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Wookieepedia:No personal attacks

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This page is considered an official policy on Wookieepedia.

It has wide acceptance among editors and is considered a standard that everyone must follow. Please use the Consensus track to propose changes to this policy.

Walnut

This page in a nutshell

Comment on content, not on the contributor.

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[edit]

Do not make personal attacks anywhere in Wookieepedia. Comment on content, not on the contributor. Personal attacks will not help you make a point; they hurt the Wookieepedia community and deter users from helping create a good encyclopedia.

Don't do it

There is no excuse for personal attacks on other contributors. Please do not make them.

Being reasonable

Different contributors may not agree on an article. Members of opposing communities reasonably wish to express their views. Synthesising these views into a single article creates a better, more NPOV article for everyone. Remember to accept that we are all part of the same community as we are all Wookieepedians.

Examples

Examples of personal attacks

Specific examples of personal attacks include but are not limited to:

  • Accusatory comments such as "X is a troll", or "Y is a bad editor" can be considered personal attacks if said repeatedly, in bad faith, or with sufficient venom.
  • Negative personal comments and "I'm better than you" attacks, such as "You have no life."
  • Racial, sexist, homophobic, ageist, religious or ethnic epithets directed against another contributor. (Disagreement over what constitutes a religion, race, sexual preference, or ethnicity is not a legitimate excuse.)
  • Using someone's affiliations as a means of dismissing or discrediting their views — regardless of whether said affiliations are mainstream or extreme.
  • Profanity directed against another contributor.
  • Threats of legal action.
  • Threats of violence, including death threats.
  • Threats of vandalism to userpages or talk pages. May be direct or indirect.
  • Posting a link to an external source that fits the commonly-accepted threshold for a personal attack, in a manner that incorporates the substance of that attack into Wookieepedia discussion. Suggesting a link applies to another editor, or that another editor needs to visit a certain link, that contains the substance of an attack.

Examples that are not personal attacks

Users engaging in debate is an essential part of the culture of Wookieepedia. Assume good faith, be civil and adhere to good wiki etiquette when stating disagreements to avoid personalizing them and try to minimize unnecessarily antagonistic comments. Disagreements with other editors can be discussed without resorting to personal attacks. It is important not to personalize comments that are directed at content and actions, but it is equally important not to interpret such comments as personal attacks. Specific examples of comments that are not personal attacks include, but are not limited to:

  • Disagreements about content such as "Your statement about X is wrong" or "Your statement is a point of view, not fact" are not personal attacks.
  • Personal attacks do not include civil language used to describe an editor's actions, and when made without involving their personal character, should not be construed as personal attacks. Stating "Your statement is a personal attack..." is not itself a personal attack — it is a statement regarding the actions of the user, not a statement about the user. There is a difference between "You are a troll" and "You are acting like a troll", but "You seem to be making statements just to provoke people" is even better, as it means the same without descending to name-calling. Similarly, a comment such as "responding to accusation of bad faith by user X" in an edit summary or on a talk page is not a personal attack against user X.
  • A comment in an edit history such as "reverting vandalism" is not a personal attack. However, it is important to assume good faith when making such a comment — if the edit that is being reverted could be interpreted as a good-faith edit, then don't label it as vandalism.

Be aware of wikilawyering

This policy can be a prime candidate for wikilawyering, which can be defined as asserting a technical interpretation of the policy to override the principle it expresses. In the end, common sense is more important than the exact wording in this and other policy articles, including the examples included above.

Alternatives

Instead:

  • Discuss the facts and how to express them, not the attributes of the other party. This does not mean that you have to agree with the other person, but just agree to disagree.
  • Never suggest a view is invalid simply because of who its proponent is.
  • Explore issues in a less public forum like e-mail if a debate threatens to become personal.
  • Read Resolving disputes.

Remedies

If you are personally attacked, you should ask the attacker to stop and note this policy. If they continue, consider following the dispute resolution process.

In extreme cases, an attacker may be blocked under the "disruption" clause of the blocking policy, though the practice is almost always controversial. Personal attacks should be reported at Forum:Administrators' noticeboard or on IRC.

A misguided notion: "Kicking them while they are down"

Note: There are certain Wookieepedia users who are unpopular, perhaps because of foolish or boorish behavior in the past. Such users may have been subject to disciplinary actions by the administrators. It is only human to imagine that such users might be fair game for personal attacks. This notion is misguided; people make mistakes, often learn from them and change their ways. The NPA rule applies to all users irrespective of their past history or how others regard them.

Community spirit

It is your responsibility to foster and maintain a positive online community on Wookieepedia. Personal attacks against any user—regardless of his/her past behavior—are contrary to this spirit.

Consequences

Remember that disputes on talk pages are accessible to everyone on the Internet. The way in which you conduct yourself on Wookieepedia reflects on the site and on you.

Users have been blocked for repeatedly engaging in personal attacks. Abusive edit summaries are particularly ill-regarded.

See also

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