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There are ways and ways of making a point. Some are more likely to cause misunderstanding, inspire resentment and lower the overall value of any work in which they appear. Here are some examples:

  • ThreadMode deletion Especially while a discussion is still running. : * This causes resentment when it is not consensual and removes contextual information from the discussion.
  • Biased refactoring: * Can be a misguided attempt at "clarifying" the issues. Wiki:FixYourWiki but leave other people's alone. If you can't help yourself then make the changes small and make it easy for others to reverse them. Let conversations cool before refactoring them. Allow new readers to see the flow.
  • Name calling: * Often called irony or humor. We can't see your smile. It looks and feels mean to enough people that it just isn't an effective way to communicate. It's also not a "fair" way to argue. Attack the points not the people. Variants of ''name calling'' include spurious imitation pages or badges like Wiki:CategoryDrugAbuse.
  • Altering signatures: * Changing or adding a signature to a post is a lie. Even if the attribution is correct it still makes it look like the original poster meant to sign the contribution. If they didn't mean to then making it look like they did is a lie.
  • Altering signed contributions: * Could very well be a lie too. Square brackets are a widely recognized way to delimit editorial comments made after the fact. Spelling corrections and simple rewordings can really help. Changing the meaning will likely engender resentment, mistrust and misunderstanding. When in doubt don't make the change.
  • Misrepresenting moved material: * Sometimes it makes sense to move a conversation to a new, more appropriate, location and leave a little note in its place with a forwarding address. Moving only a piece of the conversation is almost as bad as deletion. Anything other than a factual representation of it is likely to be a misrepresentation.

Source: Wiki:UnethicalEditing

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Topic revision: r5 - 2003-12-14 - PeterThoeny
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