Wikipedia:Communication is required
|This page in a nutshell: Wikipedia is a collaborative project. Sometimes, you must engage in constructive discussions with others or you risk sanctions.|
Wikipedia's hallmark is its user-generated, consensus-based content. Most article updates are uncontroversial, so discussion isn't needed. In cases of disagreements amongst editors, though, there is no choice but to communicate with others. All Wikipedia editors are expected to make a good-faith effort to use talk pages to discuss issues when needed.
If you are changing content (and not simply reverting vandalism) and someone reverts you, you should start a discussion on the talk page if you want to restore your change, following our Bold, Revert, Discuss (BRD) cycle. Although this approach is not official policy, most editors agree it is the best way to deal with editing disputes and it is based on existing policy. Restoring your edits multiple times without consensus is a form of disruptive editing and edit warring, which can get you blocked. You have two options: make a good-faith effort to discuss and wait for consensus before any further action, or stop reverting completely. There is no third option.
When attention has been drawn to your actions on one of the noticeboards such as the administrators' noticeboard, the incident noticeboard, or the edit-warring noticeboard, it is generally in your best interest to engage in the discussion, although it is not mandatory. In addition to being an opportunity for you to present your side, your willingness to co-operate with others is essential to reaching an amicable solution. Although it can be tempting to respond to everyone in detail, it may be more effective to allow contributors to express their views without interruption, and provide a few simple responses.
Repeated complaints by multiple editorsEdit
If you are getting multiple complaints on your talk page or on an article talk page about your editing, you are expected to either stop the action that is causing the complaints, or discuss it with the community of editors at the appropriate venue. This could be a formal noticeboard, an article talk page, or on your talk page. Ignoring the complaints is not an option and trying to "fly under the radar" may eventually result in a block.
Slow-motion edit warringEdit
If you regularly restore your edits to a page without consensus, even within the limits of the three-revert rule, you are edit warring. Either stop restoring your edits, or start a discussion on the talk page to establish consensus.
Everyone is expected to make a good-faith effort to discuss disagreements with involved editors. It may require compromise, finding sources to prove your edits are accurate, or just a polite explanation. It also requires listening. This is best done on the article talk page, so others can participate. If you can't find a solution within a few days to a week, then you can always ask any admin for advice on the appropriate venue to host a broader community discussion and decision. After this decision, everyone is expected to live with the result, at least until a new consensus forms.
Remember that Wikipedia is open for everyone regardless of their location or background. Be prepared to understand and accept that you may be collaborating with someone on the other side of the globe who has completely different cultural values and opinions.
Everyone must be willing to talk to others sometimes. Some people have gone long periods without discussion, but only because they didn't do anything controversial. Most people who edit for more than a few months will find they need to explain or question others occasionally; they must communicate in a civil fashion. Being unwilling to discuss with others when it is needed is inconsistent with our goals as a collaborative project.