Talk:Don't be a dick/Archives/2009

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Why is everyone so upset about this?

It is a theoretical essay stating that Wikimedia, and the world, would be much more lawful if the only rule was don't be a dick. Don't cry OMG IT SAYS DICK, it makes a valid point, and any other word would have a lesser effect. Grow up. 05:33, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Yes, grow up. This crude attemp at humor belongs in a school locker room, not an encylopedia. 17:18, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
...and oddly enough, it isn't in an encyclopedia. Looks like everything's fine here, then. :) EVula // talk // // 17:35, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Why is it so hard for people to remember that wikipedia is not an encyclopedia? Encyclopedias have paper. Wikipedia does not have paper. Simple as that. 22:17, 24 October 2009 (UTC)

How to deal with dicks without being a dick yourself

Can someone please make a section about how to do this? Parthian Scribe 06:52, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

I've had a go at it. Regards, BenAveling 14:17, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

But if you are already a dick, how can you avoid this inevitable fact? -- 06:02, 5 May 2009 (UTC)


If someone can be a dick but really intelligent and make good points, then they shouldn't be sanctioned if they got worthy shit to contribute to Wikipedia. Having a good friend who is a dick (actually thats a euphemism, him being a dick would be an improvement) but intelligent as hell, I say with great certainty that sometimes when someone's being a dick to you, it's because you're a complete retard that really should take a hint. But I do agree that people should behave with a professional decorum and be civil.

All I'm saying is that not all dicks should be automatically sanctioned for their behavior. For some, it is just their way of discussion and contribution to Wikipedia. Just a thought.--Spectatorbot13 21:52, 16 June 2009 (UTC)

If someone cannot make their point without resorting to dickishness, then they are not the type of person we would want to join us in a collaborative editing project. 21:09, 9 August 2009 (UTC)


Are "dicks" the same thing as nudniks? 03:28, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Would someone also please add a brief explanation that "dick" also means "penis" in American English? Some poor person who was unfamiliar with US slang might take the rather evasive definition on this page and use the word in an inappropriate social context. 06:32, 3 December 2009 (UTC) Xenobiologista

Not just American English - British slang too... -- 00:31, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
That is why I want the page deleted. --Jamcad01 07:48, 31 December 2011 (UTC)
Yeah, and also let's add a parenthetical summary of of all alternate definitions to every single word on a wiki, such that non-english speakers might not be misled! No wait that's probably the most ridiculous idea ever. #DICK 09:27, 3 February 2014 (UTC)


Would putting a template stating that this article does not cite any references on the page, when it specifically says that it is intentionally unreferenced count as being a dick? lol, but seriously, I would recommend that this article be marked as humorous, as well as an essay, or non-native speakers may not understand it, properly, and form the wrong conclusion about either penises, the content that they are allowed to add to our wonderful wiki, or it may scare them off, entirely. For example, stating that you cannot call anyone a dick does not state that it is unacceptable language for the wiki, in general, with the exception of relevant and referenced quotations. English is highly idiomatic, and there are explanations available as to what does and does not constitute being a dick. 19:56, 25 November 2009 (UTC)


The essay says "No definition of being a dick has been provided. This is deliberate.", yet under notes, "dick" is defined... should this not be changed?

Removed. Mike R 19:58, 23 February 2010 (UTC)


The act of being a dick is known as dicketry. I am rewording the article to reflect this fact. Mike R 20:00, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

But why "Dicketry" and not "Dickery" which has an order of magnitude more Google hits and a web site? --Damian Yerrick 00:35, 13 May 2010 (UTC)
That's what I was thinking a few minutes ago when I changed it to "dickery" before I even noticed this talk page post. Another possibility would be "dickism" but "dickery" is more common I think. --Ron Ritzman 02:37, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Changed back to dicketry, per my superior editorial judgment. Dicketry is orders of magnitude a finer word than dickery. Mike R 20:37, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

Seems pretty inappropriate

Guys, this is offensive to children. Examples include me and my Blood Brother. Mike R is especially offensive in his vulgarian escapades of linguistic chauvinism coining terms willynilly as the apotheosis of his immense, grotesque, inhuman ignorance. Dicketry is not a real word!!!!!!

I think it's great. Dickery is a great word. The article speaks to something apposite to Wikipedia editing. I'm quite sure children on the internet would face face greater worries than this article. They could look at the article Penis. More "in yer face" I would have thought 03:09, 17 August 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps this essay should be tagged as humorous?--RayquazaDialgaWeird2210 14:05, 19 March 2011 (UTC)


Haha, this is hilarious. It's kinda ironic, because the guy reading the article for the audio is clearly being a dick. Although I guess that's up to (dickish) interpretation. Iamdooser 00:08, 11 August 2010 (UTC)

Link problem

Oops. I tried to add Wheaton's Law to See also, but can't fix the link. Please help. Keahapana 00:16, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Fixed. Jafeluv 00:23, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

Total social spaces

As of right now, but not for long, the essay contains this as the first sentence of the "Fundamentals" section:

"Don't be a dick" is the fundamental rule of all total social spaces. 

I am wondering what "all total social spaces" actually, er, means. It was added, without an edit summary, on 20 November 2008 by an editor with no other contributions here, and none at all on en. This perhaps should not prejudice me but it doesn't exactly reinforce my confidence either. Google doesn't seem impressed with the phrase, and I'm left wondering if it has meaning but in some dialect I don't speak. At the risk of upsetting anyone who feels very committed to this expression I am going to be bold and remove "total". Then we can perhaps have a lovely discussion about how I have missed the point (please concoct your own dick joke here, it's been a long evening) and it must be replaced as it is correct and very important. Thanks and best wishes, DisillusionedBitterAndKnackered 00:56, 26 September 2010 (UTC)

I was just blocked for translating this to Dutch

On my talk page on Commons, Andy Dingley was complaining about the rudeness of the Dutch in general and mine in particular. He tried to teach me good English manners by twice SHOUTING that I was such a dick. I tried to practice this lesson in an edit summery in Dutch - for which I got blocked. The hypocrisy never ceases to amaze. /Pieter Kuiper 19:49, 7 December 2010 (UTC)

There is no doubt that this "essay" ill-serves the Wikimedia projects. It is generally used as a means of nugatory remarks about editors on en-Wikipedia, and I suspect it has the same general usage on other branches. It says nothing which could not be more reasonably phrased without using epithets of any kind at all. And the existince of this and similarly ill-worded essays prevents serious editors from taking Wikimedia seriously - if we expect them to keep a "clean house" we ought reasonably use a good broom ourselves. Collect 20:48, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Reduce gratuitous repitition of objectionable (and stated to be objectionable) language

Is my suggestion. I made an edit which was reverted with a comment that somehow this essay is sacrosanct. The edit did not in any way erase the words used, but did reduce the repition, and try to use more moderate tone that the sophomoric ideal exemplified hitherto. I suggest the wording of the essay is not sacrosanct. I ask that others weigh in. Thanks. Collect 22:52, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

The essay is not freezed, but there's a reason if the title is not Don't be obnoxious nor Don't direct people to an essay which used to say "Don't be a dick" as your revision suggested: did you read the archives of this talk? You didn't just change the wording and reduce repetition, you completely changed the meaning (making the page a nonsense, IMHO).
I'm not sure you understand that Meta is not Wikipedia nor the English Wikipedia, nor that you understand this page: an essay in itself can't be "abused" unless it's treated like a guideline or a policy; any kind of abuse on just one project doesn't affect a Meta page; if there is local abuse it should be handled locally (and as I understand it you've got some redirect deleted on so it's done); this page doesn't say that «calling other editors "dicks"» is cool, in fact it says «Telling someone "Don't be a dick" is usually a dick-move» which is the opposite (by the way, your revision didn't say anything about it, so it stigmatized the behaviour that you're criticizing less than the current revision). --Nemo 01:04, 27 December 2010 (UTC)

RfC on editing this essay

This essay is old, and seemingly honored. It has, moreover, been substantially abused. Ought this essay be edited in order to be more moderate in tone and less subject to abuse? This is not a request for deletion, but one of bringing this essay into the newer atmosphere where calling other editors "dicks" is not considered cool any longer. Collect 23:04, 26 December 2010 (UTC) is the issue at Requests for comment/Don't_be_a_dick

I've redirected the RfC subpage here since it had the same content and you've just started a discussion above (where I'm replying). --Nemo 01:04, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
Fine. enwiki does it a tad differently, so I tried to follow an example already on the RfC list :(. Collect 01:36, 27 December 2010 (UTC)
As you have been told on, it is not the essay's fault that it has been abused; rather, it is the abuser. Sanction them if it is warranted and leave this dead horse alone, please. Tarc 14:38, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Of course it's the essay's fault when people see we have a page called "Don't be a dick" and assume (as to a newcomer makes perfectly logical sense) that it means that "you're being a dick" is the kind of thing that it's considered appropriate to say to people around here. There's no need for this language and it has no place in a serious and civilized project. If this essay has anything sensible to say (and as far as I can tell it doesn't, much, it seems just to have been written by someone(s) who find it cool to use the word "dick" as frequently as they can, though there may be some content here that isn't usefully covered elsewhere), then let it set a good example by using the kind of language that we would expect civil editors to use when discussing each other's behaviour.--User:Kotniski 15:31, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
No, it is NOT the essay's fault, any more than it is a gun's fault for killing a person. Stop getting hung up on the colorful "dick" terminology and start comprehending the actual intent behind it, which is to say "if you act like this, then bad things will happen to you." Tarc 19:48, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
I agree that there is a problem with such essays, but most of the options under discussion should be internal affairs within en.wikipedia. Meta should not decide what sort of language in appropriate in English if it's not ready to decide what is appropriate in Farsi. I do advocate the creation of an "Essay:" namespace for such opinions to distinguish them from policy (it could be something else, "Opinion:" etc., perhaps with a wider mandate) and if there's anything Meta could do to help with making that possible then it might be an appropriate intervention, though it should still be up to en.wikipedia whether to use it. Wnt 16:31, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Meta is the place to discuss wording -- the discussions on enwiki have all hinged on "but it is at Meta, so we can not do anything here." Unless, of course, Catch-22 applies here? If it can not be fixed on enwiki, then this is the only place to fix it. Meanwhile, do you find a problem with the proposed edit? Collect 17:17, 28 December 2010 (UTC)

Yes, this is the place to discuss wording. The problem is this "we need to get rid of dicks" drive is tiny, albeit vocal, minority. This language-softening has been rejected on enwiki, and its future ain't looking so bright here either. Tarc 19:48, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
Note that all I proposed is reducing the number of time the term is used - not eliminating it. Collect 20:48, 28 December 2010 (UTC)
I strongly support this effort. This essay is not consistent with the values of our project and needs to be fixed or eliminated completely. This strange loophole that it exists on meta is confusing and problematic but should not stand as a barrier.--Jimbo Wales 08:36, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

I wrote [1] for anyone wanting a reply to "Don't be a WP:DICK" --Dweller 15:55, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Alright, it's apparent that there is an important question for Meta here: should Meta host essays at all? My thought is that Wikimedia should have one place for any given type of content, not two that are interchangeable. A policy on Meta is special and different from a policy on enwiki, but an essay on Meta is no different from an essay on enwiki. Therefore, I propose:
  • All entries in Category:Essays should be transwikied somewhere.
  • All entries in subcategory Category:Essays related to Wikimedia should be transwikied to their respective projects.
  • The few entries outside that category should be evaluated individually, and either (usually) sent to Wikipedia or (occasionally) put onto, perhaps as formal proposals (I especially like WikiPatents and would like to see it kept alive and brought to term).
  • Projects should be encouraged during this cycle of housekeeping to create a new namespace "Essay:", to which all the entries could be moved en masse, and to move their own essay collections to this namespace.
  • Shortcuts on Meta which do not make it clear that the target is an essay rather than policy ("WP:DICK") should be changed to something that does ("en:Essay:DICK"). It would be a good idea for local projects to do something similar. Wnt 01:01, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
As such is not the case, this essay ought to be substantially revised, possibly in rough accordance with my suggestions, or possibly even more vigourously edited. This bit about reverting seems in total line with the essay, moreover. Collect 01:07, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
Barras protected the page, thank you. Any major changes should be proposed here! Tofutwitch11 16:21, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
You don't seem to get it. The "major changes" where made by Collect and rejected by two editors (not counting myself as I did not want to join an edit war... unlike you apparently). Take a look at the history and then tell me who failed to gain consensus in the first place.TMCk 16:38, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
I have requested that the essay be unprotected as I believe progress was being made. TMCk, your version in particular was progress of the best kind, and what I hope we can do next is go through the specific suggestions made by Collect and others to try for improvement. That's harder to do while the page is protected, and I think that even if protection is warranted (though there isn't any serious hostility here), 2 weeks is much too long.--Jimbo Wales 18:10, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
(ec) Sorry, I did not notice it was Collect that made the major changed --my fault-- I was just responding to his post on EN, and failed to realize that it was he who made the changes. Tofutwitch11 18:38, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

The current protected original essay does not help anything at all, as far as I can tell. Looks like brick walls are hard to remove :(. Collect 18:38, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Put away the demolition ball and try a chisel instead. I'm sure that approach will help in making progress.TMCk 18:46, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
It was not "demolition" by a long shot - just removal of the repetition of a word or phrase. Which seems to me to be the only rational way to go, but I am not going to touch this sacred cow again at this point. WP can remain with puerility as its guiding light, to be sure :). Collect 18:56, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
(This discussion seems to have started here and to be part of a series of discussions about "inflammatory essays".)
Wnt, do you know Meta:Inclusion policy? Essays are among the main in-topic things here, and that's why they're in the main namespace. Crosswiki essays and discussions can't be on local projects and strategywiki is another thing. Local projects can have their own essays or translations/adaptations of global essays; the version of this is Wikipedia:Don't be inconsiderate and you can always write your own essay (with your title) where you want. New namespaces have to be discussed locally.
I don't see the point of edits like these. If people are not able to read below we can copy the starting lines of following sections as well, adding «Telling someone "Don't be a dick" is usually a dick-move; however, if you've been labeled as a dick, it might be wise to consider the possibility that the accusations hold at least some measure of truth».
This essays is about reality: it just happens that when persons disagree and are upset someone thinks that someone else is "a dick", and someone will even say it openly, and someone will reply in the same way; this essay wants to catch your attention when you're in a similar mood or situation to help you being constructive. If you're already in a utopian civil and constructive situation and mood where nobody thinks bad things about anybody, you don't need this essay.
Again, if you want to write another essay about another situation, when someone thinks that someone else is "obnoxious", "inconsiderate" etc. or has been called this way, you can do that (and someone did), but it will be another essay. --Nemo 13:14, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

revision suggestion - new approach

Since there seems to be a lot of controversy about this page title (which is awfully aggressive), but there also seems to be a desire for a page like this that people can point to, Let me suggest a new name: Don't be that way! (with the shortcut Don't, maybe). Then we can have various subsections with different kinds of problematic behavior, along with suggestions for new approaches and ways to cope with it when you see others doing it. This would much more likely be perceived as constructive criticism than an assault, and it's the mildest thing I can think of without stepping into the depersonalized language used in psychology or feelings-oriented speech you find in things like NVC. I can do either of those, if you like, but the first strikes me as a little clinical for wikipedia, and the latter is (intentionally, I think) hard to construct as an abstraction. After that we can get a bot to change all the old shortcuts, just to try to purge the bad word out of the encyclopedia as much as possible.

we'd also need someone to make us a nice svg of a waggling index finger, maybe? just make sure it's clear that it's the index finger...  :-)

comments? If it looks like there's general approval I'll whip up a draft. --Ludwigs2 19:21, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Try. All I know is that some appear to view the article as sacred to the beginnings of WP, even if the essay is exceedingly outmoded as it stands. Collect 19:39, 1 January 2011 (UTC)
This is not a "new approach", it's the perennial proposal of renaming the page. I've just replied to it in more detail. --Nemo 13:14, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps you didn't actually read what I wrote above. this is not simply renaming the page, this is rewriting it and refocusing it to be more useful and less offensive. If you sincerely like this version of the concept, we could keep it and leave it marked as legacy, but in my view people will continue to use this "don't be a dick" link in a way that offends people, so long as they have it in their arsenal of offensive links. saying on the page that it shouldn't be used that way will only work on people who are predisposed to be reasonable, and reasonableness is not really in the picture when you're on the edge of telling someone not to be a dick.
I would like something to change here, because I see a problem that can be resolved. can we discuss that? --Ludwigs2 14:38, 2 January 2011 (UTC)
I did read what you wrote; I think it's obvious that the page content should be consistent with the page title, and that if you rename the page you have to rewrite it and viceversa. Did you read my reply above? I made a couple of proposals which are open for discussion. --Nemo 07:29, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

Starting fresh

Now that the page is unprotected again, I'd like to restart the conversation.

First, I've restored a version that contained some changes that seemed to be generally accepted, but I did not restore the version with larger changes. I think most of those changes will need to go in, but since Tarc objected so strongly, we should discuss them here first, and we should implement them in more comfortable "bites".

Second, I'd like to ask/insist that edit summaries be kept absolutely respectful, and reverts kept to a minimum. To keep the process moving forward, it is always better not to revert, but to propose a new change which is a compromise. (This is much easier, of course, if there are no super-fast huge changes.)--Jimbo Wales 11:20, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

My suggested start is to restrict the use of "dick" to a maximum of six instances in the essay. Sound too extreme? Collect 14:07, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
This changes are not generally accepted at all, see above and consensus on Talk:Don't_be_a_dick/Archives/2007#Proposal_to_rename_article. I've added the summary I previously proposed given that nobody opposed my suggestion. --Nemo 21:50, 7 January 2011 (UTC)
2007 < 2011. Consensus from those at that time is not necessarily indicative of the general community consensus now. Note also that it is considered improper for new editors to join in an archived discussion (editing on an archived page) - thus new discussions are always welcomed (especially after four years). Collect 00:09, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Strong support - 2007 discussion have absolutely no bearing today. There is a strong consensus that this essay is problematic and needs to be improved. Blocking improvement by reference to obscure discussions by people who aren't around anymore doesn't really address the legitimate concerns that people have today. The project is not just for juvenile males who enjoy banter.--Jimbo Wales 06:44, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
"The project is not just for juvenile males who enjoy banter."
Indeed but bunter is not a privilege by age nor limited to "juveniles"! People of our age [yours Jimbo and mine, which is a view years ahead of yours so I guess I'm a bit wiser or at least the bigger smarty "bottom") have the same right as "those juveniles" you refer to. Hope we can agree on that. Cheers, TMCk 21:24, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
If I wouldn't now better I could see your remark as a PA swipe against our "youngsters" ; ) although it seems to be more like a low-shot a the brightside of age. Which one is it if any? TMCk 21:24, 12 January 2011 (UTC)
Starting from Collect's comment further above, limiting the word (which is part of the title) to a certain number of instances would be like reducing the occurrences of the word "fuck" in the correspondent Wiki article where it is used over 100 times BTW. So no, this doesn't make sense at all in my opinion and seems to me more like an attempt to please the "clean-police". I'm talking generally, comparing it to the censoring "beeps" and masking of people's mouths (so lip readers "don't have to see it") on TV even so everybody knows exactly what was said because such slurs are common words, used even by the most sophisticated people on earth. The overly misuse in certain low level movies or other is no good reason to purge it here just because [and this has been argued before elsewhere relating to this essay] there is a potential for misuse. If we go by this criteria we would need to erase pretty much every essay and even articles (at WP). If one chooses to attack an editor by calling him a dick they will do so with or w/o any "prewritten template" and this essay seems to be wrongly accused of being just that. I'm not opposed to minor changes as long as they're not judging and diminishing the subject but I don't see any need for Major changes warranted. Summarizing my thoughts: This essay itself doesn't offend anyone unless they choose to be offended and it doesn't need a major rewrite for "just in case scenario's".TMCk 01:05, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
PS: Yes Collect, " discussions are always welcomed.." even after much less time and so here we are, discussing. The glass is half full.TMCk 01:11, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
PS 2: Jimbo's edit looked a bit apologetic to me but maybe it could be fine tuned like a piano to sound right.TMCk 01:40, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
While I don't agree with Collect's idea of a specific limit on the number of times, there is absolutely no question that the essay could be better written with less repetition. It's very juvenile as it stands, and the problem that people are complaining about - loudly and correctly - is that the essay causes more harm than good as it stands today. One reason is quite simple: the essay is not a thoughtful and constructive meditation on bad behavior: the essay is an example of absolutely horrible behavior. One very minor step towards improving it is to rewrite it with a strong emphasis on kind and loving education rather than repetitive hammering away on a cute phrase.--Jimbo Wales 07:16, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
«There is a strong consensus that this essay is problematic»: what? Where? I don't understand. Perhaps you're talking about, again? Or perhaps "problematic" means that there are often users who try to change it against consensus.
I don't see how old arguments against an old proposal could be automatically outdated. They're still valid unless you bring new arguments (but you didn't reply even to my arguments above...). --Nemo 13:10, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

Quick question

In the edit summary for this edit, Nemo bis, you say "I don't see a consensus for a warning about links" but you didn't remove anything that seemed to be a warning about links, and you added in a highly contentious section that is wildly inappropriate. Did you do this accidentally? --Jimbo Wales 06:36, 8 January 2011 (UTC)

The warning about links was «it is generally a good idea not to link» etc., which was rejected before. --Nemo 12:49, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Oh, I am sorry. I looked at the diff wrong. I don't remember this being rejected before, and indeed, even Tarc kept it in. I think it's really important because inappropriate linking to this essay is a huge part of what needs to change. I think you'll agree that if an essay on "Don't be a dick" is being used by people in a dickish way, something has gone wrong. Before I put it back in, or come up with a new version, can you articulate for me what you think is wrong with warning people about this? Isn't it part of educating them on better behavior?--Jimbo Wales 14:57, 8 January 2011 (UTC)
Having received no objections, I will re-insert the warning about linking.--Jimbo Wales 05:27, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I've tried to make it a bit simpler. I agree with Jimmy that it's important to minimize ways in which essays like this (or WP:FUCK) can enable uncivil behavior.--Eloquence 06:02, 11 January 2011 (UTC)
I've explained above why such a warning is not a good idea (I won't repeat arguments by me and others), but this version was better. Thank you Eloquence for your useful edit to both the warning and the sentence I added following my proposal and explanation (which still has no replies). I don't understand why we should summarize only the "Do not be a dick yourself" section and not "Coping with accusations of dickery", but I think that users are intelligent enough to read so I won't re-add it. I've reverted this edit by Collect because "name-calling" is always a "dick-move" according to the essay, not only when you use this essay. --Nemo 22:57, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Will the removal of even a single instance of the word "dick" be reverted? Collect 19:18, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

I sure didn't rv. because of a single removal of the word "dick". My editsummary surely had no sign of such.TMCk 21:55, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. Will try other reivisons then. Collect 22:50, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
Collect. A thought about how to go forward. Why don't you make a single edit at the time to the essay, reverse it yourself and propose it here with a link to it? If no-one objects after a reasonable time you could make it definite (wiki-wise) and try for another one. This could be a less frustrating approach for you and possible others.TMCk 23:08, 14 January 2011 (UTC)
No. That is not my reasonable understanding of how to get consensus - I already did an RfC here, as you should note, and no one appeared to offer a consensus opinion that editing this essay was off-limits. Collect 13:54, 15 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes, you can edit, but someone will revert edits which alter the essay without reason, as explained multiple times. --Nemo 22:57, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Yep. "Someone" will indeed revert any attempt to bring this "essay" in line with at least post-sophomoric standards. "Someone" did. Collect 01:36, 6 February 2011 (UTC)


How about "Don't be a jerk"? Short, descriptive, not anatomical. Fred Bauder 19:17, 13 March 2011 (UTC)

I am not now, and have never been, a soda fountain operator. Any allegation to the contrary would be an insult to jerks everywhere. ~ Ningauble 20:24, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
In this context, jerk is (or will be interpreted as) a shortening of wikt:jerk off, or wanker, which IMO is worse than 'dick'. John Vandenberg 23:08, 13 March 2011 (UTC)
"Don't be disruptive" - or whatever the behavior is that you are supposed to be describing. Or at least don't be a dick/bitch to make it gender neutral. Carolmooredc 03:46, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
I suggested the same in 2005. The 2006 and 2007 archives of this talk page have the same disucssion, and there's also a proposed move that was rejected in 2006. Angela 13:50, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

"Jerk" is not a sexual term. It is not a shortened version of "jerk off" and is not etymologically remotely akin to "wanker." "Dick" moreover is specifically a sexual term. AHD gives "penis" as a main definition of "dick." AHD does not do the same for "jerk" as a single word at all. Actually, "Obnoxious" is a totally reasonable word which would remove any sophomoric nature for the essay. Collect 14:21, 14 March 2011 (UTC)

Someone elsewhere suggested "Schmuck": an obnoxious, contemptible person; one who is stupid, foolish, or detestable. Though usually it doesn't seem to have quite that negative a meaning. Anyway, I like it!! Carolmooredc 22:12, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
And no sexual connotations even stretching it a lot. Support. Collect 23:04, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
What do you mean no sexual connotations? Schmuck is yiddish for penis. 18:10, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Let'e keep in mind that different cultural contexts will have different norms. In the U.S., I think it's safe to say that "jerk" is a pretty innocuous term; but John's from Australia, and I assume that his comment reflects a different connotation.

If we're going to make a change, it's pretty important that it be the right one, and I'm willing to cross "jerk" off the list based on John's opposition. I suspect we'll have similar problems with "schmuck" -- the word got Lenny Bruce arrested once, it's not exactly an innocent term. So we might have to keep searching if we want to propose a change. -Peteforsyth 00:47, 15 March 2011 (UTC)

No -- Lenny wrote that people were trying to see if any Yiddish words he used were a cover for profanity - not that "schmuck" was in any way profane. [2] states that "schmuck" entered the English language in the 1890s - it is not used in English for its original Yiddish meaning. Over a century of non-scatalogical English usage is far better than "dick" fares. Use "schmoe" to be more polite -- though "dork" may also be applicable to some but it is vulgar. Collect 14:14, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
Don't be a jerk is not outrageous enough. Don't be hatin’ would be much more noticable and less offensive. Just a suggestion. It's probably bad.--RayquazaDialgaWeird2210 22:34, 15 March 2011 (UTC)
I don't care either way but "crossing jerk off the list" based on John's comment is silly. I don't know where the term "jerk" came from but even if it has something to do with "jerking off", that connotation in English has for the most part been lost. It's not even clear to me that John's comment was meant to be taken totally seriously, as it was a reply to a joke, but some of you are treating it as such and even reading more into it than he wrote. John, does "jerk" in fact in Australia imply "wanker" and is it a stronger term than "dick"? I find that hard to believe. PS I lived in Australia for 6 months and didn't notice this either. Jason Quinn 14:50, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Don't be a dick flowchart

Saw this today and thought it was hilarious. Morphh 12:52, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

try discussing one revert at a time please

Wholesale reverts do not actually show any sign of seeking any consensus other than "I do not want any changes at all because the essay is perfect." Make one change at a time - slowly - just as has been done over a period of months - and then see where consensus leads. Cheers. Collect 19:24, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

Then Nemo reverts with the claim that I said nothing? Sheesh! Collect 19:33, 3 October 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflicted) Several changes have been kept. I have split my edits to give reason for each of them, while the changes I've reverted usually didn't provide any; in particular, you provide false/misleading summaries which I find very problematic (especially because you have already been warned). By the way, you can't say I didn't edit slowly, I've waited months. Nemo 19:35, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Amazingly enough - without giving any sound reasons other than "I want no changes" -- the idea of CONSENSUS is that you discuss each thing you dislike -- considering how many months most has been there now. But heck -- I can see a strong sense of ownership here. As for asserting that it is good to wait months - then change everything back -- I do not quite think that is what is meant by "consensus" --- really. And I note your "edit summary' which specifically was errant in claiming no reason given for revert) which is not gonna fly. Cheers. Collect 19:41, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any good faith or constructive sentence here, I don't know what to reply. Luckily, you brought an actual argument about content here, where you mention "better English", so I invite to note here (given that the page is now protected) what changes were made or need to be made to make the English better; you didn't say it in your edit summaries so I don't know, sorry (I'm not a native speaker). Thank you, Nemo 20:40, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
I am neither deaf nor dumb - and I cas see quite well the modus operandi at work here. Never mind -- I am now quite sure you have zero intent of allowing any changes to the sacred text <g>. Collect 21:19, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
Clearly we protected The Wrong Version. —Pathoschild 22:12:24, 03 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes :D --WizardOfOz talk 22:20, 3 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Well, whatever happens next, please leave Robbie Burns out. One can hardly call his writing "English", I couldn't see a relation to the rest of the text, and it is extremely difficult to translate. Risker 11:01, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
    • <g> But the quote is "spot on" for the essay, indeed. That we should try to see ourselves as others see us. And more intelligible than Chaucer is, by a mile. Would you prefer the Anglicization of the quote? Cheers. Collect 13:30, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
I'd prefer neither quote. On this project, writing in a straightforward manner that can easily be translated to other languages is more valuable than including quotes written in a dialect that is barely understandable to native-speakers. Risker 14:01, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
You are free to hold such an opinion - but that rather suggests that nothing which could possibly be mistranslated should be in this essay - which encompasses a great deal of the essay ab initio. Collect 14:56, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
FWIW I agree with Risker; the Burns quote does nothing for clarity, and much for confusion. --ErrantX 15:38, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
NP then. Collect 16:08, 4 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Ok, so the proposed changes have been in discussion for a week now, after I solicited comments about them (and their rationale) or other proposals (and their rationale). No opposing arguments (or further arguments for conflicting proposals) have been expressed either on the history or on the talk page (neither in this week or the last months), while several reasons for the proposal have been expressed and are explicitly addressed (improving the English and removing the quotation being the most recent ones), so we clearly have a consensual version which I'm implementing now. Further changes can and should be proposed (and explained) here, until the page is protected. --Nemo 15:43, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
And you do not and did not have consensus on your side. Please accept this in the spirit of seeking WP:CONSENSUS blanket reverts do not work. Cheers. Collect 18:20, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I agree with Collect. This page was stable for months and now you've come in and changed it to a version that clearly does not have consensus support. Rather than simply change it back myself, I'll give you the opportunity to do so first, Nemo, and then you can come here and discuss the changes you seek.--Jimbo Wales 19:15, 10 October 2011 (UTC)
I already wrote to Nemo. And Jimbo, the same I wrote him applies for all sysops involved in this discussion. --WizardOfOz talk 19:45, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

Without jumping the gun, I suggest ("edit request") that the Burns' quote be deleted as discussed above, and otherwsie the status quo ante be restored as having a current clear consensus here. Cheers. Collect 19:58, 10 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Current version is much better than the one that Collect has been nibbling and whittling at for months. That version didn't have anything remotely resembling consensus, all it was was a stamp of "Jimbo likes it" to try to ram it through. I am sick and tired of the watered-down, touchy-feelgood milquetoast that has been going around this and other subjects (a band of thin-skinned warriors just tried to delete the facepalm template at, for example). People have the capacity for acting like dicks, wither it is in the Wikipedia, your office, your neighborhood, or your town meetings. It is ok to call a dick a dick, we don't need to soften our approach to dickery. Tarc 23:19, 11 October 2011 (UTC)
    • Which gives the old version the backing of two editors - and the new version the backing (as I count it) of at least three. Cheers. Collect 02:47, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
  • I also support current version, it's much better than the version which Collect is advocating. He/she seems to be highly motivated to change this essay at all costs.--В и к и в и н др е ц и 13:23, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
    • The "motivation" is called "improvement." The lithic essay is actually an embarassment to the Wikipedia project. I made, as is recommended by all policies, gradual changes which were not reverted until they were reverted en masse by a person wearing two hats here - as an editor and as a sysop. I find that to be quite non-kosher. The concept of "consensus" does not say "simply revert and the gnat who wants any change at all will be swatted down." It says "discuss" and there has been remarkably little discussion other than "the essay was perfection incarnate as it was." But heck -- if someone trying to improve an essay must be swatted down, I am glad it is I. I only have 28 years experience on-line and 46 in computers, so I am sure all those who swat me down have vastly more and better experience than I. Cheers. Collect 14:10, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
      • But then again, you made an edit 2 weeks ago with edit summary "adding Robert Burns" in which you didn't just "added Robert Burns", but reworded and removed some content without even try to discuss changes on the talk page. You know that this essay is controversial, but you chose to make an edit with misleading edit summary. --В и к и в и н др е ц и 15:28, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
        • Each edit I made over a very long period of time was actually small. I have yet to see any edit summary actually list every single piece thereof - the use of stating the major part seems to be what edit summaries are ontended for, rather than have them be several hundred characters or more long. Accusations of "misleading edit summary" when the people commenting have, in fact, specified the Burns quote, is not a utile debate tactice on this talk page. Cheers - and the consensus appears clear on that version (sans Burns) and I now ask that the discussion be viewed as reaching that consensus. Collect 07:39, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Poll to find the version

Please add yourself here so we have clear count of opinions, discussion should take place above. All further edits should be discussed here first. --WizardOfOz talk 16:36, 12 October 2011 (UTC)

  • Supporting current version [3]
  • Supporting previous version [4]
    • That one at least contains fewer questionable inferences (see section below). I do find the Burns quote pointless though (as discussed above), but that is a lesser problem. Removal of the anal (if not downright dickish) lecture about the Chomskian distinction is not a loss. Other than that, I don't see much substantive difference between the versions; stating the same in fewer words is usually better. Have mörser, will travel 17:21, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
    • With Burns removed per consensus. Collect 17:21, 12 October 2011 (UTC) Note to Wikiwind: your !vote appears to simply agree with the consensus not to have the Burns quote - rather than go to the very old version of the essay - right? Collect 18:00, 12 October 2011 (UTC)
  • Supporting other versions
    • I think this version is better than the subsequent elaborations. However, it is not perfect. E.g., as discussed in a thread below, the final sentence of the first paragraph is incorrect. Also, although it does this to a much lesser extent than recent revisions and couches it in a hypothetical, it address the reader in the second person as exhibiting the deprecated behavior, which is precisely the sort of tone the essay should be deprecating. Compare TROLL, which is a much more useful essay because it explains the dynamics of an unwanted behavior in an objective manner and offers constructive advice for dealing with it. The purpose of this essay seems to be just pointing the finger at those who are referred to it. ~ Ningauble 15:08, 13 October 2011 (UTC)

poll results

Supporting the version minus Burns as noted previously. Reaching a clear consensus. Cheers. Collect 07:41, 26 October 2011 (UTC)

Relationship to other concepts

If people abided by this, we wouldn't need any other policies about behaviour. This is a corollary of ignore all rules.

The proclamation above doesn't make any sense to me, and it's not supported by arguments in the rest of the essay. It would make more sense to describe the "don't be a dick" rule as the cyberspace equivalent of the w:The Golden Rule. Have mörser, will travel 12:43, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree. IAR has absolutely no relationship here at all. Collect 13:34, 11 October 2011 (UTC)

The civility police are back

Once again, the soft redirect to this page from en.wp is nominated for deletion because it's just too mean to ever call anyone a dick even if they are totally being a dick. Discussion is here. Beeblebrox 19:55, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

don't let the door hit you on the way out

Article says: "nobody is expected to ban or block somebody for dickery"

The point of this page isn't to justify dickery. It is here to tell alleged offensive editors to stop offending other editors. It should do so in no uncertain terms.

Historic records confirm: If you are abusive you will be banned. This page will be one of the last pages trying to help the editor understand this. Then it says: "hey, don't worry about it" which is unfair to the editor because it isn't true. 13:42, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

I think it is pretty obvious why everyone is so upset about this article, the term dick could very well be used to wrongly accuse someone of a fault. I personally believe that this article should be deleted! A true jerk is someone who uses the term to show that someone is in error when in fact he/she is correct. Yonathan Arief Kurniawan (talk) 15:23, 30 June 2012 (UTC)Yonathan Arief Kurniawan

Feel free to update this page as needed

Template:Essay at the top of this page says "Feel free to update this page as needed". However, the page is protected, with the reason given "to prevent editing". Thus one is not able to update this page as needed. Hyacinth (talk) 00:48, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Looks like there was a rather nasty, dare I say dickish, edit war here about a year ago. The admin who stepped in and protected it after Jimbo himself entered the fray is no longer an admin so asking them is going to be a dead end. I guess the admin noticeboard is what you want... Beeblebrox (talk) 23:37, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

A rather disturbing article

I find this article rather disturbing, the kind of thing that tends to remind me of the saying that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. I only came across it because another editor elsewhere complained that this article and the associated Fuckhead article (NEW LINK HERE) would get Wittgenstein and Chomsky classified as dicks and fuckheads, and seemed proud of shunning misfits of various kinds. In some ways I find this is something of an understatement. The Fuckhead article seems to positively celebrate the persecution (often far worse than mere shunning) of various kinds of dissidents or misfits on the pretext that they are allegedly anti-social.

Extract from Fuckhead article:

"At the side of the communal water stream, the social apes whacked the antisocial apes over the heads with bones.
Over time, religious tradition, social science, and human evolution have recognized the basic division of mankind into social and antisocial camps. The antisocial have been shunned, excommunicated, pressed into exile, and even hunted as the social group has forced the antisocial from its camps, cities, and homes.
With the advent of the Internet as a force in popular culture, this schism has not only survived, but become stronger and more readily acknowledged. In the new Information Age, the antisocial face new pressures, such as flaming, Usenet death penalties, and being netcopped, and they even have a new name.
They are called Fuckheads."

And it would seem rather easy to get labelled a Fuckhead, as we are told "What Makes a Fuckhead? The Fuckhead may display all of these characteristics, or some of them, or only one." Nowhere does the article mention any of the dangers of any of this, or the long history of horrors inflicted by those with a fondness for persecution against those whom an angry mob decides ought to be persecuted, or whom an angry mob is told ought to be persecuted . Instead it cheers on from the sidelines as the allegedly anti-social are whacked over the head with bones, shunned, driven from their homes, exiled, hunted and excommunicated. It fails to mention such things as that the kind of people doing the excommunicating frequently had the excommunicated burnt at the stake, etc.

The "Don't be a dick" article in effect seems to admit that it is a somewhat toned-down version of the Fuckhead article, by giving us the following commented link: "What Makes A Fuckhead? (David R. Kendrick) ("dick" in the context of this article having originally been a euphemism for "fuckhead")." Tlhslobus (talk) 09:09, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

I could not AGREE more Tlhslobus. I'd only add that ochlocracy has the fatal flaw that it tends to ostracise and seek to destroy the very people who create its value - artists, philosophers, writers, teachers, scientists and others - those whose work is fundamentally solitary precisely because it's value lies in not following the herd. The mob's destruction of those who dissent is a vicious and intoxicating spiral of degeneration. The value of the dissident in my opinion does not lie so much in creating something new as in inviting renaissance. Reading that passage you cite again, I find it pretty offensive. 10:45, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Another aspect possibly worth noting is who is calling whom 'anti-social'. After all, singling people out for persecution, persecuting people, and celebrating and cheering on persecution, are all activities which most decent people would usually see as profoundly anti-social. This may thus be an instance of what psychologists call 'Projection', where accusation is actually an unwitting form of confession. Tlhslobus (talk) 07:06, 1 February 2013 (UTC)
It would be easy to suggest that seeing this as psychological projection is misplaced, but I believe that groups do have a "psychology", a macrocosm of the microcosm of individual psychology. Here, it seems very "dark". A "healthier", developmental approach would be to reconcile to difference, and integrate with diversity LookingGlass (talk) 19:34, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, LookingGlass, but Oops, sorry - I should perhaps have made it clearer that I was suggesting the Projection here was by an individual (such as the writer of the Fuckhead article), not by a group. I agree that there is also an element of group Projection at work if a mob goes after the allegedly anti-social, since mob violence is pretty anti-social too, but in the present context I was more concerned about that writer's Projection. Tlhslobus (talk) 01:02, 15 February 2013 (UTC)
In which case I am adding more than amplifying, Tlhslobus. There is something that is both oxymoronic and tautological here, as a mob is both, by definition, a fundamentally social entity and yet anti-social in respect of individuals who do not "belong". I am less concerned in this article that the individual author encourages "anti-social" behaviour (or an un-enlightened version of social behaviour), and more concerned to engage with a manifestation of a thinking that distributes itself across Wiki through various mechanisms. The "ignore rules" rule, which you cited somewhere, is a mechanism that mimics and facilitates human interpretation of simplistic mechanical rule-sets, and drives against the tendency to generate the mob pattern of behaviours I see us as addressing here. LookingGlass (talk) 11:54, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
Interesting points, LookingGlass. But it seems to me that you are 'hiding your light under a bushell', and that you need a wider forum for your broader agenda of looking for and finding ways of defending against mob rule tendencies within Wikipedia generally. You could perhaps write an essay in a manner similar to the 'Don't be a Dick' essay, publish it here in Wikimedia (just as 'Don't be a Dick' has been published here), and produce links to it from this article and this conversation, as well as publicising it in whatever other ways are available (of which I am no expert, but presumably there is info somewhere out there on how to do it). But in this particular forum I personally prefer to focus on trying to point out what's wrong with the two specific articles, the velvet glove of 'Don't be a Dick', and the mailed fist that it hides, 'Don't be a Fuckhead'. Tlhslobus (talk) 13:25, 16 February 2013 (UTC)
A completely non-productive, obscene and sexist essay IMO.--Keithbob (talk) 15:46, 11 April 2013 (UTC)

Can someone add this to external links?

Seems pretty relevant. I would add it, but the page seems to be protected. Gnaaye (talk) 08:44, 28 May 2013 (UTC)


Hi, I'd like add this flowchart the this page, but I can't because it's been protected. Could someone with admin permissions add it in for me? Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 09:13, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

closing this, as protection is down to semi. Martijn Hoekstra (talk) 20:02, 23 September 2013 (UTC)


Perhaps this could be renamed to "Don't be mean". Also if it was a little more succinct it may be more effective.

Return to "Don't be a dick/Archives/2009" page.