Training modules/dashboard/slides/10307-ignore-all-rules

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Pillar FiveEdit

Photo by Eryk Salvaggio

Wikipedia does not have firm rules.

OK, we know you just read a bunch of rules. So what does this last one mean?

Rules in Wikipedia are not carved in stone. Their wording and interpretation are likely to change over time.

The principles and spirit of Wikipedia's rules matter more than their literal wording, and sometimes improving Wikipedia requires making an exception to a rule.

Be bold (but not reckless) in updating articles. Dive in, and don’t panic about making mistakes. Prior versions of pages are saved, so mistakes can be corrected. The most important thing to do is communicate through Talk pages — the part of every article where Wikipedians discuss what they're working on — to tell the other editors what you’d like to do, what you’ve done, and why.

Think of it this way: You aren’t going to break Wikipedia (but please don’t try).

Wikipedia editing is about using your best judgment, and you may be asked to explain your decisions. Explaining why you decided to do something is part of being in any community of people.