This is a statement of principles from Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales.
The original version of this page was published on 27 October 2001.

As we move forward with software and social changes, I think it is imperative that I state clearly and forcefully my views on openness and the license. This page, like all Wikipedia pages, is a living, dynamic document, which I will update and clarify as legitimate questions arise.

I should point out that these are my principles, such that I am the final judge of them. This does not mean that I will not listen to you, but it does mean that at some ultimate, fundamental level, this is how Wikipedia will be run.

(But have no fear, as you will see, below.)


維基百科至今嘅成就全係我哋嘅開放社羣嘅功勞。 This community will continue to live and breathe and grow only so long as those of us who participate in it continue to Do The Right Thing. Doing The Right Thing takes many forms, but perhaps most central is the preservation of our shared vision for the NPOV and for 細心有禮嘅誠信嘅文化。(a culture of thoughtful, diplomatic honesty)


新來者永遠受歡迎。一定唔可以有小圈子(cabal), there must be no elites, there must be no hierarchy or structure which gets in the way of this openness to newcomers. Any security measures to be implemented to protect the community against real vandals (and there are real vandals, who are already starting to affect us), should be implemented on the model of "strict scrutiny".

"Strict scrutiny" means that any measures instituted for security must address a compelling community interest, and must be narrowly tailored to achieve that objective and no other.

For example: rather than trust humans to correctly identify "regulars", we must use a simple, transparent, and open algorithm, so that people are automatically given full privileges once they have been around the community for a very short period of time. The process should be virtually invisible for newcomers, so that they do not have to do anything to start contributing to the community.


即刻就可以編呢頁」係我哋做嘅任何嘢之一核心指導測試。我哋 一定要敬呢條原則如神聖。


Any changes to the software must be gradual and reversible. We need to make sure that any changes contribute positively to the community, as ultimately determined by me, in full consultation with the community consensus.


The GNU FDL license, the openness and viral nature of it, are fundamental to the long-term success of the site. Anyone who wants to use our content in a closed, proprietary manner must be challenged. We must adhere very strictly to both the letter and spirit of the license.


The mailing list will remain open, well-advertised, and will be regarded as the place for meta-discussions about the nature of Wikipedia. Very limited meta-discussion of the nature of the Wikipedia should be placed on the site itself. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. The topic of Wikipedia articles should always look outward, not inward at the Wikipedia itself.


Anyone with a complaint should be treated with the utmost respect and dignity. They should be encouraged constantly to present their problems in a constructive way in the open forum of the mailing list. Anyone who just complains without foundation, refusing to join the discussion, I am afraid I must simply reject and ignore. Consensus is a partnership between interested parties working positively for a common goal. I must not let the "squeaky wheel" be greased just for being a jerk.


Diplomacy consists of combining honesty and politeness. Both are objectively valuable moral principles. Be honest with me, but don't be mean to me. Don't misrepresent my views for your own political ends, and I'll treat you the same way.

The original version of this Statement of Principles was first published on Wikipedia on 27 October 2001.

According to the copy of the page at the nostalgia wiki the original version of this page was created at: 01:34, 27 October 2001.

See also : Jimmy Wales

Template:Wikipedia principles