Jump to content

Threats of harm/cs

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki
This page is a translated version of the page Threats of harm and the translation is 12% complete.
This is advice to editors engaged in responding to those threatening physical harm to themselves or others.

NOTE from WMF Trust and Safety: As of June 2023, it has come to our attention that some messages sent to emergency@ wound up in our spam folder. This seems to be a backend issue with our email provider and we are currently reviewing the problem. If you do not receive a response to your message within 1 hour, please send a note to ca(_AT_)wikimedia.org. Thank you. Best, JKoerner (WMF) (talk) 16:13, 7 June 2023 (UTC)[reply]

This page outlines the procedure for dealing with such issues, and threats of physical harm, including self-harm, and complement the Foundation's legal policies on the subject. It does not apply to non-physical forms of real-world harm, such as harassment or outing.

Treat all claims seriously

Treat all threats seriously. Do not make your own determination that an apparent threat is a joke or trolling. It is better to be safe than sorry.

Although someone discussing suicide may not be actively suicidal at present, he or she may become actively suicidal; the same is true of someone threating violence. To repeat: Treat all threats seriously and act as you would in a real emergency.

Contact the Wikimedia Foundation

As soon as you see a claim or threat of physical harm to persons ("I'm going to kill myself"; "I'm going to kill Person"; "I'm going to kill you") or property ("I'm going to blow up your school"), immediately contact the Wikimedia Foundation office staff at this special email address: emergency@wikimedia.org, which automatically forwards to a trained team of staff members available to respond to these incidents even outside of normal business hours. The Wikimedia Foundation has internal policies for office actions, such as the "On-Wiki Threat Protocol", which applies both domestically in the United States and internationally. Emails sent to other addresses or Foundation staff may not be received in a timely manner, or response might be delayed; thus this email address is the preferred contact point for such incidents and will produce a near-immediate reply of acknowledgement. (Please note: emails sent to this address for non-emergency issues may receive no response at all. If you need assistance of another kind, they cannot help you.)

Contact a functionary

Except for edge cases and other cases requiring common sense, such as where a functionary is the source of a threat, you should also contact the closest designated functionary for your local wiki immediately.

"Functionary" here is defined the highest body of authority responsible for overseeing your wiki, one that is typically governed by local policies and guidelines; for example, an Arbitration Committee and/or a resident team of appointed CheckUsers and Oversighters. If there is no ArbCom process, the "functionary" role may be relegated to local bureaucrats, or another special group as determined by local policy; and if there are no local bureaucrats, the "functionary" role may be relegated to local administrators, or another special group as determined by local policy. And finally, if there are no local members of your community elected to hold advanced permissions, or they may be inactive or hold the positions only temporarily, you may contact a steward to serve as local "functionary".

Recommended communication for receiving prompt attention include:

Functionaries should contact other functionaries even if they discover such a threat on their own. Other functionaries may be able to provide help more effectively, and a wider announcement is key to mobilizing such effort.

Functionary action

Consider blocking those issuing threats of violence to others, with their talkpage and email access revoked. However, if it is a threat of suicide or self-harm, discretion should be used as to whether or not blocking might be appropriate. The threats or claims should be RevisionDeleted or oversighted from the page history.


While Wikimedians' legal obligations to report a threat of harm might vary by country, volunteers do have a policy obligation to adhere to the Wikimedia Foundation's Terms of Use, as well as a moral obligation as members of the Wikimedia movement to help bring assistance to persons suffering depression or violence.

See also