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Dealing with online harassment

The following are a set of concepts for a future training module on dealing with online harassment. They are being created based on feedback from community members who have experience working with these issues. This effort is led by the Support and Safety team at the Wikimedia Foundation.

This content will be developed over the coming months. If you have ideas for content, comments on the draft content, or ideas for headings that are not included here, please join us on the talk page!

The Support and Safety team is responsible for delivering and deploying these modules, and will be ultimately responsible for final editorial decisions on the content. However, we highly value input from those in the movement with experience dealing with online harassment and will incorporate suggestions as appropriate.

H1: Introduction[edit]

Purpose of this module[edit]

This module is intended to help community leaders, functionaries, and groups deal with community challenges around allegations of online harassment and abusive behavior. Dealing with such complaints can be a challenging and time-consuming process. Wikimedia projects' decentralized system can mean a lack of consistent approaches to the issue between different Wikimedia projects, or even within a single project or group. Harassment cases can cause emotional strain on everyone involved, and it is often very difficult to find solutions that satisfy everyone involved.

However, helping fellow community members deal with this issue is important. Volunteers often struggle with finding assistance when they feel harassed, and the experience of feeling harassed is a deterrent to participation.[1] Supporting them, and supporting each other in supporting them, may help us avoid losing good faith contributors who could be helping build out content for our reviewers.These training materials will evolve over time. Approaches to online harassment, policies, and tools are a expanding area of study, and the information provided here will grow as they grow.

Dealing with online harassment
Introduction What this module is about
  • What is harassment?
  • Why do you need to care about harassment
  • Some examples of harassment on our projects
Handling harassment reports
  • What makes a good reply
  • What to do with third-party reports
  • Replying to non-actionable reports
  • What types of reports should go the Wikimedia Foundation's Trust and Safety task force?
  • What types of problems should be redirected to community noticeboards?
  • What types of problems can an administrator or functionary handle individually?
  • What types of problems should be redirected to local functionaries or arbitrators?
Communicating with victims of harassment
Immediate action
Investigating reports
Providing support and advice
"Doxxing" or release of personally identifying information
"Off-wiki" harassment
Image-based problems
Closing cases
Reporting out
After a case
Other resources