Be bold

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Most routine edits to articles will be small ones: Adding a few facts, removing a dead link, replacing a missing photo, adding a missing dot etc.

Occasionally, you will discover an article that you believe is seriously flawed. There may be incorrect statements, confusing organization, or clumsy prose. In this situation, it may be necessary to make a bold, radical revision to what exists—perhaps even rewriting an article completely, or splitting it into multiple articles. Or you may think that an entirely new topic should be covered.

All this is permissible, if you are certain your improvement is a valid one. However, bold edits bring with them extra responsibilities:

  1. is a project of volunteers. You should realize that any page author before you sincerely believed their work was helpful. Try to treat earlier work with respect, and consider whether it is possible to save portions of it.
  2. Be certain of your facts; be prepared to give references supporting any statement that might be disputed.
  3. Click the "View history" link above the article. If you find that an article is primarily the work of one author, it is most courteous to leave a note on their user talk page, linking to the article's discussion page. Explain your proposed changes there.
  4. MediaWiki software[1] permits any edit (even a radical one) to be reverted. You should be prepared to accept this, if others find your change too extreme. To facilitate this, begin by making one minor change and saving it, with the "minor edit" checkbox under the edit window left unchecked[2]. This insures that an intact version of the article (from before your radical edit) will be preserved in the page history.
  5. Don't remove existing text just to see your own words instead: There must be a reason for the change which you can explain to others. Don't write argumentative pieces that would be best published in your own personal blog ("Lomography is a rip-off!" etc.)
  6. If your radical edit is reverted (perhaps by the prior author), don't react emotionally. You may have misunderstood something about the prior version. You should discuss the goals behind your radical change in the article discussion page, and try to work towards a consensus.


  1. MediaWiki software
  2. "minor edit" checkbox unchecked means that a page version cannot get lost thru a wiki database reorg. Usually it's helpful for the technical admin if users save minor edits as such. But from time to time a "major edit" should be saved to preserve some valid versions.

See also