Wikiversity:Civility/Extension 0.1

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This was the first draft. Please only edit Wikiversity:Civility/Extension 0.2! This one is just for the record. --McCormack 06:34, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Note: the discussion at the above link is no longer active. --mikeu talk 15:09, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Extension to civility policy: mentioning other registered users by name

In general it reflects badly on Wikiversity if users start talking about each other rather than about learning and the fulfillment of the project mission. Even if the comments are positive ("X is cool"), talking about or to each other in inappropriate places creates a poor impression on newcomers and outsiders looking for learning materials.

Appropriate places to talk about other users

"User" means any registered user of any Wikimedia project, when referring to the individual using their registered name or in their role as a user.

It is appropriate to talk about other users:

  1. On their own user space talk pages if you have a problem with them.
  2. On the talk pages of the pages where they have edited, or their user talk pages, if you have a problem with their edits (in which case, discuss their edits, not them).
  3. On any of the respective talk pages when several parties are involved.
  4. At Wikiversity:Request custodian action (for custodian action) or possibly Wikiversity:Colloquium (for polite consensus gathering), if you are unable to resolve any problem at the above venues.
  5. In lists which attribute editing activity, such as Wikiversity:Participants, subject to strict NPOV.
  6. In the Wikiversity namespace in general, which is a namespace for the management, development and reflection on Wikiversity itself; examples: nominations for staff positions; assignment of maintenance and development tasks; NPOV should be respected unless the nature of the page itself requires an exception.

It is particularly inappropriate to talk about other users:

  1. On the IRC channel, if you wish to talk poorly of a user, unless it is in the interests of the community.
  2. On any page that is in the main namespace, or the School, Topic, Portal, Mediawiki and Image namespaces. Exceptions:
    • Exception 1: a user may be mentioned in a learning resource to identify their coordinating or managerial role in developing a resource (e.g. class teacher).
    • Exception 2: a user may be mentioned as a matter of proper attribution as a major editor of a learning resource, media item or research idea/resource hosted on the project.
    • Exception 3: a user has explicitly consented and has not withdrawn this consent. Consent should be carefully noted and signed on the corresponding talk pages so that custodians and other editors can check before removing material.
    • Exceptions to this provision are subject to strict NPOV, regardless of consent to drop NPOV.

Lawyering around these provisions by making indirect identifying references (such as "the user who made this edit" or "the user who believes in..." or "the user I'm not allowed to mention") is not acceptable.


"Outing" is the publication (direct, or indirect means such as by external link) of information, without consent, which could enable a Wikimedian (user on any Wikimedia project) to be identified with their real-world identity. Some registered users have no problem revealing their real-world identities on their user pages, but others do not, and for some users, anonymity is an essential precondition of their membership of the Wikimedia communities.

"Outing" is banned as a matter of civility towards other users. Likewise the publication of any information about a user, without their consent, such as gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, wealth, age, family status, address, is banned as a matter of civility. It is matter of fundamental politeness and respect towards other users that only that personal information should be referred to which they choose to reveal.

Breaches of this provision should be "oversighted" on request ("oversighted" means that the offending data must be removed from the Wikiversity database).

Interim provisions

In the case of inappropriate mentions of registered users which were made before this policy came into force, efforts should be made to remove these mentions within a reasonable space of time.

Removal of inappropriate mentions of other users

  • Inappropriate mentions can be removed or deleted by any editor.
  • Pages where there are too many inappropriate mentions may be deleted in their entirety, possibly with a quick vote/discussion at requests for deletion.