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We like to joke on Wikipedia every so often. However, when we do, there is certain stuff that must be done.

Content must be noted as humor[change source]

No one wants to be the skunk at the garden party, but we have responsibilities.

Humor used inappropriately without being noted can and often does result in blocks or other actions against editors. When it is used it must be clearly marked. {{humor}} is an example of one of the templates that helps with this.

No one wants to be the skunk at the garden party. But Wikipedia is no longer the small website it was back in the 2000s. It's now the world's main source of humanity's collection of knowledge, and with that privilege comes some custodial responsibilities. The benefits of humor in helping boost the number of people who stay on Wikipedia must be weighed against its potential for disruption. Consider:

  • Humor is sometimes not understood properly – sarcasm is hard to convey in writing that does not have the cues of verbal speech. Many editors and administrator hours have been spent resolving disputes caused by this.
  • Misused humor damages Wikipedia's credibility – Readers come here looking for information, and when they find jokes they lose faith in our reliability.
  • Not everyone is looking for humor – When an editor will be working on a serious task and just wants to focus on it. Clear notice gives them the option to do so. Jokes will often draw attention and take time to figure out.

Humor in articles[change source]

There is no clear consensus when and how humor should be used in articles.

If humorous material is included in an article, it must be done in such a way as to meet all the usual article requirements, this includes:

Creating an article about humor or humorous subjects is not the same as adding humor to an article. One can create "dry" articles on humor, should that be considered alright.

Humor outside of articles[change source]

Humor is often seen on Wikipedia pages outside of articles. The primary purpose of the Wikipedia project namespace and similar pages are to coordinate the mission of the building of the encyclopedia. Because Wikipedia's community is the people who change Wikipedia, humor often appears as well.

Humor can appear in many different ways, with considerable overlap. These ways include:

  • Sometimes Wikipedians just highlight the use of humor in articles or other areas without intending to criticize at all.
  • Sometimes Wikipedians create humor for its own sake in out-of-the-way places where readers are unlikely to find it. For example on RfDs.
  • Humor is often used when trying to "lighten the mood" in an active discussion, with varying degrees of success and failure.
  • Irony is often used to show a point.
  • Humor is sometimes used to show a point without irony.
  • Wikipedians often make jokes about the Wikipedia community or which are intended for the Wikipedian community. These may sometimes qualify as "in-jokes". However, without community edits the humor will be lessened or lost.

One should remain aware that what one finds funny, another person may find mean and hurtful. The use of humor does not override such core policies as Civility and No Personal Attacks.