Online encyclopedia Wikipedia bans sarcasm

Every time you think, you weaken the nation —Moe Howard

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10 October 2006

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Computer simulation of the Wikipedia "Co-Civility Sphere" crushing all vestige of unseemliness beneath its cultured might. Source: Wikimedia.

FLORIDA, (Wikinews) -- In a move to enhance the civility of the editing environment on top-10 collaborative social networking site Wikipedia, sarcasm has been banned from all Wikipedia editing spaces as uncivil.

"I was voicing my strong disapproval of a bad policy, as it was obvious that the proponents were absolutely acting as Hitler would have," said editor Harrison Bergeron. "Then they started quoting Uncyclopedia article web addresses at me! Even after I'd alerted them to their violation of Godwin's law! Well. That sort of thing is unacceptable. It creates a bad working environment for everyone. We obviously needed a new rule immediately."

Wikipedia God-King Jimbo Lear was quick to back the move. "We already have a guideline against stupidity, which actually worked to abolish all stupidity on Wikipedia and therefore removed any reasonable motivation editors may have had to resort to sarcasm, even in cases of extreme provocation, as all editors are now extremely clueful and on the ball. *ahem*"

The move has been hailed in vigorous, blunt, strident, robust and bold tones by many Wikipedians.

"I must say, I'm glad I have this rule to helpfully point out to those rude assholes whenever they tell me that some say that critics hold my writing to be excessively verbose, convoluted, overly redundant and also tautological as well," said an editor who deleted his name from the original version of this page. "They should just shut the fuck up."

Wikipedia User:JSwift1729 added important proposals against other antisocial behaviour on the wiki, such as smarminess, passive aggression, satire and humour. Humor is also on notice. "It's really helpful that we can change people's thoughts, opinions and behaviour by changing text on a policy page," Swift modestly said. "We're also looking into banning smarty-pants who use paper books as references, anyone who assumes bad faith by saying that a deletion nominator needs to learn about the world outside Google, and people who make the grossly offensive personal attack of saying that Michael Crichton novels and Rush Limbaugh radio shows aren't as good reference sources on global warming as peer-reviewed scientific papers. And it's against neutrality, too. After we're done with them, we'll be taking on the people who think they're better writers than others."

Some have resisted the changes. "Fortunately," said Bergeron, "edit-warring the policy page back to my community consensus version pending the discussion I started put paid to them. Edit-warring is considerably less damaging to editing than saying something someone thinks is mean. Your rights end where my feelings begin. We're building a social networking site here."

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