Wikipedia:Wikipolitics makes strange bedfellows

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To get formalities out of the way: Of course we should not have "enemies" here. (to placate some of the more strident believers in Utopedia, I'll put "enemies" in scare quotes in this essay.)

But if you are human, you will eventually run across editors you dislike. Or you will run across those who you think are almost always wrong and must be corrected, or who are going to destroy the Encyclopedia if you don't resist. Even if you are a near-saint, if you are not careful, you will subconsciously look for opportunities to take an "enemy" down a peg. And if you are even less careful, you will subconsciously look for other editors to be your allies.

However, there are a sufficient number of jerks on Wikipedia that it is not safe to assume that the "enemy" of a jerk is a non-jerk. It is quite common to run across two jerks feuding, or even two cliques of jerks, feuding. If you assume that someone arguing with your "enemy" is automatically an ally, you may find yourself keeping increasingly unpleasant company. Eventually, you may realize you've been co-opted as their ally in their other ridiculous battles, and knee-jerkingly defending their insane opinions, instinctively taking on their other enemies as your own, destroying your own credibility and reputation in the process.

Of course, we should not fight with "enemies" on Wikipedia. But if you're going to fight disagree stridently, choose your friends by naturally allying with people you actually agree with, not by finding people who are attacking your "enemies" for other reasons. Still not optimal, but less likely to blow up in your face.


Just because someone is an "enemy" in one dispute, don't assume they're always wrong about everything. If you automatically disagree with everything an "enemy" says, you're going to end up defending some really stupid opinions. Attempting to compartmentalize unrelated discussions can be helpful.