BlankVerse 06:20, 19 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  16. Enough bloody policies already. — Dan | Talk 02:29, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

Oppose making it policy or semi-policy

  1. Zocky 12:07, 13 May 2005 (UTC): Too many things desribed on this page can be done in good faith by an editor who simply hasn't read it. Don't make the whole page official or even half-official. Plus what Tony Sidaway says below - disruption is bad in all cases, if it is really disruption (damaging to the encyclopaedia and carried out in bad faith), so this page is redundant as policy. Keep it as good advice, though. Zocky 12:07, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  2. The definition of "semi-policy" reminds me of "sub-stubs", so I can't support calling it that. Essentially, I think this page is fine in that it summarizes an occasionally annoying behavior and gives good advice, but flagrant disruption is already covered in other policies, like Wikipedia:Vandalism and Wikipedia:Civility. -- Netoholic @ 15:02, 2005 May 13 (UTC)
  3. The page as it is currently written is fine. But too much else, such as having unpopular opinions and not being afraid to air them, is classified by Wikicops as "disrupting Wikipedia to illustrate a point." Until that is curtailed, I cannot support this being policy or semipolicy. Taco Deposit | Talk-o to Taco 16:43, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
  4. Redundant and restrictive. 119 17:50, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  5. Redundant and restrictive - agree with 119 Brookie:the wind in the grass 18:27, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  6. Policy too easily misused. In some discussion around MoS issues, I have been accused of WP:Point violation by editors acting entirely in bad faith. Good faith editing to conform with MoS or other policy is likely to incur WP:Point accusations. Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters 18:35, 2005 May 13 (UTC)
  7. Policy abuse is a worse and more difficult problem. Stbalbach 18:48, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  8. Oppose. It's too difficult to say whether something that is good general advice always applies. Intrigue 19:03, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  9. Oppose. This concept is too nebulous and could be too easily abused by classifying any kind of action a user disagrees with as being disruptive to make a point. --Jacj 20:17, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  10. Oppose. The policy has some good things in it, but overall is badly written and seems rather half-baked. --Dejan Cabrilo 22:38, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  11. Oppose. Too subjective whether a given edit is "disruption to make a point." If the edit is vandalism, revert. Simple. If the edit is merely controversial, then it should be discussed on appropriate Talk page(s) and resolved by consensus or according to existing policies as appropriate. Whig 04:05, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  12. This doesn't really seem necessary to me. There already seem to be a lot of policies! Moomintrollmania 09:42, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  13. --Mrfixter 12:26, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  14. Fully agree with Taco Deposit and Jacj. —Charles P. (Mirv) 13:10, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  15. Oppose, disruption is bad in all cases, whether one is trying to make a point or not is largely irrelevent. However, I think each case should be dealt with on its own merits rather than by quoting loosely defined rules. Semi-policy is a ridiculously ambiguous term, surely something is a policy or it is not. Rje 14:42, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
    The point is that some people seem think vandalism is OK if it's done to prove a point. All we are trying to say here is that that is not the case. DJ Clayworth 03:35, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  16. Redundant. —Xezbeth 16:13, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
  17. Oppose. Disruption is always bad (although occasionally the fruits of a disruptive act, if they have some encycloped merit, may be modified and kept, even though the disruptor has been blocked). I agree with Dcabrillo that this is badly written overall, and I've often seen it invoked on VfD where it shouldn't be. --Jpbrenna 19:50, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  18. Oppose. Explanation given below. - Pioneer-12 21:25, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  19. Anthere 21:28, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  20. Oppose. If the disruption is done deliberately, it does not matter the motive. For example, if someone begins posting hundreds of VFD nominations of obviously good articles, it does not matter why they are doing so. Someone should tell them to more carefully consider their choices next time, or tell them to ask for a second opinion before nominating. If they make worthless nominations anyway, an RFC can be made and dispute resolution can begin. The motive is irrelevant, and it's not fair to punish for a thought. Superm401 00:34, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
  21. Oppose. Will it keep coming back until we vote that it be cast in Perma-Stone? Of course it's bad behavior, but do the Self-Righteous really need further armament? What ever happened to "Don't be a dick"? So succinct. --Wetman 01:48, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  22. Emphatically oppose: even without this being official policy, I see it being abused everywhere to attack people, accusing people of violating POINT just to get an edge in an argument. I don't want to sharpen that blade any. It reduces the scope and depth of community dialogue when such an easy weapon is available to attack perceived dissent. Everyking 04:16, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  23. Oppose. This is not necessary. Something is either right or wrong, whether or not it is to prove a point is neither here nor there. It's also impossible to tell. Guttlekraw 07:09, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  24. Austin Hair 14:59, May 15, 2005 (UTC) (What is "official semi-policy?")
  25. Oppose. Large-scale disruption is inherently and obviously wrong. This policy is often used as an excuse to ignore real points by associating them with disruption. Kappa 23:56, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  26. Oppose. Don't Disrupt is policy and there is no need for this one specifically. I have seen some cases of poorly placed WP:POINT-comments which unfairly criticize a user's action or vote. Sjakkalle 09:18, 18 May 2005 (UTC)[]

This poll is ridiculous, querulous and irrelevant

  1. I mean, WHAT ON EARTH. This is a prime example of m:Don't vote on everything. David Gerard 21:28, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    To elaborate: it's a guideline that's noted as relevant by the AC when it's clear someone is indeed doing it to be disruptive unnecessarily. Call it a "strong guideline". Asking "is it policy?" is a stupidly wrong question; voting on whether something is "semi-policy" is oxymoronic and I can hardly believe so many people have taken the notion seriously - David Gerard 23:49, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    Actually, if I could comment in this space, it seems to have been a product of a silly edit war, then came the new vote — as such, I find your response (which does make a valid point) a bit too belated at this point. El_C 23:56, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  2. Snowspinner 21:39, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
  3. Yes. I would also add that this poll is a perfect example of disrupting Wikipedia to prove a point :) --- just for the record, I think it's pretty obvious that I (as well as the above - David and Snowspinner) agree that this is already policy. →Raul654 21:42, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
  4. Well, kind of, and it can be ignored for now as the outcome is already clear. But to be fair it did serve two purposes, 1) it stopped the revert war over the WP:POINT mainpage, and 2) it stopped people from citing the previous open-ended poll as a 'clear' example of consensus. And btw 3) it shows (rather to my surprise) that a lot of 'Pedians care strongly for the concept of 'semi-policy' in spite of the fact that nobody really knows what 'semi-policy' means - which to me seems like a good reason for deprecating the term. Radiant_* 00:22, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
  5. What David Gerard said:WHAT ON EARTH. --Bishonen | talk 01:32, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  6. MikeJ9919 01:39, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  7. Hey, an option I can agree with. I said my piece in discussion below; my opinion has not changed. Mindspillage (spill yours?) 01:40, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  8. Is voting against a vote on whether a disruption to make a point is a disruption to make a point or not a disrupting to make a point in itself? I'm certainly hoping not... Peter Isotalo 02:14, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
  9. Some people seem to think that adopting rigid rules will fix the problem of trolls and bad behavior; but such people are rules-lawyers and love finding the loopholes in rigid rule. Others seem to think that voting creates consensus rather than destroying it. I believe that the consensus of Wikipedians is that disrupting Wikipedia to prove a point is not generally acceptable. That suffices for me. —Morven 17:56, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
  10. Making something policy is making a statement that it is unacceptable. Then everyone knows it. That's why we have laws in the real world. Killing people is unacceptable to our society, but we still find it necessary to codefy it with a law. DJ Clayworth 03:44, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  11. Worrying that people fail to understand that this is a fundamental part of the basis of all Wikipedia policy. James F. (talk) 23:52, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  12. I would prefer a less aggresive phrasing of this option but I am with it in spirit. --Theo (Talk) 00:34, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  13. No offense, but this "policy" is awfully subjective. There will be so many gray areas that there will be no consistancy. the more rigid rules there are, the more conflicts will arise. Kingturtle 06:22, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    Well, I think you voted in the wrong spot. This section seems to be for people who think WP:POINT is policy no matter how many people do or do not support it. Taco Deposit | Talk-o to Taco 15:07, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
  14. This poll is disrupting Wikipedia. Kelly Martin 06:31, May 16, 2005 (UTC)
  15. Registering agreement with this comment as well as my original vote (they are compatible). --Tony Sidaway|Talk 12:36, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  16. This is pointless. Project pages gain their credibility by being written to reflect existing practice and opinion, and by being stable over a period of time (indicating that there are not strong objections.) Legalism on Wikipedia is a waste of time. Isomorphic 18:52, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  17. This is silly, as this idea is already being enforced by those who get to do the enforcing. Gentgeen 19:45, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  18. Enough bloody policies already. — Dan | Talk 02:29, Jun 2, 2005 (UTC)

Petty authoritarians will be the death of Wikipedia

(Added by User:Mirv but not voted on by him)

While we're gratuitously adding voting options, trolls are destructive, and studies in other online communities suggest that five good users are driven off by every bad and disruptive user

  1. Snowspinner 14:58, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
(Not a vote) What studies in what other online communities? Can you give a cite, please? Statistics 15:31, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
It was a study on online gaming that was of considerably more importance to my day-to-day life when I was writing for Lum the Mad than it is now, leading me to only remember the figure off the top of my head, though I'll check into it. Snowspinner 15:29, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
If you can find it, that would be most useful - David Gerard 00:09, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]

While you're at it, you could define 'good', and 'bad' users. I seem to recall that it had something to do with the color of their hats? Intrigue 05:21, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]

I suggest a wide-brimmed fedora - David Gerard 08:48, 16 May 2005 (UTC)w[]


  • I've edited the percentage required for consensus to 80% because making policy should command substantial support, and to include all votes (including abstain) because otherwise I would have no way of saying "no change necessary" without appearing to say "it's okay to disrupt Wikipedia to make a point." --Tony Sidaway|Talk 08:56, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    • 80% is fine with me, but the way you reworded it makes an abstention equal to an oppose-vote. That's counterintuitive - abstaining should be equivalent to not voting (WIKT). It's also not a good idea, since 99% of the wiki is expected to abstain on this vote. Radiant_* 09:26, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
      • Thanks. The current setup wording of the poll works for me. My position is that disruption of Wikipedia is contrary to policy anyway so there's no need for a change. Administrators can block for this, and persistent disruption is the only way of getting permanently blocked without arbcom intervention--I have had to perform blocks like this myself from time to time. This rule is just a guideline or clarfication, in my view, and should remain so. --Tony Sidaway|Talk 11:37, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    • Has this poll been properly advertised? Zocky 15:23, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  • I don't believe that making this policy would mean that it's a blockable offense. To me, this is just reinforcement of a widely recognized guideline. Carbonite | Talk 14:30, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    • Then just call it a guideline and explain how it is reinforced. A page that says "Official Wikipedia policy" and then proceeds to list dos and don'ts is bound to be understood as binding policy. Make it semi-policy and it's bound to be understood as "half-binding policy", whatever that's supposed to mean. Zocky 14:35, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
      • Interesting point... what is a "semi-policy" anyway? If a policy is something that is agreed to always apply (e.g. Copyvio), is a semi-policy something that is usually agreed to usually apply (e.g. WP:DICK)? And what exactly does that mean anyway? And can it even be enforced in any way? Or only semi-enforced? Should we deprecate that term in favor of something clearer (like "guideline")? Should I stop asking rhetorical questions? Radiant_* 15:18, May 13, 2005 (UTC)
    • I see official policy as something that is clear cut and easily enforced. For this discussion, I'd like to compare vandalism and WP:POINT. While the definition of vandalism isn't so clear cut, many Wikipedians "know" what vandalism is, and know when to revert it. What exactly is disruption to prove a point? Disruption is pretty clear, but to prove a point is not so easy to define or identify for many cases. WP:POINT attempts to explain it by providing some examples, and I personally believe it does a good job of doing so. However, even with these examples, I don't think disruption to prove a point can be defined so clearly and that is why I cannot support it as official policy. However, as it stands, WP:POINT is an excellent guideline for what not to do, and indeed, many RfCs and arbitration cases cite it, that is why I support it as semi-policy. --Deathphoenix 17:51, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  • Making it policy doesn't mean that we ban people, or even scold them, for a first offence. It doesn't preclude common sense. But just like when someone first signs the article they wrote, or covers the main article with outside links, we point out to them gently that this is not the way to do things. Likewise making it policy doesn't mean we have to apply the rule inflexibly. But we have to have this policy, or we risk Wikipedia becoming unmanageable. DJ Clayworth 20:20, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    • Wouldn't having it as semi-policy be just as good? I don't think having WP:POINT as semi-policy will result in Wikipedia becoming unmanageable. --Deathphoenix 20:31, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    • Maybe if anyone explained exactly how a semi-policy differed from policy. But seriously, if you can't persuade people by the usual methods of discussion and persuasion, then 99% of the time your point is not valid. DJ Clayworth 20:37, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  • This poll is disruption of Wikipedia to illustrate a point. Snowspinner 03:55, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
    • In response to a desruptive delay! I don't have a very strong opinion on this, but ultimately, I have yet to see why there is a need to officially attach a →to to disruption. Yes, I understand that more innocent violations will be treated accordingly (either way), still, I fail to see why it should be treated officially separate. At any case, I'm open to illustrative persuasuion. El_C 08:01, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    • Snowspinner's comment above is a perfect example of the frequent misapplication of this rule. I hope it was intentional. —Charles P. (Mirv) 14:38, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  • I think it is worth noting that User:Texture has contacted everyone who previously supported this, but not those who opposed it. —Charles P. (Mirv) 14:38, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    • I think it is worth noting that I am very fond of the word querulous. :) El_C 22:24, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  • I think it's worth noting that the only reason we're having this poll is that some people persistently claimed that there was consensus for this to become policy. See [1]. So far it seems that they were wrong, but let's wait until the poll runs out. Zocky 01:07, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    • As has been pointed out several times, polls tend to be very bad ways of establishing consensus. It seems more accurate to say that the only reason we're having this poll is that some people decided to persistantly poll the issue until they get the result they want. Snowspinner 01:18, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
      • As has also been pointed out, it was the proponents of this proposal that claimed that it was created policy by the previous poll, thus bringing polls and votes into picture in the first place. Zocky 02:03, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    • Don't disrupt "Don't disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point" to illustrate a point - David Gerard 23:01, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
Have any of you seen this? This is something that should be avoided at all costs. Good editors leaving Wikipedia because of pages like this. --Silversmith 19:32, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]

Please be civil

Some questions to consider:

  • Is a personal attack less personal if it's aimed at a group of people?
  • Is indirectness in such attacks an excuse for making them?
  • Is calling people with whom you dissagreee querulous, disruptive, authoritarian or trolls a personal attack?
  • Is it polite?

Zocky 19:14, 15 May 2005 (UTC) Disclaimer: This is a series of rethorical questions that readers should attempt to answer for themselves. This is not a poll.[]

I have to side with Martin Luther King on this one

The following text is copied from: The text is not GFDLed; the text is copyright the author and is quoted here with the author's permission. (I am the author, and I'm quoting it. :-) It could also be quoted without the author's permission under normal copyright law. [It is also GFDLed, by virtue of the author posting it here. --SPUI (talk) 01:34, 15 May 2005 (UTC)][]

Inconsistency is fine when it doesn't cause a practical problem, and good when it actually improves things. However, inconsistent policies which cause problems are not a good thing. For example, inconsistent deletion of borderline articles is a very bad thing; this creates bad blood, and leads to the same arguments being repeated over and over and over, with whichever side that happens to have more energy that week winning out on the vfd. What a waste of time and energy!

And it's not just inconsistent policies which are a problem; poorly written policies which can be exploited by someone with a "rules lawler" attitude or misinterpreted by someone with a "letter of the law" mentality are a problem as well; they need to be exposed and fixed as soon as possible. Civil disobedience is an effective means of doing that. It may cause a short term annoyance, but it also affects a long term good.

I am going to have to side with Ulysses S. Grant and Martin Luther King and Ghandi on this one. Civil disobedience is an important tool for exposing bad laws. Silencing civil disobedience is silencing dissent. And what happens when you do that is not just an irritation of the would-be dissenters; what happens is ultimately an obstruction of the evolution of good laws and a protection of and entrenchment of bad laws. Reason and justice are more important then blind obedience to authority. If a rule sucks, change it.

This is a well intentioned proposal, but ultimately it will cause more harm then good. I vote nay. I oppose making this policy.

© Pioneer-12 21:25, 14 May 2005 (UTC)[]

p.s. If this were changed to "Please don't disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point" and modified to include a clause like: "Good faith disruptions are frowned upon... but tolerated if (1) done in moderation and (2) after an attempt at resolution through discussion has been unsuccessful", then I would probably vote "yes".

  • But it wouldn't be civil disobedience if there wasn't the rule to break, so then you have to want this to be policy so that civil disobedience can happen! :) --Dmcdevit 03:52, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]
The goal of wikipedia is creating an encyclopedia, not establishing the best possible ruleset for creating one. And I can do a lot of disruption here without breaking any rule - do you want to create a rule for any disruption I may happen to invent? --Elian 04:02, 21 May 2005 (UTC)[]

It looks like the proposed policy is still being changed even after voting has begun.

Erm, not sure what to do about that, since it might alter the opinion of people who voted for an earlier version. Intrigue 19:08, 13 May 2005 (UTC)[]

You guys do realize that with 9 people voting againstand 80% to reach concensus, there needs to be at least 40 votes to make policy at least, not counting subsequent no votes? Don't think this one is going anywhere. --kizzle 21:53, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

Why are we endlessly going on about polls and 80% and stuff like that, none of which bloody well matters? The Arbcom enforces this as a policy and it's generally accepted as policy. This is already extremely evident; no series of polls is going to show otherwise. So let's just admit that and bloody well move on. Kelly Martin 01:43, May 15, 2005 (UTC)

Yes, nothing the community of ordinary users think matters. The ArbCom Cabal and the rogue admins will behave how they like regardless of how the 'community' votes. If they vote against the Cabal, they're 'Disrupting Wikipedia', afterall. Legion of Trolls 03:00, 15 May 2005 (UTC)[]

i think people need to chill about this whole "wiki cabal"... people need to go outside and get more sunshine and do other things in their life than worry about a secret organization that controls Wikipedia, which is, by the way, just another website, not life. just a thought. or maybe i'm one of the cabal's secret police. i guess we'll never know... --kizzle 03:17, May 15, 2005 (UTC)
I agree about people getting some sunshine, but to call this "just another website," I cannot agree at all (and I'm not saying this to be argumentative). Wikipedia is an incredibly unique and powerful development... to discount it because it's a website is unfathomable to me. A free and increasingly complete reference for all of humankind cannot be sneezed at. — Stevie is the man! Talk | Work 17:32, May 15, 2005 (UTC)

Excessive legalism

This vote is an excellent example of excessive legalism on Wikipedia. Just about everyone agrees that you shouldn't disrupt Wikipedia to prove a point, because it wastes time and causes arguments. This has been a community norm for a long time. If someone feels that there's something wrong with the page as written, then they should edit it, or start a discussion. Trying to make the page "official" is completely missing the point: pages like this exist to describe the policies of the Wikipedia community. The page itself is not policy. Policy is what the community believes and does.

Note that there has historically, and should continue to be, room for minority viewpoints on community pages. It's fine to write a page that says "most Wikipians feel that X, but some say Y". Unless we absolutely have to for some reason, we shouldn't try to force consensus. Isomorphic 19:08, 16 May 2005 (UTC)[]


Since the term 'semi-policy' is now deprecated, this poll is officially moot. Radiant_* 14:16, May 17, 2005 (UTC)

  • Okay, I stand corrected. It's probably moot for other reasons though :) Radiant_* 12:39, May 19, 2005 (UTC)

Not moot

There have been suggestions that the deprecation of semi-policy makes this poll somehow moot. However, that is wrong. This poll is to determine whether this should be policy, the question of semi-policy is secondary. Zocky 08:04, 18 May 2005 (UTC)[]

I have lodged a complaint at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) that the elimination of "semi-policy" was not adequately noticed or discussed. Dragons flight 15:34, May 17, 2005 (UTC)
  • Whatever. You don't seriously want it back do you? Radiant_* 21:52, May 17, 2005 (UTC)
  • I think that in the future, we would like you to advertise (meta) policy proposals more widely before implementing them. Kappa 21:57, 17 May 2005 (UTC)[]
    • It was seriously discussed in a lot of places, and I asked "would anyone object" in several, and people had already started changing semi-pol into guideline. Would you have preferred if I had asked for a vote on it? Radiant_* 07:35, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
      • As someone who voted keeping it as semi-policy (ie, status quo), I've seen the "guideline" textbox in a couple of places, and I like it. It is certainly more clear than "semi-policy". I don't think changing those textboxes is something that requires a vote, but others might think differently. I hope this doesn't mean we need to take a vote to see if this is something that requires a vote. ;-) --Deathphoenix 13:49, 18 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  • Frankly, yes, to the extent that I never really identified semi-policy and guidelines as being the same thing. In my mind at least, guidelines have always been like suggestions, i.e. things we recommend, but the user can do whatever he/she wants. I considered semi-policy to be more things you should follow in most cases unless you can offer a good reason why not. Less black and white than policy, which you always follow, but also not something you ignore on a whim. Of course this distinction may just have been in my head. Given the reaction, or lack there of, to the elimination semi-policy, I don't think this is an argument I am likely to "win", so I am prepared to accept that the majority of the community seems to feel differently than I do. Dragons flight 15:02, May 18, 2005 (UTC)
  • I agree that we need something to identify guidelines that are followed by many, but not necessarily most, wikipedians. Kappa 15:29, 18 May 2005 (UTC)[]
While I agree with Dragons flight that you could make suuch a distinction, I don't agree that doing so is useful. A Wikipedia namespace page should tell you, in plain English, how widely followed a particular policy/guideline/whatever is, and how seriously you should take it. That removes the need to worry about classifying everything. Wikipedia allows organic policy development, and we should take full advantage of this instead of trying to shoehorn everything into votes and categories. Isomorphic 03:41, 19 May 2005 (UTC)[]
  • Dragons Flight has a point, but some other people have made the exact opposite point (namely suggesting that a 'guideline' is stronger than a 'semi-policy'). This only indicates that the term 'semi-policy' was never properly defined and that there remains confusion over what exactly it means. 'Guideline' is a broad category, as the template and cat page should indicate. And note that breaking guidelines could still get you in trouble if done often enough (basically, you can break guidelines in good WP:FAITH by being WP:BOLD, but Wikipedia:Consensus will oppose you if you go too far). The situation, really, hasn't changed. Only the name has. Radiant_* 12:39, May 19, 2005 (UTC)