Ever try to edit Wikipedia and get accused of SPAM?
It can be one of two reasons why.
First, you are positively one of the most despicable people on earth who make a living creating spam; or, more than likely you used another Wikipedia page as an example to make your own Wikipedia contributions.
The fact is that Wikipedia has so many rules and guidelines that it is difficult for anyone to just go to the site and make an edit unless they already have years of experience editing Wikipedia. The mountains of guidelines are so confusing that people often read another article and use it as an example to create their own. This can be problematic, and it is Wikipedia’s fault.
What is Other Stuff Exists on Wikipedia?
There is a little known rule outside of the Wikipedia bureaucracy referred to as “Other Stuff Exists.” The “spirit” of the rule is to keep people from using the excuse that since an article similar to one they created exists in Wikipedia, that the article they did create should not be deleted.
This is a good policy in theory, but has caused issues for those trying to understand how to create articles and edit Wikipedia. Current editors are quick to use it to scold new editors for trying to bring up that other articles in Wikipedia are similar to one that they created. Instead of getting rid of these “bad” articles, current editors seem to want to keep them around.
It is almost like baiting people to bring them up so that they can throw down the “other stuff exists” policy like a poker player laying down a full house.
Good in Theory, Harmful Because of Laziness
The reason it is a dangerous rule is because although “other stuff exists” is good in theory, Wikipedia editors fail to take steps to eliminate the “other stuff” and instead leave it alone as a way to shun new editors for trying to make edits.
I have seen it multiple times in deletion discussions where the creator of an article brings up examples of other Wikipedia articles in an attempt to persuade editors to not delete the article they created. Editors are all too quick to cite the other stuff exists policy and often multiple editors jump on the band wagon to shun the article creator for even bringing it up.
While this would normally not be an issue, the same editors who are quick to cite the policy often never go to any of the mentioned articles to clean them up or delete them.
So, while people are bringing up the fact that there are crappy articles that people use as examples to create new articles, the bureaucracy would rather scold editors for bringing them up as opposed to doing something to eliminate the bad. After all, if the articles people use to mold after are of better quality (i.e., if they do more to delete the crap), people new to editing Wikipedia would have better examples to follow. Instead, they follow what is already there, what the bureaucracy fails to delete or correct, and end up being shunned in the process.
Final Word on Other Stuff Exists
If you are part of the bureaucracy, take a hard look at the examples new editors provide you and do something about them before trying to shun a new editor. You may be surprised that they are not spammers after all and wind up sticking around a while to help out with other articles.