Wikipedia:Neutral point of view

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All Wikipedias have a rule that when people write articles, they should use a Neutral Point of View (abbreviated NPOV). NPOV means that people should write the things that almost everyone agrees about, and make them the main point of the article.

When an article is changed by many people, it usually reflects things that most people agree on. This is called consensus. The things that people disagree and argue about must also be mentioned. But they must not be the main point of the article. The important issues or debates must be written in a way which does not favour any one side too much. Strange or rare opinions can be stated as side matters with details about who says them. If they are too strange, they may be moved.

NPOV does not solve all problems. For example, many things most people believe are wrong - agreeing is not truth. Facts must be checked. Honest people disagree about complex topics. A Simple English Wikipedia user's point of view and idea of neutral is not always the same as that of a Simple English Wikipedia contributor. But most cases are simple:

Example of cases of disagreement[change | edit source]

For example, if two people are talking about a king named Marco (not a real king, but let's pretend), they might disagree about many things. One person might say, "Marco caused a war between countries", but the other person might say, "Marco tried to avoid the war between countries." One person might say, "Marco was a good king". The other might say "Marco was a bad king."

But both people could agree on a great number of facts about Marco, for example: Marco was 175 centimetres tall. Marco was born in 1630 and died in 1699. Marco's father was named Carlos and his mother was named Claudia. Marco's country fought a war from 1670 to 1675. Marco's Kingdom was Fylburia in Eastern Europe, etc. Because almost everyone agrees that these things are true, they are "neutral point of view" and okay as the main point of the article.

Only once these things are done should the different opinions on Marco and the war, and his skill as a king, be added - it must be clear that these are not agreed on by everyone, and all sides should be treated fairly. Opinions should be said like this:

"Scientists who live in Canada say that Marco was good because (say their reasons). College students with high grades think he was a bad king, because (their reasons)."

If you think the view of a topic is not neutral, you may raise a Wikipedia:NPOV dispute. This tells others not to trust the article until it is fixed.