Commons:Do not disrupt Commons to illustrate a point

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Shortcut: COM:POINT

State your point—do not prove it experimentally[edit]

When one becomes frustrated with the way a policy or guideline is being applied, the temptation may arise to try to discredit the rule or interpretation thereof by, in one's view, enforcing it consistently. This may even entail an attempt to turn consensus against a policy by satirically applying it on various pages.

Such tactics are highly disruptive and can lead to a block or ban. Consider that Commons is not perfectly consistent, and its rules are not a code of law. Discussion is the preferred venue for highlighting issues with rules or practices. If direct discussion fails to resolve a problem, look into dispute resolution.


  • If you have nominated a file for deletion...
    do make your case clearly in the discussion, noting examples of files that could exist under the rationale for keeping the one in question (i.e. "other stuff exists").
    do not upload a file on what you consider to be a similarly unsuitable topic just to get it listed for deletion and have others make the same arguments you are making.
  • If you feel that a policy or guideline should be changed, and others disagree...
    do explain what you see as the problem with the rule as written, and perhaps post a notice of the discussion at the Village pump
    do not attempt to enforce the existing rule with the aim of provoking opposition to it
  • If you feel that it is too easy to add misinformation to Commons...
    do watch recent changes and fact-check anything that looks at all suspicious
    do not create an elaborate hoax with hopes of getting publicity for it
  • If you feel that images should be categorized a certain way...
    do start a discussion at categories for discussion
    do not move other categories or remove everything from a category and argue for it be deleted as empty
  • If you feel that it is too easy to slip in some copyright violations to Commons...
    do watch the new files page and watch for any suspicious files, and suggest some automated ways to filter out such violations
    do not intentionally upload a copyright violation and attempt to conceal such fact
  • If you get blocked by a sysop...
do state your opinion on that case clearly
do not try to run down that sysop.
  • If you are advised by another user, that you did a certain mistake...
do try to improve that mistake or try to explain why it isn't a mistake
do not look through that other user's mistakes to show him how bad he in fact is.

Important note[edit]

A shortcut to this page is COM:POINT. However, just because someone is making a point does not mean that they are disrupting Commons to illustrate it, which is the only circumstance under which someone should be warned about this essay.