Resolving Content Disputes Informally

The first part of this chapter focused on ways to decrease the probability of getting into a content dispute. But if you’re editing articles, such disputes are almost inevitable, unless no one else cares enough to edit the same articles. This section shows you what to do if someone disputes one of your edits, or disagrees with how you responded to one of his edits. When you’re in a content dispute, your goal should be to resolve the matter informally. You usually try to reach an informal resolution by discussing the matter on the article talk page, as discussed on Article Talk (Discussion) Pages.

With any luck, both you and the other editors who get involved in the discussion about content are reasonable, respectful of the other editors (who are also unpaid volunteers), and focused solely on what’s best for Wikipedia. Taking that approach improves the chances of a successful outcome. If you find yourself disagreeing with another editor about content, start with the following suggestions. You’ll be much less likely to need to use more formal methods to resolve matters.

Avoid Incivility and Personal Attacks

“Discuss Edits, Not Editors” (Discuss Edits, Not Editors) stressed the importance of avoiding incivility, and assuming good faith. Those objectives hold even more true once a dispute is underway. Don’t make disagreements a personal matter if you want to easily resolve content disagreements.

Look for Compromises

Remember that your goal is improve ...

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