This is an essay.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
|This page in a nutshell: If you know enough about Wikipedia to tell someone not to bite you, you aren't a newcomer.|
Don't bite the newcomers is an important principle of Wikipedia. It helps us to retain new users as the one thing that cannot be undone on Wikipedia is scaring someone off. Unfortunately, sometimes this essay is used as a way to avoid criticism of one's own actions.
As a basic rule, anyone who is able to appeal to WP:BITE, either implicitly or explicitly, knows enough about Wikipedia that they can't be considered a newcomer. If you are citing bite to tell people to cut you some slack, you should consider the content of what they are saying, and not the tone, because there's a very good chance you've passed the stage where the community is going to consider you a new user and tolerate any number of mistakes.
People who rush into things on Wikipedia and get involved in the behind the scenes tasks often make mistakes. This isn't a big deal, even experienced Wikipedians do so. What is a big deal is when they don't like accepting criticism of these mistakes. A necessary part of working in more complicated areas of Wikipedia is accepting criticism, and some of that criticism can be harsh. That's not fun, and experienced Wikipedians should do their best to avoid being overly harsh on anyone, new or otherwise.
The issue comes when someone cites WP:BITE to another user after receiving criticism. This citation doesn't have to be in direct words, but can be an appeal to the principle of I'm a new user, you should be nice to me because established practice says so. In order to make this appeal, the person making it has to know enough about Wikipedia policies and guidelines to have actually read a page that's fairly hard to find if you don't wander the backend of the project, and make the connection that if they say it, they might be able to get out of criticism themselves because people will focus on the person criticizing them.
The only people who are able to make this calculation are people who know enough about Wikipedia that the principles in WP:BITE can safely be said not to be applicable to them.