Statement of Principles

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

We, the community of the Wikimedia projects, in order to form a union, establish principles, ensure internal stability, provide for common knowledge, promote the general welfare, and secure the benefits of knowledge to ourselves and future generations, do ordain and establish this Statement of Principles for the Wikimedia Community.

The community recognizes certain rights[edit]

All good-faith contributors are entitled:

  • To view the content of the Wikimedia projects; in fact, this right is extended to the general public. Wikimedia projects is meant in a restrictive sense – non-content projects (in particular, private wikis) are not included.
  • To participate in community discussions, provided such contribution is done in good faith. It should be noted that opinions are sometimes weighted with the strength of arguments, rather than merely the strength of numbers. Accordingly, while contributors have a right to express their opinions, they do not have a right to have those opinions weighted equally to those of others.
  • To participate and vote in local and global elections. However, as above, some projects may require users to meet certain experience requirements before accepting votes without reasonings.

The community recognizes certain privileges.[edit]

  • Contributors have access to public data including logs, contributions, and page histories. This data, however, is provided so that the Wikimedia projects may develop, and there is no special right to access it. In particular, public data which includes sensitive information, or information which violates our privacy policy, may be removed at the discretion of those with the responsibility to do so, in accordance with local policy.

The following privileges are accorded to most users, but they may be revoked if their conditions are not complied with:

  • The privilege of editing most of the content of the Wikimedia projects, provided this is done in a constructive manner;

Some contributors are particularly trusted. They may be granted the following privileges, which, again, may be revoked if their conditions are not complied with:

  • The privilege of holding positions of additional responsibility, including administrators, bureaucrats and other privileged groups.
  • The privilege having access to private data (such as IP addresses, and so on)

The community recognizes certain responsibilities.[edit]

Some users will be placed in positions of additional responsibility. These positions may confer the following responsibilities on their bearers:

  • To maintain the integrity of the content on the Wikimedia projects;
  • To determine consensus where it is not obvious to the community;
  • To determine the eligibility of content for inclusion in the project; and
  • To assist other members of the community where they need help.

It should be noted that no particular user in a position of additional responsibility is compelled to discharge any of these duties – they are free to contribute as little or as much as they wish. However, when the privileges associated with these responsibilities are exercised, it is expected that this is done in order to discharge one of the above responsibilities.

Accepted, and ordained by the members of the community listed here.