Learning patterns/Manage disputes

A learning pattern forEducation
Manage disputes
problemYou want to resolve a disagreement between a student or educator and a Wikimedia community member.
solutionTalk to other administrators, contact a chapter, User Group or Thorg, or visit a Teahouse to look for support.
creatorKHarold (WMF)
created on5 January, 2015

What problem does this solve?


Both new and experienced editors and Wikimedia contributors may experience a conflict with another community member. Often, these conflicts can be resolved through discussions on user and article talk pages. This learning pattern will go through best practices for resolving conflicts.

What is the solution?


Conflicts with other editors and administrators on Wikimedia projects may begin when there is a disagreement whether edits, articles, user pages or contributions should have been reverted or deleted. In order to resolve this kind of dispute, you need to find out why content has been removed.

Talk Pages Discussions on talk pages are the best place to resolve editing conflicts.

  • Read all the messages people leave on the talk pages of articles you are editing. You may find the reason why your content was deleted.
  • Post a question on the talk page of the article asking why an edit was reverted.
  • If an article or image has been deleted, post a question on User Talk page of the user who deleted the content.
  • You might consider identifying yourself as a new editor or student.
  • Ask what changes are necessary to repost deleted content.
  • When you intend comments for a specific editor, leave a message on their User Talk page (with a link to the comments, if the discussion is happening on a different page). That way, they will get a notification about your message.[1]

Visit the Teahouse Many Wikipedia's have a space dedicated to welcoming and helping new editors. On English Wikipedia this is the Teahouse.

  • Visit the Help Desk to ask questions. The Village Pump is a good place to start discussions. Some form of this exists on most Wikis.
  • Search answered questions using key words.
  • Ask specific questions. Link to the article where you are having a problem.

Get a second opinion If you are unable to resolve a disagreement with an editor or administrator, ask others for a second opinion.

  • If you are not able to reach an agreement, ask another experienced editor or administrator to help you understand what may be causing the conflict.
  • Consult the directory of Wikimedia user groups to find Wikimedia volunteers in your geographic or subject area.

General considerations


For productive discussions, remember to:

  • Assume good faith: Assume other editors are trying to improve the project.
  • Be polite, and discuss article content rather than editors. Do not make personal attacks.
  • Always sign your posts on talk pages using four tildes (~~~~) so that others can follow who is saying what.[2]

When to use


See also

Education Toolkit Learning Pattern
This learning pattern is part of the Education Program Toolkit.
Go to the toolkit.