Wikipedia:Here to build an encyclopedia
. It combines many features of general and specialized encyclopedias, almanacs, and gazetteers. Wikipedia is not a soapbox, an advertising platform, a vanity press, an experiment in anarchy or democracy, an indiscriminate collection of information, or a web directory. It is not a dictionary, a newspaper, or a collection of source documents, although some of its fellow Wikimedia projects are.
A major pillar of Wikipedia is that it is both an encyclopedia and a community of editors who build it. This means that an editor is here primarily to help improve encyclopedia articles and content, and to provide constructive input into communal discussions and processes aimed at improving the project and the quality of our content, and do so in line with the project's intended boundaries, guidelines, and wider mission – and within compliance of Wikipedia's policies and procedures. Because Wikipedia is a collaborative community, editors whose personal agendas and actions appear to conflict with its purpose risk having their editing privileges removed.
The expression "here to build an encyclopedia" is a long-standing rule used to distinguish constructive and non-constructive users and pages. It has been written at various times into the five pillars of Wikipedia and older versions of the blocking policy.
The following may indicate a user is clearly not here to build an encyclopedia:
Some users may be interested in building an encyclopedia in accordance with Wikipedia's principles, but with different areas of focus or approach to some other users' goals or emphases. Differences that arise where both users are in good faith hoping to improve the project should not be mistaken for "not being here to build an encyclopedia".
In an attempt to regulate edits that can have a surface appearance of vandalism, some editors may give in to tendentious editing. In this case, an editor should not engage in criticism of Wikipedia and should follow policies. They should not give in to impulsive instincts like guessing and engaging unpleasantly. A newcomer or a constructive user may at times make the occasional error, and they may need considerable time to acclimatize their conduct to the community's ways and norms. It is even possible for a well-rounded user to make mistakes. To err is human and it is an acceptable practice to admit when you are wrong and unappreciated to make it about winning for personal stat scores/ trophy collecting. In addition, a number of disruptive users may at times post nonconstructive edits only at intervals in order to avoid being blocked. Be bold in these cases, revert these edits, provide edit summary and for complex cases request administrator attention. Alternatively, if you are confident and have good dispute resolution and collaborative skills, attempt to solve minor conflicts at the article’s talk page. Be tolerant with the outcome, there is no deadline and the project is always a work in progress.
Being "here to build an encyclopedia" is about a user's overall purpose and behavior in editing Wikipedia. In considering whether or not a user is here to build an encyclopedia, the user's overall pattern of editing and contributing behavior, as well as the clarity of past warnings (dismissing vacuous warnings) or guidance and their attempts at improvement, should be reviewed as a whole.
Because Wikipedia is a community as well as an encyclopedia, the community tolerates a reasonable degree of non-encyclopedic content. Examples include certain humor pages that are not derogatory, userboxes, and a wide range of user page designs.
However, pages that stray too far outside this are frequently deleted under community processes. This is especially the case if it appears to the community that their primary author is not mainly here to write an encyclopedia. Examples include social network pages and promotional material in user-space, negative pages about other users, "laundry lists" of complaints, cliques and self-selecting or "restricted membership" user-created bodies, and non-project material likely to prove overly disruptive or divisive.