The BOLD, revert, discuss cycle is a method that can be used to change any page on any consensus based wiki, and attain consensus on the changes as they are being made.

The cycle is occasionally used to break deadlocks on policy or high profile pages. Large amounts of diplomacy are required to pull it off successfully there. It generally helps to discuss your problems with the page before entering the cycle.

Note that this cycle generally just gets editing going, and gets people to cooperate on it. There is no guarantee that the outcome will be as you expect. Be prepared to be flexible!

The basic concept is to find the people who actually disagree with you by causing them to revert.


The cycle has the following steps:

  • First, be bold and make a change to the page as you see fit.
  • Wait until someone reverts or makes just as a substantial edit as you did. DO NOT Revert back!
  • Discuss with the reverter.
  • Once you reach agreement, be bold again, implement it, and wait to be reverted again. Wash, rinse, and repeat.
  • If no one reverts after a couple of days, congratulations! You got out of the impasse and got changes done.

Only talk with one or at most two reverters at once! You can always go back and get yourself reverted again to find other interested parties.

Discussions with reverter

In the discussion with the reverter, here are some points to remember:

  • Stay civil at all times.
  • It is very hard to gain brownie points using this method, expect to only be accepted neutrally if you act perfectly, and expect people to get mad at you if you do it wrong.
  • There's no such thing as a consensus version. You were not part of that consensus, as evidenced by your own major edit. (You can assume that the other party is in a similar cycle to you, whether they know it or not.)
  • You don't have to accept "policy" , "consensus", or "procedure" as excuses. These sometimes get worn out on consensus-based wikis, but you're disagreeing with them. Don't back off immediately, BUT!:
  • Do listen very carefully to the other person's position, which might include their interpretation of a policy as part of the reasons. Don't accept "it's policy, live with it.", but DO listen VERY CAREFULLY when folks say "well, flurbeling was a bad idea, that's why we decided to always floop before we fleep instead."
  • Accommodate the wishes of the other person. Don't run over them roughshod. It won't work, and it'll only cost you brownie points for no good reason.
  • Try to get the other person to undo their revert or apply their suggested changes if possible. This is preferable to doing it yourself since it avoids accidentally angering the other party.

See also