|This essay contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia users. Essays may represent common ideas, or ideas that many users would not support. They are not rules. Think carefully about what they say before following them.|
|This page in a nutshell: It's okay to call a spade a spade — to speak plainly — but remember to remain civil, and to stay focused on improving the encyclopedia.|
To call a spade a spade is to describe something clearly and directly. Rather than using confusing language, just "tell it like it is."
Users sometimes tell people to read and use our policies, like our policy against personal attacks and our policy against incivility, not to protect themselves from personal attacks, but to protect their edits from review.
Although editors who always edit badly are bad editors and editors who always vandalize are vandals, we all need to be civil to each other. But being civil should not be confused with being friendly or courteous, let alone charitable.
It's OK to let others know when you think they're acting badly. Being polite will get them to listen more.
The duck test[change source]
The "duck test" – "if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck" – means you can work something out by looking at what it does without needing definite proof.
A good example is when different editors make very similar bad edits. Sometimes this will cause a request for a Checkuser. If it is really obvious that the edits are being made by the same person, then the "duck test" can be used. In other words, "the edits look the same, the edits are made to the same pages and the edits are made close together, it's probably sockpuppetry".