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Assume good faith

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This page is considered an official policy on Star Trek Expanded Universe. It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that everyone should follow. Except for minor edits, please make use of the discussion page to propose changes to this policy.

Policy in a nutshell: Assume that people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it.

You should always assume good faith. "Assume good faith" is a fundamental principle on any wiki project. In allowing anyone to edit, we must assume that most people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it. If this weren't true, open-source projects like those found on Wikia would be doomed from the beginning. When you can reasonably assume that a mistake someone made was a well-intentioned attempt to further the goals of the project, correct it without criticizing. When you disagree with someone, remember that they probably believe that they are helping the project. Consider using talk pages to explain yourself, and give others the opportunity to do the same. This can avoid misunderstandings and prevent problems from escalating.

Be patient with newcomers. Newcomers unaware of our unique, wiki-based culture and the mechanics of editing may make mistakes or fail to respect community norms. It is not uncommon for a newcomer to believe that an unfamiliar policy should be changed to match their experience elsewhere. Similarly, many newcomers bring with them experience or expertise for which they expect immediate respect. Behaviors arising from these perspectives are not malicious.

Assuming good faith is about intentions, not actions. Well-meaning people make mistakes, and you should correct them when they do. You should not act like their mistake was deliberate. Correct, but don't scold. There will be others with whom you disagree. Even if they're wrong, it doesn't mean that they're trying to wreck the project. There will be some people with whom you find it hard to work. That doesn't mean they're trying to wreck the project either. It is never necessary that we attribute an editor's actions to bad faith, even if bad faith seems obvious, as all our countermeasures (i.e. reverting, blocking) can be performed on the basis of behavior rather than intent.

This policy does not require that editors continue to assume good faith in the presence of evidence to the contrary. Actions inconsistent with good faith include vandalism, confirmed malicious sockpuppetry, and lying. Assuming good faith also does not mean that no action by editors should be criticized, but instead that criticism should not be attributed to malice unless there is specific evidence of malice. Accusing the other side in a conflict of not assuming good faith, without showing reasonable supporting evidence, is another form of failing to assume good faith.

Adapted from Wikipedia:Assume good faith.

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