Wikipedia:Deceased Wikipedians/Guidelines

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Main page Guidelines Discussion Project Members


This is an organized procedure for dealing with the accounts, userpages, and user rights of deceased Wikipedians as established by community consensus in this discussion.

On verification

The first step is to make absolutely sure that the user in question has indeed died. Reliable sources are key to counteracting fallacious claims. If possible, multiple attestation is desirable, as hoaxes have appeared even on reliable print sources. If a user's death is announced on wiki by someone claiming to be a relation or a friend of the deceased, a checkuser may be conducted to authenticate such a claim.

On the userpage

When it is confirmed that the user has indeed died, there are two things to be done in terms of the userpage.

  1. The user page should be fully protected to prevent vandals from defacing the page.
  2. A hatnote in compliance with the family's wishes should be placed on the userpage, explaining that the user has died. This step may be bypassed if the family does not desire a hatnote. If possible, the hatnote can also "provide simple directions to a friend/family member who wishes to access the userpage" but has found it fully protected, by giving them access to administrator help.

A standardized and secular template, {{Deceased Wikipedian}}, is available to be placed on the user talks of deceased Wikipedians. Its placement is at editors' discretion, and should be considered on a case by case basis.

On the talk page

Consider archiving any unseemly disputes, warnings or deletion notices. {{Deceased Wikipedian}} may be placed at the top of talk pages, and at the end of long talk pages. Adding the {{Nobots}} template will prevent unsightly template messages being delivered by bots, e.g. Signpost issues or deletion notices.

Editors who choose to do so may leave tasteful condolence notices on talk pages, by editing in the usual manner.

On the account

As a symbolic gesture of respect, accounts of deceased Wikipedians should not be blocked unless they have been compromised. However, to prevent severe harm to the encyclopedia if such a situation should happen, the user rights of deceased Wikipedians should be removed. User rights to be removed primarily include sysop, rollback, Checkuser, Oversight, and Bureaucrat rights. As rights of Checkuser, Oversight and Bureaucrat cannot be removed locally, a request to remove those should be posted on m:Steward requests/Permissions#Removal of access. If rights are removed, a note should be made about the rights the user held in their editing tenure.

On WP:RIP and memorial pages

By default, constructively contributing Wikipedians should be honored with a listing at WP:RIP. Criteria for placement on the Deceased Wikipedian page has not been discussed, although by common sense listed users should have been active enough to be considered part of the community.

If the colleagues of an editor feel moved to do so, they may create a memorial page to honor the deceased, as long as the family has not objected and the user did not object to it prior to their death. Entries to the memorial page should be as tasteful as possible; edits that fail to be tasteful will be removed. Memorial pages are not mandatory; they are created by the community for the community rather than as a requirement.

Also

Delete the user's subscription to automated newsletters such as signpost, project updates, etc.

Check to see if the user was active on other Wikipedias, or sister projects, and leave notes on their 'village pumps' or equivalent, or at the relevant embassy, if so.

If the user was notable, check to see if there was an article about them, and update as required.