Wikipedia:There is no Divine Right of Editors

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King Charles believed in the Divine Right of Kings. That didn't end well for him.

There is no Divine Right of Editors. Saudi Arabia is an absolute monarchy where the king can do what he likes. Wikipedia isn't, even if you've got the admin bit, CheckUser and Oversight. See the difference?


You have been editing Wikipedia for many years. You have 40,000 edits and have just become an administrator. But a new Wikipedian, with 40 edits and less than a month editing, notes on the admistrators' noticeboard that some comments you have made recently are less than civil. Do you:

A. Reply to him harshly with a barrage of inconsiderate comments saying he can't tell you off, you are superior to him? I mean, with only 40 edits, he must be a sockpuppet of a banned editor, right?

B. Delete the conversation (ideally with an edit summary "rv trolling / harassment"), block the editor permanently without attempting to reply (after all, it's probably another Vote (X) for Change sock anyway), and sit back confident you have done the right thing?

C. Ignore it, let an uninvolved administrator handle it (possibly incurring being sanctioned in the process), and improve the encyclopedia somewhere else?

D. Comply with WP:ADMINABUSE. If you strongly disagree with the accusation, simply pleading not guilty will suffice. Let other editor explain why this is so.

The answer is C or D, and if you answered anything else, that is not a good way to handle it. You are relying on the Divine Right of Editors.

There is no Divine Right of Editors. (Hopefully the title made this obvious.) It does not matter who or what you are, you have to be a responsible, considerate editor.

A brief summary of a Divine Right[edit]

A Divine Right, yesterday

A Divine Right is the belief that God made you to be superior. You can tell someone believes in a Divine Right if:

They claim ultimate superiority[edit]

They openly claim that they are superior in their comments. It doesn't matter if the article they were working on cited Medieval History For Dummies, and you've cited a well-respected history book by a leading subject expert - it's their article and there is no consensus to add it! Of course, on another article, when you cite Medieval History For Dummies, well that's not allowed because it's an unreliable source! Note, this is sometimes accompanied by the faux polite edit summary "Reverted good faith edits by", which means they can't get away with blocking you for vandalism and are annoyed by that.

They say they are above the law[edit]

They expect the law to flow around what they do rather than hitting it. "Hah! I only did three reverts within 24 hours, and WP:3RR says you need four, so suck on that, dip weed!"

They think they have automatic consensus before they declare it[edit]

Divine Rights actively enforcing Banned Means Banned on anything that moves

They block without good reason and refuse to unblock. Bad cases may even WikiStalk the blocked userpage to weed out any unblock requests. This also applies to closing conversations and deleting articles with no reason. "It's a sockpuppet! I saw somebody write an article similar to this 10 years ago! It must be block evasion! I'm going to annihilate it with my G5 flamethrower. Yeeeeah!"

How to depose a Divine Right of a Wikipedian[edit]

A good way to point out the error of their ways would be to calmly explain protocol. If they go back to the old "above the law" claim, give them this page to read. If they still argue, an ANI may be in order. Note: This does not include editors who refuse to respond, see WP:Communication is required.

See also[edit]