Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not
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|This page is a policy on the Simple English Wikipedia.|
Many people agree with it. They see it as a standard idea that all users should normally follow. When changing this page (except for minor errors like typos), please check that other people agree with your changes. Use the talk page when you are not sure or when you want to suggest a change.
Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. You should only write things that should be in an encyclopedia.
What the Simple English Wikipedia is not
Some special rules need to be used for the Simple English Wikipedia.
- The Simple English Wikipedia is not another English Wikipedia. English Wikipedia has pages written in hard-to-read English, for people who can read English very well. Simple English is not the right place to copy the same articles again using the same words. Instead, we write using simple words so that people from every language can read the pages easily and understand them.
- The Simple English Wikipedia is not just for people who can speak English. It is written in English, but we try to make articles simple enough so that people who are learning English can read it. If an article is here, it should be interesting to people around the world. We have many rules about what should and should not be kept in this encyclopedia.
- The Simple English Wikipedia is not a place for banned users to try to get unbanned from another website. The Simple English Wikipedia is a separate Wikipedia in its own right.
What Wikipedia is not
- Wikipedia is not paper. Wikipedia has no size limits. Pages can be linked to other pages and they can be changed quickly. You can write long articles.
- Wikipedia is not a dictionary. It does not tell how to use words or what words mean. See #2-5 and #17 below, and here. We have a sister project which is, Wiktionary.
- Wikipedia is not a soapbox. It is not a place for trying out ideas or a place for talking. This means that you should only put important facts in an article. You should not put your thoughts about something in an article. An article is for the truth, not what you think. See #1, #6, #8, #9, #18.
- Wikipedia is not a link repository. This means you should not make a page that is only or largely links to other websites. See #11, 12, 13.
- Wikipedia is not a "mirror". If you add to Wikipedia, it must be under the GNU FDL. Wikipedia is not a blog and is not a place to be in a group. Although there are group parts in Wikipedia, the idea is to make an encyclopedia, which is a book of facts, rather than groups of people.
- Wikipedia is not censored. Censorship is the hiding and changing of facts that some may not approve of.
- Wikipedia is not a crystal ball. Wikipedia does not predict the future. Wikipedia is not for posting facts about the future events that are not notable and have no references that do not show why they are important and are not certain to happen. This encyclopedia is about notable events that have happened.
What the Wikipedia community is not
- Wikipedia is not a democracy, a bureaucracy, a dictatorship, a battleground, or an anarchy. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. People from all over the world change Wikipedia, and they all need to agree with each other. Consensus means the way a group of people think about something. When a decision needs to be made, though, it is the way people talk or argue - and not the number of votes - that decides what happens. Wikipedia sometimes uses voting as a way to talk about things or in Requests for permissions, but the number of votes is not important.
What Wikipedia entries are not
- Discussion forums. Wikipedia's talk pages are not places to talk with other people about unimportant things. They are for talking with other people about how to make articles better. For example, on the talk page of the Nintendo article, you can talk about how someone did not cite what he/she added. You cannot talk about how you think Nintendo is fun or boring.
- Dictionary. Wikipedia is not a dictionary, and an article that is made of just the meaning of a word does not belong. (But a page can and should always start with a good definition or tell exactly what a topic is about). If you want to work on a wiki dictionary, go to Wiktionary.
- Lists of such definitions. (But an article can have links to other pages, where a word is too general to have anyone topic joined with it. This is called a disambiguation page; see square and board for examples.)
- A usage guide. Wikipedia does not describe common phrases or words. If a common phrase or word is used in an article and not many people may know what it means, you should say what it means. Wikipedia can say why a common phrase is used, why it means the thing that it means, and why the phrase may be confusing or rude.
- A slang and idiom guide. Wikipedia is for writing an encyclopedia, not teaching people how to talk. You can write an article on how a phrase came to be, or about the people that use that slang.
- Propaganda or advocacy. That means that if you believe in something, you should not try to say that idea in the article. If you want to talk about your ideas, go to Usenet. Simple English Wikipedia is not for your own thoughts.
- Mere vehicles for testing anarchism. Anarchy means a system where there is no government or control. You should not do silly things on an article to test them out. If you do want to do so, please go to the sandbox. We want to make an encyclopedia, not see if anarchy can work.
- Neither fan pages, nor critical pans. Life stories and articles about artworks are supposed to be encyclopedia articles—that is, neutral and factual. (But you can say good and bad things about a work of art if you only say the truth.) See also Wikipedia:check your fiction.
- Personal essays, that say your thoughts on something. We want to make articles about things that many people know are true. Your opinion is not always true. But if you want, you can put your essays on Meta-Wiki or in your user space.
- Primary research. If you have discovered something or found something out, put your ideas in a book for a learning school, not on Wikipedia. Wikipedia will talk about your ideas once it is known to a lot of people.
- List repository of what people have said, sayings, or people. You can have a list if the things on the list are well-known because they are known for what the list is about. If you want to put in lists of what people said, put them into Wikiquote.
- Mere collections of links to other websites. You can put links to other websites at the bottom of an article, but a page should not just be links. That is called spam.
- Mere collections of internal links. If a word has many meanings, you can make a page with links to all the meanings of that word. Some pages should have parts with links to other articles, but an article that only has one meaning should never be only links to other articles.
- Mere collections of public domain or other source material like complete books, writings, letters, past writing, rules, and other things that are only useful if they are not changed. Instead of putting the entire writing into the article, make a page about the writing. If there is a book of knowledge in the public domain (like the 1911 Britannica), a page from this can be used to make an article.
- A personal homepage and/or file storage area. You should not use your user page as a home page. You should also not create articles about yourself. Some people are famous enough that they can do this. But if you are one of these people, your article has to be good enough for Wikipedia. It cannot have opinions, and you cannot link to it from every page. If you want to make a homepage, you can get a free homepage provider on the internet. If you upload a file, it should only be used for a Wikipedia page. If it is not or if it cannot be used, it will be got rid of.
- A news report. Wikipedia should not have news on new stories. However, creating encyclopedia pages on things in the news is good. See 2023 for some examples. A page on a current event that will be important in the future is good as long as it is written as an encyclopedia article. Even if you are making an article about a current event, you should use the past tense. This is so that people can understand the article in the future.
- A genealogical or biographical dictionary. You should only make articles about people who have done important things. A good way to find out if someone is important enough for an article is to see if they are talked about somewhere else. If there is an article about something and someone has been involved with it, this person can be talked about in the article. See Wikipedia:Auto-biography.
- A place for advertising. Do not make an article on an item just because you work for a company that makes it, or you make it yourself. You can link to a page about a company if it is to show what companies are important in certain topics. See Wikipedia:articles on commercial enterprises. Do not post links to your website in articles as well.
- A collection of photographs with no writing to go with the picture. If you want to put a picture into an article but you do not know why the photo should have an article or you do not want to write about it, maybe it should not be there at all. If you are allowed to use the photo anywhere (such as if you took it yourself or if it is in the public domain), then try putting it in Wikipedia:Images with missing articles or Wikipedia:Public domain image resources instead.
- A strategy guide for video games. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, so there should be an encyclopedic article about the game, not a page of hints or cheat codes.
- A place to write obituaries about your loved ones. Please see your local newspaper for that.
Feel free to suggest adding more items to this list on the talk page.