FAQs regarding Scots Wikipedia controversy

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Below are a list of frequently asked questions regarding the recent Scots Wikipedia controversy that can be definitively answered.


Q: What happened?

A: In August 2020, a user on Reddit discovered that many of the Scots Wikipedia articles were written inaccurately, primarily in mangled English. A significant portion of this was the work of one user. These revelations quickly gained traction on the internet, and received press coverage. The Wikimedia community is now working diligently to find a solution and ensure that this does not happen again.

Q: What are you doing to resolve the issue?

A: We are currently discussing options to resolve the issues. A link to the discussion is at the bottom of this FAQ. All decisions regarding action to be taken should be made there.

Q: Will the Scots Wikipedia shut down?

A: Probably not. We wish for the Scots wiki to remain active and freely accessible to all, and we are pursuing other courses of action to resolve the issue first.

Q: What will happen to the user?

A: Nothing. It is clear that their contributions, however misguided you may find them, were made in a sincere effort to improve the Scots Wikipedia and they will not be punished for that. It is, however, unlikely that the user in question will continue to contribute to the Scots Wikipedia.

Q: What can I do to help?

A: There are multiple ways you can help resolve this issue:

  1. You can provide your thoughts on the best way forward for the Scots Wikipedia at the centralised discussion page linked below.
  2. If you are familiar with Scots, you can also help rewrite and improve the Scots Wikipedia. We would greatly appreciate your help in correcting any errors you may come across.

Q: Why did this go unnoticed for so long?

A: All Wikipedias are responsible for their own content, and there is no overseeing body to catch mistakes and errors; instead, the accuracy and quality of Wikipedia depends on community input. With many eyes on an article, potential issues are unlikely to remain unnoticed or unfixed for long. However, the Scots Wikipedia has a relatively small number of readers and active editors, leading to a reduced capacity to catch these errors.

Q: Will people still be able to edit Wikipedia?

A: We maintain our core philosophies that Wikipedia is a free, online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. This will not change. We welcome anyone wishing to improve any Wikipedia.


The Wikipedia community is currently holding a centralized discussion at Requests for comment/Large scale language inaccuracies on the Scots Wikipedia. Your thoughts and comments are welcome, but we ask that you remain civil and respectful of other editors and their opinions.