Wikipedia:Update/1/Conduct policy changes, July 2009 to December 2009

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December 2009

  • Wikipedia:Consensus
    • In WP:Consensus#Consensus can change, changed: [Thus, "according to consensus" and "violates consensus"] "are not valid rationales for making or reverting an edit, or" [for accepting or rejecting other forms of proposal or action.] to: "is not a valid rationale"

  • Wikipedia:Edit warring
    • In WP:WAR#Reverting, added: "Additionally, the use of automated or semi-automated tools is prohibited during a content dispute. Editors must not use tools such as Twinkle, Huggle or Rollback when in a content dispute."

November 2009

  • Wikipedia:Sock puppetry
    • In the introduction, added: [A second account] "used deceptively" [in violation of this policy is known as a sock puppet.] Removed: Do not bias discussions by asking for supporters from other places (meatpuppetry). Removed: Do not act as a meat puppet for somebody else.
    • In WP:SOCK#Inappropriate uses of alternate accounts, added: [Editors may not use more than one account to contribute to the same page or discussion] "in a way to suggest that they are multiple people. Contributions to the same page with legitimate alternate accounts is not forbidden (e.g. editing the same page with your main and public computer account or editing a page using your main account that your bot account edited)." Made minor changes under the WP:ADMINSOCK shortcut. Also, changed:
Role accounts: Role accounts—accounts used by multiple people—are likely to be blocked. The Wikimedia Foundation and Board of Trustees reserve the right to use role accounts where necessary.
Role accounts: Because an account represents your edits as an individual, "role accounts" — accounts shared by multiple people—are as a rule forbidden and blocked. If you edit for an organization please see username policy guidance. The sole exceptions are non-editing accounts providing email access to major internal mailing lists and accounts approved by the Wikimedia Foundation (list below), and approved bots with multiple managers. See Username policy#Sharing accounts.
Also added:
Note that editing under multiple IP addresses, without registering, can be treated the same as editing under multiple accounts where it is done deceptively or otherwise violates the above principles. Registered users who edit without logging in are treated the same as if the IP was an alternate account. (Where editors log out by mistake, they may wish to contact an administrator or an editor with oversight access in order to ensure that there is not a misunderstanding.)

October 2009
  • Wikipedia:Civility
    • Added to the introduction: "In general, be understanding and non-retaliatory in dealing with incivility. If others are uncivil, be understanding (people do say things when they get upset) rather than judgemental, and do not respond in kind. If necessary, point out gently that you think the comment might be considered uncivil, and make it clear that you want to move on and focus on the content issue. Bear in mind that the editor may not have considered it uncivil - Wikipedia is edited by people from many different backgrounds, and standards vary. Consider too the option of ignoring isolated examples of incivility, and simply moving forward with the content issue. Only take things to dispute resolution (see below) if there is an ongoing problem you can't resolve."
    • New subsection, WP:CIVIL#Avoiding incivility
    • Moved WP:CIVIL#Personal attacks and harassment up
    • In WP:CIVIL#Dispute resolution, changed: "If some action is necessary, first consider discussing it on that user's talk page." to:
      In escalating order of seriousness, here are the venues you may use for dispute resolution if the relevant page's talk page is insufficient:
      • User talk page. If some action is necessary, first consider discussing it on that user's talk page.

  • Wikipedia:Edit war
    • In WP:WAR#The editing process, changed: "Reversion exists to undo in full an edit that has no merit whatsoever, not to refute an editor with whom one happens to disagree." to: "If differences arise and cannot be resolved, the correct response is to discuss and try to reach agreement, and then to seek dispute resolution or other neutral help from the wider editing community."
    • New section, WP:WAR#Reverting, with material moved from WP:WAR#The editing process, and also: "Misuse of reversion in these ways may lead to administrator warnings or blocking."

  • Wikipedia:Ownership of articles
    • In WP:OWN#Overview, added: "There is no rule against being the primary or sole editor of an article, provided that contributions and input from fellow editors is not ignored and/or immediately disregarded. Some articles have few (or one) main contributors. Being the primary editor does not equal ownership so long as the primary editor allows views of other editors."

  • Wikipedia:Username policy
    • In WP:U#Choosing an appropriate username, added: "If you've inadvertently chosen an inappropriate username, you can change it - see below at Changing your username. If your username is considered borderline, you may be asked to change it voluntarily."
    • In WP:U#Real names, added: [You should consider the benefits and drawbacks of making substantial contributions under your real name before doing so,] "especially if you are interested in editing subjects which may be politically sensitive."
September 2009
  • Wikipedia:Civility
    • In WP:CIVIL#Engaging in incivility, some material was rearranged and reworded. Added "It is sometimes difficult to make a hard-and-fast judgement of what is uncivil and what is not. Such a judgement may need to take into account such matters as (i) the intensity of the language/behavior; (ii) whether the behavior has occurred on a single occasion, or is occasional or regular; (iii) whether a request has already been made to stop the behavior, and whether that request is recent; (iv) whether the behavior has been provoked; and (v) the extent to which the behavior of others need to be treated at the same time." Removed "excessive sarcasm". Removed "for instance, calling someone a liar, or accusing him/her of slander or libel." Shortened "Using derogatory language towards other contributors or, in general, referring to groups such as social classes, nationalities, ethnic groups, religious groups, or others in a derogatory manner" to "derogatory references to groups such as social classes or nationalities". Also removed the following:
  • Belittling contributors because of their language skills or word choice.
  • Ridiculing comments from other editors, rather than making serious criticism of them.
  • Feigned incomprehension, "playing dumb"
  • Attempts to publicly volunteer other people's time and effort for work they have not agreed to perform.
  • Use of condescending language towards other Users. (e.g. "You're just a newbie, you clearly don't understand how Wikipedia works, now try reading some policy pages before commenting again.") Wikipedia has no official rank structure and all Users should feel as though they are being treated as equals at all times.

  • Wikipedia:Consensus
    • In the nutshell, removed "Consensus is about how editors work with others. ... Policies and guidelines document communal consensus rather than creating it."
    • In WP:CON#Process, removed: "That said, consensus is not simple agreement; a handful of editors agreeing on something does not constitute a consensus, except in the thinnest sense. Consensus is a broader process where specific points of article content are considered in terms of the article as a whole, and in terms of the article's place in the encyclopedia, in the hope that editors will negotiate a reasonable balance between competing views, as well as with the practical necessities of writing an encyclopedia and legal restrictions."
    • Moved a paragraph from WP:CON#Exceptions to WP:CON#Level of consensus and shortened it to: "For instance, participants in a WikiProject cannot decide that some generally accepted policy does not apply to articles within its scope, unless they can convince the broader community that such action is right." Also in WP:CON#Exceptions, removed: "Wikimedia founding principles lays out the basic principles for all Wikimedia projects. These represent the consensus among all Wikimedia projects, and affect all of them. It is very hard to change them, because you need to convince such a large community. But they do change slowly over time."
    • In WP:CON#Policies and guidelines, changed "Editors are therefore expected to discuss substantive changes on the talk page before making them." to "Editors are therefore typically expected to propose substantive changes on the talk page before making them. Don't do big things suddenly; the community is more likely to accept your edits if you do them slowly and make effort to keep the community involved."
    • In WP:CON#Consensus as a result of the editing process, added: [Someone makes a change to a page] "(any page other than a talk page)," [then everyone who reads the page has an opportunity to leave it as it is, or change it. ... This is the simplest form of consensus, and it is used in everyday editing on the vast majority of Wikipedia's] "non-talk" [pages].
    • Renamed WP:CON#Canvassing to WP:CON#Improper consensus-building, and changed it substantially from the August 31 version.

  • Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines
    • In the introduction, changed "our goal of creating a free and neutral encyclopedia that anyone can edit." to "our goal of creating a free, reliable encyclopedia; indeed, the largest encyclopedia in history, both in terms of breadth and in terms of depth."

August 2009
  • Wikipedia:Civility
    • Several statements were softened without a significant change in meaning, for instance "always treat" became "always endeavor to treat" and "not in themselves a concern" became "not in themselves a major concern".
    • In WP:CIVIL#Engaging in incivility, added as examples: "excessive sarcasm", and "Use of condescending language towards other Users. (e.g. "You're just a newbie, you clearly don't understand how Wikipedia works, now try reading some policy pages before commenting again.") Wikipedia has no official rank structure and all Users should feel as though they are being treated as equals at all times."

It is unacceptable to use alternative accounts to disrupt Wikipedia or to misrepresent yourself or your contributions. For example:
  • Posing as a neutral commentator, using one alt account, in a policy discussion about another account of the same person.
  • !Voting more than once in polls, such as WP:Articles for discussion polls.
  • Using multiple accounts to violate our rules about edit warring
  • Creating an article with one account, and then marking it as patrolled with another.
  • Use of a separate account for disruption or vandalism, in the hope that, when it is blocked, the main account can continue with blameless editing.
  • Creating an article with one account and proposing it for deletion with another, a WP:POINT violation
  • Creating a separate account to argue one side of an issue in a deliberately irrational or offensive fashion, to sway opinion to another side.
It is improper to use multiple accounts to do anything which cannot or should not be done with a single account.

July 2009
  • Wikipedia:Civility
    • Added to the nutshell: "This policy is not a weapon to use against other contributors."
    • Added to WP:CIV#Engaging in incivility: "Ridiculing comments from other editors, rather than making serious criticism of them"

  • Wikipedia:Sock puppetry
    • Added to lead section: "As a general rule, each Wikipedian is allowed only one account."
    • Added footnote to WP:SOCK#Administrative sock puppets: "ArbCom case link"
    • Added to WP:SOCK#Inappropriate uses of alternative accounts: "When using more than one account it is essential not to "cross the streams" of the different accounts. If more than one account controlled by the same user edits the same page or joins the same discussion, there may be a finding of sock puppetry. Editors who use multiple accounts may be sanctioned if they unintentionally, accidentally, or carelessly engage in sock puppetry." Also added footnote: "See Ghostbusters#Plot."
    • In WP:SOCK#Legitimate uses of alternative accounts, changed "prominent users might create a new account to experience how the community functions for new users." to "longterm contributors using their real name may wish to use a pseudonymous account for contributions they do not want their real name to be associated with. If you use an alternate account, it is your responsibility to ensure that you do not use it in a forbidden manner."
    • Added to WP:SOCK#Clean start under a new name: "This is permitted only if there is no active deception, particularly on pages that the old account used to edit. That is, you should not turn up on a page User:A used to edit to continue the same editing pattern, this time as User:B, while denying any connection to User:A, particularly if the edits are contentious."
    • In WP:SOCK#Alternative account notification, changed from "... this list does not allow direct mailing by non-members" to "The local functionaries email list ({{nospam|functionaries-en|}}) can also be advised". Also, removed [the Arbitration Committee list (] "which includes current and former members of the committee"

As of February 7, 2010, there were 6 pages in Category:Wikipedia conduct policies