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This user has been editing Wikipedia for at least fifteen years.
This user has administrator privileges on the English Wikipedia.
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Ritchie333 is a fortysomething software engineer, musician and real ale drinker.


Crat statistics
Action Count
Edits 120767
Edits+Deleted 127886
Pages deleted 11032
Revisions deleted 453
Logs/Events deleted 1
Pages restored 390
Pages protected 747
Pages unprotected 32
Protections modified 97
Users blocked 1288
Users reblocked 136
Users unblocked 143
User rights modified 16
Users created 1
Abuse filters modified 63
Pages merged 2
Users renamed 3

Zen and the art of Wikipedia Maintenance[edit]

You do not need a {{fact}} tag to say that this bird has two legs and a head.
  1. Always have sources to hand when creating and expanding articles. Don't write articles based upon your own personal hypotheses and inferences. Don't write articles based upon knowledge that you half-remember learning, but have no idea from where or from whom. Write articles based upon actual, concrete, sources[2], and ensure that the article cites those sources. If you half-remember something, go and hunt up a source that covers it first, then write.[3] If you don't do this, expect your articles to be speedy deleted, nominated for deletion or asking the AfC help desk why your article was declined.
  2. Calculus is good for mathematicians, and it's good for Wikipedians too. Don't worry about how competent an editor is now – focus on the first derivative and worry about their rate of competence change. A good newbie can teach themselves to become more competent. A bad newbie never will.
  3. "I think a good number of voices of compassion, balance and reason are probably closer to the Wiki community than most people realise. I don’t think the 91% male editors are all single with no female partners, sisters or daughters."[4]
  4. On consensus : He who gets bored of the argument last, wins.
  5. Every time you start a thread on WP:ANI, God[5] kills a kitten.
  6. My own wikocratic oath is : 'First, cause no drama'.[6]
  7. I really wish wikilawyering were against policy.[7]
  8. "Mark you this, Bassanio. The devil can cite Wikipedia Policy for his purpose." (The Merchant of WP:VENICE)
  9. Without the content, Wikipedia is just Facebook for ugly people[8]
    Hey, who are you calling ugly, ya mingaaah??! Martinevans123 (talk) 09:26, 2 August 2015 (UTC)
  10. "If I had a choice between trusting a compulsive liar locked in a straitjacket in a padded cell scrawling his inane ramblings about how the lizard people secretly run the world through an extensive mind control programme on the wall of said cell with his own faeces and trusting what is written in The Sun, I'd flip a coin because they truly are about equivalent in reliability."[9]
  11. "... every time I have commented in general on infoboxes, I have criticized both advocates and opponents equally. I will continue to do so. I consider the whole matter to be one of the most useless wastes of time on Wikipedia, but a lot of editors feel passionate about this ongoing battle, for reasons that completely evade me."[10]
  12. "It's important to remember that however set-apart and distinct we feel the project is, the point of contact with the real world is the user of the encyclopedia, the person who pops into Wikipedia to find some needed information or just to browse a bit, and couldn't care less what the Wiki-world experience is like to those inside of it" [11]
  13. "If people actually wrote the encyclopaedia articles being hidden behind the Wikipedia-editor-made plot descriptions, the lists of fictional mentions, and the lyrics dumps, you all wouldn't get into these disputes in the first place, you know. Time and again this has happened over 20 years, and time and again it has been the case that writing an actual encyclopaedia article ameliorates the dispute."[12]
  14. On consensus : "if everyone opposes every proposal that doesn't 100% match their idea of perfection, nothing will ever happen"[13]
  15. "Being right and being a dick are not mutually exclusive."[14]
  16. If somebody tells you to "get a life", they might have a point. Enjoy editing Wikipedia, but don't let it consume you, and make sure you experience the real world enough to get perspective on things. Especially if you have a wife and kids.
  17. "As for why I like editing Wikipedia, well it’s better than watching Eastenders or Strictly Come Britain's Got The X-Factor or whatever passes for Saturday night television these days".
  18. When people have problems with editing wiki markup, it's a problem with the software's poor interface, not the end user.
  19. If you see an angry rant on a talk page about your revert to that article that talks about "the truth" but ends with — Preceding unsigned comment added by..., you can probably ignore it. If it's an IP, you probably can rest safe that your revert hasn't even been touched.
  20. There is no race to be "first" to answer a question on WP:HD, WP:RD, WP:AFCHD and WP:ANI .... all you get is an edit conflict with SineBot for your troubles if you're lucky.
  21. If you want to be an admin, find your best friend's car, take out the rotor arm, slash the tyres, then tell them to their face you did it. If you can survive the abuse you get back, you might have what it takes.
  22. "You have a userbox saying you want to be an administrator some day. Remove that userbox and the overtly political ones as well. Then, stop bouncing around like a ping pong ball, and start conducting yourself in a more level headed fashion. Those steps will enhance your chances."[15]
  23. Twinkle has a lot of magic buttons to automate tasks. None of them are for writing content and adding sources. The best content editors ignore twinkle, and vice versa.
  24. Assume good faith can mean deleting an article or doing a blanket revert, then apologising to affected editors that you needed to do it.
  25. Those that can, do. Those that can't, bicker about the manual of style or the citation guidelines. I mean, who cares that somebody's falsely accused of murder – just put that bloody full stop BEFORE the ref tag.
  26. Make your articles good or utterly brilliant if you so wish, but beware the lure of the rubber stamp and remember that if it doesn't improve the encyclopedia, balls to it.
  27. "I don't have an effing clue what a template with a doi parameter or an id parameter is and could not care less, I edit articles on MUSIC because readers come hear to learn about MUSIC not all that technical bollocks."[16]
  28. "Start with an article that looks like shit and reads like it was written by a high-school dropout. A hundred edits later, take another look at the article – and it still looks and reads like shit. That's because the intervening edits did useful things like replace m-dashes with n-dashes, capitalized the first letters of template names, added interwiki links, vandalized and reverted the vandalism, made sure that bold text was being used as laid down in the manual of style, removed extraneous blank lines and miscellaneous other actions which did not, in any fundamental way, improve the article. This is the problem with eventualism: it assumes that, somewhere along the way, someone's actually going to fix the real problems and not just niggle around the edges."[17]
  29. If somebody really wants to win an argument, just let them. You'll live. As Mark Twain put it, "Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of good example."[18](other religious magazines are available)
  30. If I see one more editor throw the term WP:RS at a newbie without explaining what it stands for and why it's relevant, I will scream.
  31. "We can't do anything to change Wikipedia until the WMF crumbles. In the meantime we should all go write an article to console ourselves." (with apologies to Banksy)
  32. As for gender itself, all we should be interested in here is what an editor has in their head, not in their pants. [19]
  33. One of the most dangerous habits you can get into is to take Wikipedia too seriously. Dozens of editors have been indefinitely blocked at ANI and Arbcom because the encyclopedia is super-duper important and blocking them is soooooo unfair.
  34. If you use personal attacks in a debate, you're wrong. Even if you think you're right, you're still wrong. That the other party is also wrong is irrelevant.
  35. Any WP:CIVIL or WP:NPA based block of a user with at least 3 FAs will cause more problems than it solves. "Let's all move on guys and gals before this turns into another pantomime. I have an FAC[20] to write."[21]
  36. The longer the edit summary, the more likely the edit will be reverted. Nobody ever reverts "ce" or "fmt"
  37. On content disputes : "Often CS majors will just assume that everyone knows what Bates Theorem is or what O(log n) means. If they start doing this, stop them for a minute and say, “could you do me a favor, just for the sake of the exercise, could you please explain this in terms my grandmother could understand.” At this point many people will still continue to use jargon and will completely fail to make themselves understood. Gong! You don’t want to hire them, basically, because they are not smart enough to comprehend what it takes to make other people understand their ideas."[22]
  38. In an argument involving two people, it's possible for both participants to be completely and utterly wrong, but good luck to anyone trying to convince them of this.
  39. "Since such a high percentage of anonymous IP editors are vandals, they are all treated like shit. Trying to make serious edits to Wikipedia as an IP editor is like blindly blundering through the countryside on the first day of hunting season dressed like a moose."[23] Furthermore, Wikipedia has a surprising number of editors who think that openly declaring you are using an O2 4G IPv6 address is more "anonymous" than signing your posts "Dawnslayer666" which gives no clues to your identity or location whatsoever.
  40. "I think all new editors should be reported on ANI immediately. This would reduce editor retention to zero, and as older editors die or drop out we'd eventually have no editors at all. At that point there would be no more edit warring, no more conduct or content disputes, and no need for Arbcom. Paradise."[24]
  41. "No one should cheer after a block ... doing so trivializes the most powerful tool in our toolbox and celebrates a power that should be handled with care."[25]
  42. "AIV is not insert nickel, get a block - admins are supposed to use discretion."[26]
  43. Wikipedia is here to create, improve, and host good articles, not to spank bad boys in new improvised ways.[27]
  44. Never pull rank or throw your weight around, lest it backfire on you. "Nothing is more satisfying than winning an argument on its technical merits even when you should have lost it on political merits"[28] and some long-standing non-admin editors love this, and a handful of IPs really love this.
  45. "Wait until you get the bit. You will experience frustration on a level you've never seen. Having the tools doesn't mean you can always use them. Wait until someone gets in a personal argument with you and starts calling you names, and then technically it might look like you are "involved" so you can't act, and seemingly every other person with an admin bit is out back taking a smoke break leaving you twisting in the wind...then two of their friends jump in, and you are just standing there getting busted in the chops, being called an "abuse adminz!" at ANI, etc. It WILL happen, and you will run out of cheeks to turn, so you just have to take it for a while. Sucks to be an admin sometimes."[29]
  46. On !voting "keep" at AfDs : "If you think the article has good sources, then f...ing add them. They won't add themselves, you know."[30]
  47. On "biased" editing - "I have strong views on Pol Pot. I'm not sure I'd want to read an article on him by people who didn't..."[31]
  48. "I'm not one of those cementheads who think that filing an AfD somehow puts a freeze on the article. If you improve it to the point where I change my mind on deletion, that's a win all around, right?" [32]
  49. "If you are researching women in historical newspapers, for example Isophene Goodin Bailhache, and you search for 'Isophene Goodin Bailhache', or 'Isophene G. Bailhache' or 'Isophene Bailhache' and you find zero results and then said, 'oh well, this woman is not notable', you have just failed your entrance exam in Women History."[33]
  50. "When such an editor is blocked, of course the pitchfork brigade turn up. And all too often they kind of have a point. ... Admins should always take time and care when blocking someone, but failing to do so when dealing with people who you know will have a pitchfork-bearing army behind them always strikes me as rather short-sighted"[34]
  51. "Next time you think you're right and someone else is being a jerk, write whatever you were going to post on-wiki in a text file instead, or maybe in a vent email to a friend, or even, if you must, in an edit window, but wait till tomorrow to decide if it's really worth posting."[35]
  52. "Blocking an IP for block evasion for nothing other than protesting their innocence should not happen . Ever. Blocking an established user for sharing an IP address with a troublesome user without supporting evidence should not happen. Ever. Blocking IP addresses that support a potentially maligned user, when there's no evidence they are a block evasion, as happened to the user at 77... on the Admin page, should not happen. Ever. ..... Most people, especially newbies, would have walked away from Wikipedia long before being vindicated. That is not a good thing. Lessons should be learned from this. People are so pissed off at the trolls and socks that they are forgetting to assume good faith."[36]
  53. "I wouldn't bother looking at Jimmy's talk page expecting anything enlightening. It serves primarily as flypaper to trap problem users".[37]
  54. "I always log in to have a discussion, because it's otherwise impossible to keep tabs on who you're talking to. I don't really care if you call yourself "Shark Infested Custard Monster, Volume III" as long as the handle is consistent."[38]
  55. "No matter how carefully ArbCom might work to enforce policies, no matter how delicate they might try to be in addressing an issue like this, and no matter how much they might try to clarify what happened - they'll still always get shit thrown at them."[39]
  56. "It's a sign of the times that the billionth edit was to add a {{authority control}} template to a non-notable stub using AWB. That was just busyworkgaming the system to boost edit count. Editors who enjoy grinding naturally like using tools to amplify their activity. Writing carefully researched and cited encyclopedia text is much harder to automate and so it's not done. Another typical symptom of the problem is using an automated tool like Twinkle to drop a tag on an article rather than actually fixing the issue. Such tools tend to bias activity towards brute-force fixes like deletion rather than activity that is difficult to automate such as writing and editing." [40]
  57. "You realize that what happened here is that someone hurried over to ANI yelling "help, help! this guy is improving the encyclopedia in an unauthorized manner! somebody stop him!", and then somebody actually did, and now a bunch of people are nodding solemnly that yes, this was a thing that made sense?"[41]
  58. "I think many editors would like to see Eric Corbett unblocked! But there has always been a huge problem here; on the one hand, some editors are highly productive and it could be argued that there many positive contributions vastly out-weigh their negative ones; but on the other hand, their editing has been significantly problematic to the community. I don't believe that this is dichotomy has ever been satisfactorily resolved."[42]
  59. "I do 99% of my editing on Android smartphones, using the desktop site, which is 100% fully functional on modern mobile devices. The only time I sit down at a desktop computer is to work on large image files. We would all be better off if the WMF shut down all these poor quality smartphone/mobile apps, which are an impediment to collaborative editing. I cannot imagine the amount of money that has been wasted on these crappy apps over the years, but "small fortune" comes to mind."[43]
  60. "If 1.5 years, 33k+ edits, content creation (including good and featured work), solid anti-vandalism work, and interacting politely with others isn't enough [to pass Requests for adminship], I don't really know what would be.[44]
  61. "Legal threat blocks (for things with often aren't anything like a legal threat) are a very popular opportunity for people to play sheriff." [45]
  62. "Writing about something, even something you know well, usually shows you that you didn't know it as well as you thought. Putting ideas into words is a severe test. The first words you choose are usually wrong; you have to rewrite sentences over and over to get them exactly right. And your ideas won't just be imprecise, but incomplete too."[46]
  63. "I note that threats, however veiled, that were designed to intimidate other users, are still being excused by some as acceptable in hunting down undeclared paid editors. Wikipedia is not a shooting gallery. This kind of bullying, which is what it is, is not condoned via mention of laws and not condoned via misuse of the checkuser tool".[47]
  64. "The new WikiLove feature also makes it easier for you to show editors your gratitude as well. Use it very sparingly though, too many kittens ... um.. spoil the kitten-eating monsters".[48]
  65. "It's essential we stop editors being nice to too many other editors. If we let Moops get away with wishing lots of us a Happy New Year, whatever next? Editors saying "well done" when someone reverts vandalism? People offering to help fix reference errors? An atmosphere of mutual support and respect? Wikipedia's core value of being a bunch of miserable ****s will be eroded, perhaps irreversibly".[49]
  66. "To try and claim that "ChatGPT can spew out entire articles on virtually anything" is worrying: just as a trial I tried asking for a paragraph on an article I am writing: it fabricated two sources entirely (a book that doesn't exist and an ONDB source that goes to a completely different person). You can try and demean "bargain-bin content creation" or content creators if you like, but admins who don't understand what content is and the effort it takes to create or upgrade an article to a passable standard are not always best placed to deal with the issues at the heart of a dispute."[50]
  67. "I do wonder if we should implement a Commons whitelist, i.e. everything from Commons is disallowed unless added to a list here at enwiki. It certainly might make the people at Commons who clearly don't give a shit about being a porn repository think again."[51]
  68. "I'm only joking, so no one take me too seriously here, but I think writing an ALLCAPS LETTER DEMANDING IMMEDIATE ACTION is a bannable offense in and of itself."[52]
  69. Civility, Competence, Diversity. Pick two.
  70. Domestos Reliable Sources. Kills all AfDs. Dead.

Plain and simple guides[edit]

Other essays[edit]

In mainspace[edit]

In here[edit]

Full list of pages (including any I've forgotten about)

Other essays I happen to like[edit]

I survived a good article review by Eric


These customised userboxes have gradually wound their way onto other people's pages. Feel free to "borrow" them at your leisure:

User:Ritchie333/Userbox LBMW User:Ritchie333/Userbox IAD User:Ritchie333/User VdGG User:Ritchie333/Userbox IBIO User:Ritchie333/Userbox ES User:Ritchie333/Userbox Suede User:Ritchie333/Userbox Nosun User:Ritchie333/Userbox Daily Mail


Babel user information
en-N This user has a native understanding of English.
fr-1 Cet utilisateur dispose de connaissances de base en français.
Users by language

Assorted Pywikibot scripts that do odds and ends:

Wikipedia:WikiProject Women in Red/Drafts - script output
  • User:Ritchie333/wirblps.py - looks through unreferenced BLPs, and attempts to print out those of interest to WikiProject Women in Red
User:Ritchie333/Unreferenced women BLPs - script output
See also User:Ritchie333/unlinkedblps.py and User:Ritchie333/Unreferenced and unlinked BLPs

One revert guarantee[edit]

If you think one of my edits makes the encyclopedia worse, revert it. Admins, if you think an administrative action (including, but not limited to protecting or deleting a page, or blocking a user) is not an improvement, just undo it. Please try and leave a good edit summary or discuss it on the talk page, though. In return, I will try and ensure that I only revert your changes once and once only, if at all. (Note, I very occasionally screw up and revert twice, if this happens - I sincerely apologise). If you revert back again, then I'll go to the talk page. Or I might decide you're correct. Either way, I have no more right to edit this place than you.


  1. ^ "An important message". Louis Rossmann. 21 May 2020. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  2. ^ Reliable sources are many and varied but are generally not : Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Soundcloud, blogs (that aren't written by notable journalists for the New York Times or something of that level) and the website you created yesterday
  3. ^ User:Uncle G/On sources and content#Always work from and cite sources
  4. ^ Rhonda on female Wikipedians
  5. ^ or another suitable deity of your choice
  6. ^ NE Ent (30 October 2012). "kitchen, heat". ANI. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  7. ^ http://en.wiki.x.io/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia%3AEditor_assistance%2FRequests&diff=548472838&oldid=548464648
  8. ^ http://en.wiki.x.io/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_adminship/Liz&diff=next&oldid=673901499
  9. ^ Tom Morris, Wikipedia:Reliable sources Noticeboard, 11 October 2012
  10. ^ Cullen328, 1 August 2017
  11. ^ Beyond My Ken : The nature of Wikipedia
  12. ^ http://en.wiki.x.io/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia%3AAdministrators%27_noticeboard%2FIncidents&diff=prev&oldid=1073337401&diffmode=source
  13. ^ Floquenbeam : RfC for BARC - a community desysopping process
  14. ^ Wikipedia talk:Did you know, 20 November 2015
  15. ^ "User talk:Cullen328". 16 October 2017.
  16. ^ "Smeat75, Administrators' noticeboard". 3 July 2020. Retrieved 9 July 2020.
  17. ^ User:Beyond My Ken/Thoughts
  18. ^ Year of Grace: A Daily Companion. Rowman & Littlefield. 1999. p. 27. ISBN 9781580510622.
  19. ^ Boing! said Zebedee, RfA
  20. ^ Note the grammar, who pronounces the shorthand for a Featured Article Candidate as "an eff ay sea" or as in "don't add unsourced BLP violations to a FAC, you facking idiot"
  21. ^ http://en.wiki.x.io/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Cassianto&diff=669655513&oldid=669654620
  22. ^ Spolsky, Joel (25 October 2006). "The guerrilla guide to interviewing, version 3:0". Retrieved 7 December 2021.
  23. ^ [1]
  24. ^ EEng, ANI, September 2018
  25. ^ Requests for adminship/Hawkeye7
  26. ^ KillerChihuahua (25 September 2019). "Blocking question". Retrieved 26 September 2019.
  27. ^ http://en.wiki.x.io/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)&diff=938989657&oldid=938988626
  28. ^ Joel On Software - "A field guide to Developers"
  29. ^ Dennis Brown (21 November 2014). "Requests for adminship : Thomas.W". Retrieved 9 June 2016. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  30. ^ TenPoundHammer (8 February 2017). "Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/List of film spoofs in Mad (2nd nomination)". Retrieved 15 February 2017. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  31. ^ http://en.wiki.x.io/w/index.php?title=Talk:Tommy_Robinson_(activist)&diff=prev&oldid=1187019559
  32. ^ Ravenswing (26 October 2021). "Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Tony Frias". Retrieved 3 November 2021.
  33. ^ "User talk:Elisa.rolle". 3 October 2018. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
  34. ^ User:GoldenRing (31 March 2017). "Wikipedia:Requests for adminship/GoldenRing". Retrieved 3 April 2017. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  35. ^ User:Opabinia regalis (24 October 2017). "Arbitration case requests". Retrieved 1 November 2017. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  36. ^ "User talk:Gerry Lynch". 24 July 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2018.
  37. ^ "User talk:Iridescent". 15 February 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  38. ^ "Talk:T. Rex (band)". 5 July 2019. Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  39. ^ Boing! said Zebedee (18 June 2020). "Arbitration Committee Noticeboard". Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  40. ^ Andrew Davidson (3 February 2021). "Village pump (policy)". Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  41. ^ http://en.wiki.x.io/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&diff=prev&oldid=857351329
  42. ^ MrjulesD (25 February 2021). "User talk:CLCStudent". Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  43. ^ Cullen328 (16 March 2021). "Administrators' noticeboard". Retrieved 16 March 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  44. ^ Floquenbeam (22 May 2021). "Requests for adminship/Asheyyoursmile". Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  45. ^ EEng (26 October 2021). "ANI". Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  46. ^ Paul Graham (January 2022). "Putting Ideas into Words". Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  47. ^ Yngvadottir (9 May 2022). "Administrator's noticeboard/Incidents". Retrieved 9 May 2022.
  48. ^ Obsidian Soul (15 July 2011). "Help Desk". Retrieved 16 August 2022.
  49. ^ http://en.wiki.x.io/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard&diff=1131132235&oldid=1131131847
  50. ^ http://en.wiki.x.io/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Requests_for_adminship/Pppery&diff=prev&oldid=1168188933
  51. ^ http://en.wiki.x.io/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia:Administrators%27_noticeboard/Incidents&diff=prev&oldid=1178954814
  52. ^ Jimbo Wales (14 February 2004). "Desysop Morwen". Retrieved 13 December 2023. {{cite web}}: |author= has generic name (help)