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ASW:Assume Good Faith

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Assume good faith is a fundamental principle and a core policy on ASW. As we allow anyone to edit, it follows that we assume that most people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it. If this weren't true, this wiki project would be doomed from the beginning.


What constitutes "good faith"? Edit

The following constitutes good faith.

  • No intention of malice.
  • People trying their best to do their best.
  • People trying their best to do their best for the greater good of the community.
  • Friendliness, honesty, caring.

Assuming good faith is important in every aspect of this wiki's life, but especially in dealing with new users, and in disagreements between good editors.


New Users Edit

When a reader makes that first leap to click the "edit" button, it's because they've gotten excited about something this community wrote. They may not understand the tools or codes you're used to, and they most likely have not read the wiki's rules and policies: new people make mistakes all the time. It's easy to get frustrated and impatient about this, but everyone needs a chance to learn.

So, when you can reasonably assume that something is a well-intentioned error, correct it with a kind, explanatory edit summary. Don't just revert it without comment, or label it as vandalism. When you can, take a moment to explain the error on the user's talk page -- it not only helps them become a better editor, that "new messages" banner shows them that someone is paying attention to their edits! That's a good feeling, one that gets people deeply involved in wikis they care about.

Well-meaning people can make mistakes, and you should correct them when they do. What you should not do is act like their mistake was deliberate. Correct, but don't scold.

People can have very different attitudes about what's best for this project. When you disagree with someone, you might start to feel that they are a "bad editor", but that's almost never true if they care about the topic. Assuming good faith is about intentions, not actions. Even if the person is wrong, that doesn't mean they're trying to wreck this wiki.

Whenever an edit or a message irritates you, step back and assume the person is trying to help the wiki, not to damage it. This can help you to look past your frustration to see what they were trying to achieve, and act more kindly based on that understanding. Consider using talk pages to explain yourself, and invite others to do the same. This can avoid misunderstandings and prevent problems from escalating.

Well-meaning people can take actions the rest of the community feels are unwise, and you should discuss the actions calmly and seek compromises, if possible. What you should not do is accuse the person of vandalism or sabotage. Encourage consensus, but don't condemn.


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