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Icon-policy Wowpedia:Policies

Policy status and phases

Speedy deletion
Disallowed content
Disruptive editing
External links
Fan fiction


Item articles
Personal articles
Player character pages
Three revert rule
User naming

See also: guidelines, administrators
policy sign

This page is an official policy on Wowpedia.

This policy has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that all users should follow.

  • Feel free to propose any changes to this policy, but please make sure that changes you make follow the official process and reflect consensus on the discussion page before you put them into practice. Any big changes need to be Adopted or Decreed to be enforced as policy.
  • See Wowpedia:Policies for an overview of Wowpedia policies.
  • See Category:Policies for a list of proposed and adopted policy articles.
  • Shortcut: WP:DE

Disruptive editing is a pattern of edits, which may extend over a considerable period of time or number of articles, that has the effect of

  • disrupting progress toward improving an article, or
  • disrupting progress toward the fundamental project of building Wowpedia.


Wowpedia, like any successful wiki, owes much of its success to its openness. However, that very openness sometimes attracts people who seek to exploit the site as a platform for pushing a single point of view, to self-promote themselves, or unduly promoting a minor point of lore. While all official sources of lore are considered valid, and constructive editors occasionally make mistakes, sometimes an editor creates long-term problems by persistently editing a page or set of pages with information which is not relevant to Warcraft, the World of Warcraft, or Wowpedia; or insisting on giving undue weight to a minor point of lore.

Collectively, disruptive editors harm Wowpedia by degrading its reliability as a reference source and by exhausting the patience of productive editors who may quit the project in frustration when a disruptive editor continues with impunity.

It is essential to recognize patterns of disruptive editing. Our 3RR policy already acknowledges that one act, by itself, may not violate policy, but when part of a series of acts that constitute a pattern does violate policy. Disruptive edits may not occur all in the course of one 24 hour period, and may not consist of the repetition of the same act. Nevertheless, a series of edits over time may form a pattern that seriously disrupts the project. The three revert rule should not be construed as a defense against action taken to enforce this policy.

Disruptive editors may seek to disguise their behavior as productive editing, yet distinctive traits separate them from productive editors. When discussion fails to resolve the problem and when an impartial consensus of editors from outside a disputed page agree (through requests for comment or similar means), further disruption should be liable to being listed at the list of violations and may lead to more serious disciplinary action through the dispute resolution process. In extreme cases this could include a ban from Wowpedia, usually through a consensus decision.

How disruptive editors evade detection[]

Disruptive editing already violates site policy, yet certain editors have succeeded in disrupting articles and evading disciplinary action for one of several possible reasons:

  • their edits occur over a long period of time; in this case, no single edit may be clearly disruptive, but the overall pattern is disruptive
  • their edits are largely confined to talk-pages, such disruption may not directly harm an article, but it often prevents other editors from reaching consensus on how to improve an article
  • their edits often avoid gross breaches of policy, especially by refraining from posting explicitly banned content, even though they interfere with civil and collaborative editing meant to improve the article
  • their edits remain limited to a small number of pages that very few people watch
  • conversely, their edits may be distributed over a wide range of articles that few people watch.

Signs of disruptive editing[]

This policy concerns gross, obvious and repeated violations of fundamental policies, not subtle questions about which reasonable people may disagree.

A disruptive editor is an editor who:

  • Is tedentious: continues editing an article or group of articles in pursuit of a certain point for an extended time despite opposition from one or more other editors. Tendentious editing does not consist only of adding material; some tendentious editors engage in disruptive deletions as well.
  • Cannot satisfy the lore policy; fails to cite sources, cites unofficial sources, misrepresents reliable sources, or embeds speculation in factual content.
  • Engages in "disruptive cite-tagging"; adds unjustified {{fact}} tags to an article when the content tagged is already sourced, uses such tags to suggest that properly sourced article content is questionable.
  • Does not engage in consensus building:
    • repeatedly disregards other editors' questions or requests for explanations concerning edits or objections to edits;
    • repeatedly disregards other editors' explanations for their edits.
  • Rejects community input: resists moderation and/or requests for comment, continuing to edit in pursuit of a certain point despite an opposing consensus from impartial editors.

In addition, such editors may:

  • Campaign to drive away productive contributors: act counter to policies and guidelines, engage in sockpuppetry/meatpuppetry, etc. on a low level that might not exhaust the general community's patience, but that operates toward an end of exhausting the patience of productive rules-abiding editors on certain articles.

Distinguished from productive editing[]

Editors often post minor trivia and facts to articles. This fits within Wowpedia's mission so long as the contributions are based in lore and do not give undue weight to a non-Blizzard, biased point of view. The burden of evidence rests with the editor who initially provides the information or wishes the information to remain.

Editors may reasonably present controversies which are documented by reliable sources. This exemption does not apply to settled disputes; for example, insertion of claims that goblins and worgen would not be new races in Cataclysm; even though this issue was previously an active controversy. Mentioning such disputes in the article may however be appropriate if the controversy itself was notable (such as in this example).

Sometimes well-meaning editors may be misled by fringe source of lore or make honest mistakes when representing a citation. Such people may reasonably defend their positions for a short time, then concede the issue when they encounter better evidence or impartial feedback. Articles which document discredited hypotheses are acceptable. However, claims that Azeroth is flat would be inappropriate in an article such as Azeroth, even if presented as a minority opinion.

In order to protect against frivolous accusations and other potential exploitation, no editor shall be eligible for a disruptive editor block until after a consensus of neutral parties has agreed that an editor has behaved in a disruptive manner. This consensus can be achieved through requests for comment or similar means. This does not include editors whose edits constitute violations of probation or other edit restrictions (including violation of other policies), who may be blocked for such edits independent of this policy.

Dealing with disruptive editors[]

Following is a model for remedies, though these steps do not necessarily have to be done in this sequence. In some extreme circumstances a rapid report to WP:V may be the best first step; in others, a fast track to a ban may be in order. But in general, most situations can benefit from a gradual escalation, with hope that each step may help resolve the problem, such that further steps are not needed:

  • First unencyclopedic entry by what appears to be a disruptive editor.
  • Assume good faith. Do not attack the author who you suspect is disruptive. However, revert uncited or unencyclopedic material. Use an edit summary which describes the problem in non-inflammatory terms. Stay very civil. Post to talk page asking for discussion and/or sources. Consult Do not bite the newcomers, and be aware that you may be dealing with someone who is new and confused, rather than a problem editor.
  • If editor unreverts:
  • Revert again if they haven't responded at the talk page. Ensure that a clear explanation for the difference in opinion is posted by you at the article talk page. Refer to this policy in your edit summary. If possible, suggest compromises at the talk page.
  • If the reverting continues, and they are inserting unsourced information:
  • Revert, and request an administrator via WP:V. Provide diffs of the multiple reverts by the tendentious editor. Keep your post short (no more than 250-500 words), well-diffed (multiple diffs showing evidence), and focus on user conduct issues (the tendentious editor is not engaging in discussion / is inserting unsourced information / is ignoring talk page consensus). Try to avoid going into detailed article content issues, as it may reduce the likelihood that an admin will understand the complaint. Note: To be most successful, your own history must be clean. At all times, stay civil, and avoid engaging in multiple reverts yourself.
  • If the tendentious editor is using sources, but if the sources are bad or misinterpreted:
  • Do not post on the list of violations yet.
  • Continue attempts to engage new editor in dialogue. Refer to policies and guidelines as appropriate.
  • If only two editors are involved, seek a third opinion.
  • If more editors are involved, try a request for comment.
  • Suggest mediation.
  • If mediation is rejected, unsuccessful, and/or the problems continue:
  • Notify the editor you find disruptive, on their user talk page.
    Include diffs of the problematic behavior. Use a section name and/or edit summary to clearly indicate that you view their behavior as disruptive, but avoid being unnecessarily provocative. Remember, you're still trying to de-escalate the situation. If other editors are involved, they should post their own comments too, to make it clear that the community disapproves of the tendentious behavior.
  • Tendentious editor continues reverting.
  • Assuming that it's one editor against many at this point, continue reverting the tendentious editor. If s/he exceeds three reverts in a 24-hour period, file a report at WP:V based on WP:3RR (and be careful you don't do excessive reverts yourself!). However, one tendentious editor cannot maintain problematic content in the face of multiple other editors reverting his/her edits.
  • If the tendentious editor is not violating 3RR, or there aren't enough editors involved to enforce Wowpedia policies:
  • File another WP:V report.
  • Editor continues to ignore consensus of the request for comment:
  • Again request assistance at WP:V for administrator intervention, point to consensus from the request for comment. An admin should issue a warning or temporary block as appropriate.

Blocking and sanctions for disruption[]

  • Disruptive editing may result in warnings and then escalating blocks, typically starting with 24 hours.
  • Accounts used primarily for disruption may be blocked indefinitely.
  • If a pattern of disruption is subtle or long term, and informal discussions are ineffective, a request for comment may be used to document the problem and establish a consensus for a ban.


It is important to be as patient and kind as possible. Techniques such as reverting need to be combined with sincere efforts to turn the user toward productive work. Only when editors show themselves unwilling or unable to set issues aside and work harmoniously with others, for the benefit of the project, should they be regarded as irredeemable, and politely but firmly removed.