Wikipedia:Things that should not be surprising

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Wikipedian reacts with a mixture of shock and surprise
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9

Some things can be surprising about Wikipedia.

Some things, given some thought, should not be.

Some examples of things that should not be surprising:


  1. Sometimes people who aren't vandals get blocked because they were behaving like assholes.
  2. Sometimes people who aren't vandals get blocked because someone doesn't like them.
  3. Blocks that are poorly justified may be reverted by another admin upon appeal.
  4. Blocks that are properly justified probably won't be reverted by another admin upon appeal.
  5. Not all users are on Wikipedia 24/7 and thus may not be able to respond immediately to personal requests.
  6. Idiots are just as common on Wikipedia as anywhere else.


  1. Naked people exist, and might be used to illustrate an article about, say, nudism.
  2. Any page will never be 100% correct (except List of Pokémon characters).
  3. Articles about ongoing ethnic feuds are subject to ongoing feuds between ethnic groups.
  4. Some articles are crap (but you can fix it, what are you waiting for?!).
  5. Sports teams hope to make the playoffs.


  1. Some people are way too serious about the tone of articles.
  2. Some people are too silly when writing or editing articles.
  3. Some people are way too serious about themselves.
  4. Sometimes the Internet is serious business.
  5. Sometimes the Internet isn't serious business, but some people refuse to believe it.


  1. Vandals get blocked.
  2. Vandalism on widely watched articles gets quickly reverted, while vandalism on minor stubs and other low-traffic pages is slower to be reverted.
  3. People will vandalize anything and everything.
  4. There is much more vandalism while school is in session.


  1. People can edit war about some really stupid things.
  2. People can argue over the smallest things.
  3. People can argue over the dumbest things.
  4. A large portion of the back end of Wikipedia is dedicated to resolving disputes.
  5. Being a dick doesn't resolve conflicts.
  6. Being a giant dick isn't a winning move in a conflict.

Conflicts of interest[edit]

  1. You (and your college garage band/vanity press novel) are most likely not notable.
  2. Sometimes people edit their articles to make themselves look better.
  3. Sometimes corporations/NGOs/governments edit their articles to make themselves look better.
  4. Sometimes people edit articles to make their enemies look worse.
  5. IP addresses can be traced back to their owners.


  1. People behave as if articles for deletion and requests for adminship are votes, and yet loudly declare they aren't votes.
  2. The MediaWiki software can be fucking weird sometimes.
  3. The "edit this page" link actually lets people edit pages.
  4. Shit happens.
  5. Shit OFTEN happens.
  6. Either way you look at it, you're screwed.
  7. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia.
  8. One day you will die and all of your contributions will be transcluded, erased, overwritten, invalidated, vandalized, or forgotten, but you will not be able to do anything about it.
  9. Most edits whose summaries contain variations on the word "accurate", especially ones by IPs or redlinked names, need to be reverted for being anything but "accurate".

And finally[edit]

  1. A page documenting obvious facts exists somewhere.
  2. People will actually look up and read a page documenting obvious facts, just like you are right now.