RationalWiki:Guide for individuals or companies we cover
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RationalWiki has a strong point of view, and our articles coincide with that point of view. By the very nature of how our content is produced we often become the only significant source of criticism on the internet for lesser-known individuals, companies or products that fall under our mission statement.
If you have come to our site in order to change or alter the content of an article that relates to you personally this page is a guide to help you make the biggest possible impact.
Understand our site, our mission and our point of view
Before attempting to engage us about any articles it is very important to learn about who and what we are. The first thing you must keep in mind is our point of view, which we call SPOV. It stands for both snarky point of view and scientific point of view. All of our articles start from the perspective of rational, empirical, and scientific ideals. We also often use a somewhat snarky tone when dealing with these topics.
The biggest issue individuals who want to change article content often face is realizing that we will not compromise on our demands for empirical evidence, nor do we accept evidence relying on mere anecdotes or supernatural claims. You will not accomplish anything if you insist on focusing on evidence of this nature.
Below are some links to help you learn everything you need to know.
- Our article about ourselves: RationalWiki
- Our newcomers guide: RationalWiki:Newcomers
- What makes a RationalWiki article: RationalWiki:What is a RationalWiki article?
Sign up for an account
While RationalWiki allows anonymous edits, IP editors by the nature of the internet and our own community experience start off with a much lower level of respect, and often with an assumption that the user is a trouble-maker. Creating a user account eases communication, helps avoid the assumption that you are a vandal, and increases the level of respect you can build here.
Learn basic Wiki markup and etiquette
If you are unfamiliar with wikis, how to edit them, or basic wiki etiquette, then it is important to learn about them. Many new users get into difficulties with established users over simple things like signing comments. These conflicts often overwhelm the specific points users want to raise, and until standard wiki etiquette is used conversations are likely to go nowhere.
We offer many great guides and hints to working with wikis and our site in particular in our help section.
Do not just edit the article!
The worst thing you can do is to barge in and drastically change the content of an article. If you radically disagree with an article it is probably best to avoid editing the article at all. Any drastic changes to an article will probably be reverted within seconds or minutes and repeated revisions may lead you to getting banned for a period of time from editing RationalWiki at all. It is also a poor way to start off, and reduces your chances to have any permanent effect on article content. The best place to start is the talk page!
Use the talk page
Every article on our site has a corresponding talk page. It is here that you should bring up your points. Make a new section at the bottom of the page, explain who you are, and what issues you have with our article. Be polite, follow wiki etiquette, and a productive conversation can take place that may alter the content of an article.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they first come to complain about an article is to speak only in generalities. Telling us the article is wrong, slanderous, or misleading doesn't help us. Take specific statements in the article, copy them to the talk page, explain specifically why it's wrong, and offer alternative wording.
We respect evidence - if you can present to us evidence of your claims, then we can incorporate that into the article. For specifics on you, your product or your company that we have wrong, simple links to websites or commentary that can allow us to put the correct information is fine. For issues like efficacy, cite the scientific and empirical evidence and studies you think verify your claims. We will go read any article you cite, and will adjust our content based on our analysis of the evidence you cite for us. You will also need to understand that checking claims may take time and that the first person to respond to your point may not be the most able.
Making legal threats will stop the process
Making legal threats against the site or its users will not aid you in altering content. We are willing to work with you on article content for as long as it takes, but as soon as you start making legal threats the process will stop. Individuals have been banned from editing the site for issuing such threats.
If you do decide to pursue legal action the website is not the place to discuss it. Please see our legal FAQ for details on our contact information and other legal concerns.
We care about accuracy
We do care about accuracy. We want our articles to be as accurate as possible, and we will adjust our content if you can show us where we are wrong. Just keep in mind our website's philosophy and mission. We have had several fruitful and productive interactions with individuals and companies on our article content. As long as you work with us, we will work with you.
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