Wikipedia:Use the right venue

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So you have an issue, a problem, or just a question about something on Wikipedia. What's the best way to get it resolved? While it's important to know how to have a discussion, it's even more important to know where to have it. If you try to start a discussion in the wrong place, it won't be seen by the right people, and you may not get the feedback you were looking for – you may be met with silence or even dismissal. So, when you're not sure where to raise an issue, keep the following in mind:

Global or local consensus?[edit]

If you disagree with how a community-wide consensus is being applied in a certain case, challenge the application where you find it (e.g., in a deletion discussion or on an article talk page). If you can't resolve the matter locally, or if you disagree with the consensus itself, raise the matter where the consensus is established or maintained. Examples:

  • "I don't think this content adheres to [guideline X]." – Challenge the content on the article talk page, or simply be BOLD and fix the content yourself.
  • "I don't think [guideline X] applies to this content." – Explain why on the article talk page, or simply be BOLD and fix the content yourself.
  • "I think [guideline X] needs to be changed." – Bring your concern to the talk page of the guideline, not the pages where it is applied.

How-to and information pages merely reflect consensus that is established elsewhere. If you think that consensus is not being described accurately, raise the issue at the talk page of the how-to or information page. If you have an issue with the parent consensus itself, raise it at the talk page of the parent guideline.

Content issue or conduct issue?[edit]

If you have an issue with the content of encyclopedic or administrative pages, raise the issue on the corresponding talk page (e.g., in the "Talk" or "Wikipedia talk" namespaces). If, after a time, more input is needed, make a request for comment, go to the village pump, or start a centralized discussion.

If you have an issue with an editor's behavior, raise the issue on their "User talk" page. If user talk messages don't resolve the matter, turn to the noticeboards.

Continue discussions where they were started[edit]

Unless there is a clear need for a change of venue, active discussions should be carried out where they began. Neutrally-worded notices of a discussion may be placed on other relevant talk pages, e.g. those of a guideline or Wikiproject. Particular editors who may be interested in a discussion may also be contacted with the {{ping}} and {{reply to}} templates.

If you're not sure, ask[edit]

Open with "I'm not sure if this is the right place for this, but..." Expressing uncertainty will usually get you pointed in the right direction.

Various venues[edit]