Conservapedia:Editing etiquette

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Wiki editors have found that good editing etiquette can reduce the arguments that frequently occur between editors with opposing viewpoints.

Edit Or Discuss First?

An editor will often chastise another editor for not discussing an alteration to an article before altering the article, yet will often edit an article themselves without discussing it first. Does this make them hypocrites? Sometimes, yes, but often it's because the circumstances are different, or unknown to you.

Etiquette Rule:

  • You should discuss changes made by an Administrator before reverting their edits. Administrators are charged with seeing that article content is in line with Conservapedia guidelines. Edit warring with an Administrator usually results in a temporary block.
  • You should not alter the editorial content of an article away from a conservative, or Christian, or family friendly "tone" without discussing proposed changes on the talk page.

Etiquette Rule:

  • Never make substantial edits to an article without discussing your changes first on the talk page. If you have a reasonable expectation that other editors will accept your change(s), the changes are just formatting / copy editing, you should proceed.

But how would you know what other editors will accept? Here's some ideas:

  • You are removing vandalism.
  • You are correcting spelling or grammar (but don't change American spelling to British spelling, etc. except where appropriate. As a general rule, that would be if the article is about something related to that country).
  • If you are inserting an undisputed fact. For example, Australia is in the southern hemisphere.
  • If you properly reference your "facts". Another editor is less likely to remove your edit if you have references to show that your facts are correct.
  • If you put your "facts" in neutral terms. For example, Evolutionist geologists and atheists believe that the world is 4.5 billion years old is better than The world is 4.5 billion years old.
  • You explain your edits. This can be done in an edit comment (Summary edit field) or on the article's talk page. In the latter case, putting "See talk" in the edit comment will alert other editors to the fact that you have discussed your edit on the talk page.
  • It was edited by an Administrator, Administrators decisions on CP policy / article content are to be respected. If you disagree, make your disagreement known, along with the reasons, on the article's talk page, and if no reply, remind them of your post by leaving a note on their personal talk page.

Etiquette Rule:

  • Favor improving another person's edits over completely deleting them.

So improving his edit (perhaps from The world is 4.5 billion years old to Secular geologists believe that the world is 5.6 billion years old) is better than simply deleting.

If you think that the edit really should come out, explain why in the edit comment or on the talk page. If your reasons are good enough, chances are the first editor will see your point and accept his change being removed.

If you question other editor's facts, then instead of just deleting them, post to the talk page, and put a {{fact}} tag after the claimed fact, to give him an opportunity to support his edit. If the original editor fails to support his fact in a reasonable time (minimum of a week), then you have better justification for removing his "fact". You could even post to the editors talk page, directing their attention to your post on the article's talk page.

Etiquette Rule:

  • Avoid edit wars.

An edit war is when two editors keep undoing the other editor's changes. Such a situation is totally unproductive and serves only to raise tempers. They are also against the Conservapedia Guidelines, and you could be blocked.

If you cannot agree on a change even after discussing it, ask other editors for their opinions or an Administrator to mediate.

Do not revert an Administrator's changes.

Use The Appropriate Page For Discussions

Etiquette Rule:

  • Discuss an article on that article's talk page.

When discussing changes to an article with another editor, have the discussion on the article's talk page, where other editors can see it and contribute if they wish, rather than on one of the editors' talk pages, where the discussion is unlikely to be seen by other editors.

This is also useful for later editors looking to see why something in the article is the way it is. They can expect to look on the article's talk page, not somewhere else entirely.

Etiquette Rule:

  • Discuss off-topic discussions elsewhere.

Sometimes discussions about an article lead off to other matters. If the discussion is no longer about the article, move the discussion elsewhere. Do not put User names in subheadings to invite other editors to beat up on an editor or hold up to ridicule. Conservapedia has more options for this than Wikipedia. Here are some of the options:

  • Discuss it on one of your user talk pages.
  • Create a debate page for discussing that issue.
  • Create an essay for putting down your own thoughts on an issue.
  • Email
  • Instant Messenger

Etiquette Rule

  • Do not bombard talk pages with spam and excessive hypertext.
  • Talk pages are for interaction between users. Be courteous and civil. Do not spam the talk page with reams and reams of text and links. Be respectful of other users time. They are not obligated to read your excess verbiage. Bombast does not "win" an argument.

Interacting with other editors on talk pages

Etiquette Rule

  • Yes, you can go back and fix typos, grammar, or wikify your posting after another editor responds;
  • No, you cannot go back and add to, or alter the context of your posting after another editor has responded to your posting. This is considered a potential violation of Conservapedia Guidelines:Bad faith editing.

Edit Histories

Edit histories allow other editors to see how an article was changed, and who changed it. Editors can also "step through" the edit histories to follow a series of changes.

Following are some guidelines for making this easier on other users.

Etiquette Rule:

  • Use the "Show preview" button.

Using the Show preview button to check how your edit will look will reduce the number of changes to the article, keeping the edit history shorter. It can be irritating to other editors to have to step through a lot of very minor changes that could have been avoided if the Show preview button was used.

Etiquette Rule:

  • Don't make massive changes in one go.

When you make massive changes in one edit, it makes it hard for other editors to see what was actually changed. Consider breaking your edits into smaller steps, particularly when moving paragraphs around. Changing and moving a paragraph in the one edit can make it difficult for the software to highlight the differences properly.

Etiquette Rule:

  • Use edit summaries.

When you make a change, please put a brief (or not so brief) comment in the Summary box to explain your edit.

Common comments include:

Do not be discourteous - use the Minor Edit box when appropriate.
  • Revert (or Rv)
  • Spelling (or Sp)
  • Grammar
  • copyedit (indicating that there were changes like a newspaper editor might make, to improve the spelling, grammar, or wording, but not changing the meaning nor deleting nor adding information).
  • If your change cannot be explained briefly, an edit comment of see talk will alert other editors that you have explained (or will explain) your edit on the talk page.

In your user preferences, you can select to have the software remind you if you don't include an edit comment.

Minor Edit box

Checking "Minor Edit" is a feature that allows you to mark a change as not significant. Examples of insignificant edits would be typo corrections, where only superficial differences exist between the current and previous versions, like rearrangement of text without modifying content, etc. In short, a minor edit is one that the editor believes requires no review and could never be the subject of a dispute. Such edits are marked in the page revision history with a lower case, bolded "m". Do not by discourteous to other editors by tying up Recent changes with minor edits. Check the Minor Edit box when appropriate.

See also