3. Policies around harassment on Wikimedia projects

The codes of conduct, reporting processes, and sanctioning measures in the Wikimedia projects are defined by the community itself. In most cases, the sanctioning role is assumed by the administrators, users who are chosen by the community and have special technical permissions to, among other things, block editors who repeatedly violate conduct policies. The Wikimedia Foundation takes immediate action in serious cases of threats of harm to community members. 

Not every version of Wikipedia has a specific policy on harassment. In the English, French and Italian versions, for example, this policy exists and indicates its definition, types, how to proceed if one is being harassed and what sanctions exist for harassers. In other cases, for example in the Spanish or Portuguese versions, users only have access to translations of the English policy in the form of “wikiessays” or policy proposals- though there have been attempts to generate discussion leading to the adoption and implementation of the translation. 

To access a list of policies about harassment and intimidation of contributors in different languages and Wikimedia projects visit: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Harassment_policies

Currently, the following actions are considered harassment in English Wikipedia: 

  • Wikihounding: Consists in the tracking of an editor from one place to another on Wikipedia in order to repeatedly confront and inhibit their work. If accompanied by tendentiousness or personal attacks may result in the blocking the harassing editor.
  • Threats: This includes any real world threats, as well as, threats to disrupt a person’s work on Wikipedia.
  • Posting of personal information (also known as doxing): Outing or threats to out an editor are also prohibited. 
  • User space harassment: Examples include placing false or questionable “warnings” on a user’s talk page, restoring comments after a user has removed them, and displaying material the user may find annoying or embarrassing in their user space.
  • Off-wiki harassment: Such as unwanted private and public communication, following or stalking another editor. If you experience inappropriate off-wiki contact, you should reach out to the emergency response team.