Talk:Universal Code of Conduct

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First a ToU for the WMF[edit]

Here was a wonderful suggestion for a ToU, that the WMF should give itself in regard of their relationship to the communities. Unless they stop trying to rule from above and start listening to the communities and behave as the facilitator they are, not the leader, nbody will have any trust in them any longer. The WMF ist one of the problems in terms of conduct, they should Change quickly. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 15:00, 11 December 2019 (UTC)

The WMF does not have ToU for staff that are different from those that apply to everyone else, but there is a Code of Conduct that applies especially to staff and board members. You can read it here. All staff members are bound by their contracts to adhere to this Code of Conduct. --CSteigenberger (WMF) (talk) 09:38, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
? So? It seems to me the Policy of WMF and the suggested ToU have nothing in common!? I doubt that the intention is that "WMF signs something". Its the content that matters, right? ...Sicherlich Post 18:25, 25 December 2019 (UTC)
That was a non-answer. We want a ToU for the organisation WMF, the service organisation of the Wikiverse, that gets all legitimacy from the authors of the different projects and has absolutely no legitimacy on its own. They have botched quite a lot in last years, they have acted mote then once in the last years against the communities, and they don't seem to have learned that much from their grave mistakes. They should eat a lot of humble pie and have a lot to apologise for to the communities. That ToU as binding guidelines would be a nice start. There is absolutely nothing in it, that cannot be subscribed by the WMF.
Das war jetzt nur eine völlig unzureichende Nichtantwort. Wir wollen ToU für die Organisation WMF, für die Serviceorganisatuion des Wikiversums, die ihre gesamte Legitimation von den AutorInnen der verschiedenen Projekte bekommt und keinerlei selbständige Legitimation besitzt. Die WMF hat in den letzten Jahren viel Porzellan zerschlagen, sie haben mehrfach gegen die Community gearbeitet, und sie scheinen nichts aus ihren groben und bösen Fehlern gelernt zu haben. Sie sollten ordentlich Kreide fressen und sich endlich glaubhaft bei den Communities entschuldigen. Diese ToU als bindende Richtlinie wäre ein netter Anfang. Es gibt absolut nicht da drin, was nicht von der WMF unterschrieben werden könnte. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 15:28, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
Hallo User:Sänger. Anmerkung: ToU, also "Terms of Use", sind eine vertragliche Vereinbarung zwischen Personen ("Customer") und einem Dienstleister ("Service Provider"). Theoretisch könnte man die Community als Anbieter des Dienstes 'Schreiben einer Enzyklopädie' betrachten. Das knirscht aber an allen Ecken und Enden. Es fängt damit an, dass die (globale) Community rein praktisch nicht wie eine kohärente Entität handeln kann. Auch auf der anderen Seite gibt es begriffliche Reibungen. Die WMF ist eben keine Person sondern eine Organisation. Deswegen halte ich auch für den Vorschlag von Tinz die Bezeichnung "Code of Conduct", also "Verhaltenskodex" für passender. Viele Grüße, -<(kmk)>- (talk) 08:56, 29 December 2019 (UTC)
Du hast im Prinzip recht, ich habe schlicht die Terminologie von Tinz übernommen. Wichtig ist vor allem, dass die endlich aufhören so zu tun, als seien sie der Boss sondern anfangen mit den tatsächlichen Bossen, den Communities zusammenzuarbeiten. Bisher haben sie schon des öfteren aus reiner Machgier riesige Konflikte vom Zaun gebrochen, und irgendwie kommt es einem angesichts von FRAMBAN nicht so vor, als würden sie ihr Verhalten jemals reflektieren. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 15:45, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
Die WMF ist in der realen Welt verhaftet und somit nicht logischerweise Teil einer digitalen „Kumbaya-Wolke“ oder einer „Community“ die jedes Mitglied der „Community“ anders definiert. Eine ToU muss für alle gelten daraus ergibt sich dann ein ToC der auch für alle gilt. Die Frage eines ToC adressiert aber ein Problem welches gelöst werden muss, wenn nicht, ist der Käs gegessen und Wikipedia über kurz oder lang Geschichte und ein Eintrag in einer anderen Enzyklopädie.--Catflap08 (talk) 21:58, 3 January 2020 (UTC)

What about this? The WMF showed their disregard for the community just yesterday with their rebranding proposals, that all completely ignored community consensus just to push their private point of view. As long as this mindset of ignorance towards the community is not satisfactorily dealt with, i.e. completely banned from any (WMF)er, there should be no UCoC by those uncivilized employees towards the community, that's like letting the fox look after the hen house. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 14:53, 17 June 2020 (UTC)

Ping. Just to not let all discussions vannish into the void of the archive. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 04:15, 17 July 2020 (UTC)
It seems like WMF is getting increasingly out of touch with editors, i.e. people who actually create the Wikipedia. --Nomad (talk) 05:00, 23 July 2020 (UTC)

I think this is really a great step to the right direction, particularly for editors like myself who comes from small language wikipedia's. I think the Universal code of conduct will enable us to edit on big wikipedia's like the English wikipedia without the fear of harrassment from other editors. Wikipedia belongs to all who edit it, old hands and newbies Bobbyshabangu (talk) 12:06, 6 August 2020 (UTC)

Isn't that problem? The Wikipedia should belong to all who edit, that is the community, but it doesn't. It belongs to WMF, who is setting the rules (rather than the community).--Kmhkmh (talk) 10:41, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

Why I oppose this idea[edit]

This whole idea smells of colonialism. What happens when one has a worldwide set of rules is that the policing of those rules will, inevitably, be dictated by the larger players. I have seen on English Wikipedia talk pages how the English, Spanish and French users' gang together to oppress and abuse indigenous minorities whenever questions of Welsh, Catalan, Breton etc identity arise. Their abuse and derision of the minorities is always cloaked with Wiki policy legalese. A Universal Code of Conduct will be used as another stick that our abusers use to beat us with. AlwynapHuw (talk) 14:26, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

Or perhaps it could be used to prevent smaller projects from being themselves abusers, which is not an uncommon occurrence. It all depends on how it’s written. Vermont (talk) 15:54, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for making my point Vermont, when a 100,000 article Wiki disagrees with a 5 million article Wiki it's always the 100,000 that is seen as the bad guy AlwynapHuw (talk) 03:08, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
I agree with Alwyn, and would prefer decentralising power in a positive and organic way. When we question the conduct of editors on a wiki project, we should nurture and educate and help them to regulate themselves, not silence debates or unwelcomed opinions (User:Pine's suggested Code of Conduct). As User:Pine says elsewhere: local administrators and functionaries who have good knowledge of a project's policies, guidelines, and language(s) are best placed to address these disputes.
Alwyn's right. I don't know of a single smaller language wiki with a Steward, and according to the draft UCoC mentioned, the Committee would have 7 Stewards empowered to dictate what's 'anarchic' and what's not, or whether an editor has violated the Terms of use or not! Most reasonable people would agree that holding an election to decide the destiny of a nation or people falls within the human right of true democracy. Spain, on the other hand jails those people. What is seen as democracatic right on the one hand is seen as anarchy by Spain. If governments can not agree, how can the 'universal' 'we'? The easy option is to centralise the power of WMF; the best option is to nurture, educate and respect the rich diversity of all our individual, unique projects. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 06:57, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
I think you're confusing a personal proposal with the official one. Pine's proposal was their personal non-binding proposal. It mentioned 7 users (not 7 stewards) whose homewikis could be any and that would be elected by community vote. However and as announced in Universal Code of Conduct/Drafting committee the Foundation has decided that the text of the Code will be instead based on the Contributor Covenant. The drafting committee is comprised of 6 volunteers and 3 staff members of different backgrounds. We'll see what text they come with, and we'll see if there'll be any Committee charged with enforcing it or not and how that liaises with local project autonomy and dispute resolution. I'd say to wait for the final draft and comment on it. I am pesimistic but I've always been the pesimistic type. What I am not sure about is how bringing politics or nationalism is relevant to this discussion. In fact many disfunctional projects or "projects in crisis" are or were so because of politics, nationalism or religion, and recent examples can be seen here or here out of many others, and I suspect the Code would, rightly, need to address these conducts as problematic. —MarcoAurelio (talk) 14:39, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
This objection is understandable and a goal of an organic decentralized means of interpreting or legislating the UCOC is one worth pursuing. Minority points of view should not be accidentally suppressed by project communities through the unthinking enforcement of the UCOC, even when there may be substantial complaints about "bad behaviour", or even allegations of harassment from those with minority or "anarchic" views.
However, getting the balance right seems impossibly difficult if we do want the UCOC to be sufficiently well and robustly enforced to stop the effective reverse happening (as we have seen in past abuse cases that resulted in de-sysops on small-ish projects) where minority groups such as contributors wanting to create or improve LGBT+ topic areas get abused or even blocked from contributing, on made-up charges because the topics are unwelcome by the dominant community voices on those projects.
The diafol will be in the details, and I seriously doubt this can be right first time. -- (talk) 12:51, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
I do see why small and minority language communities might feel threatened by such a proposal. In other areas of the Wiki-verse there have been issues around the one size fits all approach to notability, language and terminology which does often seem to work against smaller language, social or ethnic groups. However this is about everyone agreeing to a clear code of conduct - about standing by a set of shared values. It is about behavior and not policy, and certainly not politics. In some ways smaller communities need this more than larger ones. A couple of prominent and opinionated admin on a very small project could easily unfairly target a user, or treat them unfairly without any clear mechanism for flagging and resolving the dispute. IF this code of conduct is written and implemented properly then it can and should act as a safety net for those who feel marginalized and unfairly treated in communities of all sizes. Jason.nlw (talk) 09:40, 18 August 2020 (UTC)
Mae'n ddrwg geni Jason.nlw ond ail bobiad o'r ddadl bod Cymru yn rhy fach, rhy, dlawd, rhy dwp i wneud penderfyniadau heb oruchwyliaeth yr ymerodraeth yw'r uchod. Os nad oes gennym ffydd bod Wicipedia yn gallu bod yn annibynnol a theg heb angen goruchwyliaeth allanol iddi, gwaeth inni rhoi'r gorau i'r prosiect. AlwynapHuw (talk) 03:20, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
The opposite could also happen, Jason, whereby the (hypothetical) admin is using recognised, unique and acceptable local guidelines and good practice. However, the new prominent and opinionated incomer only knows global wiki guidelines and thinks he can do what he likes, without understanding or respecting local practices. As he has the right connections he targets and flags up the hard-working Admin to the the global UCC committee, who can only see things through global rose-tinted eyes, and bans the Admin. The question here is really who is the best judge of an editor or admin within a local language wiki? This isn't a political question, it shouldn't be a political issue, but in the hands of bullies, can become a tool to push your own pov. My answer is to empower the local community to sort it out rather than imposed an outside one-size-fits-all, "solution", which usually does more harm than good. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 05:35, 19 August 2020 (UTC)
If anything this just reinforces my point. The risk in smaller communities, as i see it, is that prominent or influential editors, admin or not, could potentially make life very difficult for other editors leaving them feeling isolated and defenseless. And with no mechanism for monitoring or investigating such behavior outside of that very small community, it is very difficult to ensure fairness, transparency and equality for all. Having one agreed code of conduct simply reinforces what behavior is acceptable and what is not and gives all editors the confidence to call out poor conduct. A code of conduct should avoid the need for anyone to be judged on anything other than the way the conduct themselves in a public forum. The sad fact is, we all see things through our rose tinted spectacles from times to time, which is exactly why we need a standard code of conduct which applies equally to all. Of course this would still be open to interpretation and i'm sure implementation wouldn't be without its challenges however on balance i think it would be the right thing to do. Remember this is only about conduct and nothing to do with editorial guidelines, which should rightly be decided by individual Wiki communities.Jason.nlw (talk) 15:21, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Nothing wrong with having a UCoC as long as it's not interpreted and implemented by a foreign, global group of quasi judges and prosecutors. This to me is the not right thing to do. I have complete faith in minorities, so let's agree to differ. Llywelyn2000 (talk) 04:29, 20 August 2020 (UTC)

Even worse would be a UCoC interpreted and enforced by a California based group of quasi judges and prosecutors, though there are also much worse options. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:28, 21 August 2020 (UTC)
Agree with Alwyn on the above grounds, and oppose strongly any unifying strategies such as this. Cell Danwydd (talk) 18:36, 2 September 2020 (UTC)

Legibility of images[edit]

There are graphs which have text too small to read and cannot be expanded as the highest resolution is illegible. Please fix. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 09:23, 21 August 2020 (UTC)

Hi Peter, thank you for your feedback. Are you referring to the image showing policies distribution? If yes, have you tried clicking on the image to see it in the original resolution? Please let me know if this image is still not clear enough to read. Mehran (WMF) (talk) 07:14, 22 August 2020 (UTC)
I did that for a few. The original resolution was too small to read, and on a laptop, I do not know of a way to zoom in higher than full resolution. Making it necessary to use special software to be able to read the text in an image is poor practice. · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:04, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

Why not use Template:Graph:Chart or Template:Graph:PieChart for such simple graphs? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 15:19, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Mehran (WMF) (talk) 22:05, 25 August 2020 (UTC)

The problem of the "untouchable" 'jester'[edit]

It is to be hoped that the Universal Code of Conduct also somehow provides the possibility to tackle the problem of the "untouchable" 'jester' – editors who know how not to cross the guidelines, yet are annoying to many up to the point of being a serial harasser, but who are nonetheless praised for their humor by many others (an example here: Greeting, Eissink (talk) 10:33, 23 August 2020 (UTC).

+1 This is frequently used on our projects to gaslight targets as self-victimizers who have no sense of humour. It's never funny to take the piss out of anyone's identity, or go out of your way to cause offence, for being genderqueer, homosexual, Jewish or Black, even if you claim the same thing. Let's not leave "jokers" an easy way to harass people they don't like. -- (talk) 12:04, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
On the other hand, there are some editors (including the OP) who do cross the guidelines [1] and then come over to Meta to forum-shop when they don't get their way. The term 'gaslighting' can be more accurately applied to this latter example. Lepricavark (talk) 23:23, 23 August 2020 (UTC)
-1 I don't understand the OP's beef with EEng, and this isn't the place to discuss it, but I believe it is massively inappropriate for an editor to describe another editor as being "annoying... the point of being a serial harasser", on this or any other project, without some very clearcut evidence to back it up. To me, the above statement looks more like harassment than anything I saw reported at the linked ANI thread. I have a great deal of regard for as an editor, and have been the recipient of their assistance in the past for which I remain grateful, but I am concerned about the way they have framed their comment - it seems like an accusation that EEng intends to harass people based on their identity, which is a very long way from the truth, as I understand it to be. GirthSummit (blether) 00:45, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
That's a stretch. I have not read whatever apparent cage fight has been happening at ANI. I have not accused anyone of anything. My response was to the generic words opening this thread, not the "example" link. Let's stick to evidence of actual words used. -- (talk) 12:42, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
with respect, and I mean that, if you write '+1' after a comment that singles out an individual person for criticism, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to infer that you are agreeing with that criticism. If you haven't read the thread, and have no view on the specifics, may I suggest that you might try to be more precise in your comments, and take care to say that you agree with the general point without saying anything about the individual case? I too read your comment as saying that EEng was guilty of disparaging people based on their identity. GirthSummit (blether) 21:31, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
+1 I agree with the general notion of this concern. No one on the wikimedia projects should feel untouchable. No matter how many people find them humorous. Wikipedia's universal code of conduct needs to provide a more conducive editing environment. Also it helps to show to the world that Wikipedia is serious about correcting some clearly documented systemic problems. Fortunately, or unfortunately, everything we do is recorded and timestamped for all the world to see. --Guest2625 (talk) 03:09, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
We can all agree in general terms that no one should feel untouchable; the OP has made this about a specific person though, who has feelings of their own, and who, I am certain, does not feel untouchable. Wikipedia's universal code of conduct should not be used as a stick to beat someone with; indeed, it should be written in such as way as to prevent people from using it in such a manner. GirthSummit (blether) 08:30, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
Fae, all due respect, that's some pretty serious stuff you're implying. Valereee (talk) 11:07, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
You may be inferring, rather than me implying. The words I used are correct and realistic, nor are they about any specific person. As I have zero idea about the OP's recent activities, I have nothing to say about them, if that's the inference.
"Jokes" and "jokers" should never be a rationale for a free pass for abuse, or even making our fellow contributors feel unwelcome on our projects. As an en.wp admin, it's likely that you are aware of these tactics being used which turn our projects into hostile environments for volunteers and new contributors who may otherwise have fresh voices to add to our evolved accidental gestalt of values or norms. -- (talk) 12:35, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
My mistake, then. You were responding to a post referencing a particular person, and I interpreted it as continuing that thread. I agree that we need to make contributors, both established and new, feel welcome. Valereee (talk) 17:21, 24 August 2020 (UTC)
  • It is to be hoped that the Universal Code of Conduct also somehow provides the possibility to tackle the problem of people whose arguments are refuted at a local wiki and then run off to Meta to call someone a "serial harasser". 2A00:23C7:5528:1F01:FC74:A7D4:D2F0:A5C9 12:58, 24 August 2020 (UTC)

This thread looks toxic. If anyone wants to discuss the valid generic issue and could positively address how the pending UCoC may or may not be able to help, a carefully worded fresh statement is necessary, preferably by a new OP without the likelihood of rabbit-hole tangents getting thrown in. -- (talk) 13:06, 24 August 2020 (UTC)

  • OP here. I agree. I added the example, 1. because for me it was the occasion that triggered my awareness of a more general problem (and I do think it is a problem), and 2. because it does provide exactly the eternal stalemate dialogue between those who acknowledge the problem (not only me in this case, but some four others too) and those who persistently advocate "it's just good ol' UserXxx, you guys don't understand a joke", both sides including sysops. (And it is clear that there will always be individuals or groups who find this or that example is an exception.) I am aware that I have acted bold in the example discussion, but I did not have the intention to continue that discussion here, nor to particularly target the user involved. When 'locked up' in an existing set of norms or just in bad habit, every attempt to try to break out – or rather overcome – such status quo will meet opposition and incomprehension, but I saw no other way of addressing what I perceive as a problem, as a form of injustice for those affected, than to lift the problem to the larger context of the broader project's UCoC, even though I believe it can be tackled on the individual projects (otherwise the request here would be in vain). My far from fluent English makes me not the person to further expand the discussion of this issue. Thanks everyone for your replies. Eissink (talk) 13:56, 24 August 2020 (UTC).
  • There are often problems when a person labels someone else as something they do not personally identify as, and which is not clearly defined, without adequate evidence. This may not be recognised as offensive by the labeler, but it often is. Unfortunately humour often involves this sort of thing, tongue in cheek or not, and humour often does not translate well or reliably between cultures, even when they use the same language. If we are stuck with a choice between avoiding humour or avoiding giving offense, which will we choose, and why? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 15:17, 25 August 2020 (UTC)
  • It amazes me that the OP makes (with impunity) clear personal attacks about a well-liked and prolifically constructive user who, at his worst, is annoying. Perhaps if OP had made such attacks against a less annoying user, they'd have been blocked by now. There is always great hue and cry against the uneven handling of incivility and personal attacks. So, ehre we are. OP's campaign against EEng transcends egregious incivility and rises to the level of harassment. A less calm user, possessed of a generosity of spirit, without an ounce of guile, would be up at harms EEng has dealt with OP's campaign of harassment far better than I would have were I in EEng's shoes.Deepfriedokra (talk) 17:05, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
    With all due respect to , that is not what EEng does, has done, will do.Deepfriedokra (talk) 17:09, 26 August 2020 (UTC)
  • I hope the UCoC will address things like users calling other users a "serial harasser" without evidence, as well as users who indicate agreement with such libelous accusations. Levivich (talk) 21:52, 27 August 2020 (UTC)
  • What are we to do about these terrible people who know how not to cross the line? The terrible, clever jesters with darkness in their hearts and lightness on their tongues? Those who audaciously demonstrate “a better understanding of what the community tolerates and accepts”? We can label them as harrassers, toxic unblockables, or members of the cabal, or whatever is the bogeyman du jour, and hope for an uncritical pile-on. But that's not enough, if they’re funny and have friends. Maybe once we have the great saving UCoC we can denounce them for Wrongthink and Doublespeak, and the authorities will punish them for us, in spite of what the community thinks is “socially acceptable”. Oh happy day! when the purge may begin. Pinging Barkeep49, EEng, Eissink, , Lepricavark, Girth_Summit, Guest2625, Valereee, Pbsouthwood, Deepfriedokra, Levivich. —Pelagic (talk) 14:09, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
The words I used are correct and realistic, nor are they about any specific person. As I have zero idea about the OP's recent activities, I have nothing to say about them, if that's the inference. "Jokes" and "jokers" should never be a rationale for a free pass for abuse, or even making our fellow contributors feel unwelcome on our projects.
Don't ping me until you can be bothered to read the words already written rather than taking cheap shots and making cheap sarcastic jokes. Thanks in advance. -- (talk) 14:38, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
a) I did read what you wrote, and I did “discuss the valid generic issue”.
b) I agree with you that jokes and jokers should not be a free pass for abuse. But the threshold of what is or isn’t abusive is not always clear: in any particular case people will differ about "ok, s/he went too far that time". This discussion is specifically about “editors who know how not to cross the guidelines, yet are annoying to many”.
c) Is this about me writing “uncritical pile-on”? You did not pile-on. I wasn’t intending that as a cheap shot at you, and I apologise. If I'm misreading the situation, then please be more specific about how I caused you offence.
d) Labels such as "serial harasser" and descriptions "like Soandso tends to double down when challenged" do stick, and do feature as part of the pile-ons at AN/I, Arbcom, etc. The people piling on may be characterizing in good faith how they perceive their own grievances, but then others read those descriptions without digging into the evidence to assess for themselves. I wasn't saying that a pile-on is happening here, but that it does happen when someone gets dragged to the drama boards, and probably will happen when there is a UCoC enforcement body.
e) I'm fine with not pinging you. Next time I mention you without pinging, and someone calls me out on it, can I point back to this post? Pelagic (talk) 21:43, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
  • @Pelagic Or we can just try to acknowledge that W. is not a personal blog and not a comedy contest and not a contest in any other form. Of course the young ones always will try and boast and never loose their energy and be savvy and be heroic and be the best editor to ever have done W. the honour to participate, but in boring discussions on boring articles they can be just a nuisance when continuously trying to punch down serious contributors. I'm sorry you have apparently not been able to grasp even what is said in this very short discussion section, and I'm even more sorry that you don't seem to have any idea what an UCoC is. By the way, I love "lightness on tongues" (if it weren't a poorly worded platitude), but it is rare, very rare, and unfortunately often confused with secondhand 'jokes'. Eissink (talk) 14:54, 5 September 2020 (UTC).
    @Eissink: We may have to "agree to disagree" (another platitude?) about the value and appropriateness of humour and "friendly banter [don't block]" in our boring discussions.
    You yourself started this discussion with “It is to be hoped that the Universal Code of Conduct also somehow provides the possibility to tackle the problem of ... editors who know how not to cross the guidelines”. I responded with “What are we to do about these terrible people who know how not to cross the line?” I don’t see how this demonstrates an inability to grasp the conversation, or having no idea what a UCoC is, at least on my part.
    English Wikipedia (among many other projects) already has long-standing policies and guidelines about acceptable behaviour. I think the UCoC itself won't cause an immediate change in what those communities consider problematic. Your ability to tackle untouchable jesters through mechanisms on w:en probably won’t change. Though there is a good chance of conflict and much argumentation if the UCoC definitions of harassment and abuse, drafted by a select handful of people, diverge from the current ones that have evolved over time through an imperfect "consensus" process.
    What will change is that the Foundation, or some body created by them, will start enforcing the UCoC. Any complaints process is open to potential abuse. Will the new measures have robust protections against ill-founded complaints? We'll see. But there is a very real danger that the new enforcers will be misused by individuals or organised groups to take down those they dislike or who don't conform to their ideology.
    Does that explanation conform to your “idea what an UCoC is”? Pelagic (talk) 20:41, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
No, it doesn't. Eissink (talk) 20:54, 9 September 2020 (UTC).
Maybe if some of us started taking other people more seriously and ourselves less seriously we would have less of a problem. I think Kruger and Dunning might feel a twinge of deja vu reading through this discussion, but don't we all? · · · Peter (Southwood) (talk): 18:01, 5 September 2020 (UTC)
  • It's going to be fun to have a universal measure of jest. Nemo 12:59, 13 September 2020 (UTC)

Update - Timeline extended by two weeks[edit]

The Universal Code of Conduct Drafting Committee is hard at work drafting the global policy that will set basic minimum standards for conduct in the Wikimedia movement. They have been reviewing the results of community conversations, previous research, and surveys about harassment in the movement, and analysing policies from other online communities and platforms.

This work has been challenged by the Covid-19 crisis - both our volunteers and staff on the committee, and many of the community members and affiliates we need to involve in the process, have struggled to find time and focus to work on this difficult project. While the committee feels good about progress so far, they need a little more time to condense and produce a draft ready for comment. As a document that will be used in hundreds of languages and communities, the UCoC needs to be concise and translatable.

They have asked for two more weeks to prepare this draft for the month-long community review period on Meta. This means we will be asking for community comment from September 7 to October 6, which will push the delivery of the policy to the Board from September 30 to October 13. Full updated timeline is on the main page.

Of course, we will inform everyone when the review period is open. --Patrick Earley (WMF) (talk) 18:23, 24 August 2020 (UTC)

How should Scunthorpe effects be addressed?[edit]

How does the drafting committee intend to review their proposal for Scunthorpe issues? James Salsman (talk) 23:13, 26 August 2020 (UTC)

Sending money to Snøhetta and calling it Mission Accomplished. CoffeeCrumbs (talk) 01:51, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
@James Salsman: Do you think the draft (or its translations) will have pattern matches for rude words? Or do I misunderstand the gist of question?
Aside: is UCoC pronounced like “you-cock” by Anglophones? Will I put myself in the crosshairs if I mention le coq? Pelagic (talk) 09:06, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
Blatantly, you are trolling this page and harassing other contributors who actually want to have a discussion. Go away please. -- (talk) 09:15, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
Irreverent and flippant, sure. Harassing, hardly. Being told to "go away" on a CoC page, priceless. Pelagic (talk) 05:56, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
You are trolling. Locker-room penis jokes show this is a macho men only space, and anyone that finds it unacceptably hostile to be derided with penis jokes is then attacked as creating the problem if they complain.
You are creating the problem here. Your behaviour is unacceptable. You are demonstrating the "untouchable jester" problem which has eroded our communities across projects, ensuring that anyone that does not fall in with the locker-room white man culture is subject to a drip, drip of abuse until they are driven off. -- (talk) 07:42, 10 September 2020 (UTC)
It's not a joke, I was thinking of text-to-speech. Did you not read what I wrote below? Pelagic (talk) 06:30, 24 September 2020 (UTC)
I asked something in this direction as well here, the project Detox was something in this completely useless direction. Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 12:44, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
@Pelagic: I've heard it pronounced as spelled out ("you see oh see"). --Yair rand (talk) 19:28, 9 September 2020 (UTC)
I haven't tried running our UCoC pages through any text-to-speech programs, Yair rand, but as far as I know they do tend to spell out most acronyms regardless of whether they could be phonetically pronounced. I guess some like NATO would have specific pronunciation entries (so that you get "nay-tow" rather than "en-ay-tee-oh")? JS is somewhat of an expert in this area, so it did cross my mind whether that was the Scunthorpe issue he was referring to, or something else. Pelagic (talk) 05:56, 10 September 2020 (UTC)

I was thinking more along the lines of not getting in trouble for editing articles about prohibited things. It doesn't have to be sexuality. Suppose some insane king published a book entitled, "Citing this book is Treason," and because of the king's insanity, passed actual laws to make citing the book punishable by the king's elite overseas death squads. Would citing the source be a legal threat? That's a contrived example, but we know that small wording choices in laws can have widespread social impacts. James Salsman (talk) 21:35, 12 September 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure I completely follow your example, James, but concerns about overly broad or ambiguous definitions in the draft have been raised by several people. I hope the review process will result in good wording, but it can never be perfect. My own worry is more about people and groups who will use "the letter of the law" to hound their perceived opponents off the projects, or to stifle discussion, rather than articles about prohibited things. Pelagic (talk) 06:30, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Scientific racism[edit]

Example of user created promotion of scientific racism. This diagram is derived from Figure 2 of "Craniometrics Reveal “Two Layers” of Prehistoric Human Dispersal in Eastern Eurasia", DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-35426-zdoi:10.1038/s41598-018-35426-z, 2019. "Mongoloid" and "Australoid" have been added, falsely making it appear that the research promotes scientific racism.
Systemic promotion of
scientific racism
task T256115

Modern scientific racism is the promotion of genetic theories1 that 'Negroids', 'Australoids', 'Aryans', 'Caucasiods' are distinct races of humans and that these can be confirmed using genetic markers. This is frequently muddied with race theories of language and conflation with terms used for cultures and national traditions. Despite the WMF CEO stating "I support the community revising its policies to eliminate racist, misogynist, transphobic, and other forms of discriminatory content" after I put some examples of current misuse of our projects to promote race theories back in June 2020, there has been no action to do anything about it. Consequences of waiting indefinitely is that Google, Alexa and other search engines use our multi-language Wikipedias as the "truth" when anyone asks what the "races of humans" are. When they get Coon's 1930s White Race theory as the reply, this is taken as fact, and in that moment the Wikimedia Foundation's funds and reputation for countering fake news, becomes an engine that promotes racist bias.

In addition to kind words of general support against non-educational racist content, will the UCoC and the WMF's commitment to implementing it, make any measurable difference and result in the deletion of fake user created fantasy maps promoting scientific racism, seeing the use of bad sources promoting scientific racism being removed from articles or the promotion of "Negroid race" and similar being visibly marked as historic concepts in all languages? Or will it be business as usual, where zero consequence sock farms are free to continue lobbying and introducing scientific racism2 so our projects remain their forum for posting and justifying extremist race theories and alt-right race politics?


  1. Including user created pseudo-scientific maps, of which there are currently many on Wikimedia Commons.
  2. Example of some of the user created scientific racism hosted on Commons

Thanks! -- (talk) 10:53, 30 August 2020 (UTC)

It's been a month since I raised this question. The silence is profound.
The tacit answer, based on off-wiki discussions, is no. The UCoC will do nothing of itself, or as a result of its enforcement, to address the deliberate promotion of Scientific Racism across our projects.
I'm tired, looking at the disgusting misuse of our projects to promote bigoted race theories, and trying to take baby steps to correct examples and being knocked back and resisted most of the time, is incredibly depressing, compounded by the lack of any recognition that this is a systemic problem for Wikimedia. -- (talk) 07:46, 29 September 2020 (UTC)


I support existence of this. I don't think it is a risk for communities. It would help where there are problems with lack of local guidelines or problems that communities can't deal with. On wikis, where are proper processes it may just be a confirmation. --Wargo (talk) 20:03, 19 September 2020 (UTC)

A small FAQ about UCoC[edit]

Hello, all. :) I’m the Vice President of Community Resilience & Sustainability. Trust & Safety report up to me. The Trust & Safety policy team have let me know that there are a few "meta" type questions about the UCoC and the Foundation’s approach to it. In the spirit of the conversation begun and documented here, I’m going to respond to some of these, anonymized and aggregated. I also note that I committed back then to doing more IRC office hours and haven’t gotten around to it yet. I need to get one of those on the books as soon as possible and will hope to have more information about that in a few weeks. I regret that my work doesn’t give me time to follow conversations on Meta, but if you have more questions you can email them to, with [CRS] in the subject line, and I will either aggregate and post them here or bring them to said office hour, when they’ll be posted as part of that transcript! You can also attend that office hour and ask me yourself. (I do still have the following conditions: (1) I can’t and won’t discuss specific Trust & Safety cases. Instead, I can discuss Trust & Safety protocols and practices and approaches as well as some of the mistakes we’ve made, some of the things I’m proud of, and some of the things we’re hoping to do. (2) I will not respond to comments or questions that are disrespectful to me, to my colleagues, or to anyone in our communities. I can talk civilly about our work even if you disagree with me or I disagree with you. I won’t compromise on this.) --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 20:11, 24 September 2020 (UTC)

Subsidiarity principle[edit]

Hi! I've posted some things on the draft talk page there which contain some comments on the draft (therefore i posted there) but also some questions regarding the implementation of the UCoC, which is why i posted the link on this page. All the best, --Ghilt (talk) 21:36, 25 September 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for the link. :) I probably would have missed it, since I'm not taking part in the UCoC consultations, but I'll see what I can clarify. --Maggie Dennis (WMF) (talk) 22:50, 26 September 2020 (UTC)

WMF (and Wikimedia-affiliated) individuals vs non-WMF individuals in future processes[edit]

I see that Phase II (Enforcement and Application) will arrive in a couple or few weeks. What will make WMF- and Wikimedia-affiliated individuals recognize that their opinions would be different from opinions of existing and newly non-WMF individuals (and those unaffiliated with Wikimedia)? How would the future processes, including the Enforcement Phase, recognize such differences? Furthermore, should the Board of Trustees' decision to implement and enforce UCoC override local projects' decisions (like enwiki's and dewiki's) to ignore the UCoC? George Ho (talk) 03:46, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Almost forgot. Should WMF individuals' and Wikimedia individuals' opinions matter more than non-WMF ones? George Ho (talk) 03:55, 29 September 2020 (UTC)

Nor will we distinguish based on standing, skills or accomplishments in the Wikimedia projects or movement.[edit]

the critique remains. Of course we distinguish by accomplishments. That's what a meritocracy does. And Wikimedia is defined at least in part as meritocracy: Wikimedia power structure#Meritocracy. As all projects are open to anonymous and pseudonymous contributions and real life credentials do not count, quality of edits is the most important factor of standing. And standing is paramount in interactions. Otherwise elections for functions would not exist. I strongly object to this clause in whole and suggest to remove it. --h-stt !? 15:28, 14 October 2020 (UTC)

I fully subscribe to that. Of course we are an meritocracy, and that's just fine. Why sould we change that? Grüße vom Sänger ♫(Reden) 16:28, 14 October 2020 (UTC)
I agree. The UCoC says (emphasis added by me): "In all Wikimedia projects, spaces and events, behaviour will be founded in respect, civility, collegiality, solidarity and good citizenship. This applies to all contributors and participants in their interaction with all contributors and participants, without distinction based on age, [...] sex or career field. Nor will we distinguish based on standing, skills or accomplishments in the Wikimedia projects or movement." I guess the intention is that we should treat everyone with respect, and that's commendable. But: Of course I'll distinguish based on standing. For example, when I revert an IP edit, I often don't add a comment (they probably won't read it anyway), but when I revert an established editor, I almost always add a comment. And of course I distinguish based on standing when I communicate with others, e.g. I'm less polite towards editors who have been impolite or annoying themselves. The current wording of the UCoC is quite sloppy and/or based on a severe lack of experience and understanding of volunteer work on WP. -- Chrisahn (talk) 09:22, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Quoting Wikimedia power structure#Meritocracy is slightly taking it out of context. Wikipedia also has elements of a bureaucracy, but you wouldn't just link the section whenever referencing a pro-buro view. There is a limited domain of validity to each section of that page. And I suspect the UCOC's usage of "standing/skills/accomplishments" is referring to this part, from your own link:

If meritocracy is understood as a community where merits can be accumulated in a power status that afterwards is rendered untouchable whatever the quality of further contributions (or deletions), then Wikimedia is not a meritocracy: the quality of every separate contribution is, in this respect, considered in its own right, and for example, "votes for deletion" take little or no account of the persons that contributed to the questioned content, neither does any wikipedian's vote have more or less weight according to "merit" in such case.

I think the point is: no editor's views are inherently more valid than another's. And if that's indeed what it means, that's an important clause to have. Many in the community are inviting, but there exists a minority who are not, particularly to newer editors, or editors who move from one area to another. Such ideology is exclusionary and elitist, and it prevailing would mean this 'movement' has no future. I also don't think this statement is in conflict with the realities such as having to show merit and interest, over a period of time, to take up certain permissions. That could be viewed as an element of meritocracy, but it isn't in conflict with the statement at all, it's mostly a technical difference. I agree the current wording isn't great, which should be tidied up, but I think the point it is trying to make is valid. "The correct ideology" prevails by argument, not by identity. ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 15:12, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
I, too, think that there is a problem with asserting that accomplishments and contributions do not matter. As I see it, there are times when those things ought to be taken into account, such as when considering what kind of sanctions should be applied to a user who has done something wrong, but has also done a lot of good - as opposed to someone who shows up just to do something contrary to community norms. I think that ProcrastinatingReader, just above me, has hit upon a key point: I suggest changing "Nor will we distinguish based on standing, skills or accomplishments in the Wikimedia projects or movement." to "Nor will we value standing, skills or accomplishments in the Wikimedia projects or movement more highly than cooperative and reasoned argument." --Tryptofish (talk) 18:00, 21 October 2020 (UTC)
  • Past contribution history may not, in principle, matter in achieving consensus in individual discussions, where the weight of an argument is supposed to be more important than who said it, or in contributions to articles, where the weight of reliable sources and the quality of the prose should be more important than who wrote it. HOWEVER, we do "distinguish by accomplishments" when we hand out access rights, from bureaucrat, arbitrator, administrator down to page-mover, patroller, article creator, or confirmed. We also distinguish by accomplishments when we hand out barnstars or otherwise recognize contributors for their contributions. And we distinguish by (negative) accomplishments when we block vandals for vandalism or sockpuppets for sockpuppetry, or otherwise sanction long-term patterns of misbehavior. A code of conduct that outlaws that kind of distinction is a code of conduct with a problem. —David Eppstein (talk) 19:40, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
  • I'm really concerned about including "skills" in this statement of nondiscrimination. Skills include the ability to communicate clearly in writing, the ability to recognize what constitutes a reliable source, the ability to analyze, the ability to work collaboratively. This seems to be saying competence is not required. Valereee (talk) 13:23, 29 October 2020 (UTC)
    I think it's just a poorly worded statement where (now) half a dozen different people have (quite reasonably) interpreted it in half a dozen different ways. I think most likely the message it's trying to send is the most sensible interpretation I try to expand on above, but it may well be the case they meant something else. Based on context, I think it's meant in a negative discriminatory way (eg, people aren't put down based on global standing, but instead on merit of argument; a 'correct' argument by a newcomer shouldn't be ignored solely because someone with standing disagrees). It's something where I think the underlying meaning is true, but the wording could do with some improvement. I certainly don't think it's trying to say that bad arguments or disruption are okay. Just that good arguments cannot be disregarded simply because the poster is an IP. It also seemingly denounces the idea of "unblockables". ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 13:43, 29 October 2020 (UTC)


It seems to me that doxing clause basically forbids public paid editing investigations of any kind. It was like that on English Wikipedia for significant amount of time, but not all projects agree with such baseline. Also, per foundation:Privacy policy it is allowed for Wikimedia staff or "particular users with certain administrative rights" to "share your Personal Information if it is reasonably believed to be necessary to enforce or investigate potential violations of our Terms of Use, this Privacy Policy, or any Wikimedia Foundation or user community-based policies". Undisclosed paid editing is a violation of Wikimedia terms of use, so Privacy policy allows forced disclosure in such cases while current UCoC draft does not. I think it's a serious flaw and should be amended in the UCoC. Another unclear point here is when an editor is a subject of an article and there is a reliable source confirming that this person is a specific Wikipedia editor, but editor himself hasn't consent to publishing this information in-wiki. Does the UCoC forbid to use this source in an article about this person? Adamant.pwn (talk) 12:26, 19 October 2020 (UTC)

JupyterCon/numFOCUS CoC case[edit]

I would like to note that there has been a CoC case at JupyterCon with the keynote speaker Jeremy Howard. The case was handled by NumFOCUS. It has created a stir in the community. I maybe worth that we follow the case and learn from it. Some background links are here:

  • JupyterCon's CoC [2]
  • "I violated a code of conduct" post by Jeremy Howard [3]
  • NumFOCUS tweet [4] (I expect a response from them)
  • Joel Grus' tweet [5]
  • Valerie Aurora's slides [6]

I am no expert on CoC and haven't read much about it. I note that Jeremy Howard states 'CoC experts recommend avoiding requirements of politeness or other forms of “proper” behavior, but should focus on a specific list of unacceptable behaviors. The JupyterCon CoC, however, is nearly entirely a list of “proper” behaviors (such as “Be welcoming”, “Be considerate”, and “Be friendly”) that are vaguely defined'. I see no citation for "CoC experts recommend avoiding requirements of politeness", but it may be worth examining further. I note that Aurora write 'Do not require politeness or other forms of "proper" behavior (e.g., don't ban interrupting)' on the slides, but that the Ada Initiative points to the Django Code of Conduct [7] as a good examples and that Django's CoC has "Be welcoming" — Finn Årup Nielsen (fnielsen) (talk) 20:35, 29 October 2020 (UTC)