(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.
Big wiki is watching you? Or not?

Bigwikithink is when the ideology of a big wiki—the set of policies and mindsets that form its community—is projected onto another community as the way things must be done. This page is about the application of Bigwikithink to smaller projects, such as from one of the major Wikipedias to Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wikiquote, Wikisource, Wikispecies, Wiktionary, Wikivoyage, Wikimedia Commons, Wikidata, and other language Wikipedias.

Bigwikithink can be beneficial. For example, it brought the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL) and the MediaWiki software to some of the other projects. However, one must apply it selectively. The problem is that the purpose of small wikis is often quite different from that of big wikis. Continuing the example, some smaller wikis, such as Wikinews, decided not to use the GFDL.

Problems can occur when active contributors on big wikis bring too much Bigwikithink to smaller projects. These may include:

  1. vandals blocked on a big wiki, destroy pages on small ones but boast that they are vandalising the big wiki.
  2. contributors may find a new Smallwiki policy they dislike and flee to their Bigwiki to complain. They are often then correctly sent to this Meta-wiki for further discussion.
  3. contributors may cite Bigwiki policy before other users remind them that the small wiki has its own local policy.
  4. contributors may act well, but refer to the small wiki as "Wikipedians", or claim that they are contributing to "Wikipedia".
  5. contributors may mean well, but incorrectly assume a BigWiki policy on a Smallwiki. For example, making an article of a dictionary definition, while good for wiktionary, is unacceptable on many wikipedias as being a violation of their content policies, concerning the purpose and nature of an encyclopedia. However, wikipedians can be unaware that encyclopedia articles are unacceptable on non-Wikipedia projects, and improperly copy or move articles to inappropriate places, such as wikibooks.

Reverse cases


In some limited cases it is possible for this process to operate in reverse, with a small wiki projecting its problems onto a larger one. Examples include:

  1. Banned trolls and other abusive users from the big wikis agitating smaller wikis, such as Meta, to "do something" about why they were banned form the big wiki. The truth is that each wiki makes its own rules and no wiki can force another to unban anyone or to change local policies. That is what these users should be told, and if they persist they should either be ignored or blocked for disruption, depending on how they go about it. . Oddly, some may instead enable and encourage these malcontents, and even join them in attacking the character of entire other wikis or individual users.
  2. The advent of global user pages makes it possible for a user to use their Meta user page to add problematic content to literally every single other Wikimedia project simultaneously.

See also