WikiFur:Assume good faith

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This page documents a guideline on WikiFur. It is a generally accepted standard followed by editors on this site, although occasional exceptions may apply. When making significant changes to this page, please make sure that your edits are consistent with consensus. When in doubt, any changes should first be proposed on the discussion page.
Squirrel (PSF).png This page in a nutshell:
  • Unless you have clear and compelling evidence to the contrary, always assume that someone working on WikiFur is trying to help it, not harm it.
  • If criticism is needed, keep it neutral and fact-based, and avoid personal attacks. Discuss the actions, not the person.

Assuming good faith is one of the cornerstones of our philosophy at WikiFur. Our premise is that most editors are acting with good intentions and wish to help the project, not harm it. If this were not the case, then WikiFur, like many collaborative projects, would be destined to fail from the beginning.

When reading the edits and comments made by another editor, remember to give them the benefit of the doubt. Everyone has something to contribute to this project, and brings with them their own unique experiences and abilities. If a dispute arises, try to consider whether the disagreement arises from differing perspectives. Our goal is to reach consensus. Try to the best of your ability to explain and resolve the issue, instead of escalating the conflict. Consider avenues of dispute resolution.

Even when good faith is called into question, try to remain civil and to continue to assume good faith as best you can. Avoid edit warring, and above all else, do not attack other editors. It is better to ask other editors for input (via the article's talk page), or ask an curator for help, than it is to engage in escalating hostilities.

About good faith[edit]

Even experienced editors are subject to human error. Most of the time, a gentle reminder is all that is needed to correct a problem. When an issue arises that is not already addressed in the policies and guidelines, stay cool, keep a level head, and assume that the other party is acting in good faith. Try to work together to resolve the issue; consider avenues for dispute resolution if the situation seems intractable.

This guideline does not require that editors continue to assume good faith in the presence of contrary evidence. Assuming good faith does not prohibit discussion and criticism, but instead editors should not attribute the actions being criticised to malice unless there is specific evidence of malice.

Good faith and newcomers[edit]

In particular, try to be especially tolerant towards newcomers, who may not yet understand our way of doing things. Nothing scares off a potentially valuable contributor faster than feeling as though they have been criticized unfairly. Newcomers need time to learn the way things are done at WikiFur, and your gentle guidance will do far more good than a harsh criticism. Remember that we all were newcomers to this wiki at some point.

Good faith and copyright[edit]

When dealing with possible copyright violations, good faith means assuming that editors intend to comply with site policy and the law. That is different from assuming they have actually complied with either. Editors have a proactive obligation to document image uploads, etc. and material may be deleted if the documentation is incorrect or inadequate. Good faith corrective action includes informing editors of problems and helping them improve their practices.

Showing good faith[edit]

Remember that your edits here reflect not only upon you, but on the community as well. This site is visited by furs and non-furs alike. Stop and think about what kind of image you want to present. The more that you act calmly and in good faith, the more trust you will earn in the community. Take the time to explain any edits that you think may be controversial, using the article's talk page. Be willing to show your belief in the principles of WikiFur by trying to act within the policies and guidelines.

Dealing with bad faith[edit]

Even if bad faith is evident, do not act uncivilly yourself in return, attack others, or lose your cool over it. It is ultimately much easier for others to resolve a dispute and see who is breaching policies, if one side is clearly acting appropriately throughout.

WikiFur curators and other experienced editors who are not involved in dispute resolution will usually be glad to help, and are very capable of identifying policy-breaching conduct if their attention is drawn to clear and specific evidence.

Accusing others of bad faith[edit]

Be especially wary about accusing others of bad faith, as such accusations can be interpreted as personal attacks, and in turn lead to accusations of bad faith against you. It is better to keep a cool head and work together towards a resolution, than it is to create a vicious cycle of attacks between editors.

See also[edit]