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So you’ve made a mistake and it’s public
|(English) This is an essay. It expresses the opinions and ideas of some Wikimedians but may not have wide support. This is not policy on Meta, but it may be a policy or guideline on other Wikimedia projects. Feel free to update this page as needed, or use the discussion page to propose major changes.|
The following is a bit of advice on how to handle having made a mistake with public consequences. It is based on considerable experience making and observing mistakes in the Wikimedia movement.
So you’ve made a mistake and it’s public…
Understand that there is no point in pretending you have not made a mistake; pretending you have not made a mistake will make you look bad.
Think about the mistake you have made.
If it helps, consider privately writing down your answers to these questions.
Then, think about what can be redressed/undone/reverted about this mistake.
Think about the prospects of making this mistake, or a mistake of its kind, again.
Armed with your best thinking from Steps 1 and 2, write a concise(!) public e-mail or on-wiki message acknowledging, as clearly and crisply as possible:
These elements are required for your acknowledgement to be also valid as apology, see Apology#Which elements should be included in an apology for the details.
Actually follow-through on the redressing/undoing actions and on the steps you’ve committed to taking.
ALSO, READ WHAT IS LOVE? HOW DO WE KNOW IT’S LOVE?
Take steps to ensure follow-up on action items that cannot be completed immediately. For example, if one of your corrective steps is to ensure X gets discussed in your next Annual General Meeting, set appropriate reminders to make sure that you actually discuss X by the time that meeting happens.
That’s it. It’s not as difficult as it may seem.
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