Wikipedia:Don't lie

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A sculpture depicting truth and falsehood battling it out.

Editors should not make false statements on Wikipedia. There are many ways that editors can lie on Wikipedia, such as deliberately using a quote out of context to mislead readers, fabricating a reference, stating content is not included in an article when it actually is, or making untrue accusations about the conduct of another editor. There are many reasons that editors lie: to back up their argument about article content, to support their position in a policy discussion, or to advance a biased point of view in an article.

Regardless of how Wikipedia editors lie or their reasons for lying, lying harms the quality of the encyclopedia, as it can lead to incorrect or biased information in articles. False information in Wikipedia articles hurts the reputation of the encyclopedia. False information in some articles, such as legal, medical or medication articles, could have serious real-world consequences. And making false, negative statements about a living person can expose Wikipedia to legal issues for defamation.

Lying is also harmful to the online Wikipedia community which edits and develops the encyclopedia. The online community requires editors to work in good faith and behave in a civil manner with each other. False accusations against other editors on Talk pages can lead to editors to leave the project. When editors are found to have made false claims about holding degrees or other credentials, this can reduce other editors' trust and weaken the reputation of the encyclopedia (see Essjay controversy).

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