Wiki Community/Handling Problems

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Handling Problems and Resolving Conflicts

Bad Content

Bad content happens. And it can (and should) be removed. When you see a comment or bit of content that has no merit (say, an outrageous, fabricated story or a racist attack), feel free to remove it. Just make sure you leave a little note explaining why in the edit comment bar at the bottom of the edit screen. It has a fairly short character limit, but a little "totally fabricated story" or "completely inappropriate" should get the idea across.
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Bear in mind, there are a wide variety of opinions here on the wiki. It's possible someone will disagree that content is bad. Or maybe you just feel uncertain about removing content without getting a second opinion. Either way, it's fine. The steps in the next section should help.

Resolving Conflicts

Disagreements periodically come up over content on a page. There are three basic steps you should take, as needed. Most of the time, Step 1 will be all you really need.

Step 1: Communicate. Explain the problem and your desired outcome. Oftentimes, this is enough to solve the issue. For most issues, it's easy to come up with a solution or compromise. If you're a business owner or employee, you have a personal and financial interest in the page. That means that people who see you removing or changing content may jump to the conclusion that you're "whitewashing" or trying to cover something up. To keep that from happening, it's important to explain why you want the content gone. The fact that it's negative or upsetting generally won't be enough by itself—remember, the wiki tries to represent many different (and often conflicting) viewpoints.

Step 2: Relax. Sometimes these things take a bit of time. Obviously bogus, racist, etc. content will just get deleted, but if there's a borderline case there may be different opinions on how to deal with it. It may take a day or two. Often other editors will want to do a little outreach, asking the person who added the problematic content to clarify, elaborate, or rewrite something to avoid the problem. They may have questions for you, as well. If it's something that could be seriously damaging to a person or a business, you can move the content (or ask someone else to move it, people will be happy to help out) to a talk page. It'll then be out of the way until the issue is resolved.

Step 3: Resolution. Hopefully the conflict can be resolved easily through a compromise, clarification, rewrite, or deletion. Unfortunately, that's not always possible. When it comes down to a question of "keep it or leave it" and people can't agree, it's ultimately going to come down to a community decision. There's no set standard. Things get handled on a case-by-case basis, with everyone involved trying to come to the best resolution they can. Once a decision is made—often by a poll or vote—both sides need to abide by it. If that means you're stuck with something nasty on the page about your business, do what you can to handle it constructively. Feel free to ask for help from your fellow editors. A lot of folks have seen many of these situations and may be able to give you some advice on damage control.

Other Problems

Running into other problems? Your fellow editors can help. Check out the Seeking Help page for more info.

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