Wikipedia:Avoid personal remarks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sometimes politicians can get quite personal in their speeches and attack their opponents. That is politics. In Wikipedia, editors should avoid making personal attacks against other editors.

The purpose of talk pages is to discuss how to improve articles. If you have opinions about the contributions others have made, feel free to discuss those contributions on any relevant talk page. But if you have opinions about other contributors as people, they don't belong there – or frankly, anywhere on Wikipedia.

Wikipedia prospers on people working together toward improving articles. Anything else – especially attacks directed specifically at users – detracts from the wonderful thing that we are creating here.

The policy or consensus on removing personal attacks is undetermined. Many Wikipedians archive their own talk pages as a matter of course. De-escalation of disrespectfulness is counselled in the Civility policy. Don't inflame disputes, so that they become disruptive to Wikipedia's function and thus require administrative intervention.

Some of the editors you encounter on Wikipedia might feel they must retaliate against – or at least suppress – annoying personal remarks directed against them. But some great writers differ; (and recall that we all remember the great writers far better than their critics).


Abraham Lincoln wrote:

If I care to listen to every criticism, let alone act on them, then this shop may as well be closed for all other businesses. I have learned to do my best, and if the end result is good then I do not care for any criticism, but if the end result is not good, then even the praise of ten angels would not make the difference.[1]

Bishop Fulton Sheen wrote:

Walter Winchell once consoled a victim of criticism and slander by saying: 'Remember that nobody will ever get ahead of you as long as he is kicking you in the seat of the pants.' It is a physical impossibility.

Gwenn Ifill said:

We live in a world of extreme, often petty, argument, where we hide behind our devices to insult one another in a way we would never do face to face.[2]

Staying cool[edit]

See also: Staying cool when the editing gets hot

Listen! If someone disagrees with you, make sure you try to understand why!

Be welcoming to new contributors[edit]

We welcome contributions which improve articles, or are trying to improve articles. And we discourage disruptive editing.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "If I care to listen to every criticism, let... - Abraham Lincoln". Archived from the original on 2004-08-28.
  2. ^ "2013: Speaker Gwen Ifill - Commencement News Archive".