|This page in a nutshell: Mediation is when a neutral editor guides disputants through a discussion and towards a compromise. Anyone can act as a mediator on Wikipedia.|
Mediation is a component of the Wikipedia content-dispute resolution process. During mediation, a content dispute between two or more editors is subjected to the involvement of an uninvolved third party (who is the mediator). The role of the mediator is to guide discussion towards the formation of agreement over the disputed elements of content.
What to mediate
Mediation is to help Wikipedia editors to contribute willingly together by helping to resolve their good-faith disagreements over article content. As above, the mediation process is unsuitable for complaints about the behaviour of other editors; these should be directed to a project administrator (e.g. at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard) for evaluation. Mediation equally is not suited to parties who are disagreeing "for the sake of disagreeing" or who have no intention of compromising or discussing the thinking behind their positions. It is not an aim of mediation to produce mutual amity between the disputants, but increased tolerance and respect is an important goal.
How to mediate
Mediation in any form will have the following features:
- Editors enter into mediation voluntarily and may withdraw from mediation at any time
- The role of the mediator is to facilitate consensus-building discussion, not to arbitrate or adjudicate disputes or issue binding decisions
- The mediator is a neutral third-party in relation to both the dispute and all the involved parties
- Mediation must relate exclusively to disputes over the content of a Wikipedia page: grievances relating to the conduct of another editor are not suitable for mediation
- Where the position of one disputant is clearly unreasonable, the mediator will not subvert the integrity of the encyclopedia in order to reach a resolution
You can ask any editor to act as a mediator for you. You can also request mediation on Wikipedia by using the Dispute Resolution Noticeboard.
Who can mediate
Editors acting as a mediator should have a clear ability to foster an agreement (clearly incompetent or seriously inexperienced users should not mediate). Mediators should have no personal prejudice about the issues or topics in dispute. Mediators should have no significant prior involvement with the users involved.
- The Wikipedia:Mediation Cabal was a location for informally soliciting a mediator; it has been disbanded
- Wikipedia:Requests for mediation and the Wikipedia:Mediation Committee was a formal Wikipedia provider of mediation; it has been disbanded
- meatball:ConflictResolution has good suggestions on how to handle conflict as a third party