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WikiEthic is the process of being civil on Classification Kingdom mainspace and talk pages.

Guideline A: Don't bite the newcomers

Understand that newcomers are both needed by and are of value to the community. By empowering newcomers, we improve the diversity of knowledge, opinions and ideals on this Wiki, enhance its value and preserve its neutrality and integrity as a resource. Remember, our motto — and our invitation to the newcomer — is be bold. We have a set of rules and standards and traditions, but they must not be applied in such a way as to thwart those newcomers who take that invitation at face value. It is entirely possible for a newcomer to this site to bring a wealth of experience from other venues, together with ideas and creative energy which, current rules and standards notwithstanding, may further improve our community and Wikipedia itself. It may be that the rules and standards need revising or expanding; some of what the newcomer seems to be doing "wrong" at first may prove to actually improve Wikipedia. Observe for a while and, if necessary, ask what the newcomer is trying to achieve before defining what he or she is doing as "wrong" or "substandard". If you do determine, or sincerely believe, a newcomer has made a mistake, such as forgetting to put book titles or the names of ships in italics, or failing to make useful links, try to correct the mistake yourself. Don't slam the newcomer; remember, this is a place where anyone can edit and, in a very real sense, it is therefore each person's responsibility to edit, not to criticize or supervise others. Remember that newcomers often don't realise that edit histories are saved. So when their edits are deleted, they will often panic, start an edit war or leave Wikipedia because they mistakenly assume that hours of work have been irretrievably deleted. Please gently let newcomers know that their work is never lost and can always be retrieved from the history. Teach them that they can negotiate on talk pages and that if all else fails they can always revisit the article a few months later to negotiate with a new set of editors. If you really feel that you must say anything at all to a newcomer about a mistake, please do so in a constructive way. Begin by introducing yourself with a greeting on the user's talk page to let them know that they are welcome here, and present your corrections calmly and as the contributor's peer, perhaps also pointing out things they've done that you like. If you can't do that, then it may well be better to say nothing. Other newcomers may be hesitant to make changes, especially major ones, such as NPOV-ing and moving, due to fear of damaging Wikipedia (or of offending other our Wikians, or being flamed). Teach them to be bold, and do not be annoyed by their "timidity". While it is fine to point a new user, who has made a mistake, towards the relevant policy pages, it is both unreasonable and unfriendly to suggest that they stop taking part in votes, AfD discussions etc. until they "gain more experience". This both discourages new editors and may deprive WP of much needed insights. When giving advice to newcomers, tone down the rhetoric a few notches from the usual mellow discourse that dominates Wikipedia. Make the newcomer feel genuinely welcome, not as though they must win your approval in order to be granted membership into an exclusive club. Any new domain of concentrated, special-purpose human activity has its own specialized strictures and structures, which take time to learn, and which benefit from periodic re-examination and revision. Do not call newcomers disparaging names such as "sockpuppet" or "meatpuppet". If a lot of newcomers show up on one side of a vote, you should make them feel welcome while explaining that their votes may be disregarded. No name-calling is necessary. Sometimes users forget to use four tildes after talk page posts. You can make the reminder process a little easier and less annoying by using the following two templates. One can also use {{unsigned}} to fix those anonymous comments in the meantime. Template:Sign1 -- Please sign your name using four tildes Lord of the Dance 12:39, 22 March 2007 (UTC) when making your posts. Template:Sign2 -- When editing on User Talk or Article Talk pages, please sign your name using four tildes Lord of the Dance 12:39, 22 March 2007 (UTC) when making your posts. I would also suggest that you consider getting an account for yourself. Assume good faith on the part of the newcomer. They most likely want to help out. Give them a chance! Remember Hanlon's Razor. Behavior that appears malicious to experienced Wikiansis more likely due to ignorance of our expectations and rules. Even if you're 100% sure that someone is a worthless, no-good, internet troll, a vandal, or worse, conduct yourself as if they're not. By being calm, interested, and respectful, your dignity is augmented, and you further our project. Remember that you were once a newcomer also. Treat others as (if possible, better than) you would want to be treated if you had just arrived at this Wiki.

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