Wikipedia:Threats of violence
|An earlier version of this page was proposed as a policy or guideline but did not gain consensus.|
|This page in a nutshell: It's a good idea to report credible threats.|
Police and emergency authorities generally offer the advice that if a specific threat is made it should be taken seriously and reported immediately if possible.
Should any threat of violence be made on Wikipedia, it is unlikely the community of editors, including administrators, will be able to make an appropriate "real world" response. Accordingly, if there is any possibility at all that a "real world" threat has been made with genuine intent, the best thing to do is to immediately report it to the Wikimedia Foundation's emergency contact email at emergencywikimedia.org, where Wikimedia staff can assess the situation and contact authorities if needed. You should also contact an administrator privately via Email, IRC, or other methods. If the post contains personal information requiring oversighter attention, request oversight.
Evaluate a threat seriously, and to minimize distraction and disruption on Wikipedia, consider: Report*. Revert. Ignore.
*To administrators and certainly to the WMF emergency email of emergencywikimedia.org.
- Wikipedia:Responding to threats of harm – a comprehensive guide
References / External Advice
- Violent threats on Wilson High's Wikipedia page went unchecked – "Parents and students cannot be expected to police the sites alone, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Det. Dan Jackson. "How do you make them accountable for policing it? It's pretty much impossible," he said. "Somebody with authority, like the administrator, should be monitoring it" and reporting threats to police, because "we certainly can't cruise the Internet on thousands of sites."
- The Met. Police in UK – "we continue to urge both the public and the business community to remain vigilant at all times and to report anything suspicious or unusual to police."
- NSW (State of Australia) advice – "it may be the missing piece that police need."
- Federal Australian Advice – "Every Detail Helps"
- SHS gets threat of violence – "people within the area are encouraged to contact the police department"
- abc7.com "extra security is taken at a high school after a threat is made on wikipedia"
- Violent threats on Wilson High's Wikipedia page went unchecked – "Sheriff's investigators said that after Wikipedia staff notified them of the first threat at 10:30 p.m. April 16, they assigned 13 detectives to the case and notified the six students mentioned in the threat, along with their families. They also dispatched officers to patrol outside the students' homes."
- Jimbo Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, has advised "it is very important that we respond appropriately to threats" and "I encourage people to err on the side of caution and report things to AN/I quickly."