Wikipedia:Assume good faith
|This page is a guideline on Wikipedia.|
Many editors agree with the ideas on this page. It is a good idea to follow it, but it is not policy.
You can change the page as needed, but please use the talk page to make sure that other editors agree with any big changes.
To assume good faith is an important part of Wikipedia. It means to think that people on Wikipedia have good intentions when they do something (like editing, commenting, etc.), even if they end up making a mistake. We believe most people who work here want to help Wikipedia, so we let almost anyone edit. This belief must be shared by everyone, for the good of the project. If this was not true, a successful project like Wikipedia would not exist.
When you believe that a mistake someone made was an attempt to help the project, correct it without being mean to the editor. When you do not agree with someone, remember that they believe that they are helping. Think about using talk pages to explain, and give others the chance to do the same. This can avoid conflict and stop problems from getting worse.
Be patient with new editors and do not bite them. Wikipedia is different from most cultures and communities, and many people may not know about how we work. They may make mistakes or not show respect for community policies. A new editor may believe that a policy should be changed to match their experience somewhere else. Also, many new editors may be experts or have experiences that are helpful for our project. These people are just trying to help.
Assuming good faith is about intentions (why people do what they do), not actions (what they do). People who try to help sometimes make mistakes, and you should correct those mistakes. However, you should not think their mistakes were meant to be hurtful or vandalism. Correct their mistake, but do not be mean or rude. You will probably not agree with everyone here. Even if they are wrong, that does not mean they are trying to make Wikipedia worse. You may even find it hard to work with some people. That does not mean they are trying to make Wikipedia worse either. It is never necessary that we assume an editor's actions are in bad faith, even if bad faith seems clear, because reverting and blocking can be performed because of actions, not intent.
Saying that the other side in a conflict is not assuming good faith can be a form of not assuming good faith.
This policy does not require editors to continue to assume good faith when there is evidence that they have bad faith. Actions that are not consistent with good faith include vandalism, sockpuppetry, and lying. Assuming good faith also does not mean that no action by editors should be criticized, but instead that criticism should not be attributed to badness unless there is specific evidence of badness.