wikiHow:Be Civil

EditBe Civil

Webster's dictionary defines civility as “showing regard for others”. Since the act of collaborating on a wiki requires working with others, it's important to treat each other with respect. So, the main rule about how to behave on wikiHow is: be civil.

wikiHow is a team effort, a community. This acknowledges that everyone has their own abilities and everyone has something useful and important to contribute to wikiHow. Being articulate, clever, astute or fast to spot an error are all fine traits to have. Many users are here precisely because they are clever and quick with words. Yet, how you apply these word skills in guiding others on wikiHow matters - a lot. Be helpful and kind, always. The how of being helpful matters the most - there are differing ways to express the same thing but how you say something to another when guiding them matters. Just as you have feelings, dignity and deserve respect, so do those you interact with. How you treat others is how they will treat you; be nice and niceness will return. Where it doesn't, be the stronger person and don't retaliate; eventually that person will learn from their own lack of respect. Leadership comes from encouragement, personal strength and overcoming the need to use criticism to self-assert. Being constructive, kind and caring moves mountains.

The following are some good rules of thumb:

  • Assume good faith. We are all here to help build a great how-to manual. Don't assume more sinister motivations.
  • Don't bite the newbies. wikiHow needs newcomers to achieve our mission. Treat them with wikilove and respect when they inevitably make many common mistakes as they learn the ropes here. Never scare them off through hostility or elitism.
  • Personal attacks are never acceptable. Comment on the content, not the contributor.
  • Nobody "owns" a wikiHow article. Welcome other editors who edit articles you also work on.

There is no reason to list all the other different ways people can behave in an uncivil manner, as we all know when we are behaving in civil and uncivil ways.

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Categories: WikiHow User's Manual | WikiHow Values | Patrolling