Remember, always try to be helpful and not harmful. Everyone is allowed to help make Wikipedia better. However, sometimes different users may have different ideas on how to make Wikipedia better, so arguments can happen. As users argue, they may find it hard to oppose the other person's ideas without being mean or using insults. This is very bad and not something that is encouraged on Wikipedia. Reasons include:

  • Not being civil can make other users unhappy. If users are very unhappy they could decide to leave.
  • This can also make other users angry. When this happens, they can become unhelpful as well, making everyone angry and unhappy.
  • When people are angry, they don't want to hear other people's ideas. Because of this, it makes it even harder to reach an agreement.
  • You should always talk about a person's change, and not the person him or herself.
  • Being unkind may lead to a block.


Here are some examples of when people are not being helpful:

  • Swearing, especially if they are insulting a person's race, sex, group, or religion.
  • Lying about another user or slander.
  • Being rude to another user.
  • Using comments in change summaries to say bad things about another person's changes. (e.g. "fixed sloppy spelling,")
  • Accusing users of something that you are not sure they did.
  • Vandalizing another person's user page.
  • Making fun of users because of their language or spelling
  • Asking for a user to be banned or blocked, even if they have done nothing wrong.
  • "Playing dumb"


To stop people from not being helpful, here is some advice:

  • Do not answer to comments that are rude and disrespectful.
  • Take a break from Wikipedia for a while.
  • Reply with helpful comments for every unhelpful one.

Lastly, Vince Lombardi said, "Praise in public, criticize in private". It was actually a rephrasing of Publilius Syrus who said, “Admonish your friends privately, but praise them openly.” In either form, it is excellent advice. Always, be careful not to chastise other Wikipedians on talk pages.