wikidoc:Accountability

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As an informal guideline, many Wiki Docs prefer that people should log in before making drastic changes to existing articles. Compare and contrast this with another guideline;to be bold in updating pages.

To log in, click the "Log in" link in the upper right of any page. See Log in for details.

The reason for this is accountability; if you don't have a log in, it is harder for others to contact you to raise any comments or concerns with what you write. Some users find it frustrating to deal with users who are not logged in, so you may find that they take your contributions less seriously and are more suspicious of your motives.

Sometimes it's frustrating even when users log in, because they are still very much anonymous. Some users even register multiple identities; this is called a sock puppet. Issues of accountability and anonymity lie as much in the user's behavior as in the registration of a user name.

But it's not that others' frustration is, alone, a valid reason to revert your edits. Rather, that drastic changes to articles is a reversion, usually, of articles that have some invested discussion in them. The quality of Wikidoc articles comes as a result of the process of research and democracy, and the trust other Wiki Docs learn to place in you (and your history of quality work) makes the editing process more an aspect of teamwork, rather than showmanship. However this democratic process is not always perfect. As an example, some people, it is believed, when unsuccessful in making edits under their own identity (because this would mean participation in a process of discussion), resort to logging in anonymously to make major edits. This might yield an increasingly unsatisfactory result over time, especially where working together to write an article with a neutral point of view.

Anyone can create a name, maintain a presence on Wikidoc, and be completely anonymous (you don't have to give us your name or email address), free of charge. So, although we do allow and welcome edits from users who are not logged in, you are still highly encouraged to log in if or when you make major edits. This way, you can stand by your work, and in doing so, send a message to all Wiki Docs that you think your work is worth standing for.

Someday, some people may create views of the WikiDoc that specifically exclude anonymous changes. This is by no means certain; it's not clear that many Wiki Docs would support adding this capability to the main Wikidoc website. However, anyone can create such a view from the database (e.g., for a CD-ROM), so this is yet another reason to avoid posting anonymously.

A related suggestion is to sign your posts on talk pages as it makes the discussion easier to follow.

All information on this page is attributed to Wikipedia and its contributors


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