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Purpose and scope
Primary office actions
A Foundation event ban is an office action enforced in order to help improve the actual and perceived safety of users attending Wikimedia in-person events. It is placed under exceptional circumstances such as repeated abuse or behavior that compromises the trust and safety of our volunteers or users. While not limited to these examples, Foundation event bans may be enacted in situations such as where:
- Users have already exhibited or have threatened to exhibit harassing or otherwise abusive conduct during in-person events.
- Users have already exhibited or indicated intention to attend in-person events in bad faith or to systematically undermine discussions and collaboration in pursuit of the Wikimedia mission and vision.
An event ban restricts the access, attendance and/or participation of individuals at offline events that are sponsored or funded by the Wikimedia Foundation or, in some cases, associated entities (such as movement affiliates or partners). This is not an action unique to the Foundation; local Wikimedia communities may also enact event bans under relevant policy when they feel that a ban will help maintain the trust and safety of community members and users attending offline events. Event bans imposed by the Foundation may be subject to different criteria than those developed and observed by affiliated movement organizations, but are intended to complement them.
Being banned from local events does not automatically mean that one is banned from all global events. The terms of one event ban can differ from those of another and may depend on multiple variables. For example, Foundation event bans can be:
- Location specific. One may be banned in all in-person events taking place within a certain geographical area, such as a city or a country.
- Project specific. They may be applicable to any events relating to work and/or collaboration on particular projects or language projects, such as work on MediaWiki, Wikiprojects or the English Wikipedia.
- Time specific. Event bans may not necessarily be indefinite; they may be placed for a specific period.
In contrast to the finality of global bans, event bans may be reviewed at a later date. While an event ban may be lifted if it is found that it has served its purpose, continued abuse from the banned user may weigh into a decision by the Foundation to expand the ban. If notice of an event ban does not include a specific expiration date or note that it is irrevocable, an appeal may be sent to cawikimedia.org. (Event bans that are part of global bans or lead to global bans are not subject to appeal.)
Event bans may be one step before a global ban, as they are placed in situations where a complaint has been placed to the Foundation regarding user conduct that specifically occurs or may occur during in-person events. They may, however, exist in isolation, if the issue leading to the event ban is not a concern in online interaction or behavior.
Pursuant to this and the Foundation event bans policy, names or pseudonyms of individuals explicitly (through an event ban) or implicitly (through a global ban) banned from attending events may be made available to designated teams or individuals within an event organization team/safe space committee/chapter, in the form of the event bans list. The list may include more identifying information if available, including photographs to help in identification.
The Foundation encourages people to first consider taking advantage of the existing community-led processes in order to report and resolve instances of copyright infringement. This can be done by reaching out to the Wikimedia volunteer email response team (OTRS) at infowikimedia.org with an informal request for content removal, including all relevant information in support of your request such as the location of the reported material and well as information that helps establish copyright ownership and the legality or illegality of the material’s use.
In some cases, the Foundation may also receive requests to remove content from a Wikimedia Project through a formal DMCA takedown process. Before complying with a DMCA notice, the Foundation reviews every DMCA notice we receive to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the DMCA statute and United States copyright law. We reject notices that we do not believe are legally valid. Upon review of the request by the Foundation’s Legal team, the removal itself will usually be performed by a Support & Safety team member, using their staff account. In the spirit of transparency, the Foundation informs the Wikimedia community each time it performs a DMCA takedown through this page (also mirrored on Commons for Commons based requests), as well as through aggregate statistics, in its biannual transparency reports.
Removals of material due to receipt of a valid DMCA notice can be challenged. The recourse for restoring such material is to file a counter-notice with the Foundation. Please note that filing a counter-notice may lead to legal proceedings between you and the complaining party to determine ownership of the material. The DMCA process requires that you consent to the jurisdiction of a United States court. If you believe there is no legal basis for a takedown notice which has been acted upon by the Foundation, you are welcome to visit the following sites, as a first step in learning about filing a counter-notice:
- Lumen Copyright FAQ
- Lumen DMCA Notices FAQ
- Lumen DMCA Counter-Notice Generator
- Lumen DMCA Counter-Notice Claiming Fair Use
- EFF on DMCA
- EFF on Fair Use
- Digital Media Law Project on Responding to a DMCA Take-down notice
- New Media Rights Sample DMCA CounterNotice letter when claiming fair use of a copyrighted work
- The United States Copyright Office
As with all office actions, reverting DMCA notice takedowns without appropriate legal reasons is strongly discouraged. As a matter of policy, the Wikimedia Foundation will terminate, in appropriate circumstances, the accounts of repeat infringers as provided under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (17 U.S.C. 512). In most cases, it will also terminate the accounts of users who, upon being notified that content they have contributed has been removed as a result of a DMCA complaint, revert that removal.
The safety of minors is extremely important for us, and we go at great lengths to help assure it. To that effect, if we believe minors are at risk, we will take actions right away. These actions aim at mitigating both conduct as well as content promoting child abuse. Child abuse may be discussed educationally as part of the content of Wikimedia projects, but never promotionally or with the purpose of titillation.
Pursuing or facilitating inappropriate adult–child relationships is not acceptable in the Wikimedia projects. This type of activity may include, but is not limited to, posting child pornography or any material depicting inappropriate sexual acts between adults and minors that violate applicable law, distributing or trafficking obscene material against minors that is unlawful under applicable law, conducting communications with under-aged users through the Wikimedia projects in an attempt to groom them or attempting to move their communications to platforms outside of the Wikimedia projects for grooming purposes (school-related editathons or recruitment drives for such are ok), or attempting to approach minors inappropriately during Wikimedia in-person events.
Concerns about child safety are reviewed and appropriate actions are taken as a matter of priority. Instances we believe to be child pornography, including information brought to our attention through requests for nonpublic user information, are reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), in line with our Requests for user information guidelines and procedures. If your request has already been reported to NCMEC or relates to a case being handled by NCMEC, please include the case or report information in your request. The Foundation may also take additional actions against individuals found be engaging in such activities such as alerting local or international law enforcement.
Previously "temporary Foundation global ban" and "partial Foundation ban" were available as primary office actions. Use of partial or temporary bans are currently suspended indefinitely; bans already issued remain in effect.
Secondary office actions
Use of advanced rights by Foundation staff
Requesting an office action
Who performs office actions?
Timeline of office actions
It is important to help clarify a few points regarding office actions in general:
Local project versions
- en:Wikipedia:Office actions
- de:Wikipedia:Office Action
- si:විකිපීඩියා:කාර්යාල ක්රියාමාර්ග
- simple:Wikipedia:Office actions
- ru:Википедия:Вмешательство сотрудников Фонда Викимедиа
- ar:ويكيبيديا:أعمال تنفيذية
- Superprotect rights, granted to WMF staff only, currently defunct.