Assume Good Faith is a fundamental principle and a core policy on every Wikia. As we allow anyone to edit, it follows that we assume that most people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it. If this weren't true, a wiki project would be doomed from the beginning.
Good Faith means to assume the best of intentions on the editor's part. This means it will be assumed that the editor:
- Is well-meaning
- Wishes to help improve the wiki.
- Does not mean it when mistakes are made.
- Likely is not setting out to be malicious.
- Is doing to the best of their abilities to help.
Assuming these facts about the editor will help maintain a harmonious wiki as well as ensure any new addition to the team is welcomed. Despite the results of the edit (whether good or bad), this policy assumes first that the edit was made with the intent to help so please treat such editors accordingly.
This policy is theoretically easy to define but it might be confusing to apply in practice. So here are some hypothetical situations where the Assume Good Faith policy would come into play.
An edit was made to the wiki that is rife with spelling or grammatical errors to the point of illiteracy. In this situation, it is easy to assume by the language used that the editor is a troll or vandal but perhaps their language skills are simply not as good as yours but they still wished to contribute to the wiki or perhaps they are not a native speaker.
Under the policy, it would be best to either modify the edit so that it is correct and clear in meaning before leaving them a message to let them know why you made the edit or if you are unsure of what the meaning they were trying to convey was, ask them. Dealing with them with politeness and offering advice or help to ensure their future contributions are up to the standards of the wiki is a better way to welcome someone new to the wiki who might be unfamiliar to everything and is more conducive to helping the community than driving away someone who might be a valuable addition.
The user made an edit that could be considered minor or created a stub page. Although the edit in question might be small in comparison to edits that add a great deal of content, many wikis actually need such edits in order to continue growing and improving. Consider this, copy editors on mainstream publications make many such minor edits as the addition of a comma could actually correct a punctuation error that changes the entire meaning of the sentence. If the user continues making such small edits, perhaps leaving them a message to discuss it would be better than simply reverting their edit without any comment. Similarly, if the stub page is actually a page the wiki needs but never had created, then expand upon it by adding content.
The user made an edit that messes up the organization of the wiki such as creating a new category or new page that doesn't fit with the existing structure of the wiki or miscategorizing a page. This policy ensures that when dealing with the user, it is not automatically assumed they came on here to purposefully make a mess of the wiki. Either correct the error and then advise the user of how best to do what they wish to do or simply talk it out with them.
An user making the edit(s) is anonymous. This policy ensures that the intentions of such users is taken with a grain of salt. They could be registered Wikia users who simply forgot to log in or newbie editors simply making a spur of the moment decision to edit (we all started out as anonymous users). The fact that they are not registered users does not negate the validity of their contribution and it is only a pity that they did not make the edit while registered/logged in since they would not be credited with the contribution under their edit history. In these cases, it is best to open a dialogue and either encourage the user to register while advising them of the benefits or to aid the user by helping out with the edits.
This policy is not applicable in certain situations. Here are the exceptions to the rule:
- Obvious vandalism on the part of the editor
- The editor's contribution history consists mostly of inaccurate information
- Any attempts to reach out for a discussion on the nature of an edit are rebuffed