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Scratchpad:Ignore all rules, often referred to as SP:IAR, is remarkable in its brevity, and is reproduced in full below:

  • If a rule prevents you from improving or maintaining Scratchpad, ignore it.

or, in its original form:

perhaps the spirit of the rule could be said in an even better way

  • Use your common sense over anything else

There are multiple legitimate purposes for this rule to exist. For example:

  • It prevents Scratchpad from turning into a bureaucracy where nothing happens, and helps cut down on red tape. No one can read all the rules, and it encourages people to be bold
  • It means things can be done that might be against the word of the policy, but pass the essence of them. It’s the equivalent of Scratchpad:Use common sense – a typical example of which occurs when you think something notable is being deleted that doesn’t quite fit in policy.
  • It tries to prevent people getting obsessive and stressed over little things. Stop worrying about the little things – if you’re doing things for the greater good that’s all that matters even if it turns out you were wrong.
  • It allows for consensus to adapt over time, allowing rules to change. Since Scratchpad is about consensus, think of it as Scratchpad’s jury nullification.

However, many people seem to misunderstand the spirit of the rule, and think it’s a convenient excuse to ignore anything they disagree with. This goes against the intention of the rule. Essentially, SP:IAR has some things implied:

  • Don’t cite Ignore All Rules for acting like an idiot. Civility always applies. Don’t try to disrupt Scratchpad.
  • Don’t abuse Ignore All Rules if you’re an Administrator using admin features.
  • Don’t use Ignore All Rules out of pure laziness. Ideally, read the relevant policies and cite SP:IAR explaining the reasons why, despite the policy also acknowledging that this isn’t always possible due to the sheer breadth of policy, guidelines, and bureaucracy.
  • Don’t use Ignore All Rules to try and create rifts in the community.
  • Don’t try and use Ignore All Rules to get around SP:CONSENSUS. Deleting stuff that people disagree with in an article, for example.

Think of it like “free speech”. It exists, but there’re limitations. Use your common sense, dammit!

See also

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Wikipedia:Ignoring all rules – a beginner's guide.
The list of authors can be seen in the page history.
As with Scratchpad, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Licence.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.