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Community point of view

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Back in year 2004, this was a proposed key policy for the Wikimedia Meta-Wiki. The goal was to require all DocumentMode content here to represent community consensus, while forcing other points of view into ThreadMode. Comments about this proposal are on the discussion page.

The policy has not been implemented. It would need some rewriting, because Wikipedia now is not the only project, and does not represent the entire community.

Community Point of View (CPOV) is a point of view shared by the vast majority of the community of a Wikimedia project. Articles here on Meta-Wiki should be written from the CPOV. Generally, you can view the allowed POV of Wikimedia projects as follows:

Wikipedia Neutral point of view
Wikipedia: namespace Community point of view

Proposals (labeled)
Interactive pages (VfD etc.) used by the community

Meta-Wiki Community point of view

Personal point of view in c2:ThreadMode
Proposals (labeled)
Interactive pages (RfP etc.) used by the community

User and talk pages Personal point of view

Personal opinions on Meta are allowed, but they are not allowed on document-like pages written from the third person. They should instead take the form of discussions, i.e. the starting statement should be short, to the point and written from the first person, responses should be found on the same page etc. This prevents them from looking like official documents (cf. c2:DocumentMode).

This does not apply to proposals, which should be clearly marked as such ("This is a proposal for .. Please provide feedback on the discussion page"), and which need to meet community approval before they become official documents, standards, features, policies etc. Use your own best judgment to determine whether a new page you write is a proposal, or whether it reflects known community consensus.

Essays, policies, brainstorming pages, votes, and so forth should clearly have community support and not just be one individual's idea of what Wikipedia should be. For example, the Wikipedia community is not open towards trolls and vandals. While trolls and vandals may be technically considered members of the community, they are more like uninvited and obnoxious houseguests who are kicked out at the next best opportunity.

As such, pages that are written from the point of view of trolls and vandals -- justifying trolling and vandalism and making this position look like the community view -- would not be desirable, neither here nor on any other Wikimedia project, as they do not represent community opinion. Such individuals are free to voice their opinion in discussions, of course.

When community opinion is split into different factions on a subject, CPOV resembles NPOV in that different views should be attributed, although here the space afforded to minority positions may be directly proportional to the size of said minority. Furthermore, unlike an NPOV article, opinions completely outside the CPOV spectrum need not be included.

Does this mean that CPOV is an instrument of censorship? Yes and no. The purpose of CPOV is not to undermine constructive criticism. That can continue as usual on discussion pages or in ThreadMode. Its purpose is to ensure that the documents you find here on Meta-Wiki actually do represent relevant views within the Wikipedia community, to prevent possible confusion and false impressions.

Don't worry too much about the policy -- when something you write in the third person is out of touch with community opinion, people will tell you soon enough. There might be a vote or a long discussion to bring the page into the CPOV, it might be moved into your user space, to a talk page, turned into a discussion page, or deleted.

See also