Wikipedia:Ownership of articles

We at the Simple English Wikipedia are made up of many users who write this encyclopedia. Some of them know more about certain subjects or topics and write many articles by themselves. Some may think that the articles, templates, or categories they write belong to them. They think their pages should not be changed, or that they should decide how and when they change. They remove any changes made and make it so that others cannot change their pages. This goes against our belief in consensus and is not how we at the Simple English Wikipedia work. While we have many articles written by only one person, they still belong to everyone. Believing that an article or topic has an owner who can control it is a mistake.

If you know that something on one of our pages is not right, you can remove or change it. Usually, you will have to give a reason why you think it is not right. You may even have to cite a good source (like a book or a newspaper) or one of our rules. Removing warnings like {{complex}}, {{cleanup}} or {{RfD}} just because you think a page is yours is not right. No matter who you are, you must follow our rules and discuss problems with others.

Submitting work

You cannot stop everyone in the world from editing 'your' Wikipedia pages. If you do not want your articles to be edited or copied by others, do not submit it. If you do not want your ideas (for articles, categorization, style, standards, or anything else) to be changed by others, do not submit them.

Writing an article does not let anyone "own" the article, but it is still important to respect the work of other editors. When making large changes, it is important to think about if you can get a good result by working with editors instead of against them. This is the idea of consensus, meaning that you should talk about problems instead of fighting. If you find yourself fighting with other people over deletions or changes, take a break from editing.


Since no one "owns" any part of any article, if you create or edit an article, you should not sign it. The contributions of all editors are seen with their names on the page history.

However, when adding comments, questions, or votes to talk pages, please sign your comments. This lets other people know who said what. A talk page isn't part of an article, it is talking about the article.

Examples of owning articles

  • An editor may say that changes must be reviewed by him or her before they can be added to the article.
  • Article changes by different editors are reverted by the same editor to keep the article unchanged (this does not include removing vandalism)
  • An editor leaves messages on other editors' talk pages to try and stop them from editing their articles. This can be done by:
    • Using threats and insults
    • Saying that they do not know enough about the article


These are examples of comments made by people who think they own articles.

  • "Do you know enough to edit this article? I do."
  • "Revert. You're editing too much. Can you slow down?"
  • "You do not know anything about Gothic architecture."
  • "Do not make changes or comments to my articles until you have written your own."
  • "Unless it is wrong or has mistakes, please do not make changes or comments without asking me first."
  • "I created this article."

Dealing with ownership

Often, editors accused of ownership may not know what they are doing. Some editors may think they are protecting the article from vandalism. Others may try to share their own view, which is against the NPOV policy. So it is important to assume good faith.


People who wrote the article and think they own it should be talked to on the article talk page. Always assume good faith - do not think the person is trying to hurt Wikipedia.

Many users

If many users are all defending an article, there is sometimes a main editor who is defended by the other editors. Deal with it in the same way as above: talk about it on the talk page of the article. Don't worry if many other people say you do not know enough about the article. Show the users this guideline and others will help you. You may want to ask someone you respect who has not edited the article for an neutral opinion.