Universal Code of Conduct/Project

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This page in a nutshell: The Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) aims to provide a universal baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire Wikimedia movement and all its projects.
Universal Code of Conduct

The Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) was created to provide a global baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire movement without tolerance for harassment. It was created through a collaborative process through two phases. Phase 1 included drafting the policy. Phase 2 included drafting enforcement guidelines. The Policy was ratified by the Board of Trustees on 2 February 2021, and the enforcement guidelines were voted on through a community-wide vote in March of 2022. The vote indicated community support for the guidelines, with several specific improvement areas identified through comments submitted in the process. The Board’s Community Affairs Committee (CAC) has requested that a community-led revisions committee address some parts of the guideline. This refinement process is currently underway.

Overview[edit]

Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC)[edit]

The UCoC is a key policy initiative from the Wikimedia 2030 community conversations and strategy process. The Strategy groups consulted Wikimedians from the global communities. Ten recommendations to guide the movement towards its 2030 vision were developed. One of the recommendations, to "Provide for Safety and Inclusion," included drafting a Code of Conduct: the UCoC. The UCoC was developed in consultation with communities from across the Wikimedia movement with respect to context, existing local policies, as well as enforcement and conflict resolution structures. Previous community discussions about the Universal Code of Conduct can be found on this page.

The UCoC consultation was held in two phases. Phase 1, from June to December 2020, involved research and conversations with communities on what a UCoC would look like. It resulted in the UCoC, which was approved by the Board of Trustees on 2 February 2021. Phase 2 officially began in February 2021 and also involved global conversations and the drafting of the enforcement guidelines, processes and pathways for the UCoC by a joint volunteer-staff committee.

Universal Code of Conduct - Policy[edit]

The Universal Code of Conduct (UCoC) is intended to be a set of policies to provide a universal baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire Wikimedia movement and all of its projects. It outlines what constitutes expected and unacceptable behaviour and would apply to everyone who interacts and contributes to online and offline Wikimedia projects and spaces. See the full policy text.

Universal Code of Conduct - Enforcement guidelines[edit]

These guidelines are for the enforcement of the Universal Code of Conduct. The Policy was previously ratified by the Board of Trustees. The guidelines include preventative, detective, and investigative actions, and other actions taken to address violations of the Universal Code of Conduct. Enforcement would primarily be handled by, but not limited to, designated functionaries across all online and offline Wikimedia projects, events, and related spaces hosted on third-party platforms. It would be done in an organized, timely fashion and consistently across the entire Wikimedia movement.

The UCoC Enforcement guidelines consists of two parts:

  • Preventive work
    • Promoting UCoC awareness, recommending UCoC training, among others.
  • Responsive work
    • Detailing a process for filing
    • Processing reported violations
    • Providing resources for reported violations
    • Designating enforcement actions for violations

A new global committee called the Universal Code of Conduct Coordinating Committee (U4C) will be formed. U4C is intended to be a final decision-maker if local bodies fail to enforce the Universal Code of Conduct. The U4C will be in line with other decision making bodies, like Arbitration Committees and Affiliations Committee. The U4C will be set up by a building committee. This building committee will have members from the volunteer community, Wikimedia Foundation staff, and affiliate staff. This building committee will plan the steps necessary to have a functional U4C.

Current status[edit]

The UCoC Enforcement Guidelines were published for the community’s consideration 2022-01-06. The Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees published a statement on 24 January 2022 in support of a community vote on the proposed enforcement guidelines for the UCoC.

The vote was held from 7 to 21 March 2022. There were discussions and conversations to educate and inform the community about the UCoC and Enforcement guidelines to ensure Wikimedians were empowered to vote.

The vote is closed and the results have been published. Per a request from the CAC, the guidelines will be considered for Board ratification after a Revisions Committee addresses several areas of concern.

Timeline[edit]

Enforcement Guidelines Revisions
Event/Milestone Date Status
Revisions committee reviewing comments & drafting any needed changes June - August 2022 Ongoing
Community consultation on Enforcement Guidelines revisions September 2022 Upcoming
Final revisions based on consultation October - November 2022 Upcoming
Community vote on revised guidelines January - February 2023 Upcoming
Previous phases
Universal Code of Conduct Phase 2 Timeline
Event/Milestone Date Status
Investigate key

enforcement questions

Board of Trustees ratifies UCoC 2 February 2021 Done
Local community consultations (summary) Late January – March 2021 Done
Affiliate consultations (Report) Late February – April 2021 Done
Functionary consultations April – July 2021 Done
On-wiki consultations (Report) April – May 2021 Done
Roundtable discussions May – September 2021 Done
Targets of Harassment report June 2021 Published
Create & approve

enforcement proposal

Call for participation: Phase 2 drafting committee Late March – April 2021 Closed
Drafting committee: initial drafting May – July 2021 Published
Draft enforcement proposals community consultations August – October 2021 Done
Drafting committee: refine enforcement proposal October – January 2022 Done
UCoC enforcement proposal submitted to Board of Trustees January 2022 Done
Enforcement guidelines community ratification
UCoC enforcement guidelines published for consideration January 24, 2022 Published
Enforcement guidelines conversations January 2022 – March 2022 Finished
Conversation Hour #1 February 4, 2022 Finished
Conversation Hour #2 February 25, 2022 Finished
Conversation Hour #3 March 4, 2022 Finished
Ratification voting period March 7, 2022 – March 21, 2022 Finished
Vote scrutinization March 21, 2022 – March 31, 2022 Finished
Ratification vote results announcement April 5, 2022 Finished
Universal Code of Conduct Phase 1 Timeline
Event/Milestone Date Status
Early research

and outreach

Publish a summary of local language consultations 15 June 2020 Done
Affiliate outreach: surveys and interviews June – July 2020 Done
Outreach to communities completed and feedback compiled July 2020 Done
Wikimedia Foundation staff survey completed and summarized July 2020 Done
Drafting Call for participation: drafting committee June 2020 Done
Drafting committee selected 17 July 2020 Done
Drafting committee: active drafting stage August – September 2020 Done
UCoC draft community comment period September – October 2020 Done
UCoC draft revised in light of community comments 6–12 October 2020 Done
UCoC draft delivered to Board of Trustees for review, with links to community comments 13 October 2020 Done
Outdated project history

History[edit]

The UCoC is a key policy initiative from the Wikimedia 2030 community conversations and strategy process. The Strategy groups consulted Wikimedians from the global communities and put forth 10 recommendations to guide the movement towards its 2030 vision. One of the recommendations, to “Provide for Safety and Inclusion,” included drafting a Code of Conduct, the UCoC. The UCoC is being developed in consultation with communities from across the Wikimedia movement with respect to context, existing local policies, as well as enforcement and conflict resolution structures. Previous community discussions about the Universal Code of Conduct can be found on this page.

The UCoC consultation is being held in two phases. Phase 1, from June to December 2020, involved research and conversations with communities on what a UCoC would look like. It resulted in the UCoC Policy, which is intended to apply to all activities in the Wikimedia movement. The Board of Trustees announced its approval of the UCoC Policy on 2 February 2021, though neither the global community nor individual communities have approved this Code of Conduct. Phase 2 involves ongoing global conversations and proposal drafting on the implementation and application of the UCoC. It officially began in February 2021.

Between 2018 and 2020, the Wikimedia 2030 strategy process invited volunteers to look at how to best guide the Wikimedia movement towards the future. Through working groups, online discussions, and in-person events around the world, 10 recommendations and principles were published in May 2020. One of these recommendations was to “Provide for Safety and Inclusion”:

We will establish Movement-wide standards for an inclusive, welcoming, safe, and harassment-free environment. This will enable us to better attract and retain new and diverse volunteers and grow as a movement.

A key part of this recommendation was to create a Code of Conduct, the UCoC. It aims to provide a "universal baseline of acceptable behavior for the entire movement without tolerance for harassment". Wikimedia communities work in highly varied contexts, and no code of conduct will be able to cover every situation and issue. If the Terms of Service are updated to include it, participants and local projects will be asked to follow and build upon the baseline established by the UCoC.

As per the Board of Trustees’ statement, there are two phases for the UCoC project. The first phase ("Phase 1") involved research, community and stakeholder dialogue, as well as a staff-appointed joint volunteer-staff committee that drafted the UCoC text proposal. The proposed text was submitted to the Board of Trustees for ratification on 13 October 2020. The Board announced the approved text on 2 February 2021.

The second phase ("Phase 2") of the project began on 2 February 2021, when the Board approved the draft UCoC text developed in Phase 1. The second phase of the project focuses on how to enforce the UCoC. As with the first phase, determining responsibilities and outlining clear enforcement pathways involves broad input from communities across the Wikimedia movement.

Important links[edit]