Communications committee/Form letters

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Some form letters that should be sent out to reporters and other publications.


Don't disrupt Wikipedia to make a point... Occasionally reporters or others disrupt Wikipedia to make a point, or to demonstrate how it works. They should be politely reprimanded, and shown better ways of observing editorial (and other) processes.

Please modify this template as apporopriate for radio, other types of disruption, projects other than Wikipedia, &c.

Dear <author>,

I just read your recent piece about Wikipedia, <title>.  Thank you for your 
interest in the project; however, I noticed that you added false information 
to Wikipedia as a way of testing its internal processes.  One of our 
contributors puts it well: 

   'Some of the nice people who live on my street pick up litter they see 
    on the sidewalk. I hope you will resist the urge to dump litter there 
    just to find out whether anybody really picks it up.'    --D.P.B. Smith

Writing about such tests only encourages others to do the same.  I hope you 
will correct any inaccuracies or falsehoods you have introduced to the 
encyclopedia, and find more constructive ways to evaluate Wikipedia in the 
future.  For example, you can observe how new articles (many of them of
low quality) are improved or deleted by viewing the list of recent changes
by new users, and visiting the same article over the course of an hour or two.

Thank you once again for your interest in Wikipedia, and please don't hesitate 
to contact us if you have any questions.

   <name, &c>


Please fact-check before you publish...

Reporters often get details wrong about the projects. When this is combined with a criticism of the project's accuracy, it sometimes leads to a flood of annoyed rants from Wikipedians pointing out the double-standard. They should receive a polite correction, with directions re: how to double-check their facts with us in the future.

Be positive - as the English phrase says, "you catch more flies with honey than vinegar." Thank them for writing the article at all, offer your corrections as if they were only minor matters really (even if they were ridiculously wrong), thank them again and offer them your personal help. Examples like the below gets pleased letters back from the journalist and gets them onside with us.

Dear <author>, 

Thank you very much for <title>, your recent piece about Wikipedia.
We appreciate press and media covering our encyclopedia.

However, there were a few minor factual errors in the piece that I 
would like to clarify:

 <specific errors>

 <positive comments on the article - any positive comment you can think of!>

You should always feel free to send inquiries to <> to
check information about the Wikimedia projects; also, please feel free to contact
me directly with questions.

Thanks very much once again for having covered Wikipedia. I look forward
to future coverage!

   <name, &c>