This page documents an English Wikipedia
Disagreements on Wikipedia are normal; editors will frequently disagree with each other, particularly on content decisions. Editors are expected to engage in good faith to resolve their disputes, and must not
If discussion stalemates, editors may seek outside input to help resolve the dispute. Disputes over content have multiple venues for outside help, and related discussions can also be advertised on the
For issues that demand immediate attention, please see urgent situations.
Resolving content disputes
|This section in a nutshell: Resolve disputes as soon as they arise. When two editors disagree over what to do with an article, they must talk things through politely and rationally.|
There are many methods on Wikipedia for resolving disputes. Most methods are not formal processes and do not involve third-party intervention. Respond to all disputes or grievances, in the first instance, by approaching the editor or editors concerned and explaining which of their edits you object to and why you object. Use the article talk page or their user talk page to do so; be civil, polite, and always assume good faith.
Follow the normal protocol
When you find a passage in an article that is biased, inaccurate, or unsourced the best practice is to
To help other editors understand the reasoning behind your edits, always explain your changes in the
Discuss with the other party
Talking to other parties is not a mere formality, but an integral part of writing the encyclopedia. Discussing heatedly or poorly – or not at all – will make other editors less sympathetic to your position, and prevent you from effectively using later stages in dispute resolution. Sustained discussion between the parties, even if not immediately successful, demonstrates your good faith and shows you are trying to reach a
Do not continue edit warring; once sustained discussion begins, productively participating in it is a priority. Uninvolved editors who are invited to join a dispute will likely be confused and alarmed if there are large numbers of reverts or edits made while discussion is ongoing.
Focus on content
Focus on article content during discussions, not on editor conduct; comment on content, not the contributor. Wikipedia is written through collaboration, and assuming that the efforts of others are in good faith is therefore vital. Bringing up conduct during discussions about content creates a distraction to the discussion and may inflame the situation.
Focusing on content, and not bringing up conduct, can be difficult if it seems other editors are being uncivil or stubborn. Stay cool! It is never to your benefit to respond in kind. When it becomes too difficult or exhausting to maintain a civil discussion based on content, you should seriously consider going to an appropriate dispute resolution venue detailed below; but at no juncture should you lose your temper. Wikipedia is not like a lot of the Internet: we expect editors to be polite and reasonable at all times.
Most situations are not actually urgent;
Take a long-term view of the situation. You will probably be able to return and carry on editing an article when the previous problems no longer exist and the editor you were in dispute with might have moved on. The disputed article will continue to evolve, other editors may become interested, and they might have different perspectives if the issue comes up again. Even if your position on the article is not accepted, it might be in the future.
Disengaging is particularly helpful when in dispute with new users, as it gives them a chance to familiarise themselves with Wikipedia's policies and culture. There are currently 6,633,532 articles on Wikipedia. Consider focusing your contributions on another article, where you can more easily make constructive edits.
Requesting other editors' help for content disputes
If you cannot resolve the dispute through discussion with the other editor, you may request participation from uninvolved, interested editors to build consensus for your changes. Several venues are available, listed below, to find editors who may be able to assist.
Participation in dispute resolution is voluntary and no one is required to participate. However, discussion can still proceed and consensus may be reached without the non-participating editor's input. Administrators and the community may take into consideration the degree and nature of an editor's participation in dispute resolution when deciding if an editor's activities are productive.
Related talk pages or WikiProjects
If your dispute is related to a certain content area, you can ask your question or publicize a related discussion, on the talk page of relevant WikiProjects[a] or other pages. In certain pages, it's best to only publicize and not discuss, as many times the discussion would be removed as off-topic.
Third opinion is an excellent venue for small disputes involving only two editors.
During mediation, a content dispute between two or more editors is subjected to the involvement of an uninvolved third party (who is the mediator). The role of the mediator is to guide discussion towards the formation of agreement over the disputed elements of content.
If your dispute is related to the application of a specific policy or guideline, you may wish to post in one of these noticeboards (below) to get input from uninvolved editors familiar with that topic.
- biographies of living persons policy
- Conflict of interest noticeboard – to raise questions and alerts about possible conflicts of interest editing
- Neutral point of view noticeboard – to raise questions and alerts about the neutrality of an article
- fringe theories
- source synthesis
- external links
Requested moves (RM) is a process to request community-wide input on the retitling of the article. RMs should be used when there is a dispute about what the title of an article should be, or when the user anticipates that a move would be contentious; while the RM is ongoing, the article should remain at its stable title. To solicit responses from a large number of editors, RMs can further be publicized via noticeboards or relevant WikiProject talk pages. RM discussions take place on a relevant article's talk page.
Requests for comment
Dispute resolution noticeboard
Resolving user conduct disputes
The difference between a conduct and a content dispute is that, in a conduct dispute, the actions of a user (such as how an editor edits or the comments the editor makes about other users) is the overriding issue. If there would be no substantive dispute if the editor was not behaving in a disruptive or unprofessional way, then it is a conduct dispute; if the primary issue is that two editors cannot agree on what the content of an article should be, then it is a content dispute.
If the issue is a conduct dispute (i.e., editor behavior) the first step is to talk with the other editor at their
If discussion with the editor fails to resolve the issue, you may ask an
Sensitive issues and functionary actions
A small number of user conduct grievances involve sensitive or non-public information. These include issues where an
- Non-public details: Grievances where the relevant information and evidence are not accessible to all participants or to the community as a whole. This can also happen due to copyright or privacy reasons, external link.
- "Outing" concerns: When discussion may in effect mean "outing", for example if there is a concern that a user is editing with a secret conflict of interest and the evidence would tend to identify them.
- Serious matters: The issue involves legal concerns, harassment, or allegations that are very serious or perhaps defamatory.
- Advice on divisive and sensitive issues: The issue may potentially be very divisive and advice is needed on how best to handle it (socking by an administratoris one example).
Disputes or issues of this kind should usually be referred to the
Such actions, if disputed, should initially be raised (by email if necessary) with the agent or functionary concerned. Where a dispute about CheckUser and Oversighter actions cannot be resolved in this manner, it should be referred to the
Last resort: arbitration
If you have taken all other reasonable steps to resolve the dispute, and the dispute is not over the content of an article, you can
For urgent situations
Some situations can be sufficiently urgent or serious that dispute resolution steps are not equipped to resolve the issue. Such situations can be forwarded to the appropriate venue.
|To request or report:||Go to:|
|Deletion of personal information from logs and page histories||Wikipedia:Requests for oversight|
|Unblocking (if you are blocked)||See the |
Guide to appealing a block
|Vandalism of an article||Wikipedia:Administrator intervention against vandalism|
|Blatantly inappropriate usernames, such as usernames that are obscene or inflammatory||Wikipedia:Usernames for administrator attention|
|Suspected sockpuppetry||Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations|
|Urgent violations of Wikipedia's policies on
|Edit warring||Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Edit warring|
|Other urgent problems with a user's edits||Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard|
The administrators' noticeboards (e.g. AN and ANI) are not the appropriate place to raise disputes relating to content. Reports that do not belong at these noticeboards will be closed, and discussions will need to be re-posted by you at an appropriate forum – such as the
Words of caution
Dispute resolution is sometimes used by editors to try to game the system. This generally backfires badly. Remember that dispute resolution mechanisms are ultimately there to enable editors to collaboratively write an encyclopedia – not to win personal or political battles.
From 2002 to 2007, disputes were discussed at Wikipedia:Conflicts between users. The process subsequently moved to Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct until it was shut down in 2014 and replaced by this policy.
- ^ WikiProjects are usually listed at the top of the article's talk page.
- ^ Please note that some editors have objections to receiving a template message – see the essays Don't template the regulars and Template the regulars for various sides of that issue.