For similar page regarding Wikipedia behavioral guidelines please see: Wikipedia:Do not disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point.
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: Retaliating when things don't go your way is inconsistent with the goals of Wikipedia|
The sweet wine of fairness cannot be squeezed from sour grapes. When an editor seeks to use a community discussion as a platform, their opinion should be assessed carefully. See both sides and strength of their claims. If it's skillful puffery then it could be deceptive (dishonest distortion) and used for retaliation (The Fox and the Grapes). Don't support them but intervene at the problem.
This fictitious example starts with an article that was PRODed by Editor1 and deprodded without explanation by Editor2. Editor1 retaliates in his statement at AFD with a comment such as:
- Overly technical, nothing but a dicdef. Does not seem expandable. No sources found. Deprodded for no reason by an editor who seems to get his jollies by deprodding me without ever explaining.
All other arguments aside, the phrase "Deprodded for no reason by an editor who seems to get his jollies by deprodding me without ever explaining" does not belong in the nomination. It may very well be that sending the article to AFD was a reasonable decision, but injecting the bitter commentary along with the rationale isn't helpful and is in fact a behavioral concern.
Retaliatory CSD / PROD / AFD
This is where an editor has content they added to the article and it was deleted for whatever reason, and they decide that if their changes can't be included, then the article shouldn't exist. They either send the article to one of the deletion processes: WP:CSD, WP:PROD or more often WP:AFD. In these cases, if there is evidence for the above, it is acceptable to close the process without action for being a bad faith action. It is an "all or nothing" approach to having one's way and is inconsistent with working in a collaborative environment.
Often, the editor who feels slighted is the original creator and feels they own that article. More rarely, there may be a conflict of interest involved, such as someone editing an article about themselves, their organization or just a major interest. Whatever the cause, their reason for sending the article to deletion isn't objective reasoning, and is instead obvious retaliation. The act of nominating in bad faith in this way may be used as a basis for sanctions.
Then there's the kind of case where someone doesn't get what they want out of a nomination process, RfC, BRD discussion, or other thread, and feels that someone in particular blockaded or thwarted them. So they dig around in that editor's history for enough dirt – none of which involved them – to try paint a picture of their "enemy" as a disruptive editor (or bad admin, or whatever) at WP:ANI, WP:AE, WP:RFARB or some other drama-board. Even cursory review of editorial interaction is going to show the noticeboard's respondents that the real motivation is petty vengeance. The editor engaging in this will be lucky if it ends with just a snowball close against their pillory-my-opponent proposition; a boomerang is quite likely. However, digging in an event based situation and pattern citations for evidence is appropriate to keep the morale of the environment.
Avoiding sour grape formation
Repairing relationship is the best way to go about it. This rebuilds trust and restores fairness in the process. Self-reflection and personal positions are required to gain a positive and advantageous environment. Following are suggestive steps to it.
- What is causing this misunderstanding or problem, and what can I do to understand it better.
- What might be causing a lack of trust, and what can I do to begin to repair trust that might have been broken? Often, it requires adequate explanations for past behavior, apologies, and perhaps even reparations.
- What might be causing one or both of us to feel coerced, and what can I do to put the focus on the problem rather than coercion? How can we take the pressure off each other so that we can give each other the freedom of choice to talk about what has happened and what is necessary to fix it.
- What might be causing one or both of us to feel disrespected, and what can I do to demonstrate acceptance and respect? How can we begin to appreciate each other’s contributions and the positive things that could be done together in the future? How can we restore respect and value each other’s contributions?
- What might be causing one or both of us to get upset, and what can I do to balance emotion and reason? How can we effectively understand their causes, so that we can move beyond them.
- Fisher, R., & Ertel, D. (1995). Getting ready to negotiate: The getting to yes workbook. New York: Penguin Books.