Wikipedia:Assume stupidity

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Umm... what's going to happen if I push this button?"
—Typical Wikipedia User

While assuming good faith is a fundamental principle on Wikipedia, it does generally not help you get over your very real anger at someone's—in your opinion—disturbing edits. Therefore, your all-too-human-need to honor your angst while preserving the environs nurtured by Wikipedia may best be served by proactively "assuming stupidity" rather than merely "assuming no clue."

Assuming that people are stupid helps the average, just-evolving Wikipedian editor in the following ways:

  1. You are more intelligent than the user you are in a conflict with, which gives a temporary boost in self-confidence.
  2. You do not have to feel sorry for reverting their edits, as they probably are too "stupid" to notice it anyway. (quoted, to acknowledge the neanderthal, rote, sense of 'stupid' used here)
  3. If they do notice it, they are probably too stupid to know how to quickly revert to their version again.[1]

Wikipedia is the place where people who are not good enough writers to be paid to write books or news articles go to co-write stuff that other people will read anyway.[2] If that is not enough, these people actually believe that they will be able to create an encyclopedia that is better than all other encyclopedias, even those written by people that get paid for it. Stupid, is it not?[3] And since you are actually reading this, which for 99 percent of you implies that you actually contribute to Wikipedia, people are probably already assuming stupidity on your part. You are just too stupid to notice it.

Note that, despite this page opening with a quote regarding it, assuming stupidity is not the same as applying Hanlon's Razor. While seemingly malicious edits do result from stupidity, constructive edits on behalf of editors can also result purely by unintelligent chance.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ To master the great powers of the edit history takes a long time if you are stupid.
  2. ^ And considering the extremely low standard of today's journalists, that means a lot.
  3. ^  Yes, it is.