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Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton

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Chapter 10. Resolving Content Disputes

Wikipedia’s core is its articles’ content. With so many editors collaborating on Wikipedia, disagreements over content are inevitable. Most of the time, editors resolve these matters on their own, after a reasonable discussion. If you find yourself involved in a content dispute, follow the guidelines in this chapter to engage the other editor in a helpful discussion. If push comes to shove, this chapter also shows you how to use Wikipedia’s formal processes for important disagreements that can’t be resolved informally.

Why Editors Disagree

If it’s true that there’s strength in diversity, then Wikipedia has the strongest volunteer corps possible. More than a billion people worldwide have Internet access, and a very large percentage of those speak English as a primary or additional language. They’re all potential editors of the English Wikipedia. The diversity of editors is one reason why editors disagree about article content. Another is a lack of knowledge of Wikipedia’s rules, which aren’t all intuitively obvious.

Diversity of Backgrounds

Only about half the editors of the English Wikipedia live in the United States (population 300 million). The rest come from an incredibly wide range of countries, cultures, and continents. English is the primary language of most inhabitants of the United Kingdom (60 million people), Canada (33 million), Australia (21 million), Ireland (6 million), New Zealand (4 million), and numerous Caribbean islands like Jamaica ...

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